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Doesn’t Know What The Flux He’s Talking About

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 23, 2019

(I work in a well-known UK car retailer store. During my first week, the duty manager is on with me and two other new starts. We decide to play a prank on one of the guys. The manager hides in the back room and phones the store asking for information on a “flux capacitor” — a fake car part made famous by the “Back to the Future” movies. We expect our coworker to catch on, but he thinks it is a genuine car part. Instead of asking for help with something he knows nothing about, he proceeds to bulls*** the “customer” with a story of how we don’t have one, but another store does, and quotes them the price of £39.99. Well, this is interesting! We have literally caught the guy in a lie, and so our innocent prank grows arms and legs! Instead of coming clean, we decide to have a bit more fun with him. The duty manager has a conversation that goes something like this:)

Duty Manager: “Did you speak to someone about a Flux Capacitor?”

Coworker: “Yes, I told them [Other Store] had one.”

Duty Manager: “[Other Store] is on the phone saying they don’t have one but we do, so they’re having to send the customer back to us! Also, he’s saying something about being quoted £39.99?”

Coworker: “Yeah? That’s what I told him.”

Duty Manager: “They’re £400! What were you thinking? We’ve got to give him the lower price now and we could have got a bonus with that £400 sale!”

(He is horrified that he has made such a “mistake,” and what is even funnier is that he can’t admit he just made up the prices and stock levels or he’ll be in deep trouble. We let him stew for a while, as he is clearly upset and worried about this irate “customer” who might appear. We do plan to come clean that night, but during that same shift, we have a completely unrelated incident — it kind of turns into the shift from Hell, actually — which results in us having to call the police. After close, we are all giving statements and while my coworker is giving his, his mum turns up. I explain that we have had a minor incident tonight and her son is just finishing up with the police.)

Coworker’s Mum: “Oh, is that the problem with the flux capacitor?”

(I assured her it wasn’t while trying not to laugh in her face! We had no idea he had been so upset by his behaviour that he had called his mum! After telling the manager about it, we agreed that we were all in too deep to come clean about the prank now. Unsurprisingly, our little coworker did not last much longer in the job and he left none the wiser about the truth of the flux capacitor! Hopefully, he at least learned never to lie to customers again. The manager and I always had a good chuckle over the story for the six years I worked there.)

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