De-flowering The Past

| Fredericton, NB, Canada | Bizarre

(I work in a women’s clothing department.)

Elderly Woman: “What are these little flower things for?”

Me: “Those are for when a lady’s nipples are showing through a shirt.”

Elderly Woman: “Oh… in my day we just used bandaids.”

(We both had a good laugh.)

Wish You Could Print Out This Conversation

| USA | Bizarre, Technology

(I’m working the reference desk when a customer comes up.)

Customer: “Is it true I can’t print from my own laptop?”

Me: “No, actually you can print from your own laptop.” *I then spend several minutes explaining the process, as it requires downloading and installing software*

Customer: “Okay, great! Can I check one out then?”

Me: “Oh, you mean one of our laptops? Well, sure, you can print from those as well. Have you ever checked out one of our laptops before?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Great.”

(He hands me his card but not his I.D.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I need your I.D. as well. We hold onto it while you have the laptop checked out.”

Customer: “Oh, I didn’t know that. I’ve never checked one out before.”

(At this point I’m afraid I’m losing my mind, but he gives me his I.D. and I check out his laptop. He goes on his way. Half an hour later, he brings the laptop back without stopping at the print release station.)

Customer: “Here you go. I’m all done.”

Me: “Were you able to print what you needed? I can show you how the print release station works.”

Customer: “I didn’t need to print anything.”

Me: *speechless*

(At least he was cheerful and polite throughout the interaction! I just wondered if we were having two different conversations…)

Their Selfishness Is Stronger Than Their Math

| UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

Me: “We are offering a voucher for £10 off for anyone who donates to charity today. You can also use that voucher in your current purchase.”

Customer: “How much would I have to donate?”

Me: “We ask for a minimum of £1.”

Customer: “£1? What a rip-off! No, I’ll just stick with what I have.”

Me: “Okay, that’s £24.99, please.”

(She paid and left, looking happy with herself. It was surprising how many people weren’t willing to take a reduction of £9 because £1 of it went to charity.)

Running ‘Counter’ To The Spelling

| UK | Language & Words

(I am helping a caller complete her passport forms over the phone.)

Caller: “I’m fine with most of it. It’s just at the end. It’s talking about a ‘courier sijenterary’.”

Me: “A courier sijenterary?”

Caller: “Yes, do you know what one of those is?”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t. Would you mind spelling it?”

Caller: “I can try. I have dyslexia, so it’s difficult.”

Me: “That’s no problem. Take your time.”

Customer: “C O U N T E R S I G—”

Me: “Oh, I see. Sorry to interrupt. You’ve jumped ahead of me. It reads as ‘countersignatory’. It means someone else needs to confirm that your photo is a true likeness.”

Caller: “So, what do I need to do?”

Me: “You just need someone who knows you, but is not a family member, to sign the back of one of your photos confirming it looks like you. It’s to protect against stolen identity and reduce confusion when flying. If you give your chosen person the forms and the photo, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure it out. If not, just get them to call us.”

Caller: “Oh, thank you so much. This is such a hassle, and I panic sometimes.”

Me: “It’s no bother. You’re almost there, actually.”

Caller: “That’s good. Thank you so much for the help, and sorry about the… sijenterary.” *hangs up*

(She was probably one of the nicest callers I’ve had working here, dyslexia and all.)

Celebrating Some Karma

| TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Holidays

(I work as a hostess in a higher-end restaurant. It’s customary to ask customers with reservations if they’re celebrating something, as we will decorate the table and make it a special occasion. This takes place around, but not on, Thanksgiving Day. Customer #1 is a middle-aged woman with her family.)

Customer #1: “Hello, we have a reservation under [Name].”

Me: “Welcome! Are we celebrating anything tonight?”

Customer #1: *exaggeratedly making a ‘hmmm’ face* “Gee… maybe… Thanksgiving? What else would someone be celebrating?”

Me: “Of course. Happy Thanksgiving, ma’am, and your waitress will show you to your table shortly.”

(Customer #2 is a younger woman accompanied by a young man.)

Customer #2: “Hi! We have a reservation under [Name].”

Me: “Of course, welcome! Are we celebrating anything tonight?”

(Customer #1 makes a show of rolling her eyes.)

Customer #2: *practically shouting* “WE JUST GOT ENGAGED!”

Me: “Congratulations! Your table will be ready shortly!”

(Customer #1 turned her head away from me the entire time until their table was ready.)

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