Formatting Error

| IN, USA | Musical Mayhem, Technology

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’d like to return a set of CDs. They don’t work.”

Me: “Well, I can only offer you an exchange on a defective CD. Tell you what, let me take a look at it and we’ll figure out what’s wrong.”

(The customer puts a box set of a very popular audiobook on the counter. I have a hard time believing every single CD in the set is defective.)

Me: “So tell me; what happened when you tried to play the CDs?”

Customer: “I bought the CDs so I could listen to them on my portable CD player while I jog, but every time I put a CD in and hit play, nothing happens. The CDs are obviously broken.”

Me: “I don’t suppose you’d happen to have your CD player with you, do you?”

(The customer pulls out the oldest-looking CD player I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s gigantic, has big chunky buttons, and practically screams ‘late 1990’s.’)

Me: “Oh, that explains a lot. I think I see the problem. See here on the CD cases? It reads, “Mp3 on CD.” That means that the tracks on this CD are in .mp3 format, like what you’d play on an iPod. Your CD player was probably made before mp3s were around. That’s why you can’t play the CDs on this player.”

(The customer looks terrified.)

Customer: “I don’t understand you!”

Me: “Well, it just means that your CD player is too old to recognize the format that the data on those CDs is in.”

Customer: “I don’t understand what you’re saying! I’m no good with technical stuff!”

Me: “Um… it’s just the form that the information on the CDs is in. It’s called an mp3. Your CD player came out before mp3s did, so it doesn’t know how to read the information.”

Customer: “That’s not what it says on the box, though!”

Me: “Yes it is. It says so right there in big letters: ‘Mp3 on CD.'”

Customer: “It says ‘Mp3 OR CD!'”

Me: That’s an ‘N.’ It says ‘on.’ It means that the information on those CDs is in mp3 format.”

Customer: *squinting at the box* “Oh, really? Well, then, I’d like a refund, since I can’t play these CDs.”

Me: “I’m sorry. It’s illegal to return opened CDs in this state. The only thing I can do is exchange it for the exact same item if it’s defective, which it isn’t.”

Customer: “But how am I supposed to play these CDs?!”

Me: “Do you have a computer?”

Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t know how it works! I’m no good with technical stuff!”

Me: “You could try ripping those CDs to your computer and playing them through iTunes or Windows Media Player.”

(The customer stares at me as though I’d suddenly started speaking in tongues.)

Me: “Sorry. I meant, you could put the CD into the disc drive of the computer and listen to it that way.”

Customer: “I. DON’T. KNOW. WHAT. YOU’RE. SAYING.”

Me: “Do you have anyone else at home who could help you use the computer?”

Customer: “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THE COMPUTER! I’M NO GOOD WITH TECHNICAL STUFF!”

Me: “I just meant that maybe someone else could help you get the information off the CDs so you could listen to them. It’s the best solution, since you can’t return them.”

Customer: “No, no, no, no! I’m no good with technical stuff! I don’t understand you at all! This is so confusing!”

Me: “There’s really nothing else I can do for you, then. I’m sorry.”

Customer: *sighs, scoops up her CDs, and walks to the door muttering* “I don’t understand computers at all. This is so confusing. I don’t understand!”

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A Continuous Sauce Of Stress, Part 2

| NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Money

(I work in a restaurant where we make the majority of our food in-house, down to dressings and sauces. The menu says in at least two places that extra sauces are available for 50 cents. Three women sit at my table.)

Woman #1: “I want to try a couple of these sauces.” *indicating our buffalo style sauces*

Me: “Well, ma’am, we generally don’t do that. I may have to charge you 50 cents”

Woman #1: “We’ve done it before. And I need some celery to dip in the sauces.”

(Rather than putting up a fight I bring her two sauces and a couple of sticks of celery. Woman #1 gets 10 wings in one of the sauces she tried. When the wings come out…)

Woman #1: “I need some extra sauce for my wings.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, that’s 50 cents extra. Is that okay?”

Woman #1: “It’s not extra cause I don’t have enough sauce on my wings.”

Me: “I’m sorry that you don’t feel the kitchen didn’t give you enough, but I’ll have to charge you 50 cents to get you more.”

Woman #2: “That’s bad customer service! The customer is always right!”

Me: “Ma’am, I apologize but I’m just doing my job the way I was taught to do it, and the menu says that extra sauces cost extra.”

Woman #1: “Bring me the manager!”

(My manager visits the table, offers to re-toss her wings in the kitchen but she just insists on having extra sauce brought to her without wanting to pay. My manager brings her half of a ramekin of sauce as a compromise but tells me that anything else they order will be extra. The women are grumpy for the rest of their meal and request a to go box toward the end.)

Woman #2: *holding her ramekin of blue cheese dressing* “I need another container.”

Me: “An empty container?”

Woman #2: “No, with extra blue cheese.”

Me: “That’ll be 50 cents. Is that okay?”

Woman #2: “No! Its not like I want extra because I ate it all. I just want extra to go!”

Me: “I’m sorry; ma’am, but extra dressings are 50 cents…”

(She turned it down and their checks did not include any extra dressing charges. The women berated me more anyway, asked me if I was new, and asked where the ‘other girl’ they had before was. The girl they described to me had actually been recently fired. One lady asked for change for a dollar, which I gave her, and left two quarters on the table with a note that said ‘Customer service goes toward your tip. Here’s your 50 cents.’ Sorry, giving out free stuff isn’t part of my job, lady!)

Related:
A Continuous Sauce Of Stress

De-Engineering Stereotypes

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Technology, Top

(I am an engineer working the tech support line. I should also add that I’m the only female engineer in a department of all male engineers. I answer a support call:)

Me: “Thank you for calling the engineering support line. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I need to talk to an engineer.”

Me: “Sure, what’s your question?”

Customer: “Well, I’d like to tell it to an engineer.”

Me: “No problem, what can I help you with?”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. I want to speak directly to the engineer.”

Me: “Sir, I’m an engineer.”

Customer: “You are?!”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “But… you’re a girl!”

Me:  *in a Valley Girl voice* “‘Ohmygosh, I know! Isn’t that amazing?”

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The Lie-To-Yourself Diet

| MN, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Health & Body

Me: *answering phone* “Thank you for calling [Pizza Place]. This is [My Name]. Can I interest you in two large pizzas with up to five toppings and a pop for only $22.99?”

Customer: “No, I don’t need that much. I’m on a diet.”

Me: “Okay. What can I get you tonight?”

Customer: “Can I get a large veggie pizza, but hold the mushrooms, black olives, green peppers, and onions, and add sausage, beef, bacon, Canadian bacon and pepperoni.”

Me: “Okay, that would just be a meats pizza with tomatoes.”

Customer: “No, I’m on a diet. I need a veggie pizza because of my diet. but hold the mushrooms, black olives, green peppers, and onions, and add sausage, beef, bacon, Canadian bacon and pepperoni.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. Your total will be $11 and we will have it ready in 15 minutes.”

(I rang up the order the way she wanted it but told my coworkers that it was just a meats pizza with tomatoes.)

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Not So Rewarding, Part 2

| USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(Every winter my store offers a rewards program for store credit card holders. The program is heavily advertised, especially at the cash wrap. Regardless, this exchange happens at least once a day.)

Me: “I see you’re paying with your [Store credit card]. Have you already enrolled in [rewards program]?”

Customer: *hostile* “What’s that?”

Me: “It’s a rewards program that—”

Customer: “No! I don’t want anything to do with that!”

Me: “Okay, your total will be—”

Customer: *suspiciously eyeing rewards program advertisement* “What’s this 10% thing? I want 10%!”

Me: “That’s [rewards program]. That—”

Customer: “No! I don’t want it!”

Related:
Not So Rewarding

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