Don’t Be A-Gas-t, Just Being Help-Fuel

| Robeline, Louisiana, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(It’s around closing time and two customers walk in. One is a regular and the other is a frazzled looking woman who is talking to herself while digging in her wallet.)

Woman: *mutters to herself* “No money, but I need gas. I wouldn’t worry, but the fuel light is flashing…”

(She glances my way and I notice that she’s on the verge of tears.)

Me: “Ma’am? Can I help you?”

Woman: “I really need gas but this is all I have.” *opens her hand to reveal $0.42*

Me: “I know how that is. Tell you what… why don’t you go pump $5 and I’ll pay for it, okay?”

Woman: *wide-eyed* “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, I’m sure. Go ahead, I’ve got it.”

(The woman walks out looking less distressed. However, the regular gives me a stern frown.)

Me: “What?”

Regular: “Why’d you do that?”

Me: “Because I could only afford to let her get $5. If I wasn’t broke right now, I would have told her to go for $20.”

Regular: “No, why did you let her get gas on your dime? She could have been lying for all you know!”

Me: “She looked lost as a goose and terrified. I doubt she was lying. Even if she was, it’s my money, not yours.”

Regular: “Hmph!” *pays for his items and leaves*

(As for the woman, she actually came back in the store, wanting my address to send me the money but I insisted it was fine!)

All Judgments Are Final

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bizarre, Holidays

(It’s after Halloween, so we’re having a clearance sale on Halloween decorations. A customer outside walks by the storefront window, sees the decorations, and stomps right through the entrance to me.)

Customer: “YOU! Can you explain this?” *points back to the decorations*

Me: “The Halloween decorations?”

Customer: “Don’t act dumb! Why are they still here!?”

Me: “Well, Halloween was just last week, so we still have some decorations left over. They’re on sale for 50% off.”

Customer: “How DARE you sell those devil items in the store!!”

(Note: these “devil” items were plastic bags of fake spider webs, smiling cutesy ghosts ornaments, Halloween window stickers and bat-shaped confetti.)

Me: “Um, ma’am? No offense, but we always sell those during Halloween.”

Customer: “I KNOW. I just want to know why on earth you would try to sell those AFTER Halloween!”

Me: “Well, since they’re still in stock we’re having a clearance sale and are trying to get rid of—”

Customer: “Do you worship the devil?”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Only a devil worshiper would do such a thing! Your establishment is based on Satanism! You’re going to burn!”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t appreciate—”

Customer: “Everything you touch is d***ed!”

(Fed up and frustrated with her offensiveness, I talk back.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, I guess that means you’re d***ed too, since you’ve deliberately walked onto tainted soil.” *points down to where she’s standing*

(The customer’s eyes bulge out as she looks at her feet and then back at me. Then, without warning, she frantically SPRINTS OUT OF THE STORE, pushing my manager out of the way and almost knocking him down.)

Manager: “What the f*** was that about?!”

A Birthday Fit For A King

| Belgium | Language & Words, Top

(This call takes place during pre-Internet times, back when I was a student working a holiday job at a call center for a national telecom operator. My job was to look up international phone and fax numbers for our customers.)

Me: “International inquiries, how can I help you?”

Elderly Male Caller: “Hello? I need the number of The King of Morocco’s direct line.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that type of information would be classified. I can give you the number of our embassy in Morocco if you like. Maybe someone over there can further assist you? ”

Elderly Male Caller: “No, no, that won’t do. Your colleague already told me to dial [embassy’s number], but that’s no good. I want the direct line of The King. He lives in Casablanca.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid we cannot help you.”

Elderly Male Caller: “Are you quite sure? It’s The King I’m looking for, he lives in Casablanca, which is in Morocco, and I’m quite sure there is only one of them in the whole country. Surely you can look up his number?”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t, sir, as I’ve explained before—”

Elderly Male Caller: *sadly* “I used to have his number, you know, but I’ve lost the notebook it was in. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for him to call me then. Goodbye…”

(The caller hangs up. However, over the next hour, several of my coworkers get the same call, with the elderly man sounding more desperate, and repeating over and over he needs to speak to The King in Casablanca. Eventually, I get him on my line again.)

Me: “Sir, I’m really sorry, but there’s nothing more me or my colleagues can do for you. The King’s direct number is private. We simply cannot access that kind of information.”

Elderly Male Caller: “But it’s his 68th birthday! I ALWAYS call him on his birthday! Ever since he moved to Casablanca, over 25 years ago! My brother, The King!”

(At this point, it finally dawned on me that “The King” he was trying to call was simply the elderly caller’s brother, Mr. De Koning (“The King”, literally), who had indeed moved to Casablanca, and who indeed turned out to be the only “De Koning”/”The King” in the Casablanca telephone directory. When I finally gave our customer the number of “The King” of Casablanca, he was extremely grateful!)

With Customers Like These, Sales Are Guaranteed To Take Off

| Las Vegas, NV, USA | Language & Words

Me: “Hi, may I help you find something today?”

Customer: “Uh, yeah. Where do you have your ceiling propellers?”

Me: “Do you mean ceiling fans?”

Customer: “No, I’m looking for ceiling propellers.”

(I assume that she is looking for ceiling fans anyway, and point her towards them.)

Me: “Is that what you’re looking for?”

Customer: “Oh yes! There’s your ceiling propellers. I thought you sold them!”

This Phone-y Claim Doesn’t Ring True

| North Carolina, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Top

(I am working the front counter at the post office. Customer #1 is in front of me, while Customers #2 and #3 are at the center counter filling out paperwork.)

Customer #2: “Hey, have you seen my cellphone?”

Customer #3: “I thought you brought it in with you.”

Customer #2: “Yeah, so did I. Can you call it for me?’

(Customer #3 obliges and dials Customer #2’s phone. Surprisingly, a phone starts ringing. Customer #2 walks around by the front of the counter and looks at Customer #1.)

Customer #s: “Ma’am, I think my phone is in your purse.”

Customer #1: “No, you must be mistaken. That’s my phone.”

Customer #2: “Well, if it’s your phone, aren’t you going to answer it?”

Customer #1: “I think I’ll let it go to voicemail.”

Me: “Ma’am, I think you need to show us that phone.”

(She reluctantly reaches into her purse and brings out the phone. Customer #2 takes the phone.)

Customer #2: “That is MY phone!”

Customer #1: “Oh, I’m so sorry, I forgot. I did find it on the counter and I was going to turn it in, but I got distracted…”

(Moral of the story: if you’re going to steal a cellphone, have the sense to turn the ringer off!)

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