Where There’s Smoke, There’s Backfire

| Kittery, ME, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers, Top

(I am working the register. A mother and her teenage daughter are quietly arguing nearby. When they’re done, the teenager comes up to my register while the mother lingers a few feet away.)

Teenage Customer: “I need a pack of [cigarettes]!”

Me: “Certainly! May I see your ID, please?”

Teenage Customer: “I’m with her.” *points to her mother*

Me: “Okay, but the person who actually purchases the cigarettes has to be at least 18, no matter who they are with.”

Teenage Customer: “Oh for f***’s sake!”

(The teenager goes over to her mother and they quietly argue some more. The mother reluctantly comes up to my register.)

Customer’s Mother: “I need a pack of [cigarettes], please.”

Me: “Are you purchasing them for yourself?”

Customer’s Mother: “No, I don’t smoke. They’re for my daughter. She’s not old enough to buy them for herself.”

Teenage Customer: “Shut up, Mom!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t sell the cigarettes to either of you.”

Teenage Customer: “Why the f*** not?”

Me: “Well, you’re not old enough to buy them and your mother just admitted that she’s buying them for someone who is underage.”

Teenage Customer: “They’re for her. Right, Mom?!” *pinches her mom’s arm*

Customer’s Mother: *meekly* “Yes, they’re for me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m still going to have to refuse the sale. Allowing someone to buy cigarettes for a minor is a bad as selling cigarettes to a minor. I could get into a lot of trouble.”

Teenage Customer: “Oh, f*** you! We’ll just get them someplace else!” *to her mom* “This is your fault!”

(Suddenly, a uniformed police officer appears out of nowhere. Apparently, he has witnessed the whole exchange from nearby.)

Police Officer: “Could I have a word with you, ladies?”

(I don’t know what happened to the mother and daughter, but I never saw them in the store again. The police officer reported the whole incident to my manager and I got a promotion!)

Have It X-Ray

, | Ontario, Canada | Crazy Requests

(I work in a fast food restaurant that opened less than a year ago. Our phone number used to belong to an outpatient X-Ray and ultrasound clinic.)

Me: “Hello, [fast food restaurant].”

Caller: “I’m calling the results of my X-ray.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this is [restaurant]. We don’t do X-rays here.”

Caller: “I just need my results.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t have them here.”

Caller: “Who are you?!”

Me: “This is [restaurant].”

Caller: “What do you have there?”

Me: “We are a fast food place. We sell mainly hamburgers.”

Caller: “Well, I don’t need that! You sure don’t have my results there?”

Me: “Very sure.”

Caller: “Well, do you know who has them?”

Me: “Your family doctor, maybe?”

Caller: “Do you have their number?”

Me: “…I’m sorry, but no, I don’t.”

Caller: “Well, you’re no help!” *hangs up*

Sound And Fury, Signifying Policing

| Ontario, Canada | Bizarre, Wild & Unruly

(I volunteer at a rather unusual renaissance faire that showcases a number of home-built medieval weapons for competition. Prizes are awarded for authenticity, construction, and most importantly, use. My job at this point is to keep guests from wandering into anywhere dangerous. Currently, I’m stationed at the edge of a crossbow and arquebus live-fire zone.)

Guest #1: “What’s going on here?”

Me: “Stay back, please. This is the crossbow and arquebus live fire zone. The contestants are going to be shooting homemade weapons in the next few minutes.”

Guest #1: “At people?”

Me: “No sir, at targets. These are real weapons that shoot real arrows and bullets.”

Guest #1: “That sounds awesome! I’m going to stick around for that.”

Guest #2: *overhearing us talk* “Do they let visitors shoot?”

Me: “No sir, sorry. The weapons are extremely dangerous and all our participants are licensed and trained.”

Guest #1: “Aw man, I hunt all the time. Can’t I?”

Guest #2: “I’m also experienced with firearms.”

Me: “Sorry guys, no one’s allowed in without a competitor badge. What you can do is talk to the competitors after the event about getting a guests pass. They’re allowed to bring people with them, and I know they’ve invited people they’ve met at shows in the past who’ve demonstrated interest. But the show’s about to start, so I recommend trying to get some good seats.”

(The show begins, and many of the competitors are wearing period dress. When the arquebus presentation begins, my supervisor calls out the codeword for missing weapon on the radio. Before I can even start to call the police, there’s a sudden explosion, and a man awkwardly wearing a page’s shirt and a plate helmet falls over backwards. He removes his helmet, revealing Guest #1’s face. Before he can get far, Guest #2 tackles him.)

Guest #1: *to Guest #2* “Hey! You can’t do that! You don’t even work here!”

Guest #2: “The lady said you need a badge to enter the field. Well, buddy, I’ve got one of those!”

(Sure enough, Guest #2 did have a badge—a police badge!)

You’re Just Ants-ing For Trouble

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

(Note: when people start our service, they sometimes see more bugs in the first week because the chemicals agitate them before they die. We usually get a lot of calls from first time customers freaking out about this, so we have recently asked the techs to explain this to customers so we get less calls.)

Me: “Pest control, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m very concerned. I just started with you and I don’t have any ants.”

Me: “Well, that’s a good thing. That means its working.”

Customer: “But I was told I would see more ants after the treatment! I don’t see any! This is horrible!”

Me: “Ma’am, we have our techs tell all our customers that because sometimes they do. If you don’t, that’s okay, too. Actually, that’s a REALLY good thing.”

Customer: “But I don’t see any ants! I don’t know what to do!”

Me: “I’m not sure that I can help, because you don’t seem to have a problem.”

Customer: “I DO have a problem! NO ANTS!”

Self-Fooling Prophecy

| Oslo, Norway | Extra Stupid, Money

(I am a customer consultant. We sometimes get people on the phone who have been called by the debt collection company due to unpaid invoices.)

Me: “This is [company]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “How dare you send my invoice to the debt collection company!”

Me: “That is unfortunate. May I have your invoice number, please? Perhaps we have the wrong address on file.”

Customer: “It’s [invoice number]. After you sent me three reminders, you have suddenly sent it to the debt collection company! I want to cancel my services immediately!”

Me: “Wait, you HAVE received the reminders we’ve sent you?”

Customer: “Yes, I did. I threw them away.”

Me: “And why did you never call us when you received the reminders?”

Customer: “I thought you would stop sending me reminders.”

Me: “You thought the unpaid invoice would just magically disappear if you threw away the invoice reminders?”

Customer: “Yes, Of course!”

Related:
Self-Discarding Prophecy

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