Epicenseless

| New Zealand | Wild & Unruly

(I run a web business in New Zealand, and am talking a friendly customer on the phone. Suddenly, the building starts to shake. It’s not violent, but it’s very long, so I’m not sure at first how bad it’s going to get.)

Me: “Uh… I’m sorry. There’s an earthquake.”

Customer: “Oh! Where are you?”

Me: “Wellington.”

Customer: “I’m in [town further south].”

(I don’t respond, as I’m wondering whether I should get under the desk for my own safety. I continue to hold onto the phone, when I hear the customer speak again.)

Customer: “Oh, I feel it now! Isn’t this exciting?”

For Every CD, Turn, Turn, Turn

| Portsmouth, NH, USA | Money, Musical Mayhem, Top

Customer: “Can I put some CDs on hold?”

Me: “Sure, just pick out what you want and we can put them behind the counter.  However, we will only hold items for 24 hours.”

Customer: “That’s fine. I’ll be back tomorrow morning.”

(The customer then spends about an hour picking out approximately 20 CDs.)

Customer: “Can you tell me how much they will be?”

(I add up the prices using a calculator.)

Me: “The total for the CDs is $280, but with sales tax it will be around $295.”

Customer: “Okay, that’s fine.”

Me: “They’ll be here behind the counter until tomorrow when we close. After that time, we’ll put them back.”

(The customer does not come back the next day. I leave the CDs behind the counter for a few more days, just in case. About two weeks later, I’m eating my lunch in the back when a coworker interrupts me.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry to bother you, but there’s a customer out here who says you put some CDs on hold for him. I can’t seem to find them and he’s getting really mad.”

(I go up to the register and recognize the customer. His arms are crossed and he’s tapping his foot impatiently.)

Customer: “Yes! You were the one! Where are my CDs?”

Me: “Sir, I told you that we could only hold them for 24 hours. That was almost two weeks ago. I even waited a few extra days before putting them back.”

Customer: “You didn’t tell me I only had 24 hours!”

Me: “Yes, I’m sure that I did. I tell everybody.”

Customer: “Do you know how long it took me to find those? Now I’m going to have to do it all over again and you’re going to help me since this is your fault!”

(We spend about 45 minutes going around the store together. The whole time, he continues to yell at me and complain that he was never told about the 24 hour rule and I’ve made him waste his time. When he says he’s done, we bring the CDs up to the counter and I ring up everything while my coworker puts them in bags.)

Me: “Okay, the total is $293.79.”

Customer: “What?! How the h*** could it be that much?!”

Me: “Well, you have about 20 CDs here. That’s why it is so much. I told you the price the last time you came in.”

Customer: “You did not! Liar! LIAR!”

Me: “Yes, I did. I added them up on a calculator. I told you that with sales tax the total amount would be around $295.”

Customer: “YOU DID NOT!”

Me: “Okay… fine, but regardless the total is $293.79.”

Customer: “I want a discount for your lousy service!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there will be no discount.”

Customer: “Well, I need these CDs immediately or else I’d just walk out, but be warned that I’m going to make a complaint about you!”

(He gives me a credit card, which is declined. He gives me another credit card, which is also declined. He wants to write a check, but our store does not accept checks for purchases over $100.)

Customer: “I don’t have much cash! What am I going to do? Can I just write you an IOU? I’ll be back tomorrow morning with the money.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is not possible. My only suggestions would be to put some of the CDs back—”

Customer: “No!”

Me: “—or perhaps we can try to spread out the total amount over the credit cards, a check, and cash.”

Customer: “Do that!”

(We spend quite awhile trying smaller and smaller amounts on his credit cards, but they’re all declined. He only has $6 cash, which only leaves a check.)

Customer: “You can take a check for the whole amount, can’t you?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry.  Even if I wanted to, the register won’t accept check amounts over $100.”

Customer: “Just put the whole thing in as cash!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that either.”

Customer: “How about YOU pay for them and I’ll pay you back? You OWE me at least that much!”

Me: “That is not going happen, sir.”

(He spends a few minutes pacing and mumbling that he needs the CDs and he doesn’t understand why I won’t work with him. Eventually, he dumps the CDs out of the bags and begins to go through them.)

Customer: “I can’t choose! Just put them all on hold for me and I’ll be back tomorrow morning!”

Me: “Okay, but you do understand that if you do not come back by close tomorrow, that the CDs will be put back, right?”

Customer: “YES!”

Me: “24 hours… tomorrow… right?”

Customer: “YES! I’M NOT STUPID!”

(He never came back.)

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Spread The Health

| Portland, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Top

(I have just finished ringing up a good-sized amount of groceries—slightly over $100 worth—for a woman. A man has been waiting quietly in line behind her. When I tell her the total, the man speaks up.)

Man: “Ma’am, I’d like to pay for this for you.”

Woman: *surprised* “ALL of it?”

Man: “Yes.  I’d like to pay for your entire order, if you don’t mind.”

(Several seconds pass, as the woman blinks repeatedly.)

Woman: “Well, certainly, if you’re willing. But… can I ask why?”

Man: “Well, slightly over a year ago I was diagnosed with advanced neuroblastoma. They started me on aggressive chemotherapy almost that same day, and my doctor said I only had about a 30% chance of even making it to 2012. That was on August 28th of 2011. My final round of chemo was last Monday, and today they got back the results from my latest MRI: it said ‘no evidence of disease.’ So, I’m feeling very rich right now, and I’d like to spread it around.”

(And then he paid for her groceries!)

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Zord Almighty

| IL, USA | Bizarre, Geeks Rule, Wild & Unruly

(I’m a big Sentai fan (aka Power Rangers in English). I overhear this conversation at an anime convention I’m attending. NOTE: I am female while the attendees that are talking are male; also I am not from the same state that it’s being held at. We’re at a vendor booth who’s selling old toys—Power Rangers being one of them.)

Attendee #1: “Man, Power Rangers is classic!”

Attendee #2: “Have you watched any of the Japanese versions?”

Attendee #1: “F*** no! The Japanese ones are stupid as f***! America started the whole trend in the first place!”

Attendee #2: “Um… no they didn’t. ”

Attendee #1: “Whatever, f***ing otaku.”

Me: “He’s right.”

Attendee #1: “Like you would know!”

Me: “I would. Mighty Morphin’ is technically Zyuranger in Japan. The 16th series in the Super Sentai line.”

Attendee #1: “Oh yeah? Then where are the other 15 then, Miss Thang?!”

Me: “Never translated. But you can find most of them online.”

Attendee #1: “Bulls***! You’re a girl and know nothing about Power Rangers!”

Attendee #2: “More than you.” *to me* “Have you seen it in Japanese?”

Me: “Not all of it… but I can see why it almost killed the franchise in Japan though.”

Attendee #1: “HA! See! Japan sucks! They failed at translating it, so it sucked!”

Me: “You do realize you’re at an ANIME CONVENTION? You know, Japanese animation and other media.”

Attendee #1: “Some weebos came up with the term anime! It’s just awesome American cartoons that the f***ing Japanese stole from us!”

Attendee #2: “Okay, dude… you’re crazy.”

Me: “Yeah, you’re a moron.”

(Attendee #2 and I walk away and end up talking a lot about the Sentai series and wound up being pen pals. As we are heading to our rooms, we’re surprised to see Attendee #1 getting escorted out of the convention by staff and security yelling obscene things. I walk up to a staff member of the con.)

Me: “Um… can I ask what that was about?”

Staff: “He cursed and threw something at one of our guests.”

Attendee #2: “Who?”

Staff: “Robert Axelrod.”

Me: “The voice of Lord Zedd?!”

Staff: “Yeah, he mentioned how Zedd was an original character for the American version, and it set him off!”

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Not Sure What Just Wrappened

| Norway | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(An older customer approaches my counter and pays for a book.)

Me: “Would you like me to wrap it up for you?”

Customer: “Well, yes, if you really want to.”

Me: “I would be glad to do that for you!” *wraps the book for him*

Customer: “Thanks for the gift, dear!” *immediately unwraps the book and leaves the store*

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