He’s The Best Actor Of The Bunch

| TN, USA | Holidays, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

(It’s mid-September. I’m helping my parents with their haunted house by working in the concessions stand. For the past few years, a customer has gone through and come back out blackened and bruised and sues us, claiming one of our actors hit him. While he has never won a case due to lack of evidence, the trials themselves drain away anywhere from $500-$1000 of our income. We ban him the year before, but this year after, he comes back and we’re sure it’s to try his scam again. The cashier is new and doesn’t know his face, so she goes ahead and sells him a ticket. After that he walks up to the stand where my coworker and I are.)

Customer: “Man, just starting the season, and you guys are already this busy? I bet you’ll be rich before the year is over.”

Coworker: “Yeah… I get a feeling not as much as we should since you’re here.”

Customer: “Aw come on; I can’t help it that your employees are all brutes and bullies. Anyway, I’m going to go ahead and go in, take care!”

(My coworker looks ready to call security; I tap her on the shoulder and shake my head, watching as the man goes through.)

Coworker: “Why did you do that? You know what he’s going to do.”

(I give my best slasher smile.)

Me: “We bought security cameras this year.”

(Sure enough, he makes another attempt at his scam. The camera catches him goading an actor into attacking him, and when they don’t fall for it, he walks out of sight of people, but still where cameras are. He bashes his arm and head against the wall until he bruises. When he tries to sue, we let him take to us to court and show the camera footage. The case is dropped immediately, and we counter-sue him for roughly three times the cost of being taken to court, very nearly making up all the money he has scammed out of us in the years past.)

USB = Universally Stupid Backups

| SC, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I have just solved a customer’s virus problem.)

Me: “That should do it. I got it all before it was able to do any major damage. Do you keep good backups?”

Customer: “Backups?”

Me: “Yes, copies of your important files for when—and I do mean when, not if—something happens to your computer. For instance if this virus had not been kept in check.”

Customer: “So I could have lost all my music and wedding photos, and pictures of my grandma who passed away?!”

Me: “It’s possible, if you do not have copies somewhere else, yes.”

Customer: “Oh my God! Can you show me how to back them up?!”

(I spend another 30 minutes showing her how to backup to a USB thumb-drive I have with me, as she does not own one.)

Me: “You will need to get your own USB drive. You should be able to get one of adequate size for around $10 to $20.”

(Three months later, I am at the same customer’s house.)

Me: “Sorry, but it looks like your hard drive has crashed.”

Customer: “What does that mean?!”

Me: “The part where all your information is stored has gone bad. Anything on it that was not backed up may very well be gone for good, unless you wanted to send it away for costly data recovery.”

Customer: “Oh yeah… I remember you telling me to backup the last time you were here so I went and got one of those things… let me get it.”

(She leaves the room. I hear some rummaging and she soon returns holding the UNOPENED USB drive.)

Customer: “Sure am glad I got this!”

Little Console-ation In This Situation

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Liars & Scammers, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(Two customers stumble in the doors a bit drunk. They proceed to knock display cases off of a few shelves and even disrupt a display stand. It all seems to be accidental, so I let them be. My coworker just cleans up behind them. Finally, they come up to the counter.)

Customer #1: “Hey, we were looking to buy a Playstation 3, an Xbox, and an extra controller for each, and all new.”

Me: “Ooh, lots of games to catch up on, huh?”

Customer #2: “No, we’re just gonna—”

Customer #1: “DUDE! It’s a secret man; you can’t blow it!”

Customer #2: “OH DUDE! Sorry, man!”

(I’m a little confused, but I ring them up and see them off. An hour later, they come back in with the torn, destroyed boxes.)

Customer #1: “Hey man, these don’t work. We want our money back.”

Me: “Oh, that’s unfortunate. Let me open everything up and see if I can figure out why they didn’t work.”

(The objects inside are CLEARLY not the systems I just sold them. They are older versions of each console, beaten up and broken. One is even missing the wires that come with it.)

Me: “These are not the ones I sold you. I couldn’t even take these as trade-in; they’re in terrible condition.”

Customer #2: “S***! AND WE ALREADY SOLD THE OTHER ONES TO—”

Customer #1: “Uh… well our new ones were just stolen from our car, actually. So we’d like a refund or like, a free game.”

Customer #2: “That’s not gonna WORK, man! We should just go, man. Before they call somebody!

Customer #1: “UH… Well we’re gonna file a report with the police and we’ll be RIGHT back!”

(They walk out the door, leaving me and my coworker stunned.)

Coworker: “There is no way that just happened…”

Me: “Is there a hidden camera here? This can’t be real life…”