Remember To Concentrate And Remain Cordial

, , | Right | February 19, 2019

(This takes place in a very small town. There’s only one school, and everyone knows everyone. There is only one supermarket for the whole town, and I’m working there during the school holidays. A customer approaches, and he’s someone I vaguely recognize from school, a few years younger than I am.)

Customer: “I’m looking for a drink.”

Me: *working in the drinks aisle, stocking up the drinks* “Sure, our juice and water are here, and our soft drink is at the other end of the store.”

Customer: “It’s a juice.”

Me: “What kind of juice?”

Customer: “It’s red.”

(I’ve got a sinking feeling; this is not going to be easy.)

Me: “Well, as you can see, our drinks are over here. Why don’t you look at them, and grab the one you’re after?”

(He goes away and stares at the shelves for a few minutes, then comes back to me.)

Customer: “I can’t see it.”

Me: “Well, this is the only juice in the store. Are you sure it wasn’t a soft drink? They’re at the other end of the store.”

(The customer wanders away for a few minutes, then comes back.)

Customer: “I couldn’t find it.”

Me: *beginning to lose the ability to sound friendly, but the customer doesn’t notice* “Well, these are the only drinks we have. Are you sure you got it here?”

Customer: “I don’t know. My mom bought it.”

Me: “Do you remember what it’s called?”

Customer: “No. It’s red.”

Me: *having completely lost the ability to sound professional, but the customer hasn’t noticed* “Look. I don’t know what you want. I don’t know the name, and these are the only drinks we have. If it’s not here, we don’t have it.”

Customer: “Oh.”

(He wanders away for a few minutes, then comes back again. I glare at him.)

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “I remembered something. It makes this noise.” *taps his fingernail against the metal shelves* “But not this noise.” *taps his fingernail against a plastic bottle* “It’s a bit like this.” *taps his fingernail against a different plastic bottle* “But not like this.” *taps his fingernail against a THIRD plastic bottle*

(I glare at him for a moment, then take a look at the bottles. The “a bit like this” bottle is very rigid, but the other two are soft. I take a wild guess, and find a glass bottle.)

Me: “Do you mean it had a bottle like this?”

Customer: *goes over and taps the glass bottle* “Yeah! Just like that. Except it was red.”

(This narrows it down a lot, as we only stock two kinds of red juice in a glass bottle.)

Me: “Then you probably want this–” *points to one bottle* “—or this. *points to the other*

(The customer goes away and looks at the bottles, while I try and finish stocking the shelves as fast as possible. But he comes back.)

Customer: “It’s not those.”

Me: “Those are the only red juice in a glass bottle we have. If it’s not one of those, we don’t have it.”

Customer: “Mom got it here, I think.”

Me: “If it’s not one of those, then I can’t help you. Can’t you remember anything useful? A name?”

Customer: “She put water in it.”

Me: “Wait. You mean cordial? A concentrate?”

Customer: “She put water in it.”

(I sigh, and go to the cordial aisle. I point him at the bottles.)

Me: “Here. If it’s not here, we don’t have it, and I can’t help you.”

(I’m trying not to shout, and not entirely succeeding. If my supervisor had heard me, I’d have been suspended. I go back to my shelf stocking, and a minute later the customer returns holding a bottle.)

Customer: “I got it.”

Me: “Congratulations.”

(He seems to want to talk, but I ignore him and get back to work. He leaves, and comes back a minute later.)

Me: “What is it now?!”

Customer: “Can you buy this for me?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Please?”

Me: “NO! I am not buying you a drink!”

Customer: “I can give you the money.”

Me: *confused* “Then why do you need me to buy it?”

Customer: *looking nervous* “But… there are girls over there!”

(Having spent twenty agonising minutes dealing with this idiot, this was the final straw. I walked away as fast as I could, and hid in the back room for the next quarter of an hour until my shift ended.)

Spiderman And Newsrooms Don’t Mix

, , , , | Right | February 18, 2019

(Newsrooms are no stranger to weird, angry, or silly viewer calls, and on most days, our assignment manager quickly takes care of them. On weekends, though, there are only a handful of people available to take calls. This one happens on our new weekend anchor’s first night on the job.)

Anchor: “[News Station], this is [Anchor]. Uh-huh. Okay, well, I don’t know if— You say you sent an email earlier? Okay, well, sir, I don’t— Hang on.”

(He puts the caller on hold and shouts to the newsroom:)

Anchor: “Hey, did anyone get an email about a spider? This guy wants us to tell him what kind it is.”

(It was an ordinary garden spider that he found in his backyard, and our anchor tells him so.)

Anchor: “Now he wants us to tell him what he should do about it.”

(I gesture for the phone.)

Me: “Hi, sir. Do you have a broom? Swat it.” *click*

It Is A Misto-ry

, , , | Right | February 18, 2019

(I stop in my favorite coffee shop for an afternoon snack. There are two people working, and no customers in line; it’s very quiet. I hold the door for a woman in her 60s who’s leaving as I enter. While I’m waiting for my coffee, she comes back.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Is this a latte?”

Worker #1: *who made her order* “No, that’s a misto.”

Customer: “I wanted a latte.”

Worker #2: *who took her order, comes over* “You’d asked for steamed milk and regular coffee, which is a misto.”

Customer: “No, I asked for a latte with regular coffee. I can’t have espresso.”

Worker #1: “A misto is just steamed milk with regular coffee.”

Customer: “I wanted a latte.”

Worker #2: “A latte is espresso with steamed milk; you asked for regular coffee with steamed milk, which is a misto.”

Customer: “No, I asked for a latte. I wanted a latte with regular coffee.”

Worker #1: “A latte has espresso. A misto is the same thing but with regular coffee, instead; it’s just a different name.”

Customer: “I wanted a latte with regular coffee instead of espresso. Can you remake this?”

Worker #1: *slight pause* “Of course.”

Customer: “Steamed milk, regular coffee. A latte with regular coffee. And it needs to be decaf! I can’t have espresso.”

(I assume she made the exact same drink again. I go to leave, trying not to laugh.)

Customer: “I guess there always has to be one difficult customer, doesn’t there?”

Let’s Play With Fire, Kids!

, , , | Right | February 18, 2019

(I see a very lost- and confused-looking lady approaching other customers at random, most of whom walk away from her in a hurry. I catch up to her in the toy department and ask if I can help her with anything.)

Customer: “Oh, yes, finally! I’m just looking for charcoal lighter fluid. I thought it would be over here.”

Me: “Our lighter fluid is in the garden center. You’ll see it there, next to the grills, as soon as you walk in.”

Customer: “Well, why isn’t here? I think it should be here. It’s in garden? That makes no sense; I don’t understand.”

Me: “Well, no, this is the toy department, we don’t keep lighter fluid here!”

Customer: “But why? I don’t understand why it isn’t over here. Why isn’t it here?”

Me: “Because you definitely don’t want kids playing with lighter fluid! It’s in the garden center, I’ll show you where it is.”

Customer: “Oh, no. I know it’s not out there. I’m sure it’s here in this area somewhere; I’ll keep looking.”

(And with that, she wandered off, mumbling about how she “didn’t understand” why we don’t keep lighter fluid in the toy department.)

The Self-Appointed Cable Guy

, , , | Right | February 18, 2019

(I am standing at the counter at work when a man approaches with a cable in his hand, an Apple-branded Thunderbolt cable. I scan the barcode, and read him the price from the screen.)

Me: “That’ll be £29, please, sir.”

Customer: “Yeah, I know it says that, but just so you know, that must be a typo.”

(I’m a little confused.)

Me: “Well, it comes up at that price on the till, so looks like it must be a good reduction right now.”

Customer: “Well, it’s £49.99 everywhere else, so your price is obviously wrong.”

Me: “Well, it just means we’re cheaper than everywhere else at the moment, sir.”

Customer: “I doubt that very much. You should pass this information on to your head office. Apple doesn’t let companies discount their cables this much.”

(I decided he obviously just wanted to be right, although he wasn’t. Deciding not to get involved in that part of the conversation, he left, telling me I’d better feed it back to someone. Turns out he was a former company director, who liked to feel like he still knew how the company he hadn’t worked at for years operated. I almost feel like I should have, after he continued to mention the higher price elsewhere, tell him I’d be happy to give him it at that price if it would make him feel better.)

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