A Functional Solution

| Grove, OK, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I manage a lease-to-own business and am listening in on one of my newer employees taking a phone call.)

Employee: “Yes, sir. Let me find out for you. Please hold.”

(The employee turns to me.)

Employee: “This customer says that his number pad or something like that on the laptop he’s leasing from us isn’t working. He was a bit hard to understand. He wants to know if we can fix it. Well, he actually wants us to replace the whole keyboard and give him a loaner laptop until it’s fixed. What should I tell him?”

Me: “This is unfortunately a common request. But, we don’t generally give loaner items for computers due to personal information being put on them. But, often computer issues are a fairly easy fix. Just let him know that he can bring the laptop in, and I’ll see what we can do.”

(I go back to training another of my employees on dealing with accounts. A short time after that the customer comes in and my sales/service manager speaks with him. I eavesdrop on the following:)

Customer: “Here it is. My brother was using it and all of the sudden the mouse thing stopped working. I’d like you to just give me another one.”

Sales Manager: “Well, let’s see what we can do!”

(They start taking the laptop out of the bag and getting all of the cords out. I look at the employee I’ve been training…)

Me: “I’ve got to take part in this.” *I walk out to the front counter*

Customer: “Yeah, the pointer thing works on the login screen. But, it just disappears as soon as the main screen loads. I just don’t understand what happened.”

(The sales manager is attempting to untangle the mess of power cords the customer handed him. I reach across my sales manager and hit the F5 key and then turn to the customer.)

Me: “There. All fixed!”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “It wasn’t broken. Your touch pad was turned off. If you look at the F5 key, you’ll see the touchpad on/off icon. When it’s pushed, it’ll either enable or disable the touchpad.”

Customer: *squints at keyboard keys* “You’re right. I can see it now.”

Me: “Makes it much simpler! Now you won’t need us to replace anything. Heck, you won’t even need a new computer! You have a nice day!”

(I walk back into my office and sit at my desk as quietly as possible until the customer has left. The sales manager comes into the room along with my two other employees. They all look at me as I burst into laughter.)

Employee: “You fixed that faster than he could even explain what the problem was! He was even requesting we give him a new one!”

Me: “He’s probably the third customer to do that very thing in just the last few weeks!!”

(I now plan on offering a simple ‘Computer Basics’ class to all of our customers who get computers from us!)

I Pretend To Work If You Pretend To Pay Me

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Money

Customer: “My taxes pay your salary so you are paid to take my crap.”

Me: “First of all, sir, until it says ‘Sanitation Dept’ on my paycheck I’m not paid to take anyone’s crap.”

Customer: “Well, my taxes pay your salary.”

(I lay a printout of his registration fees in front of him.)

Me: “You see that $32 fee? That fee is what pays my salary. I’ve only been working here for six months. Since you haven’t paid any registration fees for the past three years you haven’t paid any part of my salary.”

(After a couple of minutes of whining he finally pays the all the fees to bring his registration current.)

Me: *as I hand him his sticker and registration* “Thank you, sir… Now that that is cleared up… How about giving me a raise?”

The Girl Who Played With Hellfire

| Stockholm, Sweden | Books & Reading, Religion, Rude & Risque

(I’m the customer in this story. I’m a tourist in Stockholm looking for a book for my boyfriend at the time, who is learning Swedish. I don’t speak a word of it. I see a bookstore and just wander in.)

Me: “Hi there. I’m looking for a Swedish book that has something to do with crime. Could you help me with that?”

Clerk: *looks at me dumbfounded* “Uhm. What was that?”

Me: “You know. Something thrilling and exciting ?”

Clerk: “You do realise this is a Catholic book store and we only carry books on religion, right?”