Internet Killed The Radio Store

| Leicester, England, UK | Bizarre, Technology

(I’m working on the till when a customer approaches me for an enquiry:)

Customer: “I’m looking for [Environmental Report] that was published at the beginning of the week. Can you check if you stock it?”

Me: “Of course I can. That sort of thing will probably be with the political or academic books but I’ll just look on the system to see if we’ve got it in.”

(Customer has the exact title but it isn’t showing up on our system. This sometimes happens as the system is quite old and requires correct syntax. I look it up on the Internet and find that it’s available to download for free as a pdf.)

Me: “I’ve managed to find a record of it online, but neither our system nor Amazon is recognising the title which suggests it’s not been published as a book. Were you aware you could read it for free from the organisation’s website? Or download a pdf of it?”

Customer: “Well, I want a print copy. I don’t have the Internet and I don’t like reading off screens.”

Me: “That’s fair enough but, unfortunately, it’s not something that we will ever be able to supply. I’d suggest going to your local library if you don’t have Internet access at home. You can view it just by typing the title you gave me into Google; a free online copy is the first link that comes up.”

Customer: “But I don’t like reading on screens.”

Me: “The only alternative I can think of is for you to access it at the library and print it out, but it’s 40 pages long so it might cost a bit.”

Customer: “Fine. There’s another one I want that was spoken about on Radio 4.”

Me: “That’s fine, book reviews on the radio are easy to find. Do you know the title?”

Customer: “No it was on [Show] on Radio 4.”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine. Can you remember on what day?”

Customer: “No, just that it was [Author] and it was in the last fortnight.”

(The author’s name doesn’t bring up any results and I can’t find anything similar in amongst the reviews on that show so far in a very long list.)

Customer: “You must have listened to [Show]. It’s one of the best things on the radio.”

Me: “Sorry, madam, I only listen to the radio in the car and my family has always listened to Radio 1 in the mornings.”

(The customer is very shocked by this and keeps lecturing me on why I should be listening to her show. Radio 1 is all current music, while as Radio 4 is aimed at older middle aged listeners. After having no success, and getting distracted by the customer’s rant, I decide to search the BBC’s website as a last resort and tell the customer as such.)

Customer: “No, don’t bother. I’ll look it up on the Internet at home.”

(The customer then left the store without so much as a thank you, leaving a queue of other customers speechless.)

Radiating With Stupidity

| Estonia | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Technology

(An English-speaking client is trying to get some information about a guitar festival that is supposed to take place that day. He says his wife had talked to someone earlier about it but I’m having trouble finding any information about a guitar festival at all.)

Me: “May I please call you back in a few minutes? I’ll try to find out who was talking to your wife earlier and where she found the information.”

Client: “No, that’s not an option. You see, I can’t use this phone around my children because of the radiation. I’m standing outside of the car right now.”

Has An Asian Dissuasion

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

(I work as an intern pharmacist at a pharmacy. Even though I’m still in school, I’m comfortable enough to consult patients on common prescriptions. A woman comes up to pick up some antibiotics and my supervising pharmacist asks me to consult with her on the medication. I am Asian, raised speaking Chinese, but born in Canada and moved to California when I was young, so I speak English and Chinese fluently.)

Woman: “Hi, I’m picking up for [Woman].”

(I find the prescription, and bring it to the counter.)

Me: “All right, I have it here. Have you ever taken this medication before?”

Woman: *screaming behind me at the pharmacist, who is white* “CAN I HAVE YOU HELP ME?”

Me: “Ma’am, I can help you.”

Woman: *still waving at the pharmacist*

(Giving up, I walk behind the counter, and tell my pharmacist what happened. She moves up to take care of the woman. I stay behind the counter, but I can still hear their conversation.)

Pharmacist: “How can I help you?”

Woman: “I’m just picking up my medication.”

(My pharmacist finishes the consultation as usual. When she finishes…)

Woman: *speaking at normal volume* “I don’t know why you have him back there. How do you know if he can even speak English?”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, he speaks English fluently. He is a current pharmacy student.”

Woman: “But he’s Chinese. No one could understand his English.”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, his English is fine. Just a good as mine.”

Woman: “I don’t think you should have him here…”

(She walks out like nothing happened. My pharmacist walks back behind the counter.)

Me: “What was she talking about?”

Pharmacist: “I don’t know. I guess she’s either new to the city or she never noticed how many Chinese people are in San Francisco.”