They’re Not Cosplaying Around

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Underaged

(I’m working an armorer’s booth at a sci-fi convention. Company policy is we can’t even sell the polypropylene — rubber substitute — training blades to anyone under 18. Two guys walk up an hour after the show opens, clearly buddies; one is about 15, the other has a young face but a full beard. They ask about training knives for about 10 minutes, and then pick out the ones they want.)

Me: *to the bearded one* “Sorry, I have to ask. How old are you?”

Bearded Guy: “17. Why?”

Me: “I bet you’re going to regret being so honest, but I can’t sell these to anyone under 18. If one of your parents is here and comes to buy them for you, no problem, but you can’t buy them without an adult guardian present.”

(They wheedle and whine for a while and finally give up. Five hours and hundreds of customers later, two guys come up to the booth. One looks to be baby-faced and is wearing big sunglasses. The other looks young, but has a full beard. Something in my brain clicks that, sans sunglasses, I’ve seen this combo before… They pick out the knives they want without a word, and start to hand me money.)

Me: *to the bearded one* “Sorry, I have to ask, how old are you?”

Bearded Guy: “18.”

Me: “Funny. I could swear you were 17 this morning…”

Bearded Guy: “No, I’ve never been here before!”

Me: *to his friend* “And at a convention where every second booth is selling cosplay masks, you try to disguise yourself with sunglasses?”

(They grumble and swear at me for a minute, trying to convince me I’m imagining things.)

Me: *to the bearded one* “Let’s make this simple. Do you have a driver’s license or health card with a birth date?”

(They gave up and walked off.)


A Common Light-Bulb Moment

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

(The phone rings. When I answer, I recognize a lady I’d helped the day before.)

Customer: “When I bought my light yesterday, the lady didn’t sell me any bulbs to go with it.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. You didn’t want them because you said you already had some at home.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t. I don’t know why you’d have that impression. Anyway, I’m in another lighting store now, and they say they don’t have that bulb.”

Me: “Really? That’s just a bulb with a candelabra base. It’s extremely common and dozens of different bulbs would fit. I’m surprised that any lighting store wouldn’t have it! Perhaps if you phrase it differently they might recognize it. Some people describe it as a ‘small base’ or an ‘E12′ base.”

Customer: “Look, they DON’T HAVE IT.”

Me: “Okay, that’s no problem. We carry them all the time. I’m looking at some right now if you’d like to come back in.”

Customer: “I’m in [Town 20 minutes away]. I’m NOT coming all the way back.”

Me: “Well, like I said, it’s a very common bulb. You should be able to find them at dollar stores, grocery stores, hardware stores… anywhere that sells bulbs, really.”

Customer: “I’m not driving all over town just because your employees didn’t give me any bulbs!”

Me: “All right, ma’am, what would you like me to do for you?”

Customer: “I want you to mail them to me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t do that. Among other reasons, the postage would cost far more than the bulbs themselves.”

Customer: “Well, then, somebody needs to deliver them to my house.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t spare any employees for that.”

Customer: “This is horrible customer service! I’m never shopping there again!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Did you have any other questions?”

Customer: “No!” *hangs up*

(Twenty minutes later, she showed up at our store, but not to buy the bulbs. She returned the fixture.)


Not Very Closed Minded, Part 22

| PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(The store closes at 10:00 pm, and it’s 9:59. I am straightening while my coworker rings up customers. Two women are the last customers in line.)

Customer #1: “Oh, look, clearance items!”

Customer #2: “I love a good sale!”

(They walk away and start browsing through the clearance bins. The “We are closed” announcement is made. Five minutes later…)

Customer #1: “I’ll take these books, and this item from clearance. Make sure to ring it up as 75% off!”

Cashier: “Ma’am, clearance items are currently 50% off.”

Customer #2: “Really? That’s not much of a deal. Maybe you shouldn’t get it.”

Customer #1: “Hmm. I don’t know… How much will it be with my discount card?

(My coworker totals up her savings, then the total cost without her card, then the cost if the customer “waited till the clearance was better.” It is now ten after, and the manager has come out to see why the register’s still on.)

Customer #1: “Okay, I guess I’ll take it.”

(They are rung up, and walking towards the door. Her hand is on the knob.)

Customer #1: “You know what? I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think I want this after all. Can I return it?”

Manager: “Let me get that done quickly for you, seeing as how we are CLOSED.”

Customer #2: “Oh, you guys have chocolate!”

(The manager rings the return lightning-fast, while Customer #2 looks at the chocolate.)

Manager: “There, you’re set. Have a lovely ni—”

Customer #1: “Is your cafe still open?”

Manager: “No, as we have been closed for twenty minutes.”

Customer #1: “Dang, I wanted some coffee. Well, I have to go to the bathroom. Just a minute.”

(She meanders towards the restrooms, pausing every few steps to look at a display. Customer #2 stays at the registers, studying the chocolate. Manager and Cashier quickly close out the register.)

Customer #2: “How much would these candy bars be, if I wanted one?”

Manager: “Ma’am, the prices are on the display sign. And we couldn’t sell you one anyway, because we are CLOSED.”

Customer #2: *huffs as [Customer #1] returns from the restroom* “Come on, they don’t want our money! He won’t even sell me a d*** candy bar!”

(They finally left, a half-hour after we closed, having spent a grand total (post-return) of $3.75.)


Not Very Closed Minded, Part 21

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 20

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 19


This Isn’t Going To Plan

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I work in customer service for a web hosting company. I get a call from a customer complaining that she’s been billed way more than she should be for her monthly service charges.)

Customer: “I was charged over $1,000 last month. My service plan is supposed to only be $9.95!”

Me: “That seems awfully high. Let me see what’s going on.”

(I check her account usage.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry but when I check your account, I see that you bought our basic plan that only allows up to 500 MB and uploaded a site that’s over 6000MB.”

Customer: “Yeah, so?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, with the plan you have, we set aside a small space on our server for your site. If you exceed that size, we charge over usage fees in the amount of (price per MB over limit).”

Customer: “Well, that’s insane! Why have you never notified me of this?”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, we sent a notification as soon as you went over limit and we’ve notified you on your monthly statements every month that you’ve been over.”

Customer: “How long has this been going on?!”

(I look back into her account history and notice she’s had this issue ongoing for three years. I immediately know this isn’t going to end well.)

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, ma’am. It appears you’ve been in an over state for over three years.”

Customer: “What the h***? This is fraud! I haven’t had a single notice in all this time!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We clearly note on your monthly statements what you’re paying for. Did you never see the entry for ‘over usage’?”

Customer: “Well, yeah, I saw that… I mean, why didn’t you ever send me anything else?”

Me: “We did send you a notice three years ago, when you uploaded your site, that it was over the size limit for your package. I’d be happy to help you upgrade to a bigger package so you don’t face these charges again.”

Customer: “I’m sure you would… How much does the upgrade cost?”

Me: “It would come to $24.95 per month.”

Customer: “That’s highway robbery! I won’t pay that! I’ll stick to the plan I have, thank you!”

(After I got off the phone with her I had to shake my head a few times to process what just happened.)


Getting Them To Clean Is Like Pulling Teeth

| Greece | Health & Body

(I am a dentistry student. I have a patient who has severe problems with personal hygiene. She was assigned to me in my first year of practice because of faculty misjudgment. Her BO is so bad I have to work with a facial mask sprayed with disinfectant spray. Before Christmas, I give my patient a dental cleaning, removing year’s’ worth or tartar plaque, and accidentally get some blood on her shirt. She also seems to have gotten some liquid paper in her hair. She comes back after Christmas, a month after the last appointment, with the same amount of plaque in her mouth.)

Me: “Excuse me, but how much time do you usually take to brush your teeth?”

Patient: “Uh… half an hour.” *blank stare*

Me: “Uh. Do you mean maybe, half a minute?”

Patient: “Yes, yes. That.” *blank stare*

Me: “Oh.”

(And right after that, I notice the stain I gave her, still on her shirt, as well as the liquid paper in her hair.)

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