Taking A Swipe At Common Sense

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Technology, Wild & Unruly

(I am working as a cashier during Easter weekend at a popular retail shop. I have a long line but am getting people rung out quickly. A customer in her early 30s is next in line.)

Me: “Hi, how are you doing today?”

(The customer puts her items on the belt, and doesn’t say a word to me.)

Me: *rings up her order* “Okay, that will be [total].”

Customer: *swipes her card very fast* “Why isn’t this working?!”

(She swipes the card back and forth quickly. All the while the machine beeps to inform us that it cannot read her card, because she is swiping it too fast.)

Me: “Oh, you need to swipe it slower so the machine can read your card.”

Customer: “Oh.” *continues swiping too fast, back and forth* “Your machine is broken! It won’t accept my card!”

Me: “You just need to swipe it a little slower.”


(She proceeds to keep swiping it back and forth just as fast as before and is getting a bit rough with the machine.)

Customer: “SEE!? IT WON’T WORK!”

Me: “Would you like me to try and swipe the card back here? Sometimes the front one doesn’t work but mine will.”

Customer: “All right… Wait, you’re the store who got hacked, right?”

(I get asked this a lot. During last year’s Christmas shopping season a bunch of credit and debit cards were hacked. People are still cautious about the security breach.)

Me: “Yes, but we have taken care of the issue and your card is safe to use now.”

Customer: “I don’t want my card hacked.”

Me: “As I said, your card is safe.”

Customer: “I don’t want my information stolen!”

Me: “Yes, I understand, but we took care of the issue. I’ve used my card here plenty of times since it was fixed and no one has stolen money from me.”

Customer: “Well, that is because you are an employee. They wouldn’t steal money from someone who works for them.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “[Store] wouldn’t steal money from the people who work for them.”

Me: “Oh, no. It wasn’t [Store] that hacked into people’s accounts. It was a hacker.”

Customer: “But I bet you got a huge paycheck during that time when you were stealing money.”

Me: “Yes, my paycheck was bigger but that was only because there were more hours to go around. [Store] didn’t steal any money.”

(My manager comes over to see why I was taking so long.)

Manager: “Is something wrong, [My Name]?”

Customer: “I’m just making sure your employee doesn’t steal my card information. She asked to swipe it in the card reader behind her because the front one isn’t working. I don’t want my information stolen!”

(I explain to my manger why I asked to swipe her card with my card reader and why she thinks I am trying to steal her information.)

Manager: “As my employee said, [Store] didn’t steal anyone’s money. It was a hacker. I myself was a victim of the breach.”

Customer: “But you work here! They couldn’t steal money from you! You’re just lying so you can get away with stealing more people’s money!”

Manager: “I assure you, we are not trying to steal your money.”

Customer: “But your employee is trying to take my card!”

Manager: “Why don’t you try swiping your card again in the front card reader?”

Customer: *swipes her card fast again, then a few more times violently* “See?! It won’t work! Your employee must have broken the machine so she could copy my card information into the database!”

Manager: “Try swiping it a bit slower.”

(My manager motions over the card reader at the right pace. The customer slides her card again and it goes through.)

Customer: “It worked! Thank goodness you were here to prevent your employee from stealing my information!” *looks at me* “All you kids are thieves. I hope you get fired for this!”

Me: “Er… have a nice day.”

(I hands her her bags and she leaves.)

Manager: “Don’t worry. You aren’t going to be fired for her ignorance.”

Tripping About Shipping

| Monroe, CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Transportation

(I work in a factory office that sells school supplies around the country. We receive purchase orders via e-mail, regular mail, and fax. Most of the calls we receive tend to be about checking the status of deliveries and orders received.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How many I help you?”

Caller: “I would like to say that the way you shipped out my order is unacceptable and not according to what I requested in the fax. I demand to be compensated!”

Me: “Okay, I apologize for the inconvenience. May I have the purchase order number so I can look into it, please?”

Caller: “Yes, it’s [number].”

(Her account has several notations, mainly about reps trying to contact the customer about her order which has over $400 worth of goods. She requested in her fax that she wanted her order divided up into four separate shipments, one for each teacher that the goods are to go to. Company policy won’t allow us to do that as doing so will increase shipping costs. The last notation reads that a rep spoke with the school secretary and explained the company policy about shipments. She was advised she could choose to either have everything shipped together or she could fax separate purchase orders with each teacher’s name. The notes showed she chose the former option.)

Caller: “That’s unacceptable! I did not give permission to do that. You should have asked for me specifically.”

Me: “According to these notes, the rep did and got the secretary instead.”

Caller: “Sir! The secretary does not have permission to make changes to purchase orders. You should have asked for me! I should be compensated for this.”

Me: “With all due respect, ma’am, that’s not company error. The secretary should have told you what happened.”

Caller: “Don’t you think you should’ve told her to let me know?”

Me: “Ma’am, she’s your secretary! It should go without saying that if she gets a call about your order, if she makes a change to it she should let you know. It’s not our error if she doesn’t do that. I’m sorry, but according to these notes the rep did ask for you. He did explain the situation to the secretary and he asked her if she had authorization to make changes to the order. She said yes and the changes were made.”

Caller: “Well, I’m telling you now she should not have done that!! That rep should have asked for me specifically because the order is now ruined! It’s four other secretaries and I sorting out over six boxes of products that are scattered everywhere. It’s a complete mess that is taking too much time. I have to deal with all this aggravation because of your incompetence.”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. As I explained before, company policy won’t—”

Caller: “I DON’T GIVE A F**** ABOUT WHAT YOUR COMPANY POLICY SAYS! I’m pissed the f**** off!”

Me: “Ma’am, there’s no need to yell and raise your voice like that. Please be advised if you continue to use that language and tone this call will be disconnected.”

Caller: *scoffs* “This is so aggravating! I’m so upset. I should return everything and make you pay for the return shipment.”

Me: “Please be advised that we’re not going to do that as you placed this order out of your own volition. At no point in this phone call did you state you received incorrect merchandise. Also, be mindful that it would take more effort on your part to package everything up and return back versus you already going through the process of sorting out the merchandise.”

Caller: “This is nonsense! I should call the Better Business Bureau on you people and my secretary!”

Me: “You’re going to complain to the Better Business Bureau that we correctly filled your order, that your secretary did not inform you of our phone call, and the secretary that either you or your school hired didn’t do your job?”

(The caller let out a huge scream, then hung up. When I checked on the account later on in the day notes were left stating she spoke with a manager who told her the same thing.)

Should Keep Better Account Of Their Account, Part 2

| AR, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work as a library clerk in a large computer lab available for patrons. An older lady walks in and needs some assistance with creating an email account.)

Me: Ma’am, it seems that this username is being used by someone else. You’ll have to choose another.”

Patron: “Of course it is; it’s my username.”

Me: “You already have an account with [email site]?”

Patron: “Yes. Why can’t I use my own username?”

Me: “Well if you have an email account, and you forgot your password, I can help you retrieve it.”

Patron: “No, I’ve tried and it wont give me my password.”

Me: “… Okay… Well, if you want to create a new account you’ll have to use a different username.”

Patron: “Why? It’s my username.”

Me: “It’s already taken. You can only use that username once.”

Patron: “Why?”

Me: “Because that’s the way they set it up.”

Patron: “Well, that’s dumb.”

Should Keep Better Account Of Their Account

A Sad Sign Of The Times

| Houston, TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Politics, Transportation

(I walk into the local shipping store to drop off a package. There is a senior couple in front of me. I overheard the last part of the conversation between the wife and the employee.)

Wife: “So, you’re telling me that this store doesn’t have that promotion?”

Employee: “No, I’m sorry. We’re privately owned, so we’re not carrying out the promotion.”

Wife: “Well, you should have signs here telling me that!”

Employee: “Yeah, I’m sorry…”

Wife: *walks towards the exit while her husband slowly follows her behind him* “This is the seventh store I’ve been to that doesn’t have the promotion. Liars. They’re all LIARS! Just like OBAMA! He’s a LIAR! OBAMA! LIAR!”

Husband: *looks at me and shrugs, embarrassed*

A Whole New State Of Understanding

| PA, USA | Family & Kids, Geography

(I’m currently having a conversation with a little girl, about kindergarten age, while I do her nails.)

Little Girl: “You know, I’ve never been to the United States of America.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Little Girl: “I’ve never been to the States. I wonder what it’s like there?”

Me: “You live in the United States, hun.”

Little Girl: “I do?”

Me: “Yes! You sure do!”

Little Girl: “Wow, I thought I lived in the city!”

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