A Vast Ocean Of Ignorance

| Newport, KY, USA | Extra Stupid, History, Pets & Animals

(I’m an aquarium employee. As I’m standing in the coral reef tunnel, a few high school age kids walk up near me, looking up at the fish.)

Me: “Good afternoon, guys! Enjoying the aquarium?”

Teen #1: “Yeah…” *to his friends, pointing at the tank* “Hey, check out the puffer fish!”

Teen #2: “Oh, cool!” *to me* “Does it ever puff up?”

Me: “It’s pretty used to people, and there are no predators in there, so it wouldn’t puff itself up unless maybe a diver were to startle or threaten it in the tank.”

Teen #1: “Can you startle it and make it puff up for us?”

Me: *wondering how or why I would even do that* “No…”

Teen #2: *suddenly forgetting the puffer and pointing instead at the cownose stingrays in the tank* “Hey! Isn’t that what killed Davy Crockett?”

Teen #1, Teen #3, & Me: “What?!”

Teen #2: “Isn’t that what killed Davy Crockett?”

Me: “Uh… no. I’m pretty certain he died at the Alamo in the 19th century…” *thinks for a bit* “Did you mean Steve Irwin?”

Teen #2: “Yeah! Same thing.”

Me: “Not really…”

His Humor Is A Bit Rusty

| Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Awesome Customers, Health & Body, One-Liners

(A patient arrives at the reception desk with some paperwork.)

Patient: “So, what do I do with this?”

Me: “This is for some bloodwork. You need to take it to the lab, but you need to have been fasting. That means you can’t eat or drink anything but water for 12 hours before you get your blood drawn.”

Patient: “Oh, I never drink water. It makes me rust!”

(The patient then walks away like a robot going ‘squeak, squeak.’ Thank you, sir, for making me laugh! I’d had a crazy day and really needed it!)

Telltale Sign of A Good Teller

| OH, USA | Bigotry, Money

(I am only 19 when I start working for a large financial institution. After almost two years experience with the bank, at 21, I am still the youngest employee in the branch. I am working in the lobby with another teller who has just transferred into a branch after her position was eliminated in the back office, since she was within a year of retirement age.)

Me: *to customer waiting in line* “Hi. How are you doing today? What can I help you with?”

Customer: “I have a question about this transaction. I think I should probably wait for the other teller.”

Me: “Are you sure? I would be more than happy to help you with your transaction.”

Customer: “I think the other teller would be able to help with this. I don’t think you would know the answer. She’s been here longer so knows more than you do.”

Me: “If you would prefer to wait for [coworker], you are more than welcome to.”

(My coworker is still trying to get used to our DOS based system. I proceed to help the next four customers waiting in line. By the time the customer goes to my coworker’s window, I am just finishing up with the fifth and last customer in the line.)

Customer: “I have a question about a transaction that was on my overdraft protection account. Can you look into what happened?”

Coworker: “[My Name], how do I look that up?”

Me: “Go into [system acronym] and type in the command [more acronyms]. The account summary will be the first screen and the history is on the next.”

(The customer stares silently.)

Me: “I guess I would have been able to help you after all, sir.”

(At least he had the good sense to look a bit sheepish after that.)

Upend The Send

| OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(Our branch has just got a new drive through carrier system. The old system had canisters that opened the long way by flipping open but this new system has canisters that open by twisting the ends. All of the employees have been talking customers through the difference all week.)

Me: “Hello. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “How do I open this canister?!”

Me: “It is different than the old canisters. These canisters open by twisting the ends. Once you’re set, send it in and I can get that taken care of for you.”

Customer: “Well, how do I send it in?”

Me: “Press ‘send,’ sir.”

Customer: *dinging call button* “What does this ‘call teller’ button do?”

Me: “It calls a teller, sir.”

Customer: *dinging call button* “I put it in there, why won’t it go?”

Me: “Press ‘send,’ sir.”

Customer: *dinging call button* “It won’t go!”

Me: “You’re pushing call…”

Customer: “Why?!”

Me: “Uh…”

She’s Going To Have Kittens

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Pets & Animals, Wild & Unruly

(I volunteer at a cat shelter and am usually on care duties, but I manage adoptions when there isn’t a more experienced coworker available. On this day I’m one of only two people working, so when someone interested in adoption enters, I take care of them.)

Customer: “I’m looking for a cat that’s docile and easy to care for, but isn’t scared of everything or so shy you never see it. Y’know?”

(There are many cats that match this description, so I introduce them to the first three that stick out in my mind and invite them to take a look around the shelter on their own while I take care of the other units. They thank me and I leave for ten minutes. I later catch up with them as they’re exiting the kitten unit.)

Customer: “I found the perfect one!”

Me: “Oh, really? That’s great! Which one?”

Customer: “The little black and grey one just in there.” *points*

(There are two matching that description, so I invite them back into the unit with me and they show me the kitten they want. To my horror, it’s one of the worst-behaved cats we have, deceptive in that it will purr and cuddle you before it pisses all over your clothes and tears up the blinds.)

Me: “Oh… this one? I feel like I should warn you that she’s had behavioural issues in the past. She’s the reason this room doesn’t have any cushions in it and she has a bad track for urinating on clothes. I wouldn’t recommend her over the other cats I showed you.”

Customer: “What?! No! You must be thinking of that one.” *gestures to the other black and grey kitten, with distinctly different facial markings, sleeping in a bed* “This one’s so sweet. She just came right up to me and cuddled me the entire time I was in here.”

Me: “No, I’m positive it’s this one. She is very loving, but she’ll shred all your furniture. I’m afraid that if you adopt her you’ll have to spend a lot of your time working through her destructiveness, if you can at all. Since you’re looking for an easy to care for cat, I really don’t think she’d be a good match.”

Customer: “Blah! This is the one I want. I’m sure of it. Don’t you want them to get adopted?”

(We argue back and forth for a short while. I’m reluctant to put their application through to the shelter owner, but they’re insistent, and I don’t have the option not to, anyway. Three days later they pay and pick the kitten up. They arrive at the shelter again in two weeks and catch me as I’m emptying litter boxes.)

Customer: “You! You’re the person who let me adopt that s***-brained f****** cat! I should sue this place!”

Me: *remembering them* “You adopted the black and grey kitten that I specifically warned you not to adopt?”

Customer: “Yes! She f***** up all my drapes and pissed on everything in my f****** closet! I should make you pay for the damage!”

Me: “I’m sorry for your belongings, but I told you this would happen before you even placed your application. There’s nothing we can do to reimburse you.”

Coworker: *approaching the shouting* “I can help you in the office. If you would follow me?”

(They follow her, ranting about their drapes and my incompetence. Turns out the kitten did more than $500 worth of damage, but we’re in no way liable to compensate their loss. The kitten was returned to the shelter and was later adopted by a woman who was able to rehabilitate her.)

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