A Sad Signs Of The Times

| New Berlin, WI, USA | Extra Stupid

(About two years ago, we switched over to electronic tickets. Whenever a guest plays a game and wins tickets, our system automatically records that their card gets that many tickets, which we scan and subtract appropriately in the prize room. Despite this becoming relatively common among other arcades, the numerous signs we post, and that our cashiers routinely inform guests about the system, we still get asked about it daily. On this day, a boy and his little sister approach me.)

Guest: “Hi, I have a question.”

Me: *already bracing myself for practically the only question I ever get* “Sure, what’s up?”

Guest: “Well, my sister played [Game]. It said she won four tickets, but nothing came out.”

Me: “That’s because we don’t give out physical tickets anymore. It’s all tracked on your game card.”

Guest: “Ooooh! You guys should probably put up a sign or something.”

Me: “Actually, we have many signs, all around the room.”

(The boy hangs his head in defeat, clearly acknowledging his inattentiveness.)

Me: “You see how effective signs are.”


Rewarding Knowledge

| OH, USA | Awesome Workers, Popular

(I work at an arcade. All prizes are either under a counter or on a wall behind us. While stock changes, I know the ticket cost of each prize, and about how many we have. I’m also relatively good at math, and can add and subtract quickly in my head. A customer comes up on a slow day.)

Customer: “If I got [prize], how much would I have left?”

Me: *without pausing* “400. Did you wanna get it?”

Customer: “Uh, sure. How much is [other prize]?”

Me: “225, but we’re actually out of those.”

Customer: “You sure you don’t have any?”

Me: “I’m sure, sir. We have none in the stock room or in the cabinets.”

Customer: “Okay… how about [third prize]?”

Me: “It’s 400.”

Customer: “You know all the prices?”

Me: “Yup, memorized them by accident. Makes it easier to help people, though.”

Customer: “Oh, wow. Uh, can I get two [fourth prizes]?”

Me: “All right, here you go!”

Customer: “How much do I have left?”

Me: “Fifty, so you can get [candy], a bouncy ball, or some [other candy].”

Customer: “Hmm… do you have [candy] in orange?”

Me: “Nope, we only have these three colors.”

Customer: “You know the stock, too?”

Me: “Yep. I check often enough that I know what we do and don’t have.”

Customer: “Awesome. Can I get five [small candies]?”

Me: “Sure!” *I set them on the counter for him*

Customer: “Take them. Anyone who’s figured out how to run prizes this well deserves something.”

(I thanked him as he left. The rest of the day went a lot better after that.)

Some Jokes Always Come Back Around

| OH, USA | Family & Kids

(I’m working on the prize counter of an arcade. A father and his teenage son come up and start looking at prizes. They see a boomerang and the dad suggests it.)

Customer: “See, you could bring that to the park!”

Customer’s Son: “But I didn’t even know how to use it!”

Me: “It’ll come back to you.”

(The customer and his son cracked up laughing. They got the boomerang.)

Sadly This Job Isn’t Child’s Play

| OH, USA | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

(I work in an arcade, which also has a kids’ gym. Right by the only entrance and exit, there is a sign which clearly says that employees are not babysitting the area, and that kids may leave without parents. However, I do try and keep the younger kids from leaving without supervision. One day I let two younger boys out to use the bathroom. Less than a minute later, their mother comes up to me.)

Mother: “Did you see my two sons leave?!”

Me: “Yes, I let them run to the bathroom.”

Mother: “WHAT?! Why would you let them out?! One of them is only two!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s not my job to watch your kids.”


Me: “Ma’am, please stop yelling. I did ask where they were going, and made sure they knew where the bathrooms were. I also checked that they went in the right direction.”

Mother: “You still shouldn’t let them out!”

More Money, More Problems

| New Zealand | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Money

(I work for a cinema that has a gaming area attached to it. All the games run on coins only, and there are signs up everywhere stating this. I am the person working in the Games Zone today, and am currently patrolling around the area for game faults or shady characters. A woman with two children approach me.)

Patron: “Excuse me, miss?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

Patron: “Your game is broken. I am very upset. My children really wanted to play on this but it won’t accept our money! It just ate the money and gave us no game!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Sometimes the games do eat the coins. I’ll just fetch some tokens and come over to see if I can get it working.”

Patron: “Well, hurry up! We have a movie starting soon but they really want to play this game first! We don’t have all afternoon!”

(I return to my booth to collect a couple of tokens to put in the machine, to see if I can get the game running. When I return to the game the woman has already seated her children in the seats, in a way that I cannot get to the coin slot.)

Me: “‘Scuse me kids. I just need you to move for a moment.”

Patron: “What are you doing? Kicking my kids off the game?!”

Me: “No. They are in the way of the coin slot, so I can’t put the tokens in. I just need them to shift for a moment.”

Patron: “Geez, just lean over! You’re tall, even I can do that!”

(She snatches my bag of tokens from my hand and gets a few out. She practically smothers her children as she leans over to reach the coin slot, violently jamming the token in. It is obviously not going to go in, as something clearly is blocking it.)

Me: “Ma’am, I just need you to stop trying to shove the token in. Something is blocking the way. I think the money you put in before might have jammed up inside. I just need your kids to move and I’ll see if I can clear it.”

(She scoffs at me and mutters about how stupid the game is, but makes her kids move. I lean down to inspect the coin slot and to my surprise, find a $5 note folded up and jammed in the slot. After a little bit of wriggling I manage to pull it out.)

Me: “Um, did you fold up a note and put it in here?”

Patron: “Yes, that’s mine!”

Me: “Well, that is the problem. The machines only take coins, not notes. The slot doesn’t accept bills of any sort.”

Patron: “Well that’s stupid! Anyway, I did put coins in. I put two $1 coins in, and they wouldn’t go all the way through, so I thought it must take notes instead!”

(I inspect the coin slot again, and after a little wriggling with a key, manage to spot two coins that she has pushed in TOGETHER at the same time, which became wedged. The note had wedged them further down the slot, so I cannot get them out.)

Me: “Well, I’m afraid the coins are well and truly stuck in there now. I cannot get them out and no other coins can get past. Your kids can’t play the game today.”

Patron: “What? Well that is f****** ridiculous! We paid money for this game, it’s still running. Just credit it a game or something by opening up the computer slot or something!”

Me: “I just give out change and put up ‘Out of Order’ signs… I don’t fix games.”

Patron: “Well, you’re useless down here then, aren’t you?!”

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