Drowned Out By Their Stupidity

, , , , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(I work as the manager for a very popular pet shop chain. I am just starting my shift and, since I am doing a Marine Biology degree at university, I like to hang around the fish tanks. This exchange happens minutes into my shift.)

Me: “Hi. Do you need any help there?”

Customer: *blank stare*

Me: “Is everything okay?”

Customer: “You poison your fish, don’t you?”

Me: *taken aback* “Ah, no, we take very good care of our tank. I clean them twice a week and make sure that any ill fish are removed from the tan—”

Customer: “Bulls***, I know you do. That is the reason why my fish died!” *holds up a container with a fish in it*

Me: “When did you buy your fish?” *starting to get angry*

Customer: “I bought the f****** thing last week and now it is dead!”

Me: “You need to stop shouting and swearing or I will not serve you.”


Me: “With pleasure.”

(I do a 360-degree spin.)

Me: “Hi there. I am the manager; how can I help you?”

Customer: *mutters* “F****** stupid b****.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “Look. I need a refund on my fish because it died. Can you do that?”

Me: “Of course. Were there any signs of its death at all?”

Customer: “Well, it was moving its gills and mouth a lot, so I thought it was drowning, so I took it out of the tank and left it out to get some air.”


Me: “I am not able to refund or replace your fish, sorry.”

Customer: “Why the h*** not?”

Me: “Mainly because you didn’t take proper care of your fish. They are meant to stay in the water at all times. They don’t breathe like we do; they do it by sucking up the dissolved oxygen in the water.”

Customer: “Yeah, they can breathe oxygen. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

(The customer throws the container containing the fish across the store and starts trying to square up with me, wanting to fight me.)

Me: “I am currently studying to become a Marine Biologist, so I do believe that I have some knowledge in this matter. I do request that you leave the store before I call security.”


(Everyone keeps shopping.)

Customer: “F*** all of you!”

(The customer ran out of the store.)

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Getting Carriage Away

, , , , , | Friendly | November 11, 2019

(In Brisbane, where I live, passenger trains typically have six carriages. Carriages two and five are designated “quiet carriages,” and passengers are requested not to talk loudly or play loud music or electronic devices. I like sitting in these carriages on my way to and from work because I’m very much an introvert and struggle with having a lot of people around me. These little areas of — relative — peace and tranquility make my hour-long commute so much more bearable. This story starts a couple of stops down the line from mine when a lady gets up out of her seat, walks to the door area, and loudly announces:)

Passenger: “Hello, train people!” 

(She then starts to ramble on about getting up and moving, and says something about dancing before playing some music on her phone. She then turns to the nearest person, which happens to be me, and tries to get me up to dance. At this, I simply pull one of my earbuds out of my ear, point to the “quiet carriage” sign on the window, and say:)

Me: “Just so you know, this is a quiet carriage.”

(She looks where I’m pointing, reads the bit about no loud music or talking, turns back to me, and says:)

Passenger: “Oh, do you want me to get off, then?”

(I am a bit taken aback that she hasn’t even made the smallest attempt to apologise for disturbing the carriage, so I say:)

Me: “Actually, if you don’t mind, that’d be great.”

Passenger: “I’ve got so much love in my heart. Do you need a hug?”

(I’m not proud of my reply, but all I want is to do was sit in peace on my way to work.)

Me: “No, I need you to shut up.”

(It did the trick, though, because she packed up her stuff and moved to another carriage.)

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Gun-D***! I’ve Been Fooled!

, , , , , | Right | November 8, 2019

(This story was told by a friend of mine. He’s visiting a model shop where he’s a regular, and he’s chatting with the owner.)

Owner: “Have you heard of any issues with mispacking of [Popular Giant Robot Anime] models?”

Friend: “No, why?”

Owner: “Some of the boxes of [expensive grade] kits have turned out to have [large-scale version of lower-grade kit, that comes packed in a box the same size] in them.”

Friend: “Have you tried taping the boxes closed?”

(A week later, my friend visits again.)

Owner: “Some of the customers are complaining that taping the boxes closed devalues them.”

Friend: “And are these the people who normally buy [large-scale version of lower-grade kit]?”

Owner: “Yes.”

Friend: “And have you had any issues with mispacked kits since you started taping them up?”

Owner: “No.”

Friend: “You see, to stop an a**hole, you’ve got to think an a**hole.”

(And with that, the realisation of what certain customers had been doing dawned on the owner.)

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Going Around This Store Gets You Bagged Down

, , , , | Right | November 8, 2019

(I spot a confused-looking customer walking back and forth across the store with a bunch of bananas in her hand.)

Me: “Excuse me. Do you need a hand with anything? You look a little lost.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, please. Could you tell me where I’d find the little plastic bags you put fruit and veggies in? I want to put my bananas in one, but I can’t figure out where they’d be.”

Me: “The plastic bags you put fruit and veggies in?”

Customer: “Yes, where are they.”

Me: “They’re in the fruit and veggie section.”

Customer: “Oh! Is that where they are? Thank you so much.”

(I watched, speechless, as she walked over to said section, right up to the banana stall that she’d clearly already visited, and took a bag from the very obvious roll of bags attached to it. It’s not the fact that she didn’t spot the bags the first time that gets me — although that is odd because they are really obvious — but the fact that she’d wandered all the way over to the other end of the store to see if we kept the fruit and veggie bags there.)

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Self-Defending Your Answers

, , , , , , | Learning | November 8, 2019

While at university, I was a member of the Science Fiction Association. We shared a lot of membership with both the D&D club and, importantly, with the University Regiment. This meant that a lot of us learned a great deal about self-defense by osmosis.

Dial forward twenty years. I’m a teacher at a girls’ school, and our principal decided to have a guest lecturer to talk about assertiveness and self-defense. As part of it, we were asked to describe how we might react to someone trying to steal our money while making a withdrawal from an ATM. I’m sure that they were expecting “run” or perhaps punch with keys interlaced with fingers and other similar responses.

However, by coincidence, one of the staff at the school was also a female friend from uni who’d been a member of the Science Fiction Association. Our natural reaction was to start describing all the ways that one could disable or kill an attacker. I mentioned punching in the throat to crush the larynx, she talked about a palm strike to the nose to drive the bones up into the brain, I followed up with… well, you get the idea.

As we did so, we gradually noticed that the other staff were backing away from us.  

We got a lot of odd reactions for years afterward, and the principal never brought up self-defense again.

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