Is That How He Thinks Disabled People Bathe?

, , , , | Right | February 9, 2021

I work at a copy shop in a small shopping center in Austria. We’re located right next to the toilets. The disabled toilet is always locked, as it has a standardized lock and most disabled people have a key that unlocks any such bathroom door.

Occasionally, people come into our shop to ask if we can unlock the door for them; most of them are surprised to hear that there are standardized locks. In these cases, we usually call the management of the shopping center to send someone down to unlock the toilets.

I’m near the entrance, talking to a coworker, when a man enters and asks, in English, whether we could unlock the disabled toilet for him. I talk to him, as my English is better than my coworker’s, and explain the key situation.

Me: “If you need to use the toilet, we can call someone down to unlock it for you.”

I turn to my coworker and speak in German.

Me: “Could you call upstairs, please, and ask if they can open the disabled toilet?”

My coworker calls house management.

Customer: “No, that’s all right. I don’t want to cause you any inconvenience.”

Me: “It’s really no inconvenience at all.”

Coworker: *In German* “They’re sending someone down.”

Me: “They’re already on their way. The door will be open in a bit.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you. I’ll wait outside, then.”

The man goes outside to wait in front of the toilet. My coworker turns to me.

Coworker: “He doesn’t really look like he’s got a disability.”

Me: “Yeah, but I wasn’t going to say anything. Maybe he’s got something that’s not obvious; I don’t know. It’s not really any of my business.”

Coworker: “Yeah, guess you’re right.”

After a bit, the janitor shows up. He speaks to the man for a bit before shaking his head. The man leaves, still as cheerful as he was when he came in, and waves to me as he passes by. After that, the janitor comes into our shop.

Me: “What was that about?”

Janitor: “Apparently, he didn’t need to go to the toilet. He asked if he could take a shower in the disabled bathroom.”

I was left slightly speechless. I mean first of all, what disabled toilet includes a shower, and second of all, why would he think to take a shower in the disabled toilet of a small shopping center?

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Isn’t Nerdy Stuff All The Same?

, , | Right | February 8, 2021

We sell merch related to films, manga, TV, and comics.

Customer: “Sorry, but do you have anything related to physics?”

Me: “Sorry, we’re a comic book store. We sell merch related to films, manga/anime, and comics like Spider-Man.”

Customer: “See, my friend, he’s studying physics and it’s his birthday.”

Me: “Maybe The Big Bang Theory merch?”

Customer: “Okay!”

I show her the merch; she doesn’t want it. 

Customer: “But anything else related to physics?”

Me: “I‘m sorry, we’re a comic book store.”

Customer: “What about maths? He loves maths! ‘Cause he’s studying physics!”

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Typo-Woah

, , , , | Right | February 3, 2021

I work part-time in a copy shop in a small shopping centre, and we frequently get some “interesting” customers. This one in particular sticks out in my mind, though the whole thing happened to my coworker.

An older man comes in, asking for twenty-five copies of a document he brought with him. He seems a bit strange, ranting to himself about something or other under his breath, but he gets his copies and leaves without complaint. Before leaving, however, he gives my coworker one of the copies he’s just purchased.

A few minutes later, an employee of the store across from ours comes over, laughing to herself, asking us if the man had his copies made in our shop. Apparently, he has been handing out these sheets of paper to everyone in the building.

Now curious, my coworker and I decide to read the man’s paper. I don’t recall exactly what he has written, but it is a two-page, near-incoherent rant about the government, society, and people who refuse to take him seriously. Somewhere in there, there is the sentence, “I have fallen on deaf ears with my friends, and so, now, I turn to my enemies,” and a declaration that he is planning to form a new political party.

We have a good laugh about this man’s paranoid rants, but the best part is when he returns about ten minutes later.

Customer: “Excuse me, I have a complaint!”

Coworker: “What seems to be the problem?”

He hands my coworker one of the copies he had made.

Customer: “You made a mistake with these copies! See here!

He points out a sentence in the first paragraph.

Customer: “There’s a spelling mistake here! You made a typo with my copies!”

Coworker: *After a short moment of shocked silence* “Sir, first of all, I copied a sheet of paper you gave me; there was no way I could have made a typo. Secondly, this sheet is handwritten.”

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The Drink He Deserved If Not The One He Wanted

, , , , | Friendly | December 22, 2020

It’s late evening. I’m a woman in my thirties, and I’m the only person waiting at a dark tram stop when an unkempt old guy comes by. He eyes the soda bottle I just drank from.

Guy: “Give me that bottle! I want to have a drink!”

Me: “That’s tap water I filled up around noon. Are you sure you want that?”

Guy: *Angrily* “I said I want to have a drink!”

I shrug, surrender the bottle, and watch him take a big gulp and become very disappointed. He hands it back as if it was a used diaper.

Guy: *Hurt* “That’s disgusting! I wanted something strong! Why would you give me water?! That was mean!”

I point toward the direction my highly anticipated tram will hopefully be coming from very soon.

Me: “If you want alcohol, there was an old man slowly carrying a big red bag full of wine bottles right before you arrived here. He can’t have gone far; if you are quick enough, you can probably catch up with him and make him share.”

Thankfully, the idea of mugging imaginary Santa got him excited enough to leave, and my tram arrived not too long later. I had been clutching my knife from the moment he spoke to me.

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E-Read My Lips: No!

, , , | Right | December 21, 2020

Our bookshop sells e-readers, and like a lot of electronic devices, they are relatively expensive.

Customer: “No, €179 is too much for it. Can’t you give me a discount?”

Me: “Sorry, I can’t give discounts on these.”

She thinks about it for a while and then her face lights up.

Customer: “I produced an audiobook.”

Me: “That’s lovely?”

Customer: “It’s a beautiful composition of texts and music, perfect for the Christmas season. It comes up to €90. What do you say, I exchange an audiobook for an e-reader?”

Me: *Pause* “We’re a company. We sell products, not exchange goods. Besides, the math doesn’t add up.”

Customer: “But it’s so expensive.”

Me: “I’ll let you think about it for a moment.”

She eventually left!

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