About To Get A Battery Of New Charges

, , , | Right | September 7, 2018

(During my first week working for a well-known auto retailer, a customer walks in with a lawn mower battery.)

Customer: “I need this charged right away and I will be back in twenty minutes.”

Me: “Sir, this battery requires at least an eight-hour trickle charge. Fast charging will damage this battery and possibly cause it to explode.”

Customer: “Look, I bring all my lawn batteries here and they put it in that machine for fifteen minutes and it is ready to go. I do this twice a week.”

Me: “Okay. I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Customer: “Man, I wouldn’t lie about it. Trust me.”

(I take battery and place it in charger. Ten minutes later the entire store starts to smell like sulfur and burning metal. I go back to the charger and the battery is swollen to twice its normal size and acid pouring down the sides. The customer comes back and I show him the destroyed battery.)

Customer: “Wow, putting it on fast charge does that?”

Me: “I thought you said you do this all the time here on that charger?”

Customer: “I knew you were new so I figured you didn’t know what you were talking about. So is it okay to trickle charge now?”

Me: “Not now. It is hazardous material and has to be contained and shipped to the battery disposal company.”

Customer: *dumb look on his face* “So I have to buy a new one?”

Fraught With A Quart

, , , , , , | Working | July 20, 2018

(I’m bringing some used motor oil to an auto parts store to be recycled. Depending on who’s working at the time, they may take the oil for me, or they might have me go in the back and pour it out myself. This time, an employee escorts me to the recycling tank. Each time this is done, there’s a log that needs to be filled out. We get to the part regarding “quantity” when this happens.)

Employee: “So, how much?”

Me: “Well, this says gallons, so let’s say one.”

Employee: *indicating my container* “That’s one?”

Me: “Well, it’s five quarts, and there are four quarts in a gallon, so it’s a little more than one.”

Employee: “So…”

Me: “We can say one and a half, because that’s gallons.”

Employee: “So, four?”

Me: *giving up* “Sure.”

When The Internet Is Internot

, , , , | Working | July 10, 2018

(I am a telecom technician. I have been sent to troubleshoot an Internet issue for an auto parts store in Maryland. I eliminate all customer equipment as possibilities and call the service provider, who insists they can see the connection up at the “smart jack,” a box at the end of their cable inside the building. Anything before that point is their problem; anything after that is mine.)

Me: “Yeah, [Line] is down on 20- to 30-minute intervals, and the customer is pissed; they use VoIP phones, and without Internet, customers can’t call them and they can’t look up parts.”

Tech: “I can ping the smart jack, sir.”

Me: *unplugs smart jack* “Humor me; is it still up? We’re testing for a periodic issue.”

Tech: “Just a minute. Yes, it is still up.”

Me: “That’s some magic trick.”

Tech: “I’m sorry?”

Me: “Well, I just think it’s amazing you can ping a smart jack that’s not turned on.”

Tech: “…”

Me: “Tell you what. How about a vendor meet?” *as in, I meet their technician at the site and we work together to fix the issue*

Tech: “All right, sir, does tomorrow at nine work?”

Me: “Perfect. Please be on time, though; I have four other work orders that day.”

(I show up at 8:40. Come 9:30, I call in to ask where their technician is. After some confused techs pass the phone around, I learn the vendor meet was never scheduled. They redirect a tech to me with an ETA of 11 am. Come 12:30, there is still no tech, and I reschedule for tomorrow at 9:00. Nearly the same thing repeats, until eventually:)

Me: “Where is your technician? They’re overdue by hours! Again!

Provider Rep: “They said they were onsite, sir.”

Me: “The parking lot is the size of a basketball court. They’re not here.”

(Just then, I see a van trying to leave the cul-de-sac, with the provider’s name on the side. I hang up and flag him down.)

Me: “Are you the tech I’m meeting?”

Tech: “No, I was working over there.”

Me: “Really? Was anyone there to meet you?”

Tech: “No! I hate when vendor techs leave without telling me! It’s such a pain!”

Me: “What address is on your work order?”

Tech: “Oh, [Auto Parts Store] at [address].”

(I wordlessly turn 90 degrees and point at the building. The [Auto Parts Store] sign is massive and illuminated, with the address printed above the door)

Me: “So, let me show you this problem…”

(Eventually it was fixed.)

A Large Number Of Number Calls

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2018

(I own a used auto parts store, primarily operating off of eBay. On the top of every listing in the “Condition” area, there is a disclaimer telling the customer that the only way to get the correct unit is if they match their part number off their unit with the one I am selling. There is another disclaimer in the “Description” area. There is another disclaimer on the very bottom in an area marked “Compatibility,” and there is a giant button on the right of the screen saying, “Will This Unit Fit My Car,” which takes you to a page telling you that you have to match the part number in order to make sure the part is correct for your car. I get this phone call more than once a day:)

Me: “Hello, [Store].”

Caller: “Yes, I see your listing you have on eBay for [part].”

Me: “Okay.”

Caller: “I want to know if it will match [Car].”

Me: “Does the part number match with the number off your original unit?”

Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Well, that will be your first step; you need to match it up in order to make sure it will fit your car.”

Caller: “What I have is a [year, Make, and Model].”

Me: “Sure, but you still have to match the number. This unit might be for a car with different options than yours.”

Caller: “Mine is a [transmission option] with [trim].”

Me: “You still have to match the number to know if it will work.”

Caller: “Well, my VIN is [a thousand letters and numbers].”

Me: “You would have to match the number on the part.”

Caller: “Which number is that?”

Me: “The manufacturer’s part number… of the part.”

Caller: “And where is that located?”

Me: “On the part in your car that you’re looking to replace.”

Caller: “So, this part here you’re selling online will not match my car?”

Me: “It might, or it might not. The only way to know would be to match the number.”

Caller: *incredulously* “All righty… Bye-bye.” *click*


No One Cares About Your Internal Plumbing

, , , , , | | Working | May 30, 2018

(I work in an auto parts store. I am one of two females in the whole store, and there are two bathrooms, each a single room set up with one toilet, but they do both have signs for a specific gender. We don’t particularly care about the arbitrary women and men assignments; other than one having bars for the handicapped, there isn’t a difference between the two. One of the male drivers sees that the men’s room is occupied, so he takes the women’s. No big deal. But he notices the sink is backing up. The driver goes to my male coworker, who is the acting assistant manager.)

Driver: *to coworker* “The sink in the women’s bathroom is draining really slow.”

Coworker: “So?”

Driver: “Uh, well, I mean, I thought I should tell you.”

Coworker: “I identify as a man. I’m a guy.”

Driver: *obviously and understandably confused* “Uh… but—”

Coworker: “I identify as a male!”

Me: “Seriously? It’s all right, [Driver], I’ll take care of it.”

(To this day I can’t figure out if he was just making a really unfunny attempt at humor, or was being lazy, or what, but from other conversations I’ve had with him, I am sadly leaning towards him just being so bigoted he can’t even hear about plumbing problems in a “female” bathroom.)

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