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The Only Air She Is Blowing Is Hot Air

, , , , , | Right | August 28, 2021

I have worked in an auto parts store for many years and am used to two types of clueless customers. The first kind is, “I need [unknown] part for my car — the red one.” The others are the ones who have been pranked to come into the store and ask for blinker fluid or muffler bearings. I don’t know which type this lady is when she comes in and, before I can even greet her, says, “Air.”

Me: “Beg your pardon?”

Customer: “Air! Ya know, A-I-R. Air.”

She is waving her hands about as if bringing air to herself.

Me: “We have cans of air for inflating flat tires and a few small cans of air for blowing out electronic parts. Is either of these what you want?”

Customer: “Just air! Do you know what air is? I know that these places hire the most ignorant people on earth, but surely you know what air is!”

Me: “Please, ma’am, yes, I know what air is. What do you need it for? Putting in tires, blowing dust from electronic parts, or what?”

Customer: “Well, aren’t you special? Do you have any idea what month it is?”

Me: “Yes, it is October.”

Customer: “Well…”

Me: “I’m sorry, I guess I must be too stupid to follow your train of thought. I don’t understand the connection. Please educate me.”

Customer: “It’s October. Summer is over. It is well into fall!”

Now I know that she is definitely of the second type of clueless.

Me: “Oh, you must want winter air in your tires. Take out the summer air and put in winter air, is that right?”

Customer:Well, at last! Your feeble brain has made that connection, congratulations. Now get me the air!

Me: “Well, this is a parts store and we don’t service tires. I could sell you an air compressor for you to change your own air, but I can’t change your air for you. Now, the compressors we have are—”

Customer:Stop! Do I look like someone who changes my own air?”

Me: *Playing along* “I don’t know. What does someone who changes their own air look like? I’m kind of new at this.”

Customer:Stupid idiot! You take out the summer air and put in the winter air, or is that too difficult for you?”

Me: “I don’t do that here. I only sell parts. You can go to any tire store and have them take out the summer air and put in winter air, though. There are several tire stores in the area. I can look them up for you if you wish.”

Customer: “Excuse me! Air is ‘parts’! Now get on it!”

I am just through with her.

Me: “Excuse me? I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for you, your attitude, or your stupidity. There is no such thing as summer air or winter air. Someone has pranked you. And now you are wasting my time. Please leave.”

Customer: “I’m going to tell my husband and he will come here and take care of you. He’s the one who told me to come here. I guess you think he is stupid, too?!”

Me: “Look, your husband has pranked you. Now, please leave. I’m busy with real customers.”

The lady screamed something incomprehensible at me and tried to rush out the entrance, which wouldn’t open. She tried, again and again, to force the door open. I just pointed to the exit door, which she finally found, and she left.

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A Wonderful Lightbulb Moment

, , , , , | Right | July 28, 2021

I walk into an auto parts store.

Me: “Hi! I need a new headlight bulb and two windshield wiper blades, please!”

Associate: “Absolutely!”

The associate quickly gets what I need.

Me: “Could I be a bother and have you assist with installing these?”

Associate: “I can do the windshield wiper blades no problem, but I can’t help with the bulb. I’m sorry.”

Me: “Gotcha! No worries, my dude!”

A line forms behind me and the associate says it’ll be just a minute before he can step out to help me. I try to get a jump on installing the bulb.

I can’t get the bulb out with my crappy grip strength on my dominant hand due to an old injury, and I don’t realize the associate is behind me. He is laughing really hard at my struggle — but in a nice way. I realize I have taken the wrong bulb out and continue cursing while the employee laughs more. Having fixed my wipers, he bids me good luck and heads back inside.

I realize just how inept at car maintenance I actually am and get an idea, so I head back inside.

Me: “Hello! Quick question, and I promise I’m not trying to be that customer.”

Associate: *Playfully ducks under the counter* “Oh, no!”

Me: “I was wondering if you could take the old bulb out and I put the new bulb in. I have an old injury and next to no grip strength in my right hand.”

Associate: “You know what? Sure!”

Back outside, the associate removes the old bulb like he could do it in his sleep. I remove the new bulb and wait for him to scoot so I can get it plugged in.

Associate: “Here, I’ll just go ahead and do it since I’m here.”

Me: “No, I can do it! I don’t want you to get in trouble. Really, thank you for doing this, but I can get it!”

Associate: “My mama raised me to help people and have manners, so it’ll be okay.”

I reluctantly hand him the new bulb which he installs in three seconds max.

Associate: “There you go, ma’am! All good to go! Just try to turn your headlights on real quick to test them.”

I quickly turn them on and grab two $5 bills.

Associate: “Looks like they work perfectly!”

Me: “I know it’s not much, but please take this.”

Associate: “No, ma’am! It’s all good!”

Me: “Please, I have worked customer service long enough to know what it’s like. Please. You don’t realize just how much you helped me.”

I hand him the money.

Me: “I would also like to commend you to your manager if possible. You made this a very pleasant experience and didn’t talk down to me, and I really appreciate that.”

I called the next day and told the manager just how nice this employee was, and this seemed to catch her off-guard. I wish more people would call or talk to the manager about how much good employees really matter!

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