Mother Doesn’t Know Best

, , , , , | Right | April 22, 2019

(I am a high school student that likes to go to the library or somewhere quiet to study. Normally, I would sit in the computer study or teen area, but today there seems to be something wrong with the book scan in both so I head to the adult and study area, where I find this conversation happening.)

Woman: “My kid just wants to borrow a book. Why do I need this stupid card you’re talking about!?”

(The worker is a young lad, just started his job here two weeks ago, and still knows more than the woman fighting with him.)

Worker: “Ma’am, it is the policy that you have to sign up to the library and then get a library card. You cannot borrow a book without having said card to swipe on this machine and then scan the book. This lets us know when you borrowed it and when it needs to be returned, and keeps account of how many books you have borrowed.”

Woman: “I don’t care about this stupid card; my son needs this book!”

(The eight-year-old boy is at the counter, signing up to the library, and I am simply helping him do it as his Mum is a bit preoccupied.)

Worker: “Ma’am, you can’t just take the book; you need to get a library card.”

Woman: “But why?!”

Worker: “Because it is store policy!”

Woman: “Don’t raise your tone at me, young man!”

(I step in, having been coming to this library for years and knowing all the rules and how it works.)

Me: “Ma’am, store policy states you need a library card to take out books. Your son and I, while you were making a fuss over it, already created an account, registered the book, and started reading and doing his school work already. Now, if you’re going to continue to make a big fuss, then I suggest you leave and think about how you talked to this boy when he was stating a fact. Now that you have your card, you can borrow any books; it is a simple three-step verification and can be done in minutes! Now, if you excuse the boy, he is the only worker in this section and there is a line waiting to ask him questions!”

(The woman stayed silent, grabbed her son, and left instantly. On the way out, the little boy turned around and mouthed what I think was, “Sorry,” and waved goodbye. As for the boy who was working, he thanked me a lot and told his manager. We all had a laugh.)

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Weathering Demanding Customers

, , , , , | Right | February 4, 2015

(I work in a large supermarket in a tourist-y area. The last few years there has been almost persistent snow cover on the mountains from November through February. This December, however, has been really mild with temperatures consistently in the high single figures or low double figures. I am approached as I am stacking some shelves.)

Customer: “WHERE’S THE SNOW?!”

Me: “Erm… excuse me, sorry? Snow? I don’t follow.”

Customer: “You know! SNOW! I was promised there’d be snow!”

Me: *thinking he must mean a product* “Can you describe it? I can show you our seasonal aisle if you want to browse for tree decorations and ornaments.”

Customer: “No! I want ACTUAL snow. Like, falling from the sky. They said it would be the coldest winter on record. I booked a holiday here especially!”

Me: “Erm… sorry that the weather’s mild. I don’t know what you want me to do about it, though?”

Customer: “Tell me why there’s no snow!”

Me: “Well, the wind is coming from the south-west, instead of the north. I guess it’s warmer where it came from than where it’s going and keeping our temperatures mild.”

Customer: *walks off* “THERE’S NO SNOW!”

(I was left there standing and wondering what had just happened.)

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When ‘Geography For Dummies’ Is A Step Up

, , , , , | Right | July 21, 2009

(A customer called to check on the status of a mail order she mailed a week prior. I mentioned that mail orders are sent to Albany, NY.)

Customer: “Where are you?”

Me: “I am in Bangor, Maine.”

Customer: “Oh. Is that in New York?”

Me: “No. It’s… Bangor, Maine.” pause “Bangor is a city in the state of Maine.”

Customer: “Really? Where is Maine?”

Me: “It’s northeast of New York. It is the most northeastern state in the country. It borders New Hampshire to the east.”

Customer: “It borders what?”

Me: “New Hampshire.” *long pause* “New Hampshire is also a state.”

Customer: “…huh. Never heard of it.”

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