Long Hair, Short Argument

, , , , | Friendly | June 19, 2018

(All my children have long hair through preschool. They look like Kurt Cobain or Bilbo the Hobbit or Robert Plant, and wear no clothes that could be gendered as feminine, by their choice. I have this kind of conversation with strangers so often for so many years that it has became a well-established ritual, usually with strangers in the street.)

Woman: “Oh, my! Your daughter is so well-behaved!”

Me: “Actually, he is a boy.”

Woman: “You couldn’t tell with long hair. Long hair is for girls.”

Me: “But you have short hair.”

Woman: *disconcerted* “Yes, but not all women have long hair.”

Me: “And not all boys have short hair. Moreover, he doesn’t wear dress. He wears blue jeans… like you. Are you a man?”

Woman: *realizing that crying “discrimination” would make her a fool* “I must go. Bye.”

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Play, D’oh!

, , , , , | Right | June 5, 2018

(I am the dumb customer here.)

Customer Service: “Hi. How can I help you?”

Me: *quite nervous after one hour waiting my turn with my little son* “I bought this computer mouse this morning and it doesn’t work. I know it is the cheapest in the store. With my kids playing at my PC, its life expectancy is rather short, but it should at least be working the first time after being unpacked.”

Customer Service: “Let’s see this.”

(He plugs in the mouse, makes some moves, turns the mouse over, and pokes a little screwdriver at the red optic move detector.)

Customer Service: *showing his screwdriver’s point cover with red play-dough* “I found the problem.”

Me: *turning my eyes to my suddenly-inattentive son, then to the customer service guy* “Excuse me for this. I am very embarrassed.”

Customer Service: *not believing me but remaining professional* “Would you like a new one?”

Me: “You don’t have to; it’s clearly my fault. Who would wait in a one-hour queue just to cheat you out of a 6€ mouse?”

Customer Service: *signing the replacement ticket* “Some people do it for less than that.”

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It Will Be A Smashing Success

, , , | Right | May 1, 2018

(A customer comes in to our fabric store to ask about repairing a small hole in his shirt. I show him the iron-on patches and fabrics we have, and he finds a fabric in the exact colour of his shirt. The customer is absolutely normal and polite up to a certain moment.)

Me: “So, you just cut a piece of this fabric and iron it over the hole, according to the instructions.”

Customer: “So, this will work?”

Me: “As long as you follow the instructions on the package, yes, it will work!”

Customer: “Are you sure? Because if it doesn’t, I’m coming back to smash all your windows!”

Me: “Um… Okay.”

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What A Waste Of A Phone Call

, , , | Right | April 24, 2018

(I work at a call centre for a waste services company. It is Friday evening at 4:30; we close at five. I need to make some calls to confirm to people that their hazardous waste is getting picked up in the next week.)

Me: “Hello. This is [My Name] for [Company]. Am I talking to [Garage] in [Town]?”

Customer: “Yeah, that’s us; what do you want?”

Me: “Well, sir, I’m calling to confirm that your hazardous waste is going to get picked up next Wednesday. But we were wondering if you had an email address so we could email you in the future?”

Customer: “You don’t need my f****** email!”

Me: “An email would be to your advantage, sir, as you would have written proof should something ever go wrong.”

Customer: “You don’t need my email, and I didn’t order anything; cancel it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; I can’t cancel anything unless I have written proof, but you can email me at [my company email address].”

Customer: “You b****! You can’t trick me like that! CANCEL IT!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry that there is some confusion; you are [Garage], correct?”

Customer: “Yes, and I didn’t order anything!”

Me: “Sir, it says you ordered an emptying of your hazardous waste on [date], and you gave us your personal code.”

Customer: “You can’t prove that that was me; cancel it!”

Me: “Sir, I can’t cancel anything unless I have written proof, so you can email me or fax me.”

Customer: “You can’t f****** prove it was me, b****! CANCEL IT!”

(This little back and forth continues for 20 minutes, at which point two of my colleagues and my manager are listening in, as well, because I’m only doing a summer student job here.)

Customer: “I’ll f****** burn down your building and dump my waste on your head, you b****, and you can’t f****** prove that it was me, so CANCEL! I DIDN’T F****** ORDER ANYTHING!”

Me: “And I could be the bloody queen for all you know. Goodbye.” *hangs up*

Manager: “You had more patience than I would have thought you had; well done!”

Me: “Yeah, but do I need to mail the sales representative or something?”

Manager: “Nah, never mind that. If he doesn’t accept our services the fee for refusal will be enough for us to laugh about!”

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Diversity Has Hatred Of Racism In Common

, , , , | Right | April 19, 2018

(It’s my third day, and my colleagues are telling me stories about bad customers and workers. One of my floor colleagues is Turkish but speaks perfect Dutch — the local language — with an accent.)

Turkish Colleague: “This guy is the biggest racist you’ll ever meet. The moment I open my mouth, he screams, ‘GET AWAY FROM ME, TURKISH PIECE OF S***!’ He’s banned from the restaurant, but he isn’t getting the message and keeps– Speak of the devil, there he is.”

Manager: “I’ll go tell him.”

(I’m part Russian, and I normally speak without a trace of an accent, but I can mimic one perfectly.)

Me: “Boss, might I try?”

Manager: “Sure. If you think you can get him out of here.”

(I go up to the man and start speaking Russian.)


Me: *with the most comical and thick accent I can do* “Very sorry, sir. I forget I should do Dutch. Table for one?”

Man: “F*** you!” *storms out*

Manager: “That went better than expected.”

Me: “Honestly, I didn’t expect him to leave. I was about to call [Turkish Colleague] to step in if he wanted someone else.”

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