Time Waits For No Customer

, , , | Right | July 2, 2020

I work in a small bicycle shop where we repair bikes. Rather than an unreliable appointment system, we accept bikes as they come in and line them up to be worked on, with an estimate of which day they will be ready.

A female customer walks in and looks around at things before asking:

Customer: “If I bring my bike in tomorrow, will you be able to have it done by the end of the day?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but right now we’re a little full up on bikes. If you brought it in right now, it would be done by Saturday afternoon. But if somebody else brings their bike in, that will no longer be true.”

Customer: “Are you sure? I talked to [Owner] and he said that he could have my bike done tomorrow.”

Me: “It is maybe possible. But if he told you this a few days ago, then it would have been in relation to that day. We accept bikes first-come-first-served.”

Customer: “I don’t think that’s right. Go get him, you’ll see.”

I go and get the owner and he comes out a little annoyed.

Customer: “If I bring my bike in, you’ll be able to get it done tomorrow, right?”

Owner: “Absolutely not. We’re booked through the weekend. We wouldn’t get it done until Tuesday.”

The customer looked shocked and mumbled about waiting until we were less busy.

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There Are Nine Million Bicycles In Beijing

, , , | Right | April 20, 2020

I work at a large “swap-meet” type market place for a vendor who sells beach-cruiser-type bikes. This area is largely populated by white, Republican people, and American pride is strong here. I’m helping a customer pick a bike when a trashy, middle-aged woman comes up to me and interrupts me mid-sentence:

Woman: “Excuse me, are these bikes made in China?!”

Me: “Yes, they are.”

The woman throws her hands in the air.


She turned around and left, mumbling about how the Chinese are taking all our jobs and we’re paying them, too!

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A Mass Of Jerk Particles Just Walked In…

, , , , , | Right | November 2, 2019

(I am working at a bike shop in a college town. I have been working as a mechanic in some capacity for the past seven years; I know my s***. I also happen to be female and quite young-looking. Today, I am working with a guy about my age, explaining the difference between CO2 inflators and mini pumps. He’s been alternating between hitting on me and questioning my knowledge, which I am, unfortunately, used to dealing with.)

Me: “Mini pumps can take quite a while to fully inflate your tire. If your tire goes flat and you want to get going quickly, I would recommend going with a CO2 system. I do have to caution you that tires inflated with CO2 don’t hold pressure forever. When you get home, you’ll have to reinflate the tire with a floor pump. I’m not sure why it does that; I think it has to do with CO2 being more easily compressible than the regular gas composition in air.”

Customer: *scoffs* “No, it’s because CO2 is a linear molecule. If you were in my chemistry classes, you would know that. You should take classes at [University] instead of wasting your life here.”

Me: “You’re right, my chemistry is a little rusty. I didn’t realize that you were a student at the university; I’m actually about to graduate with my PhD in Political Science.”

Customer: “Oh…”

(He had no comeback for that. The transaction finished in embarrassment — from him — and tense — from me — silence. The guy ended up purchasing a mini pump which, by the way, kids, is the wrong decision if you are running your mountain bike tires tubeless.)

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A Vicious Bi-Cycle

, , , , | Working | June 13, 2019

(I’m a regular at my bike repair shop since I bought mine from them about a year ago and it’s had its share of problems. This takes place as I’m bringing it in for scheduled maintenance.)

Employee: “Has he been behaving lately? Any problems, complaints?”

Me: “No, he’s very well behaved. He even plays nice with the other bicycles.”

Employee: “Strange, our bikes are bred to be more aggressive for [Suburb the shop is located in, known for its eccentric population].”

Me: “That’s all right; I don’t live here. I live in [Suburb known as a bit of a ghetto].”

Employee: “Yeah, that’s where our bikes usually end up, one way or the other.”

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Take A Bike Hike

, , , | Right | June 12, 2018

(I work in a local bicycle shop. We sell bicycles, parts, and service, but do not buy from the public. We get the following phone call at least once daily.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [Shop]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Do y’all buy bikes?”

Me: “No, we don’t, sorry. You might try posting on Craigslist or eBay.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, I have a [year] [Model]. How much is that worth?”

Me: “I’m not sure. We usually just look them up on Craigslist or eBay to see what they sell for locally.”

Customer: “So, how much can I get for it?”

Me: “Let me just Google that for you.”

Customer: *uncomfortable silence*

Me: “…”

Customer: *recording* “We’re sorry, but the number you have dialed is no longer…”

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