Maybe They Already Hit Their Head

| Right | November 23, 2013

(It’s roughly an hour before closing time, which is when things start to wind down. However, in pops one middle-aged and very confused-looking customer holding a helmet.)

Me: “Howdy, ma’am! Do you need any help?”

Customer: “Um… well I’m very confused. My sister—she lives in Hawaii, you know—she bought me this helmet, and, I don’t know why this is, but it’s too small.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that ma’am! Would you like to look at some of our helme—”

Customer: “I just don’t understand! Why would my sister buy me a helmet that’s too small? It doesn’t make sense! It should fit me no matter what!”

(This dialogue continues for several minutes, each time with me explaining something partially before the customer returns to going on about how she’s confused. Eventually I do manage to bring her over to the helmet displays.)

Me: “The helmets start at $35, and we do have a model that’s the same as what your sister gave you, but it comes in diff—”

Customer: “There’s so many! Why are there so many different helmets? This is very confusing to me!”

(I take the time to quickly and simply explain differences—or so I think.)

Customer: “That doesn’t make any sense. I’m so confused! Let me try on this one! Is this one going to fit me?”

Me: “I don’t know, ma’am. It should fit. Why don’t you try it on?”

(She does eventually try on the helmet, after much deliberation and stating that she’s confused. This continues for another half hour. Eventually, she’s decided on a helmet, and I think I”m finally out of this ordeal.)

Me: “You made a good choice, ma’am! Now let me just go ahead get this back in the box and ring you up!”

(The customer stares blankly into space for a few moments.)

Customer: “I’m… I don’t know what to think. I’ll have to go home and think about this more. I’m very confused.” *leaves*

(My coworker, who has witnessed the entire lengthy exchange, speaks up.)

Coworker: “Dude, I’m so, so sorry.”

Me: *pained, sheepish grin*

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This Conversation Is Stuck In A Cycle

| Right | July 21, 2013

(I work at a small bike shop. During the early spring we get a lot of customers. I have only worked there a few months, and learn a lot from the owner. His son also works there and many customers know him. The owner is helping a customer and I am watching. When the owner goes back to get something for her, we find ourselves alone.)

Customer: “Are you his daughter?”

Me: “No, I’m just an employee.”

Customer: “He has the cutest kids! But you are definitely the prettiest.”

Me: “But I’m not his daughter.”

Customer: “Then why did you say he was?”

Me: “I didn’t. I’m just an employee.”

(The owner comes back.)

Owner: “All right, [My Name], if you would just put her information into the computer, that wo—”

Customer: “See! You called her [My Name]! That’s proof she’s your daughter! You shouldn’t teach her to lie!”

Owner: “So just because I use her first name means I’m her father?”

Me: “[Owner], it’s okay.”

Customer: “You call him father! Do it! NOW!”

Me: “I only call my father, father.”

Customer: “You mean he’s not your father?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Well, why didn’t you say so?”

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His Tone Requires A Gear Shift

| Right | May 27, 2013

(My uncle owns a chain of bike shops. We’re having a meal with my grandparents, and have gathered at the shop waiting for my cousin to finish his shift. An obnoxious customer is giving him trouble.)

Customer: “You are useless! Do you even know anything about bikes?”

Cousin: “When I’m not here, I race them.”

Customer: “Don’t take that tone with me!”

Cousin: “I wasn’t trying to take any tone—”

Customer: “Do you know who I am?! I’m the owner’s brother, and I will have you fired!”

(I am unable to contain myself, and turn to my brother.)

Me: “Did you hear that, bro? We’ve got another uncle!”

Customer: “…What?”

(The customer turns to see the crowd of us waiting.)

Dad: “I have another brother?”

Granddad: *to my grandmother* “Was this while I was away at sea? How could you?”

Grandmother: “All the jokes about a child in every port, and you were hiding THIS?”

Customer: “I… er…”

Uncle: “Well you don’t need to ring me; I’m here already! What has my son done this time?”

(The customer runs out. My dad starts shouting after him in a bad Italian accent.)

Dad: “You don’t a messa with the family!”

Grandmother: *to my granddad* “Well that one’s definitely yours.”

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Building Morale Vs. Building Bikes

| Working | May 25, 2012

(We have a regional manager who would sometimes drop by and try to motivate us to build more bikes faster. The thing is, while he is a decent manager, he did not know much about the actual bikes. Usually, bikes take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half to build, depending on the bike.)

Manager: “So, I see there are a few holes on the racks. Are you guys trying to fill them?”

Coworker: “Yeah, the builder is working on those. I will help once I get done with today’s repairs.”

Manager: “Well, it shouldn’t take that long. I did one once, and it only took like a half an hour!” *leaves*

Coworker: *to me* “Yeah, he built one alright—except it fell apart on the first day and was returned right after that. Took me a few hours to fix all his mistakes! We never told him.”

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Just Follow The Purple Brick Road

, , , , | Right | October 30, 2009

(At the bike rental shop where I work, we usually give customers a map of the area to know the route they’re taking.)

Customer: “Which of these routes do we take?”

Me: “You’re going to follow the bike path. It’s the purple one on your map.”

Customer: “Oh, perfect!” *to her friends* “We just have to look for a purple trail!”

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