The Alarm Has Been Terminated

, , , , , | Legal | March 25, 2019

(A call about a burglar alarm going off at three am comes over the radio for my partner and me to respond to. We coordinate our approach and arrival together and check the outside of the house. We notice the back door is cracked open, but both locks have been set and are still in the “locked” position. There is no sign of force, so we radio in that we are making entry. We work each room together, and as we come to one of the back bedrooms, my partner is going in first and hasn’t even broken the threshold when we hear a voice shout out.)

Voice: “GET YOUR HANDS UP!”

(The next thing I know, my partner fires off three rounds, with me dropping to a knee and coming around the side of him)

Partner: “GET DOWN! GET DOWN! Ge– Oh, s***.”

(That’s when I noticed he had just shot a stand-up cutout of Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator holding a shotgun and, after my ears stopped ringing completely, I heard a lot of squawking and crashing. Turns out it was the home of a retired police officer from another state and his parrot was taught to say police terms. He and the wife were on vacation and they hadn’t shut the back door completely, which set off the alarm that night. The house was cleared with no one in it, and the PD paid to patch the holes in the wall. From then on, anytime we saw him we’d say, “SQUAWK! DON’T SHOOT!”)

Check On Batman’s Utility Belt, Next To The Shark Repellant

, , , , | Right | March 25, 2019

(A customer catches me off guard with this gem:)

Customer: “You carry replacement eyes?”

Me: *feeling very much like I missed some important information* “Sorry? Replacement eyes?”

Customer: “Yeah, I figured they’d be right here but I don’t see any. You got ’em?”

Me: *struggling like hell to figure out what he’s talking about* “Are you talking about a photocell for an outdoor light? Maybe a garage door sensor?”

Customer: “No, new bird eyes!”

Me: “New… bird… eyes.”

Customer: “Yeah! Those! Where have you got ’em?”

(I look around, starting to wonder if I’m being pranked. We get quite a few customers who like to be silly or ask nonsense questions just to see how we’ll react. I decide to play along… cautiously.)

Me: “What kind of bird are we looking for new eyes for?”

Customer: “It’s an owl.”

(Suddenly I feel really stupid. I realize he’s talking about the fake plastic owls you put in a garden to keep smaller birds away.)

Me: “Yes! The fake plastic owls?”

Customer: *wondering how I could be so dense, after such an excellent description* “Well, yeah!”

Me: “Sorry, we don’t carry new eyes for the owls. The whole bird is only $5.99. I think they assume that if the eyes fall off, the rest of the bird is in pretty bad shape as well and in need of replacement.”

Customer: “Well, there’s nothing wrong with mine except that the eyes are gone. It’d be pretty wasteful to toss him out when all he needs is new eyes!”

Me: *good lord he’s gotten so attached, he’s assigned it a gender* “Sorry, sir, we don’t carry them. Even if they could be special ordered they would probably cost half as much as a replacement bird after shipping.”

Customer: *sighs deeply* “Fine. How about bird repellent?”

Me: *thrilled to have a clue this time* “We don’t carry bird specific repellant, but I think we have something that’ll work for you.” *I show him to the area where it’s kept* “Here we go!”

Customer: “Naw, naw, this won’t work. Where have you got the duck repellent?”

Me: “Duck repellent? We don’t carry bird specific spray repellant, sir. I would go with this general animal spray. The scent keeps them away.”

Customer: “Naw, I need the duck stuff. Where is it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t carry duck repellent.”

Customer: “No duck stuff?” *looking all over the shelf, obviously certain I’m lying or trying to hoard it all for myself* “I can’t believe you don’t carry that!”

Me: “To be honest, sir, we don’t get much call for duck repellent.”

Customer: *half to himself* “Man, can’t believe you guys don’t have that in stock. If ya did everyone would buy it.”

Me: “Sorry. If there’s anything else I can do to help let me know!”

(He walks away. I return to our service desk, where a coworker is standing.)

Me: “You ever heard of replacement bird eyes? Or duck repellent?”

Coworker: “What? Are you f****** with me?”

You Make Me Put On Wait

, , , , , | Right | March 25, 2019

(A woman is calling to check on the status of her order. She has given me her name and company.)

Me: “Do you have your order number with you today?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: *after leaving a short pause so I won’t talk over her if she starts giving the number right away* “And what is your order number?”

Caller: *no reply*

Me: “Ma’am?”

Caller: *no reply*

Me: “Are you still there, [Caller]?”

Caller: “I’m still here.”

Me: “May I have the order number, please, ma’am?”

Caller: “Oh, I thought you were waiting for something.”

Automatic Telling On You Machine

, , , , , | Friendly | March 25, 2019

(I walk to a local chain coffee shop every day in the summer. I like to sit at the tables outside and write. One of the tables happens to be right next to an ATM for a bank. It’s a beautiful, sunny day but with a stiff breeze, so I sit next to the ATM to block the wind. I’m enjoying my iced latte and typing on my laptop when a woman parks her large, expensive SUV and comes up to me. She says something, but I have my headphones in. She stands there, so I take my headphones out to be polite.)

Woman: “Are you hacking into that ATM?”

Me: *thinking she’s joking* “Ha, yeah.”

Woman: “Are you hacking into that ATM?”

Me: *realizing she’s not joking* “Uh, no.”

Woman: “You’re stealing people’s information! You are! You’re hacking into that with your computer!”

Me: “…”

Woman: “You’re taking pictures of everyone and stealing their PINs! I’m going to report you! They’re going to arrest you!”

(She goes into the café, and when she comes out she points at me and gets back in her expensive car and drives off. Starting to become concerned, I wander in.)

Me: *to barista* “Did some whackadoo lady come in here and say I was hacking into the ATM?”

Barista: “Yeah, that lady is crazy. We told her you’re in here all the time, and she told us she wanted us to call the police because you were stealing from the ATM. I don’t know why she told us. We don’t care. We don’t own the ATM!”

(God, I love baristas.)

Just Can’t Stomach The Thought

, , , , | Right | March 23, 2019

(I’m assisting an elderly lady who’s nice but very chatty. As I’m ringing her up, she suddenly asks:)

Customer: “So when is your baby due? Are you pregnant?”

Me: “Um… no, I’m not.”

(I am short and curvy, and wearing a wrap dress with an empire waist, which is a common maternity style; I figured that’s why she assumed that. The customer looks a little embarrassed, and I kindly change the topic. After she leaves, I go over to tell my two coworkers, and we all laugh about it.)

Me: “I hear this happens all the time to women in retail, but this is my first. Check that off the list! I’m kind of reconsidering this dress, though.”

Coworker #1: “Oh, gosh, I was helping this lady in my line, and she fumbled and her hand kind of smacked against my stomach. I was about to tell her it was fine, but she freaked out and started yelling ‘Oh, no, I bumped the baby! Is the baby okay?!'”

(For the record, [Coworker #1] has no curves at all, and is very skinny.)

Me: “Seriously?!”

Coworker #1: “I didn’t really know what to say! I kind of joked that maybe I needed to go running after my shift, but the people in line behind her all told me after ‘Oh, no, you’re fine. You don’t need to do that.'”

Coworker #2: “Maybe they all thought you were pregnant and didn’t want you to run with the baby.”

Coworker #1: “Oh, God… I didn’t even think of that!”

(Free advice: even if it seems obvious to you that someone is pregnant, it’s best not to assume or bring it up. It prevents a lot of awkwardness in the long run.)

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