Retire That Definition

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Crazy Requests

(Our store owner is well-known in the community and has just retired after owning the business for over 50 years. On his last day he had a huge send-off, which was featured in newspapers, TV, etc. A woman phones in a few days later.)

Customer: “Is [Owner] in today?”

Me: *cheerily* “Oh, actually, ma’am, [Owner] retired last week!

Customer: *annoyed sigh* “Well, yes, I KNOW he retired, but I want to know if he’s in the store right now!”

(I guess she and I had different interpretations of ‘retired’!)

Keeps On Turning Up A Bad Penny

| Galveston, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Money

Me: “Your total is XX.34.”

(The customer hands me bills and coins. I count out a quarter, a dime, one penny, two, three . . .)

Me: “I’m sorry; this last one is a Euro penny.”

Customer: “I don’t know how that got in there. Here’s another penny.”

Me: “Sorry, but this one’s a Canadian penny.”

Customer’s Friend: “Even Canadians don’t take those any more.”

Customer’s Other Friend: “How did you end up with all those?”

Customer: “I don’t know! I just did!”

The Christmas Gift Card That Keeps On Giving

| Jacksonville, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Holidays, Money

(I work in a bookstore. It is Christmas Eve, an hour before we close. The most important part of our customer service policy is fast cashiering. We have a huge line and only three cashiers, including myself, when an elderly couple comes to my register.)

Woman: *puts a pile of magazines down, and hands me two of our membership cards and a printout slip for a gift card saying it has 23 dollars on it* “We’d like to get these, please, and we want to pay with the gift card.”

Me: *rings up the magazines* “Okay, ma’am, you have two membership cards here… Do you know which one you want to use?”

Woman: “What? No. Those are gift cards!”

Me: “No, ma’am, those are membership cards. They give you ten percent off your purchase.”

(I ring in one card and find that it’s expired. I don’t know why they had two, as we could have just renewed it, but I use the second and give them both back to her anyway. I show her on the screen where she got ten percent off)

Woman: “Fine. Pay with this.” *she hands me the slip for the gift card, which only tells me the last four digits of the card, and the amount; it is worthless as payment*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t use this. Do you have the actual card with you?”

Woman: “No. I don’t understand! The manager last time slid the card in the machine and gave me the slip and then kept the card. He said I could use this instead!”

Me: “I’m sorry… You say our manager took your card? Do you know which manager this was?”

Woman: “It’s the younger man.”

Me: *knowing who she’s talking about, and knowing that there’s no way he would take a card away and tell her to use the slip* “I’m sorry, ma’am, he’s not in right now. Let me call another manager over.”

(I call another manager over, who is equally confused. She then calls a second manager over. At this point all three of us are trying to calm the woman down.)

Woman: “So you can’t use that slip? Why would we even get a gift card anyway, if you’re just going to tell me I can’t use it? That’s just stupid!”

Man: “Just leave them; I don’t want them anymore if we can’t use the card.”

Woman: “NO! THEY’RE GOING TO USE THE CARD OR THEY’RE GOING TO GIVE US OUR MONEY BACK THAT WAS ON THAT CARD!”

(The managers calm her down and run to the back office, leaving me there at the register with them. Using the two membership cards, they eventually find out what happened.)

Manager: *showing her the receipt they found on file* “Okay, ma’am, according to our system, you used that gift card over two months ago, on a cookbook. You completely used it up, which is why the other manager took it. When a gift card is used up, we throw it away to avoid exactly this confusion.”

Woman: “Well, I’m glad we figured this out. Pay them, honey.” *she then walks away, leaving her husband and the rest of us, guffawing*

Man: *pays and takes the bag from me* “Merry Christmas!”

(The whole ordeal took a half an hour; definitely not fast.)

It’s Humorous How Common This Request Is

| WA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

Customer: “Excuse me; I need to look up a book?”

Me: “Sure, what is the title?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. I saw two girls looking at a book on the bus and they were smiling and laughing at what they were reading so I thought I might enjoy it.”

Me: “Erm, okay. Can you tell me anything else about it?”

Customer: “Uh… I didn’t get a very good look at it. Can’t you just do a search for books that are funny?”

Me: “Well… that’d apply to almost any book in our humor section… and given who’s reading it, possibly quite a few books beyond that.” *I make a gesture of sweeping my hands out to indicate most of the store could fit that description*

Customer: “What? Well… I didn’t think it’d be that hard for you to look up a single book!”

Me: “I promise you I will do everything I can to help you find what you’re looking for, but I need some more information to go on.”

Customer: “Well… the cover might have been white? Or grey? It was hard to tell from where I was sitting.”

(A pause goes by.)

Me: “Okay… anything else?”

Customer: “There… were black words on the cover? Again I didn’t get a good look at it! Isn’t this supposed to be your job?”

(I look at my computer screen, and then notice something right underneath the counter. There’s a stack of new books we just had delivered, one of which happens to fit this very vague description.)

Me: “What about this one?”

Customer: “Well, how do I know this is the right book? There’s little men on the cover!”

Me: “You said the cover was white, with black letters, yes? Do you remember anything else about the book?”

Customer: “I just said I didn’t get a good look at it!”

Me: “Then how do you know that ISN’T the right book?”

Customer: “Uh… well… erm… I don’t, but…  Wait, how do I know it’ll make me laugh like those two girls on the bus?”

Me: “It’s a satire novel, ma’am. Those do tend to make folks laugh. Again, unless you can give me any other information, what proof do you have that is NOT the right book?”

Customer: “Uh… um… I guess I don’t? Well, I’ll give it a try, but I’m still not sure. You’re the one who’s meant to know these things!”

(She purchased the book and never came back.)

The Upstairs Does Not Register

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

Customer: “Can I pay for this here?”

Employee: “No, you check out downstairs.”

Customer: *looks terrified* “Is… is this not a bookstore? Can I not buy this?”

Employee: “You can buy it… The registers are downstairs, though.”

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