It Was A Boring Conversation, Anyway…

, , , , , | Right | July 11, 2018

(I work at a site that is a major tourist destination, so we get a LOT of people for whom English is not their first language. I am watching a few people pass by, giving them pleasant smiles.)

Customer: “You look boring.”

(At this, I’m pretty sure I look a bit dumbfounded as I try to figure out what exactly happened and how to politely respond.)

Customer: “I’m sorry… Is that… not good? My English is bad.”

Me: *smiling* “Sir, ‘boring’ implies that I am dull or uninteresting, while ‘bored’ is the general term that means I find things to be dull or uninteresting. So, I would be ‘bored.’ Things are a bit slow today, but everything is fine!”

Customer: “Ah… heh. Well, I hope things improve!”

(One of my coworkers was hugely amused and kept retelling the story all day until other coworkers of mine started asking me if I was boring instead of asking me how I was. At least the customer meant well!)

She Has A Crab Mentality

, , , , , | Right | June 29, 2018

(At the touch tank of the local aquarium, this happens:)

Guest: “Can you make the hermit crabs gladiator fight?”

Me: “Sorry?”

Guest: “Yeah, like, can you make them fight each other?”

Me: “Well, they’re typically not aggressive to each other, and for the safety of our animals, we try not to encourage or instigate fights between them.”

Guest: “Well, I bet I can make them fight to the death, like, a gladiator fight.”

Me: “Please don’t do that.”

(The guest takes the hermit crabs out of the water, places them next to each other, and goes as far as to draw a circle around the hermit crabs for them to “fight” in.)

Me: “Please let the hermit crabs go.”

Guest: “Okay, okay.”

(Luckily for me, she left, and the hermit crabs scuttled away from each other without fighting. All was well, but please, lady, listen to the employees! They know what they’re doing!)

Time We All Sat Down For A Plow-Wow

, , , , , | Working | June 28, 2018

(Due to all of the on-street parking, the plows around here never clear out the whole street. The portion where cars would park or sit idle is left to the duty of the people who wish to park their cars there. There are exactly two exceptions to this. One is when a resident hires a private plowing service. The second is when there’s so much snow the plows run out of places to push the snow. In the latter case, typically they’ll instead use a truck and a backhoe to cart the snow off, whereas the former case is simply more pushing. I live on a street corner, so I have about double the shoveling just for the sidewalk alone. One particularly bad winter, just as I round the corner to tackle the second half of the sidewalk, I see a plow pushing the snow off the street, and right into the fence around my backyard. The fence is visibly leaning as he’s pushing, and he is still going back to push more in. Phone in hand, I snap a picture of his whole plow and then his license plate before tapping his door with my shovel. He rolls down his window just as I snap a photo of his face.)

Me: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Plow Driver: “I have to get the snow off the street.”

Me: “By pushing it into my fence?”

Plow Driver: “I have to put it somewhere.”

Me: “So, Mr. [License Plate Number], have you noticed my once-upright fence is now leaning?

Plow Driver: *speechless*

Me: “If my fence breaks under the weight of all that snow and your plow, are you going to pay for it, or will I have to sue the city and show them this photo of you behind the wheel of your plow to see that money?”

Plow Driver: *drives off rapidly*

(I continue my shoveling, starting with the mess he left me. The good news is I get everything cleared in that morning. That afternoon, I see a different plow clearing another neighbor’s driveway, again pushing the snow into my driveway. Phone in hand again, I snap the same the same two photos as before, but this time I notice something interesting. Unlike the first plow, this plow has a New Hampshire license plate. I then tap the door, and the driver — someone completely different — rolls down his window as I snap the third photo.)

Me: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Plow Driver #2: *pointing to a house* “My sister lives right over there. She asked me to clear out her driveway.”

Me: “So you’re pushing it into my driveway, after I cleared out all the snow?”

Plow Driver #2: “Uh… Sorry.”

Me: “By the way, I noticed you have New Hampshire plates.”

Plow Driver #2: “Yeah, I live up there. I just came down to help my sister.”

Me: “Oh, okay. So if I called the police and reported you, Mr. [License Plate Number] whose sister lives at [Address], would they find you have a license to operate a plow in the state of Massachusetts?”

Plow Driver #2: *pause* “Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll clear out the snow I pushed in front of your house, and anytime you want, I’ll plow it again for free.”

Me: “No.”

Plow Driver #2: “‘No’?”

Me: “You’re an a**hole! All you’d do is push the snow into someone else’s driveway! Now get lost!”

(He drove off. After breaking my back all day, I spent the closing hours of the day in front of my television to goof off. Around eight at night, however, I heard the distinctive beeping of a large vehicle backing up, and a sound akin to rolling rocks and metal clanging. Curious, I poked my head out the window. Rather than taking the deliberate approach of carefully chipping away at the ice-walls my neighbors, the plows, and myself had made during the day, they believed the most efficient way to get the snow was to knock all the walls over and the scoop it up slowly; the clanging was the avalanche hitting my fence. It probably wouldn’t have been a big deal, if their schedule didn’t say they had to clock out at nine exactly, and the next shift actually started where they left off. As a result, all of our sidewalks were buried again, our driveways had become obstructed, and there were no clearings for the crosswalks or bus stop. So, in the middle of the night, I went back to work. Thanks a lot, plow drivers!)

Unfiltered Story #115188

, , | Unfiltered | June 23, 2018

(It’s a fairly quiet day in electronics when the phone rings. I answer it.)

Me: “Electronics! Can I help you find something?”

Customer: “Well good morning! I was wondering of you could help me find a new cartridge of ink for my printer!”

Me: “Certainly ma’am! Do you have the old cartridge with you? Tell me the number and I’ll
check our inventory.”

Customer: “Well, I can’t  open the printer to check. The problem is I don’t have any hands, so it’s very difficult for me. Is there another way we can find my ink?”

Me: “…………. Uh….  Yeah, sure.”

(I brush off her comment, thinking I misheard and ask her for the model number of the printer. She is having  difficulty locating it.)

Customer: “Oh, this just isn’t working. If you can hang on for a moment I’ll see if there’s some way I can jimmy it open. Because I dont have any hands.”

Me:” That won’t be necessa–”

(I am interrupted by the sound of the phone clattering to the floor, and an almighty racket of crashing an thudding.)

Customer: “I’m very sorry about that, but I managed to open the printer without hands and find the ink number!”

(She gives me the number, I find the appropriate box, and discovering it’s the last one, I offer to put it aside for her. I take down her name while instructing her to come pick it up before the store closes.)

Customer: “Well thank you young lady, however, would it be possible or me to come in tomorrow to purchase the ink? I already don’t have any hands, and honestly I don’t have any legs either. Traveling is quite difficult, and I won’t be able to receive a ride until tomorrow.”

Me: “……………”

Customer: “Would that be alright?”

Me: *Extremely unsure if this is a prank, or if it just not hearing her correctly, I give up* “Yes, that’s fine, ma’am. I’ll probably be here, find me at the register and I’ll get your ink.”

(She thanks me, delighted. I put her out of my mind. The day passes with no issue. The next morning, I hear a voice beckoning me. I look down the main aisle and sure enough, here comes an elderly woman being pushed in a wheelchair…  Who seems to have no legs past her knees and stump hands.)

Customer: “Good morning,  Miss! I believe you have some ink for me?”

Me: “………………  Yes. Why yes. I have it right here for you.”

Customer: *utterly delighted*” Thank you so very much for helping me! I can’t tell you how many places have hung up on me when I called too ask for that ink! It appears no one has manners anymore. I’d shake your hand but, well….”  *holds up her stumps and shrugs* “you know. No hands.”

Need To Lawyer Up For The Bookstore These Days

, , , , | | Right | June 9, 2018

(We have just had two of our busiest days of the year in our academic bookstore; it’s as if two Black Fridays happened back to back. We’re also short-staffed as a few people called out sick. It is 8:50 pm and we close at 9:00 pm. All is finally quiet and we’re trying to clean up, when I hear a coworker talking to a customer at the returns desk.)

Customer: “What do you mean, you’re out of the book for my class?”

Coworker: “We had several hundred customers today, so I’m sorry, but we did run out.”

Customer: “That is ridiculous!” *grabs a book with a similar name* “Is this my book?”

Coworker: “I’ll check.”

(He comes over to me and we check the course listing; it isn’t her book. It’s a supplement to the other section’s book. I tell him to have her place an order, and that we will get the book back in stock. He goes to tell her, and then she comes over to me.)

Customer: “Why do I have to order my book? Why would you just collect part of the book? What kind of a business is this?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it’s been very busy.”

Customer: “I’m the only one here! You lie!”

Me: “No, ma’am, it was very busy, but you can place a web order—”

Customer: “I don’t care! What do you mean, I have to do a web order?! You order it for me!”

Me: “We will, but you have to do a web order to reserve it.”

(She demands we do a special in-store order, which is only for people with financial aid for their course books.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you have to do a web order.”

Customer: “I can’t believe this! You make such a big deal out of answering the phone—” *she’s there in person* “—and you collect incomplete books and now you’re trying to hurry me out because you close too early!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we do close at nine pm, which is in two minutes.”

Customer: “Nine pm is too early! You have to understand, we are law students! We are in class until nine pm! And we have to get here at two pm to get parking!”

(We’re a city campus, it’s mostly street parking and as the bookstore, we have nothing to do with this.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry about that, but I cannot change our hours.”

Customer: “Stop yelling! You are being so rude and this is a terrible business!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am not yelling, but it is now nine pm, so have to ask you to leave if you continue to behave like this.”

Customer: “I am writing a formal complaint. I want all your personal details!”

Me: “My name is [First Name].”

Customer: “And what is your last name, and your address and phone number?”

Me: “I’m not giving you my last name. That is personal. The address and phone is [store info].”

Customer: “Argh! That isn’t what I asked for!”

(She finally flounced out, but not before telling another coworker that “that woman over there is mean and rude!”)

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