His Brain Was Lost In The Wash

, , , | Right | September 16, 2019

Customer: “I’d like to buy a car wash.”

Me: “Sure thing! Which type of wash would you like?”

Customer: “A car wash.”

(I think for a moment that perhaps he’s misheard me.) 

Me: “Which type of car wash are you interested in?”

Customer: “A car wash.”

Me: “The different washes are listed right here, sir.”

(I point at the sign right in front of me.)

Customer: “A car wash.”

Me: “How about our top-of-the-line wash?”

Customer: “Uh… sure.”

Me: “All righty, your total is [total]; just insert your card.”

(He is already holding his credit card out.)

Customer: “Uh…”

Me: “Right here.” *points at the terminal*

Customer: “Oh! Okay.”

(He inserts the card incorrectly and an error slip prints out. I hand him the slip.)

Me: “That didn’t go through; you’ll have to try that again. Insert the other end first.”

(He inserts the card incorrectly again and another error slip prints out.)

Me: “That did not go through; we’ll have to try that again.”

(I hand him the second slip. He takes both slips and walks out without another word. I’m a little surprised, but figure that maybe he brought the wrong card with him and was embarrassed. He comes back in about a half-hour later.)

Customer: “Excuse me, miss. Sorry to bother you… But neither of these slips worked at the car wash.” *places his error slips on the counter*

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That Tip Is Going Swimmingly

, , , , , , | Right | September 16, 2019

(My young children take swimming lessons at the local YMCA. The lessons are held from 7:00 to 8:00, and I always take them out for a quick meal beforehand at a diner. My kids finish their dinners before me, so while I polish off the rest of my food, my younger daughter amuses herself by asking me for pennies and dropping them into her half-full water glass. I don’t mind, because it is keeping her quiet, and I have every intention of removing the pennies from the glass before we leave, since I don’t want to leave them for the server to deal with. Then, I realise to my dismay that it is getting late.)

Me: “Oh, dear! We’d better get going, girls.”

(I stuff the last bite into my mouth, grab a $5 bill, and leave it on the table for a tip. We dash out to the car…)

Daughter: “Mummy, here, you forgot this.” *hands me the $5 bill*

Me: “Oh, no, honey, that was meant for our server. Quick, let’s run back into the restaurant and give it to her.”

(As we re-entered the diner, I realized two things. One, I’d forgotten to remove the pennies from my daughter’s water glass. Two, our poor server was looking at the pennies in dismay, thinking that they were her tip, and wondering what on earth she’d done to deserve that! I apologized profusely for the pennies and gave her the $5.)

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Contest-ing The Facts

, , , | Right | September 13, 2019

(I just started working at a library, where it’s not uncommon to get patrons who have never used a computer and want help. We also are in a fairly poor area with majority non-English speakers, making communication sometimes difficult.)

Patron: “Hello. I won a contest and want to get my money from it. I need to email them.”

(He holds up a bottle cap, which I assume has some sort of contest rules on it.)

Me: “Sure! Our computers are just over there, or you can connect your laptop to our Wi-Fi.”

(The patron walks over to the computers and sits down, and I continue my work. He comes back after a few minutes.)

Patron: “I need help with my email.”

(I follow him to his computer, which has not been logged in. It turns out he doesn’t have an email account, nor does he even really know how a computer works. I walk him through the entire process, which takes longer than usual because of slow Internet. Finally, I get him set up and write his information on a piece of paper so he can access his email later.)

Me: “Okay, you’re all set to write the email. Good luck!”

(I leave him to it and get on with my work. After a few minutes, he returns to the circulation desk.)

Patron: “I need to go. I’ll come back another time.” *leaves*

(Part of me feels bad for not helping him more, but his skill level was so low that he needed an intro computer class to really make a difference. With the hurried way he left, I don’t expect him to see him again. However, the next day, the same patron comes in.)

Patron: “I need help with my email. I need to see if I won the contest.” *holds up the bottle cap again*

Me: “Okay, do you have that paper I gave you? With your email login?”

Patron: “No.”

Me: *face-palming, because I remember the email, but not the password he chose* “Okay, let me show you how to reset your password.”

(I go through the process with him only to learn that because it is a new account, it needs to be connected to a phone number to reset the password. I explain this.)

Patron: “But I don’t have a phone.”

Me: “Do you know anyone with a phone? It doesn’t have to be yours; you just need to bring the phone here and give the computer your number so it can text you.”

Patron: “My mom has a phone. I can use that.”

Me: “Great! Okay, you need to go get the phone and bring it here so we can access your email.”

(He leaves and comes back in a few hours.)

Patron: “I got the phone.”

(He holds up a piece of paper with a phone NUMBER on it, not an actual phone.)

Me: “I’m sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear. The computer is going to send the phone a text, so we need the phone here. You need to come back with the phone.”

(I know I explained extremely clearly earlier, because I know this guy doesn’t know anything about technology. Obviously, I wasn’t clear enough. The patron leaves, and the next day is my day off. When I come back two days later, I’m on desk with a coworker, who has been here for years. Guess who comes in and hightails it to me?)

Patron: “You! I need help with the contest again.”

Coworker: “[Patron], I told you, it’s not a contest! It’s just a bottle cap.”

Patron: “No! This girl helped me with a contest!”

Me: “What? Can I see the bottle cap please?”

(He gave me the bottle cap, which was an ordinary bottle cap with a joke printed on the inside. I was absolutely dumbfounded, considering I spent probably a full hour with this guy over the past few days trying to win this contest for him. I guess he didn’t read English well — I don’t know how he planned to write this email — saw writing on the cap, and made the logical leap to a contest win? Unluckily for me, since I helped him, the patron was convinced that the contest was real and it took a while for him to realize the truth. This was one of my first difficult customer experiences and from then on out, I was careful to check into whatever a customer said and ask more questions.)

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I Am The Captain Now!

, , , , , | Related | September 12, 2019

(I am fifteen and my brother is thirteen. We start lawn care business together at the beginning of the summer. We work together to mow lawns and such. Recently, he broke his foot, so I’ve been handling the mowing, communication, money, etc. I went from making $22.50 a week to $45 a week, so I can’t complain. Today was very hot and I am all sweaty from working.)

Mom: “You look tired.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m going to take a freezie break. Let me just ask my manager.”

(I do a spin.)

Me: “I am the manager! Take a freezie break.”

(I spun again.)

Me: “I guess that’s settled. Can I, Mom?”

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Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 4

, , , , , | Right | September 11, 2019

(I’ve just returned from a business trip and I stop at my local dollar store for some snacks. I’m in a terrible mood from being on the road all day but I have been here many times with nothing but friendly service and I am determined not to take it out on the staff. As I’m walking in, there is a woman at the cash complaining to the cashier, but I don’t pay attention. I hear him call for a manager and I see the manager on duty quickly come from the back. I grab some snacks and get to the counter only to have to wait behind this angry customer who is getting a refund, something not normally offered at this store and a process that takes a while. I suddenly tune in to what’s happening and realize this woman is getting a 30-cent refund on her 5-cent plastic bags. Most stores in our province have been charging for bags for a while as per governments regulations. The store gets none of the profits from these bags and has no say over the price.)

Customer: “Look, it’s not that I can’t afford it. It’s the principle of it. You people are always trying to trick us into spending more money and I won’t have it. You don’t even have a sign or anything!”

(She is actually standing next to a five-foot sign about the bags. As she is talking she is aggressively dumping her things out of the plastic bags onto the counter. The clerk looks like he wants to cry and the manager is trying hard to keep it together.)

Me: “Seriously?” *to the manager* “You guys don’t actually keep any of the money from those bags, right? I mean, it’s a government policy. Isn’t it? Most stores in this town alone have been charging for bags for at least a year, if not more.”

Manager: “Yeah, it has to do with the new eco-tax.”

Me: “Right, so it has nothing to do with you guys.”

Manager: *sigh* “No, it doesn’t.”

(The customer can clearly hear me, and I see her face get red before she turns away from me. She finally gets her 30 cents, drops it right back on the counter, and points at the reusable cloth bags the store is selling for a quarter each.)

Customer: “Give me one of those, now.”

Me: *to the cashier after she has paid him and is repacking her now one big bag* “You guys do get the profits off those cloth bags, though, right?”

Cashier: “Yup.” *flashes me a smile*

Customer: “Look, I would rather just pay for a bag.”

Me: “I thought that was the problem in the first place.”

(She finally moves away from the counter to let me check out, but now has to slowly repack her five bags of product into the one cloth bag to carry it out without spilling anything, so she can still hear me.)

Me: *to the cashier* “So, rough night?”

(He smiles and nods. His face still flushed.)

Me: “I’ve been there and believe me, it’s a pain. I used to work here and had to deal with idiots all the time. I had an old guy once fight for fifteen minutes, calling my cashier incompetent, because he misread the price on something and my cashier didn’t read his mind to know he thought it was a different price. You’re going to get those people all the time; they have never worked retail or have never worked, period, so they have no idea how to behave.”

(The customer is now seething while the cashier is finally smiling. The manager is close by watching with a smile. The cashier finishes ringing up my snacks.)

Cashier: “Would you like a bag, ma’am?”

Me: “No, thank you, dear; I brought one in. I’m capable of reading the signs you’ve had posted for the past two months.”

(The lady stormed off carrying her overflowing bag in her arms. For some reason, I felt so much better than when I had come in.)

Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 3
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 2
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage

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