Need To Sun-Screen Out The Inconsiderate Customers

, , , | Right | November 18, 2015

(It’s not unusual, in the middle of a transaction, for a family to notice that they’ve forgotten their sunscreen. As I’m whiter than a ghost, usually I need to wear sunscreen even in the shaded booth, so I bring my own bottle into the booth for protection. If a family who treats me nice, forgets their own sunscreen, I’ll let them use some of mine.)

Mom: “Oh, no! We forgot sunscreen!”

Dad: “Do you sell any of it in the park?”

Me: “We do, but I have to admit, it’s five dollars, it’s 15 SPF, and it’s the size of travel tube of toothpaste.”

Dad: “Oh, man!”

Me: “But… I actually have a bottle of 60 SPF for my own personal use. I’d be willing for you to use some for free.”

Dad: “Oh, thank you!”

(He turns to his wife who wasn’t paying attention to his conversation with me.)

Dad: “Honey, she says we can use her sunscreen.”

(I hand the woman the bottle, and she takes it. Suddenly, she puts it in the stroller and starts walking away.)

Me: “Wait! Wait! WAIT!”

(The dad stops his wife and grabs the bottle.)

Dad: “She meant, to borrow.”

Mom: “Oh.”

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You Shall Not Pass This Iceberg

, , , , | Learning | October 7, 2015

(I teach English as a second language. In my conversation class, we’re talking about movies.)

Me: “What’s your favourite movie, [Student]?”

Student:Lord of the Rings!”

Me: “Oh, I love Lord of the Rings. The hobbits are so cute!”

Student: “What?”

Me: “The hobbits. You know, the little short people with the hairy feet.”

Student: “Huh?”

Me: “Um, why don’t you tell me what Lord of the Rings is about.”

Student: “There’s a man and a woman and they fall in love on a boat, but the boat sinks and he dies and it’s very sad.”

Me: “…Titanic. You mean Titanic.”

Student: “Yes! That one.”

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Racially Aware Of What He Was About To Say

, , , | Working | August 17, 2015

(I work for a food bank. We are doing a large re-packaging run at a local food security agency. Several members of a nearby First Nations community have come to help but we are still short of bodies to do the work.)

Supervisor: *to me* “The main problem is that we have too many chiefs and… never mind.”

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No Mower, Mow Problems

, , | Right | July 23, 2015

(At our equipment rental store we also do repairs on lawn equipment. Each spring, we get slammed when people can’t get their mowers started for that first cut. It’s strictly first come, first served, and customers are told what the approximate wait will be and that we’ll call them when the job is done. I am working in the back area where rental items are returned and fix mowers were kept when a well-dressed man in a very expensive car drove up.)

Customer: “I’m here to pick up my mower!”

Me: “Sure, what name was it under?”

Customer: “It’s [Name], and I can see my mower right there.”

Me: “Sure, just let me get the work order on that.”

(I go to the ‘Done’ folder but there’s no work order. I double check the name and number on the tag on the mower, but still can’t find it.)

Me: “Did you get a call saying the mower was done?”

Customer: “No, but you’ve had long enough. I’m a doctor and my time is very important!”

(I check in the shop and find the work order in the mechanic’s “Done” pile, but he hasn’t had time to complete it with parts, prices etc. I return to the customer.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but it looks like the mechanic has just done the work, but hasn’t totaled the charges on the work order yet. I’m afraid he’s on his lunch break. If you could come back later this afternoon, I’ll make sure he has that ready for you.”

(The customer goes into a tirade about how valuable his time is, and fully expects just to be able to drop in and pick up his mower at his convenience even though he hasn’t been called that it’s ready. With dread I go to the lunchroom, where the mechanic is relaxing after already putting in six hours to keep up with the rush.)

Me: “[Mechanic], there’s a guy to pick up his mower. It’s done, but the work order isn’t completed. He ‘insists.'”

Mechanic: *with a sinister look* “Send him to the counter; I’ll write it up.”

(I overhear the customer giving the mechanic a piece of his mind as the work order is written up, then load the mower into the customer’s car. Afterwards I go to apologize for interrupting the mechanic’s much-needed break.)

Mechanic: “Don’t worry about it. The carb’ on his mower was shot, so I took one off one of the dead machines and rebuilt it. I was going to give it to him for free, but since he was such an a**hole I charged him $50 for it. The guy was actually happy that I had ‘saved’ him money.”

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Has Some Holiday Daddy Issues

, , , | Right | July 9, 2015

(The store I work at has multiple signs advertising for Father’s Day promotions, which is next week.)

Customer: “Is tomorrow Father’s Day? I don’t want to miss it.”

Me: “No, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure it’s next week, but I’m not 100% sure.”

Customer: “You don’t know?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, but I can check for you if you’d like?”

Customer: *very snidely* “How can you not know? What, don’t you have a father?”

Me: “No. Actually, I don’t.”

(He blushed, apologized, and left quickly.)

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