Haven’t Quite Reached The Manager

| AZ, USA | Working | June 6, 2014

(I am on a homeless outreach. Part of the work is passing out food, water, and clothing. The other part is to allow the homeless community to talk to us and generally show some humanity, since so often they are ignored by people. Later, during the outreach, a friend and I are taking to an elderly man about his life and beliefs for maybe five minutes. Most of our supplies we were handing out are gone, and Friend #1 and I are empty-handed. All is going well, until the director approaches us, asks the man to excuse us, and pulls us aside.)

Director: “It’s nice to try and talk to them, but don’t let them talk to you for very long! Some of them are crazy. You have to remember that stuff!”

(After she stalks off, I turn to my friend.)

Me: “Didn’t she tell us before we left to remember that everyone is human and not to shy away from conversation?”

Charity Begins At Home Furnishing

, | London, England, UK | Right | April 9, 2014

(As a charity shop, all items are donated to us. The staff are volunteers and so do not receive wages. The money made from sales goes to our cause; in this case, the care of the elderly in a local home. I approach a customer that has been looking at a sofa for some time.)

Me: “Can I help?”

Customer: “This sofa, isn’t it a bit expensive?”

(Customers sometimes try to haggle or cheat us, so I’m not surprised so far.)

Me: “Well, even though the sofa has no signs of wear and looks to be new, it has been heavily discounted. It would be triple the price from any other shop.”

Customer: “Yeah, but this is a charity shop.”

Me: “Yes…”

Customer: “So I don’t see why you can’t just give it away.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I rent out property, you see. I get more if the places are furnished, but if I have to buy the furniture…”

Me: “We can’t just give things away. We raise money for the charity, which cares for elderly people.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you get this stuff for free.”

Me: “… “

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Unhappy Holidays

| Canada | Right | December 24, 2013

(I’m sitting at my position, working for a well-known religious charity. I am collecting donations to fund their various charitable programs. A customer walks by.)

Customer: “Merry Christmas!”

Me: “Merry Christmas!”

Customer: “You aren’t allowed to say that!” *walks away*

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A Bona-Fido Idiot

| UK | Right | December 20, 2013

(I work for an animal charity. I am out in the local community promoting responsible dog ownership.)

Me: “So is your dog neutered then?”

Customer: “Sorry?”

Me: “Sorry, madam. Is your dog neutered?”

(The customer stares blankly.)

Colleague: “Madam, has your dog been castrated?”

(The customer continues to stare blankly.)

Me: “Has he been ‘done’?”

Customer: “Oh, yeah. He did have an operation on his ears a few weeks ago…”

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Law And Order: The Next Generation

| Australia | Right | June 11, 2013

(A customer approaches the counter with curtains in her hand. Her 15-year-old daughter hovers around.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am! Those curtains will be a total of $45, at $15 a piece.”

Customer: “What? No, the sign said $5 a piece.”

Me: “Really? I’m very sorry for the inconvenience, ma’am; I was told not to sell these specific curtains for any less than $15. We are a charity drive, so I hope you understand the pricing.”

Customer: “No, you don’t get it. These curtains were over there on that rack, and it said $5! You are bound, by law, to sell me these at this pri—”

(The daughter interrupts.)

Customer’s Daughter: “Actually, she’s not. The sign beside the curtains could have been referring to any number of things. That said, even if we were to assume that it referred to the curtains themselves, it would only constitute an invitation to treat, which is something very different to an offer. You know as well as I do that both an offer and an acceptance are needed to form a contract. By taking the curtains to the counter, you’re offering, and by disagreeing with an express term of the contract—in this case, the price—this lovely lady who’s merely performing her job is not accepting. Therefore, no contract has been formed.”

Customer: “I… I… shut up!”

(The customer storms out of the shop.)

Me: “Thank you!”

Customer’s Daughter: “No problem. I just finished a semester on contract law, and she’s done this in the past three stores we’ve gone to. I hope things look up for you!”

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