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Worse Than The Yes Men Are The Yes/No Men

| Banbury, England, UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

(It’s a late night shift, Friday, around nine pm. It’s fairly quiet tonight and I don’t have much to do. After a while occupying myself around the store a heavily-accented Eastern European man comes up to the counter.)

Customer: “Scotch whiskey?”

Me: “Yup, we have a selection of spirits behind the counter.”

(I turn to show him the cabinet behind me.)

Me: “For scotch whiskeys we have [Brand #1]—”

Customer: *interrupting, in a panicked tone* “NO!”

(I pause, expecting him to continue or elaborate, after a moment he seems to relax.)

Me: “[Brand #2]?”

Customer: *seemingly scared* “NO!”

(Pause again.)

Me: “[Brand #3?]”

(He nods; I take the bottle and scan it through.)

Me: “That’ll be [price].”

(He displays a card inserts it into the machine. We go through the steps and come to entering his PIN code. He presses three numbers then stares at me.)

Me: “Your PIN code should be four numbers.”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “You only pressed three.”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: *baffled* “You should have pressed four numbers, then the enter key.”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: *starting to see where this is going* “You should have pressed five buttons in total. Four numbers, then the green enter key.”

Customer: “Yes.”

(This continued for a while. A queue of angry and confused customers was starting to build. After several minutes of this same back-and-forth he eventually huffed and said something I couldn’t understand, threw up his hands and walked out and left the bottle behind.)

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Thought It Was One Giant Smoking Mirror

, | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(We sell cigarettes, and you can clearly see them as soon as you walk in the door.)

Customer: “Excuse me; do you guys sell cigarettes here?”

Me: *being humorous, thinking he is as well* “No, we don’t, sir.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. I’ll go somewhere else.”

(As he started to leave, another cashier motioned to the wall of hundreds of cigarettes behind the counter, and lucky us, he found humor in his mistake, as well as we did.)

Very Anal About What They Use

| UK | Bizarre, Rude & Risque

(I’m working the late shift at a local convenience store on a busy high street. Even though we’re surrounded by bars, nothing exciting tends to happen even around this time, 10 pm. The store lead on duty and I are stacking the health and beauty section before the stock take the following morning, when a gentleman, who appears slightly tipsy approaches me. I’m female.)

Customer: “Excuse me, do you sell any lube?”

Me: *looking up beside the condoms. It’s an unusual request and our range is limited so I need to check* “I’m sorry, I don’t think we do. I’ll check with my manager.”

(My manager has overheard and joins the conversation.)

Manager: “No, I’m sorry. we just sell condoms.”

Customer: “Aw, d***. Do you know what else I can use for anal?”

Me: *trying to remain professional* I could suggest baby oil?”

Manager: “…or Vaseline?”

Me: “Or maybe vegetable oil?”

Customer: *nodding throughout* “So, Vaseline? Maybe I’ll combine it with baby oil?” *picks both off the shelf* “Thanks! I’ll let you know how it goes!”

Manager: “I’m not going to ask if those were personal suggestions of what to use!”

Me: “I just hope he doesn’t come back to tell us how it went!”

A Totally Bear-able Time Of Year

| NH, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I work at a convenience store that sells coffee in different flavors. One of my regulars comes in every day and gets a pot of blueberry coffee, so I nickname her Ms. Blueberry, and make sure to always have that flavor ready when she comes in. We have just gotten a shipment of St. Jude charity plush bears for the holidays.)

Ms. Blueberry: *holding up a bear* “This is cute!”

Me: “Yeah, they’re really soft, and for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds goes to the St. Jude Children’s Fund. I’m considering getting one some time.”

Ms. Blueberry: “That so? Just the coffee today.”

(She puts the bear down, pays for her coffee, and enjoys a bit more banter, then leaves. The next day, she’s back as usual. She brings her coffee to the counter and puts one of the bears up with it.)

Ms. Blueberry: “This, too.”

Me: “All right, your total is [total].”

Ms. Blueberry: *handing me her total* “The bear’s for you. Merry Christmas!”

Me: “Really? Wow, thank you!”

(I didn’t stay at that job much longer, but seeing my regulars, especially her, made the job more bearable [pardon the pun] and even, at times, enjoyable. I named the bear Blueberry, and I still have him!)

I Decline To Comment

| Yorkshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Money, Technology

(I’ve just scanned the shopping of a customer and he is paying with his card. However, the transaction doesn’t go through. This usually means that the customer’s card has been declined, although occasionally we have brief connection issues with our system, so we always give it a second try.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. The transaction hasn’t gone through.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Well, sometimes it’s a brief problem with our connection rather than your card. We’ll give it another go and see.”

Customer: “Hmmm… okay.”

(We go through the process again, however it doesn’t go through. My card machine is still functioning normally, and my colleagues are still able to use their card machines, meaning that the system is not down. It is definitely a problem with his card.)

Me: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card isn’t working. Do you have any other method of payment?”

Customer: “What? What’s wrong with your machines?”

Me: “There doesn’t appear to be any issue with our system, sir. I’m afraid it’s very likely to be a problem with your card.”

Customer: “It can’t be. Try again.”

(We try again, but it doesn’t work. However, he insists the problem is on our end. I move him onto my colleague’s till, but it isn’t accepted again.)

Colleague: “I’m really sorry, sir, but your card has been declined again.”

Customer: “Why is it being declined?”

Me: “It could be any number of reasons, sir. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “No! I want you to tell me! Why won’t you take my card?!”

Me: “Sorry, sir?”

Customer: “Tell me what it says on your screen! Tell me why you won’t take my card!”

Me: “All it tells me is that your card is declined, sir, I don’t know the reason. You’d have to contact your bank.”

Customer: “That’s crap! I’m not leaving until you tell me why my card is declined! I’m flying out to Afghanistan tomorrow! I’ve had this all day, I don’t need this, and I’m sick of it!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, did you say you’d had this all day?”

Customer: “Yes! Every shop I go into, they won’t take my card and they won’t tell me why! I’m flying to Afghanistan in twelve hours! I don’t need this!”

Me: “…Ok, sir, you really need to contact your bank.”

(He eventually left  to go and talk to his bank, still muttering that we “must know why; it will say on the screens.” We spotted him in store just a couple of days later, so I’m not sure why he insisted he was going to Afghanistan.)

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