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PDF = Pretty Dumb Fail

, | Sacramento, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology, Wild & Unruly

(My copy center normally just prints things for customers, but we also offer a word processing service for those without the equipment or ability to type many pages of text. One of my regulars, an elderly gentleman who barely knows how to access email from his PC, has asked me to type up several pages of text for a legal document. For this particular project, he asked that we create an editable PDF form so that he can reuse it for multiple different projects. His work is completed, emailed to him with instructions on how to save the file and use it, and he goes home. About an hour later, the phone rings.)

Customer: “Hello, [My Name]? This is [Customer] and the files you sent to me don’t work!”

Me: “Err, that’s strange, sir. We tested them while you were still here and they worked fine. What is it that’s happening, or not happening?”

Customer: “I don’t know! It just doesn’t work!”

Me: “Err… Is it that the blue boxes aren’t showing up for you to type in?”

Customer: “I don’t care about that; my tech guy says you can’t edit PDFs!”

Me: *sighs* “Sir, I assure you that the document allows you to type in custom information in the blue boxes. Do you see blue boxes?”

Customer: “I don’t care about blue boxes! I want you to fix this!”

Me: “Well, since I can’t see what’s going on with your document, and you are unable to tell me, I’m not sure what you want me to fix, sir. If your ‘tech guy’ is still there, maybe he can help you?”

Customer: “No, YOU made this document, so YOU need to fix the problem!”

Me: “Sir, it’s sounding to me like the problem is with your computer, or perhaps the version of Acrobat you’re using. Maybe if you could have your tech guy update Acrobat…”

Customer: “This is [Popular Email Client]!”

(From this, I surmise that he’s previewing the document from his email and hadn’t actually saved it to his PC. If that’s the case, it explains why the document isn’t editable. I try to explain this to the customer, and tell him we’re going to walk through the steps to save it to his desktop so that he can edit it. I go slowly, making sure to wait for him to confirm what I asked him to do before going on to the next step. Finally….)

Me: “All right, good. Once you save it, we can open it and see if th—”

Customer: *interrupts* “I TOLD YOU TO TELL ME HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM!”

Me: “Sir, this WILL fix the problem. Did you do ANY of the steps I just told you?”

Customer: “NO! I didn’t! I said you need to tell me how to fix the problem! I don’t want to hear any of that s***!”

Me: *sighs* “Well, then, sir, looks like you’re going to have to call your ‘tech guy’ over and have him figure it out for you. There’s nothing else I can do for you, since you don’t want to follow my instructions to fix the problem. Have a nice day.”

(The customer grumbled some threats about “If I have to come back down there…!” but hung up. Since I never heard back from him on that subject, I’m assuming his ‘tech guy’ got him all squared away!)

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Taxing Faxing, Part 18

, | Sacramento, CA, USA | Bizarre

(I’m manning the copy center counter when a regular customer approaches. I’ve helped her before, but she doesn’t seem to recognize me. While I’m helping her, she stands next to our shipping kiosk and reads the list of items we’re not permitted to mail.)

Customer: “I need these documents faxed, please. Wouldn’t you know it? My fax machine at the office sends documents everywhere BUT that area code! I’ve even sent it to offices one city over!”

Me: “Wow, that’s—”

Customer: *interrupts* “Isn’t it? We’ve tried calling the machine’s tech support and everything! I’ll never understand. Does this sign REALLY have to tell people they can’t ship fireworks? What kind of idiot would try to ship fireworks!?”

Me: “Yeah, some pe—”

Customer: “I know, right!? Bunch of idiots trying to get around local laws or something.”

Me: “Looks like we’re all set here, ma’am. If you’ll just come over to the cash register with me, I can ring you up for ev—”

Customer: “Where am I supposed to pay for the fax service, dear? Can I pay here with you?”

Me: “Yes, the debit machine is right over here, by th—”

Customer: *tosses her card on the counter*

Me: “Card reader’s over here, ma’am. Did you want a bag for your papers?”

Customer: *peering at my name badge* “Oh! Your name’s [My Name]?! What a unique spelling! I love it!”

Me: “Thanks, ma’am, it’s—”

Customer: “You’ve been SO helpful! I never receive excellent service like this when I come in! Have a good day!”

Me: “You’re welcome; enjoy the rest of y—”

Customer: “I’m going over there to look at briefcases!”

(She wandered cheerfully off, and boy, was I glad she hadn’t asked me to show her anything else in the store!)

Related:
Taxing Faxing, Part 17
Taxing Faxing, Part 16
Taxing Faxing, Part 15

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Just Look UPS

| MA, USA | Extra Stupid

(I work at a copy shop with a UPS ship center. I am putting a package together at the ship counter one day, when a customer comes up…)

Customer: “Do you guys do UPS here?”

Me: “Yes, we do!”

Customer: “Why don’t you have a sign?!”

Me: *didn’t say a word, just turned around and pointed to the four foot by eight foot sign that was directly behind me advertising that we ship UPS*

Customer: “Oh.”

One Copy With Cream Cheese, Please

| WV, USA | Extra Stupid

(I work in a copy/print center and I work behind a counter that has five large copiers all around me and a twenty-foot wall sign that says “Copy and Print Center.”)

Customer: “Do you make copies here?”

Me: “Nope, I make bagels. Would you like one?”

Making It Rain Laminated Sheets

| Canada | Bizarre, Criminal & Illegal, Money, Technology

(An older gentleman approaches the counter, with an abrupt manner about him.)

Customer: “Do you do laminating here?”

Me: “Yep, sure do!”

(Before I can explain pricing or options or anything, he cuts me off:)

Customer: “Well, where is it? Is it a machine in self-serve, or do I have to give you the items, or what?”

Me: “Oh, it gets done here, behind the counter. What are you looking to get laminated today?”

(He reaches into his pocket and gets out his wallet. That’s not that unusual; people frequently get business cards or small wallet-sized photo laminated. However, instead of getting anything like that out, I see he’s opened the bill portion and is pulling out a $100 bill… and another… and another… and another, until he’s holding out ten $100 bills. He holds them out to me like it’s nothing, a strange smugness about him. In my surprise over it, it takes me a second to actually respond, but eventually I take a step back and hold my hands up and shaking my head;)

Me: “I… can’t laminate that.”

Customer: “What?! Well, why not? What’s wrong with it!”

Me: “It’s illegal for me to laminate any kind of currency.”

Customer: “What?! What do you mean? How is that possible? Just laminate it!”

Me: “Well, even if I COULD laminate it… It would get ruined in the machine… Like, it would melt. You know these bills are made of something similar to plastic, right? And the laminate sheet is its own sort of plastic. The heat from the machine would make the bills illegible.”

Customer: “What do you mean? Just run them through.”

Me: “The heat would ruin them. They would melt together with the plastic of the laminate sleeve, probably ‘bleeding’ and blurring…”

(I had no idea if that would happen or not, I just knew that they couldn’t go through the machine because they’d sustain some sort of damage, and also it is illegal. He looked entirely displeased and put out, but then shoved the bills back into his wallet and stormed away. I turned to my coworker who was with me at the time, looking at her in disbelief, and she shrugged.)

Coworker: “Maybe he had some big bill to pay, and he’s trying to be a smart-a** about it.”

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