Completely Blowing Up

, , , , | Right | August 8, 2017

(A customer is talking about something that she wants me to blow up to poster size, and telling me that it’s from a certain magazine, and as she’s talking I’m just thinking ‘oh man, I don’t even know if I can copy this’ … So when she’s done talking about it, I start to tell her it might be copyrighted.)

Me: “So, since this is from a magazine, and the page has been cut out, I don’t know what their copyright says. Maybe I can Google the magazine and see if it says anything on their website or something.”

Customer: “I’m not selling it or anything, so it’s fine.”

Me: “Depends on the copyright. Some copyrights specify more than others, and since we don’t have the whole magazine here, I can’t see what it says. Some copyrights are quite strict.”

Customer: “But it’s just for a present. I want a poster of it.”

Me: “Yeah, I know, but for example, if someone wanted a poster of a celebrity, they are supposed to find a poster from a company that is licenced to sell a poster of that celebrity. People aren’t supposed to get a picture off the Internet and blow that up to poster size.”

Customer: “People do that all the time.”

Me: “I’m sure they do, but they’re not allowed. Let me just Google the magazine, in case their copyright information is listed. What was the name of the magazine again?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Um, but you just told me the name of it a few minutes ago.”


Me: *confused at this strange turn* “Um… okay… maybe I can still find it.”

(I begin Googling names I thought I remembered her saying, to see if something comes up.)

Customer: “I don’t understand why can’t you just blow this up!”

Me: “Because I’m not sure what the copyright on it says. It’s just our company copyright policy. It’s protecting the magazine company, just like any other people who have copyrights.”

Customer: “Can I talk to you manager!? Anyone else! I need to talk to your manager!”

Me: “Sure.” *I sigh when I say sure*

Customer: “Well, aren’t you sassy!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say it like that.”

Customer: “You just have horrible customer service, you know that?! I can’t believe you!”

(After my manager comes out, and tries to explain our policy to her, and how I’m correct, she interrupts him to say that I have horrible customer service and that I was “flippant” with her.)

Me: “I apologize. What did I say that upset you? I didn’t mean to be rude and I don’t want to continue to do that, so if you tell me what I did, maybe I can correct it for the future.”

(I’m trying not to cry at this point, and I’m sure you can hear that through my voice.)

Customer: “You were FLIPPANT!”

Me: “How?”


Me: “Okay, again, I apologize, but I didn’t mean to be. I know when I said ‘sure,’ it came out a little rude, but what else did I do?”

Customer: “I SAID YOU WERE FLIPPANT! What you should have done, is tell me ‘I’m sorry this isn’t something we can normally do, but let me get my manager so we can work something out’.”

Me: “Yes, but you see, when it comes to copyright, there is no ‘working out’ that we can do. It’s a serious offence, and we can’t just bend the rules for it.”

Customer: “You should just let the customer be right!”

(My manager stepped in to explain how we couldn’t do that, and how I could be fined personally, so it was a chance we can’t take. I ended up booking in an order of plaque mounting for her photo, instead of blowing it up to poster size, and I was afraid the whole time that she would accuse me of being ‘fake’ or something since I was being polite. After the customer left, my manager called me into the office to tell me that the customer spoke to him afterwards, apologizing, and taking back her accusations about me. She said that I was very nice and helpful, and she was just mad at the situation and took it out on me. SERIOUSLY?!)

California Dreaming Of Getting To Its Destination

| ON, Canada | Right | July 29, 2017

(I’m getting a shipping quote for a customer.)

Me: “Okay, is it going within Canada or outside of Canada?”

Customer: “The States.”

Me: “Okay, do you know the city or the zip code that it’s going to?”

Customer: “No. It’s somewhere on the west coast.”

Me: “Uh, I need a city or a zip code.”

Customer: “It’s out west.”

Me: “…California?”

Customer: “No. The west coast, dear, not the east coast.”

Me: “California is on the west coast.”

Customer: “Oh. Yes, then. California.”

Me: “Okay. But I still need a city or a zip code.”

The Student Is Not Always Right

, , | Learning | June 30, 2017

(I’m standing second in line at a copy shop. The clerk is dealing with the customer in front of me who seems to be late for his bachelor thesis’ deadline.)

Employee: “Okay. That would be [price] and it will be ready in an hour for pick up or—”

Customer: *interrupting* “I’m sorry… WHEN?!”

Employee: “In an hour approximately. 12:30 pm.”

Customer: “Okay … And how are you planning to reimburse me?”

Employee: “I’m afraid I can’t follow you. Why would we need to reimburse you?”

Customer: “A friend of mine said adhesive binding only takes 15 minutes! The offices for university close at noon! You are responsible for me missing my deadline and having to repeat!”

Employee: “This time of year a lot of people need to turn in their theses. All we can do is—”

Customer: *interrupting* “You’re kidding right? Are you f****** serious?! NO! YOU’LL GET IT DONE IN 15 MINUTES OR REIMBURSE ME!”

Employee: *handing back the flash drive* “Tell you what: I’m going to do none of that. Please leave! Have a nice day and good luck!”

(The customer leaves, screaming profanities and how the copy shop is responsible for him failing his bachelor thesis. I step forward.)

Me: “Hi, I need an adhesive binding for my bachelor thesis, too. I’m a bit afraid to ask because of… well, all that… but my professor told me that you deliver to the university and that, if it’s printed the day of the deadline, it counts as turned in in time …”

Employee: “Sure thing. Yes, it does. We work closely with [University] and do that quite often.” *laughing* “I would’ve told him if he wouldn’t have interrupted me to make an a** of himself. Let’s just hope he learned a lesson from this, if it’s only not to wait until the last minute to get stuff printed.”

The Customer Is Not Always Copyright, Part 3

| ON, Canada | Right | April 16, 2017

(A husband and wife come in to get wedding announcements made, which have multiple professional photos in the design.)

Me: “So these photos were clearly taken by a professional, right?”

Husband: “Yep.”

Me: “Okay, so I just need something in writing from the photographer saying that you are allowed to use the photos.”

Wife: “No, it wasn’t a professional. It was a family friend.”

Me: “I still need permission. Just something with the photographer’s signature saying you were given the digital files to print yourself, or something like that.”

Wife: “But it wasn’t a professional! It was a friend! She’s not a professional!”

Me: “She still holds the copyrights to the photos, unless she’s given you the rights to them. If she has, I need something in writing stating that.”

Wife: “No! She never takes pictures! She just did this for us once! That’s the only time she’s ever taken pictures!”

Me: “Wow, she’s really good at it.”

Wife: “I KNOW!”

Me: “Okay, well, I’m sorry, but without the permission, I can’t print them. But I can still book in the order for you today, and once we get the permission, I’ll go ahead and print them.”

Husband: “Well, if all she wants us is for to write down that we can print them, I’m sure we can get her to do that.”

Wife: “No! I’m not asking her to do that! Just print the pictures.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t. But I’m sure she would be flattered if you tell her she needs to do that in order for us to print them.”

Wife: “No! She would be annoyed! She isn’t a professional photographer! She’s a land surveyor! She’s never done this before!”

Me: “It doesn’t matter. The photos are still copyrighted. If someone wrote a book for the first time and had another job, that wouldn’t mean their book isn’t copyrighted, just because they haven’t done it before, right? Same thing.”

Wife: “No! It’s not the same thing!”

(At this point, the next customer in line stepped in.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but she’s not going to print them without the permission. I’m a photographer and I give a release with my digital photos stating that they can be printed, because a lot of photographers charge per printed photo, and charge extra for a disc with the digital images.”

Husband: “We can get her to sign a thing for us.”

Wife: “No! We’ll just go somewhere else!”

The Customer Is Not Always Copyright, Part 2
The Customer Is Not Always Copyright

That Thing That Holds Jay-Pegs

| ON, Canada | Right | April 15, 2017

Customer: “I need something printed off my ‘jee-pig’.”

Me: “Your what?”

Customer: “My ‘jee-pig’.” *holds up a USB flash drive*

Me: “Oooh… okay.” *I take it and put it in the computer*

Customer: “Why, is that not what it’s called?”

Me: “Umm, well I’ll be honest with you… I don’t think anyone will know what you’re talking about if you call it that.”

Customer: “Oh. What should I call it?”

Me: “A flash drive, memory stick, USB drive…”

Customer: “Oh. Okay. Memory stick. Huh. I always thought it was called a ‘jee-pig.'”

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