The Art Of Listening Is Out Of Print

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid

(A customer approaches me, holding a USB drive.)

Me: “Hello! Got some printing to do today, I see. From your USB drive, there?”

Customer: “Hello! I need to print something from my USB drive!”

(I assume she didn’t hear all of what I said, hence repeating the bit about the USB drive, and continue.)

Me: “Alrighty, no worries! We’ll go over to the PC here and print. Will it be black and white, or color printing?”

Customer: “Black and white, and then I need to fax the pages.”

Me: “Sure thing! I’ll print them for you, and then you can use our self-serve fax machine by the wall there.”

Customer: “Okay!”

(The customer accepts her copies, and then continues to stand and look at me.)

Me: “So, you’re all set! Here’s your USB drive back.”

Customer: “I need to fax these.”

(By now I’m beginning to notice a trend. Apparently the customer doesn’t pay any attention to what I’m saying even when she’s asked a question.)

Me: “The fax machine is self-serve, ma’am, and it’s by that wall there. We also keep pens by the fax machine if you need to use one.”

Customer: “Oh, okay! But… have you got a pen I can borrow?”

(I repeat myself. Again.)

Me: “Ma’am, the pens are next to the fax machine which is by that wall. Just walk right down this counter and you’ll see the machine.”

(The customer sends her fax, then comes back to pay.)

Customer: “Can I check out here?”

Me: “Sure! Your total today is [price].”

(Just to be safe, I rephrase the total and repeat it to her, given how much attention she paid to everything I said before.)

Me: “That’s [total].”

(The customer puts her purse on the counter and rummages around a minute.)

Customer: “Wait, how much did you say it was?”

Trying To Lend Color To The Argument

| ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(A customer comes to the counter with two sheets of black and white images she has printed from her computer.)

Customer: “Can you scan these and get someone to put all the pictures together so they go with the writing I have?”

Me: “Sure we can. Do you have these pages saved digitally?”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Do you have them saved on a computer somewhere? Or on a USB drive?”

Customer: “Yeah, on my computer at home.”

Me: “Did you want to save them to a USB drive first and use the digital files? It would be a much better quality.”

Customer: “I don’t know what a USB drive is.”

Me: “It’s just a way of saving files so that you can transfer them to a different computer.”

Customer: “No. Just use my print out.”

Me: “Okay.”

Customer: “But can you scan them in colour?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because those are black and white.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “We can’t scan them in colour if there is no colour to scan.”

Customer: “But they were in colour on my computer. So there’s colour in them.”

Me: “Yes, there was colour on your computer, but you printed them in black and white. So when we scan the black and white print out, it’s going to be in black and white.”

Customer: “But I want them in colour! I don’t understand why you can’t just change your scanner to the colour setting.”

Me: “I could change it to the colour setting, but there is no colour on this page to scan. It’s all in greyscale, so it’s only going to scan it in greyscale.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because a scanner just scans what it sees. It can’t pick up something that isn’t there.”

Customer: “But you have colour scanners!”

Me: “Yes, that is used to scan colour pictures.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why you can’t just scan it in colour!”

Me: “Because it’s not a colour picture.”

Customer: “Yes, it is! It was in colour before I printed it!”

A Sudden Stamp Of Recognition

| Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

(I work in a copy shop/shipping store. It has a modern all-glass front with two entrances. Currently, I am currently the only one on shift. A customer comes in.)

Customer: “Hi, do you sell stamps?”

Me: “No, sorry, we don’t sell postage. [Store across the street] has stamps, though, at every register, and they’re just down the stairs at the end of the parking lot.”

Customer: “Oh, all right. Thank you!”

(The customer leaves, but I watch her walk 10 feet to our other entrance, and enter our store again.)

Customer: “Hi, do you sell stamps?”

Me: “…I’m sorry, ma’am, we do not. However, if you go over to—”

Customer: “See, that’s what the other girl said, and she told me to come over to this location!”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Customer: “You young people need to learn to be clear when you’re giving directions!”

(As she says this, she looks around and the lightbulb goes off.)

Customer: “I’m in the same store, aren’t I?”