Unable To Engineer A Solution

, , , | Right | May 12, 2020

A customer comes in wanting copies of a large engineering print.

Customer: “Can you copy this for me?”

Me: “I can, but we have to send it out. It will go out tomorrow and be back the next day. Is that okay?”

Customer: “No, I need it tonight. You can’t just do it for me?”

Me: “No, I can’t; we don’t have an engineering printer at this location. Our production centre does, though, and we can send it to them. It would be back in two days because our pickup for today already happened.”

Customer: “No good, I need it today.”

Me: “Well, if you’re willing to drive to [City 45 minutes away] the [Same Store] in the south end has a copier that is big enough for that. They will be able to do it for you today.”

Customer: “Are you kidding? I’m not driving all the way down there!”

Me: “I’m sorry, those are your only options. Unless you want me to copy it in pieces for you.”

Customer: “No! I want it in one piece!”

Me: “Okay, so, would you like me to send it out for you?”

Customer: “No, just tell me somewhere else I can get this done.”

Me: “I just told you: the store in the south end of [City].”

Customer: “Somewhere in town.”

Me: “I’m not sure of anyone else in town who does prints this size.”

Customer: “Are you serious? There must be someone.”

Me: “Yeah, there might be, but I don’t know of any.”

Customer: “You don’t know of any places in town?”

Me: “No, sorry.”

Customer: “What about in [Nearby Town]?”

Me: “I’m not sure.”

Customer: “Why not?!”

Me: “Um, because I work here? I only know about the services we offer.”

Customer: “Ugh, whatever.”

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It Should Be As Clear As White And White

, , | Right | May 8, 2020

Customer: “Hello, I need a passport photograph.”

Me: “Certainly, if you would come right this way.”

We go over and enter the tiny photography studio. The customer is looking DIRECTLY at the white wall in the back, behind the stool where we will take the photograph.

Customer: “The photograph needs to have a white background.”

I am trying my hardest not to sound sarcastic.

Me: “We’ll see what we can do.”

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Her Argument Goes Up And Down Before Centering On You

, , , , | Right | May 8, 2020

A woman who works at a local restaurant comes in to have some copies of their menu printed out. She emails over the file, and while I’m pulling it up, she asks if I can move the text “up and down” the page a little. The file finally opens, and I can’t move the text down without it going on to a second page.

Me: “It looks like everything is pretty full and centered on there already. It takes up the whole page as it is.”

Customer: “Just move it up and down.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by that. If I move it down, you’ll have the bottom line of text on another page.”

Customer: “Let me see!”

I turn the monitor so she can see it. She angrily huffs at me.

Customer: “Can I just do it myself, then?!”

Me: “Sure! Let me just get our rental computer unlocked… All right, if you just press ‘activate’ on the screen over there, it’ll start your computer session. Let me know if you need a hand!”

She goes and stands next to the computer while I start working on another customer’s print job. After a minute, I notice that she’s just been glaring at me ever since I walked away from her.

Me: “I’m sorry, was there something else I could help you with before we get you onto the computer?”

Customer: “Are you going to help me or not?!”

Me: “I can definitely help you with printing. Press activate on the screen, and just let me know when your file is up.”


Me: “Yes. As soon as you are ready, let me know and I’ll be happy to help you as needed.”

Customer: “Ugh! No one ever helps me here! Your boss will hear about you!”

She stormed out and I just stood there for a second, wondering what exactly she wanted me to do, besides being some sort of mind reader.

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Mind Reading Is Not One Of The Services We Offer

, , | Right | May 7, 2020

I work as a graphic designer and printer in a digital printing shop. Most of the customers know nothing about graphic demands. Our most frequent requests are, ”Why do I have to pay for the artwork? Just reuse the one you made for other customer?” and, ”I want a five-minute design!” We are getting tired of explaining about ”plagiarism” and how there’s no such thing as “five-minute design” for posters.

This customer stands out:

Customer: “I want a design made and printed on a sticker.”

Me: “Sure, sir. May I have the measurement for your sticker, please?”

Customer: “I don’t know the size of the sticker.”

Me: “Okay, sir. May I have the flask or packaging of your product sample? I can measure and give you a size estimation.”

Customer: “I didn’t bring any samples.”

Me: *Pause* “My apologies, sir. I can proceed with the design but I can’t print the sticker without the size measurement. I will need the measurement first.”

Customer: *Sudden outburst* “Why should I provide the size?! I said I don’t know! You’re the graphic designer here; you should know the size!”

Me: “Yes, sir. I’m a graphic designer, not a magician or mind reader. That’s why if you can’t provide me with the basic information, I cannot process your work, sir. Please take note, and thank you.”

The customer storms over to my manager and furiously berates him about me. My manager, who overheard the whole thing, lightly dismisses it. He can only sigh after the customer leaves. 

Manager: “You know, I’m very tempted to make a huge sign of what you just said. ‘I’m a graphic designer, not a magician or mind reader.’”

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A Cent-less Waste Of Time

, , , , , , | Right | May 4, 2020

A customer asks me to make a total of thirteen copies for her. After sales tax, her total comes out to $1.41. I tell her the total, and the woman starts digging change out of her purse.

Customer: “Hold on, I know I have it in here. Ha! My purse is going to be so much lighter now!”

As this is common, I smile and patiently wait for the customer to count her change.

Customer: “Well, here’s what I have on me. I still owe you 40 cents.”

The customer yells across the store at her daughter.

Customer: “Hey, [Daughter]! You got any change?”

Daughter: “I’ll run out to the car and look!”

By now, there’s a line forming behind this woman. I inform them that we won’t be much longer and apologize for the wait. The customer is still digging through her purse.

Customer: “I guess this wasn’t the purse with all my change in it!”

After a few minutes, the daughter returns.

Daughter: “There wasn’t anything in the car.”

The customer produces several pennies.

Customer: “Oh, look! Seventeen more cents! Now I just owe you 23 cents!”

She rummages around in her purse some more, while her daughter complains about how expensive our copies are. I’m trying not to look irritated, and I call for another associate to assist the folks in line behind these two.

Customer: “Man! I didn’t bring enough cash! I’m going to have to give you two of these copies back.”

She hands me two pages, I deduct the appropriate amount at the register, and I notice she’s still one cent short. But rather than go through this ordeal again, I run the transaction through and get a penny later. The customer and her daughter leave, and I overhear them talking on their way out.

Customer: “Well, I can just come back tomorrow and print more stuff! I didn’t want to have to use my debit card for $1.41!”

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