Paperclipped Their Wings

, , , , , | Friendly | September 8, 2018

(I’m a cashier at a retail chain; this location is inside a mall. One day, a couple of kids, looking around 12 years old, approach my cash register. They hold up a paperclip and explain that they’re trying to replicate the famous “one red paperclip” experiment, in which you start out with a small, low-value object, such as a paperclip, and try to obtain something of much higher value through a series of barters. They ask if there’s anything in the store I can give them in exchange for the paperclip.)

Me: “Um… no, I can’t take a paperclip as payment. I don’t think there’s any store here that will.”

(They thank me and leave. Their speech sounded rehearsed and they didn’t look discouraged in the least, so I assume that they have already tried other stores in the mall and have every intention of trying more. The next customer in line comes to the counter.)

Customer: “Well, that was… bold.”

(I’ve actually always wanted to try this experiment myself, and the original “one red paperclip” experiment is possibly older than those kids are, so I’m rather impressed that they’ve heard of it and that they had the initiative to go for it. I guess they didn’t understand that you trade the items with people, and not stores. I wish I could track them down and find out if their experiment got anywhere!)

Special Order Of The Book: ‘The World Revolves Around Me’

, , , , | Right | September 6, 2018

(We are a small bookstore, but it is Christmas season, and we have literally dozens of special orders coming in everyday. I spend the morning calling 45 customers telling them that their orders have come in. Around noon, a lady walks in:)

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

Customer: “You called me about my special order and said it came in?”

Me: “Yes, let me grab that for you. What is your name?”

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Your name, so I can get your order.”

Customer: “I just talked to you an hour ago.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I called lots of people today. If you could just—”

Customer: *interrupts furiously* “I JUST talked to you. What is wrong with you?!”

Me: “Yes, I’m sorry, but I called lots of people an hour ago. If you just tell me your name I can go get your book.”

Customer: “I cannot believe this. You just called me and you already forgot?!”

(The customer absolutely refuses to give me her name. I grab a random special order from the shelf behind the counter and hold it up.)

Me: “Is this it?”

Customer: “NO!”

(We did this sixteen more times until I randomly grabbed her book.)

All Pumped Up For That Pump In Particular

, , , , | Friendly | September 6, 2018

(I usually fuel up at a large filling station run by a supermarket chain near where I work. I drive a big old 4×4 that has had its petrol engine converted to run on gas. The station is mostly pretty quiet in the middle of the day, and it has ten “pumps” with petrol and diesel, but only pumps nine and ten have gas. I pull up to the gas pump, and a car pulls in behind me. The driver starts honking the horn.)

Driver: “Hey, pull forward!”

Me: “I can’t. I’m putting gas in, and these are the only two gas pumps.”

Driver: “I get my petrol at that pump! Pull forward!”

Me: “There’s plenty other pumps empty. Use those.”


(He continued to lean on the horn the whole time I was pumping fuel in, and the whole time I was walking in to pay. When I got out, he’d pulled up right to the back bumper of my car, so close he’d almost broken his number plate on my tow hitch. He must just really love that particular petrol pump.)

Your Psychic Security Number

, , , | Right | September 6, 2018

(As part of my job I sometimes have to confirm a candidates date of birth or Social Security number as part of their hiring process. I get this call today:)

Me: “Good afternoon, this is [My Name]. How may I help?”

Applicant: “I got an email that you need to verify some information?”

Me: *after getting her name so I could look up her file* “Okay, it looks like we just need to verify your SSN. Could I get that, please?”

Applicant: *hesitates a moment* “You want me to say it out loud?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I can’t read your mind, so, yes?”

Laying Out To Her In Black And White

, , , , | Right | September 6, 2018

(I’m working the fitting room when a middle-aged woman calls.)

Customer: “I bought a black and white, three-quarter-length dress, and YOU guys left it in the store!”

Me: “Let me see what I can do for you.”

(I radio my manager, who tells me there’s nothing up front that matches the woman’s description. He then feeds me information to relay to her.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but it’s not up-front anymore. If you could come in with your receipt, we’d be more than happy to—”

Customer: “I KNOW I bought it! I bought it at exactly 3:47 today!”

Me: “Ma’am, we cannot refund you or get you your dress over the pho—”

Customer: “Get me your manager.”

(I did as told, wondering if this woman thought we had a delivery service or could fax her the dress or what, and also how it could possibly be our fault that she left her purchase at the register. It wasn’t until we’re getting ready to close that I learned that my manager had gone through security footage and found she had the garment when she left. She then called back while I was on break — apparently it had fallen on her closet floor.)