Coming To An A-Cord

, , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I work in a library.)

Older Lady: “Is there a table where I can plug in my laptop?”

Me: “Right over here, at this table.”

(I walk her over there and show her the power strip.)

Older Lady: “But how am I supposed to plug it in?”

Me: “You just take the cord… and plug it in.”

Older Lady: “But how?”

(I eventually deduced that she thought we just had a supply of power cords sitting around. Fortunately, I was able to sign her on to a library laptop, and all was well after that.)

Snakes, Why Did It Have To Be Snakes

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I am working at a wildlife clinic where we care for injured or orphaned animals brought in by the public. A somewhat anxious-looking woman comes in to the exam room, gingerly holding a small, sealed plastic sandwich bag away from her body. I can’t see what’s in the baggie, because it’s very thickly frosted on the inside with ice crystals.)

Woman: *drops baggie on counter, making a faint clunking sound* “I need you to take a look at this snake for me. It was in my garage.”

Me: *thinking she wants me to ID the species; something we’re asked to do sometimes when people are worried about venomous snakes* “Sure, no problem.” *starts to open baggie*

Woman: *screams and jumps back* “No! DON’T OPEN IT!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t see the snake well enough through all the frost to tell what species it is. I have to open it.”

Woman: “But it might get loose! It’ll bite me!”

Me: “Ma’am, the snake is dead. It can’t bite anyone, I promise.”

Woman: “You don’t know that! It might still be alive! What if it’s poisonous? How do you know for sure it’s dead?”

Me: “Well, for one thing, it’s frozen solid—”

Woman: *interrupts* “It could thaw out!”

Me: “Not instantly, ma’am; and aside from that, the snake itself appears to be half-flattened, and in four separate pieces. Trust me: it’s very, very dead.”

Woman: “It was under the garage door. I made my husband cut it up with the shovel. It could be poisonous! Be careful; it might still bite! Why aren’t you wearing gloves?” *points to the gauntlets we use for eagles*

Me: “Those aren’t for snakes, ma’am. Don’t worry; I’m a professional. Besides, this is a black rat snake, a baby one. It’s nonvenomous and completely harmless.”

Woman: “It’s not a black snake! It’s got diamonds on it! It’s a copperhead, I know it!”

Me: “Black rat snakes start out patterned; they don’t turn black until later. And copperheads are copper-colored, hence the name. This snake is silver. Copperheads are actually pretty rare in this area. This snake is harmless, I promise. Actually, some people like having rat snakes around because they keep the mice at bay!”

Woman: *suddenly angry* “Well, fine, then. You might be a big snake lover, but it could’ve been poisonous. I had to kill it! I could have died.”

Me: “Well, luckily, this one wasn’t! Have a nice day!”

(The woman leaves.)

Coworker: “What the hell was that all about?”

Me: “Uh, I guess she really doesn’t like snakes.”

Your Argument Holds Too Much Water

, , | Right | June 19, 2018

(A customer and her husband approach me as I’m standing at one of the store’s employee computers. She says she’s looking for a certain book.)

Customer: “It has the word ‘water’ in the title. Can you look it up for me?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Is ‘water’ part of the title or the whole title?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay. Do you know the author?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay. Is the book fiction or nonfiction?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay. What’s it about?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Um… Ma’am, I really can’t find a book based on one word and no description.”

Customer’s Husband: “I told her that.”

Customer: “Hush! I’m sure she can just type ‘water’ in for the title and it will pop right up.” *looks at me* “Try it.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I type “water” into the title search and hit enter. I show the customer the search results.)

Customer: “Hm… None of these look right. Is this all?”

Me: “Ma’am, those are the first twenty results.”

Customer: “Oh. How many results are there?”

(I pointed to the screen to show her. There were over 10,000 results. She stared at the computer for a while and then calmly turned and walked away. Her husband followed her, laughing.)

We’re Not Half Surprised

, , , , | Right | June 19, 2018

(We have a table marked 50% off different Items. A woman approaches me.)

Customer: “Excuse me. This is regularly $7.00; how much is it on sale for?”

Me: “Its 50% off; everything on this table is discounted half-off.”

Customer: “So, this is $14.00; how much is this half-off?”

Me: “That would be $7.00.”

Customer: “And what if it’s $10?”

Me: *pause* “Five.”

Customer: “This one is $4, so how much is that?”

Me: *longer pause* “Two.”

Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Listen To This

, , , , , , | Related | June 19, 2018

(This takes place when I am about thirteen. My sister likes a band and talks about them a lot.)

Sister: “A band in the Midwest is playing tonight, wanna go?”

Me: “What band?”

Sister: “A band in the Midwest.”

Me: “What band?”

(This goes on longer than I’d like to admit, with me getting more and more frustrated that she won’t tell me the name of the band.)

Me: “What is the name of the band?”

Sister: “The band’s name is A Band in the Midwest!

Me: “Why the hell did they name their band A Band in the Midwest if they live in Florida?”

Sister: “Wait, you thought I was saying A Band in the Midwest? I was saying Abandon the Midwest.”

(I felt very stupid that in the months of hearing my sister talk about this band, I’d never realized what she’d really been saying. Every time she’d say Abandon the Midwest, I’d hear “a band in the Midwest” and wonder why she cared so much about some band in a different part of the country when she wouldn’t ever say their name!)

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