Main Street Is For Squares

, , , , , | Right | February 20, 2019

(I am walking when a couple of Americans approach me, clearly annoyed.)

Male Tourist: “Where is the main street?”

Me: “Well, in Italy we do not have a main street as you have in the States. We have a main square, usually, but if you’re searching for—“

Male Tourist: “What do you mean, you don’t have a main street?!”

Me: “I mean that if you’re searching for [Famous Shopping Street], I’ll be glad to give you the indications, but it’s not a main street. The city centre is collocated around [Main Square].”

Male Tourist: “Well, that’s stupid!”

Me: “No, it’s not. It’s just different from the United States.”

Female Tourist: *huffing* “You all should learn from us, you know? A main square makes no sense at all.”

Me: *starting to be a little annoyed at this point* “Whatever. This is how things work here.”

Male Tourist: “Well, it’s still stupid. We do things much better in our country.”

Me: *deciding to leave* “With all due respect, you elected Donald Trump. Good luck!”

A Car By Any Other Name

, , , | Right | February 20, 2019

(Our dealership service department runs a skeleton crew on Saturdays; on the weekdays there are five service advisors working but on Saturdays there’s only one. I’m the newest employee and therefore I’m the “lucky” one to work Saturdays. This means if anyone has a question on Saturday they get me, even if they usually work with someone else. A customer approaches me and tells me she’s glad to see a woman working in my position and that she’s had experiences with men in shops treating her like she doesn’t know anything. She starts to ask questions about a symptom she’s having, then asks if the vehicle might still be under warranty. Different cars carry different warranties, so I ask her for more information.)

Me: “What kind of car do you have?”

Customer: “Um… I’m not sure.”

Me: *wondering how some people have no idea what they drive, though it happens periodically* “Has it been here before? I can try looking it up in our system.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, I’ve brought it here many times!”

Me: “Perfect! Let’s try to find you in the computer. What’s your phone number? That’s the easiest way to look up cars in our database; the last name lookup function can be buggy sometimes.”

Customer: “Um… I’m not sure. Try [number].”

Me: *types it in* “It doesn’t look like it came up under that number. Do you have another?”

Customer: “Try [different number].”

Me: *tries the new number* “Nope, still no luck. Sorry.”

Customer: “I can’t think of any other numbers.”

Me: “Maybe we should try your last name after all; it does work most of the time.”

Customer: “Um… I don’t know what name it’s under… How about a social security number? I bet that would find it!”

Me: “No. We don’t do financing in the service department, so we would never collect information like that about a customer, let alone save it.”

Customer: “Oh. I guess I didn’t buy the car from you guys, anyway, so I never would have filled that out here even for the credit.”

Me: “Yeah, let’s try the name lookup. What’s your last name?”

Customer: “I don’t know; I’m not sure what name it’s under. Try [Name that’s usually a first name].”

Me: *types it in and it doesn’t come up* “It doesn’t seem to be working… Just to be sure, that’s your last name?”

Customer: “No, it’s my first name.”

Me: “Sorry about that! It does file by last names. What’s yours?”

Customer: “[First Name].”

Me: “No, your last name.”

Customer: “[First Name].”

(When she did eventually manage to remember what her last name was, surprise! We found her car in the system. But I still wonder how she doesn’t know what type of car she drives, what her phone number is, or what her name is, but was SURE I could find her car with her specific social security number that she was so ready to give out. I also did not tell her that when people treat her like she doesn’t know anything… it’s probably not because she’s a woman.)

Got Their Wires Crossed

, , , , , | Working | February 20, 2019

(I am wiring up some phone lines at home. Being the handy person I am, I have all the right tools for the job, but I need extra wire. Now that everyone is on cell phones, it’s easy to forget that there used to be three types of wire used for phones: four twisted wires inside a flesh-tone tube, four light wires in a gray, and a combination of the two that was like a spring. The right tool I have is a crimper that attaches clips to the end of the flat type. My wife is going out, so I decide to have her pick some up.)

Me: “I need fifty feet of phone cable. I need this kind. Here is a sample so you know exactly what to get.”

(I hand her six inches of cable and figure that this could not be screwed up. An hour later, she returns with the wrong kind of wire.)

Me: “This is the wrong wire.”

Wife: “The guy said you needed this kind.”

Me: *inwardly face-palming* “You do realize that there was a reason I sent a sample with you?”

(I wasn’t upset with my wife, but I really needed to smack the employee for the debacle. I knew my wife well enough that I knew a sample was needed to make sure I got the right thing. But what idiot employee, shown exactly what is needed, blindly decides you need something else?)

They Belong To No Tribe

, , , , | Right | February 20, 2019

(I work as a manager in a clothing store for tween girls. One morning I get this call from a customer.)

Me: “Hi, thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m looking for a leotard for my daughter. I’m on the website and it says it’s tribal print. Does your location have any of those?”

Me: “Yes, we do. Can you tell me which color you’re looking for?”

Customer: “Yeah, it says here the color is tribal print.”

Me: “Okay. The tribal print leotard comes in two color combinations. There’s a blue and pink style and a black, coral, and green style. Can you tell me which one you’re looking at?”

Customer: “Um. It’s tribal.”

Me: “I understand the pattern is tribal. Is the background blue or black?”

Customer: “It’s tribal.”

(I just opened the store website, asked for the item number, and typed it in the search bar myself. For the record, it was blue and pink, and we had the size he needed.)

H2-Oh No…

, , , , | Right | February 20, 2019

(In college I work for an offshore caterer. It is a Saturday in June, one of the busiest days of one of our busiest months. It’s the kind of day where we are always a little bit behind, simply because we have more deliveries than we have vans to deliver them. I show up to this customer’s house about fifteen minutes late.)

Customer: “Hi! We’ve been waiting for you!”

Me: “Yes, I’m sorry but we are slammed today. I see your guests won’t be arriving for another hour. That’s plenty of time for me to get set up and out of your way.”

(I begin bringing everything in and setting up the chafing dishes. She has a very nice table setting, and I’m very careful not to mess it up.)

Customer: “Are you sure that’s enough water in the pans? Won’t it run out?”

Me: “Yes, this is plenty, especially since all the food trays are deep; if you put too much in it will spill out all over this beautiful table.”

(The real reason is that the water keeps condensing and re-evaporating, but I don’t have time to give her a lesson in thermodynamics. I go out to get the trays of food, and as I am dropping the first one into its water pan, I can feel it hit the water, but it’s too late, and water sloshes out all over her table. I look up, stunned.)

Me: “Oh… um…”

Customer: “Oh, no! I put more in because I thought it wasn’t enough!”

Me: “Well, I did say…”

Customer: “Now my table is all messed up!”

Me: “Yeah, well, I’ll just empty these out and bring in the rest of the food, then.”

(She still tipped me, though.)

 

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