Unfiltered Story #162082

, | Unfiltered | September 9, 2019

I’m the customer in this story, I needed to buy some things but my account was pretty much dry and the only cash I had was a plastic bag full of 20c coins, plus some bigger coins in my wallet, so I counted 5€ worth of 20c coins and put them in a separate bag and went to the supermarket near my apartment. At the check-out I first put down some coins from my wallet.

Cashier: “…7.90€”

Me: “Here’s five in this bag, I’m sorry” *Takes out the bag and smiles apologetically*

Cashier: *Laughs while counting the coins already on the counter* “These total to 2.70€”

Me: *Digs another 20c from my wallet*

Minecrafting Some Good Questions

, , , | Learning | September 4, 2019

(I’m giving a guided tour to a group of kids, ranging in age from six to eight.)

Me: “The paintings on the walls were really impressive for the people back then, since they didn’t have TV or newspaper or even paintings of their own. This helped them picture the biblical stories they heard in the church.”

Kid: *raises hand* “Sooo… It’s like if you were playing Minecraft… or if you could play Minecraft… and then if you were really bad at it… then you would come to the church and like, watch and be better at it?”

Me: “Yes. I guess it’s like that.”

(I love that the kid managed to relate my explanation to something more familiar to him, but I was really curious where we would be going when we started from Minecraft. The kids were very inquisitive and asked many questions I had never had to answer. Other highlights were the kids debating why the church was made of wood if even their apartment blocks were made of stone — they were very sceptical of my explanation that wood was more affordable and easier to work with back in 1750s — one kid asking me how the windows were made, and yet another kid confessing to me that he was afraid that a wooden statue in the church would come to life and attack him.)

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, , , | Right | August 6, 2019

(I work in a print shop. We hand out coupons that get you a free color photocopy on heavier-than-usual paper. For what it is the quality isn’t too bad, though, obviously, it can’t beat a proper photo print.)

Customer: *hands me a poster of some kind along with the coupon* “I got one of these coupons, and I’d like a copy of this. My own printer isn’t doing the colors right.”

Me: “All right, I’ll see what I can do.”

(I make the first copy, adjusting the colors according to my experience, so that the final product will be as close to the original as possible. Still, being a photocopy, there’s no way it can reproduce the original exactly.)

Customer: “I don’t like the way the orange looks here. Can you make it more yellow?”

Me: “Sure, I’ll try to adjust it a bit more. These things tend to be a bit tricky, but luckily, we’ve got all evening!”

(I make another copy, and then a third one, and then a fourth one, every time fixing this or that shade, all according to the wishes of the customer. Mind you, this is all for a print that she isn’t going to pay for, but I do take some pride in my work, and there aren’t other customers at the moment. Finally, we end up with two very similar prints.)

Customer: *looking between the two prints, tsking and frowning* “I don’t know. I really don’t know. They’re both still off. Can I take them with me to see which one would work best for what I need it for?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you take both. The coupon gets you one, not two.”

Customer: *suddenly extremely indignant* “But this quality is terrible! I could have done it better on my home printer!”

Me: “Yes, well, photocopiers usually cannot produce the same quality as most photo printers. They’re two very different things.”

Customer: “You’re a printing company; you should have better quality than this!”

(I’m getting tired. After printing her multiple proofs and trying my best to get her what she’s looking for while she is being difficult and rude, I’m starting to think it isn’t worth it, especially since she’s getting it for free.)

Me: “We do, but we can’t do anything about the quality of a photocopier. Unfortunately, it’s a photocopy, not a photo.”

Customer: *shoves the coupon in my face* “Then what good is this?!”

Me: “It’s good for people who want a photocopy. Really, it’s either take it or leave it.”

(She yelled at me about terrible customer service and threatened to call the CEO. I didn’t feel too bad, because after all, we didn’t lose any business on her.)

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Localizing The Problem

, , , | Right | July 28, 2019

(I’m working as a receptionist in a fairly small hotel. The phone rings and I pick up.)

Me: “[Hotel], how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hello! I’d like to speak to Mr. [Guest], please. I’m his brother.”

(I’m well aware that we’re not supposed to give any information about our guests to outsiders, but I check, anyway. I can’t find the person he’s looking for in our system.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t find him.”

Caller: “I know he’s there; he told me so himself. I’d like to ask him for a drink.”

Me: “I understand that, but there’s nothing I can do. I don’t see him on our system.”

Caller: “So, could you put me through to his room?”

Me: “No, I’m afraid I can’t. I don’t know if he’s staying with us.”

Caller: “I know you’re not allowed to tell me, but I’m his brother!”

Me: *getting slightly frustrated* “I realize that, sir, but I simply don’t see him in our system, so I’m afraid I can’t help you.” 

Caller: “Are you a local?”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: “So am I! I’m from [Place not too far from my city], so I’m a local, too!”

(He then starts going on and on about where he grew up. At some point, he mentions that if you’re born on a flight from France to Brazil, you’ll be Brazilian in your birth certificate. During his lengthy monologue, I keep trying to end the call as politely as I possibly can. Then, the following conversation takes place.)

Caller: “…so in the end, I’m from [Another City]!”

Me: “That’s all very fascinating, sir, but I’m afraid I can’t assist you in finding your brother. Have a nice d—”

Caller: “Oh, that’s all right! Have a nice summer, and I pray that God will be with you. Have a happy day and God bless you all!”

Me: “Uh, yeah. Bye.”

(I hang up. Just as I’m about to leave the reception to get a well-earned cup of tea, the phone rings again.)

Me: “[Hotel], how can I help you?”

Same Caller: “Hello! Could you put me through to Mr. [His Brother], please?”

Me: *facepalm* “No, sir, we’ve had this conversation already.”

Same Caller: “But I just spoke to him, and he says he’s staying with you!”

Me: “If you just called him, then why didn’t you ask him to go to dinner with you?”

Same Caller: “No, not dinner. I want to buy him a drink! Put me through!”

Me: “I’m really sorry sir, but there’s really nothing I can do for you. He is not on our system, so I have no means of reaching him.”

Same Caller: “Nothing? Really?”

Me: “Yes.”

Same Caller: “Well, that’s it, then. I hope someone puts the fear of God in you!” *hangs up on me*

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Independent Thought

, , , | Right | July 24, 2019

(I’m working in a supermarket. It is late June and the summer tourist season is starting. I am stocking the candy aisle when a nice, elderly American lady asks me about our candy selection. She is very friendly and makes a lot of normal tourist small talk. Our candy section is located close to our “party” section which has paper plates, napkins, balloons, candles, etc., plus some varying seasonal things.)

Lady: “Are these all your party supplies?”

Me: “Yeah. Unfortunately, we don’t have very much, but there is a party store at the mall next to us.”

Lady: “But where are the seasonal items?”

(I direct her to the small seasonal display which, since it is summer, mostly has plastic champagne glasses, disposable grills, and other picnic stuff.)

Lady: “Oh, is this all? You are not prepared for the holidays yet?”

Me: *confused, trying to think what holiday is coming* “Well, I mean most major summer and spring holidays are already gone and late summer’s holidays are still a bit far away, so we haven’t started stocking for them yet.”

Lady: “One and a half weeks is far away for your store? That is very interesting, in America we always start to display holiday things much earlier.”

Me: “We do the same thing here, madam. I have to say I’m not sure what holiday you are…” *suddenly realising what she is talking about* “Oh, do you mean the Fourth of July?”

Lady: “Well, yes, it’s next week and you don’t have any seasonal items anywhere.”

Me: “Well, madam, we in Finland don’t celebrate America’s Independence Day, only our own. The Fourth of July is pretty much a national holiday for the United States. I don’t think any places outside of US celebrate US Independence Day…”

Lady: *seems very confused*

Me: “…since it celebrates your independence from England. We in Finland did not gain our independence then. We celebrate our own Independence Day in December.”

(Long story short, I had to explain — as politely as possible — the difference between national and international holidays. Soon, her adult daughter came to tell her they were ready to pay and she took over my explanatory duties. The lady was very friendly and interested the whole time and was not a bad customer at all. I just thought it was funny that someone had lived 60-odd years on this planet and had never come across the concept that all holidays celebrated in the US are not international.)

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