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Getting The Wrong Smoke Signals

| IN, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body

Customer: “I’d like a pack of [Brand] cigarettes, the brown pack.”

Me: “Sure! You know, we don’t sell much of this kind. Had a regular customer special request them and accidentally got most the other varieties trying to order the right kind.”

Customer: “I’m glad you do. They’re addictive-free!”

Me: *taken aback for a split second but managing to keep my incredulity mostly in check* “Actually, it’s just additive free. See?” *I point to the packaging* “It just means they don’t add in any extra stuff to them.”

Customer: *being super nice but sticking to her guns* “Well, they’re nicotine-free.”

Me: “No, they still have it.”

Customer: “They’re 100% tobacco, so they don’t have nicotine.”

Me: “Oh, no, nicotine is part of tobacco; you can’t really separate it out.”

Customer: *having completed the purchase starts walking away, continues responding to me, but sounding either confused, or doubtful of my knowledge* “Oh, okay…”

Me: “Yeah, it only say 100% U.S. grown. It’d be like having orange-free orange juice, you really can’t have it without the oranges… Um, have a nice day!”

(I realized as I said it that with artificial flavoring, you CAN have orange-free orange juice, but that’s beside the point.)

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Making A Messy Diaper Of Things

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I work in a small gas station that has a small aisle of hygienic products tampons, diapers, soap, etc. A guy who looks about twenty three walks in and goes over to the aisle, he stays for a moment, looking in his wallet a few times before coming up with two boxes of diapers and a pack of tampons. He’s behind an older man with two cases of beer and a box of diapers.)

Older Man: *mutters* “I only have ten f****** dollars…” *places diapers off to the side and pushes beer towards me*

(The man pays for his beer and leaves, muttering about how mad his wife’s gonna be when he gets home without diapers. The younger man steps forward and put his stuff down. When he saw the price he smiled a bit.)

Young Man: “And a pack of [Brand] cigarettes. But I can actually put my kid and girlfriend before habits.”

(He had his ID and everything.)

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Adding Fuel To The Fire

| Perth, WA, Australia | Crazy Requests

(I am the manager at a petrol station when, one day, a car LITERALLY explodes on the driveway — the fireball is about 20 feet high. The emergency stop button is activated to stop all fuel flowing as three staff members run out with fire extinguishers to control the blaze and keep it away from the fuel tanks. We get it under control just as the fire department arrives, then need to wait until the fire chief gives us the all clear to resume business. The staff are all quite shaken and hovering near the closed front door while customers continue to drive in and park at the pumps.)

Customer #1: “Hey, your pumps aren’t working!”

Me: “No, we’ve just had a fire. We can’t operate until we have the all clear from the fire department.” *I gesture to the fire truck, lights still blazing, and the dozen or so firefighters examining the melted & smoking remains of the car*

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

(He then starts walking toward the store. I stop him at the door and he looks puzzled.)

Customer: “Let me through. I want to buy some drinks.”

Me: “Sir, as I said, we can’t operate until we have the all clear from the fire department.”

Customer: “…but I just need a few things.”

Me: “Mate, we are closed. Again, because of the FIRE.”

(This went back and forth a few times before he finally stormed off in huff, jumped into his car and raced off. It took another two hours before the car was towed and we were able to re-open. Sadly, I repeated the above with at least another twenty customers in that time who “just wanted” a few things.)

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The PIN-nacle Of Annoying Customers

| GA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(A little bit of background: I work in a small fuel center attached to a grocery store, the kind that’s open air, with the fuel clerk in a small box, using an intercom speaker. We accept debit and credit cards, but our number pad is timed, for whatever reason, so that a dawdling customer will occasionally have to run their debit card again if they take too long. An elderly woman comes up to the window.)

Customer: “Yes, I’d like to put $10 on pump eight.”

Me: “All righty.” *opening the drawer and seeing that she’s given me a card* “And will that be credit or debit?”

Customer: “Debit.”

Me: *I nod and run her card, putting it back into the drawer, with the number pad* “Okay, ma’am, if you could just enter your PIN for me please.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Y-your PIN, please?”

Customer: “What is that?”

Me: “You’re running this as a debit card, right?”

Customer: “Yes, this is a debit card. It says right here.”

Me: “Well, if you’re running debit, I need you to enter your PIN on that little number pad right there.”

Customer: “Oh, okay”

(She starts to enter it and as she does the number pad times out, requiring me to run the debit card again, normally either not a problem or at worst a minor annoyance.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. It looks like the number pad timed out. I just need to run your card again, please.”

Customer: “What? I just did it.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I just need to run your card so you can re-enter your PIN.”

Customer: “But I already put it in.”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but it didn’t go through correctly. I need to run the card again.”

Customer: *starting to get pissy* “Now, look, I already put my number in. Can I pump my gas yet or not?”

Me: *I’m starting to lose my patience at this point* “Not yet. I need to run your card again, ma’am. Please, I’m trying to help you.”

Customer: “I already put it in.”

Me: *I decide to leave the ‘box’ figuring she must be having trouble hearing me* “Ma’am, this–” *I open the drawer and point the number pad out* “–is set on a timer, if you don’t enter your number it times out.”

Customer: “So I need to put it in again?”

Me: “Yes, once I’ve run the debit card again.”

Customer: “You know, I would have left already if I wasn’t on empty.”

(She then proceeds to put in her PIN, ignoring that I need to scan the card first.)

Me: *sighing* “Ma’am, I need to run your card fir—”

Customer: “Again?” *types in her PIN, which, once again, does nothing*

Me: *giving up, holding out my hand* “Just… Just give me your card.”

Customer: *hands it over and I go run it, instructing her to enter her PIN, which she, of course, complains about* “I won’t be coming back here again.”

Me: *to myself* “Good riddance.”

Customer #2: “Don’t worry, I’m paying with cash.”

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In Receipt Of Dumbness

| TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Money, Transportation

(I am working late night at the fuel center. One customer pulls up to the pump and a girl — the customer’s daughter, I assume, who looks to be anywhere from 9 to 11 years old — comes to the window and hands me a ten dollar bill. I set the pump for ten dollars. The customer only pumps $9.54 and the same girl returns to the window.)

Me: *hands her 46 cents* “And that’s 46 cents back. Thank you. Have a good night!”

Girl: *slowly takes the change and stares at me*

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry did you need the receipt?”

Girl: “I gave you ten dollars?”

(Just to make sure I pull up the previous transactions and double check.)

Me: “Yes, dear. And she only pumped $9.54, so you get .46 back.”

(She fixes me with a skeptical look and rushes back to the car. I see the mother, the girl, and a younger girl outside the car and all three of them march up to the window.)

Woman: “I paid ten dollars!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but you only pumped $9.54, so you get back 46 cents as change.”

Woman: *getting irritated* “I paid ten dollars!”

Me: *sigh* “YES, and you pumped 9.54 and hung up the pump so you get change!”

Woman: “Why would I not get all ten?! I PAID ten!”

Me: “You HUNG up the PUMP after ONLY PUMPING $9.54. Would you like me to set it for .46 cents?”

(They turn to leave; I take a deep breath and turn the speaker volume all the way down.)

Woman: *to her daughters* “Come on, this b**** is dumb.”

(I finally lose my cool and crank the volume.)

Me: “EXCUSE ME, ma’am, but I do not appreciate being called that, or hearing that kind of language used in front of CHILDREN, no less.”

Woman: “What is your name!?”

Me: “[Full Name]! At least I can count!”

(I saved the receipt for that transaction and told both my supervisor, the service desk clerk, and the manager on duty what happened. I didn’t hear another word about it.)

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