Wish You Could Bury Your Head In The Sand

, , , | Right | September 3, 2019

(I work in a major Australian hardware store chain. We have a hire shop where customers can hire out large tools or machinery they wouldn’t want to purchase, or only need to use once, like panel lifts and wallpaper steamers. I have only been trained to hire the machines out and don’t have the knowledge yet to tell people how to use them. Most of the time, there is another person in the store who can advise them, or the customer already knows how to use it. In this instance, however, I am alone with no one on-site to help me.)

Customer: “I would like to hire the parquetry sander.”

(Parquetry sanders are used for detailed sanding, usually on parquetry floors.)

Me: “All right. Just so you know, there’s no one here who can advise you on how to use it. What are you looking to sand?”

Customer: “I’m using it to sand back the old floorboards in my spare room.”

Me: “So, it’s not a parquetry floor and you’re just stripping it back?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I think you should hire one of our basic floor sanders, then; they’re easier to use and cheaper.”

Customer: “No, I know how to use the parquetry sander.”

Me: “Okay.”

(A coworker passes by who knows a lot about flooring.)

Coworker #1: “Hey, why are you hiring out the parquetry sander?”

Customer: “I want to sand back some old floorboards in my spare room.”

Coworker #1: “I think it would be better if you used the basic sander for that.”

Customer: “No, I want to use the parquetry sander, and I know how to use it.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, but just so you know, there’s no one here who can show you how to work it.”

(My coworker leaves, and I start to put the hire paperwork together. Any sander needs sandpaper, and there are a few more bits that need to go with the parquetry sander, and I’m not sure what is best for the job. I decide to ring another store in our chain and check in with their hire shop person there for advice.)

Coworker #2: *on the phone* “So, what does she want to sand?”

Me: “She wants to strip back some old floorboards in her spare room.”

Coworker #2: “Sounds like she needs the basic sander. Like, she could do it with the parquetry one but it will take much longer and be a lot harder.”

Me: *to customer* “He says you should consider using the basic sander. It will be easier.”

Customer: “No, I want the parquetry sander, and I know how to use it.”

Me: “Okay.”

(Over the phone, the coworker tells me all the bits and bobs I need to give her along with the parquetry sander itself. He tells me how to attach the sanding pads and paper to the machine, a basic rundown of how to use it — nowhere near enough to teach someone else how to use it though. I thank him and hang up. I relay all the information he gave me to the customer, and even attach the sandpaper and pads to the sander for her.)

Me: “Okay, so, just one more time, before I take your deposit, are you sure you don’t want the basic sander? It will be quicker, and once again, no one here can help you use the parquetry sander.”

Customer: “No, it’s fine.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I take her deposit, her payment, and her personal details and log them. All up, it comes to well over a hundred dollars.)

Me: “All right, I’ll just get a coworker to help you take this down to your car and load it in, and then you can get started!”

Customer: “Yes, just, before we do that… is there anyone here who can show me how to use it?”

(I stare at her and consider calling the other store back. Then, I give up.)

Me: “Yeah, he’ll be on his shift in about half an hour. Excuse me, I have to help another customer now.”

(I did think the next person came in then for the mid-shift, but it turns out he was on the close that day and didn’t come in for three hours. Hope her floors ended up okay!)

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Unfiltered Story #160162

, , | Unfiltered | August 19, 2019

I work at parts store for lawnmowers and one day we had a guy come in looking for a belt for his 46″ cut Murray. Since there can literally be dozens of varieties I as ked for his particular model number. The instant deer in headlights look said no model number. Miraculously I found the correct belt but we had to order it. Disgusted he looked up and saw dozens of belts hanging from the wall and asked if the numbers on them told what deck size they fit. I honestly answered yes along with the part number they also some times include information pertaining to the deck they are intended for. So he smugly pointed out I had a Murray branded belt that said it would fit a 46″ deck and how “he didn’t need no computer neither and something about parts people these days being lazy and all murray 46″ decks are all the same” so while I am imagining him falling into an active volcano I retrieved the belt and lo and behold it was about a foot too long as he compared it to the old belt he already had he asked me as if it was my fault “how come this is different” when I explained that Murray used about six different decks in his size he made me check to see if the right belt was in the right sleeve when he left without the belt without ordering the right belt and more confused than ever it took all I had not to ask if he learned anything

Scored A Ten For Stupidity

, , , , , | Working | August 9, 2019

(I am about to move and ran out of boxes. I head to the nearest hardware store to buy two. It’s Wednesday morning, so the shop is dead; I am the only customer. I get my boxes and head to the checkout. The boxes get scanned by a bored cashier, for 5€ in total. I pay with a 20€.)

Cashier: “Here is your change.”

(She hands me a 5€ note.)

Me: “But I paid with a 20€.”

Cashier: “No, you didn’t. You paid with a 10€ note.”

Me: “I am sure I did pay with a 20€ note!”

Cashier: “Yeah, but to check I would have to count all my change. This would take a while.”

(She is obviously not interested in doing so.)

Me: “Please do. I have time.”

(She sighs heavily and calls for a second cashier. Without even looking at me, both start counting the money, which takes twenty minutes. In the end, it becomes obvious that she has 10€ too much in her till. Without further comment or even an apology she hands me two 5€ notes.)

Me: “Can you please give me a 10€?”

(She looks into her till and shakes her head.)

Cashier: “I don’t have a 10€ note in my till.”

Me: “…”

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Unfiltered Story #159097

, , , | Unfiltered | July 25, 2019

(The customer in question asks to look at a pack of sandpaper. After fetching it I note that it explicitly says ‘hand sandpaper’)
Customer: No, no, the machine would pull this stuff apart.
Me: Sir, might I suggest finding the correct sanding sheets for your machine? We have a lot of different ones.
Customer: No, No, I need a good strong one that I can cut down to size.
Me: Sir, the box says ‘hand sandpaper’ that means that it’s not designed to take the stress that would be forced on it by a sanding machine. It’s designed to be used by hand.
(The customer completely ignores me, repeats himself, and then talks about trying to find ‘better sandpaper’ I had to fight not the facepalm before finishing the order, but fortunately, I was able to get away from the tills and plant my head on the manager’s desk, out of sight of the tills.)
Manager: Is everything all right?
Me: I thought that it was difficult to be dumb in the building trade, someone proved me wrong.

Unfiltered Story #159093

, , , | Unfiltered | July 24, 2019

(We are primarily a wholesaler to builders and similar trades. The customer is complaining about a draught in his home and asks to look at some insulation, which looks like silver bubble wrap, at which point he kicks off, complaining about his home being cold, but what drives me over the edge)
Customer: I know what you are trying to pull here, this is just a gimmick!
Me: Sir! I’m fairly new to this job, but I can tell you that this insulation is based on the same principles as a thermal mug. There are three ways heat energy transfers, one is conduction, and this requires a solid. This is why there are bubbles of air in this insulation. Second is convection, which passes through liquids and gases, that is why the bubbles are small. Finally, there is radiation, which does not require either, however, heat transfer in this format is affected by the colour of the material in question. Silver is the worst conductor of heat radiation.
Customer: … *gets a paper and pen* Can you repeat that all for me? I really need to write this down.
(the sad part, I learned this during my GCSEs, and I’m in my late twenties now.)