Five Quatloos

, , , , , | Right | December 28, 2017

(A customer is leaning against the wall at the top of the escalator when I come upstairs.)

Customer: “Hey, are you a manager?”

Me: “Yes. What can I do for you?”

Customer: *looking down at phone* “How long will it be?”

Me: “How long will it be for what?”

Customer: *still looking at phone* “I just want to know how long it will be.”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean.”

Customer: “Just… how long?”

(I try to glance at his screen, to see if he is referring to something on it. He snatches the phone away, shooting me a dirty look.)

Customer: “You don’t have to be a b****. You should know how long it will be.”

Me: “Five.”

Customer: “Five? Okay, thanks.” *he leaves*

Coworker: “Five what?”

Me: “I have no idea; I just wanted to get rid of him.”

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Needs Their Whine Breaks

, , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2017

(I pull up at a gas station, and notice the attendant who usually works the counter is outside, texting on her phone. I assume she must have a colleague inside the store, but when I insert the nozzle in my car, I see her run inside to activate my pump, then immediately run back outside to continue texting. While I’m filling up, I notice an old lady who arrives on foot and starts chatting with her; it seems like they know each other. When I’m done filling up and start walking towards the store, the attendant ignores me and keeps chatting with the old lady, completely oblivious to the fact that I’m done filling up and need to pay. Lo and behold, the store is completely empty, so I approach the cashier’s desk, which is right across the window from the attendant and the chatty lady. I don’t want to be rude at this point, so I go use the ATM for a minute, thinking the attendant will be back in the meantime, but when I’m done and approach the cashier’s desk again, she’s still chatting across the window. I go outside and ask in a rather annoyed tone at this point if I can pay and get going, then the following exchange ensues:)

Clerk: “Well, you were using the ATM, so I figured you weren’t in a hurry.”

Me: “So, you’ve seen me come in the store to pay and just stayed there? I’ve been here for a few minutes already.”

Clerk: “Well, just so you know, we aren’t allowed to take any breaks, so when there are no customers I just go outside to relax.”

Me: “When there are no customers? So, what does that make me, then?”

Clerk: “Look, I can’t take breaks! This job is a living hell! I can’t even go to the bathroom! What am I supposed to do? I’m only human, you know!”

Me: “Well, what you’re telling me sounds illegal, and if it’s true, you ought to report your employer to the ministry of labour. Or maybe you just ought to quit that job if they treat you like that. That’s what I’d do. But then again, you weren’t in the bathroom, were you? You were outside texting and chatting with a lady that’s clearly not a customer, seeing as she just went on her way when I came to get you. Most employers frown upon that. I know mine would, even if I certainly wouldn’t describe my job as a ‘living hell.’ So, spare me the whining and just do your job, would you?”

(She blushed and finished the transaction without a word, tossed me my receipt, then wished me a “nice day” with all the sarcasm she could muster. Haven’t been to that place since, but I sincerely hope she has since either found a better job that lets her take a bathroom break every once in a while, or understood that “work” is called “work” for a reason.)

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Turning Their Entitlement Up To 11

, , , , | Right | December 27, 2017

(It is Sunday, and our store opens at 10:30 for half an hour roaming time. We cannot trade in that half hour, due to trading laws. The cashiers who are assigned to the registers are standing by the customer service desk with me, discussing the new store remodelling we will be doing next week. They are physically unable to login until 11:00, so it is pointless for them to stand by the registers until then. We have a sign at the front noting our inability to trade at this time. A customer lines up and stares at the sign, mouthing the words on it. Several other customers also appear, but upon noticing the sign they leave and look around the store some more. This first customer, however, does not. At around 10:50, she huffs loudly, getting all of our attention. I’m about to speak when she turns away, making as much noise as she can. She walks around the barrier and along entire front aisle before arriving at the service desk. She could have just walked through a gap in the barrier which allows customers to leave.)

Customer: “You are terrible people. I have been standing there for half an hour, and instead of helping me, all you do is talk about me, to my face!

Me: “Miss, the store opened at 10:30.”

Customer: “AND?”

Me: “It’s 10:50. It’s impossible for you to have been standing there for half an hour, and as you should know, we cannot trade until 11. At most I would say you have been there five, maybe ten minutes.”


Me: “I saw you read the sign.”

Customer: “So, you admit you noticed me and did absolutely nothing?”

Me: “To be honest, I assumed you wanted to be first in line, and were willing to wait for 20 minutes to achieve that. I apologise if I was wrong. I will be more thoughtful in future.”

Customer: “Well, okay, that sounds fair.” *awkward silence* “So, can I buy these, then?”

Me: “We can’t trade for another seven minutes.”

Customer: “YOU’RE ALL F****** USELESS!”

(She threw her basket at us and stormed out of the store. Over the next month we received close to 100 letters complaining about our services, all via special delivery, which required signing for and must have cost a pretty penny. Eventually the store manager refused to take them and we were told they would be returned to the sender. I wasn’t there on the day the customer returned, but apparently a woman matching her description walked in and dumped the returned letters on the floor, before spitting on them and walking out. We have yet to see her again, and the letters have stopped.)

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Elementally Flawed

, , , | Right | December 27, 2017

Me: *answering a phone call* “Hello, you’ve reached [Gift Shop]. This is [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Hi, do you sell t-shirts?”

Me: “Yes, we do; our t-shirts are $24.99.”

Caller: “Do you have any periodic table t-shirts?”

Me: “No. Unfortunately, we don’t have any periodic table ones.”

(I list our available designs for the caller.)

Caller: “So, do you have any periodic table shirts?”

Me: “No, only the designs I mentioned. Sorry.”

Caller: “And how much are they?”

Me: “$24.99.”

Caller: “And you have a periodic table one?”

Me: “No, we do not, I’m afraid.”

Caller: “Okay, so what sizes do you have?”

Me: “At the moment we have sizes 10, 12, and 14.”

Caller: “Do you have any that would fit me?”

Me: *pause* “No.”

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Where There Is Life, There Is Stupidity

, , , | Learning | December 27, 2017

(I’m studying biology at a university. We periodically have events where the different courses and research groups can show their work and projects in display stands. I have joined a herpetology research group and we have tables with alligator and turtle skulls, snake head models, and some glass boxes with real but dead animals — snakes, lizards and frogs common in this place — preserved in alcohol. It’s common for people to come and ask about them, but this time I almost lose it. A group of four girls approaches our stand:)

Girl #1: “Woah! Oh, my God! You have live animals here!”

Me: “Actually, no. These are real, but they are long dead and have been preserved in alcohol.”

Girl #2: *to another that seems to be really interested and is looking closely at the boxes* “Don’t get near it! They can bite you!”

Me: “No, they won’t. They are dead, but perfectly preserved in alcohol and—”

Girl #1: “—but are they like, alive?”

Me: “No, they are dead but preserved in alcohol. That’s why they are still looking—”

Girl #3: “Oh, my God! I saw it moving!”

Me: “I can assure you that they are dead. Probably someone just shook the table and they floated in the alcohol.”

Girl #1: “So, are they alive?”

Me: *grinding my teeth while still smiling* “No, they are not. They are dead but have been preserved in alcohol for research purposes. They have been like this since before I even joined this research group.”

All Three Girls: “Oh…”

(They finally seem to understand and are quietly looking at our display; then [Girl #4], who has been looking at her phone the whole time, finally stops and looks at the table.)

Girl #4: “Oh, my God! Are they alive?!”

The Other Three Girls & Me: “NO!”

(My colleagues and I often retell this story to our new members to prepare them for this kind of question, but seriously, this was the worse case by far.)

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