Not-So-Smart Card

, , , , , | Right | July 4, 2010

Customer: “Where are your film cameras?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t carry those anymore, but our digital ones are right over there.”

Customer: “Okay, and where are the film ones?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we stopped carrying film cameras a long time ago.”

Customer: “Is that one film?”

Me: “No, sir. None of the cameras in this store will be film.”

Customer: “But that one is big. See, the film goes right there!”

Me: “That is actually where the batteries go. This camera doesn’t need film because it is a digital camera”

Customer: “So where does the film go?”

Me: “No film, sir. They store the pictures on an SD card.”

Customer: “Why aren’t you listening? All I want is to buy a film camera!”

Me: “I am very sorry, sir, but we only carry digital cameras. No film cameras.”

Customer: *looks at a camera* “I think I want that one. What kind of film is best to put in it?”

Me: *giving up* “It is actually pretty interesting, they started putting all the film in this tiny little card to protect it from any sort of light. Only machines can develop the film, because the card is so small, so you can only get prints by putting the card in a computer.”

Customer: “Isn’t that amazing! That is so smart, the things they come up with today!”

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Bi-Curiouser and Curiouser

, , , , , , , | Right | June 30, 2010

(I am speaking Spanish to a customer at the register. I finish the transaction and see the next customer.)

Customer: *speaking loudly and slowly* “Hello! I want to pay cash!”

Me: “Find everything you need today?”

Customer: “Wow so you can speak English and Spanish? I didn’t think you spoke any English”

Me: “Yes, I’m bilingual.”

Customer: “Wow! So you speak two languages fluently and you’re gay?”

Me: “No, just bilingual.”

Customer: “I heard you the first time, silly! Lots of gay pride in you, huh?”

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Shogun The Way To Go Home

, , , , | Right | June 22, 2010

(I work at the local train station. Having spent half my life living in Los Angeles, and the other living in Tokyo, I speak both English and Japanese. The other station masters tend to bring tourists to me, since their English isn’t as good as mine. A tourist approaches me and speaks loudly, slowly, and with very large hand gestures)

Tourist: “I’m trying to get to [Station]! Can you help me?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I actually grew up in Los Angeles, so I can speak English.”

Tourist: *still speaking in the same way* “No, I’m not from Los Angeles! I’m trying to get to [Station]!”

Me: “No, ma’am, I just meant that I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles.”

Tourist: “No! Not Los Angeles! [Station]!”

(The woman’s husband, hearing his wife shouting, joins us.)

Tourist’s Husband: *to his wife* “What’s going on?”

Tourist: “This dumb guy keeps asking if we’re from Los Angeles!”

Tourist’s Husband: “Why would he think that?”

Tourist: “I don’t know!”

Tourist’s Husband: *to me, speaking clearly, but not extremely slowly* “We’re trying to get to [Station].”

(I provide directions to the station.)

Tourist’s Husband: “You speak English very well!”

Me: “Thank you, sir. As I tried to explain to your wife, I grew up in Los Angeles, so I speak English.”

Tourist’s Husband: *sighs* “I’m sorry you had to put up with her. Thanks for the directions.”

(As they are walking away, I hear the woman proudly tell her husband, “I told you those Japanese lessons we took would pay off!”)

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How To Deal With Gritty Customers

, , , , | Right | May 14, 2010

(Our home phone number is very close to a local hardware and building supply store.)

Me: “Hello?”

Customer: “Yeah, I wanna order some gravel.”

Me: “I’m sorry, you’ve got the wrong number. You want [correct number].”

Customer: “That’s what I called!”

Me: “No, it isn’t.  You’re trying to call [Supply Store]. This is a private residence.”

(This goes on for eight sets of hang-up and call backs, with the guy getting nastier and nastier.)

Customer: “Listen, lady.  I’m getting really tired of the run-around, so just take my d*** concrete order!”

Me: “Fine, sir. That was eight tons? It’ll be delivered around four pm today.”

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Aisle Be Watching You

, , , | Right | April 26, 2010

(I’ve misunderstood a question and directed the customer to the wrong aisle. I’m trying to tell her the correct aisle.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry. I thought you meant something else. What you’re looking for is actually down aisle eight. It’s the last item on the right.”

Customer: “I don’t believe you, and I’m too tired to look for it.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can verify that it is in aisle eight. There is a display a few feet away so you won’t have to walk all the way down there.”

Customer: “What is the store phone number?”

(The customer dials the store number with the phone in front of me. It’s on speakerphone so I hear ringing on her end and then ringing on my phone. I pick up the phone and look right at the customer standing no more than a foot away from me.)

Me: “Hello [Store].”

Customer: “Yes, hi. I have a question about a product you sell. What aisle is [Product] down?”

Me: “Aisle eight. Last item on the right.”

Customer: “Thank you.” *hangs up, looks at me* “At least she knew what she was talking about!”

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