The Express Yourself Lane

, , , | Friendly | October 17, 2018

(I’m loading my shopping at my local supermarket which doesn’t have an express or self service. As a result, it is common to have someone with one or two items to ask if they can go ahead of you when you have a full trolley of items. Usually I don’t mind, but some customers think they automatically have an entitlement to go ahead of you just because they have a couple of items.)

Woman: “I’m just going to go ahead of you. I only have four items, okay?”

Me: “Well, no, because I only have three items.”

Woman: *confused* “But I only have four items.”

Me: “I know, and I have less, so there’s no reason for you to go ahead of me. You need to wait.”

Woman: “But I’m in a rush.”

Me: “So am I. Still not letting you ahead of me.”

Woman: *thinking for a minute* “Well… I’m a pensioner. I’m old and tired. I need to go first.”

Me: *turning to face her fully* “And I’m eight months pregnant, so I’m also tired. I also just finished a full work day and I’m bursting to go to the toilet so, for the last time, you are not going ahead of me.”

A Sure Bet That This Is A Scam

, , , | Right | October 13, 2018

(I’m working at the till in a bookies. Customers write bets on paper with carbon copy and we stamp them in the till when they pay. We keep the original and they keep the copy. After each race, the manager marks up the winners and files them so the counter staff can find them when the customer brings up the winning docket. We have computers to check all results and odds, etc. One of our regulars is a complete gambling addict and is constantly trying to scam us. She bets on the dog races every morning. For this type of race, people typically bet on the trap number rather than the dog name; a bet that just says “three €2” is a perfectly valid bet for €2 on the dog in trap three winning the next race after the till timestamp. This customer keeps all her old dockets, and if trap three wins in a different race later on, she will try to pass it off as a winning docket, so we have to double-check everything she does. One day she decides to try a new scam. She hands me docket for trap number five. I look through the winning dockets; it’s not there. I call up the results.)

Me: “This isn’t a winner.”

Customer: “It is; number three.”

Me: “This says number five.”

Customer: *shouting* “It’s number three.”

Me: “That’s number five.”

(By this stage the manager has found her original docket and brings it over. It clearly says “five.” The manager holds the docket up to the glass.)

Manager: “What does that say? What does it say?”

Customer: “That’s how I write my threes!”

Manager: “Get out; you’re barred!”

Not Happy With The Vitaminimum

, , , , | Related | October 12, 2018

(We give my two-year-old daughter a daily multivitamin, which looks and tastes like a normal jelly sweet/gummy candy. We tell her that they help keep her healthy; we are also trying to teach her about germs and covering her mouth when she coughs. It’s normal for her to try and finagle a second or third vitamin out of us, especially if she sees us take any.)

Daughter: “Teeth sore. Need a vitamin!”

(Another occasion…)

Me: “[Daughter], stay out of the kitchen, please!”

Daughter: “I need something!”

Me: “What do you need?”

Daughter: “Um… a vitamin!”

(On another occasion, she bumps her head quite hard and my husband is comforting her.)

Husband: “What will make it better?”

(Expected answers: cold pack or kiss.)

Daughter: “A vitamin!”

Can’t Recognize A Good Sign

, , , | Right | October 10, 2018

(In the hotel where I work we have a lot of staff from different companies. Management implemented a rule where only English is to be spoken in public areas so customers don’t feel uncomfortable. [Guest #1], a man, and [Guest #2], a woman, who are not together, are waiting to check in. [Guest #1] hands me a piece of paper with his name, reservation number, and a note explaining that he is deaf.)

Me: *signing* “Do you speak sign language?”

Guest #1: *nodding and smiling happily* “Yes, thank you! I’d like to check in”

(I go through the check in procedure and explain the various facilities to [Guest #1] and notice that [Guest #2] has left. A few minutes later, [Guest #2] storms up to the desk with the hotel owner.)

Guest #2: “That’s her! She was the one who was talking about me in another language! She and her friend were pointing and laughing at me and I couldn’t understand them!”

Owner: “Is this true? I didn’t even know you could speak any other languages.”

Guest #2: “Well, she’s obviously been lying to you so she can talk about people without them knowing it. I expect my room to be free for this humiliation.”

Me: *whispering to owner* The guest that checked in before her is deaf. I was signing to him explaining the layout of the hotel. The only pointing I did was towards the restaurant and bar. He was laughing because he was happy he had someone to explain the area to him.”

Owner: *to [Guest #2]* “Miss, they were speaking sign language. They weren’t–”

Guest #2: *shrieking* “I know! I’m not an idiot! They shouldn’t have been talking about me!”

Owner: “They weren’t–”

Guest #2: “Stop it! Stop lying to me to protect yourselves! I know what I heard!”

Owner: “Miss, you’re either going to have to calm down and apologize to my receptionist or leave”

Guest #2: “F*** YOU!”

(The woman then stormed out of the hotel, got in her car, and sped out of the car park, knocking over a lamppost! Luckily we had her card details on her reservation and were able to charge her for damages. [Guest #1], however, really enjoyed his stay and wrote a lovely long letter to the owner thanking me and saying he’ll be back!)

Approaching Zero Hour

, , | Right | September 13, 2018

(I work in the call centre of a water company. My department deals with the infrastructure so people call us to report supply disruptions, leaks, etc., and we dispatch the relevant work crew if needed. We are told not to give callers a time for when a crew will arrive as situations beyond our control may arise, so instead, we tell people, “in due course,” “as soon as possible,” and so on. A man calls to report his water supply is off. I take all the relevant details and advise him that a crew will be dispatched as soon as possible.)

Caller: “So when will they get here?”

Me: “I can’t give you an exact time, sir. The crew will arrive in due course.”

Caller: “So, about an hour so?”

Me: “No, sir, I didn’t say that. A work crew will be dispatched as soon as one is available in your area, but I can’t give an exact time when that will be.”

Caller: “But an hour is more than enough time to get to where I live.”

Me: “I appreciate that, sir, but I can’t guarantee they will be there within that time.”

Caller: *clearly not listening to a word I’m saying* “So, I’ll expect them within the next hour.”

Me: “Sir…”

Caller: “Tell you what; if they’re not here within an hour I’ll call back.”

Me: “You do that, sir. Thank you for calling and have a nice day.”

(Sure enough, he called back almost exactly one hour later to complain that they weren’t there yet. Luckily, he got through to one of my colleagues instead of me, who then had to go though pretty much the exact same conversation with him.)

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