Surveyed And Dismayed

, , , | Learning | October 31, 2018

(Near the end of my freshman year in college, longer ago than I care to remember, I received a questionnaire in the mail. It was long — eight pages, each with two columns of questions — and intrusive — asking about drug use, sexual habits, parents’ income, number of toilets in my home, and more — and despite assurances of anonymity there was an embossed unique serial number on the sheet to record answers. After about two minutes of looking at it, I set the whole thing on fire and forgot about. The next fall, I get a call from the Dean of Students’ secretary.)

Secretary: “[My Name], I’m calling about the survey you received from [Company] last spring. It’s important that it be completed, as the college gets a significant amount of money for it.”

Me: “I did get it and took care of it. I must say I was quite concerned about the personal nature of the questions, some of which could potentially leave me open to criminal charges if I had actually done them and answered honestly.”

Secretary: “[My Name], it’s anonymous, and they don’t have your response.”

Me: “If you know they don’t have my answers, then it’s not anonymous, is it? When I said I took care of it, I meant that I destroyed it immediately.”

Secretary: *click*

(I expected another call from the Dean himself, but no. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to trash the survey.)

Unfiltered Story #123639

, , | Unfiltered | October 16, 2018

(Note: I don’t work at this location I was witness to this. Yesterday was the first day in months where it was above freezing and not snowing so of course the car wash in town was very busy. I pulled around to the automated car wash only to be stuck behind a woman who could not figure out the automated payment system after about five minutes she figured it out. No problem. However, when she pulled forward into the wash she could not figure out how to get her car onto the rail system. After about 10 minutes there is a line of 6 cars behind her all honking and the poor employee is trying to help her. I finally roll down my window and this happens)

Woman: *leans out the window and looks at me* STOP HONKING. MAYBE I’D MOVE IF MY CAR WASN’T STUCK.

Me: Ma-am pleas-


Me: Ma-am I can help you. Please back up, cut your wheel and pull forward. You should be able to align yourself onto the rail system.

Woman: *Backs up her car, floors it in drive, gets stuck again*

Me: Okay there is a mirror above you that will help you line up your tire-

Woman: I DON’T SEE IT,

Me: It’s righ-

Woman: NO IT’S NOT

Me: Yes it is. It’s right next to (company’s symbol) and it says, “Your tire here”

Woman: Oh. Okay thank you. *rolls up her window, backs up, pulls forward, and this time gets her back tire stuck* I DON’T GET IT.

(at this point the woman gives up and sits half outside the car wash with her back tire stuck on the rail for about 5 minutes. The line has gotten even longer, the automated pay system is telling customers that the wash is out of order, and the employee is desperately trying to help however the woman is just yelling at him. Finally a man gets out of his car, walks down the line and goes up to her car. He eventually had to turn the wheel for her. After a few tries she got herself on the rail system and everyone got through the wash)

Will Need Therapy After The Doctor

, , , , | Right | October 8, 2018

(I am sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, playing on my phone, when a regular customer from my office comes into the room and recognizes me. I know his face, but I don’t know his name or anything about him unless it’s on my work computer.)

Regular: “Hey, don’t you work over at [Local Cable Company]?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

(I really just want sit there in peace, but I now know this won’t be a possibility.)

Regular: “You’re still over there?”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

(He sits down next to me.)

Regular: “You probably don’t like to talk about work when you’re not there, huh?”

Me: “No, I usually don’t.”

Regular: “So, I’ve got this problem with my box in my bedroom. I’ve got a couple of boxes, but you know that already.”

Me: “…”

Regular: “So, this box… When I’m using the remote, it freezes up when I’m changing channels, as you know already, and the girl upstairs from me is a tech for you guys. You know who I’m talking about.”

Me: “…”

Regular: “So, she and the other girl, they’re, you know, ‘together,’ and we don’t really get along. I think she’s hacking into my box.”

Me: *long pause* “It’s most likely that your box is just getting old and it’s time to get a newer model. If not that, then it’s likely that your signal levels might be a bit off.”

Regular: “I don’t know. She really doesn’t like me, and I think she’s trying to get back at me.”

Me: “I think it’s unlikely that she would hack into your cable box just to slow down your ability to change channels.”

Regular: “Oh! You don’t think so?”

Me: “No, I think it’s more likely that it’s just time to replace your box.”

Regular: “Oh, okay.” *pause* “I’ve been having trouble getting Windows 10 to install…”

(He grilled me for another ten minutes about random software issues until I was mercifully called in to see the doctor.)

Unfiltered Story #122263

, , | Unfiltered | October 1, 2018

[ We have a somewhat regular customer, an older woman who always comes in with her small dog. The dog is not particularly well-trained, but not mean – just overly friendly, and she often lets it jump on other customers’ legs as she shops because of its long leash. We are not allowed to say anything per company policy. I always thought she seemed a little lonely and “out there” so I have never been anything but nice to her, although she has been rude to myself and a co-worker on occasion. On a very busy Friday evening as a snowstorm is ramping up, this particular customer comes in and shops around for a little before approaching my register. Note that I have a huge line and the only other employee in the store, my manager, has hopped on a register to help me. ]

Customer: *Putting her items on the counter* “Do you have any bottled water left?”

Me: *Assuming she means the 24 packs of water, since they are on sale and have been selling fairly quickly.* “Yes, the [brand] water? We have some in the back. I’ll go grab one for you.”

[ The customer says nothing to the contrary. I walk to the back of the store and to the back room and grab a case of water. I’m a small girl, so its not terribly easy, but I manage fine and return, expecting to proceed with the transaction. ]

Customer: *Staring at the water.* “What?…That’s…Not what I wanted.”

Me: *Confused, because I checked with her before leaving.* “I’m sorry…? You did say bottled water…”

Customer: *She leans down to pet her dog for a little while before responding to me.* “No, that’s not what I wanted. I wanted the bottled water with the handle!”

Me: *Sighing internally, but willing to let it slide because the transaction has already taken way too long already and the line keeps getting longer, even with my manager helping.* “Oh okay, I’m sorry about that, I’ll go to the back and get you those.”

[ I again walk to the back room and check the stock. We only have [brand] of water left, so I bring two of them out and walk back up front. ]

Customer: “This is spring water…? No…No, I don’t want these, this isn’t the brand I buy normally! Forget it.” *Mumbling incoherently.*

[At this point, I am getting frustrated, and begin ringing her items so I can hopefully move the transaction along. Meanwhile, her dog has been jumping on the other customers in line, though, gracefully, none of them got upset. The woman is now paying more attention to the dog than to the transaction. I am a patient person, though, and manage to stay pleasant.]

Me: “Okay, your total will be [amount].”

[ The customer then began fumbling through her wallet and her purse, which goes on for about two minutes. The transaction has already taken at least ten minutes. Its apparent that she can’t find her credit/debit card and I can feel the stares of waiting customers. ]

Me: “Ma’am, would you mind stepping aside so that I could take the next customer in line? You only have a few items so it won’t take long to ring you out once you find your card.”

Customer: *Ignores me, continuing to rifle through her wallet and purse while mumbling.*

[ I look helplessly to my manager, who just shrugs and tells me not to worry. I wait for about a minute or so, until she finally hands me a $20 bill, still mumbling that she has to find her card. As I get her change, I try to calm her down a little. ]

Me: “When was the last time you used it? Its probably best not to drive around looking for it in this weather. You should call your bank and have them cancel the card so that if anyone finds it, they can’t use it.”

Customer: “No, what do you know? I need to find my card! I just had it!”

[ She swipes her change and her items from and leaves with her dog, not bothering to  thank me, nor the line of customers behind her for our patience. ]

What’s Cooking? (Not Much)

, , , , | Right | September 26, 2018

(I witness this while stocking an aisle one summer. I work in a smaller store in a tourist town, so there is one counter for both fish and meat.)

Customer: “These lobsters look sick.”

Clerk: “They look healthy to me; they are wandering around in the tank pretty normally.”

Customer: “But they’re not red!”

Clerk: “Their shells turn red when you cook them.”

Customer: “I have to cook them?!”

(I hated working in a tourist town.)

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