The % Men

, , , | Friendly | August 6, 2017

(I just got a test back and my teacher doesn’t write down percentages, so I calculate the percentage in my head. My friend, who is sitting next to me asks me to do the same for her.)

Friend: “How do you do that, especially so quickly?”

Me: “Oh, that’s an easy one! You know how everybody has a secret superpower they have to discover themselves?”

Friend: “What? No. Whatever. Continue with the story.”

Me: “Okay, so, my superpower is that whenever I go shopping there is a sale, but the weird thing is these sales are always very specific number like 53% or 29%. I always go to the mall with one friend, who always asks me for an item’s sale price because she is too lazy to get her phone out. So, after years of her asking and me calculating I’ve become really good at it!”

Friend: “Wow, with your algebra class and acceptance to that prestigious engineering program, I thought you were gonna say that your superpower is mental math.”

Me: “The power of shopping!”

(I later let my mom know that shopping is educational for me.)

Teacher Behavior Scores A Zero

, , , , , | Learning | August 3, 2017

(We have a fun Hispanic teacher for geometry that is known for making sassy remarks or off-color jokes. They were sometimes borderline racist, but since she was another minority, it never seemed like a big deal. Then, there was the day we got our final projects back. Essentially, we had to use shapes drawn with protractors and compasses to create a picture of some sort. She is going around with a clipboard with our final grades on it.)

Teacher: *to another student, serious tone* “You failed.” *smiling* “Just kidding, you got a 100.”

(The teacher does this routine to one or two more students in the class. There is some idle chatter, but most of us are somewhat listening in out of curiosity. The teacher eventually reaches me.)

Teacher: *serious* “You failed.”

Me: *forced laugh, waiting for real grade*

Teacher: *still serious* “No, I’m not joking. Your project looked exactly like someone else’s. Cheating is not okay.”

(I know there is no way this could be the case and that she may still be joking, but I start to get worried.)

Teacher: “You failed this assignment. This is serious. You got a zero.”

(At this point, I’m convinced I did something wrong and start crying because I think I just failed the final.)

Teacher: “Just kidding. You did fine.”

(I start hyperventilating when I cry, so I am just gone at this point. I am not loud, but cannot say a single word without gasping. The class is watching by this point because she had spent so much time on me. The teacher continues giving other people their grades and I try to calm down. But then my Spanish teacher and her friend comes by to say ‘hi’. My Spanish teacher is super nice and I have never had any problem with her. She can see me crying.)

Teacher: “Oh, hey!” *they chat for a little bit before the Spanish teacher asks what happened with me* “Oh, yeah, look at the little Asian girl crying over her grade.”

Both Teachers: *laughing*

(I wish I was joking. At this point, I ran out of the classroom. I don’t remember if someone else got my stuff for me or if I walked back in, but I never trusted that teacher again. Last time I heard, she got fired for making inappropriate comments. Looking back, I think it was the betrayal of trust by teachers I respected than anything else that set me off.)

You Can’t Put Music In A Box

, , , , , | Right | July 3, 2017

(We have a customer call from out of state wanting to order a guitar for his nephew.)

Caller: “I’m looking at your listing online for this guitar. I really like it and would like to buy it and have it shipped to my nephew in a different state. Is that okay?”

Me: “That’s no problem. We’d be happy to help you with that.”

Caller: “First I want to see pictures of the actual guitar, though.”

Me: “All the pictures you see on our website are pictures of this guitar.”

Caller: “No. I know the pictures are of that model, but I want to see pictures of the actual guitar.”

Me: “We take all the pictures on our website ourselves. These are not stock photos. They are pictures of the guitar hanging on the wall in our store right now.”

Caller: “Oh, okay… Wait. The guitar is hanging on the wall right now?”

Me: “Yes. All of our guitars hang on wall displays so they can be viewed by customers.”

Caller: “So this isn’t a brand new guitar like the website says?”

Me: “No, sir, it is brand new. We just received it from the manufacturer this year. It has not had an owner yet, and is definitely still brand new.”

Caller: “But it’s hanging on the wall! You took it out of the box!”

Me: “Sir, all guitar stores hang their guitars on the wall. Aside from a few child sized guitars and ukuleles we carry, our guitars do not come in boxes. They only arrive in shipping boxes, which we discard after opening. Many of them come with cases, but not boxes.”

Caller: “But you took the guitar out of the box! Now it’s not new! I demand a discount for the unboxed guitar.”

Me: “I think there has been some confusion. Guitars aren’t like blenders or microwaves. They don’t come with boxes. We don’t have floor models with extra boxed inventory in the back. Guitars are an entirely different product that has to be played, seen, heard, and held to help customers make a decision about whether or not to purchase it.”

Caller: “You took it out of the box, so it is not new. I will not pay new pricing for a guitar that has been played by other people.”

Me: “Sir, I am very sorry, but I do not know what else to tell you. I can sell you this guitar, but I cannot discount it, because it is new. Our dealer agreement with the manufacturing company says that we cannot discount this item for at least two years or we could lose our dealer license.”

Caller: “I don’t care. You will give me a discount.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I cannot. You can either buy this guitar full priced, plus pay for shipping for us to send it to your nephew, or you can try contacting the manufacturer. I have to warn you, though; this particular guitar is extremely popular, so it is currently back-ordered, and you could have to wait up to seven months to finally get it. But they will make you pay the exact same price we will.”

Caller: “Well, I’m sure they’d send me a real new guitar in it’s box.”

Me: “It will be sent to you in a shipping box.”

Caller: “What about its box?”

Me: “Again, sir, guitars do not come in boxes like appliances do.”

Caller: “Well, we’ll see about that. You just lost yourself a sale.” *click*

(Later that day we got another call.)

Caller #2: “Hi, my uncle called earlier today about a guitar for my birthday.”

Me: “Yes, he spoke to me. How can I help you?”

Caller #2: “Well, I just wanted to know why the guitar doesn’t come in a box.”

Me: “As I explained to your uncle, guitars do not come in boxes the way other products do. When we receive them, they come in a shipping box. If they have a case then they usually come inside the case inside the box.”

Caller #2: “So can we get a discount because you guys decided to take the guitar out of its box and put it on the wall?”

Me: “Not unless the guitar were dropped several times and the quality damaged.”

Caller #2: “Oh…”

Me: “I’m sorry. I know you are interested in this guitar, but because it is new and from a manufacturer that we deal for, we cannot discount this guitar AT ALL for two years unless it is accidentally damaged, is bought and returned, or if there is a manufacturer defect. None of which apply to this particular guitar.”

Caller #2: “Okay. Thanks anyway.”

(The original caller ended up attempting to purchase the guitar the next day through our website; however our online monitoring system ended up flagging the order for suspicious activity. Apparently this man had upset enough people to be put on a watch list for expensive transactions, as he often found a way to either have them unfairly discounted or would demand a refund for a faulty product that he would refuse to return. The second caller’s mother bought the guitar for her son for his birthday, but not before telling us how sorry she was for her brother’s behavior.)

Rightly Color Blinded By Your Illiteracy

, , , , | Right | June 26, 2017

(I work at a membership store with an alarming number of people who seem to come in simply to cause a problem and then not purchase anything. I have learned what things to be oddly specific about.)

Me: “All right, please sign your name, sir. When you are finished, just tap the green button that says ‘OK’ on the bottom left corner with the pen.”

Customer: “What if I’m color-blind?”

Me: “…the button that says “OK” on the bottom left corner with the pen.”

Customer: “What if I can’t read?” *his tone starts getting angry*

Me: “Tap the button on the bottom left corner with the pen.”

Customer: “What if I don’t know my left from my right?”

Me: *having given up* “Then that is quite something, sir.”

Customer: “Whatever!” *still mad, he taps the button… with his finger*

Me: “Sir, I said with the pen…”

(He ended up being so angry about the whole thing that he left without his order, his membership card, and his wallet. I took his personal belongings to the front desk and then had to close my line to go return everything.)

Living In A La La Land

, , , , , | Working | June 22, 2017

(I’m conducting a disciplinary meeting with an employee who has numerous customer complaints, late punches, and missed days. His department head is there as my co-manager.)

Me: “I need you to understand that this meeting is your last warning. If you have any issues over the next month, we will be letting you go. Now, we need to look at these write ups one by one, and you will have a chance to discuss each one, okay?”

Employee: “No!”

Department Head: “Are you putting in your resignation?”

Employee: “No, you’re just doing it wrong! You’re supposed to say two nice things for every bad thing. You said something mean, so now you have to give me two compliments.”

Me: “I’m not saying anything mean; we are just reviewing the facts. Okay, the first write up was from your supervisor, and—”

Employee: “I’m not listening until both of you AND [Supervisor] say something nice!”

Department Head: “Okay, this isn’t the point of a disciplinary meeting—”

Employee: *putting hands over his ears* “LALALA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LALALA! NOT LISTENING! LALALA!”

(This keeps up for a minute while we sit shocked, then I turn and print out and sign the paperwork that terminates the employee. The whole time he has his hands over his ears and is yelling. He finally stops when security arrives.)

Employee: “You can’t fire me yet! You said I’d have a chance to explain my write ups! This isn’t fair!”

Me: *quietly to the department head* “Lalala, not listening.”

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