Copy Error

, , , , , , | Right | November 8, 2019

This takes place in a government office where people often come to do research. There is one copy machine in the entire room for however many people are in there, usually 10 to 20. Everyone who is there regularly is careful not to take too much time on the machine out of respect for everyone else. 

On this particular day, an older gentleman decides to make some copies of pages in a book. He gets to the machine just before I do and stares at it for a good half minute. I offer to help him, tell him where to position the book, show him where to put the money in, tell him it’s 50 cents a page, and show him which button to push for copies. He makes one copy, waits until there is no more noise coming from the machine, looks around for the copy, takes it out, reads it carefully, then puts it down on the table next to him. He then reads the book some more, looking for the next page he wants to copy. Same routine: make one copy, read it carefully, put it down. Then, he needs more money. He digs in his pocket for his zippered pouch, which takes half a minute. He opens the zipper, digs around in it for a while, pulls out a plastic bag, digs around for a dollar bill, puts the rest of the money back in the bag, puts the bag back in the pouch, and then put the pouch back in his pocket. He looks for the next page he wants to copy, copies it, reads it carefully, etc. He runs out of money, digs the pouch out of his pocket again, takes at least two minutes extracting another dollar bill, puts everything away again, and slowly and carefully makes two more copies. He realizes he needs more money, takes the pouch out of his pocket again…

I finally suggest that he take the book off to the side to figure out which pages he wants to copy rather than stand there. 

It takes him a full twenty minutes to make seven copies. The three people in line behind me give up and find something else to do.

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They Were Hoping You Couldn’t Tell Time

, , , , , | Working | November 7, 2019

(Not long after I move into the city, my family drives over to see how I’ve settled in and take me out to dinner. My dad drives, dropping us off at the restaurant before going to find a parking spot. When he joins us, he tells us he parked at a meter and gave it plenty of quarters. We have a nice dinner, and then my dad leads us to where he parked the car. He gets to it first and sees something that angers him.)

Dad: “Oh, are you kidding me?”

Me: “What?”

Dad: “There’s a parking ticket on the windshield, but there are still ten minutes left on the meter!”

Mom: “Wait, really?”

(Sure enough, there are about ten minutes left on the meter from when my dad originally put money in it. The time stamp on the ticket shows that it was issued about ten minutes before we got there, meaning the ticket was issued with twenty minutes left on the meter! My parents take photos showing the ticket, the meter, and their watches to prove the mistake so they can contest the ticket. After this, they take me back home, and I forget about the whole thing until a few months later when I’m with my mom.)

Me: “Oh, hey, remember back when you got that parking ticket even though there was still time on the meter?”

Mom: “Oh, yes.”

Me: “You contested it, right? What happened?”

Mom: “They wouldn’t admit that the officer was at fault, but they still accepted our appeal.”

Me: “So, they agreed that you shouldn’t have to pay the ticket — the ticket that their officer left for no reason — but it’s still not the officer’s fault somehow.”

Mom: “Yep.”

(Gotta love city parking.)

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That’s A Lot Of Dead Pauls

, , , , , , | Related | November 7, 2019

(My grandfather recently passed away. In planning the services, my father and his siblings ask us cousins to be pallbearers. Even though we’ve known quite a few people who have passed, my sister has not been to as many funerals as I have and is not accustomed to some of the terms related to the event. When my father asks if we are okay with being pallbearers, my 26-year-old sister asks a very interesting question:)

Sister: “So… is it called ‘pallbearers’ because Grampa’s name was Paul?”

(She thought it was a Paulbearer for Paul, Tombearer for Tom, Marybearer for Mary, etc. My family and I had a good chuckle during an emotional week.)

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There Is No Silver Lining To This Story

, , , | Right | November 5, 2019

(I work at an antique store. I’ve spent around twenty or thirty minutes explaining various things to a woman. She decides she’d like to buy a gold ring.)

Customer #1: “Sorry I have so many questions. I don’t know any jewelry, really. I’d like the ring, though. Can I hold this and get money at an ATM?”

Me: “Absolutely. It’ll be here.”

(Time passes, another woman buys a silver bracelet, and shortly later, the first customer returns.)

Customer #1: “I’d like to make sure it’s actually gold, first.”

Me: “You can ask [Show Promoter]; he’s been around for a long time and can tell you. Take it up to him; I don’t mind.”

(She brings it over to him a short distance away, and asks him.)

Promoter: “Sure, looks good. Let me get a loupe and make sure.”

Other Vendor: “Let me see that. I can tell you.”

(The other vendor then snatches it out of his hand and crudely looks at it.)

Other Vendor: “You shouldn’t buy it. It’s silver. Take it back.”

Promoter: “Can I just s—”

Other Vendor: *interrupts as soon as he starts* “It’s not gold.”

(The woman brings it back over to us.)

Me: “That’s fine. I’d rather you not buy it if you’re not comfortable. I’m sorry.”

(In the meantime, the customer who bought the bracelet comes back.)

Customer #1: “Let me see what you bought. I want to make sure. I know jewelry very well.”

Customer #2: “Okay…”

Customer #1: *to me* “What is it in?”

Me: “It’s sterling silver.”

Customer #1: “Yeah, 925… What’s the other mark say?”

Me: “Thailand. It’s fairly new.”

Customer #1: “See, they’re trying to scam you. Thailand silver is a different metal than American silver. Aren’t you glad somebody that actually knows looked first? It doesn’t matter if it’s marked 925, too. Demand your money back. It’s not silver.”

(After five minutes of [Customer #1] pushing her about it, [Customer #2] just relents and asks for her money back, which I’ve had in my hand, expecting this.)

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but there is absolutely no difference in sterling silver in Thailand, America, or elsewhere. It’s just a term for 92.5% pure silver. I’ll guarantee it is what I say it is, anyway.”

Customer #1: “He doesn’t know what he’s doing. Look. This is real American silver.” *rudely taps her finger on my case, over a piece of silver*

Me: “That’s Mexican.”

Customer #1: “It’s American. Look at it. American silver doesn’t get shiny like that.”

Me: “It’s just older. Any silver will get tarnished over time. You can shine it up like any other silver, if you’d rather.”

Customer #1: “No, it’s American silver! You don’t know what you’re doing!”

(The piece she was pointing to was made in Mexico. The two then wandered off and proceeded to stop people and point to us while talking rudely for hours.)

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The Very Best Costume

, , , , | Right | October 31, 2019

(I work in a bookstore in a mall. On Halloween, almost every store has an employee hand out candy to kids as they walk around. It is a fun concept, and this is my second year passing out the candy. I even have my own system. Little kids, or anyone in an awesome, homemade costume gets the good treats — the PB cups and chocolate bars and such. People trick-or-treating with infants or smarta** teenagers who didn’t even make an effort — yeah, yeah, you’re a serial killer and they look like normal people; I get it — get the gum and cheaper candy. The night has just started, and a mother approaches with her two kids: a boy around nine years old and a girl around six. The girl is something cute, a princess I believe. I recognize the boy’s costume because I am a nerd, but I also see that the boy looks pretty bummed out when they come toward me.)

Me: “Cool costumes! But why so sad?”

Boy: *sadly* “No one knows who I am. They think I’m a baseball player.”

Me: “Baseball player?! Little dude, you are wearing a red vest, you have six Pokéballs on your belt, and a stuffed Pikachu holding onto the back of your car. You are the one and only Ash Ketchum, who is the very best, like no one ever was!”

(The boy just broke out with the widest smile. The mother looked grateful, and I made sure that Pokémon trainer and his princess sister both got a handful of my best candy.)

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