Doesn’t Understand The Law Or Math

, , , , | Right | December 13, 2020

At this time, gas is around $2.50 a gallon. One day, a woman storms in, comes up to my register, and slams a receipt down in front of me, completely cutting the line.

Customer: “You are a bunch of f****** scammers, and I will be suing you!”

My coworker scurries off to, I assume, get the supervisor, leaving me to deal with this woman until she gets back. Luckily, the people in her line seem to understand, because it’s gone fairly quiet.

Me: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “You’re advertising your gas prices at $2.50 a gallon! I just pumped ten gallons exactly, and I was charged $25.09!”

Me: “Yes, that’s correct, ma’am.”

Customer: “IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE $25!”

I tend to stay calm when being yelled at because it doesn’t help for both parties to lose their heads; that just devolves into a screaming match, and staying calm usually just makes the angry party angrier, which I find somewhat amusing. I just pull out my pen and use it as a pointer.

Me: “If gas were actually $2.50 a gallon, you would be correct, yes. Ten multiplied by $2.50 is $25; you just move the decimal point one spot over. However, do you see here on your receipt where it shows you that you pumped ten gallons of unleaded? And the price of the unleaded? The price is $2.509. Multiply by ten, which, again, just moves that decimal one point over, and that $2.509 becomes $25.09, which is what you were charged.”

She grabs the receipt and storms out without another word. My supervisor had shown up right at the end of it.

Supervisor: “What happened? [Coworker] said that woman came in threatening to sue.”

Me: “Nah, it’s fine. She didn’t understand word problems in math; I was explaining it to her.”

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Ooh, This One Is A Slow Burn

, , , | Right | November 30, 2020

Tap water in Holland is ridiculously clean. Pretty much the only ways to get water that is undrinkable or contaminated is having your toilet output connected to your tap by bad plumbing or drawing straight from the canals.

I work in the laboratory for a company that produces flower food. We make those little packets that come with bouquets, but we also make also bulk solutions that florists and such put in the buckets to keep flowers fresh. Most of our products are not unlike detergent or lemonade in that you have to dilute them in a certain dosage for optimal results.

One part of the job is troubleshooting, both for internal issues and for external issues like complaints about our product.

One time, we get a complaint from a new client saying that our product is too acidic and is killing the flowers. Immediately, alarm bells start ringing! Our product does contain a bit of acid because flowers actually prefer this, but too much of a good thing is obviously bad. If this customer is correct, we’ve probably shipped a bad batch to at least twenty other customers.

First, we receive a sample of our applied product. The customer is correct in that this is by far more acidic than flowers can handle. While further analysis suggests the dosage is correct — a common cause of these kinds of issues — the results are not entirely conclusive since the product has been used, so some of the components may have been absorbed by the flowers or have degraded.

About two weeks later, we finally get a sample of our pure product. We run all the checks on it and the results are perfect! This batch could have won an award for meeting our standards! It’s a relief for the sales team, but it thickens the mystery for us and the client. We prepare our own dosage and run checks on it, and we order some flowers and put them in the solution, and everything shows this product is fine.

We double-check with our consultant who reported the complaint and he guarantees us that the client is using the correct dosage.

Another week later, our consultant calls my coworker because he is still anxious to hear if we have found any explanation. Despite our best efforts, putting about 50% of our workforce on it for three weeks now, we haven’t.

Consultant: “That really makes me question your skills. You agree that the diluted solution the client uses is bad, but you claim the pure product is good. Clearly, something isn’t adding up.”

Coworker: “Well, at this point, the only thing we haven’t tested is the client’s water, but since it’s the same Dutch tap water that we use, that seems a very unlikely cause.”

Consultant: “Agreed. They just use tap water with some hydrochloric acid added to prevent bacterial growth.” *Pause* “Why are you laughing so hard?”

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One Point To Sweden

, , , , | Right | November 26, 2020

I work in a restaurant in the tourist district; therefore, we still accept cash payments, a rarity in Stockholm. This means that we take out whatever card tips we’ve received in cash at the end of the night to divvy up. On occasion, we get tips in foreign currency; they’re usually small amounts so not worth the exchange fee.

American Tourist: “Do people tip here?”

Me: “Well, if they feel they have received good service, yes, they are welcome to, and it is much appreciated. Standard is five to ten percent.”

American Tourist: “Would you rather have the tip in USD, Euros, or on the card?”

Sweden uses the Swedish Krona.

Me: “Card would be great, thanks!”

American Tourist: “Okay, let me just try to work out how to do ten percent. It’s so difficult with other currencies. Can you help me work it out?”

Me: “Let me teach you a life hack; if you move the decimal one point, you get ten percent, regardless of what currency it is.”

Lovely people, but their minds were blown. This was a common question, with many conversions taking place turning it into dollars, working out the percentage, finding a new total, and then changing it back into krona. What kind of maths you learn in the States will always be a mystery to me.

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When You Need Gallons Of Restraint

, , , | Right | November 26, 2020

I work in the paint department of a hardware store. A customer starts with the generic “Which one is the best stain?” question and gets impatient when I can’t immediately point at a product, as it really depends what you want the finished product to look like. He then questions every single facet of what I try to tell him, to the point of reading product information off the cans to try and find out the exact information I just gave him. I’m proven right every time, but he’s getting more and more agitated.

I’ve finally got him settled on a product.

Customer: “How much will this cover?”

Me: “Usually 350 to 400 square feet per can, depending on your wood.”

Customer: “What the heck? I’m going to need like $800 worth of this crap. I’m not paying that!”

This product is about $60 a can, so this really surprises me.

Me: “Really? How big of an area are you doing?”

Customer: “I’ve got a big deck, it’s probably twenty by twenty-five. And there’s another area that’s eight by twelve. Christ, I thought I’d only need two cans for this.”

He turns away from me and starts muttering. For the next part of the conversation, it’s pretty clear he’s not actually listening to what I’m saying.

Me: “So you have two decks?”

Customer: “No! Just one!” *Muttering*

Me: “Is there a fence?”

Customer: “No, I’m not paying that much for this crap. What a rip off.”

Me: “Because… if that’s all you’re doing, you’re only looking at about two gallons.”

Customer: “That’s what I was hoping, but there’s no way I’m going to cover the deck with that.”

Me: “Well, a twenty-by-twenty-five section is about 500 square feet, and an eight-by-twelve is about a hundred, so—”

Customer: “No. What a rip off.”

Me: “What?”

He starts muttering, which I can’t hear but later figure out is him trying to section his deck out to get approximate measurements, because the next thing he says to me that I can clearly make out is:

Customer: “Five by ten is 500—”

Me: “What? No! Five by ten is fifty.”

Customer: “So I’ll need four sections of that across, which is eight gallons—”

Me: “No! Five by ten is fif-ty.”

He pauses, pulls his phone out, and calculates it out on a calculator. He then immediately calms down like I’ve thrown some kind of switch.

Customer: “Oh, you’re right. So, you say I’ll need about two gallons of this?”

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Too Old. Does Not Compute.

, , , , , | Learning | November 20, 2020

I am an assistant teacher in an elementary school. I am outside with a first-grade class for PE. It’s my first day with this group — we’ve just had yet another schedule change — and I’m still getting to know the kids.

Little Boy: “Miss, how old are you?”

I always love getting this question, because kids have no sense of age and give hilarious answers.

Me: “How old do you think I am?”

Little Boy: “Seven!”

Me: “Bigger.”

Little Boy: “Eight?”

Me: “Bigger. Think grown-up numbers.”

Little Boy: *Thinking really hard* “NINE!”

Me: *Laughing* “Actually, buddy, I’m twenty-six.”

The boy is clearly confused by a number that big.

Little Boy: “Uh… Watch me throw my Frisbee!”

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