In The Future Cars Will Run On Carbs

, , , , | | Right | May 10, 2019

(We host an annual fundraising dinner for our high school band, and we serve a lot of spaghetti. My dad’s a longtime supporter and one day stumbles across something interesting. About a month before the dinner, one brand of spaghetti goes on special at local grocery store, and at the same time there’s a coupon that can be used in conjunction if you also buy the same brand sauce. With both, you can get extra “points” on your card for the purchase, which can be redeemed for gas. Because of this, if you get the spaghetti and sauce and then donate it, you actually end up with a slight profit in gas savings. The only issue is that there is a maximum of six boxes of spaghetti per customer. A few calls later, and everyone associated with the marching band comes and buys six boxes of spaghetti and some of the sauce, donating it to the dinner, and earning their free gas. My dad is checking out when the manager comes over.)

Manager: “Excuse me, but you’re the tenth person today who has bought just spaghetti and sauce and used the same coupon. May I ask if there’s a reason?”

(My dad explains it, and then with pen and paper does the math to show how it works out. The manager thinks this is great and says they will gladly hang flyers for the dinner, then leaves. But the cashier is gobsmacked.)

Cashier: “Can I take that paper where you did all that math? I want to give it to my kids to show them when they ask why they have to study math in school. Imagine, free gas for spaghetti!”

“Percentages & Assault” Coming This Fall On CBS

, , , , , , | | Right | May 5, 2019

(It’s Black Friday, so the store is busy and I have more than my fair share of customers. I’ve been called down to handle one such customer, who is red-faced and screaming throughout this conversation.)

Customer: “This is supposed to be free!”

Me: “Why do you believe that?”

Customer: “It’s marked 10% off and I have a 10%-off coupon! That’s 100% off!”

Me: “Let me show you how our computers will calculate the math for this, sir.”

(I write the numbers down and show him the math on my phone. I’m helped by a passing customer who says I am right. He is still fuming and angry, but seems to accept the math.)

Customer: “That isn’t right! You should put signs up that that’s how you do it!”

Me: “I apologize if this is confusing. Do you still want the item?”

Customer: “Yes. It’s a g**d*** scam you have here.”

(He turns and flings his credit card at the waiting employee, like a throwing star. It hits her, bounces off of her, and goes down a crack between the register and the counter. The crack is only an eighth of an inch wide.)

Customer: “What the h***? Get my card!”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure how.”

(Both counters are bolted to the floor and a piece of flashing means I can’t dig it out with a wire. Meanwhile, the customer is yelling even louder about getting his card out, while pulling his shoulders like he wants to fight. He is screaming threats against us if we don’t get his card out now. I’m about to lose control of the situation when a police officer comes up behind the angry man.)

Officer: “How about you calm down there? I’m sure she is getting your card as fast as possible.”

Customer: “They were trying to scam me! The cashier b**** dropped my card down that crack!”

Officer: “You know I saw you throw it, right? How about you take a seat over there and calm down, buddy. If you don’t tone down the language, I’m going to put you in cuffs.”

Me: “I’ll have maintenance down to unbolt the counter soon.”

Officer: “Tell them to take their time. My one-year-old is learning not to throw things at people right now. I’m going to have the same conversation with my buddy here while we wait.”

(Maintenance was able to unbolt the counter and retrieve the card while I heard the cop explaining percentages and assault to the guy. When he came over, he finished his transaction silently, looking pale and cowed. I checked out a gift card to a coffee shop out of my own money and gifted it to the cop. I don’t want to think how bad things would have gotten if he hadn’t interceded.)

Like Millennials Who Can’t Tell Analogue Time

, , , , , , | Related | April 9, 2019

Back a decade or so ago, I was home from college between semesters, lounging with my brother, when I got a call from my mother. She sounded worked up, which isn’t usual, and asked me rather insistently if I knew how to count change. My confused response must not have inspired confidence because she said she was going to come home and make sure.

Sure enough, when she got home she started grabbing change to put on the table, asking us again if we knew how. My brother and I were able to talk her down a bit with several assurances that we did, in fact, have a basic understanding of currency, and we finally got the reason for all this. Mom had been out shopping and the cashier had given her the wrong change, and had apparently been entirely clueless about how to count it out. This had worked my mother up to the point where she apparently felt the need to make sure her sons weren’t in the same boat.

I can certainly understand why that would be a frustrating experience. But I can’t help but be amused that she feared that a student who had run As in the advanced math track, tested out of every math requirement in college, and was routinely referred to by friends and family as a “human calculator” would be incapable of counting change!

No Helium For The Airhead, Part 3

, , , , , | Right | March 21, 2019

(I work at a party shop that sells balloons as well as the option to have them inflated with helium to make them float. A middle-aged customer walks in with balloons on ribbons that are tied to a balloon weight. The balloons are clearly just filled with air as they are dragging along the floor, not floating at all.)

Customer: “Hi! I’m so confused. I inflated the balloons that I bought from you but they’re not floating! Is something wrong with them?”

Me: “How did you inflate them? Did you hire a helium cylinder from us or do you have access to helium?”

Customer: “Oh! No, I just inflated them by mouth. I thought it would be cheaper than helium.”

Me: “Yes, it’s cheaper but balloons don’t float with air. They need to be inflated with helium to float.”

Customer: “Oh! Really?!”

(I can’t stop picturing the customer sitting at home, huffing and puffing away and not understanding why her breath isn’t making the balloons float.)

No Helium For The Airhead, Part 2
No Helium For The Airhead

Very Card To Understand

, , , , | Right | March 8, 2019

(I work in a copy shop. I come into the work first thing in the morning to find my supervisor in a panic because, apparently, there was an order from the night before that didn’t even get started, and the customer is coming in an hour after opening to pick it up, and my supervisor knows nothing about it. The email relayed to me isn’t much help, so I call my coworker to ask her what I need to do. She explains everything, and explains why there were troubles, and after understanding the order I hang up and get started on it as fast as I can. There is some design work that I need to do, as well, and I am a little stressed trying to get it done on time. The customer comes in to pick it up not twenty minutes later.)

Me: “Oh, I’ve just started it.”

Customer: “That’s okay. I’ll wait around for it. But I’ll pay for it now if you want.”

Me: “Great.” *starts ringing everything up*

Customer: “Oh, so, you’re only doing 75 cards, right?”

Me: “75 pages with two cards on a page, which gives you 150 cards. Right?”

Customer: “I want two on a page, yes, but I only want 75 cards total.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood. I thought you wanted 150 cards total. I already sent 75 pages to print. That’s okay; I just won’t cut and fold all of them.”

Customer: “Okay, thank you so much.”

(The customer pays for 38 sheets, and I finish the order as quickly as I can, a little stressed as she’s waiting at the counter for it to be done and I also have to multitask and help other customers at the same time. I make sure to count them all out before handing them over.)

Me: “Okay, you’ve got 76 cards here, all ready to go!”

Customer: “Oh, no, I wanted 150.”

Me: “You said you wanted 75, after I said I thought you wanted 150.”

Customer: “Well, two per sheet, and 75 sheets. Which makes 150 cards.”

(I almost pulled my hair out.)

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