No Black Friday Is Music To My Ears

, , , | Right | December 14, 2017

(I live above a music store, which my landlady owns. It’s Black Friday, and I’m downstairs to give her my rent check. It’s around 11:00 am and the store ALWAYS opens at 10:00. A woman comes storming in and gets into my landlady’s face as much as she can, leaning over the counter.)


Landlady: *blinks, the woman taking her by surprise* “I don’t participate in Black Friday, ma’am. This is a music and instrument store.”

Customer: “I know it’s an instrument store! I was expecting to get one of those violins for $50!”

Landlady: “Ma’am, those violins are over $500. I would never sell them for so little. I’ve never posted any signs that I’d be open early, nor have I ever in the 30 years I’ve owned this store. Now, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

(The woman continues to argue, even trying to pull the “this is illegal!” card. Since the shop is located downtown, we’re only two blocks away from the police station. I cut in to her ranting.)

Me: “Lady, the police station is right over there. Should we just call them over to settle this?”

(She glares at me before stomping out.)

Landlady: *muttering* “Crazy old witch.”

(My landlady is still getting cancer treatments, and I’ll happily defend her against any bully.)

Found The Karma Chord

, , , , , | Right | November 21, 2017

(I am working in the guitar department of a large music store. Amongst other things like sale, maintenance, and repair of instruments, we specifically offer customers the opportunity to try out the guitars. This almost always goes without a problem. This afternoon, I am alone, serving a line of about five customers.)

Customer #1: “Can I try out this guitar? I saw the signs by the racks.”

Me: “Certainly, I’ll show you the try-out amps and you can pick your favourite to try it.”

(I lead him to the amplifiers and hook up his guitar. I turn the amp up to about 25%, so that I can still hear the other customers. At this, the customer begins to rage.)


Me: “Sir, if I did that, these other customers couldn’t understand their own words. It’s also company policy. I assure you that this level is perfectly acceptable to hear the qualities of your guitar.”


(This goes back and forth for five minutes, until the customer finally and reluctantly accepts that I won’t turn the amp up any higher. While he starts playing what I can only guess should be classic rock riffs, I return to my till where [Customer #2], a gentleman in his late 60s with long, white hair, hands me an old, worn-down bass guitar.)

Customer #2: “My grandson has started to become really interested in music and wants to learn to play his own. I would like to have my old bass restored as a gift for his upcoming birthday. You do repairs, right?”

Me: “Of course! It will be as good as new in no time. If you will fill out this form, we can address any special issues and desires you may–”

(At this point we are interrupted by incredibly loud shrieking, as [Customer #1] has decided to turn his amp up himself. Everyone is holding their ears as I run over to him.)


([Customer #1] is just standing provocatively in front of his amp, letting his guitar feed back and gesturing that he doesn’t hear me. After a moment, [Customer #2] comes over, takes a guitar from the racks, and plugs it into the amp next to [Customer #1], who is surprised and mutes his guitar.)

Customer #2: “Excuse me, young man. It is obvious you know what you’re doing. Would you honor me by letting me play along with you for a bit?”

Customer #1: “Errr… Sure, Grandpa, but try to keep up with me.”

(At this, [Customer #1] returns to play what I can only describe as the worst version of “Smoke on the Water” I have ever heard – and I have heard many – until [Customer #2] turns his amp just about a third of the way up and starts playing incredibly fast solos on his guitar. [Customer #1] stares in amazement, as does the rest of the shop, and stops playing.)

Customer #2: *stopping for just a moment* “This is only going to work if you play your part, as well, instead of looking at me. I can’t do all the work at my age.”

([Customer #1] stares a bit longer as the old man continues playing. Then, without a word, he drops his guitar on the floor and storms out, red-faced. [Customer #2] turns off the other amp and turns to the rest of the store:)

Customer #2: “The only way to silence bad musicians is by showing them how it is really done.”

1 Thumbs

The Magic Flute

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2017

In the early 90s, my mom’s car was broken into while she was at a music festival. The thief made off with all of her instruments, including the flute her father gave her over twenty years earlier when she was first learning. Naturally, she was devastated. She did manage to replace her instruments, and more or less put the experience behind her.

Ten years later, Mom was giving lessons at a music store. One day, she forgot her flute at home, and asked the owner if he could loan her a flute for the day so she could do her lesson. As luck would have it, someone had come in earlier that day and sold him a flute they’d found in a closet of the house they’d just bought. He reached behind the counter, and took out a case with a unicorn sticker on it. Mom immediately recognized the sticker, as she had that exact same one on her case. Excited, she took out the mouthpiece to check for the serial numbers her father had engraved in it. Unfortunately, they weren’t there. It wasn’t her flute.

Disappointed, she took the flute to her lesson room. As she was fitting the pieces together, she saw, on the middle section, a set of numbers. It was indeed her flute, and she’d simply mis-remembered which section had the numbers on it! As soon as her lesson was over, she went back to the owner, asked how much he’d paid for it, and told him she wanted to buy it.

Fifty dollars later, she was finally reunited with her flute. Since her father had died a year earlier, it was especially magical for her. Ironically, when he had engraved those numbers, she’d been upset since there was a sizable area where the silver had been stripped. But thanks to those numbers, the thief was not able to sell it, and simply left it behind when they moved, allowing it to make its way back to her.

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.)

Lack Of Composer

, , , | Right | June 30, 2017

(A customer comes in asking for cello strings. Cellos come in five sizes and have four strings, so It could be any type.)

Customer: “Do you have cello strings for a child-size cello?”

Me: “Okay, we have a few sizes of child size cellos. If you rent it from us, I can look up your account and find the cello size.”

Customer: “We don’t rent it here.”

(The customer pulls out his phone and points to a picture of the cello.)

Customer: “I want this large string.”

Me: “Well, the strings come in different lengths… so I need more information than that.”

(He gets very irate and starts screaming.)

Customer: “Your customer service is out of line! I demand to be served by someone else.”

(My other colleague was busy and it took 30 minutes to serve him. Meanwhile I went on helping other customers. He eventually bought a string and left. My boss called me a couple hours later. Apparently the customer emailed him and told him I was rude, he should get full refund, and that I should be fired.)

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