Making A Leap Of Understanding

, , , , , , | Learning | March 13, 2019

(Two classmates and I are chatting and waiting for class to finish. The topic of leap years comes up.)

Classmate #1: “I have a friend who was born on leap day. He’s only had like three birthdays.”  

Me: “I heard about a family that had three kids born on consecutive leap days.”

Classmate #2: “Twelve years apart? That’s quite a gap.”

Me: “No, it’s eight years apart, which is not that weird.”

Classmate #1: “A leap year is every four years. Three kids, that’s twelve years. You need to check your math.”

Classmate #2: “Yeah, that’s right.”

Me: “No… Okay. You have a kid in 2000. Four years later, you have another kid. Four years later, you have a third kid, and it’s been eight years.”

(It dawns on them that I am correct.)

Classmate #2: “This never happened.”

Unable To Craft A Sale

, , , | Right | March 12, 2019

(A customer is looking at a pair of hand-carved wooden maps of the city and one of the outlying neighborhoods. They are priced at around $300 each. We do have a small number of vintage and hand-crafted items in the store which we are allowed to be a bit lenient with and are marked with a “VINTAGE” or “CRAFT ITEM” tag, but most of the new and mass-produced items are a fixed price like any other store.)

Customer: “Hi. I’ll give you $300 for the two of them.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but those are newly-made, fixed-price items. They are $300 apiece.”

Customer: “So, cut me a deal; I am going to buy both.”

Me: “While I appreciate your business, I am unable to reduce the price on those items. They are fixed.”

Customer: “You can’t do any better? How about $400 for the two?”

Me: “Those items are $300 each and will not be reduced. Did you want to pay full price, or perhaps get just one right now?”

Customer: “You really won’t cut me a deal? At all?”

Me: “Sir, I am unable to do that. I don’t have the authority, nor do I have the inclination, as those pieces are extremely expensive for us, as well, and we are selling them at well below our usual mark-up knowing they are popular and because we enjoy working with that vendor. They sell extremely well at the prices they’re at, and I expect these will be sold by the end of the week at full price. There is no deal to be had. I’m sorry I cannot help you out with that specifically, but you are welcome to purchase one at full price and perhaps come back for the other next time we have them in stock or your budget allows.”

Customer: *glares at me silently for a good thirty seconds* “FINE. I’ll think about I guess.”

Me: “Okay, thanks so much for stopping by!”

That Fish Didn’t Want To Go With Them

, , , , | Right | March 8, 2019

(I work at a very popular pet store. Our store closes at nine pm on weekdays and Saturdays. As a corporate policy, we are not allowed to tell people that we are closing or closed. The only time we can tell them that we are closing soon is if they specifically ask us when we close. This story takes place after nine pm.)

Me: “Can I help you find anything?”

Customer: “Yes, we’d like [fish #1] or [fish #2].”

Me: “Well, [fish #1] is…” *long explanation about how [fish #1] will get way too big for their tank and they’d only end up killing it* “So, I’d suggest [fish #2], or taking the night to sleep on it.”

Customer: “How about [fish #3]?”

Me: *internally screaming* “Sure, that would probably work.”

Customer: “Okay, but I want a very specific fish. Some of the fish in there look sickly.”

(This is not an uncommon or difficult request, but because of this fish’s swimming habits I have to take out all the decoration in the tank to find the proper one. Not a difficult task, just slightly irritating.)

Customer: “Wait a minute. That fish in the center hasn’t moved; can you check it to see if it’s alive?”

(This is not uncommon for this species of fish, as they are a fish that routinely stays in one place and eats algae off the glass or gravel.)

Me: “Sure.” *prods the fish very lightly, which will usually cause a slight reaction — no reaction* “Hmm, this one seems to be kind of stationary.”

Customer: *starts backing away from the tanks* “Nope. Nope, nope. That’s five dead fish; that’s a bad omen. Sorry for wasting your time, but we’ll just come in on another day.”

(As I was putting everything away, because I had to take out several materials in order to catch a fish, I saw that when bothered by a water current, that little fish at the bottom was actually moving. Apparently, the fish are on OUR side!)

They’re All Upcharged Up

, , , , , , | Right | March 7, 2019

(While at grad school I work the overnight shift at a cheap hotel chain. Rooms are about $50 a night, but there is a coupon for $39.99 in a popular hotel coupon book that’s available all along the interstate. It clearly states on the coupon that this is only for non-renovated rooms, and that there is a $5 upcharge for the renovated rooms. One night I have this conversation.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like one of your coupon rooms, please.”

Me: “Okay, we are currently sold out of our non-renovated rooms, so is a renovated room okay for the $5 more?”

Customer: “What? No. Your coupon says $39.99. That’s what I want.”

Me: *resisting the urge to sigh because this is a common argument and it’s one am* “I’m sorry, but those rooms are sold out. I can give you a renovated room for $44.99.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I’m calling your corporate office and reporting you for false advertising!”

Me: “It clearly states on the coupon that—“

Customer: *flips phone open and dials corporate, glaring at me*

Me: *soldiers on* “The renovated rooms are a $5 upcharge.”

(I give up, because I know how this will go with corporate; it’s happened before, though, granted, not with the customer standing right in front of me while calling.)

Customer: *talking on the phone to corporate* “Hello. I’m at your hotel in Syracuse and they won’t honor a coupon from this coupon book. Yes, I’ll hold.” *continues to glare at me*

(The hotel landline rings. I pick it up, looking steadily back at the customer.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hotel]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Corporate: “Hey, this is [Corporate] from corporate. We just got a customer complaint about a coupon?”

Me: *still looking steadily at the customer* “Yes, as I explained to the customer, the room that the coupon refers to is sold out for the night. We do have renovated rooms available at a $5 upcharge from the coupon price. It explains that on the coupon.”

Corporate: “Okay. I’ll let her know, thanks.” *hangs up*

Me: *hangs up*

Customer: *obviously just taken off of hold* “Yes, I’m here.” *I can faintly hear corporate repeating word for word what I’ve now explained three times* “Fine.” *hangs up* “I’ll take a renovated room.”

Me: *smiles* “Of course.”

The Wrong Order Number

, , , , | Right | March 4, 2019

(I’ve gone to the counter to find an irate customer close to yelling at the teenage staff.)

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: “Yes, I order item in November.” *it’s now February* “I have not been called. I was told two weeks, where is?”

Me: “Please give me a few moments to look for your order. Can I have your name please?”

(The customer gives me an unusual name so I go into ou r office to check orders and can find nothing regarding the order. I try calling our manager to see if she knows but can’t get through. I let the customer know and ask if I can have his phone number so I can call him when I find out, promising to call him right away. About fifteen minutes after he leaves the manager calls me back and I let her know what was going on.)

Manager: “Is this for [Unusual Name]?”

Me: “Yes.”

(My manager tells me where his order form is and says that she had called the number he gave several times and had no response. The order had been put out for sale. I immediately call him back on the number he gave me and also get no response; it just rings out. Another month passes, I again find him yelling at the teenage staff because no one has called him.)

Me: “I did try to call you and the manager also called but there was no answer.”

Customer: *shakes his head furiously* “I have not been called; why didn’t you leave a message because I don’t answer my phone when I am driving!”

Me: “There was no way to leave a message. The phone just rang out. We placed another order but it’s not come in yet.”

(The customer clearly doesn’t believe me and is still violently shaking his head at me.)

Me: “Let me take your number again so I know it’s right; your name is—“ *I start spelling it out*

Customer: *stops head shaking* “You remember me?”

Me: “Yes I do, you are after [stock item] right?”

Customer: *now smiling* “Yes, this is my number; you can send me a text.”

Me: “No, we only ever call.”

Customer: “You have a cellphone, so you send me a text.”

Me: “I am sorry, we do not use our personal cellphones, only the company landline. We will call you.”

(The next day I give the manager his name and number.)

Manager: *pulls out his order form* “Wait a minute, that number is different to the one here.”

(She places the order again and again only part of it comes in, we give him a call on the new number and he comes in a few days later. He’s still upset and blaming us for not getting the other calls and only part of the order. I grab his order and also the order form which has notes written on it, stating dates we tried ordering and dates we tried calling him. I also point out the different phone numbers he gave. He looks at the number on the form which matched the one he gave me on his second visit.)

Customer: “How did you get that number? “

Me: “That’s the one you gave us”

Customer: “No, I wouldn’t have given you that one, that’s my work phone, I keep that locked in a drawer at work. I never use it.”

Me: “It’s what you gave us, twice.”

Customer: “Oh, sorry.”

(We finally did get the rest of the order in a couple of weeks later, now when he comes in he always gives us a big smile.)

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