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Not The Sharpie-est Tool In The Box, But A Tool Nonetheless

, , , , , , | Right | December 23, 2019

(I work at the customer service desk at one of the biggest department stores in Ottawa. It’s the night before Christmas Eve, and we closed about ten minutes ago. I have a customer come up to me saying the vending machine near our front doors ate his money. This would not normally be a problem; we would fill out a form, give him money from the till, and he would be on his merry way. The only issue is that he paid by Visa. I go to ask my supervisor what we should do; she just says to give him cash. I go back to the customer.)

Me: “My supervisor said to just give you cash, so just come on over to the desk and I can help you out.”

Customer: “I was checking my Visa statement and it said it took $6.00, which is outrageously expensive for a bottle of pop.”

Me: “My apologies, sir. I’ll give you the money back, and we’ll contact the vendor.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I always come to this store and this machine always steals my money. It’s been doing this for twenty years and this store never does anything about it.”

(Our specific location has only existed for about seven years.)

Me: “Unfortunately, we actually can’t do anything about it other than contact the vendor; we can’t even refill it. All I can do is give you your money back and contact the vendor.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I’m going to take a Sharpie and write, ‘broken,’ on the f****** thing.”

Me: “I can’t allow you to do that. If you just come over to the desk, I’ll give you your money back.”

Customer: “I’m going to grab a f****** Sharpie.”

(The customer walks away. I walk over to my manager who is watching the doors near the machine.)

Me: “There’s a guy who says he’s going to grab a Sharpie and write on the vending machine.” 

(Our head loss prevention officer — who has apparently been behind me the whole time, and is not a small man by any means — comes up behind me.)

Loss Prevention Officer: “No, he’s not.”

Me: “All right, then. I’ll just get his money ready in case he comes over.”

(I go back to counting my cash. The guy actually does grab a Sharpie, open it, and run towards the machine. Our Loss Prevention Officer stands between the customer and the machine, and then the man goes off on him and tries to attack him. He eventually gives up when the Loss Prevention Officer won’t budge, throws the opened marker on the floor, and storms out… without his money.) 

Loss Prevention Officer: “Maybe we should use the $6 to pay for the marker.”

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Fat Chance Of Getting Her Support

, , , , , | Right | December 18, 2019

(I’m working as a cashier in this story. We’re soliciting donations for a program the store runs. This conversation happens at the end of a transaction.)

Me: “Would you like to make a small donation to [Program] today?”

Customer: *eyeing me suspiciously* “What is this program?”

Me: “It helps to set up gardens and provide salad bars at schools so kids can have better access to fresh, healthy food.”

Customer: “Do I look like I care about fat kids?”

Me: “Uh, guess not. Have a nice evening, ma’am.”

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You Can Park Your Little Mansplanation Right There

, , , , | Right | December 3, 2019

(I work in the accounting office in an apartment building. I also handle parking. I’ve recently assigned a spot to a tenant. Note that I’m fairly new to this location and I’m female.)

Tenant: “I don’t like this spot. It’s too far from my building.”

Me: “I understand, but this is the closest spot available until someone moves out.”

Tenant: “But I want to be closer. I know exactly what spot I want. It’s [number].”

Me: “That spot is currently being rented by someone else.”

Tenant: “But I want it. It’s always empty when I look.”

Me: “They can rent it and not park there. It’s their money and their right. Or maybe they’re at work.”

Tenant: “Let me explain it to you another way.” *grabs a pen and paper off my desk* “Since you’re new, this may help.” *draws a rough map of the site layout and points to the spot he wants and where he is* “We’re in this building. I live here. I’m parked here. I want this spot.” *sits back with a smile as if he’s explained the universe to me*

Me: “Did you just mansplain my job to me?”

Tenant: “I… Well… A map…”

Me: “…does not change that [number] is currently being rented. Do you want to call them and tell them that you want [number]? I can arrange that meeting if you want.”

Tenant: “No, I just want it.”

Me: “No. You’ve mansplained it to me, as if I’d say yes now, and don’t understand that it’s unavailable.”

Tenant: “Will you call me when it’s available?”

(Apparently, my real feelings showed on my face, because he left quickly after that.)

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Canada Is Kinda Big

, , , , , | Working | November 21, 2019

(The company’s head office is out of California somewhere, and that is where the call is originating from. I’m in Canada.)

Caller: “Hi. This is [Caller] with [Company]. We noticed your membership with us has been inactive for quite some time. Is there anything I can do to get you to sign up with us again?”

Me: “I was very happy with your program, but the location I was frequenting has closed and now I’m with [Competitor]. Do you have another Ottawa location?”

Caller: “Yes! We have one at [address]!”

Me: “That’s the one that closed.”

Caller: “Oh, really? Well, how about the one in Brampton?”

Me: “That’s almost a five-hour drive from here.”

Caller: “Toronto?”

Me: “Four hours.”

Caller: “Oh… I’m going to butcher the name on this one. Miss… Miss…”

Me: “Mississauga? That’s further than Toronto.”

Caller: “Oh. I guess we don’t have anything near you.”

Me: “I didn’t think so. Thanks for calling, I guess? Let me know if you open an operation in Ottawa again.”

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Last Name Blame

, , , , | Right | November 14, 2019

(I work in a large bookstore. I’m shelving books under W in fiction. A man is sharing the aisle with me, pacing back and forth and looking more and more agitated. Finally, he realizes I’m not browsing and turns to me angrily.)

Customer: “This place is a mess!”

Me: *glancing around my spotless section* “Uh, if you’re looking for something specific, I’d be happy to help you. I know the books get shuffled out of order sometimes.”

Customer: “What the h*** kind of system do you even use to organize these things?!”

Me: *bewildered* “We sort the books alphabetically by author.”

Customer: “Well, you suck at it! Look at this: Sophie, Ian, Valerie, Ryan! WHAT KIND OF ORDER IS THAT?!”

Me: “Books are sorted by the author’s last name, sir.” *pointing at random shelf* “Wells, Wilkinson, Willins, Willis—”

(The customer looks at the shelf closely in silence for twenty seconds. His face slowly slumps into horrified shame.)

Customer: “I, uh… I don’t buy books much.”

(And then he fairly ran out of the store. I never saw him again.)

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