De Thingz, Not De Tingz

, , , | Right | April 29, 2021

Caller: “I got slides I need made into digital things.”

Me: “I can help with that; we do that all the time.”

Caller: “So, you got a machine for making them into digital things?”

Me: “I have a scanner; I can scan the slides for you.”

Caller: “Great, I want to borrow it.”

Me: “Borrow?”

Caller: “Just for tonight. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”

Me: “Um… No.”

Caller: “Fine, I can rent it if I have to.”

Me: “No… I can scan them for you; that’s part of what we do here.”

Caller: “How much is that?”

Me: “It’s [price] per slide.”

Caller: “What?! I have like two-thousand slides; that costs too much!”

Me: “Still less expensive than buying a scanner like I have, and it will take far longer than one night to scan that many. You can break them up into batches. Most people find they actually don’t want all their slides scanned.”

Caller: “I can rent one; you’re crazy.” *Hangs up*

No, you can’t rent one. And even if you could find one to rent, I can assure you that you will have no idea what to do with it to make “digital things.”


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There Will Be No Photo Finish

, , , , , | Right | April 16, 2021

I work the photo counter at a drugstore. I’ve been there a long time, and I know the systems very well. A customer comes in to pick up her photos. I start the transaction by asking for her last name, since we sort by last name for anything smaller than poster size. After searching through the last initial bin:

Me: “Hmm, nothing’s here with that name. Is there any other name it could be under?” 

Frequently, especially for women, an order will be under their maiden name, but they’ve gotten married and haven’t updated their information in the system.

Customer: *Getting irate* “No. It should be [Customer’s Last Name].”

Me: “Okay, well, let me pull up my system and we can look it up another way.”

I log in and ask for her phone number, a method that usually works. Sure enough, her name pops up, but I have no recent orders for her.

Me: “Hm. My computer says you haven’t placed an order recently. Would you like to try another phone number?”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I know I placed an order! Find it!”

If an order doesn’t exist in the system, it literally can’t be printed. Sometimes there’s a delay in downloading files, so I try that next.

Me: “Well, sometimes the system is a little slow. Unfortunately, since I can’t find it in our bins or in the system, you may need to come back lat—”

Customer: “No! I placed an order! I don’t care what your computer says; you will find it!”

I don’t appreciate being screamed at, so I remove every photo order from the bin and move them to the side after reading out the last name, clearly showing her they are not hers.

Me: “As I said, it’s not here. It’s not in my system to be printed, nor is it completed. Did you hit ‘submit’ on your order? A common problem is people not finalizing their order; it’s easy to m—”


She gets on her phone to look for the confirmation email while flinging curses and insults my way. When she finds it, she begins screaming again, until she suddenly stops.

Customer: “Oh, for f***’s sake, I submitted it to [Other Drugstore].”

She walked out muttering to herself, without an apology or a thank-you. She didn’t have the decency to even look embarrassed. I tossed an irritated “You’re welcome!” at her back.

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A Customer By Any Other Name Would Be As Frustrating

, , , | Right | CREDIT: kuduloka | April 10, 2021

I am working in the photo department of my store. For the past few weeks, we’ve been scrambling to keep up with the myriad of photo and Christmas card orders. Today was probably the most unusual customer pickup I’ve dealt with.

Most of the time, I get their name and order type and send them on their way.

Me: “Hi. Can I have your name?”

Customer: *Immediately* “I don’t know.”

Recognizing that this is not off to a great start, I am a bit flabbergasted at his following response.

Customer: “It could be under any of five aliases.”

Not names, aliases. To further my confusion, he gave me just given names for some, surnames for others. It finally took us taking down his order number, entering that into the computer, and finding what the prints looked liked to match them with a printed order. And it wasn’t under any of the names he’d given us.

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Well, It’s Certainly Memorable, Part 2

, , , , | Working | September 23, 2020

I am the author of this story. About six months after I stop working with this person, I receive a call from one of the higher-ups of the company asking me to come back and work for them with a promotion and 30% raise. It’s a hard offer to pass up. I meet with my former district manager — [Former Boss]’s boss — for lunch to discuss how the transition would work. 

District Manager: “So, it wouldn’t be the same thing you were doing before, but we can get you up to speed on the changes.”

Me: “That sounds great, and I’d like to come back as long as the support system is in place.”

District Manager: “Yes, we can get [Former Coworker] to help out.”

Me: *Incredulous* “[Former Coworker]?”

District Manager: “Yes, she was promoted to another location a couple of months ago.” 

Me: “Is [Former Coworker #2] still around?” 

District Manager: “What happened? How’s your relationship with [Former Coworker]?”

I pause. I think about deflecting. I think about lying. Then, I decide I don’t owe her anything.

Me: “Honestly, it’s terrible.”

District Manager: “What happened?”

Me: “Well, [Former Boss] hired and paid her to be my videographer when I got married. After jerking me around for a year and a half, she finally admitted to losing all my reception footage. I never even got an apology. So, if I have a choice, I’d prefer to work with [Former Coworker #2].”

District Manager: “Oh, my God. I knew she could be flaky, but that is unbelievable. Don’t worry; I’ll make sure you’re working with someone else.”

To be honest, I felt a little guilty about ratting her out to her big boss, even though I knew it wouldn’t lead to any repercussions for her. Maybe I am a vengeful person. But the triumph of being perfectly frank about her behavior was so, so sweet.

Well, It’s Certainly Memorable

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Has A Specific Memory Of It Looking Different  

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2020

Customer: “Hello, I’ve driven quite far to get some prints from my old digital camera, and I’d like to pick them up today if possible.”

Me: “Absolutely, sir. Where’s the memory card?”

Customer: “Right here.”

(The customers unwraps a plastic bag and tries to hand me the contents. I just give him a knowing look that he quickly notices, he takes a look at the thing in his hand, and it dawns on him.)

Customer: “This is the battery, isn’t it?”

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