How They Do Business Is To Not To

, , , , | Right | June 7, 2018

(I’m working at a small print shop. We work with small businesses; as such, we offer lines of credit to qualified customers. I am at the counter with a new customer who has yet to pay for the first job we did for them over two months ago.)

Customer: “Hi there. I need to get this brochure printed and pick it up tomorrow.”

Me: “Sure, no problem, but I’m afraid this order will be cash-on-delivery.”

Customer: “But we have an account with you!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it is policy. Your account is past due by over 60 days, which means you are on credit hold. We will still run your job, but you will need to pay for it when you pick it up.”

Customer: “That is ridiculous! How am I supposed to get a check cut by tomorrow? Our accounting department only cuts checks once a month!”

Me: “We do accept all major credit cards.”

Customer: “Well, I’m certainly not going to put business expenses on my personal credit card. This is just stupid. I’m never doing business with your company again!”

Me: “Well, sir, being as you have never paid us a red cent, technically we have never done business in the first place.”

(The customer stormed out and we never saw him again. The outstanding invoice eventually got paid, albeit six months later. Good riddance!)

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Taking This All The Way To The Edge

, , | Right | April 6, 2018

(I work in a print shop.)

Client: “I need some envelopes printed; [Other Place] said you do that.”

Me: “That’s right. Do you have a layout?”

Client: “Yeah, like this.” *hands over a USB stick with a PDF*

Me: “Okay, we can do this, except we can’t print that line all the way to the edge; it’ll be cut short a few millimeters from the edge.”

Client: “But I want that line to the edge!”

Me: “Then you’ll have to visit [Other Place], since they can print offset.”

Client: “But they were so much more expensive; I want to buy from you guys.”

Me: “Then you won’t get the line all the way from edge to edge.”

Client: “But I want the line out to the edges!”

Me: “And we can’t do that. For that, you need offset printing.”

Client: “But that’s more expensive!”

Me: “Yes, it is. And we’re cheaper, because we can’t do that.”

Client: “But I want you to!”

Me: “I’d like that, too, but I’d need three years of education and a serious hardware investment for that to happen. I’m afraid neither of us will be satisfied here today.”

Client: “How can I get the line to the edge, then?”

Me: “Go to [Other Place]. It’s why they’re more expensive.”

Client: “But I don’t want to pay that much!”

(And so on, for nearly ten minutes.)

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Unwilling To Change Until The Last Minute

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2018

(Our prints and copies cost $.05 for black and white and $.40 for color.)

Me: “Your total is $2.51.”

(The customer hands me $20.51, with a twenty dollar bill.)

Me: “Do you, by chance, have anything smaller?”

Customer: *with an annoyed look on his face* “No.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I give him his $18.00 change in single bills because that is all we have in the register.)

Customer: “Can you not give me a $10 bill?”

Me: “No, I can’t. Because of our prices, most people tend to pay with $1 bills.”

Customer: “Well, can I get that $20 back and pay with a $5?” *holding out a $5 bill to me*

Me: “No, because I asked you that in the first place.”

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Discovering New Dimensions Of Unreasonableness

, , , , , | Right | November 14, 2017

(I work at a photo center as a technician. We develop pictures in all standard sizes, ranging from wallet to giant posters, and usually can do almost anything with pictures. Note that a 4×8 is a small, long rectangle and an 8×10 is more of a square, two completely different shapes.)

Me: “Good morning! How may I help you today?”

Customer: “Hello! I need this picture to be an 8×10, please.” *hands me an invitation that measures 4×8*

Me: “Okay, just so you know, due to the shape of this picture, there will be a little white around the edges to make up for the missing space.”

Customer: “Oh, no! That won’t do! I need it to cover the whole 8×10 area!”

Me: “Well, in that case, the only thing I can do is stretch the image to make it reach the top, but the image will be squashed.”

Customer: “No! That won’t do either! I just want this to be in an 8×10! How hard could it be?!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, due to the law of mass it is physically impossible to put something with these measurements into an 8×10 without either squashing the image or having a small amount of space left over. If you like, I can cut the space off once it is printed.”


Me: “Ma’am, what you are asking would require me to break a law of physics. That is not possible!”

Customer: “Fine! If you will not print this for me, I will go find someone who will!”

Me: *under my breath* “Good luck, ma’am! I hear Stephen Hawking is hard to get a hold of, though.”

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Read Alert!

, , , , , | Learning | November 9, 2017

(I work at a printing shop at a university with a really big business program. We get a lot of students printing out important projects for their business classes. They are usually really picky about how the projects look and will print two or three copies before they are finally satisfied with the result. A student comes in to print a booklet for her project.)

Student: “So, all of these pages look good, but this page needs to be red.”

(I am confused, because she doesn’t have any red pages anywhere else on her document, and if she wants it red she just has to go change it before printing.)

Me: “Well, if you want it red you can go change it in the document and we can print just that page again.”

Student: “No! I need it red! It’s all blurry and it needs to be red!”

Me: “Again, all I can do is print; if you want to change the color, you have to do that yourself.”

Student: “No! I don’t want it red; it needs to be read, like readable!”

(She was pointing to the words on her page that were too blurry to read and she needed them clear enough to read.)

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