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Stripped Of The Opportunity

, , , , | Right | December 30, 2018

(My print shop has a lot of regulars, and also a lot of wide open counter space for assembling large orders. One day, one of our regulars, an elderly man, comes in and seems to be noticing the counter space for the first time. He says loudly…)

Customer: “OH, MY GOD, LOOK AT ALL THAT COUNTER SPACE! I could do a striptease up there!”

Me: “Er… not sure the management would appreciate that, sir.”

Customer: *sighing dramatically* “Well, there goes my debut!”

(And he collected his copies and marched out!)

These Christmas Greetings Are Not Very Cheerful

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(I’m the print shop manager, working during the holiday season. Our print shop offers an inexpensive, custom photo greeting card printing service where the customer supplies a ready-to-print photo, specifies the template they’d like the photo added to, and pays for a number of cards. They come in one size, the greeting message on the inside is a default greeting, and the cards are printed on one type of stock only. This is all specified in our sample book, order forms, etc. One day, we receive an emailed order from a customer.)

Customer Email: “Print me [number] Christmas greeting cards with this picture.”

Reply Email: *from shop employee* “We have printed you a sample card. Please come in to proof the card before we run the whole set.”

(The customer arrives a day later and asks to see the proof.)

Me: “Here you go! This is what your cards will look like when they’re all finished. Please review everything and make sure it’s all correct. If it is, we can print the rest out for you and they’ll be ready for pickup later today.”

Customer: “It’s all fine. I don’t see why I have to proof them! Just print out my cards!”

(She signs the proof, which says something along the lines of, “I have reviewed this order and signify that it is correct. I understand I will be charged to reprint if I find errors later,” and leaves, so we run the order. When the customer returns later…)

Customer: “These cards are all wrong!”

Me: “What’s wrong with them, ma’am?”

Customer: “My dogs have red-eye! You should have edited the red-eye out!”

(The dogs’ eyes were fine; they had just reflected some of the camera flash. They weren’t glaringly-obvious laser-beam eyes or anything that would have made us feel they needed retouching.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, do you remember when I showed you the proof of your card, and told you that it was exactly how your finished cards would look?”


Me: “Well, I can do that for you now and reprint, but since you signed the proof on the first card, saying that the card was fine as-is, we have to charge you for both sets. Photo retouching has a minimum fee of $5, as well.”

Customer: “FINE!”

Me: “So, we’ll do the retouch and have another proof ready for you in—“

Customer: “I don’t want another proof, just print the cards!”

Me: “Ma’am, I really recommend we do another proof so that you can be sure the red eye is removed to your liking.”

Customer: “No! I already made two trips down here, and I won’t do it again!”

(We’re so swamped with other business in the department that by now I’m just trying to get the woman out of the shop so I can carry on helping other people. I tell her fine, we’ll email a proof. She leaves. When she comes back to pick up the second batch of cards, we’re still so busy that I’ve called in two more employees to help with the rush, and there’s still a line and a backlog of orders. The woman cuts in line to shout at me across the counter.)


(I’m trying to run a large-format print through the laminator, which requires most of my attention to ensure nothing jams, goes crooked, etc.)

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, ma’am. What’s wrong with them?”


Me: “Ma’am, that’s the same paper the proof was printed on, and that the first batch of cards was printed on, and it’s the same paper we’ve been using for these cards for years.”

Customer: “I want these reprinted now, while I wait!”

(I can’t help it. I stare at her, speechless, while the department is a cacophony of noise from other customers, machines running, employees taking orders, and so on. There is a line at the counter, our self-serve machines are all in use, and four employees are all working with customers. The little print shop is crammed with people, I am currently in the middle of an order, and she thinks we are all going to drop everything to serve her.)

Me: “Ma’am, I can reprint for you again, but that’s the only greeting card stock we have, and you approved it with your first proof. If you’d like something heavier, or a different size, we can order custom cards for you, but they take about two weeks, and at this point, you wouldn’t receive them in time to mail them out for Christmas delivery.”

(She threw the cards on the counter and stormed out.)

Their Expectations Are Wide Off The Mark

, , | Right | December 8, 2018

(An older gentleman wants to have an old photograph copied, and he also asks a few questions about how the picture could be edited. Everything is fine, until…)

Customer: “We took this picture back in 1968. There’s my brother, my sister, my uncle… but the photographer accidentally left my grandmother out of the picture.”

Me: “Oh, no, that’s unfortunate.”

Customer: “Yes, so, could you add her in it?”

Me: “Sorry? You mean, could I edit her into the picture? From another photograph?”

Customer: “No, no, I mean, widen the original picture from the side so she can be seen.”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure I follow.”

Customer: “She’s standing right there, but the photographer accidentally left her out. I’d like for you to make her visible.”

Me: *long pause* “Sir, I am very sorry, but that is simply not possible.”

(He did seem to get it after a lengthy explanation. On the plus side, since his request wasn’t possible, he later brought a picture of his grandmother to the shop, and we edited the colours, etc., and made a big print, and the customer was very happy.)

There Is No Method To This Madness

, , , | Friendly | June 27, 2018

(My boss’s daughter sometimes comes in to chat. She is into fashion and works at a jewelry store, while I’m more technical and interested in science.)

Boss’s Daughter: “So, you’ll like this because it’s all science-y. I went to a specialist to find out if I have any allergies or intolerances to food, because sometimes I just don’t feel great after eating something.”

Me: “Really? I’ve got some seasonal allergies and I’ve been meaning to get a skin test done to figure out exactly what’s going on.”

Boss’s Daughter: “I’ll give you the contact info. But the way they figured it out was way cooler than a skin test. So, they ask you to wear loose clothing so that they can access a patch of skin on your shoulder, and they blindfold you. She’ll put a piece of fruit or vegetable against your shoulder and ask you to make an ‘okay’ symbol with your hand. While the piece of produce is on your skin, she’ll try to break the circle you make with your fingers. If she can, it means that you have a sensitivity.”

Me: “That… isn’t really scientific at all.”

Boss’s Daughter: “I don’t know, it sounds like they have a whole method and all that.”

Me: “That would be the scientific method, and no, it isn’t.”

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!)