Self-Helpless Against Stupidity

| Middletown, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(One of the local supermarkets recently ‘upgraded’ their self-checkout systems. While nominally faster, the new systems are more complicated and far more prone to bugs. The first time I hit the ‘use a coupon’ button the whole screen is covered with a ‘please wait for attendant’ warning. One of the workers comes over.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry; I don’t know what happened.”

Attendant: “Let me guess. You needed to use a coupon?”

Me: “Um… yeah?”

Attendant: “No problem. One second.”

(She swipes her ID card, types in a code, swipes the coupon, hits ‘done,’ and puts it in the slot.)

Attendant: “There you go.”

Me: “I guess there’s a problem with the coupon part?”

Attendant: “Yeah, we had a rash of people having issues with the sensor when putting the coupons in the slot who were just about ripping the machine apart instead of asking for any help at all.”

Me: “There’s no way they’d be that—”

(As if scripted, there’s suddenly a loud banging just behind us at the other machine; another shopper’s receipt jams in the printer because they tried to yank it out before it was done printing, and she is now PUNCHING the printer to try to get it to work.)

Me: “…okay, thank you for the help. Have a nice day and God’s speed, brave warrior!”

Attendant: “Once more into the breach!”

Help You To Help Me

| OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month

(My mother and I go to her favorite store, which is offering a 50% coupon. An employee is rather helpful with us, and when mom has other questions about an extra coupon, the employee explains that we can use both.)

Mom: *brings the purses up to the register*

Employee: “And that will be all today?”

Mom: “Yeah, and, also…” *fishes out the coupon* “I’ve got this extra coupon that I was told—” *stops herself, and realizes it’s the same employee* “Oh! You already know this! You’re me! I mean, you helped me!”

(I couldn’t stop laughing.)

Dishing Out The Cold Truth

| UT, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

(It’s been snowing steadily all day. Still, customers come to shop for electronics and ask stupid questions.)

Customer: “I bought [Satellite TV Service] here, but I’m having trouble with it. Can you help?”

Me: “I usually handle computer questions, not TV questions, but I can try. What’s going on?”

Customer: “The channels just aren’t coming through right. They’re all pixelated, and they keep cutting out, and sometimes there’s nothing to see or hear at all.”

Me: “That’s not good. When did it start?”

Customer: “This morning.”

Me: “I haven’t heard of any problems from [Satellite TV Provider]. I’m guessing that it has something to do with the snowstorm. The snow could be interfering with your signal, especially if some has accumulated in the dish of your receiver.”

Customer: “Can you check?”

Me: “Can I check what?”

Customer: “Can you get on your computer and check to see if I have snow on my dish?”

Me: “…no, I can’t do that.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “The store computers don’t have access to information about whether a person’s satellite dish has snow in it. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Well, how can I find out?”

Me: “You could try going home and looking at it…”