2001: A Computer Space Odyssey

| Raleigh, NC, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology, Time

(At this time, I work in the service department of a retail electronics store, mainly fixing people’s computers. One customer will bring up cheap playing card computer games to us and ask if it will work on her computer. She never has any details on the specs of her computer other than it’s at least eight years old. We tell her the games will probably not work but we would need to see her computer to be sure. She never brings the computer in, though, and then the pattern repeats. One day in 2014 she actually calls the store instead of coming in.)

Caller: “Hey I was wondering if you can tell me if a game would work on my computer.”

Me: “Maybe. What kind of game are talking about?”

Caller: “Well, a friend of mine had it. It’s, like, this robot guy and you shoot things.”

Me: “Do you know the name of the game?”

Caller: “No. So, will it work?”

Me: “Not sure, ma’am. Without the name of the game I can’t tell you what the recommended or minimum specs are.”

Caller: “Okay, forget that game. What about [Basic Card Game]?”

Me: *looking up the specs* “It doesn’t require a lot of computing power. What kind of computer do you have?”

Caller: “It’s gray.”

(Yes, she said it was gray.)

Me: “I mean the brand, model, operating system, RAM, hard drive, processor? That would be the information I need.”

Caller: “Well, the box is gray. It was built for me. You guys should know. You just worked on it.”

(I ask for her name and phone number and start looking for a work order for her but come up with nothing.)

Me: “I’m not seeing anything under your information. Could it have been brought in under another person’s information?”

Caller: “No. I mean, you just had it. I just want to know if this game will work.”

Me: “If you want to bring it in we would be glad to tell you if the [Basic Card Game] would work.”

Caller: “I don’t want to bring it in. Just have someone who worked on it tell me if it will work.”

Me: “Ma’am, when did you have us work on it? Like, what month?”

Caller: “2001. Can you put on someone who worked on it?”

Me: “Ma’am, no one in this department now was here in 2001.”

Caller: “Really? So you have a lot of turnover?”

Me: “All businesses have a fair amount of turnover in 13 years.”

Caller: “Really? Huh. Well, can you tell me if the game will work?”

Me: “We will need you to bring your computer in.”

Caller: “I don’t want to do that. It’s heavy. Okay, then. I guess you can’t help. Okay, bye.”

Best Comment Of The Year

| IA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(A regular customer almost always has a similar exchange with me during checkout. Usually it goes, “That was a good year,” or some good other natured ribbing.)

Regular: “How much you need?”

Me: *total that sounds like a long ago year*

Regular: “That wasn’t a very good year.”

Me: *without a beat, not really paying attention* “That’s because you weren’t there.”

Regular: *can’t stop laughing*

Database Contains An Astrological Amount Of Information

| USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers

(At work, we have a database with customer information — phone number, email, rewards membership, etc. — that we access when a customer inputs their phone number into our pin pad, in case the customer makes a return and can’t find their receipt.)

Me: “All right, Ma’am, if I could start with your phone number in the pin pad, please?”

Customer: “Sure!” *she puts in her number and her name pops up in the system*

Me: “Are you [Customer]?”

Customer: *gasps* “I am! What else do you know about me?”

Me: *I tap my index and middle fingers to my temples and appear to concentrate* “Are you a Taurus?”

Customer: *laughs* “Close enough!”

Cash Back Talk Back

| Corona, CA, USA | At The Checkout

(I work at a coffee shop inside of a larger chain retail store. Our card readers are the same as the rest of the stores so regardless of purchasing coffee, food, or anything in the store, it will still ask the same questions, i.e. “Do you want cash back?”)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to reload my card. $10 onto it, please.”

Me: “Of course! Let me just add the total reload to the card first, and then you can go ahead and swipe—”

(The customer already swipes his debit card through the card reader, before I had a chance to start the transaction. I notice he’s rushing everything since he has his kids with him, so I figure he’d like to get out as quick as I’d like him out.)

Me: “Sorry, sir… There. Now you can go ahead and swipe.”

Customer: *starts putting pin in and rushing through questions on pin pad* “What?! Why does it say $20?! I only want $10!”

Me: *I realize he must have accidently hit $10 cash back as well* “Let me go ahead and cancel that transaction for you and—”

Customer: “NO! I can do that myself!” *fiddles with buttons and I just cancel it anyways*

Me: “Go ahead and swipe again.”

Customer: *pushes $10 cash back again* “WHAT?! Why do you keep putting $20 on the card?! I told you just $10! I don’t want $20!”

Me: “Sir, no, you keep pushing—”

Customer: “Stop trying to make me pay more! I hit that I want $10 on the card, you must be adding more to my total on your side!” *tries to re-swipe and go through the questions again*

Me: “Sir, I’m not adding anymore than $10 to your card. You are hitting that—”

Customer’s Little Daughter: “Cash back! Daddy, you’re hitting cash back!”

Customer: “Oh…” *finishes his transaction, saying no cash back, and rushes off with his daughter*

Unable To Straighten The Situation

| MI, USA | Bad Behavior

(I’m straightening a table of clothes when a customer walks into the section. She seems interested in the clothes on the table I’m working on.)

Me: “Hello! Was there anything I could grab for you, a certain size of something?”

Customer: “Oh, no, I’m okay. Thanks.”

Me: “Sure, no problem. Just let me know.”

(I continued straightening. She loitered around the section and pretty much watched me refold an entire pile of pants. About five whole seconds after I finished and walked away to the next table, I watched her pick up a pair from the middle of the pile I just finished, pulling it out so quickly that every pair on top goes flying into disarray back onto the table. I just stared in amazement as she walked away with the pants I just offered to grab for her.)

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