Will Moan Until You’re Black And Blue

, , , , , | Right | January 1, 2020

(I’m the supervisor in a copy center that’s part of a larger retail chain. Unlike some other similar copy centers from competing chains, ours does not have PCs available for public use. A man rushes up to the PC just as I step away from it, sits down, and begins browsing the Internet.)

Me: “Sir, did you need copies?”

(The customer ignores me.)

Me: “Maybe some color prints, or duplicates of something you already have…?”

(He shoves a stack of papers at me.)

Customer: “I need twenty copies of this.”

Me: “In color or black and white, sir?”

(The customer ignores me.)

Me: “Because if you want the blue sections to show up, I’ll have to make them in color.”

(He continues to ignore me, so I decide I’ll make black and white copies. I bring him the finished prints.)

Customer: “No! These are wrong! Useless! They’re garbage now! I want it to look like this!

(Since his original document was already a copy, the set I made is of noticeably poorer quality.)

Me: “Sir, any time you copy a copy, it’s going to—”

Customer: “When I print it from the computer, it doesn’t look like that!”

Me: “That’s because you were printing from a digital version. That’s always going to be a better print qual—”

(He interrupts me again to demand more copies, and ignores me any time I try to intervene. Several associates approach him and each time we’re ignored. The customer stays for a full two hours before I have had enough. I call the store manager over to assist me, since he has the authority to kick customers out of the store.)

Manager: “Listen, buddy. This PC isn’t for customer use. You’re preventing us from completing other customers’ orders and from doing work that needs doing around the store. I need you to wrap up what you’re doing here and leave.”

(There’s a heated argument about whether or not the customer is allowed to continue using the PC, and the store manager eventually convinces the customer to get up out of the chair and pay for his copies. Once everything is settled, the store manager goes back to his interrupted conference. The customer waits until the office door closes, and then approaches the PC again.)

Customer: *to me* “How long are you going to be using that computer? Because I have stuff to print.”

Me: *incredulous* “Sir, as the store manager just told you, this PC is not for customer use. Unless you have your documents print-ready and saved to a flash drive or CD, I can’t help you. Just because he’s not standing here, that doesn’t mean I can let you back on the PC.”

Customer: “Fine! I’m going somewhere else!”

(He collected his things and stormed out, but not before taking down the names of all the associates who were present for the episode.)

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Happy Holidaying Isn’t A Privilege, It’s A Requirement

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 23, 2019

(I work downtown in the State Capitol. This means we get a weird mix of high-priced attorney types, lots of government employees, and homeless people. I’m leaving work to head to the parking lot. I’m wearing a funny T-shirt for the holidays with a picture of a cat destroying a Christmas tree. I see a disheveled woman heading my way pulling a suitcase. I think she may be homeless, but you never know and a smile doesn’t hurt. As I pass her, I smile and she says, “Happy Holidays.” Seeing as I passed her, I don’t reply and head for the street crossing.)

Lady: *very loud* “Excuse me!”

(Startled now, I turn to look back at her. We are now about ten feet or so apart.)

Lady: *still loud* “I said, ‘Happy Holidays’!”

Me: *shocked that this is even happening* “Happy Holidays.”

(She turned and headed down the walk, and I waited to make my missed chance to cross the street. All I could think was, “Geez, some Happy Holidays!”)

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What Is So Card To Understand?

, , , , , , , | Working | December 23, 2019

(My husband and I are doing Christmas shopping at a department store at which he used to work. He knows all of their sales speeches, credit card pitches, and protection plan details by heart, even though he hasn’t worked for the company in years — barring minor changes in the fine print, of course. We finish our shopping and head up to the register. The cashier doesn’t even greet us.)

Cashier: “You want to sign up for a credit card? You could get 5% back on—”

Husband: “Let me stop you there. I already have a store credit card, thanks.”

(The cashier throws a brochure at us and jabs at it with one of her incredibly long, neon green acrylic nails.)

Cashier: “No, there are two cards now. You don’t have them both.”

Husband: “What I had was the store’s original card, and a few months ago they mailed me an offer to switch it from the store brand to the Mastercard labeled card.”

Cashier: *rudely* “They don’t do that.”

Husband: “Yes, they do. I worked for [Company] for a while and I’ve had this card for years. I received the offer in the mail about six months ago and switched because it had a better interest rate. I don’t want to apply for a second card from here.”

Cashier: “They don’t switch people! It’s one or the other!”

Husband: “Okay, well, I have some membership points in my account that I’d like to apply to this purchase.”

(He holds out his phone with the correct QR code already displayed on the screen for her to scan.)

Cashier: “We don’t do that here.”

Husband: “Okay, then.”

(We stand there waiting, because she has got a hold of our receipts and seems unwilling to hand those over. We have to specifically ask for them before she’ll let them go. At this point, I’m pissed. I don’t think my eyebrows could climb any higher on my face without disappearing into my hairline. As we turn to leave…)

Cashier: “I ain’t never heard of no switching people to the Mastercard!”


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Window Title Maybe Of Bracing At

, , , , , | Learning | December 13, 2019

(Early on during my time in college, I meet a young Chinese man on a student visa with whom I later become friends and coworkers. One day, I take notice of the T-shirt he is wearing.)

T-Shirt Back: “Will a front terrible
impudent shelf
it is shaken in you etc.
Also do masturbation
shedding tears this
bacillus guy wastes.”

Me: “[Coworker]… where did you get this shirt?”

Coworker: “I got it when I was still in Hong Kong. Do you know what it says?”

Me: *reads his shirt out loud* “I understand what all of those words mean individually, but together they make no sense. Can I take a picture of it?”

(He stands still with his back to me as I take a picture with my phone and show it to him.)

Coworker: *points to “bacillus”* “What’s this mean?”

Me: “That is a genus of bacteria.”

Coworker: *points at “masturbation”* “What does this mean?”

Me: “Uh… how about I just put that one into a translator?”

(I brought up Google Translate on one of the lab’s computers and showed him the translation. He reacted with a mixture of shock and embarrassment over having a lewd word on his shirt while I tried not to laugh too much at his expense. He did not ever wear that shirt again and we all joked about it for years after that. I’m not sure how the maker of that shirt chose those particular words, but it is not uncommon for people in Asian countries to use western words and characters they think look aesthetically pleasing.)

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Unfiltered Story #179087

, , , | Unfiltered | December 5, 2019

(I used to work in a sandwich shop that toasted its subs. It happened to be right next to one of the city’s air force bases, in addition to a very large police station. Thus, there were always at least two men or women in uniform in the store during all of our business hours. One day, a regular 50-something civilian customer who had usually been fairly pleasant came in and ordered his regular sandwich, which he always ordered with double meat and double cheese and hadn’t had problems with before.)

Customer: Gimme my regular. And this time, I want you to run it through the toaster one extra time!

Me: I can do that, sir, but since we already toast it twice, I think three times is going to burn the sandwich bread. Did you want us to try heating the meats first or–

Customer, cutting me off: Just toast it ! I’m on my lunch break!

Me: Okay, but I just wanted to let you know that the sandwich will probably burn.

(We make the sandwich and run it through three times. Sure enough, the bread’s burnt on the edges, but everything else is nicely heated through. The customer snatches his sandwich from the pickup counter and storms to his seat. One bite later, he storms back.)

Customer, shouting: It’s COLD in the middle and my bread is BURNT! Why can’t you morons make a f*cking sandwich correctly!? I’m in here every d*mn day and I’ve never had a problem before!

(By now, several of the uniformed folks in the store are staring at the man, having heard the entire exchange.)

Me: Would you like us to make you another sandwich, sir? It’s hard to heat it through when you’ve ordered so many extra toppings. We can try and heat the meats fir–

(The customer cuts me off again by throwing his sandwich and plate on the counter.)

Customer: Just get it f*cking right this time!

(We make him a new sandwich, but one of the other employees is so flustered by the normally pleasant customer’s outburst that he accidentally puts sauce on the bread, when this customer prefers the sandwich dry. Unfortunately none of us realizes the mistake until we’d served the customer the sandwich. He took one bite, jumped up from the table with a roar and marched up to the counter again, looking like he was ready to reach across and strangle someone.)


(By now, two of the uniformed men at one of the tables stand up and approach the irate customer. They tell him that he needed to calm down and be polite to us, since we were really trying to serve him what he wanted. He whirled on THEM and launched into another tirade about how he wasn’t about to be threatened by a couple of [insulting slurs] — which automatically had the REST of the uniformed military personnel leaping to their feet, ready to throw down with this jerk — when two police officers walked in. The man’s expression turned from rage to a classic “I’m screwed” stare, and they marched him out of the store and told him not to come back in until he could behave like a civilized person. The next time we saw him, he was incredibly meek and polite.)