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Speaking Clear Anglish

| Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Popular, Technology

(The store where I work has just gotten new pin pads to replace the old ones. The newer pads have a slimmer design and therefore do not fit properly in the holders designed for the old pads. The store has yet to replace the holders so in the meantime the cashiers are instructed to warn customers that, if they insert their card too quickly, it may go underneath the reader. Most people get it after only one or two tries. On this particular day an elderly gentleman approaches my cash.)

Me: “Hi there, did you find everything you were looking for today?”

Customer: *grunts*

(I go through the transaction as normal.)

Me: “All right, and how will you be paying today?”

Customer: *ignores me, jams card underneath the reader* “It’s not working.”

Me: “Oh, you just have it underneath the reader there; remove your card and try again. Just be careful because these readers are new—”

(The customer ignores me again and tries to twist his card into the slot. Fearing he may break his card, I politely ask if I may show him how to do it.)

Me: “It’s kind of tricky; you just need to angle your card up a little and it slides right in, see?” *demonstrating the method to him* “Here you go!” *I hand him the pin pad with his card already inserted*

Customer: *yanks card out of reader and shoves it back underneath again* “It’s still not working! WHY WON’T IT WORK?!”

(By this point I’m getting frustrated, but I force myself to remain calm and friendly.)

Me: “It just takes a little patience. Try inserting your card at this angle.” *I demonstrate with a gift card that was lying around*

(For the next several minutes this goes back and forth. I insert his card for him and he removes it, shoving it in the wrong way again. A line is forming behind him and other customers are getting upset. Eventually an older woman, seeming to be his wife, comes up behind him.)

Wife: “[Husband], are you still here? What’s taking so long?!”

Customer: “This stupid machine is broken!” *jams card in reader again*

Wife: *to me* “Is the reader broken?”

(I explain to her the way the reader works and why sometimes it’s difficult to insert the card. The wife then takes the card from her husband, follows my instructions, and the rest of the transaction goes smoothly. While I’m handing her the receipt, she explains to her husband what he was doing wrong.)

Customer: “WELL, SHE SHOULD’VE SAID SOMETHING IN THE FIRST PLACE!”

(They leave. The next customer walks up to the register.)

Customer #2: “Wow, what an idiot.” *jams card underneath the reader* “Wait, what’s wrong with this thing?”

Me: *sighs*

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Partly To Blame

| CA, USA | Bizarre

(Our front door is a Dutch door so on nice days we have the top half open and the bottom half closed. A family closes the top and comes in.)

Customer: “Are you open?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “But your sign says closed.”

Me: “That’s because the top half of the door is supposed to be open.”

(She stares at the door for a minute.)

Customer: “Oh. Guys, they want to only partly open.”

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Save The Bad Vibes For The Bad Customers

| Canada | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Language & Words, Popular

(I work in a toy store at customer service. A new flyer comes out every Friday, which is the day that this call takes place.)

Me: “Good morning. [Company and Location]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m looking for [particular toy] in your flyer. Can you please put one on hold for me?”

Me: “If you would give me a few minutes I can confirm for you that we do have them in stock, and I will place a hold for you.”

(Puts customer on hold.)

Coworker: *to me* “We don’t have any of those; we sold out of them before the sale even started.”

Me: *picks up phone* “Hello. So, unfortunately it looks like we don’t have any of that toy in stock. Would you like me to issue you a rain check or check another store in the area to see if they have it?”

Customer: *yelling* “What the h*** is your problem? Every time I call you never have what I’m looking for!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I understand how that might be frustrating. Unfortunately, the flyers are run country-wide, so sometimes the stock in a few stores can be quite low at the time of a sale.”

Customer: “What kind of half-a**ed excuse is that? I’m not digging your vibe; give me a manager.”

Me: *holds the phone out to a manager without putting customer on hold* “Someone isn’t digging my vibe on line one. Can you please speak to her?”

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