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.)


(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*


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.”


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?”


Wishes She Could Exchange Her Child

, | Neuquén, Argentina | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I’m working in a kiosk inside a shopping center that sells mostly toys. A mother with her ten-year-old son comes and start looking for an action figure.)

Me: “From that series we have only this two models left. We are going to get some more next week.”

Mother: “This are fine, thank you.” *to her son* “Which one do you want?”

Son: “Mm… eh… This one! No, no! This one!”

(I gave him the toy and I put the other one back in the place where I took it from. The mother pays and the little kid start getting anxious.)

Son: “No, no! I want the other one! I don’t know which one to choose!”

Mother: “Okay… Can we exchange it?”

Me: “Of course!”

(I take the second toy from its place and I gave it to the kid, who ended up exchanging them. I save the first one and immediately he starts throwing a fit.)


(The kid starts crying and screaming. Everyone is now looking at us. I take the saved toy and exchange them again. The kid seems happier for a moment.)

Mother: “That’s it? That’s the one you wanted?”


(The kid starts with the tantrum AGAIN, screaming and falling to the floor crying. I have no idea what to do anymore and the mother starts to laugh because she can’t believe what’s happening.)

Mother: “Okay, let’s exchange it one more time!”

Son: *happily* “Okay!”

(He stands up and I exchange the toys. The same thing follows two more times: I gave him the toy and as soon I take the other one away, hell is released. I know that he want his mother to buy both of them, but this is insane and the mother doesn’t take the hint or pretend that she doesn’t.)

Mother: *calmly* “That was the last exchange, [Son]. I’m leaving.” *to me* “Thank you for your patience.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “Oh, no problem, ma’am.”

(She leaves, leaving her son still on the floor, screaming and crying.)


Me: *internally screaming*

Toying With The Name

| Waxahachie, TX, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(An elderly man brings in his four-year-old grandson for a toy.)

Grandpa: “Okay, [Grandson], pick out a toy.”

(The grandson starts looking around frantically at the shelf, spots a toy, and starts hopping around excitedly and pointing:)

Grandson: “Grandpa! Grandpa! I want a g**d*** wing!”

Grandpa: *looking from surprise to anger at once, about to smack the grandson while crying out* “What the h*** did you just say?!”

Me: *runs up quickly and intervenes* “Whoa, whoa, whoa! He was meaning Gundum wing.”

Grandpa: *staring at the shelf looking disgruntled* “D*** Japs did it on purpose.”

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