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The War On Terrorizing Customers

, , , | Right | March 28, 2014

(I, like many other Brits, like to wear a remembrance poppy through October and November. I work in an in-store bakery inside a larger supermarket, where adornments are not usually permitted in case they fall off into our raw products. I have bought a remembrance poppy from the British Legion. I laminate the paper part to make it wipe-clean and glue the stem to a safety pin, so it’s not likely to fall off my uniform. My manager gives me the go-ahead to wear it, and I am chuffed. Most customers who see it compliment me on work-proofing my poppy and being so keen to support the charity; however…)

Customer: “Excuse me. What is that?!

Me: “What, sir?”

Customer: “That… that atrocity next to your name badge!”

Me: “Sir, it’s a remembrance poppy, a charity symbol. To honour our war dead and injured veterans.”

Customer: “I know what it is, you blithering idiot! What have you done to it?”

Me: “Sir, I customised it a little bit so it would be safe for me to wear in my work environment. Nobody else seems to mind. In fact, the poppy seller at the front of the store was telling me he wishes they’d make laminated or plastic poppies anyway.”

Customer: “You’re defiling a religious symbol! You should be sued!”

Me: “It has nothing to do with religion! It’s the emblem of a charity and a national symbol of remembrance. Plenty of people from all religions and countries lose their lives in the tragedy of warfare. I lost a friend in Afghanistan several years ago. Furthermore, once I have bought and paid for the poppy, it is my property to do with as I wish. Laminating it was not intended to be disrespectful, but rather the opposite.”

Customer: “But—”

Me: “Can I ask you, sir, would you have reprimanded me for not wearing a poppy at all? I am quite young, after all. You might blame me and my generation for not caring about our veterans.”

Customer: “Well, you young people can be quite disrespectful. I don’t approve of the means, but I guess I understand the motive.”

Me: “So, can I actually help you, today, sir?”

Customer: “Just think before you defile a religious symbol next time!” *walks away*

This story is part of our Veteran’s Day roundup!

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Read the Veteran’s Day roundup!

Florida, Key East

, , , , | Friendly | February 22, 2014

(My best friend and I are talking about a group holiday and where we could go.)

Me: “We’ll have to go somewhere that everybody agrees on. We can’t go to a place just one person wants to go to.”

Friend: “Yeah, it’ll have to be somewhere that caters for everyone. Some tourist attractions, a couple of clubs, and a beach.”

Me: “Precisely.”

Friend: “Ooh, what about that place in Spain. Oh, what’s it called? Sounds like ‘Florida’.”

Me: “I don’t know a place in Spain beginning with—”

Friend: “Tenerife!”

This story is part of our Spain-themed roundup!

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The Language Of Stupidity

, | Learning | February 22, 2014

(I am in a physics lesson. Some other students are discussing their recent German exam.)

Teacher: “I don’t see why people take German. They only speak it in Germany.”

Me: “What about Austria and Switzerland?”

Teacher: “Yeah, but if you take something like Spanish, you can use it in places like Brazil!”

Me: “In Brazil, they speak Portuguese.”

This story is part of our Brazil roundup!

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In Threat Of A Disconnect

, , , | Right | February 11, 2014

(I work at a large local cable and telephone company. My department deals with clients that haven’t paid their bills and had their service suspended. I have dealt with a lot of abuse everyday for the last two years. This has taken its toll and I’m now in my final week of my month’s notice. A particularly vile client has come through. We have suspended his cable service on the day of a big football match.)

Me: “Good afternoon. You’re through to [Cable Company]. My name is [First Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Listen, b****. You need to turn my cable back on right now! I’ve got f****** friends coming over to watch the match!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. It looks like your service has been suspended as you have two months charges currently outstanding. We will be unable to reconnect your service without the account being settled in full. However, if you would like me to take a card payment now, I can get you reconnected in about 10 minutes.”

Customer: “Listen, you’ll get your money when I’m good and ready. I’m sick of your company. I swear I’m going to rip your f****** equipment out of the wall and throw it in the garden if you don’t switch it back on NOW!”

Me: “I wouldn’t advise that, sir. The box is leased, so any damage would be added to your bill. So, did you wish to make a card payment so I can get you reconnected?”

Customer: “LISTEN, YOU S***!”

Me: “Can you please refrain from using bad language? You have not paid your bill for two months and would have received a notice and a final notice to warn you of this. If you are unwilling to pay the bill today there is nothing further I can do for you. Once you pay at [Locations] or over the phone I can get you reconnected.”


(Although death threats are quite common, for some reason, maybe because I’m working my notice, I find this one extremely funny and begin to laugh.)


Me: “The reason I’m laughing, sir, is that you have threatened to kill me despite me having your full name and address on screen. I could report you to the police but to be honest I think that would be a waste of their time. So, did you want me to process a payment or not?”


Me: “Well, sir, I’m not sure how you’re going to as you live in [Town about an hour and half drive] and I’m due to finish my shift in half an hour at an office where over 500 people are employed. You only have my first name and no idea what I look like, so I wish you well. Also, while you’ve been on the phone I’ve noticed your phone bill is also overdue and will make sure this service is also suspended so you do not incur any further fees to increase your outstanding balance. Now, if there is nothing further I can do for you I’ll have to say goodbye as I’m going home to watch the football match this afternoon.”

Customer: *unintelligible screams*

Me: *as brightly as possible* “In that case, thank you for your call. Goodbye.” *click*

Now Try Explaining A Floppy Disk

, , | Related | December 23, 2013

(My sister and her children have come to visit for Christmas. I’ve put my 21-year-old son in charge of keeping my eight-year-old nephew entertained. Luckily, they both like computers, so most of their conversations revolve around those subjects. My nephew is talking to my son about the ‘Raspberry Pi’ computer, which is a credit-card sized home-made computer used to promote computer-science in schools.)

Nephew: “[Son’s name], what does a Raspberry Pi actually do?”

Son: “Well, it contains the processor and memory and all the chips needed to compute on. Then you plug in a monitor and keyboard, so you can see what you’re doing and interact with it.”

Nephew: “You have to plug a monitor in? What does the Raspberry Pi do then?”

Son: “Well, the monitor doesn’t actually do anything except show the commands the computer tells it to, the Raspberry Pi does everything; the monitor just shows you it.”

Nephew: “I don’t get it.”

Son: “Okay, you know on your computer at home, how you’ve got a keyboard, and mouse, and screen, and a big box they’re all plugged into?”

Nephew: “No?”

Sister: “Our computer is all built into the monitor.”

Son: “…huh. How about at school?”

Sister: “I’m pretty sure it’s the same there.”

Son: “D***… and you used to have a Mac, so that was all built into the monitor, too.”

(My nephew is looking more and more bewildered by the conversation.)

Son: “I know! [Nephew], you remember when you were at ours, and you were playing on my computer, and it had that big box attached to it?”

Nephew: *confused*

Son: “Y’know, the big black humming thing that glowed blue?”

Nephew: *slowly shakes head*

Son: “Oh, God… I’m trying to explain defunct technology to a younger generation. I feel so old. Now I know how dad felt trying to explain what a telegram was…”