This Method Is A Punch Above The Rest

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 21, 2018


(I have been working at the county detention center. My youngest sister is constantly getting bullied — name-calling, mainly — on the school bus in the afternoon by the same group of kids, and despite my parents making several complaints to the school, it continues. Finally, one day, one of the boys goes too far, and actually tries to grope her. These kids are all eight to ten years old. I give her some advice from our detention officer certification course instructor.)

Me: “Listen carefully, [Sister]. If that boy tries to put his hands on you again, hit him.”

Sister: “But I’ll get in trouble.”

Me: “I don’t care; you hit him hard. Punch him! Scratch him! Kick him! If you get in trouble, I will leave work and yell at your principal for not stopping this sooner.”

(The remainder of the afternoon is spent teaching her a few strikes and nerve points our instructor taught us. The next day when I get off work, I see her grinning ear to ear.)

Me: “Was your ride home okay?”

Sister: “Yup! He tried to pull my shirt up, but I hit him in the throat! He started crying!”

(She didn’t get in trouble for defending herself.)

They’re A Little Backwards (Compatible)

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2018

(I work at a chain video game store that only sells games for the latest consoles.)

Customer: “Do you have [Game] for the PlayStation?”

Me: “We do, in fact. It should be over in the PlayStation section!”

Customer: *purchases game and leaves*

(The rest of the day passes without incident, but the next day, the customer storms in angrily.)

Customer: “The game you sold me doesn’t work!”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Customer: “Nothing appears on the screen when I put it in the top!”

Me: “Wait, the top? The disc goes in the side.”

Customer: “No, that’s where the wires go! The disc thingy is on top!”

Me: “Ma’am… Are you sure you’re using a PlayStation 4?”

Customer: “No, I’m using the first one. I thought you could use them in any version!”

Me: “No, you can only use it in the latest console.”

Customer: “But the box says, ‘PlayStation,’ on it!”

Me: *examines game* “No, that says, ‘PlayStation 4.’”

Customer: “It’s still PlayStation!”

Rewind To An Age Of Simpler Technology

, , , , | Right | April 16, 2018

(This story takes place in 2000. I work in a small, family-owned video store that has just gotten enough DVDs to fill our first DVD rack. An elderly woman calls.)

Woman: “I’ve just gotten a DVD player, and I was wondering if you could help me get it connected so I can watch movies.”

(Obviously, this isn’t my job, but it’s the middle of the day on a weekday, when we can go hours without a customer.)

Me: “Sure thing, ma’am. First things first, on the back of your TV, do you see a little silvery nub with threads like a screw on it, or do you already have a cable plugged into the back of it?”

Woman: “No, I’m not seeing anything like that.”

Me: “That’s fine. About how old is this TV?”

Woman: “Just a couple years.”

(I end up describing every port I can think of to her, but she is unable to find anything that corresponds to my directions. I’m getting a little frustrated when she comes up with a solution.)

Woman: “Well, the man from the store that delivered it is still here; you think I can ask him to do it?”

Me: *face-palms* “Yes. Yes, ma’am, that’s a great idea. Please do that.”

(Later, I recognize her from her voice when she comes in to rent her first DVDs. This goes off without a hitch. Thirty minutes later, I get another call.)

Woman: “Hello, I was just at your store to rent DVDs and I think they’re not working.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Is there a message saying, ‘The disc cannot be read,’ or something like that?”

Woman: “No, it’s showing the name of the movie and things like, ‘Play,’ ‘Chapters,’ ‘Extras,’ but it won’t actually start playing.”

Me: “Is one of those options a different color than the others, or highlighted?”

Woman: “Yes, the one that says, ‘Play.’”

Me: “Great! Do you see a button on your remote that says, ‘Enter’?”

Woman: “Yes!”

Me: “Fantastic. Please press that.”

Woman: “Oh, there it goes! Thank you so much!”

(Two days later, I’m working as she comes to return the DVDs. I take the cases, but she lingers.)

Woman: “I’m so sorry. I really tried, but I couldn’t figure out how to rewind them. Please don’t charge me!”

Me: *I try to think of how to explain, and finally just start checking them in* “It’s okay, ma’am; we’ll let it go, since it’s the first time.”

Not Quite A Fountain Of Common Sense

, , , , , , | Right | January 22, 2018

(I work at a well-known pizza chain. One of our customers, a lady in her mid-thirties, is a fairly regular visitor. She often makes strange or outrageous requests, but today she targets me specifically. She comes up to the counter to pay for her dine-in order.)

Me: “How was everything?”

Customer: *grumbles*

Me: *after scanning her credit card* “Okay, all I need is your signature, and you’ll be all set!”

Customer: “I can’t sign with that pen.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Your pen. It isn’t legal.”

(My pen is a fountain pen that I bring from home, because it writes more consistently and smoothly on receipts. As far as I know, there aren’t pen restrictions in my line of work.)

Me: “Not legal?”

Customer: “Yes! You can’t make me pay if I sign with that! I need one like I use in the bank!”

Me: “Okay… Do you have such a pen with you?”

Customer: “No! I need a bank pen! Yours isn’t legal!”

Me: “I’m afraid this is the only type of pen I have available at the moment. If you happen to have another, you’re more than welcome to use it.”

Customer: “Stop being stupid! I don’t carry a bank pen!”

Me: “Then, I’m afraid that my pen is your only choice.”

Customer: “But it isn’t legal!”

(She dug around in her purse and pulled out a pencil. I don’t think she knew that signatures in pencil are even less “legal.” Interestingly, in all the times I’ve seen her since, she’s had nothing to say about my pen.)

It’s Not Always Quitters Who Quit

, , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

(I have graduated from high school early, and I’m starting college. I’m barely 16 years old, and my mom is a broke single mother. For my graduation, she buys me a $400 used car, and I apply for financial aid so I can go to college. Part of my financial aid is a work-study job in the college cafeteria. My shift is supposed to be from 6:00 to 10:00 in the morning, but since I have a 10:00 class, the manager moves my shift to 5:45 to 9:45 so I can make it to class on time. Serving breakfast to surly college students is NOT fun, and almost every day, the boss gives me too much to do, so I’m late getting out of work. Now, I am in danger of being dropped from my class for excessive tardiness. I ask my mother for permission to quit my job and look for another one, and she says yes. I go to my boss.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I need to quit this job. It’s interfering with my schoolwork and I need to get good grades.”

Boss: “You really need to stay and finish the job. Otherwise, all your life, you will feel like a quitter. I don’t accept your resignation.”

Me: *is stunned into silence*

(I go home and told my mom what happened. She gives me permission to stop going to work, so I go to class instead. Two days later, my boss calls me.)

Boss: “I’m sorry, but due to your attendance, I’m going to have to let you go.”

Me: “I can’t say I’m sorry about this. I quit two days ago, remember?”

(It took me years to get over feeling ashamed of losing one of my first jobs, but now when I think back on it, I’m proud that I stood up for myself.)

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