Bird Of (Written) Passage

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2017

(I work at a large department store for a summer job. One day I’m in the pet section when a elderly man in a scooter comes up to me.)

Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help you?”

(The man holds up a bag of birdseed and makes some strange sounds that sound distressed.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t understand. Are you asking me about the bag?”

(The man makes a few more sounds I can’t understand and hands me the bag.)

Me: “Is there something wrong with the bag?”

(More noises from the man. I look over the bag and find nothing wrong with it.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; I don’t understand what you want from me.”

(The man takes out a pad of paper and starts writing. He holds out the pad and it reads, “birdseed.”)

Me: *now a little distressed* “Yes, this is birdseed, but I don’t understand what you’re asking me.”

(The man continues to make noises and write things down on his note pad. I’m still very lost about what he wants from me. Several scribbled notes later, I decide that he’s asking me where the birdseed is so I take him to the pet food aisle and point to the bird seed.)

Me: “Is this what you’re looking for, sir?”

(The man doesn’t even look at the shelf and only keeps writing in his note pad. It goes back and forth like this for a while, and it’s starting to get to the end of my shift.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir. I’m sorry, but my shift is over. I can direct you to another employee if you like.”

(The man just made a happy sound, took the bag of birdseed he’d handed to me, and left. Throughout our hour-long exchange I learned he was 63 years old, had three kids and two were married. I never found out what he was asking me about the birdseed.)

Spare A Nickel Of Charity?

, , , , , | Right | October 17, 2017

(Our chain has implemented a “roundup” feature; customers are asked if they want to round their total up to the nearest dollar, with the extra cents being donated to a children’s charity. The outcome means that it is impossible for the donation to ever be more than 99 cents.)

Customer: “What’s this prompt asking me?”

Me: “It’s asking if you want to round the total of your purchase up to the next dollar, and donate the extra to charity.”

(The customer hits yes before proceeding with her question.)

Customer: “Oh, now I remember. I think I donated two or three dollars with it the last time I was here. How much is it this time?”

Me: “Less than a dollar, ma’am.”

(The transaction proceeds normally, until we finally reach the end.)

Me: “All right, your total is $28.00.”

Customer: “It’s how much? Oh, no. That can’t be right!”

(She begins rummaging around in her wallet, still thinking aloud.)

Customer: “I’m sure I added everything up correctly, but I didn’t bring enough for that with me… Wait, I know! It was that donation! How much did you say it was?”

Me: “Less than a dollar?”

Customer: “Well, take it off. I’m sorry; I didn’t realize it was going to be so much.”

(I go ahead and cancel it, displaying her new total without the rounding.)

Me: “All right, your total is… $27.95, ma’am.”

(The customer promptly pulled out $28 in cash, and I handed her the nickel in change.)

A Closed Open Policy

, , , , , | Working | October 17, 2017

(We have a company meeting at another location that digs into time that would normally be spent doing weekly audits of our ATM machine. At the meeting I ask [Coworker] to leave for our branch ASAP so that we can finish before we open. [Coworker] takes her time, and arrives 15 minutes after I do. I set everything up so that all she has to do is punch in her code and we can start balancing. Instead of assisting, [Coworker] punches in her code and then checks her email, applies lipstick, and logs on to social media, all while I’m frantically counting cash, balancing it against spread sheets, and strapping it to load back in. Finally I finish.)

Me: “[Coworker], can you punch in your code again?”

Coworker: *in the nastiest tone possible* “Oh, now you need me.”

Me: “You could have helped me this whole time! I needed help.”

Coworker: “You could have waited for me. Everyone knows you need at least 15 minutes to settle in before you actually start working.”

(We opened late that day.)

Needs To Reverse That Reversal

, , , , | Working | October 17, 2017

In college I had a summer job in a shop, installing refrigeration units on semi-trailers. Several other college and high-school kids performed the same job as I, although with varying degrees of mechanical aptitude.

I was working on a trailer one day when one of them came asking for help. “I’ve been trying to drill a hole in this frame rail for an hour and it won’t go through,” he said.

I replied, “Okay, let’s have a look.” We walked over and got under the trailer he was working on, where I could see a dimple in the rail and lots of heat-blistered paint. “Let me see your drill.”

I looked at the heat-discolored bit in it and realized he’d been trying to make his hole with the drill in reverse. I told him, “It’s because the drill is going the wrong direction.” He said thanks and I left him to continue.

Another half-hour passed and the bell for lunch rang. As I walked past his bay, I saw him under the trailer, with the drill still in reverse, trying to punch the hole from the other side of the rail.

Mama And Papa New Guinea

, , , , , | Friendly | October 17, 2017

(My friend lives alone in Canada and I live in the US. We spend all of our free time online chatting. She has recently purchased a baby poofy guinea pig as a pet, since her apartment building won’t allow cats or dogs. She has raised guinea pigs before, so she knows what to do. After a couple months, my friend sadly messages me.)

Friend: “I think my guinea pig is dying.”

Me: “Oh, no!”

Friend: “Yeah. She doesn’t move around at all anymore and hasn’t really eaten the past couple of days. I’ll message you later; I’m going for a walk.”

(My friend goes for a walk and then comes home, texting me.)

Friend: “Well, I think my guinea pig is doing better!”

Me: “Really? Awesome!”

Friend: “Yeah! She threw up a couple hairballs and now seems to have more energy.”

Friend: “Oh, God! The hairballs are breathing! It’s babies! She’s having babies! What do I do?!”

Me: “Aww! Let nature take over. She’ll know what to do.”

Friend: “I don’t know how to take care of babies!”

Me: “Relax!”

Friend: “BUT SHE WAS A BABY WHEN I GOT HER! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!”

(We discovered later that guinea pigs mate at a very young age if not separated quickly; the store had not separated them quickly enough!)

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