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You’re Making This R-I-E-lly Difficult

| USA | Language & Words

(An older man approaches my counter with two movie rental jackets in hand. If people don’t have their store card, we can look up by phone number or last name, but it only pulls up names if you spell them completely and correctly. It can’t bring up partial names.)

Customer: *loudly* “I haven’t rented in a long time. I’m in the system probably. My name’s [long, complicated surname], spelled R-I-E… *trails off and stares expectantly*

Me: *knowing I would butcher the spelling if I guessed* “What was the phone number on the account, please?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: *louder* “What’s your phone number?”

Customer: “R-I-E…” *trails off again and stares at me*

Me: “That’s not a phone number, okay.” *keys back up to the ‘last name’ option* “Can you spell out your last n—”

Customer: *talking over me* “What?”

Me: *even louder* “Can you please spell out your last name?”

Customer: “[Long, complicated name], spelled R-I-E…” *stares expectantly*

Me: “…and the rest of it?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Can you please spell out the last name for me?”

Customer: “R-I-E…” *stares*

Me: “No, the whole—”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “The whole name, please.”

Customer: *louder and slower* “R… I… E…” *stares expectantly again*

Me: *louder still* “Can you please spell out your ENTIRE last name?”

Customer: “Oh, you can’t spell [complicated last name]? It’s R… I… E…” *finally gives me the rest*

(I typed in the full name, and his account took a grand total of two seconds to pull up. It could have done that in the beginning, if he’d just given the full spelling the first time.)

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Holy Justice League

| AR, USA | Family & Kids, Movies & TV, Popular

(I am a shift manager for an entertainment retailer in a small town. The town is dominated by a Christian college and most of the town is associated with it in some form. They are sweet and kind people, but they’re rather sheltered, so much so that outsiders call it “The Bubble.” The following is a great example of said Bubble:)

Me: *answering phone* “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I’d like to speak with your manager, please.”

Me: “Speaking. What can I do for you this evening?”

Caller: “Well, this is kind of embarrassing, but one of your workers sold my five-year-old son something inappropriate.”

(This is scary, because our company takes that stuff very seriously and I don’t want anyone to get fired over it.)

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. If I may, what did they sell to him?”

Caller: “It was a Justice League animated movie.”

Me: *mentally sighing in relief* “Well, I see that this title is rated 13+. Did your son come in and buy it by himself?”

Caller: “No, my husband was with him.”

Me: “So they sold it to your husband?”

Caller: “Well, yes. But it was obvious it was for my son. It was very inappropriate! A man commits suicide in the first scene!”

Me: “Well, they were allowed to sell it to your husband because he is over 13. But if you’ll bring the DVD back to the store, we’ll refund or exchange it for you.”

Caller: “I just don’t understand how your store could sell something like that without a warning. Do your employees not preview your movies so they can make recommendations?”

Me: “Ma’am, we have well over 100,000 titles in this store alone, and a few million titles in our corporate database, which are periodically rotated. There’s no way we could manually preview all of that material. Do you know about the rating system?”

Caller: *becoming frantic* “So, you just sell things without knowing what’s in them?!”

(I proceed to explain the rating system to her and point her to a few non-profit/Christian websites which provide reviews of movies and TV shows. It was like a revelation from Heaven. Pun intended.)

Having A Rent Vent

| MI, USA | Crazy Requests, Movies & TV

(A new release has just come out that is very popular and everyone wants it. At this point in my shift, there are no more copies in the store and there haven’t been for at least two hours.)

Customer: “Do you have [New Movie] on DVD?”

Me: “We are all out right now, I’m sorry. Everyone has been excited to see it.”

Customer: “Well, don’t you have anymore in the back?”

Me: “No. As I said, they’ve all been rented already.”

Customer: “Well, you should have saved one for me.”

(I have never seen this customer before.)

Me: “Did you call and have one held for you?”

(We don’t have any being held, but if she had one that was supposed to be held, I would offer her some free movies for the inconvenience.)

Customer: “No, but if you have any being held, I’ll take one of those.”

Me: “If you didn’t call, I can’t give you someone else’s copy that did call.”

Customer: “Why not? I’m here now and want to watch it tonight.”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t have any being held, and I wouldn’t give you someone else’s movie. Is there anything else I can check out for you today?”

Customer: “No. That’s what I came here for and I want one.”

Me: “Well, obviously you can wait and see if one gets returned, but seeing as it just came out today, I’m sure no one is going to bring it back until tomorrow.”

Customer: “Can’t you call someone and tell them to bring it back?”

Me: “No, ma’am. If you don’t have anything else that you need checked out, I do have a line of other people that want to get their movies and go home.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why you didn’t save me a copy!”

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