Update Her Ability To Update

, , , , , | Related | March 15, 2019

(My mom has a lot of skills, but unfortunately, using technology is not among them. We get her a basic Chromebook so she can check her email and do simple web searches, because that’s all she needs a computer for. Every time I visit her, I remind her that she should turn the computer off and on again every now and then, but she always forgets because she thinks just shutting the laptop turns it off. She calls me one evening as I’m driving home from work, and she sounds really worried.)

Mom: “Hi, [My Name]. It’s not an emergency, but…” *sigh* “My computer is all black! I don’t know what to do! I can’t check my Internet!”

(This is what she calls her email.)

Me: *feeling like every tech support person ever* “Okay, Mom, it will be fine. Let’s try turning it off and on again.”

Mom: “Okay, how?”

Me: “Uh, can you look at the keyboard—“

Mom: “Wait, wait, wait! Let me go over there to the computer.” *an eon passes* “Okay…”

Me: “And look for the button—“

Mom: “Wait, wait! I still have to open up the lid!”

Me: “Okay, Mom, now we’re just going to press the power button and hold it down for a few seconds.”

Mom: “What’s the power button?”

(I have an internal facepalm, knowing that if it were anyone else but my mom this would have to be a joke. Somehow I manage to keep my composure enough to answer.)

Me: “It’s that one with a circle that has a line in the top.”

Mom: “Okay, I’m really not sure about this, but I guess… I’ll try… Okay. I pressed it and nothing happened.”

Me: “Don’t worry. Can you tell me which LEDs are on at the front of the computer?”

Mom: “I don’t know about that, but I do have a little blue light…”

Me: “Yep, that’s an LED. Was that on before you pressed the button?”

Mom: “Oh, well, I don’t know; I didn’t look for it before.”

Me: *trying not to explode* “Okay, let’s just try pressing the power button again.”

Mom: “The circle with the line? Is that right?”

Me: “Yep…”

Mom: “Wow! Oh, my goodness! It’s doing something! What’s this? What do I do?”

(Suddenly, my dad walks into the room and joins the conversation. He barely knows more about computers than my mom, but he’s more dangerous because he imagines that he does.)

Dad: “Honey, it says to put in your password.”

Mom: “What’s my password?”

Dad: “Oh, no…”

Me: “Don’t worry, guys. I knew Mom would forget, so I made it something I would remember; it’s [password].”

(We go through three attempts of me spelling it out letter by letter, with my mom getting confused or making a typo halfway through, until finally…)

Mom: “It’s working! Wait… Oh, no! Now it says something bad! Important system updates required.”

Dad: “Oh, you should just skip that; you don’t want that. Just press ‘no.’”

Me: *narrowly avoiding screaming* “Wait! Press ‘yes’! You definitely want to press ‘yes’! That’s probably why your computer shut down in the first place!”

(Mom presses “yes,” and we chat for a long time while the computer downloads and installs many months of backed-up updates. Finally, her screen pops up like usual.)

Mom: “Amazing! My Internet is back!”

Me: *slight enough sarcasm that she doesn’t notice* “Good job, Mom. You did it.”

Mom: “Thanks, [My Name]!”

Me: “Now you’ll remember to restart your computer sometimes because you saw how important it is!”

Mom: “Oh, you’ll have to remind me. I’ll never remember; it’s too confusing.”

(I love my mom, but at times like this, I wonder about how she has managed to get through nearly 70 years of life so far. I promise this conversation was not exaggerated; these were literally the comments she made! Guess what I’ll be doing the next time I visit?)

Give This Re-Ticket A Redo

, , , , , | Right | March 14, 2019

(I work in the stock room at a discount retailer, where name-brand items come in individually and everything is individually priced. I am putting out some new purses when a customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Excuse me. There is no price tag on this purse. How much is it?”

Me: “Oh, that is strange. Let me see if I can find another one for you.”

(The customer motions to a purse of the same brand and print but a different body, labeled $50.)

Me: “This one is very similar, but it is a little bigger; let me see if I can find one of the same size.”

(I walk through the aisle for a moment and find one of a closer size, labeled $2 lower.)

Me: “I found one a little closer; how about I re-ticket this for you for $48?”

Customer: “But this one is $50.”

Me: “Yes, but with how the pricing structure works here, I think this purse is the lower price.”

Customer: *getting huffy* “But you’re just guessing!”

Me: *confused* “Would you like me to re-ticket it at this purse’s price of $50?”

Customer: “No!”

Me: “So, would you like this purse at $48?”

Customer: *glares at me* “No.”

Me: “Okay, then?”

(I walked away from him to re-ticket the purse. The kicker is that when I scanned both purses, they popped out sale tickets! If he had just been nice, he could have gotten a good deal.)

What A Total Blood Bowl

, , , , | Right | March 12, 2019

(I have just sold a large “fishbowl” vase to a customer, who declined to have it wrapped since it would only fit in one of our largest bags. I check out another customer after she leaves, and right after I finish, she comes back in.)

Customer: “Hi. Um, this just broke as I was bringing it to my car. I promise I didn’t drop it! There was a crack in the side, and I pushed on it and…”

(She holds up the vase, which does indeed seem to have simply cracked in place and fallen to pieces. No evidence of being dropped.)

Customer: “Can I just get a replacement with no cracks?”

(We will pretty much never turn down requests like this, so one of the other cashiers goes to get one. I notice a small smudge on the vase. Looking closer, I realize it’s blood!)

Me: “Ma’am, are you bleeding? Did you get cut on the vase?”

Customer: “Oh, a little; it’s fine.”

Me: “We have bandaids back here. I can get one—“

Customer: “Oh, that’s not necessary; it’s not bad.”

(She says this, but now that I’m aware of the problem I notice that she is bleeding quite profusely onto the counter. I offer several more times to give her a bandaid and begin rummaging around in the cabinet for one, while she continues to insist she doesn’t need one. The other cashier comes back with the replacement, and she takes it and leaves with an airy, “Thank you!”)

Me: “Don’t pick up that vase yet; she bled on it.”

Coworker: “WHAT?”

(She had bled on the counter, which dripped down the front of it onto the floor… and of course all over the broken vase, which we threw out carefully. We had just gotten the old beige counters replaced with new white ones, as well!)

More Horrifying Than A Gluten-Free Dumpling

, , , , , , | Related | March 12, 2019

(My husband and I have the worst sense of humor. I am at my dad’s place helping to convert a bedroom into an office. The bedroom was used to house a renter a couple of months back, and my dad has been known to bring in interesting characters. While cleaning, I discover an odd article of clothing hanging in the closet that I don’t recognize. I pull it out, and, upon further inspection, I realize that what I thought was a top is actually a pair of black, peekaboo-level, fancy underwear. Horrified, I talk to my dad about it, and he says he believes it belonged to a renter, but to throw it away as the chances of being able to return it are pretty slim. About an hour later, I’m making German dumplings because I’m trying to make the family recipe gluten-free so my husband and I can have it together. My dad hates dumplings, so once I’m done, I end up throwing away the mix and dumplings that didn’t work. As I do so, I see the underwear. I head to the living room where my dad is watching TV.)

Me: “I hope no one is coming back for that underwear.”

Dad: “Why?”

Me: “Because I just took a dumpling on ’em!”

(Cue the groans of horror and disgust. On the bright side, my husband was quite proud of me for my negative-level quality of a joke! I definitely chose a good man!)

A Sign You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much

, , , , , | Right | March 10, 2019

(I happen to know American Sign Language. I’m not fluent, but I can carry on a conversation easily. When I work retail, I let deaf customers know so they can sign if they prefer it — for example, people writing questions on pieces of paper or having a family member interpret. A particular deaf customer makes sure he only comes in on my normally-scheduled days because he can communicate with me more easily than he can with my coworkers. One day he is checking out and we have a brief conversation in sign, with no talking, of course. He pays for his purchases and leaves. I turn to the next customer in line, who looks nervous as he approaches my counter.)

Me: *out loud, using my voice* “Did you find everything you needed today?”

Customer: *lets out a big sigh of relief* “Oh, I saw you signing with the other man and thought you were deaf! I was trying to figure out how to talk to you and understand you when it was my turn!”

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