They’re Not The Brightest Spark

, , , , , , | Right | September 6, 2019

(A middle-aged man comes up with a lightweight backpacking stove in a small storage bag.)

Customer: “I need to return this stove. The second time I used it, the igniter didn’t work.”

Me: “Can I take a look at it?”

Customer: *handing me the stove* “I only used it twice. The second day of my trip, it didn’t work, and I had to light it with a lighter.”

(By the time he’s finished, I’ve already fixed the problem.)

Me: “Okay, the good news is the stove itself is absolutely fine. I think the igniter will work now that I’ve tweaked it a little. Let me show you—”

Customer: *irate* “You haven’t fixed it at all! I told you, young lady, the igniter isn’t working!”

Me: “Yes, it wasn’t working before, but it should be now.” *flicks the igniter a couple of times, showing him the spark* “See that spark there—”

Customer: “Of course it’s sparking, girl. But it isn’t lighting!

Me: “No, it wasn’t. I’m trying to show you this metal piece here. It’s a flexible piece, and it was bent up too far, so the spark wasn’t jumping high enough. I’ve just bent it down a bit so the spark can connect. Now the stove can light.”

Customer: “I could have done that! I read the d*** instructions; it was horizontal like it was supposed to be!”

Me: “It was actually a little too far up—”

Customer: *condescendingly* “Young lady. I’m not just going to take your word that you’ve magically fixed my defective stove by bending just one little piece of metal into place.”

Me: *calmly* “Well, it’s a good thing you don’t have to, sir.”

(I grab one of our tester fuel cans, screw the stove in place, and run the fuel. The whole time, the customer huffs at me.)

Customer: “It’s still not going to—”

(I flick the igniter. The stove goes up like a Roman candle. I look him dead in the face through the six-inch-high blue flames, slowly winding down the fuel.)

Customer: *huffily* “All right, I’ll buy that, I guess.”

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