Wish You Could Erase This From Memory

, , | Right | March 5, 2019

(I work in an art store that also sells office supplies. Almost everything has many varieties, so it’s easier just to refer to brands or purposes when customers are vague. Some people don’t know enough to even be vague. I’m working the register when this exchange happens.)

Customer: *walks up to the counter with two packs of pencil-top erasers*

Me: “Hi there. How are you tonight?”

Customer: “Fine. I need some help finding an eraser.”

Me: “All right, what kind do you need? We have—“

Customer: *gesturing at the pencil-top erasers* “I was looking for a big eraser, like these, but only one of them.”

Me: “You mean for a pencil-top eraser?”

Customer: “Yeah, I need an eraser, but bigger and just one of them.”

Me: *noticing she hasn’t specifically told me what kind of eraser she needs, I take a guess* “I don’t think we have pencil-top erasers in singles, but I can call someone up to double—“

Customer: *becoming irritated* “No, not a pencil-topper. I’m looking for a big rectangle eraser. You know, a rectangle?” *traces a rectangle in front of my face with her fingers*

Me: *taken slightly aback* “Oh, my apologies, we have some white and pink pearl erasers behind you; would those do?”

Customer: “Ugh, no, I’m looking for a big rectangle, just…” *big huff* “Forget it.”

(She turns away and walks right into my coworker, and starts off a similar conversation.)

Customer: “I don’t think he knows what erasers are.”

(After hitting most of the notes our own conversation had, she’s led by my coworker to the aisle right in front of the register.)

Coworker: “You mean these pink and white pearl erasers right here?”

Customer: “That’s exactly it!”

(They return to the counter.)

Customer: “See, this one right here. This is what I was talking about.” *brandishing the eraser in her hand*

Me: “Yes, that’s the white pearl I referred to.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I don’t have any idea what that is. I don’t work here.”

(I do, but I guess six months isn’t enough to know what erasers are.)

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