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Enchantra

Strange things asked for

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Here's a good one that happened today. I'm in the stockroom minding my own business doing my job. Keep in mind the stockroom door says in huge letters, "employees only."

 

Suddenly the door bursts open and this grey haired older man walks in. I look up and ask, "May I help you?" I'm trying to be polite before telling him to get the heck out of a restricted area. He looks at me, "Yeah do you sell socks?" I blink. "No Sir we do not." He looks puzzled, thanks me and walks back out of the stockroom.

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When I worked for AmPm I had a woman from Oregon come in and ask how to pump gas as she had never done it before. I explained to her that she just had to take the nozzle off the pump, lift the lever, stick the pump in her gas tank and squeeze the handle on the nozzle. She said, "Oh, that's pretty simple." She goes out to the pump, takes the nozzle out, lifts the lever and puts it back down, then tries to pump the gas. I tell her to leave the lever up when she comes in to tell me that it won't work. She goes out and does the same lift down manuever a few times. I had to send my back up out to start the gas going.

 

Even better was the guy who was smoking a cigarette while trying to pump his gas. He couldn't figure out why I wouldn't turn the pump on for him.

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Even better was the guy who was smoking a cigarette while trying to pump his gas. He couldn't figure out why I wouldn't turn the pump on for him.

Oh Heavens. Maybe his brain was to fried from smoking.

 

My Father has a story to share. When I was very young, probably 3 or 4, he worked at a Seven Eleven/Convenience store in Madison Wisconsin. This man comes in who is from inner City Madison. He walks up to my Father and drawls out, "I wen e finnil." My Father just blinked. He politely asked the guy to repeat what he said. The man got irate, "I WEN E FINNIL!!" My Father was trying to keep cool and not laugh at the same time. "Sir, I am unable to understand what you are saying. Please write it down." Dad hands him a pen and paper. The man picks up the pen and paper and flings it at my Father who ducks and it hits the wall behind him. The man screams, "I WEN E FINNIL!!!" At about this point a woman comes into the store and my Father motions her over as she appears to be from the same area as the Customer he is dealing with. He politely asks the woman if she can understand what the customer is saying because he is having trouble understanding the Customer. The man looks at the woman and tersely states, "I WEN E FINNIL!" The woman looks at my Father and says, "Sir, he wants a funnel." My Father thanked her, and got a funnel for the man.

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Here's a good one that happened today. I'm in the stockroom minding my own business doing my job. Keep in mind the stockroom door says in huge letters, "employees only."

 

Suddenly the door bursts open and this grey haired older man walks in. I look up and ask, "May I help you?" I'm trying to be polite before telling him to get the heck out of a restricted area. He looks at me, "Yeah do you sell socks?" I blink. "No Sir we do not." He looks puzzled, thanks me and walks back out of the stockroom.

He probably asked someone else what was back there, and they told him "it's the stockroom"

 

he heard "it's the SOCKroom" and figured he need to go there and get some new socks.

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He probably asked someone else what was back there, and they told him "it's the stockroom"

 

he heard "it's the SOCKroom" and figured he need to go there and get some new socks.

The sad thing is, you might be right, but still the "employees only" sign on the door should have been a clue.

 

It's as bad as the night back in grad school when I worked at Walmart. We had to call a Code Adam on an 80 year old woman. She had been shopping with her Husband and suddenly wasn't there. There was construction going on because they were expanding it to a Supercenter. Somehow, and I don't think they ever found out how, she had made her way undetected (Odd as there must have been 20 employees working in the area at the time) down a plywood corridoor into the newly constructed and off-limits grocery store. One would think the huge signs that said "Authorized personnel," or "employees only," And "Caution, construction zone," would have been a huge clue the area was off-limits and dangerous. They found her between two of the newly constructed store aisles on the floor. She had fallen. Her Husband then said, "Oh yeah, now I remember, she said she wanted to see what you all were building over there." :blink:

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Even better was the guy who was smoking a cigarette while trying to pump his gas.  He couldn't figure out why I wouldn't turn the pump on for him.

Oh Heavens. Maybe his brain was to fried from smoking.

 

That would be my guess. The worst part was he looked at me like I was the idiot.

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He probably asked someone else what was back there, and they told him "it's the stockroom"

 

he heard "it's the SOCKroom" and figured he need to go there and get some new socks.

The sad thing is, you might be right, but still the "employees only" sign on the door should have been a clue.

 

maybe they thought it was a brand name (like the "member's only" or whatever it was back in the 80s)

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Although not really stupid customer stories I do have a pretty good collection of stories relating to what people will fall for.

 

One of my jobs was installing office furniture. Steelcase mostly but some other high end product too. We used to employ "temps" to help unload trucks on big jobs. Now I'm not hacking temps but one brain surgeon we had spent almost ten minutes searching my tool box for the left-handed hammer. :devil:

 

 

For those of you that don't know, I spent quite a number of years in the Army as an Infantryman and as an MP. The Army has several "rites of passage". I have over the years sent new Private's on errands to find the following:

 

A reel of flight line.

 

A box of grid squares. (military maps are divided into 1 km squares in a grid fashion)

 

Parachute grease.

 

A 5 gallon can of prop wash.

 

A left-twisting wrench.

 

A recharge kit for chem-lights. (the little plastic thingy's you snap and shake to make them light up.)

 

Chem-light batteries.

 

 

 

I've had soldiers jumping up and down on the top of a M-113 Personnel Carrier to check it's suspension in the presence of the Battalion Sergeant-Major. They bounced on each corner in turn before the Segeant-Major snickered and told me to get them down off there.

 

 

I've had soldiers using ball-peen hammers to check for soft spots in APC armor and marking said spots with chalk.

 

An A.S.H. reciever. He came back twenty minutes later with an ashtray and I gave him the next day off.

 

 

The topper had to be the Private who was almost in a panic because he hadn't gotten a pap smear before leaving to go to the field. I had help with that one. We all chorused about how you were supposed to do that every single time before you go out in the field. We were all enjoyng this poor Private's distress as he was convinced he was in trouble for not doing this until our new Lieutenant pulled me aside to speak with me privately and said in an almost whisper, "Uh, Sergeant, I didn't get one either." I'm proud to admit I kept a straight face (with great effort) and told him we'd get him to the medics for one immediately.

 

I took both the Lieutenant and the Private to the First-Sergeant for a sick slip for their pap smears. The First-Sergeant was stone faced as he wrote out the sick slips and chastised each of them mildly for not accomplishing this before we left garrison. He winked at me and told me to get them to see the medic right away. I took them to the Battalion rear-area where the medics were. A good buddy of mine was a medic and was more than willing to accomodate these two young men and keep it quiet to "keep them out of trouble." He promptly had the Battalion surgeon give them prostate exams.

 

Both of them were grateful that it had been taken care of without them getting in trouble for not doing it before we left. I honestly don't know if either of them ever caught on. I'm sure they did at some point and imagining the circumstance in which they did find out is infinitely amusing to me.

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I was Signal Spartan, so we had more HMMV's and MTV's in our motorpool than people. Our favorite rite of passage was the "Exhaust Sample" relay. Someone would tell a new soldier that we needed samples of every vehicle's exhaust and hand them a roll of large black yard-style garbage bags. The unwitting soldier would be told they'd have to move fast since the reader in the bay wouldn't work if the sample wasn't as fresh as possible. We'd be out on a Monday morning performing routine maintenance and see some new private running down the motorpool with two inflated garbage bags in each hand (granted, it was downhill, but it was still 4-500 meters from the vehicles to our motor pool bays). One guy made 12 trips before catching on.

 

We'd also send people out for "T-R-double E's", which were actually a scarce find where we were in Arizona.

 

My all time favorite though was hanging a large cardboard sign behind our concertina wire for my site downrange that said, "KEEP OFF THE SAND!". Needless to say, that can be difficult in places like Egypt.

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Yet another reason, I am glad not to have enlisted. I need to talk to the cousins now to see what hell they were put through. :)

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When we used to do stage construction for school drama productions, We'd invariably send a freshman in pursuit of a board stretcher, because he'd gone and cut an important piece too short.

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When we used to do stage construction for school drama productions, We'd invariably send a freshman in pursuit of a board stretcher, because he'd gone and cut an important piece too short.

We'd just shoot pneumatic staples at them from the other side of the stage shop. Tweak the pressure so it's just strong enough to launch, and not enough to puncture. If they were not wearing their safety glasses (which was a rule in the shop) they learned quickly.

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I work in a Taco Bell, and believe me, I've heard just about every imaginable butchery of our named menu items.

 

I've had customers ask for ..

 

Chicken Godzilla

El-Dorado Supreme

Chinga-Changas

Chowchilla

..and our new dessert.. the Caramel Oompa-Loompa.

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My hubby works at a local historic site where he dresses up and plays oldey timey. It's a lot more complex than that, but that gives you an idea as to why he's had some of these bazarre interactions....

 

They portray an 1820s army garrison frontier fort in the middle of a major metropolitan area (the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota.) In training they mention that there are no stupid questions from the visitors, but he begs to differ. It seems most people have seen too many movies and have a hard time understanding that, although the place is a reconstruction, things ARE real. They get such questions as:

-"Is that a real fire?" while a cook is making dinner in a fireplace or the blacksmith is working iron in the forge fire.

-"So where do you poo?" This child's father promptly gave him a smack upside the head .

-"Why was the fort built so close to the airport?"

-"Are you real?"

-"What did you hit?" or "Where did the cannon ball go?" when they fire the blanks out of the cannon.

-On guard duty "Shoot me!" or the companion demand to "Stab me!" with the bayonet.

-"Are you hot?" when it's 90+ degrees with high humidity and they're standing in the sun wearing dark blue wool and a black hat. In otherwords, weather that ANYONE in their right mind would be hot in.

-The best visitor story. A staff member was doing some painting to repair a doorframe. A visitor walked up and declared "you're not really painting!" to which the staff member stated "yes I am". The disbelieving visitor proceeded to argue while sticking her hand into the wet paint to prove the staff wrong. At which point she disbelievingly stared at her bright blue hand and walked away.

 

And I spent five LONG years working for Barnes and Noble. While I have fortunately blocked most of my experiences out, there are some I still fail to understand.

-I CONSTANTLY had customers arguing with me about a book that was out of print. They seemed to think that I could print it up on demand in the back room and did not understand the concept that only a certain number are made.

-After explaining to a customer who had bought a book on vacation in some exotic locale (ie South Africa) that we could only get books published in the US-having them scream at me and threaten to report me to the manager because I wasn't doing my job.

-Not understanding that I couldn't just order every book ever in print on such a broad topic as airplanes.

-Customers who heard about a book on the radio. What program? Didn't know. What channel? No idea! What day? Oh, a while ago. Now why couldn't I figure out what they wanted?

-One of the ones I STILL get a laugh out of. When Oprah first started her book club, I can't tell you how many people called as soon as the show was over looking for a book title that they needed "for their kid to read for school" because they were embarassed to admit they were watching Oprah.

-People who knew books by the picture on the cover. I somehow was infrequently able to figure it out and invariably, the picture was NEVER the same as they remembered.

 

And one I witnessed as a customer myself:

A lady brings two VERY different pairs of socks to the counter to pay. (This was at Target) They rang up at two different prices. She spent about 10 minutes screaming at the poor cashier that they were in the same bin with a sale sign above them but that the more expensive pair was the only one of it's kind in the bin and she wanted the sale price on both pairs. After the two of them had run around long enough, my mom decided to jump in and basically accuse the lady of trying to con Target out of a little bit of money by claiming to find the socks there. Obviously my mom hit the nail on the head as the lady stormed off in a huff-thereby accomplishing my mom's goal which was to get through the line to pick up our prescription

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