I work in the electronics department at Wal-Mart. Here's a recent phone call.
I'm looking to buy a TV. What's the cheapest one y'all got?
Looks like the Durabrand 13-inch for $59.62.
How big is that?
About thirteen inches.
Yeah, but how big is thirteen inches?
I'm really not sure how to answer that. As I understand things in this world, measurements are there to give us a way to describe things. I'm not sure how I can break down "thirteen inches" into a more easily understandable format. What possible answer could she be expecting that will help her out here?
I remain silent.
Is a thirteen inch TV pretty small?
Yeah, that's barely over a foot.
Well, what's the next cheapest TV you have?
We have an RCA 14-inch for $69.92.
Is that bigger than the 13-inch?
WHAT. How can she ask that? Is she expecting our televisions to bend the fabric of space so that somehow fourteen has become less than thirteen, or what?
How much bigger?
I cannot believe a human adult who can dial the number for Wal-Mart can be this dense.
...About an inch.
Oh, that's OK then. *hangs up*
And one other good call from just today:
Hey man, how much are y'alls dog pens?
Oh, you need someone in pets. Let me transfer you.
I know I ain't gonna git no answer from them, but you 'lectrics boys always pick up. I ain't got time to wait. YOU tell me.
I...uh...You sure? Because, I mean, I can transfer your call, or I can walk across the store to find out the prices, but it's gonna take longer because this store is full of Christmas shoppers needing assistance.
Hogwash! You don't need to be walkin' all over there, just tell me what the dog pens cost!
And where do you want me to get this information? I'm in Electronics. While holding the phone I can get four feet from the counter. I'm open to suggestions.
I....uh...You call one a them Pets guys and have them tell ya!
So you don't have time to wait for one of them to answer your call, but you do have time to talk to me, have me call them, have me wait for them, then relay whatever they tell me back to you?
Don't get smart with me!
Right. Should be about a ten to fifteen minute wait, since the Pets guy and I have to coordinate efforts.
Now wait a—
And that's when I put him on hold. He hung up after about three seconds and never called back. Why would you call an unrelated department and then ask them to be a go-between? Especially Electronics right at Christmas time?
I know this one reads like parody, but the guy seriously said "WHOA THAR!" and "Hogwash!"
I'm an assistant manager at a movie theater. This happened on Friday.
I'm getting ready to leave for the day when I get a call from box office saying they need help with a customer. I go in and there's this really pissed off 20ish guy. Apparently the doorperson wouldn't let him in to see the 7:00 Blood Diamond because it was around 5:00 at the time and a show was going on in that theater. I explained this to the guy...
Me: I'm sorry, there's a show going on in that theater right now and your show isn't for a couple hours; that's why the doorperson didn't let you in. I can exchange the ticket you have for the show that's currently playing, but it's been on for about a half hour.
Guy: So I can't go in?
Me: No, your ticket's for 7:00, and it's around 5 right now. There's still a show playing.
Guy (getting really flustered now): But I just want to go see Blood Diamond.
Me: I understand, sir. Is there some other movie you'd like in the meantime until the 7:00 show starts?
(I normally wouldn't do something like that, but this guy seriously looked like he either wasn't getting it or was going to pop a vein. And a line was building.) After my suggestion, he brightened up:
Guy: Um...okay. Borat.
I print a free pass for Borat which ends at 6:30 and he'll have plenty of time to catch his prized Blood Diamond. This is a win-win. He thanks me and leaves and not ten seconds after he leaves the window he comes back...
Guy: Does this mean I can't see Blood Diamond?!
Me: Uh...no...you can still see it...at seven...
I heard later on that he came back to box and threw the Blood Diamond ticket back at the glass and cursed at one of the employees. Whatever, his ten bucks, not mine. Motherfuckers should pay taxes for being that stupid.
I'm working the drive-through two nights ago at Burger King, and a fat guy in a van rolls up and orders a bunch of shit, including an order of chili. He gets to the window, money exchanges hands and he asks me, "Is that chili good for farting?"
I heard him pretty clearly, but part of my brain told me that under no circumstances could this person actually be asking me if our chili was a top-shelf selection for intentional flatulance. So I say, "Pardon me?" "Is that chili good for farting?" I hesitate a second before replying with, "Possibly."
I understand that he was just trying to be funny, "Chili makes you fart hurr hurr," but goddamn that joke was terrible.
I got shouted at today because we don't have any Nintendo Wiis in stock
: Hello can I help you?
: Yes I'd like to buy one of these wii things
: I'm sorry we don't have any in stock
: But you're advertising them!
: Well no we have a huge display saying 'available soon', just to let people know that we do stock them and they'll be on sale as soon as possible
: I think that's disgusting
: Sorry, it's always like this at Christmas. We're doing our best to get more stock in so pop back later in the week just in case - but it's looking unlikely at the moment.
: But you're advertising all these games that my kids won't be able to play
: We've got plenty of games and accessories in but we just can't get the consoles in fast enough - honestly we sold our allocation months ago, it's impossible for Nintendo to make them any faster.
: But what if you weren't allowed to buy CD players anymore but shops still advertised CDs? it's terrible to treat customers like that
: Um, we have to still advertise the games because thousands of people own the Wii and will want to buy some games.
: No what I'm saying is that you're basically not letting people buy CD players but still shoving CDs in their faces and I think that's disgusting.
: No not really because even if there was a shortage of CD players, millions of people already own them and will buy CDs (note: Why the hell I carried on talking to this idiot at this point I don't know, I was really hungover today.)
: I'll be writing to complain. This isn't fair at all.
: Okay I'm very sorry about that, goodbye!
Note: At least it's not like the guy a couple of weeks ago who absolutely insisted that we had the HD-DVD addon for the 360 in the back room but we were just refusing to sell them. That is the most stupid question customers ever ask when you say something is out of stock: "Do you have any in the back room?" The back room is the mythical wonderland where everything is in stock 24/7/365.25
That wraps up Part I. Part II will be up in as many weeks.
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