I worked at EB Games part-time, although over Christmas I picked up full-time hours. Our store was normally ranked #1 on the East Coast (by percentage of goals met), but still it was very, very busy. Now, I have a very stupid assistant Manager, we will call him Jason. Jason doesn't quite know anything about video games, since he doesn't buy them, isn't very smart at all, can't do math, breaks stupid rules, and constantly messes up (wrong game in box, takes PS1 controllers in as PS2 Controllers, etc.) Anyway...

It's Christmas Eve, or maybe the day before, and I am busily working one of our registers. I'm not at all a disgruntled employee, even when I dislike being in this store I act all happy and helpful, so I have never gotten a customer complaint. This couple has roughly $35 in pre-played games they are purchasing. As is (or was before the Gamestop merger) customary, I ask about the GPGs, which they turn down, and then the Edge Card. For those of you not familiar with it, they cost $5 (now 15 because you get some subscription, but then they were worth 5), and saved you 10% off Pre-Played purchases for a year. It's actually a very good deal if you like videogames. Anyway, since it costs $5, you have to spend at least $50 to make your money back, but you have a whole year to do this. I ask said couple if they have/want a card. They say no, and that they don't want one. I don't pester. Next in line in the adjacent register is one of our regular customers, a 30-something mother (she is buying for her kids, not for herself.) Jason (my Grade-A ASM ) sees here and says:

"You have an Edge card, they can use it!"

Now, this is the first dumb thing... if we let people share the damn cards, why not just have one behind the counter and give EVERYONE the discount? But I don't care enough, I take it, they thank this lady, and I swipe. It's no longer active. I look at them, inform them it is out-of-date, and they sort of go "Aww, oh well" and everything is nice. Jason steps in again:

"Well, if they are getting games, why don't they buy the new one and she can get the new card and they can get the discount (the $3.50)"

This is so against policy, and idiotic. They would be paying their $35, plus $5 for the card. After saving $3.50, they would still be paying an extra $1.50... and get nothing out of it. I ignore him and keep ringing them up. Here comes the attitude, "Hey, he's trying to get us a deal and you're just being all fast and trying to screw us over!" I start to explain the problem, and he says "Hey, someone should teach you some manners! You don't have to be all smart ass and hurried!" Fine, I give in. I don't care enough about this rude fuck. I cancel his transaction (I have to at this point because I entered the payment part, ugh stupid system), re-ring them up, add the Edge card on, smile and ask for $36.50. WHAT WHAT WHAT?

Jason as suddenly disappeared into the back of the store.

They are all confused. I explain what I tried to tell them before. Realizing they are retarded, but not wanting to give me satisfaction, they spitefully pay the extra money. I am just angry at this point, not just because of the fact this guy talked back to me, but because Jason decided to butt in to my sale, give bad advice, and make me look like an asshole to everybody in the store who was being held up by this. In my anger, I mutter to my manager:

"See, this was stupid"

WHOOPS. ALERT

The couple leaving the store hears this as "they were stupid" and apparently later would say I added in a racial slur. The husband starts SCREAMING all around the store. I mean SHOUTING. Fuck this, you can't treat me like that, this kid is out of control. Jason emerges from the back, realizing what he has caused, and actually takes care of it. Every customer I check out while the man is in the back room screaming at Jason (you can hear him) are smiling at me and commenting on how dumb the whole thing was. At least we had some intelligent customers. A complaint is filed against me, but funnily our district manager didn't care because he was angrier at Jason (he knew he was a fuck up) and my numbers were kicking so much ass he couldn't get too mad at me.


Working retail liquor has some moments. One fun customer came in with her two twenty-something sons a few days ago, brought two six-packs and a bottle of wine to the counter and started to write a check. I had to stop her and notify her that we didn't take checks anymore and instead took all major credit cards. Naturally, she asked why we didn't accept checks anymore, and I politely told her that we had stopped taking checks about a month prior due to the amount of bad checks we were getting. I can't even cut a check for personal purchases at the store either, just to be fair. I made a point of noting that our options were either continue accepting the losses from bad checks and raising the prices on all of the liquor to compensate, or just stop taking checks and keep our prices at a very kickass, competitive level. A co-worker of mine walking caught the end of my explanation and pointed out again that we did now accept all major credit cards (as opposed to only taking Visa/Mastercard). She just gave us an evil glare and said "Well, I just don't like credit cards and it looks like I'll just have to go somewhere else." Yeah, good luck finding any liquor store that size of ours with as much selection that still takes checks. What got me was that she then paid for her stuff with a credit card and left. She'll be back.


During the summer, the hotel houses a large group of hispanic migrant workers to help out with the corn crop here in WI. Which basically means we tend to have a lobby full of hispanic people.

An older white couple walk in through the doors, and make their way to the front desk.
Old White Lady: Do you speak english?
Me: Yes.
OWL: Do you only rent to Mexicans? *looks around the lobby*
Me: No, we rent to everyone. *confused*
OWL: I don't think I want to stay in a hotel full of you people.
Me: Ok. Bye.

I'm not Mexican, dammit.


When I worked at Toys R Us Video Game Department several years ago when the PS2 came out I had the usual questions about if we had any systems in and what not. Well one day a lady comes up to me with a game in her hand.

Yes ma'am may I help you?
Yes, will this game work on the PS2?
*She hands me a Dreamcast game*
No, thats only for the Dreamcast, the PS2 only plays PS1, PS2, and DVD movies.
No, my son said it can play these too!
I'm sorry, but he's wrong.
*getting angry* Oh well then you say that to him then!
*she points to a 7 year old who is playing Tony Hawk 2 on the Dreamcast we had set up, she calls him over*
Tell him what you told me!
*shrugs* I'm sorry, but you cant play Dreamcast games on PS2.
boy: *looks a bit confused* I know that... It only plays those *points at PS1 games* and thoses *points at PS2 games*
Well... why can't it play these games?!
*slowly losing my temper* Because that is made for another game system made for another game company.
I don't believe you! I want to speak to your manager!

I get my manager, he explains to her for almost 30 min why you cant play dreamcast games on a PS2... even had her 7 year old son trying to help him explain it.


I work at a natural grocery store and have the pleasure of odd interactions with odd people a little too frequently.

Once, a lady with her 6 year old daughter approached me and the mother asked, "Do you have anything that will make her smarter?" I laughed at the question then realized she was really serious. I directed her to someone who worked in our supplements dept. That poor girl.


My job for three summers was driving visitors in Ford Model Ts at Greenfield Village, a well known American history musuem. Of course, this led to some annoyance.

Rider: ARE THESE CARS REAL!?
Me: Well... they got four wheels, and an engine, so I'd say so.

Most of the time they were asking if the cars were replicas (they're not!) but that wording came across as, well, dumb.


I liked it when kids (or anyone really) asked if they could drive, because I would ask them which pedal was the gas (there are three.) Invariably, they would say "The one on the right!" That's the brake, but I didn't tell them that, I just jammed it to the floor. Sometimes this caused patrons to hit the back of my seat. Much amusement.

But that didn't mean they would stop guessing; the next thing out of their mouth was usually "Well, then it's probably the left pedal!" So I pushed that pedal to the floor, which would get the car rolling. Their look of smug satisfaction was short-lived though, as that is the clutch, and pushing it down activated low gear. As many of us know, an activated clutch with no gas will roll for a very short distance before kicking back and forth like a bull with Parkinson's. I think I almost made a kid cry by proving him wrong.

Oh, and it's a trick question; the gas is a lever on the steering column.

But one exchange stands out as the absolute stupidest question, ever. At Greenfield Village, there are horse-drawn carriage rides offered, and my conversation with two middle-aged ladies centered around that for this particular ride.

Then one asked: "Is that doo-doo in the streets real, or do you just put it there to make it seem authentic?"

I answered normally, which proved that I had fielded way too many stupid questions, but man, fake horse poo? That's a new low.

She must have been a wee bit sheltered growing up.


In high school, I did tech support for a dial-up ISP in rural Nebraska. So, we had more than our fair share of aging, stubborn farmers and pathetically irresponsible trailer trash. The former paid their bills. The latter, well, they would call up every once in a while and:

Good afternoon, thank you for calling $ISP, how can I help you?
Is the Internet down?
this I can accept, how else are they going to phrase it?
Nope, things look good on our side. What kind of error message is it giving you?
It says there's no dial tone
can't remember the exact win95 message
(asks if they're using the same phone line, is it plugged in, is it plugged into the correct one)
(all is well)
Could you pick up your phone and try dialing (dial-up telephone no.)? Does it make screeching noises?
Can't do that, the phone got cut off yesterday.
...


I work at a small record store. We were sold out of a Bette Midler (yes, Bette Midler) CD, but I could get it transferred from one of our other stores and it would arrive within two days.

"Can you just like, call FYE or something and see if they have it?"

Sure, let me look up the phone number for one of our competitors and get them to sell you that piece of shit for about seven dollars more. Who the fuck do we look like, progressive direct? Get out of here.

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