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    Category: Employees

    Sales Fails

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | Bizarre/Silly, Employees

    (My boyfriend and I briefly visit a popular electronics chain to pass some time whilst we wait for a bus. We don’t want to buy anything, and are just looking at laptops.)

    Salesperson: “Hey, guys, need any help?”

    Boyfriend: “No, we’re fine thanks. Just looking.”

    (We turn to the other side of the aisle and look at tablets. The same salesman sidles up to my boyfriend.)

    Salesperson: “You wanna buy a [Brand], mate?”

    Boyfriend: “Er… no, I don’t, thanks. I’m just looking. I’d be more likely to get something like this [gestures at tablet].”

    Salesperson: “Oh, well, the [Brand]’s the best thing, so that’s what you want to get.”

    (My boyfriend gives him a polite smile.)

    Salesperson: “Yeah, I’m a salesman, but I’m not a very good one.”

    Cardi-gonna Get You In Trouble

    | Kent, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Employees

    (I’m browsing, with my mum and little sister, in a local charity shop that supports a well-known research company. It’s the height of summer, and said sister is wearing a cardigan because she is self-conscious whilst outside in public.)

    Mum: *to sister* “Hey, [Sister], there are some nice dresses over here that you might like.”

    (I’m over the other side of the shop browsing their book collection. There is currently one member of staff in the shop, manning the till, but currently doing nothing.)

    Sister: *moans* “Mum, it’s hot in here.”

    Mum: “Okay, hun. Put it in my bag for the meanwhile.”

    (Then, the middle-aged staff member appears right behind them both.)

    Employee: *narrows eyes* “Excuse me, ma’am, but we do not tolerate your kind in here.”

    Mum: *baffled* “…I’m sorry?”

    Employee: “Don’t pretend you don’t know!”

    Mum: *exasperated* “No, I don’t know! What are you talking about?!”

    (The employee looks at my sister, bends down slightly and tuts at her.)

    Employee: “It’s a shame your generation are this way.” *to herself* She should know better.”

    (By now I can see my mum is kind of losing it and my sister is tearful. I intervene.)

    Me: “Pardon me, ma’am, but don’t you think it’s unfair to make an accusation of someone without actually telling them what is it they’re being accused of?”

    Employee: *sighs dramatically* “Oh, all right then.” *points menacingly at sister* “I saw her put one of our cardigans in that bag! Stealing!”

    Mum: “That was hers! She came in wearing it!”

    Employee: *scoffs* “Yeah, pull the other one.”

    (I pull the cardigan from Mum’s bag and show the label to the rude employee.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’ve worked in charity shops before, and they tag clothes just like any other store you’ll find. There is no tag on this cardigan!”

    Employee: “She could have taken it off!”

    Me: “But this cardigan is [well-known Brand name] and you don’t even sell that kind of label here!”

    Employee: “Hmph. Well, rest assured, I’ll be speaking to my manager about this.”

    (As we swiftly removed ourselves from the shop, the woman was wagging her finger at us from the large window display. Later, we called the manager before the employee did, and got a profuse apology. The employee was also fired for her appalling treatment of customers.)

    The Baby Name Dilemma

    | Incirlik, AB, Turkey | Employees, Family & Kids

    (I married late, so I kept my name. I have been married twice, so with my daughter having her father’s last name, my son having his father’s last name, and me having my own name, there are three surnames for four people. It causes a lot of problems for the hospital when they try to group medical records by family. I have just straightened it out again, and the clerk asks me:)

    Clerk: “And who’s Jennifer?”

    Me: “I give up; who’s Jennifer?”

    Clerk: “I have a Jennifer [Last Name] listed here; who is she?”

    Me: “I don’t know. She’s not part of our family.”

    Clerk: “Her birth date is listed as ’99, and that’s the default entry.”

    Me: “That’s interesting, but there’s still no Jennifer in my family.”

    Clerk: “A lot of times, the birth year doesn’t get corrected in the system for a few months. Ma’am, are you sure you didn’t have a baby in the last year?”

    Me: “No; I am pretty sure I would have noticed that.”

    Clerk: *laughing* “Oh, I guess that’s the dumbest thing I’ve said all day!”

    (I resisted the urge to say it was probably the dumbest thing she’s said, ever.)

    Voice Unrecognition

    | OK, USA | Employees, Technology

    (I have had a cold and my voice, which is already very low pitched, has now become a gravelly basso profundo.)

    Computer Voice: “Would you like to pay your bill now?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Computer Voice: “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”

    Me: *rumbling louder* “Yes!”

    Computer Voice: “I’m sorry, but I can’t understand you. I will transfer you to an associate now.”

    Human: “Can I help you?”

    Me: “Yes, I’d like to pay my bill.”

    Human: “Yes, I can take care of that for you, but there is a $5 fee if you don’t use our automated services.”

    Me: “Yes, I know, but I tried that and it wouldn’t understand me.”

    Human: “Um…” *short pause to think about that* “Okay, I think I can waive the fee for that.”

    Me: “That would be nice.”

    (They dropped the voice recognition not long after.)

    Middle East Meets Far East

    | New York City, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Employees, Language & Words

    (I pop into a liquor store on my way home. I’m a white female. The cashier behind the register is from Iran, second-generation. He has always been very polite and friendly towards me, and he speaks with a heavy accent. I grab my purchases and get in line behind an older Korean customer.)

    Customer: “Only this, please.”

    Cashier: “What?”

    Customer: *very clearly and slowly* “Only this, please.”

    Cashier: “I don’t understand you. Do you speak English?”

    Customer: “Yes, I speak very well. Please, may I pay?”

    Cashier: *to me* “Do you speak Asian?”

    Me: *completely baffled* “Uh, I think he said he’s ready to pay. He doesn’t need anything else.”

    Cashier: “Okay. Fine.”

    (He rings up the gentleman who leaves without making eye contact with anyone, clearly upset or embarrassed.)

    Cashier: *ringing me up* “Those people need to learn our language, right? He’s lucky you know Chinese!”

    (I was so shocked I haven’t been back to that particular store.)


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