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  • Not So Closely Guarded
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  • Not A Pretty Picture Of Salesmanship

    | England, UK | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (I’m shopping for a new digital camera. I’m looking through the cameras they have on section.)

    Me: *tries to turn on the first one* “Hmm.” *tries to turn on the second one* “O… kay.”

    Worker: “Can I help you, sir?”

    Me: “Yes, I hope so. I’m looking for a camera. It needs to take decent quality photos and be in [price range].”

    Worker: “Well, we have lots of very good cameras here.”

    Me: “Yes, but none of them turn on! How can I decide on a camera if I can’t see what pictures it takes?”

    Worker: “Well, if you go online you can see sample pictures.”

    Me: “Yes, but then again, if I go online I can buy cheaper cameras from your competitors. I really wanted to see it working.”

    Worker: “Well, if you do that you won’t get reward points.”

    (Needless to say I bought from somewhere else, somewhere I could actually try it first and see the picture quality.)

    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due

    | Singapore | At The Checkout, Ignoring/Inattentive, Technology

    (My card is a debit card with a limited credit facility. As it was introduced only a couple months’ prior, I usually have to explain this to cashiers whenever I make a payment, as well as indicate that I would like to pay with the debit or credit feature.)

    Cashier: “That would be [amount].”

    Me: *hands over card* “Master debit, please.”

    Cashier: “What? Nets or Master?”

    Me: “Master debit.”

    Cashier: “Okay. Master.”

    (She swipes the card and the options for Credit and Debit came on the screen, with Credit as the default.)

    Me: *quickly* “Debit!”

    Cashier: “Okay.”

    (The cashier presses enter to approve the transaction using Credit. The receipt comes out and she hands it to me.)

    Me: “No, no, I said ‘Debit’. I said it a few times!”

    Cashier: *shrug* “I don’t know how to choose debit or credit. I just push the button. You wanted debit? You should have said so earlier.”

    Me: “I did! A few times! Now you need to reverse the charge and re-do the transaction.”

    Cashier: “I don’t know how to. Just take your stuff and go. It’s not like you’ve been charged the wrong amount. Why do you want to make me work so hard?”

    Me: “No. Call your manager. Now.”

    (The manager arrives and I explain the situation, with the cashier vehemently protesting that she had been right all the while and I was the one who was causing trouble.)

    Manager: “[Cashier], you were briefed that there was this card. In fact, you went through training just yesterday to ensure that you know how to use the credit card terminal. It was your mistake! Now, you need to cancel this transaction and re-do everything correctly.”

    Cashier: “But I don’t know how.”

    Manager: “Fine, I’ll do it. You watch and learn.”

    (The manager proceeds to cancel my transaction and then re-scans my items and swipes my card.)

    Manager: “Now, how do I choose the debit option?”

    Me: *sighs* “Can you let me see the terminal? Okay, press the down arrow there. Now you see that ‘Debit’ is highlighted? Okay, push the ‘OK’ button.”

    (My transaction finally went through, but I didn’t dare to use that particular card until a few months later!)

    Or You Just Had A REALLY Bad Breakup

    | MN, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I usually make desserts for the place I work at, which is a small, family owned restaurant. I usually buy ingredients at the local supermarket. This weekend is a holiday, so I’m preparing to make a ton of cake and pies for the shop. I’m currently at the local supermarket, getting supplies.)

    Cashier: *recognizing me from my work* “Oh, hey! You’re that girl who makes cakes and pies for [Restaurant]!”

    Me: “Yeah, I am.”

    Cashier: “Oh, they’re always so good. Are you still baking?”

    Me: *looking at the 10 boxes of cake mix and about 20 tubs of whipped topping she’s currently ringing me out for* “Um… Yeah. I am.”

    The Employee And The Hummus Have A Code

    | ACT, Australia | At The Checkout, Employees, Technology

    (My husband and I are shopping for groceries and find my preferred hummus is on sale, with a weird really long barcode on it. I wonder if it will cause problems at the checkout, but grab two anyway. When we are done shopping we head to the self-serve checkouts. Note there is one staff member for nine of these checkouts.)

    Me: *gets up to hummus and it won’t scan* “D***, it doesn’t like my hummus!”

    (I try scanning it a few more times and then give up. I look around for the staff member. Just then the staff member walks by me and tells her nearest colleague that she is ducking out. My hand is up to signal her but I drop it, presuming she hasn’t seen me. On her way out she looks back and makes eye contact with me before hurrying away.)

    Me: *deflated* “Well, what the h*** do I do now?”

    (The machine, which had been mostly silent, suddenly speaks up…)

    Machine: “Type in the code, or look up item.”

    (My husband and I look at each other before bursting out laughing. I type in the massive code, and it works. I then have to repeat this for the other hummus. Luckily the sale price is applied properly and I don’t have to retype it. We finish up, pay and collect our groceries. As we are walking out, the staff member comes back into the store, and quickly averts her eyes.)

    Me: “Did she somehow intuitively know my hummus was a problem and avoided us?”

    Husband: *shrug* “It doesn’t matter; the machine knew what was going on.”

    Catatonic About The Cat Tonic

    | Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Pets & Animals

    (I’m in the pharmacy section of a large supermarket. I’m visiting my parents for the weekend, and I’m having some trouble with their cat. This story takes place in the evening, when all other pharmacies in the area are closed.)

    Me: “Excuse me, do you know if any of these are better for cat allergies, or if they’re all pretty much the same?”

    Pharmacist: “They aren’t for cats.”

    Me: “Oh. None of them?”

    Pharmacist: “No. You can’t buy those, sorry.”

    Me: “I don’t understand; they’re just anti-histamines. Why can’t I take them?”

    Pharmacist: “I can’t sell you them. It could be dangerous.”

    Me: “What?”

    Pharmacist: “You’ll have to go to a vet.”

    Me: “What?! I won’t be able to sleep without them, and everywhere else is closed.”

    Pharmacist: “I’m sorry, but as I said, you’ll have to take your cat to a vet. You can’t just give it these. The dose would be too strong. If it’s an emergency, you can call [local animal clinic].”

    Me: *blinks for a moment* “They’re for me. For me to take. I am the one with the allergy. I am allergic to cats.”

    Pharmacist: “…”

    Me: “…”

    Pharmacist: “…oh. Right.”

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