52 thoughts on “September 8, 2015

    • You’d be ridiculously surprised sometimes when working Retail. People can be EXTREMELY dumb. And you wonder how these people even manage to walk around without killing themselves.

      • This, a customer and I had a conversation along these lines, but his employer deals with people who have a whole lotta money and on more than one occasion he has wondered how these people were smart enough to make enough money to buy tens of thousands of dollars in materials and services, yet can just be THAT stupid!

    • They can be dumber. At least in this case, the way LED lighting is going, you can vaguely see a possible cause for confusion. Some customers come up with even stupider things to say.

    • I used to work in computer and network repair. I once had to go out to a place on two separate occasions to show them first how to turn on their computer and the second time how to turn on the monitor. I really really really wish I was joking. They didn’t know what the power symbol looked like and even once I described it they couldn’t located it. I might add my work charged them $80 for each visit.

      • I had a guy keep bringing a machine back under warranty, each time “This piece of $&!# won’t connect to the internet.” It was in airplane mode. After the 4th time I started billing $89 to press a button. It still took him a while to start trying it before bringing the computer in.

    • Sure they can. I worked in customer service and once had to explain to a customer who had just switched over to our company that signing the paper reading “By signing this I agree to switch to Company X in exchange for being able to call for free for one month” did NOT mean that she could stay with her old company and Company X would pay her phone bill for her for one month…

    • FWIW, the lamps we sell at my store come with bulbs in the box, and it’s fairly obvious that they need to be installed because the shades aren’t on either, so the bulb in it’s own box isn’t a spare or something. So, I wonder if this happens all that much, since I doubt we’re unique in including a bulb with a new lamp.

      • Unique. Perhaps not. But very unusual.

        But not checking the bulb before bringing it back? Wow. Never mind that it just isn’t a good idea to turn on a lamp with an empty socket.

    • No, they can be this dumb. Maybe “dumb” isn’t quite the right word – but they are sorely lacking in practical life experience. If it’s not taught in a classroom, they don’t know it. I blame helicopter parenting.

    • In the incident I mention below, we even upsaled them on the necessary parts and it still didn’t work without multiple phone calls AND a return trip to my store……..

  1. I read about a woman who went on a cruise, booked an interior room because it was cheaper, then complained that she didn’t have a window. The article even claimed that she asked them to install a window!

  2. Then there was the one about the farmer who needed to clear some land and went to the hardware store. The salesman showed him a chainsaw and told him he could cut down 15 trees an hour with it.

    The farmer took the chainsaw home, and the next day came back to complain that he had only managed five trees an hour. The salesman said, “Well, let’s check this out.” He fired up the chainsaw, and the farmer jumped and shouted, “What’s that noise‽”

    • OK. Am I the only one impressed with the concept that the farmer could cut down that many trees that quickly without starting it? Of course, in reality, that would have visibly ruined it.

  3. Not a retail story but I have also worked in call centers and believe me we get some really stupid questions there too. I remember when I worked for an airline I was once asked if we flew out of a train station!!!
    If you want an idea of what call center people go through in the way of stupid questions and get a laugh at the same time, check out this link: http://home.bway.net/nboemio/jokes/airagent.htm It will bring a smile to your face.

    • I knew somebody who was a nurse and was looking at bringing her sick Mom out here to the Chicago Suburbs from Iowa to care for her about 25-30 years ago and when another nurse found out about it, asked if the woman could survive the car trip. The nurse I knew told the other nurse that they would just fly her here and she would be fine……….the other nurse’s reponse………..”Oh, I didn’t think Iowa had any airports.”?!

      • I live in Iowa. There are three airports within a 45 minute drive. Admittedly Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities, and Iowa City Municipal aren’t exactly Chicago’s OHare, but they are airports. We also have phones and indoor plumbing

    • You are bringing back bad memories of working as a CRS agent for hotels.
      I loved getting the calls like, “what do you mean there isn’t a (hotel) in Yonkers? I know for certain there’s one there, I was there just ten years ago.”
      It never occurred that just maybe over a ten year period things might have changed, it could have changed owners and is now a different brand, it could have closed, it could have caught fire and burned to the ground for all I know, but what I do know is it isn’t there now… and I’m sorry that I don’t know exactly what happened to that property, there are only about 5000 hotels we take reservations for, a few slip through the cracks for us individual agents.
      My other favorite one was the people who would have called a competitor who was sold out, call us, and then get upset that we wouldn’t match the competitor’s price. I’m sorry that I can’t give you a one star price for a three star hotel, if the one star price was so important, you should have booked earlier when the one star hotel still had rooms available.

  4. Bright idea, using a lamp without a bulb. What, do you never even think?

    At least this is what Darwin Awards are for. “Woman neglects to use light bulb, lamp sets house on fire.”

  5. I had a guy last night tell me a story about a customer asking him what the difference was between a regular controller and a wireless controller when he worked at GameStop. They really can be this dumb. Even dumber. It’s very disheartening.

  6. Like George Carlin said: “Think about how stupid the average person is. Then think about the fact that half of them are DUMBER THAN THAT!”

  7. My husband once bought the most glorious lamp for a couple of bucks at a yard sale in a wealthy neighborhood. The woman told him it had been a wedding gift and they had never been able to get it to work. When he got home and went to troubleshoot it, he discovered there was no light bulb.

  8. Can’t tell you how many times when I worked electronics, people would come in complaining their remote/radio/alarm clock/game controller/whatever they just bought didn’t work, and I asked them if they put the batteries in. Four times out of five I’d get a deer in the headlights look, and find the batteries that CAME WITH THE ITEM still in the box, still wrapped in plastic.

    The light bulb thing does not surprise me in the least.

  9. I once had a customer try to bring back a digital alarm clock because the display was stuck on the same time no matter what she did…

    I just pulled the clock out of the box and peeled the display example sticker off the face of the clock, at which point I got about the same reaction as in this comic…

    • I did the same thing only my customer had a large display calculator. Her jaw dropped, and she said “Boy do I feel stupid!”. I handed her the calculator, said that she was good to go and walked away before I said anything that would get me called to the office.

      • Several years ago I had a customer say this (I don’t remember the circumstances, but I’m sure it was something car-engine-related). Apparently my internal censor had gone on vacation about a week before I did, as I replied, “I’m sorry, sir, I’m not allowed to argue with customers.” before I could bite my tongue on it. Fortunately he just cracked up.

  10. I once had a roommate that was going to throw away a $250 vacuum his mother gave him since it would no longer vacuum anything up. The problem, bag was full, filter got clogged and dirt had built up in the hose. After a good 2 plus hour cleaning (man what a ton of dirt i got out of that thing) i had a working vacuum. I still have it today over 5 years later.

    • We had an employee who had that problem with the vacuum cleaner the store owns a couple months back. I told him to just put it in the back and I would take a look at it later, not sure if it was broken, he was lazy, or if it was just full. A few days later I crack it open after eating lunch to a big cloud of dust, when that cleared, I found that the bag was not only full, but dang near solid and there was some dirt near the top end of the hose! Took maybe 10 minutes total to open it, swap the bags ( that included a little wrestling with both bags), then close it back up. Also had a cloud of dust when I tossed the bag in the nearby can and have been told it let out another huge cloud when the guy who emptied the can into the dumpster that night too!

  11. Yes, the general public is stupid, or at least they act that way. I worked at a gas station during one of the gas shortages in the 70s. When we ran out we covered the pumps with a sign that had big red letters “Out of gas”. Several times customers would pull up, look at the sign and ask, “Are you out of gas?” I wanted to say, “No, we just thought we’d decorate the pumps that way.

    • Probably just hoping that things had changed and you hadn’t had the time to take down the sign yet.

      Of course, from a physiology point of view, I think there’s a good reason. Stage 1: denial. (Stage 2: anger).

  12. Just last week, in the donut shop, a woman behind me asked the counter person, “Do you have any more donuts?”—while standing in front of the display case full of donuts. I think she thought her order (18 donuts) was going to clean them out; apparently the idea that, it being a donut shop they would be baking more throughout the day, had never occurred to her. That, plus the case was nearly filled with donuts already…you should have seen the look on the employee’s face.

  13. A few years ago, the retailer I work for sold hand-held “sports radios” [they called them transistor radios in the 60s and 70s]. On more than one occasion customers asked me: “All it gets is sports? What if I want to listen to music on it?”

  14. During my days in retail in the Hardware Dept, I had an angry customer approach me. He had bits of paper stuck to him in various places and chunks of skin missing from his fngers. He pulled a tube of super glue out of a bag and proceeded to yell at me about the defective tube of super glue that exploded on him. I apologized profusely. Then I asked, “what did you use to cut off the tip of the tube?” He said, “you have to cut off the tip?”

  15. One of my favorites was the guy that brought me a “broken” flashlight, and when I opened it and removed the little disk that separates the batteries from the connector (which made it work perfectly,) he took it back from me and said, “I was never here.”

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