June 13, 2024 | Laura Bergen

When The Customer Asks The DUMBEST Question

So, you think the customer is always right? Well then YOU answer the incredibly dumb questions they ask!

1. An Eye For An Eye

Once, while working at an eye doctor's office, a woman was upset because we were charging her to make new lenses with an updated prescription. She was getting frustrated and asked, "Why do you have to make new lenses? Can’t you just inject some more medicine in the ones I already got"? It took all I had not to laugh in her face.

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2. Bathroom Rules

I was standing next to a HUGE bathroom sign, restocking silverware as a woman in her mid-30s entered the establishment. Woman: “Sir, where is the bathroom”? Me: “Down that hallway, ma'am”. I pointed to the direction the sign was pointing. Woman: “No, it isn't”. Me: “Err, what”? I was not prepared for what she said next. Woman: “That's a couple's restroom, see? Man AND woman”. Me: Chuckles “Oh, no. That’s a unisex bathroom, you can use it”. Woman: “I'm not a unisexual. I'll just run over to Applebee’s”. She left.

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3. Flight Path

I fly private jets. Once we were flying east early in the morning so the sun was directly in our eyes. I was quite used to this, but apparently not everyone on board was as comfortable. A passenger was sitting directly behind us on the jump seat. He leaned forward and uttered the stupidest question I’ve ever heard. 

He asked me: "Is there any way we can just climb and get above the sun”? No.

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4. Battery Powered

I was working at a car battery store, when a customer came in with a receipt for a battery he had bought a couple weeks ago, asking for a refund. I asked him if he had the battery with him, so that we could take the battery back and refund him the money. He said, "No, I don't have it anymore, I put it in a car I just sold".

Confused, I replied, "You want us to refund you for a battery that you don't have anymore"? He responded, just as confused, "Yeah well I don't have the battery anymore, so why should I have to pay for it? You need to refund me". He did not leave the store happy that day. I’m still confused by this interaction to this day.

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5. Dial Tone

I work for a major wireless cell carrier in the US. I had the following conversation with a customer one day: They asked, "How do I make a phone call"? Me: "Just press the application labeled phone". Them: "Where”? Me: "On the phone". Them: "Right here? The one that looks like a phone"? Me: "Yes". Them: "Nothing is happening"!

I looked at the customer, confused. Me: "Normally when you want to make a phone call and you don't have any contacts programmed into the phone, dialing a phone number is required". The customer looked disappointed. Them: "If I wanted to waste time dialing numbers, I would have stuck with my landline"! It was so strange.

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6. Swimming With The Fishes

About a decade ago, I used to work doing customer service for a power company in Texas. As you can imagine, a great number of my calls involved late bills and disconnections. And it's not like the company was ruthless. Due to Texas regulations and the general PITA of disconnecting/reconnecting someone, it generally required being three or more months overdue to actually get shut off.

So it was hard for me to work up much sympathy for anyone who was disconnected for delinquency. But the absolute best response I had was the guy who called up screaming at me about his power being off. He was asking why I couldn’t just turn it back on, because he'd just bought a whole load of rare exotic saltwater fish which had to be kept temperature controlled. And, of course, he was totally unwilling to pay anything towards his bill either, because he'd spent his money on the fish.

So yes, I DID say exactly what any reasonable person would be thinking at that point. I feel bad for the fishes though.

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7. Debt Collector

I was a bill collector in Colorado in the mid-90s and we collected on student debt, medical debt, and credit cards. So this 22-year-old woman had around $7,000 in credit card debt on a card that was now canceled and in collections. I called her, and she was friendly and insisted she had paid for everything she purchased on her card.

As a dutiful collector I now recognized I had what is called a disputed debt and it was now my job to verify the debt. I sent for documentation from the credit card company and a few weeks later called her back after sending it to her. She still insisted she had paid for it all. She was quite sincere. I then asked her for payment verification and she sent it to me.

What I received was all the receipts she had from the credit card purchases. She was convinced that paying for the items with the credit card was the end of the transaction. I could not convince her. She insisted she knew better and I was scamming her. "I already paid for those boots, I sent you the proof stupid, can't you read"! To her, a credit card was a get free stuff card. She was a university graduate with a professional job.

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8. Like A Fine Wine

I worked at a restaurant, and one day after I delivered drinks to a table this guy asked me, "Can you aerate that for me"? There was just one problem. He wasn’t drinking wine. He wanted me to stir his apple juice. Technically his word choice was applicable, I guess, but really, dude? He had a straw ready in his hand and he could have aerated that juice himself.

I admit it took me two seconds of staring at his serious face before I reached for a straw, unwrapped it, and stirred his drink. I did it all without breaking eye contact with him, and he was satisfied. Also I think about him now every time I stir or shake my chocolate milk to make it frothy.

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9. Dino Dinner

Working at a museum where the main attraction is the dinosaur exhibit, we sell a lot of cheap products aimed at children. And we sell a lot of them, especially "Dino Eggs". A grandfather (I presume) and his granddaughter (once again, I presume, and hope) came into the shop, which is always busy, always cramped. And he picked up a Dino Egg for her.

He handed it over, and paid quickly. "No bag, no need". It was a lovely, simple transaction. But just as the till drawer had closed and I was pulling out his receipt to hand him, I saw him in the corner of my eye—and when I realized what he was doing, I was horrified. He tore open the packaging of this "egg", smashed open the lovely plastic shell took take a big shard to his mouth.

He began to chew, turned slowly to me, and only then did he think to ask, "Is this edible"? "No," I gasped, "No, sir. That—that's not edible. You really shouldn't eat that". The little granddaughter's face sank further watching her grandpa spit out bits of plastic into her broken dinosaur egg. It was a fake dino egg designed to be immersed in water so that the rubbery dino toy on the inside can "grow and hatch".

I gave him another. Well, I gave it to his granddaughter. Best to keep it away from him, he was clearly ravenous.

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10. The Stomach Wants What The Stomach Wants

I work at a small outdoor restaurant that sells wings and fries. Nothing else, just those two things (as far as food goes). About a week ago, a man walked up to my counter, took a menu, proceeded to read the entire thing in front of me, and then put down his menu to ask, "Can I get a cheeseburger combo"?

After taking a minute to wipe the baffled expression off of my face and telling him no, we only sold wings and fries, he said, "What about a hot dog? Let me get a hot dog"! My mind was blown after that conversation.

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11. Shift It

Back when I did tech support, I received a call from a customer with a peculiar keyboard problem. It seemed that he was having trouble with the shift key. When he typed a letter with the shift key pressed it gave him the upper case letter, but when he typed a number, it didn't do that. Didn't do what? Type the upper case number. I had to break it to him gently.

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12. One Stop Shop

A customer walked into our tiny bike shop jammed packed full of bikes. Bikes are hanging in the window, off the ceiling on the walls, all over the floor. There is not a square foot of space in the shop that is not occupied by a bike or various parts of one. This still led to the cringiest interaction of my life. 

Him: "This is the bike shop right"? Me: “Yes”. Him: "Do you guys sell bikes or fix them"? Me: “Both”. Him: "If I brought my canoe in could you fix it"? Me: “Is canoe the name of your bike or is it a boat"? Him: "It's just a canoe for the lake. Do you guys fix them"? Me: “What? No, we're a bike shop”. Him: "Oh".

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13. Show Me The Door

This happened last week. A woman, maybe in her seventies or late sixties, was sitting on a Rascal scooter rolled up to the closed door on the corner of the garden center. She sat there for about two minutes, staring at the door and getting passed by about a dozen customers making for the actual entrance. Eventually, she looked at me, a bit miffed, and asked when the garden center was going to open.

I said it is open. The door is twenty feet to your left. She then sat there for another two minutes negotiating how she would maneuver her Rascal into the store as a dozen more people walked in and out of the obviously open doors. Mind you, there were about two hundred carts full of plants arranged in a corral that highlighted the pathway to the entrance, people were briskly walking by with carts full of plants, and never has anyone else that I've encountered been confused as to where the entrance was. This was one simply special senior.

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14. Pasta Problems

I work at an Italian place right now. We call our Italian menu items by Italian names with English descriptions. I get a lot of questions, but I don't mind a hair because I get paid to talk about food. Not too long ago though, it sort of went slapstick. It's not that they asked a dumb question, but they kept asking it.

"Pollo e penne"? "Oh, that's chicken and pasta with-" "Does it have meat in it"? "The chicken pasta? Yes, pollo is Italian for chicken". "Can I get the chicken but not the pollo"? "Pollo is just Italian for chicken, if you want chicken it's really good". "No, I like chicken but I don't want pollo". I kind of lost it for a split second.

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15. The IT Guy

I used to work in IT and one of my jobs was to support some of the security software we offered to customers. We had a package for secure data transfers and people often had to call up to be taught how to use it. I was helping a woman use the software over the phone and I had a remote assistance connection to her PC so I could see her screen.

Me: "Okay, so find your name in the list of users". Her: "I've found it! What do I do now"? Me: "Right click your name, and then choose log in from the menu". Her: "Is it my right, or yours"?

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16. Build-A-Burger

The customer I was serving ordered a burger. Him: "Hey, do you guys have those burger buns like they sell at the grocery store across the street? You know the ones with the swan on the bag"? "No sir, we get our buns shipped to us from our supplier, they're a different brand". That’s when he asked a question so dumb, I’ve never forgotten it. 

"Do you think you could run across the street and buy a bun for me? I really want that one for my burger". He genuinely expected the restaurant to pay for it, too. And he didn't even know the name of the brand of buns, not like that matters, but still.

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17. What Time Is It?

When you get hired at Disneyland, other Cast Members warn you that people will ask you, "When is the three o'clock parade"? You assume they are joking and exaggerating, but then it actually happens, and you have to tell the guest that it is at three o'clock without a trace of sarcasm or exasperation.

Part of the Disney brand is service with a smile and genuine caring, so questions like these get answered earnestly and happily and with respect, but sometimes I do impress myself with my learned ability to maintain a cheery and helpful disposition at all times.

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18. Know Your Geography

I worked at the Space Needle in Seattle. The guys who worked the lift had some of the dumbest humans in their presence. Part of the lift operator’s job was to point out important things in the city and surrounding landscape. I will be Lift Operator (LO) in this conversation, and the tourists will be Neanderthal Dave (ND).

LO: “And over there is the Olympic Peninsula, home to the Olympic Mountain Range”. ND: “Is that Russia”? LO: “Pardon”? ND: “Is the peninsula Russia”? LO: “N-no. No it is not”. ND: “Are you sure”? LO: “I am absolutely positive Russia does not have land mass in the United States. Now then, over there, you will see one of our more famous mountains, Mount—” ND: “Mount Everest”?! LO: “What? No. Mount Rainier”. ND: “Then where is Mount Everest”? LO: “About seven thousand miles away”. Honestly, I have no idea how I didn’t mock these people.

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19. Something Fishy

This happened about three years ago, and I still can't wrap my head around it. I work at a restaurant and we deal with annoying complaints from customers all the time. But this one is my favorite. I had a customer come up to me and ask me why her husband's meal smelled like fish. I asked her what her husband ordered, to which she replied that he ordered a fisherman's platter, which as you may have guessed has fish as part of the meal on the plate.

For a few seconds, I didn't respond thinking this has to be a joke. But she was serious. When I said I can get the manager to handle her complaint, she said it's not a complaint as everything was okay with their meals. She added that her husband loves fish but she can't handle the smell. All I could say to her was that I would inform management about the issue.

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20. Pick A Side

I used to work at a steakhouse that had curly fries (those weird round fries, I don’t know how they make them). All the steaks on the menu came with them, and there were photos of them on the menu. We'd also ask if they wanted fries or mashed potatoes when we took the order. Yet somehow, this occurrence would still happen almost weekly:

Customer: “Excuse me! Where's my calamari”? Me (checks order): “Oh I'm sorry, you didn't order any. Do you want me to add some to your order”? Customer: “No, there was some in the photo. It's there in the picture”! Me: “You mean... the fries...like the curly fries that are on your plate…” A close second was customers who would say "I don't really want curly fries. Do you have like, just, normal fries”?

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21. Red And Green

I work at a Wholefoods Market and once had a customer come up with vine tomatoes. I rang her up and she was displeased. Customer: "Those should be cheaper. $1.49 each". Me: "Well I can have my bagger check". The bagger went to check. Bagger: "Yeah those aren't $1.49. it's the basil that's $1.49. it's next to it". Customer: "Yeah! That's basil"! Me: "Uh...no that's a tomato". Customer: "Really? What's the difference"?

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22. Weather Woes

This is one of my favorites that I will never forget. I used to work in a ticket booth at Disneyland. It was an on and off rainy day, nothing terrible to ruin a day but still rain nonetheless. This lady came up to my window and asked, "Is it raining inside the park"? I leaned forward inside my booth to get a better look outside.

I said, "I believe so ma'am" in the most sarcastic voice. Somehow, it didn’t end there. "Well when will it clear up"? She immediately replies. And I just stared at her trying to comprehend the conversation I was having. You have no idea how much I just wanted to say something like, "No it's not raining inside the park, it's protected by an invisible shield made by Disney magic".

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23. Wacky Waves

I work in soundproofing, and I had a lady call me up one day and asked me to help her block radio waves from entering her bedroom. I politely explained that sound and electro-magnetic waves are two totally different things and that we don't carry products that block EM. It wasn't the first time that's happened, and hey, not everybody's a physicist, no biggie.

She replied, "You have to help me! I'm your customer"! As politely as I could I explained that, no, actually, you're somebody else's customer, I don't sell those products. "I don't understand why you aren't helping me"! So...After a bit of mental calculus, I reasoned that it would take less time to talk this lady off the edge than to explain to my manager why I hung up on her.

"Ok, can you explain to me WHY you need to block radio waves from entering your bedroom"? "Well! To save my LIFE obviously"! Oh. Oh. Houston we have a problem. I looked at the caller ID, yep, Florida area code. We’ve definitely got a wacko here. So, I came up with a plan. To make a long story short then, I proceeded to help her to build a DIY faraday cage over her bed to block the satellites from controlling her brain.

I'm not proud of this. I'm sure a mental health provider person will admonish me for going along with the delusion. But at the end of the day, she was thrilled that somebody helped her, she is probably sleeping very soundly now, and I got to have an entertaining 45 minutes or so on the phone rather than the alternative.

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24. Mystery Meat

I work at a family restaurant. One day, one customer ordered the buffalo chicken sandwich. I brought it to him, and we had this baffling exchange. Customer: “Um, excuse me, but this looks like chicken”. Me: “Yes sir, it's chicken”. Customer: “But I ordered the buffalo chicken sandwich”!

Me: “Yes sir, this is the buffalo chicken sandwich”. Customer: “But it's chicken! I ordered buffalo! That's false advertising and I would like a refund”. I got the manager who brought the customer a menu to show him how it explicitly states "Buffalo Chicken Sandwich" and the description which clearly describes chicken tossed in buffalo sauce.

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25. Roll It Up

I worked at a Japanese casual fast food restaurant and we had this thing called a Volcano roll. It cost $7.25. A California roll there cost $3.75. The Volcano roll was a Cali roll cut into the shape of a triangle and topped with spicy mayo that has been heated up with about $.10 worth of fish, literally just a few bits.

You are much better off ordering a Cali roll and paying $.50 extra for spicy mayo on the side and asking us to heat it up. One day this guy and his girlfriend came up to the counter and he confidently began ordering several of our rolls including the Volcano roll. Since it takes a bit longer for that roll to be done, I took out the salmon and tuna rolls he had ordered.

He barely acknowledged me and continued talking to his girlfriend. After the volcano sauce was cooked, and poured on top, I brought it over and his girlfriend said, "Wow it really does look like a volcano"! I smiled and went back behind the counter. The next thing I know, I heard a voice say, "Hey! Hey! Look bro, I know you're going to hate me, but the last time I got a Volcano roll it was for pick up and the sauce was on the side. I didn't know you were going to put it on. Could I get another one without the sauce, cause I don't like it"?

I tried not to laugh and said sure. I went back and the sushi chef asked what was wrong. I told him that he didn't like the sauce and wanted one without it. He laughed and said alright, so he took a Cali roll, cut it up, and put it on the plate. I brought it back to the guy and he was super pumped. Basically this guy ended up paying $7.25 for a roll that would have cost him $3.75 and me and the sushi chef got to split a free Volcano roll.

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26. Crazy Cat Lady

I work at a healthy pet food store and one of the foods we carry for cats has a cougar on the can to reflect your kitty's true, savage nature. This known to be airheaded customer stormed in with her messy granola bar in hand: "I have a bone to pick here. I bought this can and didn't see the puma on the label until I got home”.

“HOW COULD ANY COMPANY DO SUCH A THING?!?! THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!! FORCING A CAT TO EAT ANOTHER CAT IS SICK AND I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SELL SUCH A DISGRACEFUL PRODUCT. CAT CANNIBALISM IS NOT OKAY", she spat, complete with granola bar crumbs falling from her mouth and hand. I short circuited a little so I just turned around and walked to the back room and left that lady to my coworker.

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27. Crazy Coupon Lady

I work at Kmart and on this day I was working on the registers. Now usually we are pretty good at price matching certain items from other stores but this lady came up to my register and asked for a price match. This was all fine and good but then she mentioned she wanted to match it to a Kmart in New Zealand. Who, by the way, uses a completely different currency to Australia (where I am). Yeah she tried to argue the fact that I should so I just got a manager and left it at that.

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28. Tomato Troubles

Years ago I was taking the order for a lunch soup and salad combo. The exchange with this middle aged woman went as follows: Her: “Does the house salad have tomatoes, because I'm deathly allergic to tomatoes”. Me: “It does but we can make it without tomatoes no problem”. Her: “Make sure there are absolutely no tomatoes on that”. Me: “Will do. What kind of dressing”? Her: “Balsamic”. Me: “And for the soup”? Her: “I'll have the tomato basil”. Me:...I just walked away and rang in the order. To this day I can't think of a good response to that.

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29. A Dangerous Mix

I was working in the back of an ambulance on a patient with a serious need of nitroglycerin to lower their blood pressure. The conversation went like this: "Sir, before I give this medication to you, I need to triple check that you have not taken any ED drugs in the last 72 hours like Viagra or Cialis (rattles off all variations)”.

“If you have taken it and I give you this nitroglycerin, your blood pressure could drop dangerously low. Have you taken any of these meds”? “Oh no, never”. I should’ve known then that I was in trouble. “Are you certain”? “Oh yes, of course I am”. I ran through potential deadly side effects again. “No, never”. “Okay, hold this pill under your tongue”. “Does generic Viagra count”? GAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! Why do you do this?

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30. Spam

Here's a dumb encounter that happened just yesterday. When sending confidential documentation, we would encrypt it and put a password on it. It's common practice to send the document and the password in two separate emails. I got a message from this guy saying he couldn't open the document I sent him. Me: "Did you use the password"?

Client: "Yes. It said there was an error". Me: "What password did you use"? Client: "I just hit OK and it said that I had the wrong password". Me: "Wait.. so did you type anything in"? Client: "Well no". Me: "Could you use the password that we provided you"? Client: "I didn't think it would work so I deleted the email". I was dumbfounded.

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31. Measure Twice Cut Once

A woman was trying to get fabrics to cover tables, but didn't have measurements of the tables. After I explained the lack of size standards (tables come in all sorts of sizes guys, and a variety of shapes too) she immediately said the first table was standard size. So we’re off to a great start. Finally figured out how much she needed of the first one and cut it for her, then moved onto the second.

I rolled some off the bolt and went to straighten it out only for her to grab the fabric and start moving it. She opened it and asked the width, which I read right off the bolt and she paused. She thought about this. “That’s just not big enough”. But she had even more stupidity in store. She thought again. “If I cut it, will that make it bigger”? It took literally all my willpower to tell her that “unfortunately no, making it smaller will not make it bigger” with a professional tone.

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32. John Hancock

Not the question itself that was dumb but the reason why he asked. I was volunteering as cashier at a used book store for the library—not my regular job but I do it often. In came this older fella who bought a big stack of books for like ten bucks. He was really nice and chatty though he didn’t seem completely aware mentally.

Not a big deal, I just had to explain sales tax and the book pricing a couple times before he seemed to get it. He paid by credit card and I explained to him how to sign the touchscreen for the payment to go through. This is where he asked for my name. I told him. He took the iPad and said he really appreciated my service, and happily told me he was going to sign my name for the card so “they” would know to send the money to me.

Before I can say “no wait”, he’s submitted the signature. I couldn’t see his receipt but he kept telling me I was great and to keep the change so I can assume he was being legit. I honestly wouldn’t call it dumb; just bizarre. It made me wonder if he had been signing cashier names the entire time he’s had a credit card. Thank goodness the card companies never check those things.

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33. Open And Shut Case

I used to work in computer sales and repairs. I had a customer come up who was maybe 23 years old saying she couldn't get her laptop to open something. So I took it and opened it, and casually asked, "What is it you can't get open"? She looked at me shocked as I open the laptop screen and yelled, "I HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR HOURS TO GET IT TO OPEN HOW'D YOU DO THAT”?? I looked at her not knowing how to respond and closed it and opened it again. She took it and walked out saying thank you. I took a long look at my computer I was working on and decided that this was the moment that made me quit that job.

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34. Scrambled

One time while I was working at a restaurant, there was a lady who assumed everything on the menu was some kind of omelet. "I'll take the skirt steak omelet". "That's actually just a skirt steak. Perhaps I could substitute the French fries for eggs for you"? "Oh it's not an omelet? How about this Greek salad omelet"? "Ma'am, that's just a Greek salad.

The egg dishes are on this side of the menu, and the ones that are omelets say 'omelet' in the description". Eventually she picked an omelet that she ended up really liking, but another guy at her table sent back his croque monsieur BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AN OMELET. I don't know what made them think we were an omelet restaurant or something.

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35. What A Gem

I used to work at a fine jewelry kiosk in a mall. Our jewelry included items like gold bracelets and necklaces bonded with sterling silver, sterling silver rings with cubic zirconia gems, gold engagement rings with diamond chips clustered together rather than one large diamond, etc. I had a lot of regulars, but this one woman took the cake. She would come in often and point to every item she was interested in and ask, “Is this real”?

I explained what “bonded” means and how we don’t sell diamond rings for $25, but that the rings were indeed certified sterling silver with synthetic gems. I gave her information like this over and over again, day after day, and she would follow up every explanation with, “Okay, but...is it real”? I was tempted to just tell her yes and move on.

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36. Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

I work at an independent pet store. We sell mostly dog supplies, but there's a small section of cat toys/catnip/etc. A newer, pretty gimmicky item we brought in is a line of catnip that is packaged to look like medical weed; they are the “prescription” bottles and pre-rolled “joints”. Now, people know these are catnip products, but I've had multiple people ask, after puzzling over the pack of raw paper-rolled catnip joints, "but, how does the cat smoke it"? Or, "how can they even hold the lighter, they've got paws"! I never do quite know how to reply besides muddled laughter.

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37. Combo Deal

I worked at Wendy's through high school and part of college. One day, a man in his 50s wearing a bright magenta suit walked in and ordered a burger. I asked him, "Do you want a combo, or just the sandwich"? He asked, "what is a combo”? I explained to him that it was a sandwich with fries and a drink, but somehow he didn't understand.

He looked at me blankly and asked "I want fries and a drink, but what is the combo"? We went back and forth on this for like FIVE MINUTES. I don't even remember if he ever got what a combo was, or if he ended up getting it. I do remember, however, that I saw him two weeks later in a different city at my other job training political canvassers. He was wearing the same magenta suit. I was in such shock that I just stared at him, saying nothing, thinking, "It's the combo guy".

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38. Heavy Duty

Worked at Best Buy and this was the dumbest interaction I ever had. Dude: “where are your heavy duty TVs at”? Me: “Is it going in a business”? (Thinking he means it'll be on at all times, like at a bar). Dude: “No, it's going in my living room”. Me: “What are you planning to use it for”? Dude: “For watching! What else”?? Me: “Sorry, I'm just confused why it needs to be 'heavy duty' then”. Dude: “Well I dunno, you tell me!! You all are the ones advertising these HDTVs”!

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39. Wi-Fi Weirdo

I work at an electronics store: This was the weirdest conversation…“Hi, where are the large non-smart TVs”? “Well, most companies don’t make large TVs without smart features”. “It can’t have Wi-Fi”. “Well it’s not really a cost factor, you can get a large TV and not use the features”. “No it still transmits signals, I’m allergic to Wi-Fi”.

“You’re kidding right”? “No I’m serious I’ll get deathly ill just being around anything wireless”. “Do you use a cellphone”? “Yes”. “Laptop”? “Yes”. “Are you feeling alright right now”? “Yes”. “Ma’am, I don’t think you’re allergic to Wi-Fi, everything in this store is connected to Wi-Fi, hundreds of people have cell phones and you seem just fine”. “So you don’t want my money, this is why [xx] is going out of business”.

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40. Take The Hint

I used to be a manager at GameStop while going to college. A guy called up and told me the preowned Wii U that he bought for his son stopped working. His son dropped it. I told him that we could give him another one but since he didn’t buy the insurance, it only applied if the thing “just stopped working”. So I said to him, “Well maybe it stopped working before your son dropped it, and you can come in and I’ll give you another one”. I was trying to help—and it blew up in my face. 

I was just trying to get this guy a free Wii U cause stuff happens and I don’t care. The guy proceeded to argue with me that it stopped working after the drop. “No, I saw my son drop it and then it stopped working. I'm positive”. So I said again, “oh alright well maybe it wasn’t because of the drop. It probably just stopped working.

I can’t exchange it if it broke because he dropped it, so I’m sure it was just defective. Bring it in and I’ll swap it out”. And again the guy is like, “Nah, it definitely stopped working because he dropped it”. Dude came in an hour later and bought another one full price. The DM was in the store with me at the time so I couldn’t say it outright but was shocked that this dude didn’t get what I was trying to do for him. I basically spelt it out.

Dumbest Questions Wikimedia Commons

41. Geometry Class

A full grown woman asked me how big our pizzas were. I stuck out my fingers and eyeballed about a foot and said, “A foot, so this big”. She paused for a moment and finally said, “Ohhhh length wise”?? Our pizzas are circular. So any point across is “length wise”. Maybe she didn’t know our pizzas were circular, but it was pretty dumb.

So I went back to tell the other coworker what I just experienced. Right after I told her the punchline, ”Any point across is length-wise”, She stared at me with this confused look on her face. She smiled and finally said, “Oookay, , not all of us are Mister Engineer Student over here”! I just walked away. I didn’t know how to handle it. I’m not a genius for knowing about the geometry of a circle.

Dumbest QuestionsPexels

42. Houston, We Have A Problem

While showing Apollo 13 to my astronomy class, I had a student ask me the dumbest question I have heard as a teacher. During the “Houston, we have a problem” scene, this student raised their hand in the back of the room. The friend next to them told them to put their hand down, and said that it was “a stupid question”.

I went back and asked them what their question was, and this was their answer: “Are all of the guys there named Houston”? Think of this: 1. How many guys have you ever met named Houston? 2. What are the odds that there are 30 guys named Houston, all in the same room? I have taught for nearly ten years now, and that one is still the winner.

Dumbest QuestionsWikimedia Commons

43. Black Belt

I teach karate and one day a lady came in who was looking to do a birthday party at her own home but wanted to buy some black belts from us for her kid and their friends. Now, I would have no problem selling her belts for home use, it doesn’t mean anything to me, except we don’t stock any of that stuff outside of when we need them for tests and promotions and stuff.

So I kindly declined and explained to her that she could go online and find it on xyz website if she wanted them, but that most schools won’t sell them because of the hard work and dedication required, etc. So she pointed at my belt, which is grimy and gross and ripped apart with all of the work in it and said, “Well eh what about yours? Can I just buy that one”? ...Yea sure lady, let me just give you the thing I’ve been using every day for the last ten years…

Dumbest QuestionsWikimedia Commons

44. Water Worries

I used to work in a restaurant that was quite popular with the organic/healthy lifestyle crowd. This particular lady asked me if we tested our water for ionizing radiation, and made it clear that if we didn't she would leave. Out of sinister curiosity, I told her "Of course we do, in fact I'll test it right in front of you, just let me get my Geiger counter from the back".

I downloaded a mock Geiger counter app and tested a glass of tap water in front of her. She completely bought it and proceeded to order a fruit salad and a water bottle. To be fair my phone case at the time made it look a bit blocky, so there's that. I told the manager, and we had a good laugh. I still can't believe I got away with it.

Dumbest QuestionsPexels

45. Speedster

I've worked part time at a video game store for the last two years. This story took place last summer. A soccer mom came in with her demon spawn and gave me a hard time for not having “That Sonic Game” available. Me: “Hello, welcome to insert generic video gaming store name here”. Lady: “Yeah hi, I want to buy the Sonic game”.

Me: “I'm sorry ma'am, I'm not sure I understand you. Which Sonic game are you talking about”? Lady: “The one where you go fast! My child wants it and you will not disappoint him”. Me: “Ma'am, we have Sonic Forces available to pre-order, but it hasn't been released yet. If that's the game you're talking about, you can pre-order it now and receive it at release”.

Lady: “My son wants it now. Look, I'll slip you a tenner if you get it for me, nobody has to know”. Me: “I'm sorry ma'am, but we don't have any copies of the game. And even if we did, I would not be allowed to break the street date for the game. Once again, if your child wants the game, you can pre-order it now and you'll receive it on the day the game is scheduled for release”. She then asked to speak to my manager (go figure lol) and kept trying to get him to break the street date for a game we didn't even have copies of.

Dumbest QuestionsWikimedia Commons

46. The Do-Gooder

I used to be a receptionist at a local branch of UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) and people would call in at least once a week with a variant of this. Caller: “Hi, how can I volunteer with UNICEF in Africa”? Me: “Well, you need to contact UNICEF International in New York City. We don’t actually send volunteers in the field from this office”. Caller: “Oh well, I need to go next week (or some other unreasonable time limit). How do I do that”?

Me: “I’m pretty sure that the application will take more than a week. They will need to make sure you have the qualifications they are currently looking for”. Caller: “Qualifications”? Me: “Yes, mostly they need professionals in the medical field or teachers with experience working with nonprofit organizations or even sometimes translators or international lawyers, although those two don’t usually get sent out of the country they are based in”. Caller: “I am unemployed and don’t really have any experience in any field, so they can’t just send me to Africa next week? Because I can go now…”, or something similar. Me: “No”.

Dumbest QuestionsWikimedia Commons

47. Leggo My Eggo

I worked at a supermarket in the dairy department. One day as I was stocking eggs on the shelf a customer asked, "Where is the Eggos"? Me: “They are in the frozen department”. Customer: “No, I buy them in this aisle”. Me: “We don't have waffles in the dairy department”. Customer: “Not the waffles, they are liquid eggs”.

Me: “I've worked here for years, we don't sell Eggo brand liquid eggs”. Customer: “What do you call that”? She pointed to EggBeater brand liquid eggs. Me: “EggBeaters”. Customer: “That's what I'm looking for”. Me: “You asked for Eggos”. Customer: “That's what I call them”. Me: “Think carefully before you answer this, how would I know your random liquid egg nickname”? She complained. I was sent home early for arguing with her.

Dumbest QuestionsPexels

48. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I worked at a fried chicken place. A lady called and said that her daughter was going to order. Her daughter sounded about five years old and ordered 500 pieces of chicken. I said okay, laughing. The mom got on and asked how long. I told her that her daughter just ordered $1,000 in food, and I asked her, “Does she really want that”?

The lady went nuts screaming at me, asking if I think her daughter is dumb. Me: "So you want 500 pieces of chicken”? Her: "My girl wants what she wants, make it and stop making fun of her". Me: “It is going to be at least an hour and $1,000 dollars". She said something about not making fun of her and her daughter and asked why I thought I was better than them.

She told me to place the order. She showed up ten minutes later, looking for her chicken. I explained to the manager about the call, and she freaked out when the cashier told her it was over $1,000. The lady refused to tell us how much chicken she really wanted while the little girl stood there screaming she wanted 500 chickens.

Dumbest Questions factsPexels

49. Grin And Bear It

I worked at REI a few years back—a large outdoor sporting goods co-op, just in case you haven't heard of it—and we sold bear spray which is like pepper spray for bears. A woman came in with her two kids one day and bought a canister because they were going camping. 

I thought it was kinda weird she was opening it as she walked out. What happened next left me utterly horrified. She got out the front door, then got her kids to stand with their arms out, like you would for putting on bug spray. 

I SPRINTED out there to stop her before it was too late.

Dumbest QuestionsFlickr,James Brooks

50. Using Your Noodle

When I was waiting tables a few years ago this couple ordered two orders of fettuccine penne. Dumbfounded, I asked if they wanted fettuccine alfredo or penne alfredo. They responded "No no no, we want fettuccine penne". I tried to explain to them that they were ordering two different types of pasta, while asking what sauce they wanted. They had no clue what I was saying.

I ended up just giving them penne alfredo and when I went to check up on them they thanked me for getting the order right, exclaiming that the "fettuccine was off the charts".

Dumbest QuestionsWikimedia Commons


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