We all have areas where we’re knowledgeable, and other areas where we’re…well, not! This is not an issue 99% of the time, but when we decide to start venturing into areas where we really don’t know what we’re talking about, things can go downhill fast if someone who does know what they’re talking about happens to be around.
1. His Story Didn’t Ring A Bell
When I was five years old, my dad told me and my nine-year-old sister that telephone poles were actually trees that had been genetically engineered by the power companies to grow straight up into a perfect pole with two little arms on each side to hold the lines. It was just one of the many “dadisms” that he preached when Mom wasn't around.
One day, he brought my sister home earlier than usual from school. He explained to my mom that the principal had called him to come and pick her up. When she asked why he told her that a local power company worker had come to her class that day to talk about power line safety. The power company worker had asked the class, "Who knows how telephone poles are made?"
My sister raised her hand and proudly shared what my dad had told her. The worker laughed and said, "I think your dad lied to you". My sister's response completely threw him. She said, "I think you're a liar". We still quote her at family gatherings whenever we think someone is pulling our leg.
2. Room Service
Customer: "I'd like a hotel room". Me: "I'm so sorry, we're all sold out". Customer: "Yes, but you always keep one of your best suites available in case someone important comes in". Me: "No, I don't". Customer: "So what would you say if President Obama walked in here right now and asked for a room"? Me: "I would suggest he go back to his house. Which, for the record, is less than a mile away from here".
No, people, I don't keep my best suite set aside for VIPs. If someone wants to pay me money, I sell it to them. That's how a business works. You don't find grocery stores hiding their good produce "just in case" the President happens to show up and wants a freaking pear. That would be an absurd thing to do. Hotels don't do it, either. So stop spreading that rumor, please!
3. Just Turn it
My company leased a space to a daycare center that came with a storage shed for outdoor toys. One day I got a call from the new manager of the daycare stating that we gave her the wrong keys for the lock on the shed. I was surprised, as we hadn't had any complaints from the previous manager. I told her this and asked her to try them again.
She called back the next day and said that the keys weren't correct and she needed a new lock. At this point I decided to drive across town and check it out. When I got there she was in a bad mood and started complaining about how she shouldn't have to deal with things like this. I apologized for the company and asked her to hand me the key so I could try.
She insisted it didn't work, but gave it to me anyway. I walked over to the unit, inserted the key, turned it and the lock sprang open. I actually wasn't expecting this so I just turned to her. Her response made my jaw hit the floor: "Nobody ever told me that you had to turn the key".
4. Drive My Car
I used to work in Auto Detailing. The one thing we NEVER did was power wash the motor of a 90's model Jaguar. The electronics in it were way too sensitive for that kind of thing, and the slightest amount of pressure would make the instrument panel light up like a Christmas tree. But inconvenient little facts like that could never deter a wannabe expert.
A dealer wanted us to clean his fleet of Jaguars, so we did. All nine of them. He checked the motors and one of them still had a little tiny bit of dirt on it. He went from zero to 60 at me. He starts yelling at me, so I explain, "I understand, but the electronics are super sensitive, and the slightest amount of high pressure could cause the instrument panel to light up. We have to hand wipe the motor with wet rags and cleaner, so sometimes we miss a spot due to human error".
He calls his porter over and tells him to bring that car around to the repair side. He insists that he is going to clean it himself since I have a “bad attitude”. He opens the hood, grabs a garden hose, and starts blasting the engine bay. "See! Clean". I say to him, "Absolutely". He goes and starts the car, looks down, shuts the car off, gets out, and awkwardly apologizes.
5. A Nearly Fatal Mistake
In high school, I worked at a local hardware store. We also refilled propane tanks for gas grills. After a summer or two of doing 10 or more tanks a day you get good at guesstimating how full a tank is just by picking it up. One particularly hot day a customer comes in and sets his tank down next to me and asks for a fill-up.
I pick up the tank and inform him that the tank is full and does not need a fill-up. This is where his ignorance began showing. He looks pretty agitated already with this short exchange and says that he checked that it was empty and would I just fill it up. To this, I inquired how he checked. There are several ways to check, one being by the weight of the tank, another is the thermal strip on the side (which his tank did not have). The other is to pour hot water down the side and feel where it gets cold.
His reply gave me chills—this blithering idiot lucky to be alive. He said he checked it by holding his lighter in front of the valve and opening it. To this I replied: "You ought to write to your congressman and representative, because they saved your life today. This tank has an OPD safety valve on it that prevents the gas from coming out without anything attached".
He walked out without another word and with a very red face.
6. A Splash Of Stupidity
I used to sell paint. A woman came in saying she wanted to paint her fence. I gave her advice and explained to her how to prepare the surface. Then, she asked, "Do I need anything to apply the paint?" I told her she needed a roller or a brush. Her response left me in disbelief. "Oh, I can’t just splash the paint on the fence?" She was completely serious.
7. Bending The Rules
I work in law-related compliance in the finance industry. I run into people doing forbidden and questionable practices ALL THE TIME. And they always do so claiming that it's "within the rules". I couldn't tell you how many pieces of legislation I have read cover to cover, and how long I spend making sure I'm up to date with any regulatory changes in my field.
And yet, I still get this sort of thing practically every day. Me: “Hi, a client has told me that she's been declined for a loan from you?” Her: “Yeah, we can't lend to anyone who uses your company”. Me: “Sorry, what? Why not?” Her: “It's against the rules”. Me: “Which statute?” Her: “It's a new rule”. Me: “Could you tell me the name of it so I can check into this?” Her: Abruptly hangs up the phone.
8. Getting A Little Salty
I once had a guy ask me to bring him some pepper to the table, so I happily obliged. As I'm walking away after giving him the pepper, he snaps his fingers behind my back. He shouts: "This pepper. It's not coarse enough!" I turned back and said: "I'm sorry, but that's the only pepper we have". He goes: "Mmmm, yeah. Well, you can take this back, then. Maybe you could go get me some sea salt instead".
I go: "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't have sea salt, just regular table salt". He goes: "Mmmm, I'm sorry. I must have mistaken this place for an ACTUAL restaurant". I reply: "And I am sorry too, sir. You've clearly mistaken me for someone who gives a hoot about your obnoxious demands. Enjoy your soup!" And that was the end of that!
9. And That's "Fax"
I used to work at a call center for a large bank. A customer phoned in while he was in one of the branches and said the queue was too long, so he wanted me to help him. I asked what his query was and his response caught me off-guard. He said the ATM was broken and he had to withdraw cash. I asked him how I could possibly help him withdraw some money from the bank over the phone, and he said, "Why can't you just fax it to me?"
10. Can You Repeat The Question?
I was working in the back of an ambulance on a patient who seriously needed nitroglycerin to lower their blood pressure. I told him: "Before I give this medication to you, I need to triple-check that you have not taken any ED meds in the last 72 hours like Viagra or Cialis. If you have and I give you this nitroglycerin, your blood pressure could drop dangerously low".
I then asked him, “Have you taken any of these meds?” The tone in his reply made me suspicious. “Oh no, never". I asked him again to confirm, to which he replied, “Oh yes, of course, I am”. I ran through the list of potentially harmful side effects again. Again, he said, “No, never”. I was annoyed, but I carried on with it, “OK, hold this pill under your tongue”. Then he asked, “Does generic Viagra count?”
11. He Was Missing More Than Just His Toppings
I worked at a Subway. We were out of lettuce, which was a problem for this one guy whose entire enjoyment of his sandwich revolved around lettuce. I told him we didn't have any, so he asked if I could go in the back and cut more up. I told him we don't cut it up and that it comes already shredded and packaged and reiterated that we had no lettuce anywhere in the store.
That's when his face turned red. He gave me an annoyed blank look and asked, "How can you open your store if you don't have all your product?" He couldn’t understand that we ran out of items because people like him came to eat the food and that we weren’t about to close the store over a missing topping.
12. Lacking Brilliance
I used to work at a fine jewelry kiosk in a mall. Our jewelry included gold bracelets and necklaces bonded to 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, and this one particular woman would come in often.
Every time for every item that she was interested in, she would ask the same blood-boiling question: “Is this real?” I explained what “bonded” meant and how we didn’t sell diamond rings for $25, but that the rings were indeed certified sterling silver with synthetic gems. I gave her information like this repeatedly, day after day, and she would follow up every explanation with, “Okay, but...is it real?”
13. Tree Huggers
Years ago, I worked for a tree care company. One time, this lady calls. When I hear her story, I start to freak out. She says we cut down her tree and we weren't supposed to. This is the most stressful call you will ever get when working for a tree care company. I search our records and don't have anything showing work was done at her address in the last few years.
Still, I think maybe something slipped through the cracks. So I send someone to go over and look. I get a call telling me there's no sign of a tree missing (such as a leftover stump) and nobody recalled doing work there at any point. I assume we must have had the wrong address or maybe the tree wasn't located exactly where she said it was.
Turns out no in both cases. Then it takes a turn. She then changes her story and says that we removed the wrong tree branch and all the added sunlight was ruining the grass. Well, first off, sunlight doesn't hurt grass. Secondly, the tree branch she's talking about was removed by us because she asked us to. And it was done more than three years prior.
I forget what happened after that. I may have ignored her by then or explained to her the timeframe and the records we had on file. Anyway, she went away. That was the end of that, we thought. But still nope. We get a call six months later. It’s the same lady. She hires us to do some other tree work. Doesn't even mention the other tree. Just a weird experience all around.
14. Showing Us Where It Hurts
I recently graduated from medical school. While I’m far from an expert yet, I do find it interesting that my family now seems to have allegedly developed a wealth of medical knowledge. Most recently, they have decided that almost any illness can be cured with laxatives. And they’re not open to being told that this may not be fully true…
15. Don’t Give Up The Ship
Not me, but my dad. My dad is an ex-Navy serviceman and has served on a whole bunch of ships, including the HMS Antelope. He spent two and a half years on that ship. My uncle (his sister's husband) once tried to lecture my dad on how the Antelope carried its nuclear arms, amongst other nonsensical things that my dad knew for a fact were not true.
Dad asked my uncle how he knew such info, and my uncle claimed to have seen the (probably highly classified) blueprints for the ship. My uncle was a freaking floor layer…
16. Fighting Tooth And Nail
I'm a dentist. There are a surprising number of people who think that the fluoride in toothpaste or in tap water is going to end your life and that you should stay the heck away from it. These are usually the same exact types of people who come into my office chugging Mountain Dew and smelling like fresh smoke. Do I even need to say anything more?
17. Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks
I work a pet grooming shop, and a client just called for the price of a bath and nails. I ask what kind of dog. She says, "I don't know what it is now, but when it grows up, it's going to be a black Lab". I was dumbfounded, literally. I ask her how old it was. She said it was three months, so I'm thinking maybe 20 pounds max, so I tell her maybe $20-$25.
I swear to God, the lady brings "Red" in, and he is a POMERANIAN, a POM. I said, sorry but this is a Pomeranian, and she tells me, "Well, I know it's going to be a black Lab because I have papers at home". I pulled up pictures of Labs and Poms on the computer and I still think she believes it's going to be a black Lab. I'm going home to drink.
18. I Spy, With My Little Eye
I am a professional optician. One time, this woman brings her sons in for an eye exam with me. Both of the sons have EXTREMELY high minus Rx's. For some unknown reason, the mom is okay with the older son's Rx and glasses order, but is mad about the younger son's Rx. She wants to order his glasses but wants his Rx changed to be less than the doctor’s prescription.
I told her I can't do that because I can't change the numbers in the doctor's work. That would be malpractice and I could get in major trouble. Not to mention it could be extremely damaging to the kid’s eyes. This is about when my jaw dropped. She still insists that the Rx is too high for him, because... "His eyes are like my eyes, and my Rx didn't change this much from my exam last year. So, I don't want his to be that high".
Yeah, you’re clearly someone who understands how any of this works…
19. A Hunk Of Junk
I buy and sell junk for a living. Every single day is a constant struggle with buyers who have been in this for years and "know" all the prices. Trust me, I know how much things are worth. Nevertheless, random people on the internet seem to think they know better. You can't argue with market set prices on eBay, yet old men casually strolling by always feel they can argue that whatever the item is sold for so much more in 1980!
20. Ring Around The Rosie
I run a jewelry shop. One time, a customer left their ring with us for more than three months. After countless calls from us asking her to kindly come and collect her jewelry, she finally turned up. Then my nightmare began. She rudely told us: "This isn't my diamond. You swapped my diamond. My diamond was completely different to this".
We were all very caught off guard by this baseless accusation. She then proceeded to throw the biggest temper tantrum I've ever seen, refusing to listen to reason and completely disregarding our store's 75-year reputation for honesty and good service. Thankfully, we keep meticulous records, including the weight of the ring, any flaws in the customer's diamond, and diamond measurements.
Eventually, she realized that it actually was her diamond. We got a sincere and heartfelt apology for all the hassle she put us and our other customers through. Just kidding. She left in a huff.
21. Tea Time
This was definitely the dumbest, most ignorant person I've ever met. He was a 26-year-old male and turned up an hour and a half late the first day for work. He was brought in by his mom, which I thought was kinda odd for a grown man. I let that slide…but then things just got worse. It was a small roadside cafe/eatery, so I thought I'd get him started on small duties to ease him into the way of the place.
I asked him to put new toilet paper in the toilets. A minute or so later, I hear him yelling "HEEEYYYYY, it won't fit on the toilet roll holder!" I'm like what? That's a pretty simple thing. He calls out again so I tell him to bring it to me so I can show him. That’s when I realize he's carrying a roll of paper towel; it's almost three times the length of the toilet paper holder.
I say, "That is paper towel". “No it's not" "Yes, it is! Have you ever seen toilet paper that big in your life?" "Uh...no" "Right, furthermore, and probably more perplexing—can you not see that this massive roll couldn't possibly fit on this small bar?” "Yeah, I thought that was odd". Oh boy, well, the day goes on and after the kitchen is pretty much closed except for pre-cooked baked goods, I get him to give a general clean and ask to make sure he wipes down all the benches.
I leave him to it as I assume he's doing fine. I found out my mistake far too late. One of the other staff comes and says we've run out of toilet paper, and I'm like what? That's not possible. Sure enough, all the packs are torn open and empty except for the rolls on the holders. At this stage I realize there can only be one culprit, and call the guy over.
“Did you do something with the toilet paper?" WHAT IS WITH THIS GUY AND TOILET PAPER? "Yes, I used it to wipe down the benches in the kitchen" "You used EIGHT rolls of toilet paper to wipe down the benches in the kitchen?! WHY are you using toilet paper to wipe down benches?" "I don't like using the dishcloth" "WHO taught you to wipe down benches with toilet paper? Have you ever seen anyone wipe down benches with toilet paper?"
"The cloth was dirty and I didn't want to clean it out". By this stage I'm thinking, day's nearly over, just let it go and I'm sure it will work out fine...yeah, you know what's coming. He strikes again, and this time, it's beyond moronic. So I've got him on serving customers pastries and the like because all you have to do is take it out of the glass bay, put it on a plate, and give it to them.
He doesn't even have to ring it up, just pop on plate and give. Well, one of the customers’ orders three scones with jam and cream. He's behind the counter doing his thing and I have a little peek and see, yes, he's cut them in half and managed to put jam and cream on them. About a minute later, the customer brings the scones back up to the counter".
There's something really hard in these scones, I bit down and it was like crunching on a rock or something" Of course I'm puzzled "Oh, I'm really sorry about that—" when the guy cuts in: "It's probably just the seeds in the jam". There's something about the way he says this that makes my alarm bells ring. "Show me what you put on these scones".
I start marching toward the prep bench, and sitting on the bench is the bowl of whipped cream…and next to it, in a plastic bag, is a broken glass jar that contains the jam. This idiot is feeding the customer broken glass. "I didn't think it would be a big deal". "Are you insane?!" I grab the plate of mostly uneaten glass-infused scones".
How is anyone supposed to eat this?” To my utter—utter—amazement, he proceeds to EAT THEM, in front of me, all the while crunching on glass and flinching every time he does. I’m paralyzed dumbfounded. When he finishes eating them he says, "Do you think I should go to the hospital?" I could only reply: "You're fired". I will never forget this until my last day.
22. Lung Live The Queen
I work as a pharmacist's assistant. My boss, who is a chemist, was once on the phone with a woman who insisted that she should take curcumin to heal her pneumonia, and not antibiotics. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Tumeric; a well-known natural anti-inflammatory. You take it to mildly relieve bad feelings. But it's not gonna do a thing for you when your lungs are filled with black liquid and you're halfway to your demise…
23. Counting Chickens
I used to work at a grocery store deli. We had one customer who left me totally speechless. She asked me: “The eight-piece chicken...how many pieces are in it?" I said, "How many pieces are in the eight-piece chicken? Um. There are eight pieces in the eight-piece chicken". She was very polite and replied, "OK, I'll have that, please!" So, I packaged it up, and she went away happy.
24. "Error" Message
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 e-mails. I got a message from this guy saying he couldn't open the document I sent him. I asked him if he had used the password. He told me, "Yes. It said there was an error".
So I started digging deeper and asked, "What password did you use?" He told me, "I just hit OK and it said that I had the wrong password". At that moment, I knew something was fishy. "Wait..so did you type anything in?" He replied that he didn’t. So, I asked if he could use the password that we provided him with. He said, "I didn't think it would work, so I deleted the e-mail".
25. The Theory Of Everything
I may have married an idiot. He initially doesn't strike you as one, because he had a very successful career working for a government alphabet agency. However, some of the things he believes…Once this man gets a notion in his head you cannot remove it with dynamite. If his mother or his teacher Sister Mary Godzilla told him something 50+ years ago, then that was Revealed Truth and could not be changed.
Sister MG told him men have one less rib than women. It has to be that way because God took Adam's Rib to make Eve. I had to show him side-by-side images of male and female skeletons in a medical encyclopedia and make him count the ribs before he believed that Sister may have been mistaken. Sister also told him that plate tectonics was "only a theory, and since theory means guess there wasn't any truth to it".
You know how South America and Africa look like they would fit together like puzzle pieces? Sister told him that was just a coincidence. God made the world the way it was and the bits didn't go floating around like ducks on a pond. "Theory equals guess" also shot down the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, and a bunch of other science things that didn't agree with the Bible.
However, he seems to have come up with a whole bunch of stuff all on his own: There can't be a volcano under Yellowstone Park because they wouldn't be dumb enough to put a national park on top of a volcano. When you burn a candle only the wick burns. The wax just runs down the side of the candle holder. He had no explanation as to what happens to the wax in a jar candle.
Meat is not the muscle tissue of animals, but something else called the flesh. He did not explain where the muscles go if meat is this mysterious "flesh". Meat also only comes from mammals. Beef is meat and pork is meat, but chicken and turkey are not meat. Nor is fish. Cows just spontaneously start giving milk when they reach adulthood.
Having a calf every year to start the process has nothing to do with it. On the other hand, hens must lay with roosters before they can lay eggs. That the "clear" button on the oven stops the timer. It does not—it turns off the oven and that is all it does. I have made him start the timer and then punch the clear button. See? The timer is still going.
He still tries to use the clear button to turn it off. We've only had this oven for 20 years. The microwave and the toaster oven are basically the same appliance. And since you can put plastic things in the microwave, you can use them in the toaster oven as well. He only did this twice though, since I really yelled at him the second time.
He does seem to have grasped "no metal in the microwave" though, so I guess this is a plus. Sometimes he has to figure things out for himself. My dad would say "You can tell 'em and tell 'em, but some folks have just gotta pee on the electric fence for themselves". Take the top rack of the dishwasher, for instance. The section on the right-hand side is about half an inch wider than all of the other sections.
That makes this the ideal section for cups because they just fit. I told him this. I had him put a cup in the right-hand section and see that it just fits. I then had him put a cup in another section where it did plainly did not fit. About a week later, he came to me and said "I figured out that the right-hand section is wider than the others so that's where we should put the cups".
And this evening's idiocy: Chopped is the same as sliced. He was going to a church picnic and had volunteered to bring sliced tomatoes and lettuce and onions for the hamburgers. He asked me to chop all of these things for him. Not slice—chop. I had to explain the difference. That the volume of a medium-sized bowl is exactly the same as that of a smaller bowl.
This is a long-standing confusion, actually. I cannot tell you how many times I explained that to save cabinet space, you put small bowls inside medium bowls which go inside large bowls. You do not try to stack a medium-sized bowl on top of a small bowl. This man who can pack a moving truck tighter than Marilyn Monroe's girdle simply cannot grasp this simple concept. Or maybe instead of a concept, it's just a theory.
26. Greedy, Greedy Never Gets
I was in a group setting up a raffle for the staff. The folks helping me set it all up kept asking if they could rig the system and make it so they would win the prize themselves. I had to explain to them that we couldn't do that and that even if we pulled our name out of the hat, we'd have to redraw so that we had the image of being fair. That we needed the staff's trust if we were to make this group work.
They said it was unfair and that because we put so much work into it, that they deserved to win the prize anyway. But that was just the start of their stupidity. Here's a list of what we have:
Renting out a cruise ship for the entire company. (Note that our budget is like $100 or so, all raised on our own through fundraisers.) Making a literal lottery (I had to explain gambling laws and such). Wanting to sell booze to everyone (I had to explain to everyone that we couldn't do that at our workplace for... so many reasons). Being asked if we could just take the money we raised as our own. Using the money (which once again was around $100 at the time) to buy a car for our own use. I had to ask them why we even needed a car and how we would even raise the money for it, but they kept insisting on it.
I was the youngest person there, by the way. It was insane how immature these people were! After a while of being in charge of that, I told my boss that it was taking too much focus away from my actual work and we disbanded.
27. We’ll Pay Later… Promise
This happened just the other day...Two middle-aged women come up to my counter and order their drinks. After ringing them up I tell them their total and they tell me that they're going to wait for their friend to pay. Perfectly fine, I tell them their drinks will be waiting for them when they're ready. I finish making their order pretty quick and place their drinks by the register.
Five minutes pass and they come up asking if their drinks are done yet. I said yes, just been waiting for them to pay and they proceed to FLIP OUT saying how they were just planning on coming back and paying with their friend. So essentially they wanted me to give them free drinks and trust that they'd come back to pay. I do not think so, crazy eye patch lady and co. I do not think so.
28. Crystal Scientist
My sister always says she is a scientist and does things based on facts. She also says she is way above average intelligence. I told her I was having more instances of sleep paralysis. She told me I should get some crystals. I told her thanks, but I made an appointment with my doctor and did a sleep study instead. She has an associate degree in nursing.
I also once had to explain that direction is a fixed thing and that it is our position that changes. She insists that in front of her is always north because it is HER north. My husband tried to explain she was wrong. My engineer dad who also says he is so smart backed her up, but I suspect that has more to do with making me wrong. She tutors in science and math.
29. Blended Chicken Anyone?
I had to explain eggs to a coworker once. Like, the concept of an egg. She thought scrambled eggs were made by cracking them open and pureeing the baby chickens in a blender. I don't know man, to this day I'm still not sure she wasn't hosing me. But she was kind of dumb about a lot of things, so.
30. Instructions Are for Losers
When I was working internet tech support I had a customer call us up because his net wasn't working. He said he hooked everything up but "the darn thing just won't let me email". He then said: "The cable you sent me was too darn big". I told him that shouldn't be the case, and he said he had to re-size it to make it fit into his computer.
After a little more questioning, I found out he just took the box that had his network card, his modem, and most importantly that CD with a huge red sticker on it that says "RUN THIS FIRST BEFORE SETTING UP EQUIPMENT," and chucked all that stuff aside. He then took out the ethernet cable, tried to plug it into his 56k modem, when it didn't fit he took a blade and carved it down to make it fit.
I just kind of sat there as he was furious because his service didn't work and we sent him useless equipment. When he finally let me get a word in, I told him he was supposed to run the CD and use all of that other equipment. He said he didn't want the service anymore and told us to cancel it, but I told him he signed a contract and I could set up an appointment for him for a technician to come out. He wasn't interested.
I hated that job sometimes.
31. The Tank Destroyer
So just over a year ago I switched jobs and went to work for a guy (Bob) who is running a new/used aquarium shop. The shop was built onto his house, so as a result I've become pretty close with his family, including his 15-year-old stepson, who is the stupidest person I've ever met. For the first couple of months, I thought he was just a bit quirky and clumsy, but as I've come to know him more, I've discovered that he is an idiot of the highest order.
Now, I've known some dumb teenagers in my time. Heck, I used to be one. But this kid is just on another level. Just in the year that I've known him: He licked a lit match because he thought fire would taste like a Flamin' Hot Cheeto. He cannot climb a flight of stairs without tripping up them. This is a multiple-times-a-day occurrence. And it gets worse.
He once dropped a bowl of cereal and milk, and rather than clean the mess with a towel, he soaked up the spill with his sock. A sock that was still on his foot. He then put on his shoes, went out to catch the bus, and went to school with a soaking wet milk-sock. He went to the school nurse that day because he was convinced that his foot was bleeding and soaking through his sock.
He's failing gym class. I have no idea how one fails gym class. He has broken more than 20 aquariums in the last year. When we buy used tanks, they need to be washed and leak-tested before we resell them. The boy sometimes does this to help out, but his method is mind-blowingly stupid. He can't understand that when you wrap the hose around an aquarium, you can't just yank it free.
Once, Bob was selling an older fairly-good-condition Cadillac that had been sitting in his driveway for a while. The day before the buyer came to pick it up, the stepson was mowing the yard and scraped the handle of the mower along the entire length of one side of the car. Oh, and he likes to use "Jew" as an insult. When I called him out on it, his reply made my blood run cold.
I discovered that he thought that Jewish people didn't actually exist. He thought that they were an imaginary race of people that everyone pretended to hate. He played lacrosse on his school's team this summer, and got benched all season because he told the coach that he didn't need to run laps or go to practice. This is probably why he's failing gym class.
One day, he left in the morning like normal to go catch the bus. Three hours later, he came back saying that he missed the bus, and he needed to be driven to school. The problem? It was Labor Day. There was no school. He stood at the bus stop for three hours on a day when there was no school. He also eats absolutely everything in sight.
If you leave food unattended for more than 10 seconds, it's gone. Bob went to Taco Bell and got food for the four of us. The stepson was left alone with it and ate his, mine, Bob's, and half of his mom's food before he realized that it probably wasn't all for him. When he found out that I'm a chile-head, he bragged for a week about how he loved super spicy food too.
He then tried a glob of my Exhorresco hot sauce(after I warned him repeatedly not to) and spent the next two hours crying and blaming me. It keeps getting worse. We've been gradually remodeling the house when we're not working in the store. His bedroom was the first room we finished. He managed to put a hole in the wall on the first day he moved in.
Bob told him to wash the truck one day earlier this year. He thought he'd be helpful and wash out the fuel tank as well. With water. His parents signed him up for tutoring to help with his grades. Turns out, all the tutoring in the world won't help your grades if you never turn in your homework. He was under the impression that homework was optional. Also, he routinely falls asleep in class.
He thought that fish were just very active plants. Yes, really. He managed to tip over and dump the contents of the trash can he was taking out to the roadside to be picked up. Rather than pick up the mess, he just kicked it around and spread it out across the yard, in hopes that it would be less noticeable if the mess was less concentrated.
32. A Taste Of Their Own Medicine
As a nurse, I was once bringing medication to a patient. One of his family members, who is obviously a graduate of WebMD university, asks, "Did the doctor order that? Because I've read that an overdose of that medication might cause mild itching". Of course, the correct answer that I was supposed to have given was, "Yes, ma'am, this was ordered by the doctor after he carefully considered all the options".
However, the answer I wanted to give was, "Nope, the janitor ordered this, but he seemed pretty sure of himself when he did it, so we'll probably be okay".
33. Coming Down The Pipe
I’m a church organist. One Sunday, a visiting congregant came up into the organ loft after the service and told me that she thought it was reprehensible that people had to be put to work pumping the organ during services instead of paying attention to what was happening in the church. I told her that the practice of hand-pumping organs mostly ended with the advent of the electric blower many decades ago.
She actually disputed this until I took her to the basement to see the machine busy at work supplying wind to the pipes high above.
34. Polar Opposites
I've done extensive research in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. That’s my field and it’s what I do for a living. One time, someone told me that the polar bears hunt the penguins. I told him that they don't and that whoever taught him this was wrong. This man angrily replied that "Yes they do!" But there's one crucial thing he obviously didn't know.
See, polar bears only live in the North pole, and penguins only live in the South pole. So…
35. A Day In The Life
I studied to be a teacher, but eventually decided to pursue another career path. This was partially because teaching is so time-consuming. So I've always found it ridiculous that people claim to know what a teacher's schedule consists of, when they've never graded a single paper in their life, never written out a single lesson plan that conforms to specific state standards, never been forced to learn a new curriculum each year, never had to conduct a conference with a single parent, etc.
I think some of these people need to learn a thing or two!
36. You Are What You Eat
I am a microbiologist and mammalian biologist who studies the microbiome (i.e. gut bacteria). I have a hippie friend who claims that she is allergic to gluten and also to a bunch of other things. She used to periodically post things on Facebook about food additives that she claims are "unhealthy". There two things she posted that really got me, though.
One was an article about probiotics and "good bacteria" that was completely and utterly wrong in its claims, and the other was about some weird additive that "scientists who study the gastrointestinal tract use to create gut irritation". Both times, I said to her that as a scientist who literally studies gut irritation and good bacteria, her articles were full of hot air and had no scientific basis.
I also informed her that the bacteria the study claimed was so great was one that could not colonize a healthy human due to competitive inhibition. Also, the additive supposedly used by scientists was actually just an emulsifier and not one, anyone, in my field has ever used it for that purpose (as it doesn't cause gut irritation). Her response infuriated me.
She ignored my specific critiques and said that the article was just "her opinion", and I was like, “No, these things are factually incorrect. Opinions are subjective. This is just straight-up misinformation”. To make a long story short, she still refuses to eat gluten or anything not "natural", but at least she thankfully stopped posting stuff from websites with names like “Food Babe” and “Avocado Wolfe” and “Eat Local Grown”.
37. Just a Reminder
My annoying co-worker loved saying dumb stuff to get a rise out of me. One day, I made him regret it. He shouted at me from across the floor that “there's a woman on the phone, and she says she's pregnant, and she thinks the baby might be yours". I just shouted back at him, “Tell your mom to stop calling me at work".
38. Lost In Translation
My family, including my idiot sister, were out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. The waitress, who was Asian, came up to us and asked us what we would like to order, in English. My sister looks shocked and doesn’t even wait for the waitress to leave as she loudly proclaims, “I understood everything she said!” My family looks on at her in utter disbelief as my mom explains to her that’s because she spoke in English.
39. Is The Cup Half Empty, Or Half Full?
I was once a witness to a silent owning that I still get giddy just thinking of. A buddy of mine was serving a table and the kid at the table was around eight or maybe ten years old. He gives her an adult glass for her apple juice. The dad pipes up and says he doesn’t want her to have all that sugar, so he needed to take it away and come back with a kid-sized one.
My friend replied that the glasses are all the same size, the adult size just looks bigger because they have thick bottoms. The dad responds that “the adult glass is clearly bigger and LIKE I SAID I don’t want her to have all that sugar". My buddy is a jerk. He gives a super deliberate exaggerated nod, says nothing, and marches to our little service alley behind the bar.
That’s when he put his plan into motion. A few moments later, he re-emerges with a kids’ cup, sets it down beside the glass, picks up the glass, and pours the adult glass into the new one, lifting it progressively higher and higher until the last drop drips down into the glass, perfectly fitting into the kid-sized cup. He then darts the heck off to the kitchen without even looking at the guy, like he didn’t even exist. I exploded with laughter.
40. Language Barrier
This was the funniest customer service retaliation I’ve ever seen in all my years working in retail. This lady was being unnecessarily rude to our gay cashier, and at one point she replied to something he said with: “Sorry, I don't speak gay". Without missing a beat, the cashier responded with: “Well, don’t worry, because I’m fluent in idiot".
41. Watching The Clock
I am a hotel manager. A surprisingly high number of people seem to think that we should prorate the price of our rooms based upon the time that they checked in. This is not a prorated type of thing, and never has been at any hotel, anywhere in the world. It's more of a “Did you use the room or not?” type of thing. We’re not literally sitting there monitoring how many seconds you spend in the room.
If you use the room for any amount of time, then the same amount of effort has to go into housekeeping and the labor cost is the same. It's not as if a guest can only be there for two hours and all we have to do afterwards is a minor touch-up. No, we still have to go through and clean everything and sanitize everything.
We don't know what specific items you used or touched, so we have to do it all regardless of how long a person was there for. When I've had a couple of guests get angry because I don't prorate their bill, I tell him that renting a room is sort of like buying a bottle of your favorite beverage. You can't go to the merchant and say that you only want one swig of the drink, so you shouldn't have to pay for the whole thing.
Because once the bottle is opened, it's a used product. Likewise, when a guest uses a hotel room, it is now a used product until the staff goes through the entire cleaning and fixing up process once again.
42. Crashing And Burning
I work in the car insurance field. "Ummm, it's my car and I think I know more about getting insurance on it than you do". This was said by a friend of mine who had just bought a newer car, and who wanted liability insurance only even though that would not protect her in many situations. But, believe it or not, that wasn’t even the dumbest example I’ve heard".
Well, this lady hit me and she said she'd just pay out of pocket for it. I called my dad and he said to just do it that way. No, I didn't get anything but her name and phone number". This was said to me by my even more idiotic friend, who called me after she hadn't been able to reach the other driver in an accident situation and wanted my professional advice as a licensed auto and property claims adjuster.
43. A Heavy Load To Bear
I’m in the building business. This is how one of my recent interactions went with a ridiculous client of mine. Them: "We determined that the wall you built is not load bearing". Me: "How did you come to that conclusion?" Them: "Because of the way it looks". Me: "It's definitely load bearing, allow me to show you". Them: "We already decided it's not load bearing, weren't you listening?"
44. Dog Days
My favorite veterinary saying is: “Getting veterinary advice from a breeder is like getting gynecological advice from a pimp”. The amount of nonsense that I hear from breeders out there is amazing. They all claim that their particular dog variant is horribly allergic to vaccines, dewormers, anesthetics, etc. No science behind these claims whatsoever.
Often, these people will provide a link to some random layman's website that contains an interview by some homeopathic quack. The pet owner then wonders why their non-vaccinated dog, who has been treated with a spray consisting of lemon water, rosemary, and tea tree oil mixture, came in not able to walk and with a 104 degree fever.
When I explain to them that their dogs have lyme disease and will need treatment and that there is an effective vaccine and preventatives (both oral and topical) that could have prevented this suffering from taking place, they sometimes still call the breeder for advice and a second opinion. No, a watered down mixture of eye of newt and arsenic will not fix him.
45. Running The Numbers
I am a family lawyer. I can't even tell you how many times I've had a client argue with me about child support. Usually, the client gets mad because their brother or friend or coworker or whoever had a much lower child support payment, so they claim it isn't fair that theirs is so high and obviously I screwed up the calculation. No, idiots, the real reason is something else.
Yours is higher because you make more money than your friend and your kids are in daycare. Child support is not just a flat rate for anyone and everyone, like a parking garage. I've been doing this for many years and the calculation is done by a computer, so it’s not even possible for me to get the numbers wrong. I'm not using tea leaves and an abacus to calculate your support payments.
To be clear, I always explain the way child support is calculated and show the math to clients beforehand, so there should be no surprises. My problem is not with people asking questions and trying to understand how things work. I am totally open to questions and am happy to answer any questions a client may have. What I do have a problem with is clients refusing to believe I know what I am doing.
46. Weathering Some Storms
Meteorologist checking in. A large portion of the general population believes they can do my job better than I can. A large majority of that portion also has zero issues with informing me of this. I've had strangers, clients, and even my own family members very strongly tell me how wrong I am about whatever obscure weather topic they may choose to bring up on a given day.
And let's not even get started on the topic of global warming. I simply tell people I'm not a climatologist and attempt to end it there. Along with being treated like a moron, I'm also blamed for others' mistakes. I visited my girlfriend's family in Florida a while back to meet them. Her uncle is a pilot and went on this rant about how I was "one of those guys" who always screws up, saying it's going to rain and it doesn't, etc etc.
I also had a few other family members join in the fun. He came at me with a "I make a mistake, people lose their lives, you make a mistake, it's just another day" line. Luckily, I'm used to this and have rebuttals ready to go, but I sealed it with a "I knew you were a pilot the second you fed me that line because every pilot says that to me". I don't like pilots.
47. These Ones Are Out Of This World
Professional astronomer here! The kind of one upmanship that I usually experience from random lay people usually has to do with some sort of fringe theory that the person insists is true, but in actuality doesn't get how it works. A sample: I once ran into a guy at a MeetUp thing who insisted that Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity wasn't true.
He didn't have any evidence for his claims, as I recall. On the contrary, the things he was saying to try and explain his beliefs demonstrated that he just didn't understand the theory. When I pointed out that the Earth’s entire GPS satellite system would fail within a half hour if relativity weren't accounted for, his idea was that we didn't “understand cosmic rays well enough”.
I also have a distant relative who believes in all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories. He thinks we never landed on the moon, crop circles are left by aliens, the works. You name the crazy theory, and you can bet he believes it. At one point, he actually said: "But surely you can acknowledge that we regularly talk to aliens, at least?" and when I said no, his answer made me burst out laughing.
He said in a sad tone "Ah, I see that the government has paid you off too". Yeah, those family reunions are super fun! And it’s not just this one guy, for that matter. My family originally is Eastern European, and I know a lot of fellow immigrants from that part of the world, and a lot of people from that community unfortunately disagree with the idea that humans have ever landed on the moon.
When I point out the mountain of evidence that we did, in fact, land on the moon, I get dismissed as "just being a patriotic American". So I guess there's a bit of Cold War sentiment and brainwashing really behind some of this. The belief, I guess, is that if Russia couldn't land someone on the moon, then the United States surely couldn't have!
Finally, and perhaps most bizarre, there was a guy I met once on holiday who was a nice retired engineering gent, and he insisted that the Hubble Telescope had discovered and taken a photograph of heaven in the sky. It was so bizarre! I just kept doing what I always do with people like this; politely asking questions that show holes in the theory.
For example, in this case, what are the coordinates of heaven that they discovered? I then find something true and exciting to focus on instead when the conversation gets awkward. Which was really hard for this particular instance, but luckily I was saved by Venus coming out at sunset that time, which gave me something to turn the conversation to.
48. Won’t Someone Think Of The Children!
My wife is a board certified pediatrician. Apparently, every uneducated grandmother on the planet thinks they know more than she does about modern medicine. Not only that, but every stay-at-home mother seems to know more than her about vaccines. And every father talks to her like she's in high school. But she loves the children, so she manages to keep going and ignore all this nonsense.
49. Watch Your Language, Young Man!
I am a linguistics professor at a major university. A grad student in the English department at my school was recently telling me about how the French language is inherently superior to English for poetry (which is complete nonsense, for so many reasons). But it got weirder. He specifically said that iambic pentameter, i.e. the language pattern frequently used by Shakespeare, sounded unnatural.
I spoke to him in iambic pentameter for the rest of the conversation and he never noticed.
50. Is This A Case Of Ignorance, Or Gross Ignorance?
I am an attorney. One time, a family member of mine was arguing with me over dinner about something stupid. I think it was over whether or not someone could "lose their house" for their business selling a faulty product, and he decided to make this big final stand on the distinction between "negligence" and "gross negligence".
I asked him to explain the difference between them, as he understood it, and he started just babbling utter nonsense. And when I opened my mouth to correct the inaccurate things he was saying, he cut me off and said "IN MY OPINION". That was the point when I decided to ignore him and just try to enjoy the rest of the otherwise lovely meal.
For the record, this person argues the law with me all the time, and thinks that because he is old and white collar, he is as knowledgeable as a licensed attorney. He is also one of several family members who thinks the Professional Rules of Conduct are just suggestions and expects me to break them for him because "Who would know?"
Sorry, I am silly enough to think we should follow ethical rules even when there's little chance of getting in trouble. Call me crazy!
51. Lost In Translation
I did five deployments in the United States forces. I used to jump out of airplanes and was fluent in Arabic, like "mistaken for a native" level of fluent. After I got out of the service, I went back to school for art and started the slow process of completely forgetting the language. I was never the guy who wore camo or had bumper stickers and talked a lot about my experiences serving my country.
I ran into those kinds of guys occasionally, and they were mostly harmless. One guy, though, was the bane of my existence. I was in a 3D design class with him, and he was constantly telling stories that just sounded like nonsense to me. I let it slide because, really, who cares? I didn't, personally. Until, one day, he was sitting across the table from me trying to impress some girls.
He told them that he was fluent in Arabic thanks to his time overseas. I perked right up at that. I said: "What a coincidence, Atekellum al loghat Alarabia schwaya schwaya, wayn taalemt al logha?" or something along those lines. I'm super rusty at this point, but that's basically a transliteration of "I speak Arabic a little, where did you learn the language?"
Blank stare, sweat beading on his forehead, cute girls staring at us with their mouths open. I tried to go easy on him because I had thrown in a little dialect and maybe he was just exaggerating his fluency, not lying completely. So I looked at him and started rattling off a few basic phrases, looking for a response. "Ahlan wa Sahlan, kayf al halekum al yeom? Ayna al sooq? Eid melidak sayeed! Ayna al aslahat alKamiowiyah?"
Again, I'm super rough with the language now, but that translates roughly to: "Hello, how are you today? Where is the market? Happy Birthday! Where are the chemical weapons?" These are all basic useful phrases you get taught when you enter the American service. At this point, I knew I had him. Nothing. No response.
He'd talked a lot about being a combat medic, so I was tempted to hit him with: "Oh by the way, what gauge of needle do you use for a tension pneumothorax? What do you write on someone after you place a tourniquet?" But I could tell from the way he'd just frozen that I wasn't going to get any truth out of the kid. I said "Ahterim Nefsik".
Then went back to working on my clay bust assignment. But that was actually my fatal blow. That means "Have some self respect". This guy was a freaking idiot, but I will admit that he picked the right lie. The odds of running into a veteran who actually spoke Arabic in a tiny community college art program in the middle of nowhere were infinitesimal. Unfortunately for him, the odds weren't zero.
52. Mucho Macho Man
When we were all younger and dumber, one of my closest friends married the craziest man I've ever met. Let’s call him Kevin. My friend had just come off of a very bad relationship that she'd been certain was going to end in marriage, when in reality the guy was cheating on her while using her to support his wannabe pro-golfer existence. He then dumped her when someone with more money came along.
So she was in a bad place. A few months later, Kevin appears. The first time I met Kevin was when the two of them showed up at my apartment to announce their engagement. Since I'd met the previous guy that she was "seriously" dating just a month before, I know they couldn't have been seeing each other very long. Turns out, Kevin proposed five weeks after their first date.
Maybe she was a bit of an idiot for saying yes at that point, but like I said, bad place. It's hard for me to accurately describe Kevin without dipping into being mean. Because I never liked him from that first meeting. It was like he really wanted to be one of those hyper-masculine manly men , but didn't quite know how. He liked to take any opportunity to bring up in conversation that he was a black belt.
I remember the first time he said it because I asked, "Oh, yeah, in what?" And he looked at me like I was an idiot. "In martial arts". Oh. Right. Of course. He also would talk, at length, about how much he worked out (turns out, he didn't actually work out at all). Welp, it only went downhill from there. He liked to think of himself as a car guy, because he had a sports car he couldn't afford and treated it like his baby.
He didn't actually know anything about cars, but he had one. So, car guy. But the thing that really got up my nose about the guy was that he prided himself on how very smart he was. He'd make the most outrageous claims with the most pigheaded certainty. He just knew these things were true, and if you disagreed, even if you showed actual physical proof that he was wrong, he'd just condescendingly tell you that you didn't understand these things like he did and go on with his idiocy.
Just as an example, he once declared that you can't break the law at night. What exactly does that mean? We still don't know. He wouldn't elaborate. As a second example, he had trouble getting a fire going in their fireplace when he was home alone one day. His solution was a total disaster. Mix up some homemade napalm from a recipe he found on the internet. It set the kitchen on fire.
Luckily my friend arrived home in time to grab the fire extinguisher. Yet he insisted doggedly that he knew what he was doing, and really this was the best way to get the fireplace going, and obviously she just didn't understand because she didn't know as much about this stuff as he did. There’s one last important thing to know about Kevin before we get 'round to the divorce I promised.
Kevin was a religious nut. I don't mean he was crazy because he was religious. I've known many wonderful, intelligent religious people in my lifetime. Kevin was a crazy person who used religion as his MO. He would randomly proclaim, "The Bible says..". to support whatever other crazy thing he'd said. Most people let him get away with it, because heck the Bible is really long and says a lot of crazy stuff.
Who could say that, somewhere in there, it didn't actually say whatever insane thing he was claiming? And besides, who wants to confront crazy? Even when the claim was something insane like, "The Bible says that birds are of the devil". (Yes, this is a thing he said one day when he was angry at birds for some reason). I was raised going to church twice a week, once upon a time.
So I knew a bit about that particular book, and I had a pathological need when I was younger to call people on their lies. So we often butted heads. Unsurprisingly, when confronted, Kevin could never actually tell you where in the Bible it said you shouldn't take the first slice of pizza (yep, he said that too), but it didn't decrease his certainty that it was in there.
So, as anyone but the two of them could have predicted, the marriage didn't last. Only, it was so much darker than we knew. He became increasingly erratic, forbidding her from speaking to friends, including me, because, "the Bible says so". Hitting her, because the Bible says she has to do whatever he says and that he's allowed to beat her if she doesn't, stuff like that.
So she left…and here is where the wackiest stuff begins. She gets a lawyer to initiate divorce proceedings, and the first thing that comes up is the house. They bought the house from his parents. More precisely, she bought the house from his parents. He had terrible credit. As a result, his name wasn't on anything related to the house. He also had no job.
Meaning he'd never made a single payment on the house. As far as she saw it, the house was hers. His mother, who came into town to support her son through his misfortune, didn't see it that way. Their reaction was completely cruel and unhinged. They declared that the house still belonged to the mother and threw all of my friend's stuff out on the lawn.
Friend's lawyer gets a preliminary hearing date set up, to determine the initial dispersion of important stuff like the house, at least until the divorce proceedings get all sorted. So Friend's lawyer says to Kevin, have your lawyer contact me to set up a meeting before the hearing. A meeting is set up, and who arrives at the lawyer’s office but Kevin, dressed in jeans and a windbreaker, claiming to be, "Mr. Steele, the lawyer".
I kid you not. He decided he'd be his own lawyer and he'd call himself Mr. Steele (not his name). I don't know how the initial meeting went, but when the time for the hearing came, Kevin was once again acting as his own attorney. This time I can only assume he wasn't working under a pseudonym. Keep in mind, the rest of this is totally going off of her story to me immediately after the hearing.
Kevin and his mother arrive 20 minutes late, not at all dressed for court, casual jeans and shirts. The first thing he says when he walks in is, "Can I approach the bench?" "Why?" The judge asks. "Because I have some receipts". So Friend gets called to the stand. Her lawyer asks a bunch of questions illustrating just how crazy Kevin is and how bad things had gotten and about the house and stuff.
Then Kevin, since he's the lawyer, gets to cross-examine. His first question. "Is it not true that you were beaten as a child?" Her lawyer, "Objection". The judge, "Sustained". The question had nothing to do with anything. Other questions included, "Is it not true that you were seeing a psychiatrist and on medication for depression?" "No. It's not true".
She'd never seen a mental health professional. Not sure if he thought he might trick her into lying on that one or if he was so crazy that he actually thought it was true. But he was his own worst enemy. He asked a bunch of other ridiculous questions, which her lawyer let him ask because they were completely out of nowhere and just helped prove to the judge how nuts he was.
Then he takes the stand. Her lawyer gets him to admit to pretty much everything they said he did, because it was all true, but he refuses to give specific answers to some of the more serious questions. Not no. Just doesn't want to give specifics. Then he gets to make a statement. His statement is how he doesn't want a divorce and also she was abusive to him, such as "peenching" him once when they were on the highway.
Also, the Bible says that she's his wife. So she has to do whatever he wants, and that divorce is bad. How can the judge make them get a divorce when the Bible says not to? Apparently he went on in this vein for a while. She just gave me a couple of the highlights. Needless to say, the initial hearing did not go his way. She ended up getting the house in the short term and a protective order against him after he admitted in court to his mistreatment of her ("the Bible says it's ok, though!").
After this he dragged his feet at every point of the process. For more than six months, he wouldn't show up to things or would refuse to sign things until the last possible moment. He moved to a different city and apparently joined the Army reserve. This was also a big problem. When Friend found out about this, her lawyer contacted someone there to point out that he wasn't allowed to be around weapons like that because of the protective order.
The lawyer even contacted him and offered to drop the protective order so he could stay in if he'd just agree to finish the divorce proceedings in a timely manner. Kevin refused. In the end, he got pretty much nothing and quietly disappeared.
53. Food For Thought
I'm a food scientist, which contrary to popular belief does not mean that I'm a chef or a dietitian. But it does mean that I have had years of training in organic and inorganic chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and process engineering. I've worked in meat processing, studied dairy in graduate school, and now work professionally in the beverage industry.
The thing that really irks me is when people tell me "Big food companies are trying to poison us! They only care about making money! " Let's think about that statement for a second.... Yes, businesses do like to make money. That's generally the way that they manage to stay afloat. But wanting to be successful does not preclude you from caring about your customers!
And why the heck would we want to do anything to harm our consumer base?? Less living and happy customers, less money made by us companies! Food is a consumer-driven industry. People tend to express their opinions about products with their dollars. If something sells, we make more of it. If it doesn't sell, we take it off the shelf.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen great ideas for healthy, fun new products developed by my Research & Development peers only to see them shut down when they fail in the test market. People, with the exception of certain subsets of consumer groups who are more health-focused than anything else, like things that taste good!
If they see a product on the shelf that advertises itself as a healthier choice, generally speaking they assume it doesn't taste as good and won't buy it. My ultimate point: People, you have the power here! Food companies just want you to be happy with the product, and offer you an abundant and safe supply of it. We're not the devil, I promise.
My coworkers and I are basically a bunch of foodies and nerds. And for all you food safety freaks: Wash your hands and produce well, people!!
54. Be A Little More Civil
I once had a friend of a friend explain the causes and effects of the American Civil War to me at a backyard party. As a professional historian, I kept trying to take part in the conversation, and he kept interrupting me. Finally, our mutual friend, overhearing our conversation (if you can even call it a conversation—more like this guy's lecture), leans in and says, "You know she got her grad degree in this, right?"
I'd love to say that learning about my credentials, so to speak, changed the tone or course of our conversation, but it didn't. Somehow, it intensified his need to explain stuff to me that I can literally teach a class on. Classic.
55. Here’s A Better Idea—Wash His Mouth Out With Soap
I used to work in an air traffic control tower. We would fairly often have new pilots visit to see the airport and what happens from the air traffic control side of things. One time, I was on a break when a particular pilot was visiting. Oh, and I was the only female air traffic controller in that workplace. The visiting pilot finishes his cup of coffee, hands me a mug, and says “Wash that for me, would you love?”
By the time he’d returned to his aircraft, my break was over. I made sure to get back at him. He unfortunately found himself at the back of a rather long departure queue. I wanted him to have some time listening to the frequency and absorbing the fact that if a woman is in a professional environment, she’s probably not automatically the freaking tea lady!!!
56. A Hard Pill To Swallow
I was being discharged from a week-long hospital stay and, even though I was ready to go home, I was still having some bouts of nausea. I had been getting Zofran while inpatient, and asked the nurse if the discharging provider could send in a script for a few doses. In a sweet, sickly voice, she said "Oh honey, Zofran only comes in IV form".
I replied with, "Oh honey, I'm a pharmacist, and I can assure you it also comes in tablets, liquid, and oral-disintegrating tabs". She fumbled a bit, then mumbled something about checking with the doctor and quickly exited the room. I may not have perfectly mimicked her condescending tone, but I sure as heck tried my best to. Never test my knowledge where medication is concerned.
57. Mouthing Off
One day after work, I was walking through the mall around Christmas time. I had a long wool coat on, and had only left work like 20 minutes earlier. I needed to get some last minute shopping done, so to the mall I went on the way home. Along the way, I came across a horrific scene. There was a man who had fallen and was seizing.
He was bleeding from the back of his head and was actively having a serious episode. A man had grabbed him and was trying to jam a pen into the seizing man's mouth, ostensibly under the old delusion of sticking something in seizing people's mouths to keep them from biting their tongue off. I jumped in and pulled the man's hand away.
I then cleared and opened the man's airway, being careful not to get my fingers near his mouth. The man shouted "Who the heck do you think you are? My father had seizures and this is what we always did!” I told him, "I know what I'm doing, sir, now please step back". The guy was obviously annoyed, and started mumbling not so much under his breath.
He was saying things like "This guy told me off, so if the patient passes it’s his fault!" As it turned out, the man was in no real danger, as the laceration on his head wasn't terribly bad. But a person at a kiosk there handed me a towel and I held it against the man's wound for a while, while also keeping his airway open.
He wasn't having any trouble breathing and waited for the appropriate personnel to arrive. All seemed to be okay at that point. But then an officer comes over, along with two medics, to take down the details of what happened for their official incident report. I got the shock of my life. Mr-Know-It-All quickly jumps in front of the officer to complain about me and my "behavior".
Thankfully, the officer is pretty much ignoring the guy. I stand up while the man is coming around. We move the man to the stretcher and put some gauze pads on his head wound. He is going to be okay and transported to the ER, where he will be evaluated and get a few stitches, it looked like. The man, finding no purchase with the officer, starts in on one of the medics".
I tried to get something in his mouth, but this guy wouldn't let me. He thinks he is special or something". Then HE got the shock of his life. The medic calmly says, "Well, he should. He is my supervisor at the hospital". The officer is hiding his laughter well. The man just storms off, and I get to go scrub blood off my hands. It was a very satisfying wash, however.
58. Striking Below The Belt
I've been in martial arts for 14 years, and I'm a fourth degree black belt. I don't claim to know everything, not even close, but I do know what I'm talking about. At my university, I decided to try out the taekwondo club on campus. It was the first day I was trying it, and I didn't know if we were supposed to wear uniforms or not, so I went in with workout clothes but brought my full gear just in case.
Before the class started, one of the leaders (who was wearing a second degree black belt, which is nothing to sniff at, but still a difference of five years of training) came up to me and started explaining the general protocol of class and offered to stand next to me during the class to show me how to do the different steps. Now, at first, I was okay with this, he doesn't know.
But throughout all of this, he seemed annoyed that he was having to explain everything, and generally like he didn't want new, inexperienced students. I politely agreed, and asked if we should wear our uniforms for the class. He explained that if we had them we should, but it wasn't a problem if I didn't have one. I explained that I did have one, and said I'd be right back.
I then proceeded to go and change into my uniform. His eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw me walk back out with my instructor's uniform and fourth degree belt.
59. If Only…
I'm a neuroscience PhD candidate with a focus on neuroimmunology, and I can't count the number of times mommy bloggers have tried to explain the supposed link between vaccines and autism to me (or just generally neuroscience and immunology). Unfortunately, no matter how much science I clearly spell out for them, it's never enough, and they just yell that I'm clearly on big pharma's payroll.
So, I just go home, snuggle with my cats, and dream of having big pharma money instead of academia money. Ah, the good life!
60. A Web Of Lies
I have been developing custom software for over 20 years. 98% of my customers have thought they shouldn't have to pay the price it costs to build their software. Mostly, the reason they give is because "I can do x in Excel". Okay, then go ahead and do it, if it’s so easy! Why the heck are you hiring me if you aren’t interested in paying for the specific service you’re seeking?
Another one I once got was: "But that's just an easy change. I already paid you for the program, so why do I have to pay again?" Umm, because you were using the first generation of it which stopped being developed years ago and is still using an unsupported very old version? When we changed it, I offered you a deep discount on converting the date and migration, even though you declined any maintenance contracts.
You said "nothing's broken, so I'm not paying you". When your tech company finally told you they wouldn't support your old machines any longer, and I told them about this change, which then they confirmed to you, you still insisted that nothing was broken. And when your boss finally insists on completing the change, despite having all of this documented, you still want me to perform this service for free?
Oh really? Okay, give your lawyer my contact info. Better yet, I'll help you save some money. What's their email address, for me to directly send all this documentation over to? After all that, they tried to get revenge. They hired a competitor of mine to replace me. The competitor told them that, no, they would not import data.
The client made no effort to understand what that meant and agreed to have the project completed for the lower price, oblivious to the fact that they would lose all their data in the process. Eventually, the guy powered through and the new program was installed. Immediately, the client shouts at my competitor “Why isn't our info there?!”
The client then calls me up and gets all angry at me, claiming this must somehow be my fault! I call another company offering my services to convert the data to their format. Apparently, they had worked with him before, as their immediately response was "No, we have decided against accepting that guy as a client". The client then attempts to threaten me with court action.
This threat doesn't work. He then attempts to convince me to do the work for free again. Hah, really? Nope. I don’t think so. Last I heard, this guy still has one old computer and the old server running the software. Good luck to him. I cannot for the life of me understand why so many people think they know about computers when they clearly don’t, or think they are entitled to someone else’s labor for free.
61. When You Are Your Own Worst Enemy
I work in tax policy and am pretty much one of the leading experts in the field for the area where I live. Nevertheless, one time I was browsing discussion boards on Reddit, and some random guy tried to convince me that my opinions on current tax policy were wrong, even though I knew they were right. He then cited a report to try and prove he was right.
There was only one issue. The report he cited was written by me.
62. Falling Flat
I'm an airline pilot. I've had a flat-earther get mad at me for not telling the truth about seeing the edge of the world while on the job. I honestly thought people made that stuff up. But nope, people actually think it’s real!
63. The Darwin Effect
I'm a professional biologist. In all my many years of arguing with random people, I have yet to meet someone who both A) denies evolution, and also B) actually understands what it is.
64. Pigging Out
I once got into an argument with a woman at a Whole Foods supermarket where I was working. She wanted to buy grass fed pork. There is no such thing. Grass cannot support a pig, as they have to eat a heavy grain-filled diet. The woman did not believe me or my 10 years of farm and meat selling experience. It eventually got to the point where I told the woman I would ship her a piglet so she could raise it completely on grass and watch it wither away from starvation.
I don't do demos at grocery stores anymore…
65. Sometimes The Cure Is Worse Than The Illness
Being any medical professional and with literally anything means you will have to deal with know-it-all people all the time. I had a patient once tell me that she wouldn't go on birth control. Her reasoning was bonkers. Apparently this was because it caused AIDS. She was very polite about it and said she understood that us doctors weren't "allowed" to tell patients the "truth".
Okay lady, enjoy your fifth baby at the age of 25. Another lady did not believe me at all when I told her that seven C sections was a dangerous amount to have and that the eighth section could cause many complications to her and the baby. "Well, they got seven out easily, so what's one more"? Well, it takes them a lot longer and longer with each section, so it probably got harder with each one".
Well I was there, so I would know".Whoookay.
66. So Many Bottled Up Emotions
I'm a Sommelier, also known as that jerk who tries to sell you wine in a restaurant. Several months ago, a table full of middle-aged women wanted to know what our sweetest vintage by the glass was. The alpha whiner of the group had her heart set on asserting herself and putting on a show for her crew. Keep in mind, I was new to the job and wasn't really keen on the idea that "the customer is always right" just yet.
Our interaction went as follows. Me: “Our sweetest by-the-glass wine? That would be our (insert brand name here) Riesling from Mosel, Germany. Low alcohol content level, with lots of residual sugar that's balanced by a strong acidic backbone". Her: "Riesling's not sweet". Me: "Not all Riesling, correct. But this one definitely is". I had no idea what I was getting into.
Her: "No, I spent six months in Germany once and didn't have a sweet Riesling the entire time". Me: "That may be the case, but Mosel is world-renowned for their sweeter style, and the other benefits I mentioned, ma’am". Her: "You know what, I don't think you know what you're talking about because I actually lived there. Have you"?
Me: "No mam, I have not". Her: "Exactly. You know what, I see that you have a Gewurztraminer by the glass. I KNOW that's a sweet one, so I 'll just have that”. Me: "The Riesling is far sweeter, ma’am. The Gewurztraminer is barely off-dry. It's more dry than it is sweet". Her: "I know what I'm talking about, just get me the wine please".
Me: "Absolutely". At this point, I'm ready. I'm going to prove this woman wrong in the best way possible. I go up to the bartender and tell him to pour me a Riesling instead of the Gewurztraminer. I hand deliver the glass of it to the table and announce: "Your Gewurztraminer, ma’am". I walk away and watch from a distance with a Grinch-like eating grin.
She falls into my trap and takes the first sip. I return to the table. Me: "How is it?" Her: "It's delicious. Very sweet. Much sweeter than Riesling. Just like I knew it would be". Me: "Glad you like it, but I did just talk to the bartender and, as it turns out, he accidentally poured you the Riesling". She instantly turns beet red. Her: "So this isn't Gewurztraminer?"
Me: "No ma’am, my apologies. Would you like a glass of that instead of the one you currently have?" The grin on my face has at this point been upgraded to a full-blown maniac smile and a twinkling of the eye. She responds tersely, with bitterness oozing from her mouth. Her: "No, this will be fine". Me: "Lovely, enjoy the rest of your evening".
The moral of the story? I don't know everything about the drinks I sell. That much is true. In fact, I hardly know anything in the grand scheme of it all. Especially compared to some real experts out there. But when I do talk about the products I work with, you can guarantee I'll know what the heck I'm saying is correct.
67. When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go!
I had a lady once ask me what makes me qualified to tell her she needs to go to the hospital. I'm a paramedic, that’s what! It's literally what I get paid to do. I work for a local government fire department that also provides ALS (advanced life support) ambulance services. We don't get paid per call. We work in a low-income area where no one has insurance and few can pay their bills.
The local hospital is going under and needs bailouts every year because they have so few paying customers, and our local government relies upon bailouts to keep funding things. If I transport someone to the hospital, it generally means I’m taking money out of my own pocket, or out of the pocket of the taxpaying citizens.
There are no incentives for me to transport someone to the hospital who doesn't need it. None whatsoever. It takes me a minimum of 30 minutes to transport someone, or five minutes tops to get a refusal of care. Trust me. If I say you need to go, you NEED to go.
68. Two’s A Crowd
I am a professional nurse with many years of experience under my belt. I worked at the hospital in the United States that received the country’s first two Ebola patients (Emory University Hospital). Despite trying to educate my patients on how prepared the hospital was and how they would not contract Ebola, people there for other reasons than Ebola still signed out and went home, despite still being sick.
They did this against all of our professional medical advice. People were canceling major surgeries they had scheduled months ago so that they would not be in the hospital at the same time as the two Ebola patients. Apparently, Fox News was more of a reliable source about how we were conducting our operations than our MDs and other members of the interdisciplinary team who were, ya know, actually there??!!
69. Speaking His Mind, Without The ‘Mind’ Part
I’m in the fields of hematology and oncology (still in training), but just this weekend an educated, wealthy, charismatic "skeptical of modern medicine" type just took over an entire room I was in at a social event. I couldn't believe what he was saying. Just endless assertions that cancer doctors were running a big sham and claiming that we are in cahoots with Big Pharma.
According to this fellow, every object vibrates at a different frequency and we are fools and sell-outs to not harness its low-cost therapeutic potential to cure cancer. He accuses us of instead leading people on with expensive chemo, radiation, and surgery options. UGH! I didn't even know where to begin, and he was demonstrably a better public speaker and debater than me, so unfortunately people probably came away thinking he was right even though he was a total buffoon!
70. This Is Just So Wrong…
The people that never fail to drive me totally bonkers are the conspiracy theorists who think that the 2001 attacks on New York were fake or staged or whatever else they say. As an engineering student, I took a look at a newly formed "scientific journal" for studies about the events of that day. I popped open the first "paper", and it was using high school Newtonian physics to "prove" ridiculous things.
I contacted the editors of the "journal" and, very politely, gave them a run-down of the glaring issues in this "paper". Lo and behold, I get an angry response from the AUTHOR OF THE PAPER, who is apparently also one of the editors of the publication, claiming that he has a PhD in, like, nuclear physics or something. I respond back. Again, very politely.
And this time I go through his responses and explain why they are each incorrect. His angry reply to this actually includes the accusation that I am trying to "blind [him] with science". I gave up at that point. I believe that most of these organizations still exist, as my dad got roped into one of their seminars recently. They are spouting all the same incredibly incorrect information.
Also, the list of members of the society that pushes for the “truth” about those events has not grown in almost a decade. These people are incompetent liars preying on people who don't know enough of the science to know how wrong they are. It is extremely disrespectful to the victims and should really not be permitted to go unanswered.
71. Taking One For The Tribe
I used to work as an anthropologist for a tribe-run museum on protected Native American land. They had built a museum to display finds from excavations, spread knowledge about the history of their people, and also create a little revenue for their community center. It was a pretty interesting place to work, but there was one horrible thing about it.
A local town, mostly made up of white, upper-class families, took offense to our work. They claimed that we were destroying the tribe's culture without any right by excavating. It culminated in a group sending the museum a letter, where they basically said the tribe members were not educated enough to understand how their culture was being destroyed and were simply not intelligent enough to make decisions in regards to activity on their land.
That went over real well in their eyes, to say the least. Anyway, I will strongly suggest that if there is a local tribal museum around you, go take the kids and visit it on a rainy day. Lots of tribe-run museums I know of put the profits towards their community centers and college scholarships, so you’ll be making a real difference. Plus, you can learn a lot of fascinating things!
72. Holy Moly
As a scholar of religion, I honestly hear profoundly stupid outright lies out of people's mouths who are pretending to be experts at least once a week. One of my favorites? Someone claimed that the Bible orders all people to "sleep with the earth". This came out of the mouth of a conservative 20-something-year-old, who was adamant that there is no immorality concerning our poor treatment of nature.
73. Round And Round In Circles
My dad and I were downstairs in the living room where the landline was kept. The landline rang and my mom (5’ tall, chubby Asian lady) comes barreling down the stairs at top speed. The phone stops ringing. She goes back upstairs. A minute later, the same thing: phone rings, she bolts down the stairs, phone stops, she goes back upstairs, this time audibly annoyed by the mystery caller.
After this happens for the third time in 10 minutes, we ask her what the heck was going on. Turns out she was unknowingly calling the landline from her new cell phone. Then, upon hearing the phone ring, she was hanging up her cell and running downstairs to grab the phone. We haven’t been able to figure out why she dialed the landline number in the first place. She didn’t have an answer for that one.
74. A Bug’s Life
I had an entomology internship at a butterfly house. Contrary to the name, we had a plethora of other wonderful arthropods that we raised in the lab, and some of them even went on display. The entomology interns were tasked to show off some of the bugs that we raised but are not on display. This was also a way to try to quell the general fears of the public about bugs.
One time, the intern who I was working with had brought out a giant stag beetle. This mother came over to us with her child. They were admiring the bugs we had. The mother then asked us a rather surprising question. While pointing at the stag beetle, she asked, “What kind of butterfly is that?” My partner and I looked at each other, trying not to laugh.
My partner did her best to explain that the beetle was not a butterfly and explained the differences to her and her child.
75. Recreational Catnip
I worked at an independent pet store. We mainly sold dog supplies, but there was a small section of cat toys, catnip, etc. A newer, pretty gimmicky item we brought in was a line of catnip that was packaged to look like an illicit plant. It had “prescription” bottles and pre-rolls”. People usually knew these were catnip products.
However, on many occasions, I had many people ask the same hilarious question: "How does the cat take tokes on it?" Or, even better yet, "How can they even hold the lighter? They've got paws?" I never do quite know how to reply besides muddled laughter.
76. The Combo Guy
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 me, "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, I started to get annoyed.
He said, "I want fries and a drink, but what is the combo?" We went back and forth on this for almost FIVE MINUTES. I don't even remember if he ever figured out what a combo was or if he ended up getting it. However, I remember seeing 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".
77. A Total Guessing Game
I worked at a gas station that sold more than just gas. This man came up to the register and said, "Twenty outside". I asked, "Which pump," to which he responded the one on the right. There was a left and right on each pump, so I asked which car, and he pointed to a truck. The next question he asked was, "Can I have a slice of pizza?"
I responded, "Sure, what kind?" His response left me dazed and confused. "Pizza," he said. We had at least three kinds of pizza, sometimes four. I had no clue about his likes and dislikes, so I said, "Which kind? I wouldn't wanna give you something you don't like”. He told me, "Whatever is fine," so I gave him a random piece. Of course, he asked, "Can I have a different kind?" At that point, I almost lost it.
78. Turn Up The Volume!
One of my roles was as an IT rep for the department I worked in. Someone approached me saying their computer speakers were broken. My first question was, “Are you sure you tried turning the volume up?” They rolled their eyes at my ludicrous question and replied, "Yes, of course". So, I walked across the office to where their computer was with them by my side. When I got there, I was livid.
I took one look and turned the volume up. That was the day I gave up.
79. Just A Wii Bit Dense
I used to be a manager at GameStop while in college. A guy called and told me the preowned Wii U 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, I could only replace it 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 get this guy a free Wii U cause stuff happens, and I didn’t care. I would end up regretting being so kind. The guy proceeded to argue with me that it stopped working because of his son, saying, “No, I saw my son drop it, and then it stopped working. I’m positive”. Again, I said, “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”.
Again the guy insisted, “Nah, it definitely stopped working because he dropped it”. The dude came in an hour later and bought another one full price. The District Manager was in the store with me at the time, so I couldn’t say it outright, but I was shocked that this dude didn’t get what I was trying to do for him. I basically spelled it out.
80. Going In Circles
A full-grown woman asked me how big our pizzas were. I stuck out my fingers, eyeballed about a foot, and said, “Around this big”. She paused for a moment and finally said, “Oh, length-wise?” I thought perhaps she didn’t know that our pizzas were round, so I told her that our pizzas were circular; therefore, any point across was length-wise.
I went back to tell the other co-worker what I had 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. Her response had me baffled. She smiled and finally said, “Okay, not all of us are Mr. Engineer over here!” I just walked away. I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t think I was a genius for knowing about the geometry of a circle.
81. Checkout Time
I worked at a coffee shop where we sold two sizes, small and large. I was working the register, ringing up a girl. I asked her what kind of coffee she got, which was fine. However, when I asked her if she got small or large, she responded with a suspicious tone. “Why do you need to know?” I had to explain to her that one was a larger quantity than the other, and you had to pay for that extra amount.
She scoffed and grudgingly told me, “Do you think I’m tricking you?”
82. Houston, We Have A Problem
While showing Apollo 13 to my astronomy class, I had a student ask me the dumbest question I have ever heard as a teacher. During the “Houston, we have a problem” scene, this one student raised their hand in the back of the room. His friend next to him told him to put his hand down, saying that it was “a stupid question”.
I went back and asked them what his question was, and his response was absolutely golden. He said, “Are all of the guys there named Houston?” I have taught for nearly ten years, and that one is still the winner.
83. Hitting Below The Belt
I used to teach karate, and one day, a lady came in looking to do a birthday party at her own home. She wanted to buy some black belts from us for her kid and their friends. I would have no problem selling her belts for home use, except we didn’t stock any of that stuff except for when we needed them for tests and promotions.
I kindly declined and explained to her she could go and find them on a specific website online if she wanted them. I also explained that most schools won’t sell them because of the hard work and dedication students put into obtaining them. I thought she would leave after that, but she just wouldn't quit. She pointed at my belt, which was grimy and worn out, and said, “Well, what about yours? Can I just buy that one?”
As if I was going to give her the thing I had been using every day for ten years.
84. Testing My Patience
I used to work at 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, making 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".
My plan was brilliant—I downloaded a mock Geiger counter app and tested one glass of tap water in front of her. She completely bought it and proceeded to order a fruit salad and a water bottle. I told the manager, and we had a good laugh. I still can't believe I got away with it.
85. She Wasn’t Plugged Into Reality
I worked for Apple for five years at the Genius Bar. One day, a woman came in with a brand new Apple TV and said, "It's not working". She handed me the Apple TV, and I placed it on the bar. Before asking basic troubleshooting questions, I simply wanted to know if she had brought her HDMI and power cords with her; otherwise, I would have to get ours to plug it in.
I asked, "Did you bring your cables?" Her response had me dying of laughter inside. "What are you talking about? It's wireless". She thought the TV literally had no wires and thus didn't plug in the power cable or HDMI.
86. In Need Of An Upgrade
I used to work for an authorized Apple retailer. One day, this old woman, probably in her late 70s or 80s, came in to ask why her phone was acting up. It was a 4 GB iPhone 4 that had no storage left. She did not understand her smartphone and the upgrades that would be required. I did my best to explain that she would need to upgrade to a device with more storage so it would work the way she wanted.
I told her she could keep all of the pictures of her family; all she would have to do was transfer them through the iCloud system over the internet. That’s when she asked the golden question: “What’s the internet?” At that moment, she had tears running down her face as she genuinely did not understand a thing I had explained.
I had to take my lunch break, so I handed her off to my store manager to take over. When I clocked back in, she was still in the store. This time, at the checkout counter, with her brand new phone that my manager had sold her to meet a monthly sales quota. I’m sure he never told her what the internet was.
87. Sitting This One Out
I worked at an outdoor ski shop. In the summer, it was obviously slower, so they pushed tents, chairs, and general camping and hiking gear. We usually had some chairs on display outside the store as well as extra chairs inside for people to grab. One customer saw a chair, saw the same one inside, then came up to us and asked, "Do you have any of these in stock?"
It took us a few seconds to answer because we weren't sure if we heard right, and that was apparently too long for her. Her next move made our jaws drop. She stormed out of the shop, saying, "You people are OBVIOUSLY not good at your job. You should find something else to do with your lives!!" She even emailed and complained to head office, who asked us what happened.
We sent in the security footage, and they banned her from the store. She was someone who came in often but didn't spend much. One colleague went up to her once, smiled, and asked if she needed any help. She snapped, saying, "Yes, you can help me by leaving me alone," and stormed out of the store, leaving my colleague dumbstruck.
88. A Losing Game
I worked part-time at a video game store. One day, a soccer mom came in with her demon spawn and gave me grief for not having “that Sonic game” available. When I asked her which game she was talking about, as I wasn’t quite sure, she replied, “The one where you go fast! My child wants it, and you will not disappoint him”.
I told her if she was talking about Sonic Forces, it was available for pre-order, but it hadn’t been released yet. I said, “If that's the game you're talking about, you can pre-order it now and receive it at release”. But she wouldn't have ANY of it. She said, “My son wants it now. Look, I'll slip you a tenner if you get it for me; nobody has to know”.
She just didn’t get it. I told her again, “I'm sorry, ma'am, but we don't have any copies of the game. 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 and kept trying to get him to break street date for a game we didn't even have copies of.
89. Cable Confusion
I have had DOZENS of clients over my 10 years of web development call my company because their internet was down. First, they would tell me that their website doesn't work. So I'd ask them to go to a different website, and they would say to me something along the lines of, “Oh, actually, no websites are loading, and our email is down too".
I'd tell them that it sounds like their internet is down. Their usual response is infuriating: "Can't you fix that for me?" or "Yes, that is why I called you guys". I then have to explain to them that they pay a company such as Time Warner or AT&T to get their internet and that we neither supply internet nor did we do the installation at their company for any internet services.
90. Lacking Book Smarts
I used to work in a school library. We would open it for students during lunch, then close the doors and put out a large closed sign when it got full. The sign was on a wheeled easel that the students could read from both ways down the hallway and they had to walk around as it took up half the space. But here's the frustrating part—students would often walk past the sign that said “LIBRARY CLOSED” through double closed doors and then try to walk in.
My favorite response was, "Did you read the sign?" They would often say, "No," to which I would reply, "Oh, well, if you can't read, you shouldn't be in a library. Goodbye!"
91. Rolling In Laughter
I worked at a Japanese restaurant for a while when I was in college, 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 California roll cut into the shape of a triangle and topped with spicy mayo that had been heated up with about $0.10 worth of fish; literally just a few bits.
You were much better off ordering a California roll and paying $0.50 extra for spicy mayo on the side and asking us to heat it up. I had one guy come in and order a couple of regular rolls along with a Volcano roll. When served in the restaurant, we would put the sauce on top unless they asked us, so it looked like a Volcano roll.
When I brought that roll to him, he looked at the plate with utter confusion. "Oh, I didn't know you guys put the sauce on, I've only gotten it for pick up, and the sauce is always on the side. I don't really like it. Could you bring me one without 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 California roll, cut it up, and put it on the plate. I brought it back to the guy, and he was super pumped. The guy paid $7.25 for a roll that would have cost him $3.75, and the sushi chef and I got to split a free volcano roll. Usually, I would have just told him about it, but the dude was being pretty arrogant the entire time trying to impress the girl he was with.
92. Cut It Out
A woman was trying to buy fabric to cover tables but didn’t have measurements of the tables. After I explained a lack of size standards since tables come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, she immediately said the first table was standard size. We were off to a great start. We finally figured out how much she needed for the first one and cut it for her. Then we moved on to the second one—and things went downhill.
I rolled some fabric off the bolt and went to straighten it out, only for her to grab the material and start moving it. She opened it and asked the width, which I read off the bolt, and she paused. She thought for a moment and said, “That’s just not big enough. If I cut it, will that make it bigger?” It took all my willpower to tell her, “Unfortunately, no, making it smaller will not make it bigger,” with a professional tone.
93. Frozen Fool
I worked in the seafood department for a large supermarket chain. One day, a woman came and asked to buy some frozen shrimp from the pre-packaged bag. However, she didn't want the entire bag, just half of it. I was ready to open the bag when she made an outrageous request—she said that she wanted me to remove the weight and cost of the ice crystals on the shrimp.
I just looked at her and asked if she wanted me to wash it off, to which she said no because she wanted it to stay frozen. The ice probably weighed less than the plastic bag we used. Needless to say, she turned away when I said I wasn’t able to do that for her. I still think that was the most ridiculous interaction I have ever had with a customer.
94. Here Comes The Sun
I had a potential client ask me to completely block out the sun. It was for an experiential pop-up that coincided with the big eclipse we were going to have. He had sold the idea that it could be done to his client. He was surprised to hear our response...which was that we would have to launch something the size of the moon into orbit to actually achieve what he was asking for.
95. The Gullible Virgin
I had a high school friend, Sam, who wasn't…the brightest crayon in the box. Last I saw him, he was living with his addict girlfriend, who's pregnant with his child. Or, so that's what I thought. I haven't spoken much to him since he had gotten expelled from school, and our relationship faded into only Facebook updates on each other's lives.
The other day, I was speaking to a friend, who we'll call Sara, that still keeps in contact with Sam. He got brought up in conversation, mostly laughing about the ridiculous things he did in school, and then I asked about what he was up to. Now, back in high school, Sam vowed himself to celibacy. He didn't want to be intimate before marriage. Also, despite how strung out his current girlfriend is, the only drug he ever used was weed.
Sara: “You know the baby's not even his". Me: “Wait, seriously?” Sara: “Yeah, he's a virgin". Me: (confused because he posts on Facebook all the time of how happy he is about becoming a father) “Does…does he know?” Sara: (shaking her head) “Nope. He legitimately thinks he got her pregnant". Sara let me have a moment, just to see the astonishment on my face.
She went on to tell me that when Sam first told her his girlfriend was pregnant, she asked him when did he start being intimate. Sam said he never did, however, they do perform oral. Sam believes that when his girlfriend…swallowed…it impregnated her with his child. Sara and a few others tried to explain to him that's not how it works, but he's either just lovestruck or just plain stupid.
There has been speculation that the true father is a guy who graduated a few years before us. He is Black. Sam is white. His girlfriend is white. She's about four months pregnant.
96. Give Me a Hand Here
An infantryman was told to trim the hedges. Instead of getting shears, he decided to just lift up the enormous lawnmower, and then have his buddy start the motor...as the infantryman holds the hedges in place with his bare hands. When the medical team got called in, we bandaged him, then used a tourniquet temporarily. Senior medics took him to the ER, but they couldn't save his hand. Shocker...
97. Doing Things By The Book
A lady brought her husband in for elective surgery and he required general anesthesia. She comes in with an old dog-eared paperback book and asks to have a meeting with the surgery team. We humor her, and apparently she wanted specific anesthetic agents for her husband, since she did research on all of them and developed her own “informed opinion”.
All of the agents she wanted were essentially removed years ago due to harsh side effects, or there were better medications available. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Then came the most hilarious part. When I looked at her book, I noticed that it was published in 1965.
98. Simple Physics
I remember having to defend myself on a speeding accusation. I had footage of the dashcam, which clearly showed me not speeding. I was going 30 mph, but the officer claimed I was driving 50 mph. The dashcam footage showed him driving at 40 mph and catching up to me fairly quickly. That’s when he decided to pipe in and make a fool of himself.
He asked, "If you were really going 30, then why did I have to go 40 to catch up to you?” I responded, “Because in order to catch up to anything, you have to go faster than what you're following. If I was going 50, you would have never caught up to me while going 40".
99. How Do You Like Them Apples?
I asked my boyfriend if he wanted an apple. He said yes, so I pulled one out of the fridge and handed it to him. He looked confused. I asked him what was wrong…his answer still blows me away to this day. He asked me to slice it for him. He'd never eaten an apple whole before. He wasn't sure how to bite into it. He was 27.
100. The Milk Is For The Baby
I saw a patient who was concerned because she was still lactating, despite the fact that she stopped breastfeeding her twins two years ago. She said: "sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and find my husband sucking on me. He says he's trying to drain the milk for me". I had to explain to her that breastfeeding her husband will lead to continued Lactation.
101. License Plate Letters
A few weeks ago, I had to explain to my wife that the letters on her license plate were part of her “license plate number". She got a ticket at her university for parking without payment. The payment kiosk makes you enter your license plate number when paying for a day of visitor parking. She was ranting and raving about what bullcrap it was, so I asked her to show me the receipt she got when she paid for parking.
Sure enough, she had just entered the numbers and not the letters. I don’t know how she made it into her mid-30s before learning this.