Tennessee USA

(This airport has a few dozen parking spots for people waiting to pickup arriving passengers.  The spots are in groups of three, with pillars next to the outside spots.  Each pillar has a sign that clearly states there is a ten minute time limit, and that vehicles must be attended with their trunks open.  They are almost always full so I normally drive through the pickup area and go to the cell phone waiting lot.  Remarkably I find an open spot and pull in since the person I’m meeting has already landed and does not need to wait on checked luggage.)

The lady in the next spot over walks up to me.

Lady: “So, how are you going to open your trunk?”

Me: “I guess I can drop the tailgate if I need to.”

Lady: “I was just curious when I saw you pull in.  I parked here and went in to the terminal to check on my friend’s flight.  I wasn’t gone for no more than five minutes and when I got back they were writing me a ticket!  They told me I couldn’t leave my car and I had to have the trunk open.”

Me (pointing):  “There is an electronic notice board that gives you status of arriving flights.  I’m actually surprised   to find an available spot.  It’s been a few years since I didn’t end up pulling around to the cell phone waiting lot.”

Lady: “Oh!  I didn’t see that.   I gave myself plenty of time so I got here early, but wasn’t sure how long it would take to drive all the way around again.  And it’s not busy.  I told that person I’m not from around here.  She said I can stay up to a half hour.  It’s just so frustrating.  It makes me want to go back to McDonalds and get the money back I’ve spent in this town.”


Columbia, MD

(I’m a lifeguard for a couple local pools run by the local government. I’m working in the deep stand, which is the lifeguard stand directly next to the diving well. We allow adults to swim in the diving well during adult swim when the slide is closed.)

Her: Do you need to know how to swim to go in the well?

Me: Yes, it’s 9 feet deep. You’d drown if you went in.

Her: Yeah, A lifeguard saved me last week when I went in.

Me: Why’d you go in if you did’t know how to swim?

Her: The slide looked like fun and I thought I’d learn quickly.

(She didn’t go in, but I still had to save someone else who went in, despite not knowing how to swim. His comment afterwards: That was fun. Can I go back in now?)


Townsville, Australia

I work at a hospital that sends text messages to patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments. The texts are 1 week in advance and include the day, date and location. Patients then usually ring to confirm they are coming.

Me: ” Hello this is, [Clinic Name]”

Customer: “Yeah, I got a phone call from you guys saying that I had and appointment today.”

Me: “OK, so let me see if I can find out about that for you”

I proceed to find her account and see that she has an appointment in 1 weeks time

Me: “So I can see that you have and appointment on the 14, which is next week. When did you get this phone call?”

Customer: “Just like 5 minutes ago”

Me: “OK So could it actually have been a text message that you received.”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “And what did that message say?”

Customer “Something about that I have an appointment on the 14/6”

Me: “OK, so what about that made you think you have an appointment today?”

Customer: “……” Hangs up

I wish I could say this is rare. But it just isn’t.

cable call center


When a customer changes their online access info, we are required to notify by mail that the info has changed.  Sometimes, letters are mailed in error.

customer: why did I get this letter?! tell me now!

*not acct activity for years*

me: I’m not sure, no one has touched your acct for x years.

customer: why did I get this letter?

me: it could have been sent in error

customer: I want an answer!

*I consult with another dept that handles online account access information*

me: I’m sorry, I check with another dept. and they don’t have any further info either.

customer: I want a manager!

*5 mins later while I consult my sup*

me: my sup, x, says he doesnt have an answer either, did you still want to talk to x?

customer: I waited 5 mins for your sup to say the same thing? I’m leaving cable! *click*

me: ^in my head^ well, you could have believed me 5 minutes ago and saved yourself the time…