Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
As hard as it is to believe, school will be starting here again in the next 3 or 4 weeks, and it will be time for me to start tutoring again. In honor of my imminent return to work, I offer these “What?!” moments gathered from my own past work experiences.
From my work as a tutor…
Student: “Will you take me to get my belly button pierced?”
Student: “Why not? I really thought you would.”
Me: “What?! Why?!”
Me: Performing a frantic mental review of every interaction I’d previously had with this student, wondering how I’d possibly given out the message that I was someone who would accompany teenagers as they voluntarily allowed others to drive very sharp needles through various parts of their body.
From my work as a bookseller…
9:00 am: The store opens.
9:01 am: An outrageously incensed gentleman approaches the info desk, where I, of course, am on duty.
Customer: “Hey! Last night I was reading a book, and I left it on that table over there. Now it’s gone. What happened to it?!”
Me: (assuming my Kindergarten Teacher tone): ” Well, at night, after we close, we put all the books back on the shelves.”
Me: looking slowly around the store to convey the subtle message that we, in fact, keep all our books on shelves and not in piles on the furniture.
December, in the middle of the holiday shopping madness
A customer corners me in the back of the store where I am unsuccessfully trying to blend into the romance section.
Customer: “Excuse me, ma’am, but where is your display of luggage ?”
Me: stunned into silence
Me: (certain I’d misheard somehow) “Um, excuse me?”
Customer: “Your luggage. My son was just up at your other store, and he told me all about the great luggage he saw there.”
Me: struggling so hard to keep a straight face that I’m sure my eyeballs are going to pop right out of my head and drop onto the floor
Me: searching desperately for a tone that does not at all suggest that I am in any way mocking the customer
Me: “I’m sorry. We don’t sell any luggage.”
There was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I could say to convince her that we, the BOOKsellers, working in the BOOKstore, were not secretly hiding a cache of incredible luggage in the back, selfishly hoarding it for our own present-giving needs. But luckily for me, her poor, embarrassed husband could take the humiliation no longer and eventually pulled her away.
And to close I leave you with this statement, which I was told actually formed part of a company’s “Visions and Values”. According to this document they were actively seeking employees with, “the ability to make quick decisions in the absence of facts and information.”