Friday, January 14, 2011

Sometimes, I Worry About All That Robitussin I've Guzzled Through The Years

Have you ever had a sales clerk, or restaurant server, or whoever, who was just so stupid and clueless that you find yourself wondering if they are being stupid on purpose, just to piss you off?  I was once that guy.

I had been working at the bike shop in Parker for about 3 years when, one day, a fellow came in looking for a couple of tubes.

"What kind of tubes do you need?"  I asked.

"Presta valve mountain bike tubes," he replied.

Prestavalves are the skinny type, with the screw-down valves.  They are commonly seen on road bikes and upper-end mountain bikes.  The Schraeder valve, like the valve on a car tire, is usually seen on lower-end bikes, kids' bikes and bmx.

At that time, we kept the tubes inside the glass display case, close to the cash register.  I reached in, grabbed the two tubes, rang them up and put them in a bag.  The customer left the store, got in his car, and drove off.

About a half-hour later, the guy was back.

"These are the wrong tubes," he said.

Sure enough, I had given him Schraeder valve tubes.  I apologized to him, swapped the tubes out for him, and sent him on his way.

Another half hour, and he was back.  And, he wasn't happy.

"These tubes are wrong, too," he said.

"I'll be damned," I thought, "I did it again!"

So, once again, I swapped out the tubes, and apologized profusely. 

For the third time, the customer is out the door.  This time, he looked in the bag before he started his car.

As he came back in, I thought he was going to come over the counter and strangle me. 

You guessed it.  For the third freaking time in a row, I had given him Schraeder tubes.

Things would have probably gone a little more smoothly if, at this point, I hadn't gotten tickled by the absurdity of it all.  I started laughing.   The customer started yelling.  Finally, someone else came out and tried to calm him down as I got him two of the correct tubes.

Believe me, I double-checked this time.  So did the customer.

It wasn't long after that before we put the tubes out in a Self-Serve display.

To this day, I have no explanation for that whole incident.  I guess all those blows to the head come home to roost, eventually, for all of us.

x

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