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Americans Explain Which Common Things Europeans Do That Seem Like Total Luxuries

Adults toasting with glasses of red wine
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

It's not surprising that each country is different, with various beliefs and rules, but what is always eye-opening is what one country will deem a basic necessity, another will deem an expensive, even allusive, luxury.

Americans in particular are often perplexed by the luxuries that Europeans are able to enjoy on a daily basis, which Americans would not be able to have without paying a premium.


Redditor Specialist-Metal-458 asked:

"Americans, what do Europeans have every day that you see as a luxury?"

Required Vacation Time

"My husband (we’re Canadian) did his post-doc in Finland; when he was signing his contract, they said, 'You’ll get six weeks paid vacation and you HAVE to take it.'"

"He was shocked. He had friends elsewhere doing post-docs who were doing 14-hour work days, six to seven days per week, and with no vacation, let alone PAID vacation."

"One of the years when he was nearing the end of his cycle, HR reached out and in a panic said, 'You have 3.5 days that you HAVE to use,' unbeknownst to us. So, we booked a trip for an extended weekend away."

"I miss that. And it’s something we both negotiate when starting new jobs; rather take a bit of a lower salary with more vacation time."

- ahope1985

Paid-Paid Vacation

"Six weeks vacation, extra pay just for vacation (at least in Germany), government healthcare."

- Royal_Acanthisitta51

"Wait. Is that paid... paid vacation??"

- a**lly_ExpressUrself

"Yes, lots of companies give half a month extra pay for vacation each year. Some also give half a month's extra pay for Christmas. It's like, 'Here's some extra money for you to have a nice vacation or a nice holiday.' It's quite common for larger companies."

- DnDVex

"I am an American who is now living in Sweden and a Swedish citizen, and I will never NOT be amazed that I have the legal right to four continuous weeks of paid vacation during the summer. THE LEGAL RIGHT."

"Literally amazing."

- ingenfara

Affordable Drinks

"This is only really true for Southern Europe, but cheap wine by the glass, cheap coffee, and pastries."

"Cafes in the US are marketed as very trendy and if you want a pastry and a coffee, you should be ready to pay eight to ten dollars. In most of Italy, Portugal, and Spain, you can get coffee and a croissant for three euros (approximately three dollars)."

- kulkdaddy47

Particularly Affordable Wine

​"Where I live in Spain, the standard price for a glass of wine in a cafe or every day (non-fancy, equivalent of a diner) restaurant is 80c - €1. In a restaurant, I’ll usually order a half liter for about €4 (That’s 2/3 bottle of wine)."

"Soda and bottled water are more expensive. Soda is usually €1.20-1.60."

- KimchiMaker

"At Denver International Airport last month, I paid $23 for a glass of wine that I know would cost about $7 per bottle at Costco. Probably €4 per bottle in Italy. It was like getting robbed in broad daylight without a gun, but I get really nervous before flying."

- Missmoneysterling

Slower Living

"Time! I spent time abroad in Italy for school, and there was just so much less of a 'rush' everywhere. Oftentimes the latest person to my classes were professors. Everyone really took their time and I didn't really feel the bustle of constantly 'going' somewhere when I was there."

"I mean, dang, the village my apartment was located in shut down for a few hours in the afternoon so the shopkeepers could go have lunch. It was wild."

- SpaceMush

University-Bound

"Affordable universities… our daughter is going to university in Scotland. Our US friends always respond with shock at the 'luxury' of going overseas for school until I tell them it’s half of the cost of an equivalent US college. That includes travel expenses."

- Crafty-Arachnid6824

Accessible Public Transportation

"This blew me away traveling in Europe. It doesn’t matter where you are, even if it’s some middle-of-nowhere farm town, you’re never far from a train station, and you can just hop a train and go anywhere you want."

"I would love to have that here, but noooo, we only have rail links between some major cities, and since I live in a more rural area, I have to drive four or more hours everywhere. In Europe, all I had to do was drive 20 minutes to a train station and then just chill on the train for a few hours. It was great!"

- SirTophamFat

Well-Balanced Work

"An American friend of ours was gobsmacked that I have a well-paid, head of department level job, don't work unpaid overtime, and get 33 days paid holiday a year, with eight days of public holiday on top."

- Major_Twain

Extensive Travel

"They can travel between different countries in Europe without spending days driving or flying."

- WhimsicalGrenade

"And without border controls or checkups! I can just sit in a car here in Germany and drive to France and all the other EU countries, just realizing I’m in another country because of the traffic signs."

"Once I sat in a Train and slept in, after like 30 minutes I woke up, got off the Train, and realized I’m in Enschede, Netherlands. (Living in NRW, so pretty close to the border). I was like Hm, okay, I've got 50€ in my pocket, so I decided to visit a coffee shop and walk a bit through the City until the next Train in the right direction arrived. Like I’d do in every other City while traveling by train."

- DisguisedAccount

Publicly Acceptable

"Being able to walk around town with a beer is awesome."

"Public transportation in non-huge cities is also awesome."

- ooo-ooo-oooyea

Bathroom Conditions

"Bathroom stalls that actually go to the floor. I don’t need to know what shoes the guy taking a s**t next to me has on."

- maxncheese67

"Don't forget the intentional gaps on the doors."

- jensbert

E. All of the Above.

"Healthcare. Life work balance. Walkable communities. Great train service."

- zunzarella

Legitimate Sick Days

"I recently read a post about an American residential doctor who couldn't afford to take a vacation because they had to spend it on sick days."

"Not going to lie, my brain short-circuited at that a bit. Was a doctor supposed to come sick to a hospital full of other sick people to avoid personal financial penalties?"

- HQMorganstern

Paid Parental Leave

"Paid parental leave. I had used all of my leave with my first kid, so when I had another kid a year and a half later, I was back on my feet teaching in under six weeks."

"Dogs get better treatment than working mothers."

- ElegantGoose

The Need of a Car

"Not having to use a car every single time that you leave your house... For a lot of people, you have to go drive somewhere to safely take a walk... This place can be a h**l, and it is numbing."

- _aelius

It's All About Perspective

"As a European, I'm amazed how you guys (Americans) are looking at certain things I consider basic needs as luxuries."

- FridgeParade

As the final Redditor pointed out, it's terrible to think that Americans see what others view as basic necessities as a luxury that they can only dream of having.

The stupidity and ignorance of some people can be flat-out flabbergasting. Do they live under a rock? Were they dropped on their head as a child? You’ll be asking these same questions after you read these stories. These are more than simple “push on the pull door” moments, as Redditors in the service industry tell stories of clueless customers who left them puzzled, perplexed and perturbed.

This Ship Has Sailed

person sitting front of laptopPhoto by Christin Hume on Unsplash

This is a conversation I had with one customer trying to buy something online. “Hello, I made an online order and I see that you've charged me the shipping cost twice.” “Hmm, that's weird, let me check. No, I see that it's the right amount, sir.” “You’re wrong, I've made two orders and I've already paid the shipping cost for the first one. I shouldn't have to pay twice.”

“Oh, I see! You've made two orders, sure, we can make it one package and only charge you once for the shipping, but can you tell me the order numbers for your orders, because the system shows me that you've only placed one today.” This is where it unraveled.“Yeah, the second one was not placed today.” “When was it placed, sir?”

“I don't know, like three or four months ago, but still, I've paid for the shipping cost before. Why would I have to pay again?”

Baator

The Price Of Ignorance

This is a dialogue I had to have with a grown adult. It was a man who was looking to purchase a shirt in our store. He pointed at the price tag on a shirt and said, "Excuse me, what do these numbers represent? I said, "The numbers right after the dollar sign?" He said, "Yes.” "That's the price of the shirt." "Oh, I see! Thank you!" At least he was friendly.

Elevenfish

The Usual Suspects

During high school, I worked at a grocery store that also offered home delivery. Several times daily, I would have people calling in to ask for “the usual.” It was a fairly small store so we didn't have any systems to keep a history on customers, so we had to ask for their address as well. Half the time they would refuse to give it because "it's in the system."

TiberPetersen

Sense Of Entitlement

I worked at a college and had conversations with helicopter parents that went like this: The parent would ask, “Can you look up the transactions on my child’s account and send them to me?” “Nope.” “Why not?” “Because your child is an adult and we protect their privacy.” Their response was always unsettling. “I’m their parent. They don’t need privacy from me!”

“That’s between you and your child. The laws protect their privacy from everyone, including their parent.” “I’m their guardian and entitled to this information!” “Without a court order, 18-year-olds (or 22-year-olds for that matter) do not require guardians.” “I’m going to report this to the Dean!” “Please do, as it will let them know I’m doing my job.”

Zazenp

Novel Expectations

I had a woman one time use our computers to place a hold on a book that was on the shelf at another library, then come to the desk five minutes later to ask for it. I had to explain to her that the books don't just magically appear from other libraries, they get driven over after the holds get pulled. She seemed genuinely confused that someone wouldn't drive it over right away.

notyourstar15

Idea Doesn’t Mix

woman wearing brown apronPhoto by Steven Cleghorn on Unsplash

I worked as a waitress for eight years. I had a patron order a salad with oil and vinegar as the dressing. I brought the salad to the table and asked if anyone needed anything else. Everyone was happy and I went on my way. A couple of minutes later, I got that hand signal “Please get over here” style. I come over and ask how everything is going. That's when I heard the dumbest question of my life.

No joke, my patron asked me why the oil and vinegar weren’t mixing. I did my best to explain the reason why oil and vinegar hate each other. But she wasn’t having it. She told me she’s had oil and vinegar dressing mix before at other restaurants. I explained that there was likely a bonding agent in the dressing and it was not just oil and vinegar at those other restaurants.

She just looked at me. I then asked if she wanted a different mixed dressing. She said she would be happy with the dressing she ordered, she just wanted to know why it wasn’t mixing.

Yourfeelingsareneat

Naughty List

Here are just a few examples I had to deal with while working at a hardware store customer service desk: If you wish to return an item you must present the item and your receipt. I cannot process a refund if you have neither. No, we do not sell asbestos. No, I cannot order some in for you. When water boils, it does indeed produce "bubbles."

So if the water is bubbling once it reaches temperature, your kettle is working properly. Zip ties are not simply "disposable handcuffs." They can be used for other purposes and it should not be concerning nor surprising that a hardware store sells them.

CrashCoplee

Burst Your Bubble

My first job at 16 was at Party City. One day, I'm blowing up balloons at the balloon counter and a lady comes up to buy some latex balloons. I asked if she wants us to fill them and she said no, she'd do it at home. Making small talk, I remarked that she must have one of the Party Time helium tanks at home. Her reply made my jaw drop to the floor.

She said, "No, I blow them up with my mouth. You just put the string on them and they float!" I do the multiple blinks, trying to work out in my head what she's just said. She fully believed she could blow up the balloons with her mouth and the magic was...attaching a string. I tried to give this woman an impromptu chemistry lesson. She insisted. I still think about that magic woman to this day.

LadyBearJenna

A Cocktail Of Absurdity

Here are a few favorites as a bartender: A drink is a liquid, and it’s a bad idea to shake it around. Yes, the "This is a smoke-free area" sign also applies to people who are addicted. Yes, the people on the tables around you are inebriated. No, I'm not going to kick them out. Seriously, what were they expecting when entering a bar at 2:00 am?

You still have to pay for the entire meal even though you only ate half of it, especially if you asked us to pack the other half to take home. No, you're not allowed to test our beverage menu by taking a shot...unless you buy a shot. Exposure doesn’t pay my bills. Your kid is not going to get adult beverages from me, I don't care that it's his birthday.

No, we're not running a smuggling business in the back, you just watch too many movies. Also, did you believe that I'd tell you if it were the case? No, you can't pay in some weird cryptocurrency here. I don't know you are a "regular." You've been here twice, and one of those times I wasn't even working.

JuFo2027

No Connection

Clear your schedule, put on a pot of coffee, and make yourself comfortable—I am about to tell you the story of, hands down, the most idiotic customer I have ever seen in 10 years of working retail. A very grumpy high-society woman came to the store saying her brand new 3,000-dollar Microsoft surface bought by her husband was defective because she could not get internet when she was on the move. I quickly realized she was talking about Wi-Fi, so I tried explaining to her how Wi-Fi actually works. Boy, was that a mistake!

I told her that she could not use her Wi-Fi outside her house, but that she could share her smartphone internet connection. She would have none of it. She said I was lying to her and making fun of her. She even asked to speak to my manager, who then proceeded to tell her the exact same thing, almost to the word. She left screaming.

NeededMonster

Moms Who Need To Change

a baby laying on a bed with white sheetsPhoto by Pavlina Baudysova on Unsplash

I’ve had to tell a restaurant customer that you can’t change your baby on an unoccupied table. Would you take a dump on a restaurant's table? No, so why should it be any different for your baby? Poop is poop and that is a health code violation to be around food, not to mention people eating in a restaurant don't want to smell poop while they're eating.

Lady, that's what the bathroom is for! Why are some parents so disgusting and inconsiderate?

AdventurousYak9234

A Penny For Your Thoughtlessness

I used to work at Aaron Brothers, and they had a famous buy a frame, get another for a penny sale. People would try to return one frame, which isn’t allowed because then you’re getting one frame for a penny. You have to return both frames. Seeing the blank stare of confusion as I explained that to people was always entertaining.

Aleighslo

Melting Away

I had to explain that if you order ice cream for four people on a hot summer day, but the four people are still like 30 minutes away, said ice cream is going to melt before the four people get there. And no, that is not my fault.

Mandaman1608

Father Knows Best

Years ago, I worked in student housing at a university and had to explain to a father, for well over an hour, that I could not make sure that his daughter was in her room by 8:00 pm and ensure that she never spoke to boys.

Kor_hookmaster

Diaper Training

I worked at a CVS in high school. Many weirdos shop at CVS, but the weirdest among them were the ones who bought diapers and then asked me if I knew how to put them on a baby. Maybe it’s just my personal opinion, but if you’re at the point in your life where you have to buy diapers and put them on a baby, you should’ve figured this out from someone other than the teenager at the cash register.

DanHam117

Doesn’t Have A Hot Clue

person holding white ceramic mugPhoto by Chad Madden on Unsplash

I worked at a coffee shop and a woman came in saying that the mug she bought is defective. I ask what is wrong and she goes, “It says it's microwave and dishwasher safe. I put it in the microwave to heat it and it got hot!” I explained that the text on the mug means it can be used in a microwave without breaking...but that anything placed in a microwave will still get hot.

She maintained, “Well, then it's not safe.”

BronchialChunk

Clueless Customer

As a pharmacist, this is a conversation I’ve had with a customer: “I’d like some OxyContin.” “Okay, sure. Who’s your prescribing physician?” “My what?” “Sorry, who’s the doctor that told you needed OxyContin?” “Oh, there wasn’t one.” “Uh. Okay. Do...do you have a prescription?” “No.” “So. You just want some OxyContin?” “Duh. Is there someone smarter than you working?” “Next!”

RelativeQuarter

Door Jam

A client bought a car from our dealership and called two days later to say that the back doors were not opening from the inside. I knew exactly what the problem was. I asked him specifically if the child lock was on, but he denied it. He brought the vehicle back to us and one of our salespeople opened the door and deactivated the child lock while getting in.

He opened the door and the client’s mind was blown that the door was suddenly opening.

Usagii96

Skin Deep

We sell organic skincare where I work. A client called saying the seal on her moisturizer she just bought came off too easily and she wanted to return it. I asked her to bring it in so we could exchange it for her. When I checked her product, there was a straight-up finger-shaped hole in the foam seal. When I asked her about it, she said it happened after the fact.

Sure. I told her I would happily exchange it. She didn't seem thrilled but didn't say anything. At this point, I figured it was a case of buyer's remorse and she wanted a refund but was blaming the seal. So I hand her a fresh product. She takes it out of the box in front of me, saying she just wants to check the seal. She proceeds to pull up on the edges of the seal hard enough until it pops off.

She stares at me, I stare at her. She tells me, "See, this one is unsealed too." I told her, "Nope, that one was sealed. That’s an acceptable seal so the product should be just fine for you. Enjoy your day!" She didn't come back, but I put notes on her account in case she called the head company to complain about the so-called "seal" problem.

MissAcedia

Forgot Your Password?

As an IT guy, I once spent 56 minutes on a password reset call with a dude who just could not get it. The new password requirements were simply beyond the limits of his comprehension. Over and over, around and around, we went through the process. I must have reset him half a dozen times. I didn't think it could get worse, but it did.

Finally, after I had long since made peace with the idea of getting fired for simply hanging up on this dude, he exclaims, "Wait a minute! Is that number supposed to be a lowercase or an uppercase one?”

Badly_behaved

Weather Or Not

brown and black grilled meatPhoto by Fábio Alves on Unsplash

I worked as a server at a higher-end steakhouse that had a beautiful patio. I was working a lunch shift on a day that was completely overcast, and it looked like it could start pouring rain any minute. Because of this, we didn’t “open up” the patio. The patio always had tables and chairs, but we didn’t open any umbrellas or set any tables.

A lady came in and asked for a seat on the patio, weird due to the weather but whatever. I walked her out to the patio and set up a table for her, and as I was walking away she asked if she could sit in a sunnier spot. None of the umbrellas were open, and there were no sunny spots because the sun was not out. I just looked at her and told her she could have her pick of any of the tables.

She looked around and it finally dawned on her that this was not patio weather. Years later, and I’m still not sure if she thought I had some magical weather powers or if she thought if she just wanted it to be sunny strongly enough, it would be.

Eelzelton

Best Before

My co-worker and I work at a deli. One day, a customer came up to them asking why their meat smelled weird. My co-worker asked, “How long have you had it?” and then the customer said, “A few months, why?” The dude never even knew that expiration dates existed. He said that his ex-wife always prepared food for him and he has never cooked for himself.

He pointed at various other foods and asked if they had expiration dates too, so my co-worker had to explain that each food had a different lifespan.

Ksaucyt

A Cut Above

A customer in our store cut up a shirt because she couldn’t get it off. She pulled scissors out of her bag and cut up the sleeve and down the side, handed it back to me, and walked off. I called after her and said, “Ma’am, you have to pay for this.” What she said next blew my mind. She said she didn't want it because it was damaged.

I then explained to her that as she was the one who damaged it, and that we can’t sell it, that she has to pay. She just looked at me and said “Well, can’t you just sew it back up?” No, that’s not how it works, lady. In the end, I contacted security and a store manager and she ended up paying for the shirt, which was $160 (it was a rather pricey brand).

Millie1419

Closed Minded

So many times I'll be at work preparing to open before we open, and a customer will walk up and yank on the door without even looking and then stand back in confusion. Then I watch them read the sign that says we're closed and then inspect the sign with our hours that clearly says we don't open for another half hour, and then they start rattling the door and waving at me.

If I have to open the door and tell them to their faces that we aren't open yet, they usually just say "Oh." What is the thought process? What is going on?

TheReverendsRequest

Please Be Specific

Back in the late 90s, I was working retail at a dollar store. One fellow came up to me and asked, and I kid you not, "Do you have the thing with the thing that comes out?" I gave him a second to see if he would realize what he had said and provide some detail. After a beat or two, I said, "I'm sorry, sir, you will have to be a bit more specific. What thing are you looking for?"

He made hand gestures, almost as if he were pulling open a door or something, and said, "You know...one of those things with the thing that comes out." Managing not to lose my temper, I said, "Sir...What does the thing do?" He said, "It makes coffee." I said, "Are you asking if we have coffee makers that have filter baskets that can be pulled completely out?"

"Yes," he said. I replied, "No, sir, we don't have the thing with the thing that comes out, we only have the thing with the thing that swivels out. Sorry." Later, he came up to me. He held up a box of 35-gallon trash bags. He asked me, "Will these fit in that?" and he pointed at a trash can that was marked, "50 Gallons." I said, "No, sir."

He asked, "Why not?" I said, "Because that is a fifty-gallon trash can, and those are thirty-five-gallon bags." He looked at me blankly for a moment. I added, "Thirty-five is less than fifty." "Ah," he said, nodding sagely.

Daneelthesane

Weak Signals

person holding smartphonePhoto by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash

I have had to explain to a shocking number of people that cellular signals can be blocked by structures and garages and that large buildings are well known for blocking cellular signals. I have also had to explain to a shocking number of people that battery life will vary based on usage. It will drain faster while you use it and slower while it's doing nothing.

And even more surprising is that I have to explain signal performance to people who lived through having to step outside to make a call because there was no signal inside.

Trainguyrom

Caught In A Jam

I used to work in a pancake restaurant. One day I was serving a customer, and he didn't even bother to read the menu. He asked for pancakes with some specific jam. I told him that we do not have that jam on the menu. His answer was eyebrow-raising. He said that I should go to the nearby shop and get some for him because he doesn't want to eat pancakes with anything else.

Yes, I needed to explain to an adult man that that's not how restaurants work.

Cxxnss

Comical Explanation

I worked in a coffee-shop/bookstore. We specialized in manga and comic books, and you could either buy them or take a drink and read for as long as you wanted. Like, we didn't have any restrictions; you could read for eight hours by buying a coffee. However, I still had to explain multiple times a day that yes, you must order and pay for a drink if you want to sit and read.

There was a good library where you could go to read for free, but we were a business and needed to make money. I've had people insulting me because of this.

Grog_Bear

Making A Case

I worked at an electronics store, and some lady came in to buy a charging case for her iPhone. The case has a battery that can charge your phone a couple of times. Well, she was asking what the cable inside the box was for, which was a micro USB cable. I explained that it's to charge the battery in the case. She didn't understand.

I explained that the case has a battery in it and that you need to charge up that battery. Then, your phone goes in the case and if your phone battery is low and you are out and about, you can turn on the case and it'll recharge your phone. It has enough battery capacity to charge your phone usually once. There was a long pause as I anticipated what she would say next.

She goes, "Wait so you have to charge up the case?" I say, "Yeah." She responds "Oh well, that's stupid.” So I ask, "What's stupid about that?" She says, "Well that's stupid that you have to charge it, you shouldn't need to do that." So I say: "Ma'am, if the manufacturer figured out the global solution for unlimited electricity I don't think they'd be selling phone cases."

She gave me a super-angry expression, you know the one where she thinks she's still right and stormed off.

HughJa55ole

A Server’s Regret

I’ll always regret that I made my manager do this because I honestly didn’t know what to do. An old woman came in, she didn’t look too old, probably in her early 70s, and she comes in with her daughter and grandkids. I seat them at the only open section with the only waitress who is on at the moment. That waitress happens to be Black.

After I seat them with her a few minutes later, the old lady comes up to me and asks for a non-Black waitress. As a teen, I had no clue what to do and just got my manager. Now I wish I told her how awful she was.

Bulbipicg

Smoke Signals

white toilet paper roll on brown wooden tablePhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

I had to explain to a customer that toilet paper rolls shouldn't be returned to a store because it was not a decent thing to do. Oh, but it got grosser. She had used them all. I also had to explain to this same woman that the disabled staff member who couldn't talk didn't intend to scare or offend her by making noises at her and smiling.

Nikkinicole57

Key Conspiracy

I live in France. Here we use AZERTY keyboards instead of QWERTY. That's just how it is and it's been like that for decades. I had to explain to some foreign dude that no, unfortunately, we did not have any QWERTY keyboards in stock, but he could order one online and that no, it wasn't a conspiracy. He started shouting in the store that this was an attack on human rights and brainwashing.

NeededMonster

That’s A Stretch

I had to explain to an adult woman that the rubber bands that were accidentally left on her lobster's claws were indeed not edible. I had assured her that they were safe for the food, you just couldn’t eat them. Not a minute later, I was called back after she attempted to eat said bands. Her teenage child just stared at her like she had three heads.

IT_Chef

Future Karen?

I worked furniture retail over 20 years ago before we had a name for "Karen," but they certainly existed. I had to explain, slowly like I was talking to a child, to a grown woman that she could not return her glass-top patio table that she left out all winter. The glass top was smashed, swept up, and put into a box that was now in front of me.

She couldn't fathom why I was saying no. She had kids with her watching this behavior. Future Karens.

Digital_hero

On Thin Ice

I teach kids to ice skate. Parents are asked out of the rink once the kids are ready. A parent of a two-year-old insists that they cannot leave their child alone. I explained that the coaches are here to help and look after the child, but the parent just kept repeating, “I will not be leaving him, he is unable to walk.”

Come on! Why do you sign up your two-year-old for skating if your child is unable to walk on normal land, let alone with skates on? I didn’t think I’d have to have this conversation with an adult. Multiple times.

muffy32345

Loonies, No Greenbacks

waving Canada flagPhoto by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash

That this is Canada and we do not take US cash in exchange for goods at our store, despite being a US-based multinational brand. I never thought someone would scream so hard and so close to my face that my hair blew back. It was a surprising exchange that I still think about 15 years later. Ma'am, we are a different country entirely.

Hotnovembernight

“Don’t Throw A Fit”

That when I tell you we are out of stock, it means there is zero inventory. There isn’t some magical special inventory we keep for special customers who complain and dance around the subject. No matter how much you try to weasel it out of me, we don’t have it! So tired of having to explain to adults, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Consistent_Foot_6657

Bad Vibes

While I worked at Wal-Mart, a middle-aged couple danced around me in the aisle I was stocking for a good five minutes before the guy just straight-up asked me where he could find the batteries for his vibrator. His wife was hiding around the corner. I calmly asked, well what kind of batteries does it take? He looked at me with shame and told me he didn't know.

I then asked if they had brought the vibrator with them so we could take the batteries out to see. For my sake, they hadn't brought it in with them. I suggested they go home and open it and find out what kind it needed. I also suggested maybe a hearing aid battery or watch battery because I had never used a vibrator before and didn't know what they needed.

They went away yelling at each other for not opening it up to see what it needed.

SirenSuzeB

Mean Business

Too many times I need to explain the basics of business to grown adults. For example, to process a return, you need either the receipt or the physical product with you. Realistically, you should have both. If it’s just the receipt, you could have just kept the “defective” item. If it’s just the item, you could have stolen it or bought an identical thing at a cheaper retailer.

Most stores are fairly lenient with this because they don’t want trouble, and most customers are at least 60% honest. You can’t just go up to a register and say, “I bought some produce here and they went bad too fast. I don’t know what they’re called or how much I paid, I want a refund.” Beyond that, people think that the absolute basics of a business are a “scam” when they first start figuring out that what we charge for items is more than what we pay the farmer or factory or artist.

When customers at stores or restaurants “do the math” themselves, they are constantly thinking things like, “I can make this dish for $5 at home if I also use my existing pantry staples, why is it $22 at the fancy gastropub?” or “I can get yarn at JoAnn’s for $7, why does this sweater cost $40?” They usually come to the extremely wrong conclusion “You just want to make money!”

Yeah, we do. In addition to the 900 other things that create higher costs for consumer goods other than raw materials, yes, businesses want to make a profit. And it’s impossible to explain that to an infuriated customer in a polite way. Once a customer starts saying that “big businesses only want to make money,” the only way to answer their questions is both involved and extremely condescending. Turns out the response is not to answer their concerns at all.

TerribleAttitude

Taking The Temperature

I never thought anybody would need to be told “Yes, the ice cream cake, made only of ice cream, has to be kept in the freezer. No, the refrigerator won’t suffice. It will melt.” This has happened many times over the years.

Fowlron

When Pigs, And Buffalo, Fly

fried chicken and with green vegetablesPhoto by Alexander Kovacs on Unsplash

No madam, the buffalo wings are not real buffalo.

Allgoodcretins

In A Puddle

A customer once stood in a puddle that was outside our store and asked me what I was going to do about it. I had to explain to him that I do not control the weather and I can’t make it stop raining or get rid of the puddle.

Parezcounapina

Top Three

Here are my top three retail experiences: 1) Yes, the can of Crisco has a picture of crispy fried chicken on it. No, the can does not contain crispy fried chicken. 2) No, birth control pills are not 100% effective. This was explained to a woman quite near her delivery. And 3) No, we don't have fans that only blow cold air. I'm sure I could come up with lots more, but these are the first three that come to mind.

FeralBottleofMtDew

Sob Story

In a couple of different lines of business, I've had women start to give me the "I'm a single mom" sob story. I have the perfect response. I say enthusiastically "I am, too!" and you can see the wind go right out of their sails. Yeah, I'm not going to cut them a deal out of pity.

Announcerkitty

Tough To Swallow

I once picked up my prescription for an anti-emetic and the pharmacist gave me suppositories. My prescription was for pills. The pharmacist insisted that's what my doctor ordered. I pointed to the label that specified to take one by mouth every four hours as needed. She still insisted she was correct and my doctor intended for me to swallow a suppository every four hours.

Alien_Nicole

Any Port In A Storm

man in brown jacket beside carPhoto by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Customer: "The package carrier says they delayed my package due to a hurricane! I paid for overnight shipping! Your company is trash." Me: “Sir, we didn't delay your package. The carrier is a different company. And there is a literal hurricane over the distribution center.”

DraydenFarci

A Pain In The Rear

As a pharmacist, I had to explain to a man that you need to take the suppositories out of their foil packaging before you use them. He complained that they didn't work and were uncomfortable. I bet they were.

EmptyPomoc

No Book Smarts

No, the library does not stock every book in existence.

Okorela

“What the…?”

I worked at the airport and someone wanted to go through TSA with a two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola. I calmly explained that liquids weren’t allowed through security. The man gave the most genuine chuckle I’ve ever heard, and revealed the bizarre truth. He said, “This isn’t Coca-Cola! It’s gasoline!” My coworker beat me to a reaction when he very loudly exclaimed, “What the HECK?”

Pinkhighlight

Life Is A Box Of Chocolates

This conversation ended with a customer throwing a large bag of Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion potato chips at my head. It was a woman who came into the store looking to buy a box of chocolates. But there was one huge problem. She didn’t have any money. So this customer proposed that she take the chocolates now and come back later to pay when she had money.

“Do you expect me to go all the way home and bring back the money?” she asked. I said, “Yes, because other than that it’s called shoplifting and we will call security.” “But I need these,” she pleaded. I just said no. That’s when the chips started flying.

KeeperofAmmut7

There are some great mysteries in this world that will most likely never be solved in our lifetime.

What happens after we die? Who really built Stonehenge? Are there other lifeforms in outer space?

The fact that these not only will, but as of now, CAN never be solved is what fascinates us most.

There are other unsolved mysteries, however, which we view with far more sadness than we do fascination.

Owing to the fact that these mysteries could have, or even still can, be solved but for whatever reason, remain unsolved.

Redditor Shafiq09 was curious to hear the most disturbing and unsettling unsolved mysteries that may never be solved, leading them to ask:

"What is the most unsettling unsolved mystery that you're aware of?"

Missing Accomplice

"This guy broke into a house, killed the single mom, mom's friend, the son, the family dog, and kidnapped the teenage daughter."

"Dismembered the bodies and hid them."

"The girl didn't need to testify in his trial (he pled guilty), but read a letter during his sentencing saying that she knows he had help disposing of the bodies of her family because while she was still tied up in their house, she heard him making phone calls and heard at least one other person show up."

"She heard this person(s) talking, walking around and helping him with the bodies."

"Local pd & prosectutor just wanted a quick & easy trial and conviction, so they swept a lot of details under the rug & the girl's claim in court that this guy had help was very quickly forgotten."- ZormkidFrobozz

9 Mysterious Years...

"The disappearance (and short-lived reappearance) of Johnny Gosch."

"He disappeared one day while delivering newspapers."

"Police did very little to try to solve the crime."

"Nine years later his mother reports that Johnny showed up on her doorstep and explains that he had been held in slavery for the last 9 years."

"Authorities basically say she's making it up and have done no investigating."- in-a-microbus

Gross

"Someone keep sh*tting in the holes at the local golf course."

"Been going on for the last twenty years bastard has never been caught."- Odd_Associate8272

Never Came Home

"Old neighbours of ours had their 18-year-old daughter disappear."

"She left work one evening and never made it home."

"No body was ever found either."

"I heard the police have a suspect but not enough evidence to do anything more."- AmigaBob

Long Day At The Beach

"The Beamont children, three young siblings that disappeared in 1966 from Glenelg Beach."- homlessoverland

In The Middle Of The Night...

"Another one is of the Springfield three."

"A woman, her daughter and daughter's friend went missing from their home in the middle of the night with no signs of struggle or major evidence left behind."

"It's been so long since it happened so the chances of this case ever being solved is meager."- epilogueteen

So many Questions...

"One night my husband and I woke up hearing a woman screaming, 'Help me!' "

"He rushed to the window (we’re on the second floor) and saw a car drive past with a woman in a dress hanging on the hood."

"The car sped through the intersection by our place and careened off with her screaming on it."

"We called the police and told them which way it was going and then jumped on our bicycles and rode around the neighborhood to see if she’d fallen off."

"Never found her."

"Never found any news of her."

"I’ve always wondered what happened to her."

"That was over a decade ago."- 2manybirds23

Mysteries of Biology...

"At what point did the brain realize its own consciousness?"

"I find it fascinating."- KinOuttaHer

Paying For Religious Freedom...

"How Scientology still has tax-free status in the USA."- sqoo-5900

And, For That Matter, What Made Them Start?

"Why did the Zodiac Killer and Jack the Ripper stop killing?"

"They were never caught. They could have kept at it."

"So what made them stop?"- AggressiveOkra

Twinkle Twinkle

"I can't remember exactly what star it was, but there was a star deep in space that astrophysicists saw as relatively unremarkable."

"Just another star they were monitoring."

"Anyway, one day, all was normal, it was in the correct position."

"The next day, they were monitoring all the stars, and this one star had just disappeared."

"Poof."

"No one could figure out why. It could have been that it went supernova, but if it had, they would have seen the residue and the massive explosion, plus all the gaseous residue."


"So it can't have gone bang."

"They also hypothesized that maybe a civilisation had constructed a Dyson sphere (a large construction made to harvest all of a stars potential energy), but if so, it would have been more than likely that we would have seen the star slowly disappear, the light fading as the civilization constructed the Dyson sphere."

"Now, of course, according to the Kardashev scale, there could well be a civilization so advanced that they could have just constructed the entire sphere in a matter of seconds, but we'll never know."

"On that subject, that same civilization could have just absorbed the star instantly to use its power."

"They thought that maybe, other extrasolar objects were just blocking its view somehow, so they continued to monitor its location."

"It never came back."

"Somewhere, out there, a star just miraculously disappeared without a trace."

"And we will never know how or why."

"That's what's so disturbing to me."

"We have such amazing technology to monitor objects millions of light years away, yet we cannot figure out why a star just disappeared without a trace."

"And we may never know."- TheoCross3

No Justice For Their Families

"I have three I'm very invested in."

"One, who murdered Joseph Zarelli (aka the Philadelphia boy formerly known as the 'Boy in the Box')."

"Two, what happened to missing Oklahoma teenagers Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible and who murdered the rest of the Freeman family."

"And three, who murdered the Short family of Henry County, Virginia."- arcana07

The truth behind these mysteries is out there somewhere.

Whether anyone will find it, however, is also a mystery that may never be solved.


Sometimes, a person can be mature and intelligent and still have some thoughts or theories that are truly stupid. And sometimes, that person says something truly stupid out loud.

It usually makes for a funny memory.

When I was in middle school, a group of my friends were talking about a movie that had just come out and where it was filmed. One boy said it was filmed in New York. A girl's response made all of us cringe:

"That movie wasn't filmed in New York, it was filmed in Manhattan."

When someone told her Manhattan was in New York, she didn't believe it and insisted that was not true! Four years later, she graduated third in our class. Guess she eventually figured it out.

Redditors know people who have said truly dumb things out loud as well, and are eager to share.

It all started when Redditor A_Lice_in_Wonderland asked:

"What is the dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say?"

First Time For Everything

"“Well she never got pregnant before,” after his girlfriend got pregnant and after asking my friend why didn’t he use protection."

– tuotone75

"I've never died before so I won't ever."

– Rakgul

"Should’ve checked to see if there was a history of pregnancy in the family."

– hogliterature

Time Difference

"I was microwaving some food, I hit the 1 so it would automatically cook it for a minute. My friend asked “Why did you put it in for a minute? I usually put mine in for 60 seconds”. I had to explain to him that it’s the same thing. We were in high school."

– Gambit_Finale

"I have a similar one. Had to explain to someone that 0:90 on the microwave was the same as 1:30. They kept insisting 1:30 was more, and that I was crazy."

– Atheist_Alex_C

Where Does Our Food Come From?

"That there's no difference between turkey and ham because "they both come from birds."

"I guess pigs really do fly in their world."

– JustForKicks36

"I had a friend in college who asked me very seriously, "so if beef comes from cows, and pork comes from pigs, what animal does chicken come from?""

– not_ur_avg

And When Does It Come Back?

"“How long does it take the meat to grow back on a cow when you shave it off?”"

– Bright_Ad_2848

"Average "Hay Day"-player."

– The-One-Winged-Angel

"Making hamburgers is not an outpatient procedure."

– tritium_awesome

This Is The Real World

"A new hire at the cotton mill that had dropped out of school to go to work:"

""How long do we get off for spring break?""

– TrailerParkPrepper

"Oh welcome to real life you poor child."

– Bucksin06

Poor Guy

"This involves a conversation with a guy I used to work with who was trying to lose weight so he was cutting down on pasta."

"Him : I've been doing pretty good, haven't had pasta in 2 weeks."

"Me : That's awesome, what's that you got in your hand there?"

"Him : Mac and Cheese."

"Me : I thought you said you haven't had pasta in 2 weeks?"

"Him : I haven't, this is Mac and cheese."

– highfivesforgod

Not How It Works

"If you drink a coke & then a diet coke, the sugar cancels out."

– ScribblingOff87

With Magic, Sure

"I was solving a Rubik's cube and a guy asked me how many sides it has and if I can make them all blue."

– MrLambNugget

Yikes!

"Friend and his girlfriend were over. Watching some TV when an ad for an Anne Frank documentary comes on."

"GF: "oh, wasn't she like Hitler's daughter or something?" The room became very quiet for awhile."

– 1WaldoJeffers1

"I guess it's "or something""

– candangoek

"A moment of silence for a dumb friend."

– sunpies33

*Cringes*

"The question right above this in my feed is: “Why’s a square called a square when it has six sides and eight corners?”"

"The sub was NoStupidQuestions"

– 12345_PIZZA

"The premise of the sub has been disproven. Time to shut it down."

– cbusalex

""Sir, that's called a cube.""

ThisWasAValidName

It Never Did

"“What year did this happen?”"

"We were watching The Lord of the Rings."

– OverTheCandlestik

Not The Lakes

"I was in seventh grade history and the teacher asked a student which ocean Christopher Columbus crossed to get to America. She said she didn’t know and the teacher replied by asking “how many oceans can you name? It’s gonna be one of them.""

"The girl thinks for a moment and says “Lake Champlain… Lake Geo-""

"The teacher cut her off by saying “if it has the word lake in it, it’s probably not an ocean.”"

– thecrimsonf**kr23830

The Whole Country Does

"Was on the bus headed to class in Honolulu, a Southerner got on and asked the driver"

""Do y'all take American Dollars?""

"The driver pointed at the American flag sticker on the window and with extreme exasperation said"

""You're in America.""

– revjor

​Coffee Conundrums 

"When I worked at Starbucks it was frequent question from customers to explain the difference between a hot and an iced drink…"

– Real_Pea5921

"I work at Starbucks, holy sh*t our customers are a different breed."

"I had one lady ask why her drink had so many small bits of ice in it when she wanted it blended."

"I have had more than one person ask for hot coffees but iced and vise versa."

"I've had people ask if cold brew was/could be made hot."

"The list with Starbucks customers goes on and on..."

– PanPenguinGirl

"Can I get hot coffee cold? No I don’t want cold coffee! I want hot coffee but cold!"

– Surviving2

...Well, Yeah

"I heard a similar story about someone who had driven across border from the U.S. to Canada."

"To paraphrase: "They checked my ID and inspected my entire car! It was like I was entering a foreign country!""

– anfrind

Oh My Lord...

Enough said.

Do you have any similar experiences? Let us know in the comment below.

Photo of a clipboard with an empty resume, lying next to an Apple Macbook
Photo by Markus Winkler

How can we make money by barely breaking a sweat?

Inquiring minds want to know.

If it's not about a career but just cashing a check, let's make it easy.

Nobody wants to work hard labor for nothing.

If it's for almost nothing, then I should be able to nap while I'm there.

Actually, there's a job that pay pretty well that let's you do exactly that!

Redditor Ubarberet wanted to hear about the jobs where we can collect a check for basically not working, so they asked:

"What job pays you to do literally nothing?"

I will be getting a pen and paper and writing down all of these suggestions.

More money, less work?

I'm in.

Night. Night.

Donald Duck Sleeping GIFGiphy

"Professional sleeper. You’re hired by mattress and blanket companies to test their latest products before they go commercial."

FakeEnglishmen47

Third Shift

"3rd shift security guard. Easiest s**t ever. Just don't get caught sleeping."

StraightsJacket

"What you're saying is if you want to rob a place, make sure it's during 3rd shift."

lovetyrannicalreddit

"The pros already know this. But scout your location cuz the grave guys aren’t the ones you want catching you."

"Think of it this way; dayshift security is like the crew of a cruise ship (more customer service oriented), graveshift are your old school privateers (pirates). Some have an eye patch, a limp, a penchant for violence, and you don’t want them catching you alone on the open water."

luda60

Not a bad gig...

"Knew a guy who worked at a general electronics place. He was a typical retail dude but got promoted to be a 'repairman' in the back. He got no extra training and was just told to do what he could and if he couldn't fix it then refer them elsewhere. He didn't know sh*t about repairs. He would be on his phone most of the day and when someone brought him a broken phone he'd try to turn it on, if it didn't work he handed it back. He spent most of his time on his phone in the back. Not a bad gig.

Nollypasda

Just There

"I was the white guy for a company in South East Asia. I had no job responsibilities. Just turn up and sit at my desk and Reddit all day. Occasionally I’d put a suit on and go to the owner’s fancy meetings in restaurants, and not say a thing. Or turn up at some building project. I mostly took Xanax and slept on my desk or snuck over to the bar next door."

RonaldTheGiraffe

Bored

Bored Season 5 GIF by The OfficeGiphy

"My last job. technically I got to send faxes and open the mail, but that was an hour of work tops. It was mostly watching YouTube and being bored out of my mind."

disregardable

People still send faxes?

I haven't seen a fax machine since the aughts.

Abysmal

GIF by Young ThugGiphy

"Firefighter at a rural, but paid, department. Most of my day is napping or binge-watching stuff on my laptop. The pay is abysmal though."

dietcoketm

Who?

"Security guard for a nonfamous rich person's house."

glencoaMan

"Had an unofficial gig doing house sitting for a rich friend of a relative. Was paid decent money to live on the property, and walk around the land a couple of times a day. Dead quiet at night and a pretty big space with no one else, so I can't really say it was relaxing."

reverze1901

Light Delivery

"A friend of mine is a 'concierge' in an up-market, small-build apartment block in a leafy suburb. He said the most he usually has to do is take in people's mail/parcel delivery or help older residents if they need to move furniture, etc. (and he said that in itself is quite rare). He mainly sits in a cushy office and listens to music/watches movies."

Nefilim777

5 to 30 minutes of pretending...

"Professional white man. In China, I had a side gig to be a white guy at various places. I would just pretend to be working for a company when tours and investors came through. I guess a Chinese company looks more successful if there is a white person. Then there was the sitting on the stage looking important during inevitable presentations."

"No actual work, just 5 to 30 minutes of pretending during a workday. Other than that you do what you want. Just be well-groomed and well-dressed. Sometimes I was told to be on the phone pretending to be making an important deal. Got business cards and everything."

mrhoof

Get that bag, Nana...

"The last time I was at Walmart, there were old people sitting in chairs by the gardening exit, presumably to check receipts or stop shoplifters. But company policy is not to try to stop shoplifters, it is dangerous. So they were all just sitting in their chairs and playing on their phones. I was like, 'Get that bag, Nana. You... deserve to play Candy Crush on the billionaire dime!'"

Comments_Wyoming

Spooky Spooks

Gonna Die Black Metal GIF by KiszkiloszkiGiphy

"Graveyard security. 90% of the job is downtime, 9% is 'Move along, sir' and 1% 'HOLY F**KING S**T!!!'"

WhichWhereas1879

I don't care how boring, quiet or easy it is... I am not working ANY Graveyard shifts in a damn graveyard.

No thank you.