Wrong Branch

orange illustration

“Hi, welcome to the Orange store, how can I help you today?” The store assistant has a sickly smile on her face, but there’s nothing but hopelessness behind her eyes.

“Um, I’ve got a problem with my PeelBook Profesh and I was wondering if you could help me?”

“That’s not something I’ll be able to help you with I’m afraid. We don’t offer tech support in this branch.”

“Right. I thought all Orange branches offered tech support?”

“They do. But not this one.”

The customer nods. “Well, I also wanted to check out the new oTab. Have you got one I can have a play around with?”

The shop assistant gives a sympathetic smile. “We don’t have any oTabs in stock right now. Or oPhones. Or oWatches. Probably won’t for… well. Ever, really. We’re not that kind of store.”

“But you are an Orange store?”

“Yeah, we have oranges.” The shop assistant gestures at the display stands around them. Each one is topped with a pyramid of oranges.

“Wait, you just sell oranges?”

“Yeah.”

“So you’re… a fruit store? Like a greengrocers?”

“No, we’re an electronics store. We’re an Orange store.” She points at the wall behind her. “See the logo?”

The customer sucks in air between his teeth, then forces a smile. “You’re an Orange store, but you don’t offer tech support for Orange products, and you don’t have any Orange products?”

“No,” says the shop assistant, forcing a smile herself. “We just sell oranges. They’re really good oranges. Very juicy. Sourced from Seville.”

“This is insane.”

The shop assistant sighs. She leans towards the customer and whispers, “I know. It’s some kind of marketing bullshit. But if I don’t sell fifty oranges today, I won’t get my bonus. And if I don’t get my bonus, I won’t make rent this month. And if don’t make rent this month, I’ll lose my apartment and my kids and I will be homeless. So please, do me a favour – buy a couple of oranges will you? And then I’ll give you directions to a branch that can fix your computer.”

The customer sees the fear in her eyes, and he relents. “How much?”

“They’re a pound each.”

“Bit steep, don’t you think?”

“Hey, I don’t make the rules. They are from Seville. Really juicy.”

The customer pulls out his wallet and counts his notes. “I’ll take fifty.”

The shop assistant beams and leads him to the till.

What a sucker, she thinks. Best. Scam. Ever.


This post is a response to WordPress’s daily prompt: Branch.

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance content writer and copywriter from Yorkshire. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, writing-related blogs posts every Sunday, and book reviews for short attention spans whenever it takes her fancy. Her most common pastimes include procrastinating on Twitter (@itsemscott) and hibernating on her sofa with a book and a (very large) glass of gin.

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