Featured Story:
  • Bigotry Is Not On The Menu
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  • Has An Asian Dissuasion

    | San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I work as an intern pharmacist at a pharmacy. Even though I’m still in school, I’m comfortable enough to consult patients on common prescriptions. A woman comes up to pick up some antibiotics and my supervising pharmacist asks me to consult with her on the medication. I am Asian, raised speaking Chinese, but born in Canada and moved to California when I was young, so I speak English and Chinese fluently.)

    Woman: “Hi, I’m picking up for [Woman].”

    (I find the prescription, and bring it to the counter.)

    Me: “All right, I have it here. Have you ever taken this medication before?”

    Woman: *screaming behind me at the pharmacist, who is white* “CAN I HAVE YOU HELP ME?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can help you.”

    Woman: *still waving at the pharmacist*

    (Giving up, I walk behind the counter, and tell my pharmacist what happened. She moves up to take care of the woman. I stay behind the counter, but I can still hear their conversation.)

    Pharmacist: “How can I help you?”

    Woman: “I’m just picking up my medication.”

    (My pharmacist finishes the consultation as usual. When she finishes…)

    Woman: *speaking at normal volume* “I don’t know why you have him back there. How do you know if he can even speak English?”

    Pharmacist: “Ma’am, he speaks English fluently. He is a current pharmacy student.”

    Woman: “But he’s Chinese. No one could understand his English.”

    Pharmacist: “Ma’am, his English is fine. Just a good as mine.”

    Woman: “I don’t think you should have him here…”

    (She walks out like nothing happened. My pharmacist walks back behind the counter.)

    Me: “What was she talking about?”

    Pharmacist: “I don’t know. I guess she’s either new to the city or she never noticed how many Chinese people are in San Francisco.”

    Not In Concert With Her Purchases

    | MA, USA | Extra Stupid, Money, Musical Mayhem

    Customer: “What is this $295 charge from [Ticket Broker]?! I did not make that!”

    Me: “I can help you with that. It says they were for Beyonce tickets. Do you remember making this charge?”

    Customer: “No, I did not do that!”

    Me: “Did you lose your card?”

    Customer: “Yes, duh!”

    Me: “When was the last time you used the card?”

    Customer: “I don’t know… What has that got to do with anything?”

    Me: “If you lost the card, the last charge you made would be the best place to start. When did you find out the card was lost?”

    Customer: “Today.”

    Me: “Okay, is the $400 ATM withdrawal yesterday yours?”

    Customer: “Yes! That’s mine; that was the last time I had my card. I must have lost it after that.”

    Me: “Well… the [Ticket Broker] charge was done two days before that. So the charge was done before you lost the card. Are you sure you did not buy Beyonce tickets?”

    Customer: “Uh… I could have. Maybe I just forgot… Bye!”

    Me: *thinking, how can one forget buying concert tickets three days ago?*

    L3TT3R TH3FT

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    Has You Running Around Like Busy Little Bees

    | London, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Movies & TV

    (I work in a small independent arts cinema. The theatre is known locally for its wealthy and demanding senior clientele. A fashionable elderly customer, clutching a large expensive handbag, approaches me and a coworker at the box office.)

    Customer: “Are you brave?”

    Me: *smiling politely* “Umm, I guess so.”

    Customer: “Well, a large bee or hornet just fell from your ceiling into my handbag and I want somebody to fish it out.”

    Me: “Oh, okay. Are you sure it was a bee or hornet?”

    (This is early January in suburban London, in a building that in four years I’ve never seen any bee buzz about in… let alone a hornet!)

    Customer: *suddenly angry* “YES, I’M SURE! I don’t know what to do; can’t you reach in and get rid of it!”

    Me: “Sorry but I’m not going to reach into the bag Why don’t you tip the contents out carefully onto one of the seats behind you?”

    Customer: “Yes, you do that for me.”

    Me: “Well, I have no space behind the box office to do that and I wouldn’t want to be at fault if I damaged any of the contents when I shook the bag out. Sorry. Why don’t you try emptying the bag into one of the large popcorn boxes?”

    Customer: “Ugh, is that all you can offer me?! A popcorn box…? Well, you’ve been absolutely no help at all.”

    (She stomps away… and I go back to serving customers. 30 minutes later I go to check on the cafe within the cinema building and see the handbag wrapped in two layers of clear recycling bags just dumped in a corner. The cafe owner sees me staring at the bag dumbfounded.)

    Cafe Coworker: *laughing* “Some woman made me wrap her handbag up because she is terrified about the hornet that got stuck inside, so I’m suffocating it for her. Oh and she told me you and the box office staff were no help and she is going to complain tomorrow.”

    (She never did complain.)

    Has One Of Those Genderal Voices

    | Wales, UK | Bizarre, Health & Body

    (I work in the departmental switchboard, so I field calls. If someone’s on their phone or even logged out, the calls reroute to me/ Normally people are fine with me taking messages.)

    Me: “Bore da. Good morning.  [Local Government].”

    Customer: “Hello! Is that [Male Colleague]?”

    Me: “Nope, [Colleague] is off sick at the moment. If you tell me your query I can direct you to somebody else who may be able to help.”

    Customer: “Oh, it IS you [Male Colleague]!”

    Me: “Ma’am. I am not [Male Colleague], I am [Female Name] and you’re through to switchboard. What’s your query?”

    Customer: “How did your op go, [Male Colleague]? I didn’t realise it was THAT kind of op!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I am NOT [Male Colleague]. If you tell me what your call is regarding, perhaps I can help you.”

    Customer: *ignoring me* “Cruciate ligament, you said. Well, now we know better. I think [Female Name] is a great choice! Good for you!”

    Me: “Ma’am, [Male Colleague] is still on sick. He did not have gender reassignment surgery. I am a different person. And I would like, very much, to help you with your query.”

    Customer: “It’s okay. I’ll see you at [Local Pub] on Friday. We can have a chat ‘off the record’ and I’ll bring you my favourite lipstick.” *click*

    (All my switchboard colleagues, who’ve only heard my half of the conversation, are staring at me.)

    Me: “Yeah, I have no idea either.”

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