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  • A Caffeinated Christmas Miracle
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  • Lighten My Load, Moisten My Road

    | Brisbane, Australia | Bigotry, Wild & Unruly

    (Our photo developing machine requires regular water refills, which we get by filling a 20 liter jug in the staff room and carrying it across the large sales floor back to the machine. Most of the staff fill it halfway or use a trolley, but it’s much quicker to just fill it all the way and carry it, which is what I do.)

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am. I just need to squeeze past you for a moment.”

    Customer: *sees me carrying the 20 liter jug* “Oh my God! Do they make you carry that? That’s too heavy for a little girl like you!”

    Me: “It’s fine, ma’am. It’s only 20 kilos, and I’m only carrying it across the store. If you could just move to one side of the aisle, I’ll be able to put it down soon, too.”

    Customer: “But one of the boys should be doing that! A girl can’t carry all that! And you’re so tiny!”

    Me: “Well, I actually do this pretty regularly, so I guess it doesn’t really matter if I’m a girl or—”

    Customer: “Here!”

    (Without warning, she slams both her hands into the bottom of the jug so it hits me in the face. The jug sloshes water all over me, the aisle, and the jug, making it very slippery, and leaves me both bruised and uncomfortable.)

    Customer: “There! Now at least it’s a bit lighter.”

    Me: *speechless*

    Customer: “You’re welcome!”

    Grand Truth Auto

    | Washington, DC, USA |

    (I am at a Tibetan shop when three teenage boys come in. One of the boys picks up at small metal item and goes to the counter.)

    Boy: “What is the purpose of this?”

    Shop Manager: “It gives you strength.”

    Boy: *thinks for a moment* “So, I can just go around beating people?”

    Shop Manager: “No! No! Strength in mind.”

    Boy: *looks down and puts the item back* “Aww…”

    Not So Different, You And I

    | Florence, KY, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I’m a waiter in a very authentic, very small Japanese restaurant. I’m filling drinks at a table of four people in their mid-twenties—two guys and two girls.)

    Customer: “Um, yeah…so, I have a question.”

    Me: “Sure. What would you like to know?”

    Customer: “Yeah…so, like…um…Japanese…uh…Asians…do Asian people like dessert?”

    Me: “Well, of course they enjoy dessert. Doesn’t everyone?”

    Customer: “So, like…what do they eat, then?”

    Me: “Sweet things. Cake, ice cream, candy, and all kinds of sweets.”

    Customer: “Oh. So just like us?”

    Me: “Yes… just like us.”

    (She stares at me, unable to understand why I’m grinning in disbelief. No words are exchanged, so I walk away. As I’m walking, I hear her friend say, “Wow, he hates you.” At the end of her meal she asks for a fortune cookie.)

    That’s The Way The Cookie Grumbles

    | Chesapeake, VA, USA | Food & Drink

    (I work at a movie theater that sells a popular brand of cookies. On weekends, we often sell out faster than we can bake. On this day, we are sold out.)

    Customer: “Do you have any cookies prepared?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, but—”

    Customer: “Let me speak to your manager!”

    (The manager is in the area and overhears.)

    Manager: “What can I help you with?”

    Customer: “I was told you don’t have any cookies!”

    Manager: “None that are ready to eat, but there are some in the—”

    Customer: “You should keep them stocked! If I can keep my cookie oven stocked, so can you! I only come to the theater for the cookies!”

    Manager: “Ma’am, I swear on my honor as a man that we will have cookies ready the next time you come in.”

    Customer: “You better!”

    (After she leaves, he dubs the woman the Cookie Monster. Now, whenever we run out of cookies, it’s a running joke to say “Hurry and bake more before the Cookie Monster comes for us!”)

    Undeserving And Uptight

    | Maine, USA |

    (I work for a small city police department as the parking enforcement officer. I’m writing a parking ticket for a car parked over the time limit when a snobbish driver driving a sports car parallel parks in a nearby space and gets out of her car.)

    Me: “Good afternoon, ma’am. Could you do me a favor and back your car up a few feet? You’re over the line just a bit.”

    (I point to where the front bumper is a good three feet into the next space.)

    Driver: “Seriously?”

    Me: “Yes, please. If your car is too far into the next space, then the next person who tries to park in that space will have to park even more forward. It causes a domino effect where until no car on the street will be able to fit into a space.”

    Driver: “Fine. I can’t believe this!”

    (She gets back into her car, backs up two feet, then drives forward even more than she was before. I realize that she thinks I’m concerned about how far she is from the curb, and she’s trying to wiggle closer.)

    Driver: “There, is that good enough?”

    Me: “Well, it’s not the side lines I’m worried about. You’re fine there. See this line here?” *taps the line dividing her space from the one in front of it* “You need to be inside these lines so that other cars will be able to use the space in front of you.”

    Driver: “I don’t get it. I’m centered between the other cars.”

    Me: “Yes, but that’s because the car in front of you is a tiny car and they’re parked all the way at the front of their space. They’re still well within their lines.”

    Driver: “How am I supposed to tell if I’m behind that line? I can’t see the lines when I’m inside the car. Do you expect me to get out of the car and look?”

    Me: “I understand it can be tricky. But most people manage to park inside the lines.”

    Driver: “Boy, this city must be hard up for money if you’re being this picky about parking.”

    Me: “Actually, I’m trying to help you not get a ticket. You just need to back up a few feet and then you’ll be out of the other space.”

    (The driver gets back into her car with a huff, and very slowly backs it up. I give her a wave to let her know that she’s good.)

    Driver: “There, I hope you’re happy! If I knew I’d be dealing with a b**** today, I would have gone somewhere else!”

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