They Need A Town Hall To Discuss The Town Hall

, , , , | Right | September 26, 2020

I work for a town government. Due to our state’s regulations regarding the health crisis, we are not able to accommodate customers in our usual Town Hall, but fortunately, the Community House next door has been turned into temporary “customer service” windows for our use.

On the doors of the Town Hall are signs explaining that the building is closed but that the Community House will be open, and explaining the opening hours. We also issue a press release explaining the new hours and location in the local paper, on community TV, and on the town’s official Facebook page, Twitter, and home page of the website.

We were closed to the public from the beginning of March to the middle of July and have only been open for about two weeks, so we understand that this is new and a learning curve for our customers who are used to going to Town Hall. We explain the new hours and location, including address, to every person who calls in wanting to come to visit in person.

Me: “[Department], can I help you?

Customer: “Yes, hi, I was wondering how to go about [process]?”

Me: “Okay, well, there are a few ways to do that. You can either do that online at [website], you can do it through the mail or through the dropbox, or we also have new hours from [days and times] at the Community House, which is located at [address].”

Customer: “Oh, you’re open? Oh, that’s great! I’ll send my husband down right away! Goodbye!”

Me: “Okay, thank you! Bye!”

About fifteen minutes go by. The phone rings.

Me: “[Department], can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, my husband was just down there at Town Hall, and he said the doors were locked and there was a sign on the door saying you were closed. I thought you said you were open?”

Me: “Yes, Town Hall is closed, but I said the Community House was open. We are right next door. It’s the same building as where you vote. Tell him to go there and look for the ‘ENTER HERE’ signs on either side of the building.”

Customer: Oh, okay. I’ll let him know, thanks!”

Me: “No problem, bye!”

A couple of minutes later, I hear someone try to open the “EXIT ONLY” doors. We have been instructed not to let people in that way, but since the “ENTER HERE” doors are only fifty feet away on either side of the exit door and clearly within line of sight, I figure they will figure it out soon. The phone rings.

Me: “[Department], can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, my husband was just at the Community House where you told me to send him, but the doors were locked! You said you were open!

Me: “We are. Did he try the doors with the large ‘ENTER HERE’ signs?”

Customer: “No, he went to the door that we always go in!”

Me: “Okay, but those doors are being used as exit-only doors right now. There is a big sign on those doors saying, ‘EXIT ONLY’. He needs to go to one of the side doors that say, ‘ENTER HERE’.”

Customer: “Well, you should have made it more clear!”

Me: “I’m sorry. The signs are large, about three by four feet, and have big, bold, red letters with ‘EXIT ONLY’ and ‘ENTER HERE’ written on them.”

Customer: “Still, you should make it more clear!”

Me: “I don’t know how, but I will pass on the comment.”

Customer: “And furthermore, you should have made it more clear that the Town Hall was closed and we were supposed to go to the Community House!”

Me: “I did explain that on the phone.”

Customer: “Yeah, but I saw it on the website, and you should make it more clear!”

Me: “The website says the Community House is open. It also says Town Hall is closed.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you should make it more clear!”

Me: “It also has the address on it.”

The Town Hall and Community House have very different street addresses since they face different streets.

Customer: “Still, you should make it more clear!”

Me: “The signs on the Town Hall say it’s closed and to go to the Community House.”

Customer: “You should still make it more clear!”

Me: *Sighs* “I’ll pass on the comment.”

I told my supervisor who just laughed.

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Epidemiology Versus Dermatology

, , , , , | Right | September 25, 2020

We are in a pretty well-known chocolate store in a mall just browsing around while waiting for something to be made.

A lady, around fifty, walks in and the worker behind the counter offers her hand sanitizer due to the current health situation. I notice this lady is also not wearing a mask. She then starts to complain and go off at the worker stating.

Customer: “Ah, all you people with your hand sanitizer. Don’t you know how bad this is for your skin?”

I just turn around and do the dismissive hand gesture and continue browsing.

Customer: “Well, screw you, too.”

I don’t acknowledge this and continue browsing, at which point she shouts a little louder.

Customer: “Screw you, too!”

She stormed out the shop. I am sooo sorry that a little hand sanitizer is going to be bad for your skin.

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Tic-ing Along Nicely Until You Came Along, Part 2

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 25, 2020

This takes place right at the start of the current health crisis, after everyone is mostly aware of it, but right before the CDC officially declares it as such. My gym has a set of five arc trainers — think elliptical machines, but not — and I pop in for a quick workout on my lunch break. There are two women at each end of the row, so I settle on the machine between them, leaving an empty machine between us on either side. Even without social distancing, taking the machine right next to someone when others are free is just weird.

An important note: I suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome, and one of my — currently unfortunate — tics is a sharp exhalation which could be taken as a cough, if you squint, and pretty constant sniffling. These tics get a bit more aggressive when I’m under stress, such as during intense cardio.

So, there I am, about ten minutes into my sweat, just blissfully watching Netflix on my tablet and getting my workout in, when I notice from the corner of my eye that the woman on my right is looking at me, her lips are moving, and she’s giving me the evil eye. I take my right earpiece out.

Me: “Sorry, what? Were you talking to me? I had my headphones in.”

Woman #1: “You need to leave.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Woman #1: “You need to leave if you’re sick. You’re coughing and sniffling and I’m not comfortable with you being here.”

Me: “Oh! Sorry, no, I’m not sick. I have Tourette’s. That’s not a cough; it’s just a really sharp breathing out and sniffling. Those are my tics.”

Woman #1: “No, you’re sick, and you’re touching your face and the equipment, and you need to go.”

Me: “Um… No. I told you, it’s not symptoms; it’s just my Tourette’s. It’s fine. I’m going back to my show now.”

With that, I put my earpiece back in and resume my workout. I can tell the woman is still talking, but I ignore her and keep at it. A few minutes later, she gets off her machine and walks over to the woman on my left. They talk for a couple of minutes, and [Woman #1] walks off to the other side of the cardio area. I figure that is the end of it.

But then, I realize that [Woman #2] is doing the same thing: glaring at me and talking. Already knowing I am going to regret it, I take my left earpiece out.

Me: “Sorry? Couldn’t hear you. Headset.”

Woman #2: “I know you say you have Tourette’s, but how do I know that?”

Me: “Um… why would I lie about that?”

Woman #2: “You could be a vector for the disease! I’m not comfortable with you being here, and you need to leave.”

Me: “Okay, but again, I’m not. I have Tourette’s. I’m just trying to get a workout in. I’m sorry you’re not comfortable, but honestly, that sounds like a you problem.”

Woman #2: “Well, I just think you need to leave if you’re going to be sweating and touching your face and touching the equipment!”

Me: “Okay, noted, but I’m not leaving. I’m going to finish my workout now. Please leave me alone.”

Woman #2: “Well, then, I’m going to leave, and I’m going to talk to the manager so they know why I’m leaving!”

Me: “You do that.”

I proceeded to put my earpiece back in. [Woman #2] stopped her workout and went across the room to join [Woman #1] — it’s worth noting that neither woman bothered to wipe down the equipment they were using, either — where they continued to shoot me dirty looks and talk among themselves.

I finished my workout, showered, and went to leave. Both women were still there, and I could see [Woman #2] continuing to glare when she realized I was still there. Fed up, I stopped at the front desk and asked for the manager. Fortunately, the manager there knew me well enough by sight and presence to know about my Tourette’s. Unfortunately, they weren’t available at the moment to talk, but I explained the situation to the desk worker and mentioned that the women would probably complain about me later. He promised to pass it along to the manager and told me I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

I admit, in a moment of childish pique, I did look over at [Woman #2] and give a cheerful finger-wave before I left.

Seriously, I get that our current health situation is serious, but you don’t know someone’s health condition better than they do. At least these two didn’t claim to be nurses, unlike the first time it happened.

Tic-ing Along Nicely Until You Came Along

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Their Vegan Knowledge Is A Bit Sloppy

, , , | Right | September 25, 2020

I work at a campus dining hall, where we have clear signs labeling everything we serve, including the dish name, allergens, and whether it is vegetarian or vegan. Problem is, no one reads the signs, ever. One notable example happens when I am serving two different entrees: Sloppy Joes and Spicy Beef Taco Meat — that’s what the signs read, no kidding. A customer shows up, and this exchange occurs.

Me: “Hello, what would you like?”

The customer has a look at the food I’m serving and gestures to the Sloppy Joes and Spicy Beef Taco Meat.

Customer: “Is either of these two things vegan?”

I am shocked for a few seconds.

Me: “I’m sorry, but neither of these foods is vegan. Would you like anything else?”

The customer said no and then walked off.

I do get why the customer might be a bit confused about Sloppy Joes if he hadn’t heard about them before, but “Spicy Beef Taco Meat”? It can’t get more obvious than that that the dish is most definitely NOT vegan.

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A Harmless Necessary Chicken

, , , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

I was inspired by this story to recount my own encounter with unwitting stage fauna.

Some years ago, I was in a summer production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in an outdoor venue. This venue was near a pond and had various birds wandering about. This included a few chickens and roosters.

In a particular scene, a washing basket was onstage at the beginning of a scene. As the actors went about the scene, they noticed they were getting more laughs than usual but thought nothing more than how responsive the audience was. As they got closer to the climax of the scene, they were getting more and more laughs and titters, so they amped up their energy.

In the climax of the scene, Falstaff had to hide in a panic and threw himself into the washing basket…

…to be encountered with a face full of enraged chicken, whose nice cosy resting spot had been disturbed by an actor almost landing on her. Apparently, the hen had been poking her head out of the basket, enjoying the show, to the amusement of the audience, without the actors noticing. The poor chicken took flight, squawking, through the audience, emptying herself on the actor as a final act of revenge. After a momentary pause, during which everyone attempted to pull themselves together, the show resumed. Poor Falstaff had to have a quick costume change.

A Harmless Necessary Cat

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