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Outdated And Outsmarted

| Right | December 25, 2013

(I’m doing a bit of Christmas shopping. I stop at a calendar stand in the middle of the shopping center, and start looking through the stock. I think nothing of two customers appearing next to me until they start talking.)

Customer #1: “Are these calendars for next year?”

Customer #2: “I don’t know. Check the date.”

Customer #1: “I can’t see it.”

Me: “Are you serious?”

Customer #1: “Excuse me?”

Me: “It’s the middle of December. The last month of the year. Why would anybody need to buy a calendar for this year?”

Customer #2: “You can’t talk to my daughter like that! She’s not stupid!”

Me: “With all due respect, I’m not the one questioning if calendars being sold in December are for next year.”

Not The Best Way To Spread Your Art

| Right | June 5, 2012

(It’s my second day as an intern at an art gallery. We have guidelines for artists who wish to submit artwork. I’m by myself in the gallery when an artist wearing cut-offs and flip-flops walks in. She’s carrying a huge canvas that is as big as she is, but I can’t see what’s painted on it as the front is facing away from me.)

Me: “Hello, can I help you?”

Artist: “Yeah, I was wondering if you could hang this up?”

Me: “Well, we don’t accept walk-in submissions like this, and even if we did, the gallery owner isn’t in right now. If you go to our website, you can follow the submission guidelines.”

Artist: “But I have the art right here! Can’t you hang it up?”

(At this point she finally turns the canvas around: it’s a life-size, poorly-painted, VERY nude self-portrait of the artist sitting down with her hands on her knees and her hair sticking up in all directions. Worst of all, she has painted herself with her knees splayed and her lady parts in high definition.)

Me: “Oh…”

Artist: “I’ll just leave this here, then!”

Me: *panicking* “No, wait! You really have to fill out an artist’s submission and we’ll get back to you. I can’t just hang up art without the owner present. Also, we specialize in abstract expressionist art, not…erm…figurative art.”

Artist: *looking at her painting* “But this is pretty funky!”

Me: “Yes it is, but I’m sorry, I really can’t accept it. Thank you for coming in.”

(The artist eventually left. Unfortunately, that meant she was carrying her enormous nude self-portrait in full display down the busiest street in town. I have to admire her pluck!)


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This Story Tips Both Good And Bad

, , , , , , , , | Right | May 28, 2020

My husband and I are Australians on holiday in America. My cousin spent about two years working in America as a waitress and has drilled into us the importance of tipping our servers. Even when the service is shockingly bad, including the time they forget to put our order into the system for forty-five minutes, we tip at LEAST 18% because that is what my cousin recommended, and we’re a little stunned that servers work for pennies an hour and rely on tips to survive.

A large amount of staff who notice our accents seem pleasantly surprised when we tip them the proper amount or more. We stop for lunch in a little diner near our hotel and the waitress is AMAZING. She chats with us, asks about Australia and expresses how much she’d love to visit, tells us where to find a specific store I really wanted to visit but haven’t been able find, and is just all-around wonderful.

She is coming over with our refills:

Waitress: “Here we go, guys, here’s your—”

Mid-sentence, a small child who has been running around unchecked for the last half an hour slams into her legs. She drops both our drinks — one all over the kid and one directly into my lap.

The kid’s mother starts SCREECHING at the top of her lungs and demanding to see a manager. The waitress is trying to clean up the kid, apologise, and get us napkins all at once. I clean myself up as best I can and wave her off — I can easily pop back to our hotel to change — so she leaves to get her manager to deal with the screaming mother and her crying child.

She comes back a few minutes later with new drinks for us and is near tears; while her manager had her back, the other woman had said some awful things and her entire party of ten had left her without a tip. She drops off our drinks and we finish them, and she brings back the bill.

Waitress: *Still nearly crying* “I am so sorry about that, guys. I took your refills off the bill; those are on me.”

Feeling bad, my husband is trying to make her laugh.

Husband: “I think you’ll find they were on my wife and that demon kid.”

The waitress, realising we’re just kidding, does crack a smile as she walks off to handle another table. While we were already going to tip her about 25% on our tiny lunch bill — seriously, food is RIDICULOUSLY cheap in the States — for being so wonderful to us, my husband just rifles through his pockets for whatever he has on him in cash and shoves it into the billfold. It adds up to about $60 on our $19 bill, and we try to escape before she sees it as we don’t want her to thank us for it. 

We’re about five steps out the door when she chases us outside.

Waitress: “Wait! You guys, two of these are twenties! I know we joked that you’re used to your rainbow money but you’ve gotta read the numbers. Here!”

She tries to hand us back some of the money and we refuse to take it.

Me: “Honey, no, that’s your tip. You were amazing. Take it.”

The waitress seemed dumbfounded that we had deliberately left her that much, and my husband joked that it was to make up for the gremlin’s parents stiffing her. She legitimately started to cry and asked if she could hug us, which we accepted, and she went back inside.

I’m still stunned that she was honest enough to try and give the tip back to foreigners she thought didn’t understand. We saw her again a few times before we left — the food was incredible at that diner — and she was just as lovely each time. Tip your servers, people!


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That’ll Teach Him

| Learning | August 20, 2014

Me: “How was the parent-teacher conferences, Dad?”

Dad: “Er. Good. I, um, I met your math teacher.”

Me: “Oh, Mr. [Name]. Yeah, he’s a good teacher.”

Dad: “Oh, good. He’s a little on the young side, isn’t he?”

Me: “I think he’s in his late twenties… Dad? What did you say to him?”

Dad: “Well, he was wearing jeans and you must admit he does look very young…”

Me: “Dad! What did you say to my math teacher?!”

Dad: “I didn’t know he was a teacher! I thought he was a student, so I told him to pull his pants up and put his skateboard away!”


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Used To Be That A Few Cans Tied Together Got You Online

, , | Right | June 11, 2009

Caller: “I noticed I have a data block on my phone.”

Me: “Yes, sir, that’s correct.”

Caller: “Will it stop the Internet?”

Me: “Yes, sir, it blocks all incoming and outgoing megabytes to the phone. This does include the prevention of Internet usage.”

Caller: “Megabytes?”

Me: “It’s a measurement of data, sir.”

Caller: “Well, I want to keep my Internet!”

Me: “Then I’ll be more than happy to remove the blo–”

Caller: “But I want to keep my block too!”

Me: “Sir, the data block stops all incoming and outgoing data to your device. Since the Internet is made of data, it’ll get blocked too.”

Caller: “Since when did the Internet start being made out of data and megabytes?”