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Fair Game About The Game

| Haarlem, The Netherlands | Working | December 30, 2013

(We are family of three geeks, two of us over 40 and one nine-year-old. We don’t have much money, so we’re a bit technically behind the times. I set out to find a good Christmas present for our young one and turn up an inexpensive used Playstation 2. It comes with over 100 games, many that we don’t want. I take these downtown to the big games shop.)

Me: “Hi. I’d like to see what kind of trade-in value I can get for these?”

Employee: “Sure!”

Me: “I also have two store cards, one for me and one for my partner. I’d like to ask if the points from one could be transferred to the other to consolidate them, enabling us to throw one card away?”

(The employee puts the cards in front of the cash register. He stares at them, and starts to sweat a little, showing obvious signs of panic. This reeks to me of ‘new hire’, maybe even ‘first day’ material.)

Employee: “I’m sorry. I don’t remember how to do that. Please give me a moment to look that up.”

Me: “No problem. Absolutely.”

(The employee whips out a book and looks increasingly stressed as he studies several pages of literature. He gives me a helpless, encouraging smile. Then he turns around to the manager and asks him how to do it.)

Manager: “I’ll show you in a few minutes. Would you help these people?”

(The manager and employee switch places. The manager quickly fuses the cards. Then he glances in the direction of the games.)

Manager: “Playstation 2 games would fetch you maybe 20 cents each if I do them there. I would try an online classifieds site.”

(I nod, and put them back in the bag.)

Manager: “Or maybe [New Competitor] would want them.”

(The manager proceeds to give me directions. I have always loved the service at this store, and obviously this day is no different. I go back to thank the new employee before I leave. I head out into the chaos of the Christmas market and fight my way towards the other store, in the tiny, narrow street behind the immensely crowded square. The guy there was the owner and sole employee of a tiny hole-in-the-wall used-game shop that I love immediately.)

Owner: “For that pile of games, I can give you about €8.”

Me: “Great! Maybe I could trade them for something for my son as a Christmas present?”

(I look around and find two little Pokémon collectible stuffed animals.)

Me: “What is the price for these?”

Owner: “€5 each, but screw the extra €2. I could trade the games for those. Sweet.”

(These three people turned a jaunt that was already turning into a nightmare into a pleasant experience. Merry Christmas to them!)

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Sour About The Sweets

| England, UK | Working | December 30, 2013

(It’s nearly Christmas. I have brought in a big tin of chocolates for the team I lead.)

Coworker: “Wait. Why do you have that?”

Me: “My team has been doing well and it’s Christmas. I figure they deserve a little treat.”

Coworker: “Well, where are mine?”

Me: “Wait. Are you being serious?”

Coworker: “Yeah. Why do they get free sweets and I don’t?”

Me: “A few reasons come to mind. Mostly, you are not part of my team! Talk to your boss if you aren’t getting recognition.”

(I shake it off and thank my team with the sweets, which goes down very well. The next day I find out that my coworker made every excuse to interrupt my team and try to fill his boots with ill-gotten chocolate. Unfortunately for him, I asked my team to put all non-work related items out of sight, so he ended up with nothing.)

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Work Until Breaking Point

| Toluca, Mexico | Working | December 30, 2013

(I work for a major auto company. We deal with quality. When a problem is serious, we are handed a dossier in an orange folder in order to fix it. This day, [Coworker #1] is handed not one, but THREE. She also happens to be notoriously lazy and whiny. It is about four days before Christmas break.)

Coworker #2: *puts the folders on [Coworker #1]’s desk*

Coworker #1: “What? Seriously?”

Coworker #2: “Yep. These are all your responsibility. You need to close them before Christmas break.”

Coworker #1: “Oh, come on! What about the Christmas spirit? You can’t do this to me!”

(I notice our boss is staring with a grin on his face.)

Me: “Dude, I’m not sure whether you are enjoying this or suffering through it…”

Boss: “Yeah, man. It’s hard to tell…”

Christmas Is A Day At The Office

| Working | December 30, 2013

Why-is-Christmas-just-like-a-day-at-the-office-You-do-all-the-work-and-the-fat-guy-with-the-suit-gets-all-the-credit

Reindeer Name Games

| AB, Canada | Related | December 30, 2013

(My girlfriend and I have been together for two years now. She’s well aware that my dad, my brother, and I all absolutely love bad jokes and puns. We’re talking about naming stuffed animals.)

Me: “The only stuffed animal I ever named was my Christmas bear, ‘Hyber’.”

Girlfriend: “‘Hyber?’ That’s a weird name.”

Me: “And my brother named the other bear, ‘Nate.'”

Girlfriend: Are you serious?

Me: “‘Hyber’ and ‘Nate’… get it?”

Girlfriend: “At least your mom is normal.”

Me: “You don’t know what she named her Christmas stuffed reindeer… it’s Olive.”

Girlfriend: “How’s that weird?”

Me: *I start singing* “Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names. She never let poor Rudolph—”

Girlfriend: “I take it back; your whole family is strange.”

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