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John, D’oh!

, , , , , , | Related Working | July 4, 2022

In my family, we have an abundance of men with the same common name; let’s say “John.” My father’s name was John. I had an Uncle John, who had a son, John Henry, who wanted to be called Hank until his father died, and then he wanted to be called John. My sister’s first husband’s name was John. She’s a health aide with a long-term client (eight years now) whose name is John. My first husband’s name was John. My current husband’s name is John.

To put it bluntly, I’m well-conditioned to some pretty automatic reactions to that name. This has happened to me at least twice. I’m on the phone with someone at work whose name happens to be John. We discuss whatever the call is about. When we finish up…

John: “Thanks for the information, [My Name]! Goodbye.”

Me: “Bye, John. I love you… Wait a minute!”

Scorn On The Fourth Of July

, , , , , | Right | July 4, 2022

I’m helping a caller make a flight booking.

Caller: “Why does the price drop so much on the Sunday?”

Me: “Oh! That’s because it’s July 4th. Most people travel before or after the holiday, but not on the day itself, which is why it’s cheaper.”

Caller: “Is that because it’s so dangerous to fly? With all the fireworks?”

Me: *Waiting to see if this is a joke.* “Uh, no, sir. It’s just because there’s less demand.”

Caller: “But the fireworks, right? It’ll be dangerous to land if they hit the plane.”

Me: “There won’t be any fireworks at the airport, sir.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “That would be very unsafe.”

Caller: “Hmph! Well, that’s not very patriotic!”

Dean Winchester Has Really Gone Downhill

, , , | Right | CREDIT: paul_stanley_armada | July 4, 2022

I have spent twenty years at seven different major brand hotels. I am training a new clerk when a portly old bald guy in his sixties comes in and asks for the government rate. He’s dressed like a relic from the 1970s in a really tacky polyester jacket. Per normal procedure, I ask him for some government ID.

He opens his jacket to pull out his ID and at the same time very deliberately displays a huge .44 magnum hogleg in a shoulder holster. The ID is fake — a bad fake. I mean, you know that embossed label tape you used to put your name on stuff when you were a kid? It is basically a photo ID with “F.B.I.” in label tape underneath it. The hotel is far from full, so I shrug and check him in at the government rate.

After he leaves…

Trainee: “Wow, was that guy really FBI?”

Me: “I highly doubt it. I have actually spoken to FBI agents in this job before, and they never look like that. See that guy standing over there?”

I point at a young man in a dark suit who has been hanging around in the lobby for the past twenty minutes.

Me: “Now that is what FBI agents usually look like.”

At that exact moment, the same young man approached the front desk, pulled out his very real FBI credentials, and asked for information on the man who had just checked in. About an hour later, the guy was led out in handcuffs.

It was one of those rare events in life that unfolds like a movie.

A Moving Tale Of Breath, Death, And Orange Juice

, , , , , , | Related | July 4, 2022

My parents divorced when I was eleven and my younger brother was only six. After a few years, my mom was in another relationship, and a year later, they were moving in together in another state. This meant my younger brother and I had to move.

I was pissed about moving. I had moved four other times before and each one sucked — always leaving my friends behind and starting over. This time was different since I was going to be starting high school in a new state and city. I wasn’t happy about any of this and was in a pretty foul mood.

My step-dad had already moved to the new house and he’d been there for about a week. My mom had things to finish with her work before she could move, so we stayed behind for a week. However, that dreadful day of moving finally showed up.

After seeing the moving crew load up the last few things and securing our stuff in the shipping truck, my mom got my younger brother and me into the car and we started our trip. Before we left, Mom decided to stop and get breakfast at a big nationwide restaurant chain.

The three of us walked in and got seated.

Mom: “Things won’t be so bad. You shouldn’t walk around with that sourpuss look on your face.”

My brother didn’t seem as phased about the whole moving thing as I was, and he thought it was funny that Mom said “sourpuss,” so he started laughing.

The waitress came over and asked for our drinks to get things started. Mom ordered a coffee, I asked for a large orange juice, and my brother got milk.

The waitress brought us our drinks and took our order, and I started to drink my orange juice. As I was trying to occupy my time and take my mind off the fact we were mere moments away from driving away from all my friends and going to a new state, I was playing with the empty straw wrapper, just kind of folding it and making different shapes.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a fly buzz past me. It was buzzing around us at our table, and when it got close to anyone we just kind of waved our hands to shoo it away. My brother took an interest in the fly and started trying to catch it, but he was failing horribly.

As I looked up and reached for my glass of orange juice, the fly literally dropped dead in mid-flight and fell into my glass.

I looked at my brother and blurted out:

Me: “Your breath killed the fly and it landed in my OJ!”

Brother: “I didn’t do that! Mom!”

My mom laughed at my comment and waved the waitress over.

Waitress: “What can I help you with?”

Me: “There’s a dead fly in my orange juice.”

Waitress: “Oh, my God! I’m so sorry! I didn’t even see it there when I brought it out. I’m so sorry!”

We could see the panic on her face as she kept apologizing. My mom was still laughing.

Brother: “I didn’t breathe on it! It wasn’t me that killed it!”

The waitress got kind of a confused look on her face as she was trying to process what exactly my brother was talking about.

Me: “No, there wasn’t a fly in there when you brought it out. The fly literally dropped dead and landed in my drink. You didn’t bring it out with a dead fly.”

Waitress: “Oh, thank God. I felt so awful thinking I had done that. I’ll go dump this and bring you a new glass of juice.”

This happened almost thirty years ago, but every now and then, my younger brother brings up the fact that his breath didn’t kill that fly that dropped dead in my orange juice.

Tipped To Be A Good One

, , , , , | Right | July 4, 2022

In the depths of lockdown, the restaurant where I work is doing takeout. We decide to do a big family meal for the July 4th weekend: fried chicken, multiple sides, housemade potato salad, and fruit cobbler, for a set price.

The good news, the holiday meal is incredibly popular and we do well that weekend. But w, the staff, are run off our feet in a hot kitchen, taking orders out to cars for pickup on a steamy summer day, and fielding dozens of calls complaining about this wonderful dinner. There are not enough drumsticks in the fried chicken, how dare there be carbohydrates in the potato salad, my kid doesn’t like the cobbler and I want a refund, etc.

We work all weekend and are closed on Monday to recover. On Tuesday, we get a call:

Caller: “Yes, I am following up on my July 4th meal.”

Me: “If there was an issue, ma’am, I’m very sorry—”

Caller: “Oh, not at all! Everything was absolutely delicious! I’m calling because I just realized when I saw the receipt that I completely forgot to add in the tip when I ordered. I feel terrible; you all worked so hard to provide a treat during this weird summer. I have my card. Would you be able to run it for a belated 25% tip?”

Me: “I… Wow, that’s very kind of you. Yes, I can run your card and add in the tip, if you’re sure.”

Caller: “I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t. Here you go.”

When we reopen soon for in-person dining, I hope she and her family come in. I’d like to thank her for being a bright spot in a rough time. It’s thanks to customers like her that we’re going to be able to reopen!