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An Unexpected Transition

, , , , , | Related | February 26, 2021

My grandpa is a very tall, straight-back, and straight-laced veteran with a no-nonsense attitude who diligently attends church every Sunday. He occasionally mentions his aunt and her friend; when Grandpa isn’t around, Granny clarifies that they’re lesbians in a long-term committed relationship and that Grandpa just isn’t comfortable talking about them like that.

Now, he is in his late eighties and has somehow gotten sterner. My mum, older sister, and I have gone over to see my grandparents. My older sister is dating a trans man. We are all having a chat in the living room and the subject of her boyfriend comes up. I can’t quite remember how it gets to this point, but it does.

Mum: “Oh, he’s a transman.”

Grandpa: “A what? What’s that?”

There’s a bit of an awkward pause and my sister glares daggers at my mum.

Sister: “He’s a transgender man. It means he was born a female, realised he was born into the wrong body, and is transitioning into man. He’s on hormone therapy and will soon have one of his surgeries, and I’ll be there to help him through it.”

Granny: “Oh… She’s—”

Grandpa: *Sharply* “He.”

Granny: “No, [Grandpa], she was born—”

Grandpa: “I heard. But he is a he. He is [Sister]’s boyfriend. He is a trans man. He is having hormones to be a man. He is thus a man and the appropriate pronoun is he.” *To my sister* “Unless he prefers different pronouns?”

Sister: “N-no, his pronouns are he/him.”

Grandpa: “There we go. He. Not she.”

Granny: “She’s clearly confused!”

Grandpa:No! He is not. I imagine he was much less confused when he was growing up not feeling like he belonged in his own body! You’re confused; he’s not! I hate that word! They called my aunt ‘confused’ and they set fire to her home and threw bricks through her windows because they were ‘confused’ by who she loved! They were happy, consenting adults. That’s all that mattered! This man is happy as a man, and it’s nobody else’s place to tell him he’s wrong or confused! It doesn’t affect anyone else!”

My grandpa died of cancer a few years back, but his tirade is a very fond memory I have of him as it allowed me to see a side I hadn’t known was there. My granny did improve her knowledge and opinions on transgender issues, though.

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Freight Fright

, , , , | Right | February 28, 2021

The furniture store I work in functions mainly as a showroom, as most of our pieces bigger than a dining chair need to be shipped to customers. We have signs everywhere explaining that and all the price tags mention that the price is [amount] plus a shipping and handling fee.

We have two promotions running: one that is the seasonal sale, and the other where several colours of product have been moved to clearance. A woman comes to the counter to ask about the colours a sofa bed comes in.

Me: “[Colour #1] and [Colour #2] you can see on the floor here, and it also comes in [Colour #3] but we only have a swatch of that one.”

Customer: “And they’re all that price?”

She gestures at a sign saying, “Double [amount], single [amount], and then shipping fee applies.”

Me: “Actually, [Colour #2] is on clearance at the moment so it’s actually [price almost $100 less than the sale price].”

Customer: “Well, I think that one’s mine! Gosh, that’s great.”

Me: “Awesome! Let’s get that sorted out for you, then!”

I take her back to the counter and make small talk as I check the stock and prepare to make an order.

Me: “There’s plenty in stock so it will be with you in five to ten working days. What suburb are you in? I’ll give you the freight cost.”

Customer: “I can pick it up.”

Me: “Okay, well, the sofa bed is too large to be delivered to the store due to health and safety, so you can pick it up from [Depot] for $20 or home delivery starts at $50.”

Customer: “But I can pick it up. Why should I have to pay extra for something that’s right there?”

Me: “Unfortunately, our warehouse is in [City on a different island] so there is a freight charge associated with any large items.”

The customer is talking to me like a child being naughty.

Customer: “So, you’re saying it’s not actually [amount], because I have to pay extra now.”

Me: “The item is [amount], but it does say on the tag that there is a shipping and handling fee associated with it.”

Customer: “No. Well, I think that’s actually quite unethical.”

Me: “I apologize but—”

Customer: *Cutting me off* “That’s just ridiculous. I won’t get it.” *Snaps her purse closed* “You’re morally questionable. This is just wrong.”

She turns on her heel and stalks out of the store.

Me: *Quietly* “Have a nice day?”

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When Your “Opinion” Is Simple Geographic Fact

, , , | Right | February 28, 2021

This conversation happens between the assistant manager of my store and an elderly female customer.

Old Lady: “Excuse me, where’s your [Rival Store’s organic produce] section?”

Manager: “We don’t have a [Rival Store’s organic produce] section, ma’am.”

Old Lady: “You mean you got rid of it?!”

Manager: “No, I mean we never had one in the first place. That’s only at [Rival Store].”

Old Lady: “But this is [Rival Store].”

Manager: “No, this is [My Store].”

Old Lady: “What’s [My Store]?”

Manager: “That’s the store we’re in right now.”

Old Lady: “When did that happen? This was a [Rival Store] last year!”

Manager: “No, this store opened nine years ago.”

Old Lady: “I distinctly remember I was here last year, and this was a [Rival Store]!”

Manager: “I’m afraid you’re mistaken.”

Old Lady: “No! I remember it clear as crystal! The [Rival Store] on [Street I’ve never heard of] next to the [Chain Restaurant that went out of business thirty years ago]!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, you’re confusing us with another location.”

Old Lady: “Well, that’s your opinion. Where’s your [Rival Store’s organic produce] section?”

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Wait Until They Find Out What Seven-Eleven Really Means

, , , | Right | February 28, 2021

I grew up in a small town where most things close at 6:00 pm and don’t even open on Sunday, but I have moved to a big city nearby. I call the grocery store by my house on a Sunday afternoon to find their hours.

Me: “Hi, what time do you close today?”

Grocery Store: “Eleven today.”

Me:At night?!

Grocery Store: “…”

Me: “Umm… sorry… Thank you.”

I am an idiot.

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To Be Fair, A Middle-Schooler On YouTube Is Usually Up To No Good

, , , , | Learning | February 28, 2021

In middle school, I am in an honors English program. I love it, but since it is a small school and very few students are eligible, we don’t have a normal class for it and instead do all of our work online, using the computers in the school library. It might look odd to an outsider — two kids sitting quietly on computers in an otherwise empty library — but this is the only time I realize how weird it could look.

An adult visitor is going around the school for reasons I never bothered to find out. He sees my singular classmate and me on the computers and comes over, despite the fact that we are both wearing headphones.

Visitor: “So, what are you up to?”

Me: “English class.”

The visitor takes a look at my screen, clearly able to see a word processor in one window and YouTube in another. The video, which is paused, is clearly marked with a movie title, and since it’s animated, there’s no mistaking it for anything traditionally academic.

Visitor: “You’re just watching movies?”

Me: “It’s for our media literacy project. We’re each analyzing a movie and I chose [Movie].”

Visitor: “But you’re still watching movies.”

Me: “Just this one.”

Visitor: “They let you watch movies all day?”

Me: “It’s a project for just this class.”

Visitor: “I can’t believe they just let you watch movies.”

He shook his head and left, and I went back to watching the movie and typing out an outline of events. I still don’t know what part of “This is for a school project” he didn’t understand.

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