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Allow Me To Explain How Time Works…

, , , | Right | June 21, 2021

I’m a hostess at a local restaurant in my city.

Me: “Hello, y’all! How many are in your party?”

Customer: “We’ll have eight tonight.”

Me: “All right, that’ll be about forty to fifty minutes at the moment.”

Customer: “What?! We called an hour ago and the guy on the phone said it would only be thirty minutes!”

Me: “Yes, that was the wait at that time. It got much busier, though, so our wait time went up.”

Customer: “Fine, I’m putting my name down, but this is ridiculous.”

Ten minutes go by, and I’m calling and seating names that are ahead of this lady.

Customer: “We have been waiting for forever, and you’re calling names that aren’t ours! I want to talk to a manager!”

I get one of my managers, who’s a really chill guy.

Manager: “What’s the problem, ma’am?”

The lady complains to him, telling him that I was skipping over her name and lying to her. The manager looks at the waitlist and the info that I wrote down.

Manager: “Ma’am, you were here for ten minutes. There were other people before you. That’s how time works.”

The lady huffed and went back to her group but kept asking every five minutes how much longer they had to wait. When I sat them, everyone in the group made off-handed comments about the service, trying to rile me up. They ended up leaving a $5 tip on a $70 check.

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No Masking Their Confusion

, , , , , | Working | June 21, 2021

After more than a year of always making sure I have a mask on before leaving the house, it finally happens that I slip up and forget to don one before heading out. I’m already on the bus to the mall when I realize and the bag I have on me, of course, doesn’t have a spare mask, so I improvise and wrap a cardigan around my mouth and nose. At the mall, I head straight for the first drugstore.

Employee: “Excuse me! Hello!”

I stop and turn because I do think she means me, as I am standing out with my big, gray cardigan.

Employee: “You cannot come in here without a mask.”

Me: I’m so sorry, I forgot my mask. I was just coming in here to buy one!”

Employee: “Yes, but you can’t shop without a mask on. You need to go to the cash register and get one there.”

There was no sign or anything indicating this, but I quickly head to the registers. The cashier there has just finished a transaction and I sidle up.

Me: “I’m so sorry for cutting in, but I really need to buy a mask.”

Cashier: “You’ll need to go over there and get one.”

They point toward the inside of the store where the masks are.

Me: *Confused* “Oh? Your colleague sent me over here to get one.”

Cashier: “I don’t have any masks at the register, so you’ll need to get it yourself.”

Even more confused, and hoping that the first employee won’t stop me again, I gun it down the straight line to where the masks are, grab one, and head back to the register, getting in line to buy it.

Cashier: “This whole mask thing is dumb, anyway.”

Well, nice if your job says you don’t need to wear one because you are considered safe enough behind your plastic sheets. The rest of us have to wear masks to be in the store. And I know the first employee was making sure I was following the rules, but I was about three steps away from the masks when she stopped and sent me elsewhere. At least now I am making sure every bag I have has a spare mask.

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Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 46

, , , | Right | June 21, 2021

We close at 8:00 pm on weekdays. On this particular day, we aren’t completely finished cleaning, so we close our gate and keep cleaning. A man comes up to our closed gate.

Customer: “Hello!” *Knocks on the gate* “Hello, I need help!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we have just closed, but the front store is still open. They can help you.”

Customer: “No, they aren’t a pharmacist. I need a pharmacist.”

Me: “You can come back tomorrow morning; we closed at eight.”

Customer: “But you are still here. Why won’t you help me?”

Me: “Sir, first of all, my gate is closed so I can’t even see you, just as you can’t see me. Second of all, I’m off the clock. You can come back tomorrow when we open at nine.”

The guy walks off in a huff and I hear another customer, probably a friend of his:

Customer’s Friend: “Why are they closed?”

Customer: “I don’t know, ugh!”

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 45
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 44
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 43
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 42
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 41

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Coupons Are Often More Trouble Than They’re Worth

, , , , | Right | June 21, 2021

I work for a big-name department store. I recently served a customer that left me completely baffled. She came in buying regular grocery items, but toward the end of her purchase, she had two hair products from a famous hairstylist’s company along with two free-up-to-$15 coupons. After I check those through:

Customer: “Did that $30 come off?”

Me: “The coupons aren’t $15 each, but free up to $15.”

Customer: “You’re wrong! I just got off the phone with [Famous Hairstylist] and they told me that you have to take $30 off, no matter what you say!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t do that.”

I call my supervisor over to explain the situation, which she still doesn’t accept.

Customer: “[Famous Hairstylist] told me you have to do it for me!”

After several minutes of trying to reason with her, she demands we give her the coupons back, which we do, but then she complains that we charged her for the hair products.

Me: “You weren’t charged for them, but they’ll still show up as voided items.”

She seems to understand because she finally pays for her purchase. As she walks away:

Customer: “Thank you for being so nice.”

Me: *Without hesitating* “No problem!”

Customer: “I’m just kidding. You weren’t nice!”

Later, I found out that she went to customer service to complain that the voided transaction was still listed on her bill.

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Transitioning To A More Accepting Viewpoint

, , , , , , , | Learning | June 20, 2021

I’m a science teacher at a small high school. For a few years, I’ve also been handing out Vetinari points, or vet points, for students that answer difficult questions, ask truly insightful questions, or otherwise do something to impress me. The students can then trade the points in for a few potential benefits, most noticeably a small increase in a future test score.

A little while ago, the parent who gave birth to one of our students came out as trans and started his transition. It seems this detail has only recently filtered down to some of the less enlightened students in our school, though. I’ve recently warned one bully in particular about his transphobic comments and harassment.

On this particular day, I’m alone in my room during a break period grading papers while the student in question is at his locker right outside of my room. I’m not listening to his conversation at first, until I overhear a non-school-appropriate synonym for penis that I won’t be repeating here, coming from the hallway. Since I came in partway into the conversation, I am only able to deduce part of the conversation between the bully and the student, though it is clear from tone and attitude alone that the bully is intentionally harassing my student.

Bully: “…mom has a [penis] now.”

Student: “You clearly don’t understand anything about being trans.”

Bully: “What’s there to know?!”

I have already gotten up and am headed out to handle the situation, but by the time I get out there, the student has already started responding with such confidence that I choose to let him finish before intervening. He is literally counting off points on his finger as he speaks.

Student: “First, I don’t have a mom. Second, of my two fathers, only one has, or will ever have, a [penis]. Three, I think you’re just jealous I can kill Macbeth and you can’t.”

Bully: “Huh?”

They are covering “Macbeth” in English around this time. In the play, it’s prophesied that “none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.”

Me: “[Student], you just earned yourself one vet point for coming up with a much better subversion of that prophecy than the actual play managed, though you should both use less vulgar terminology next time you wish to discuss a penis.”

Student: “Oh, umm… yes, sir. Thank you.”

Me: “[Bully], I’ve already warned you twice about transphobic comments. Now you will be spending your lunch discussing it with the principal, instead.”

All of us teachers were a little worried for this student originally when his father transitioned, but he proved us all wrong. He handled every question about his father with just as much confidence and conviction, without once losing his cool or lashing out in anger, as he did this time. More than once, I saw him inform ignorant students about what it meant to be trans with such confidence that he managed to convince even some of those who were originally skeptical of the concept to support his father’s transition. It was quite refreshing seeing not only how strongly he stood by his father’s transition but how well (most) of the student body ended up taking and supporting the transition after he explained things to them.

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