The best of our most recent stories!

Beware House

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2021

I am in the call center for an industrial supply company. The office is physically attached to the very, very large warehouse, but office workers are not trained in filling orders or other warehouse operations. Despite the fact that we’re a relatively large company, some customers are under the impression that our facility and operations are significantly smaller.

Caller: “Hi, your website says that [item] is in stock. Can you check for me?”

Me: *Checks our database* “Yes, I’m showing that these are in stock.”

Caller: “No, you didn’t check. I mean, can you physically check your shelves? I can wait.”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t do that.”

Caller: “I’m a paying customer looking to spend good money here, and I’m willing to wait for you to take a look. Can you please do your job and check your shelves?”

Me: “Sir, I am doing my job. Our warehouse is over a half-million square feet in size. I am employed in the office. It would take me at least ten minutes just to get to the warehouse. Even if I was trained in how to navigate our inventory system and was willing to dodge the forklifts and other heavy machinery that a half-million-square-foot facility entails, it would not be conducive to your time or mine to have you wait while I physically check the shelf for something I’ve already told you is in stock. Now, our system occasionally makes mistakes, but that’s not often, and if this happens to be one of those rare instances, we will certainly make it up to you. Now, how would you like to proceed?”

There’s a pause.

Caller: “So, you said it’s in stock? Will I see it tomorrow?”

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What Did Grandpa Do?

, , , , | Right | February 27, 2021

I work at the reception desk at a retirement center. We frequently receive calls from confused/sundowning elderly people trying to contact friends or family who live in the facility.

Me: *Answering the phone* “Good morning! This is [Facility] how may I help you?”

There is no answer, only the sound of shuffling and button pressing.

Me: *Louder* “Hello? Hello, this is [Facility]. May I help you?”

There was more button pressing, and then in the background, there was a sudden, scandalized cry of, “GRANDPA, NO!” before the call abruptly disconnected.

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Keep The Ring In The Family, Lose The Weird Prejudices

, , , , | Related | February 25, 2021

This conversation takes place when I’m at the age where jewellery starts becoming a part of my life. My mom promised me anything I wanted from her collection as a gift. She’s taken all her jewellery out and is showing me the pieces, one by one.

We’ve gone through a truly surprising number of pieces, including a ring engraved with my name that I am eyeing. But then she pulls out one last ring, and it stands out because of how old it looks.

Mom: “And this horridly outdated piece is our family engagement ring. It’s been passed down from mother to daughter since before World War Two. I got it off Grandma back when she thought she was going to die any day.”

Me: “Wait, what? But Grandma’s so healthy.”

Mom: “Turned out to be a false alarm, but she gave me all her jewels back then. She really regrets that now.”

Me: “Wait, it’s an engagement ring. How is it that mothers give it to daughters? I thought engagement rings were given by the guy?”

Mom: “Normally, it’s given from mother to daughter-in-law. Well, more accurately, the son will ask his mother’s permission to marry, and his mother will give him the ring to propose with. But as things happen, Grandma doesn’t actually like [Aunt #1], [Aunt #3], and [Aunt #4].”

Me: “What? But they’re all so nice.”

Mom: “Well, Grandma was supposed to give it to [Uncle #1], but she didn’t like [Aunt #1]. She thought she was a gold digger, so my older brother didn’t get the ring. Not that it stopped him.”

Me: “Ridiculous. [Aunt #1] is my nicest aunt.”

Mom: “My mom had this silly belief that brides shouldn’t be older than their groom, and [Aunt #1] is older than [Uncle #1].”

I shake my head in disbelief.

Me: “Then what happened with [Aunt #3]?”

Mom: “Back then, Grandma didn’t actually think architects were a real job. So she was really annoyed that [Uncle #2] became an architect. So when my younger brother married [Aunt #3], who was another architect… Well, there’s a reason they live in another country.”

Me: “I get the point.”

Mom: “And I trust we don’t have to discuss [Aunt #4]?”

Me: “Nope. I already know what Grandma thinks of [Aunt #2] marrying [Aunt #4].”

My mother’s older sister had to go overseas to do it, as Singaporean law forbade — and still forbids — same-sex marriage. Grandma still insists that the marriage is invalid.

Me: “So, because she never gave it away, you got it when she gave you all her jewels.”

Mom: “That, and I’m her only child that had a ‘respectable’ marriage.”

I snort.

Mom: “Anyway. That’s the last piece in my collection. Want the engagement ring?”

Me: “No, thanks. Maybe in the future. For now, the ring I want literally has my name on it.”

That conversation was nearly a decade ago. Now, I have that ancient engagement ring in hand and am about to go out for dinner with my girlfriend. Wish me luck.

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A Different Kind Of “Who Do You Think I Am?”

, , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

I am working the summer of 1972 at a gas station on the New York State Thruway. It’s a toll road with rest areas that have gas stations and restaurants.

At my lunch break, I wander over to a restaurant, order my food, and eat it there. I am wearing my gas station uniform. On the third or fourth day of doing this, the restaurant manager comes over to me.

Manager: “The next time you’re here, please sit at a dirty table.”

Me: “Huh?”

Manager: “The tables that have been cleaned are for our patrons. You don’t mind sitting at a dirty table.”

He said this as a declaration, not a question. I just stared at him. From then on, I brought my lunch from home and ate it in the back of the gas station service bay.

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Time Is Relative-ly Stupid

, , , , | Right | February 27, 2021

I am a hostess at a restaurant. This phone call takes place around 7:30 pm.

Customer: “Hi, do you have a table for three people?”

Me: “Yes, I do! What time would you like to come in?”

Customer: “In about an hour.”

Me: “Okay, so, 8:30?”

Customer: “No, that is much too late for us!”

The customer hung up and I was left staring at the phone in bewilderment.

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