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Theft? What?

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2022

I am working late at a veterinary hospital and a note was left for the doctor. The phone rings, and I answer.

Me: “[Veterinary Hospital], my name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Owner: *Politely* “Hi there. I left a note for the doctor this afternoon and I haven’t heard back yet. My pet’s name is [Pet] and my last name is [Owner’s Last Name]. I was wondering if we could fill antibiotics for my pet?”

Me: “Okay, let me look that up for you!” *Typing* “Oh, I see the doctor won’t be in until tomorrow. Sorry about that. My coworker should have let you know! She’ll get back to you tomorrow, but I’ll let you know that standardly the doctor does require a recheck exam prior to filling antibiotics, especially since it’s been a couple months since we’ve seen the pet!”

Owner: *Silence*

Me: *Pauses* “Ma’am, did I lose you?”

Owner: *Suddenly angry* “No, I heard you, but that’s theft.”

Me: *Shocked* “What?”

Owner: “That’s theft to demand a recheck!”

Me: “Ma’am, I was letting you know so you have a realistic expectation of tomorrow’s call with the doctor and to see if you wanted to make the appointment.”

Owner: “That’s theft!”

Me: *Sternly, getting back my senses* “No, it is not.”

Owner: “Yes, it is!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you continue yelling at me, I will have to hang up.”

Owner: *Yelling* “I’m not yelling!”

Me: “Yes. You are.”

Owner: “I’ll talk to the doctor tomorrow!” *Hangs up*

If You’re Going To Call The Police, Just Do It And Go Away, Part 2

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 14, 2022

I previously posted a story about how I got harassed for the audacity of being male while watching my friend’s child for her. The man who harassed me would often send his son to “investigate” me after that incident because he never seemed to accept that a man could actually care about kids and like spending time with them.

This story happened about a year after the last one. It was Halloween and I’d offered to take my friend’s kids trick-or-treating since their mother wouldn’t be able to; she had certain chronic health issues that could limit her physical activity. I had both of her sons outside already dressed for trick-or-treating, but we were waiting for their older teenaged sister who was tagging along despite being a bit old to trick-or-treat. As we waited outside, the son of the man who harassed me ran up to visit with the boys I was watching.

The son was acting normally this time, with none of the stilted and obviously forced asking of questions I saw when he was sent as a proxy of his father, so I assumed he was coming of his own volition this time to visit the boys. He was dressed up as a martial artist, and after chatting with the kids for a bit, he got excited and started mock-fighting them.  

At first, I was fine with some harmless mock-fighting, but the kid was getting too worked up and out of control. The odds of his actually hurting someone unintentionally were increasing, and my kids didn’t seem to be enjoying it anymore. I cautioned him that he should stop being so forceful, but he was too excited and didn’t heed my warning. Before anyone condemns this kid too much, I don’t think he was malicious, and I consider this sort of not being good at curtailing your play to be pretty common with kids that age; he wasn’t a terrible kid, just an overly-excited one.

I’m pretty used to getting tag-along kids wanting to join in with the play whatever kids I’m watching are doing, so I have some experience with trying to control and regulate play with kids that I don’t know well, but that doesn’t make it easy. Even in the best of cases, there is always a chance a parent will get offended if you try to tell their kid to do, or not do, something, and I already knew this kid’s father thought I was secretly a pedophile, so I doubted I’d be getting the benefit of the doubt there. So, rather than trying to force the kid to stop playing, I decided it was safer to redirect him.

I should mention now that I have first dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do. That isn’t too impressive since it’s only first dan and was from a tiny McDojo; I’m quite certain if I ever ended up in a real fight I’d still get my butt handed to me despite the black belt. However, it was a good excuse to distract the kid by first mentioning I was a black belt and then “challenging” him to a fight. He flared at me with even less control then he had with the boys, but I had enough sparring experience to at least be able to avoid the uncontrolled “attacks” of a hyper little kid easily enough. I’d throw the occasional mock kicks back at him, and he was safely entertained without any risk of a kid being hurt. I considered this a successful handling of the situation.

I’m sure everyone can guess what happened next. Lo and behold, the father belatedly showed up. 

Father: “What are you doing?! Get away from him!”

Me: “We are waiting to go trick-or-treating. Your son is the one who approached us.”

Father: “Why are you playing with him?”

Me: “Because I was worried he would hurt the boys with the way he was playing, so I distracted him.”

Father: “I didn’t say you could play with him!”

At some point during this exchange, my friend’s boys’ older sister had come outside; I honestly didn’t notice when. She now spoke up with the sort of sarcastic disdain that only a teenager can manage, ramped up to eleven.

Older Sister: “And we didn’t say [Kid] could kick my brothers. If you don’t want him playing with strangers, maybe you should be watching him better.”

Man: “Where’s your mother?!”

Older Sister: “In her room. I’m not getting her for you again. We are going trick-or-treating now.”

Man: “What? I didn’t—”

Me: “Sorry, but we are going to be late for trick-or-treating. Now that everyone’s ready, let’s go to the car, kids.”

Man: “You’re taking them without their mom?”

Older Sister: “Yes, like she said he could because she trusts him to, because he is good at taking care of my brothers, and we like him. You take care of your kid, and let us take care of my brothers.”

He tried a few more lame attempts to get me to answer his questions, but his righteous anger seemed to have been deflated by now, so I mostly brushed him off by intentionally ignoring the implied question behind what he was saying and giving him polite non-answers for the minute it took for me to get the kids in the car.

During that car ride, I learned that, apparently, this man had shown up at least twice to ask their mom about “the strange man” who was with her kids, and her daughter had grown quite annoyed with him after listening in on one of those conversations. Everyone in the household, minus the youngest kid who was too young to fully understand what was happening, was pretty much in agreement that he was an idiot and they weren’t going to put up with him anymore.

If You’re Going To Call The Police, Just Do It And Go Away

I Would Nope My Way Right Out Of School

, , , , , | Learning | May 15, 2022

This happened when I was around ten or twelve years old, so in the late 1990s or early 2000s. In our old classroom, the tables had been changed around a few times, and this time they were placed so that there were three or four students placed around most tables.

The placing around the tables was changed every now and then, and this time around, I was placed with three other girls who were okay but not exactly my friends.

One day, the girl opposite me was feeling bad, and shortly after the class had started, she puked on the table. The teacher did, of course, stop the class and went to help her pack her stuff and move to a different place where she could wait for her parents. (For those curious: there was a nurse connected to the school, but being a semi-rural area, she was not always there. Teachers would then be the “nurse” for small issues.)

Before the teacher left, he called out to the class:

Teacher: “I’m going to help her get home. Could one of you clean up the puke?”

Yep. He asked if anyone of us kids could clean up the puke.

For some reason I have never really understood, I volunteered to do it. He just thanked me and went out with my classmate. And yes, I cleaned it up as best as I could. We had a sink in the classroom, so I had access to water and a cloth… but no soap.

Years later, I realised how wrong that was. Who would ask a kid to clean another kid’s puke up? And with no proper cleaning equipment?

In my teacher’s (semi) defense, we had a fairly useless janitor, and the cleaning people were only there after school time, so he could not have called for them. But still…

Well, That Was An Unmusical Disaster

, , , | Right | May 14, 2022

A client commissioned me to direct a commercial for a clothing line and then asked me to write a concept because they couldn’t afford a copywriter. I submitted a concept about a girl and a piano. Two months went by and I didn’t hear a word about the commercial.

Then, I got this phone call.

Client: “You’re shooting your commercial in two days. We got you a model for the shoot.”

Me: “Two days? The boards aren’t even made.”

Client: “You make them.”

Me: “Okay. Can the model play the piano? Half the commercial is her playing the piano.”

Client: “No, she’s a model.”

Me: “But is she a model who can play the piano?”

Client: “No.”

Me: “You’re saying that our commercial, which involves a girl playing a piano, has a girl who can’t play the piano?”

Client: “You can fake it to music in post.”

Me: “What music? I haven’t had time to pick any music.”

Client: “I’ll pick the music after the shoot.”

Me: “We need to know what music we’re using if she’s going to mimic it.”

Client: “No, it’ll be fine, she doesn’t. You said you needed a piano, right?”

Me: “For the piano playing, yes. It’s all on the list. HR has a copy.”

Client: “Okay, I’ll book it. Anything else I need to book? I got you two cars.”

Me: “What about the car mount?”

Client: “Wait, do you want the car mount or the cars? Make up your mind.”

Me: “Why would I want a car mount without a car? Both. I still need to approve the girl, the wardrobe, props, etc.”

Client: “I’ll do it; you don’t need to know about it. I’ll see what I can change on the list.”

Me: “When are we shooting this?”

Client: “Friday. Shut up for a second.”

He puts me on hold. Five minutes later…

Me: “So, you’re saying that nothing is ready for the shoot that’s in less than thirty-six hours?”

Client: “That’s none of your business. Just shoot it. We’ve got a good location. You’ll see it on Friday.”

He hung up.

Thursday afternoon, I learnt that nothing had actually been booked, including the model and location. Thursday night, the shoot was cancelled.

Thanks For Making College Life Even Harder

, , , , , , | Learning | May 13, 2022

I’m employed by the housing service of a prestigious university, directing inbound students to the best options for their needs. One such student is a boy, who, due to not feeling confident in living entirely alone just yet, has decided to not live in a flat and instead to get a bed in the all-male dorms. I give him all the information needed to start the enrolment process and think nothing of it.

A few days later, I get a call.

Me: “Hallo, [University]’s Student Housing Services. How may I be of help?”

Boy: “Hello, it’s me, [Boy]. I called two weeks ago about getting a place in the dorm, but I’ve had a bit of a problem.”

Me: “What kind of problem? Anything serious?”

Boy: “Uh, yeah, the headmaster, or whatever he’s supposed to be, sat me down after the dorm tour and told me I wasn’t a very good fit for the dorm and that I should go look for a flat.”

Me: “That’s weird. Did he elaborate?”

Boy: “No, he didn’t say much else.”

Me: “Okay, then. Do you mind if I inform myself and then get in touch with you by the end of this week?”

Boy: “Sure.”

And so the call ends. I immediately call the dorm manager’s office, figuring that something REALLY major had come up to tell him he couldn’t get into the dorm. After getting transferred from the secretary, in a few minutes, I’m on the phone with him.

Dorm Manager: “Hallo, [Dorm]’s office, [Dorm Manager] speaking.”

Me: “Hallo, Mr. [Dorm Manager], I have been called by a student called [Boy] [Surname]. He says that, after touring the dorm’s facilities, he was told that he wasn’t allowed to take a room. He told me he has not been told the reason behind it. Is that true?”

Dorm Manager: “[Boy]? If she is what I think she is, that’s not her name.”

There’s a long beat, as I’m confused.

Me: “Come again?”

Dorm Manager: “She was not a boy but a girl. I don’t understand what she was trying to accomplish in trying to hide her breasts and pass herself as a boy to enter my dorm, but, regardless, she isn’t supposed to be here. She should go contact the girl student dorm.”

Me: “Huh? His voice sounded quite masculine to me.”

Dorm Manager: “The voice did, but I guarantee you she didn’t look like a boy in the slightest, neither in face nor in body. I am not going to let some kid’s girlfriend sneak in to live with them.”

Me: “I think I’m going to research this matter a little deeper. Something is not quite adding up here.”

And I hang up. While I’m not allowed to access any files that could be considered sensitive, I do notice that [Boy] sustained the admission exam to university under the name he gave me; if this was just somebody’s girl trying to get a free room with her boyfriend, she would have to be extremely committed.

A couple of days later, I decide to send an email to my boss about it and then call the boy back.

Me: “Hallo, [Boy], [University]’s Student Housing Services.”

Boy: “Hallo, any news?”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve called the dorm manager. He has told me you looked like a girl and rejected you on those grounds.”

Boy: “Uhhh… what? Can he even do that? Can’t I appeal that?”

Me: “I think you should give a call to my boss. I’m afraid I cannot help you with this directly.”

And I give him the number. A few hours later…

Boss: “Hallo, [My Name], do you remember [Boy]? [Surname], the one.”

Me: “Yes, I do. I gave him your office’s number.”

Boss: “I have seen his file and talked about it with him. He’s definitely a guy, no two ways about it. Strike out a spot from the dorm. I will deal with it myself.”

Me: “Okay, if you say so.”

And he hangs up. I receive no information about it for a long time until midway through the first semester of university when I receive a call from [Boy].

Boy: “Hello, it’s me, [Boy]. I’m sorry, and I know it’s quite a lot to ask, but would it be possible to find an apartment now?”

Me: “Hello, [Boy]. May I ask why you want to leave the dorm?”

Boy: “I… I don’t feel comfortable in there. The place is nice and all, but the dorm manager keeps calling me to his office and telling me I shouldn’t be here or that I don’t look like a guy or…”

At this point, silence falls.

Me: “Hello? Are you there?”

There’s a long beat, and then I hear some sniffling.

Boy: “Uh… yeah, I’m here. It just hurts to talk about. Can I get a place in another dorm or an apartment with other people, pretty please? I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Me: “I will see what I can do.”

I decide to get the other side of the story just in case.

Dorm Manager: “Hallo, [Dorm]’s office, [Dorm Manager] speaking.”

Me: “Hallo, Mr. [Dorm Manager]. A student has been complaining about your behaviour toward him. His name is [Boy] [Surname]. May I know what is going on exactly?”

Dorm Manager: “What is going on? She isn’t [Boy]. She literally is just some girl who decided to change her name and gender because she liked football. I don’t care how much she likes [Football Team] or how much she wants to lop off her breasts. She is not a man, and she will never be, and I am not going to keep a woman around my dorm just to please some dumb idiot who thinks he knows better than I do. She either gets out of my dorm on her own, or I will make her wish she had never bothered.”

It all finally clicks.

Me: “Oh, okay, I do finally understand. I will be sure to pass this around.”

Dorm Manager: “You’d better. Goodbye.”

Little does he know, I am not going to communicate that to the poor guy.

Me: “Hello, [Boss]. [Dorm Manager] is apparently harassing [Boy] [Surname].”

A deep sigh comes from the other side of the phone.

Boss: “Jesus Christ, [Dorm Manager] really is the dumb motherf***** I thought he was. You’d think he loves long talks with the rector. Fine, I’ll get to work once again.”

To make a long story short: my boss emailed the university’s rector, who in turn demanded that the dorm manager visit him, and apparently, he had quite the choice of words for him. They started arguing, and then the rector gave the dorm manager his walking papers, replacing him with his direct underling, who was much more diplomatic. The trans boy ultimately decided to stay in the dorm and has thanked me, though, really, he had to thank both the rector and my boss.