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Here Or There Or Anywhere

| Right | September 16, 2011

(We have a big sign on the bakery counter with an arrow saying “Please Pay At The Till”. Despite this, a lot of people think they can pay at the counter.)

Me: “Next, please.”

Customer: “Hey, you haven’t taken my money yet!”

Me: “Oh, sorry. If you’d like to take everything over to the till, you can pay there.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. I’d like to pay here!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t have a till behind here.”

Customer: “Can’t I just give you the money and you can put it through the till later?”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, I’m not allowed to do that.”

Customer: “Well, fine!”

(I watch as she walks to the left, past cashier and the “Please Pay Here” sign, eventually standing at an empty counter. The cashier continues to serve people lined up at his till. She finally turns to glare at me, whilst I serve other customers at the bakery counter.)

Customer, to cashier: “Well, aren’t you going to come and take my money?”

Cashier: “If you come over to this till, I can do that for you.”

Customer: “Well, finally. At least someone around here knows how to do their job!”

When Futures Draw To A Close

, | Learning | May 28, 2013

(I am tutoring a student in basic drawing. This particular student has a very high opinion of himself and has been constantly interjecting that this school is wasting his time and not teaching things the way he needs to be learning them.)

Student: “Okay, look, I’m not complaining, okay? I’m just saying, this drawing stuff is a waste of my time and energy. I have a full-time job and a social life and I don’t have time to draw every day. I just want to learn [3D modeling software]!”

Me: “Well, drawing it is how you first learn to interpret the world as we truly see it and not how your brain reduces it down into symbols.”

Student: “But, look, if you wanted me to model this, I could. But I’ll NEVER have to DRAW anything in the field I want to get into.”

Me: “I guarantee you will. Besides, it will be your job to learn to take a 2D drawing or concept and make it 3D and understanding the drawing is the first step.”

Student: “Look, I know you care a lot about this, but it’s bull-s***. You obviously haven’t been in [this field of art] or you’d know that.”

(One of our instructors is walking by with a couple of people. He walks into the room.)

Instructor: “Excuse me, what is your name?”

Student: “Uh.. it’s [Name]. How can I help you?”

Instructor: “Oh, well, we were walking by and heard your conversation. [CEO of major company in the students’ field] and [Art Director for same company] want to know who you were so they could be sure never to hire you.”

(He then turned to me and calmly introduced me to the two gentlemen with them and asked me to give them my business card. I’m expecting to start work with their company as soon as I graduate!)

This story is part of our Tutors roundup!

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Not So Pretty In Pink, Part 4

, | Right | November 15, 2016

(The theme park I work for is testing a new wristband system. Instead of having to carry key cards for the hotel room, guests get wristbands that will unlock their doors, and they can also be used to charge purchases to their bill. Certain VIP members get to test them early, and get some extra perks with them. I am helping a family check in.)

Me: “Here are your wristbands!”

Mom: “Can we get ones like theirs? I want a pink one and so does my daughter.”

(She points to some people checking in with my coworker. VIP testers receive a different design on the band, and also get to pick from a list of colors. Current guests only get black or light gray.)

Me: “Sorry. ma’am, those aren’t available to everyone yet. The colorful ones are only offered to park members right now.”

Mom: “Well, make me a f****** park member, then! I want a pink f****** wristband!”

(Park members are usually wealthy families who live close by and come to the parks at least once a month. The expensive dues aren’t really worth it for tourists who only visit occasionally. Normally I would try to explain this to her, but I’m frustrated at how she’s treating me.)

Me: “Oh, you want to be a park member? Let me help you sign up! Your dues are $XXXX a year; I can either bill that fee to your room or you can pay right now with the card I have on file. Here’s your paperwork. You’re welcome to fill it out at your own pace and bring it back to any cast member at the check-in desk when you’re ready.”

Mom: *screams loudly and storms out of the hotel*

(The dad watches her leave, then sadly shakes his head.)

Dad: “This is supposed to help us fix our marriage.”

(I later see him and the daughter out in the lobby playing. He waves me over.)

Dad: “My wife decided to fly home because, according to her, you ruined the vacation. She threatened to call your boss. Are you going to get in trouble?”

Me: “Probably not, sir. I did exactly what she asked, which was to sign her up for the park membership. My coworker will be happy to back up my story.”

Dad: “Good. I’ve decided to go through with the divorce. I’m thankful she–” *motions to daughter* “–is too young to understand.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, sir. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make your stay exceptional.”

Dad: “I think we’re fine, thank you. How do I contact your boss, though? You’ve been so helpful.”

(I gave him my supervisor’s contact information. Once they left for the day, I arranged to have a small basket of treats and toys for him and his daughter to be delivered to the room. I received a glowing report from him, which helped me receive a raise! He also had some flowers delivered to the front desk of the hotel for all of the staff to admire.)


Getting Her Knickers In A Twist

| Romantic | June 28, 2013

(I am in a long distance relationship with a woman who has a very low sex drive, and is rarely ever openly sexual. She has received a coupon to a large chain that specializes in underwear. She has spent the previous month hinting, and then flat-out saying that I will get to pick out what she uses it on, referring to it as my ‘early Christmas present’. The day we go, I spent the time playing pack mule through the mall before we arrive at the underwear store.)

Me: “How about these? They look pretty good to me, and they would look even better on you!”

Girlfriend: *very curtly* “No! Not those, find something else!”

(This process repeats until she lays out two pairs of ‘granny panties’ that I can pick.)

Me: “Well, not quite the selection I thought I had, but the blue ones I guess.”

Girlfriend: “Ugh! I knew you would try to pick something skimpy; you are such a perv!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry. But when you said we were lingerie shopping for my ‘early Christmas present’, I thought you were being flirty.”

Girlfriend: “Men can be such pigs! Ever since we started dating, all you ever wanted to do is have sex!”

Me: “I’m going to stop you there. We’ve been dating two years now. We have never even come CLOSE to having sex. You said you wanted to wait till you were married, and I’m fine with that. I have NEVER said anything to pressure you. I am not, however, fine with being insulted and called a perv every time I so much as acknowledge that sex is a thing.”

Girlfriend: “You are just such a pig!”

(She then storms out of the store with the underwear in hand, and is arrested for shoplifting. Six-months later I hear that she is pregnant, and unsure as to who the father is.)

My Treatment Doesn’t Need Your Mistreatment

| Working | February 5, 2013

(I suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve worked very hard to manage my illness, but when I have insurance I am required to attend therapy. I go to my boss and explain to her that now that I have insurance through the company, I’ll be needing one day a week, every other week off in order to seek treatment. The following conversation occurs…)

Boss: “I’m going to schedule according to the store needs. You need to manage your social life on your own time.”

Me: “It’s not my social life. It’s medical treatment for a recognized illness. I’ve got paperwork diagnosing me. I need the time off.”

Boss: “You’re not really sick! You’re just making that up!”

(At this point I could have called HR, but I decide to try one more time.)

Me: “In the first place, you don’t have any medical training so you don’t know what you’re talking about. In the second, I can’t expect my therapist to just randomly shoehorn me in here and there. She has a set appointment schedule and I have to work within that. I’m not asking for anything special—just my rights under the law.”

Boss: “You don’t have any rights under the law. You’re just making stuff up. I’m going to schedule according to the store needs, and if you don’t come in, you’ll be fired!”

(At this point, I get fed up. The next day I call the District Manager. I explain the situation to her. I email her copies of my diagnosis and a letter from my therapist explaining my needs. She reviews them, calls me back and tells me the following.)

District Manager: “You do what you have to to get well. You’re a valued employee and we want you around for a long time. If it comes down to it, I’ll work your hours that day. And let me know if anyone else gives you a hard time about your illness. I’ll fire their a** on the spot!”