My Mother, The Lizard Woman

, , , , , , , | Right | November 27, 2017

(I am working the floor at a large pet store. A young man, about 16 years old, comes in and says that he is thinking of buying some lizards and wants to know what he will need. I explain to him that these lizards will need an aquarium, a lid, a heat source, places to hide, a special lamp — especially as there is little sunlight in winter in Alaska — and a few other items. I also talk to him about what kinds of lizards would be good for him, and which ones will be relatively inexpensive. At no point do I try to sell him anything, since I figure he is just getting a feel for what he’ll need. While I am talking to him his mother comes in:)

Mother: “What are you doing?”

Son: “I’m thinking of buying some lizards, and I want to know what I need.”

Mother: “What did this guy tell you?”

Son: “Well, I need an aquarium, a lid, a heater, a special light, and some other things.”

Mother: “Why are you trying to sell my son this stuff that he doesn’t need?”

Me: “He asked me what he needs to keep lizards.”

Mother: “Don’t lie to me. You people are always trying to sell other people things they don’t need. You do not need a heater or a light. There is no way we are buying things from a liar like you.”

(The son looks absolutely mortified at this point.)

Son:Mom! I asked him about this. He was just answering my question.”

Mother: “We are leaving, and if you can’t recognize liars who want to steal your money for things you don’t need, then you can’t go into any more stores.”

(The mother then physically dragged her son away while loudly complaining about liars, and her son just looked back at me with a horribly embarrassed expression on his face.)

Unfiltered Story #100034

, , | Unfiltered | November 18, 2017

(My sister has had a terrible few years culminating in her leaving the army due to “failing to adapt” to training in a combat oriented job despite having been told she’d just be a translator. She’s too empathetic for that kind of thing and the training was hard for her kind heart. Unbeknownst to my family, she became depressed.

But one day, she and I have an argument, and I get a weird feeling. I ask her if she’s going to hurt herself. I tell her if she ever does anything to herself, I’ll do the same to myself. Later I get a call from her saying she took a lot of Benadryl in an attempt to kill herself. I send her to the emergency room and follow in a car behind the ambulance. When I get there, I hear screaming behind the doors to the ER from the waiting room and I know it’s her but the receptionist pretends she couldn’t hear it. Finally I’m allowed back.)

Nurse, attempting to pin my sister to the medical bed: “You need to hold still and cooperate!”

My sister, shirtless, terrified and still drugged, crying: “No!” She sees me and cries, “[Sister], save me!”

I’m standing there helpless, at a loss, crying. My sister gently pushes the nurse off her and runs back to the bathroom to hide in the corner with her shirt clutched to her chest. The nurse tries to follow and I stop her. My sister just spent time in the military and in my mind it’s a miracle she hasn’t hurt this woman already.

Nurse: “She needs to change into a medical gown and get her blood drawn so we can see how much she took!”

My sister has a phobia of needles.

Me: “Let me talk to her.”

Nurse: “She needs to cooperate! Either I can do it or I can call an anesthetist. That,” she’s angry and ranting at me, “that is not the behavior of someone under the influence of Benadryl!”

Me, now angry: “No. That is my sister, and she is hurt and scared. Now you need to back off and let me talk to her. You said she needs her blood drawn? Just a minute. Stay out here.”

Me, coming into the bathroom: “I know you’re scared. That nurse is a f****** jerk, but you do need to have your blood drawn to see how much you have in your system. Either the nurse can draw your blood, or anesthetist can do it. Which would you like?”

Sister, shakily: “Anesthetist.”

We walk out and she lays down on the table and holds her arm out. I ask if it’s okay for me to hold her and she agrees, so I take her other hand and put my arm around her shoulders and she hides her face in my neck while the anesthetist draws her blood. That’s when the nurse finally seems to feel some sympathy for my sister.

However, when our family arrives and after the doctor is with my sister, she asks my parents a bunch of nosy questions and then asks why we didn’t see this coming. That’s when we finally ask to speak to the head nurse. I know that our worst day is the ER nurse’s every day, and I don’t know what the training is on handling people like that, but a modicum of empathy goes a long way with a lot of people even if they’re under the influence. A couple years later, my sister is okay now, and she knows we love and need her.

Unfiltered Story #98664

, , | Unfiltered | October 23, 2017

(This happens at my grocery store at least once a day, typically closer to 3-5 times.)

Me: Hello. Did you find anything today?

Customer: Yes.

Me: *Begins scanning items* Do you have a -official name of store’s card-

Customer: *Reading list as items scan* Those are supposed to be on sale.

Me: Yes. Do you have a membership with us?

Customer: Those are *names price.*

Me: *Takes a deep breath* Yes, do you hav-

Customer: Shush. Listen to me. The -items- are supposed to be on sale for -price-!

Me: Do you have a membership with us? The card or your phone number.

Customer: Oh. Yes. *puts in number and sales items instantly drop down to sales price.*

(Needless to say, they never apologize of even acknowledge their behavior.)

A Totally Reasonable Reaction

, , , , , | Related | October 16, 2017

(I am staying at my grandfather’s house in rural Alaska for a summer. One day, I notice several pockmarks that look like birdshot in the bedroom wall.)

Me: “Grandpa, why did you shoot the wall in my bedroom?”

Grandpa: “There was a spider.”

Me: “You used a shotgun to kill a spider?”

Grandpa: “It was a really big spider.”

Me: “Did you at least get it?”

Grandpa: *sadly* “No.”

No Cable Makes You A Cry-Baby(sitter)

, , , | Related | September 20, 2017

(A customer has a bad signal issue that we have to dispatch a technician for during a busy part of the year.)

Me: “We have an opening in two days.”

Customer: “Two days?! No cable for two days? Well, who’s gonna watch my kids?!”

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