Revenge Of The Queen Of The Dust Bunnies

, , , , | Working | July 15, 2021

I was working a job where we had to live on-site in dorms made from sticking trailers together. Being one of the rare female tradies, I shared the sole women’s trailer with a lot of the housekeeping staff, and they seemed a bit hostile, as if they owned the site and we tradies were unwelcome intruders. I like to keep to myself, anyway, so I hoped to avoid any friction with them.

One somewhat unusual thing I do to have a bit of privacy while working on a huge bustling mine site, eating in a huge bustling cafeteria, etc., is putting up the “Do Not Disturb” sign and doing my own cleaning, to have one little six-foot-by-ten-foot area that is mine and mine alone.

After I had been there a couple of weeks, one night, I was up for a midnight visit to the washroom when the cleaner for our trailer broke away from the party they always had going to appear in the washroom doorway as I tried to exit.

First, she rambled aggressively.

Cleaner: “Were you the one running up and down the hall, pounding on the doors and walls?!”

Surely I was visibly half asleep and she should have understood I hadn’t been doing a thing, but to avoid friction, I offered her the respect she felt she deserved and politely answered her questions.

Me: “No, that wasn’t me. I haven’t even heard anyone running or pounding, just the usual party noise.”

Then, she decided to find a new topic to hassle me with.

Cleaner: “Why do you keep that ‘Do Not Disturb’ tag up?”

Me: “I like my privacy. But if there’s any worry about me not doing a good enough cleaning job, I’m willing to let someone have a peek now and then, so you can rest assured I haven’t trashed my room.”

Apparently, she didn’t want supervised access, though; she wanted to be in there alone. 

She gave a big sob story about how diligent and dedicated she was and how she could barely cope with the nagging worry that dust bunnies were accumulating under my bed. It being the middle of the night, I was desperate to go back to bed, and she was blocking the bathroom exit, so finally I agreed to allow her in, just to get her off my case.

True to my word, the next day, I left the “Do Not Disturb” tag off. When I came home, I looked under the bed, since she had made such a stink about her obsession with cleaning there. And what did I see? The same old smudges from my casual weekly wipe-down with a damp paper towel, and the same old dust bunnies around the edges, where I had been careless. The bed was even made worse than I do it so that the sheet dangled down the back side of the bed into the dreaded dust bunnies. Hm.  

So, if she didn’t actually have a dust bunny fixation, what was her motive? Maybe she wanted to steal something. Maybe it was just a power thing. A month later, she spray-painted a slur on the truck of another tradie who asked her and her gang to keep it down. So, perhaps she just hated guests defying her imaginary authority. 

Every time I see a dust bunny, I think of that creepy woman with her inexplicable NEED to get inside my room. 

What did you want in there, Dust Bunny Lady?

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Feel Sorry For The Chicken Blobs She Had Growing Up

, , , , , | Right | July 13, 2021

I work in a deli that also serves hot, ready-to-eat food like chicken wings, rib tips, potato wedges, and whole rotisserie chicken. A woman comes up to our hot case and waves me over.

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I was just wondering, are there bones in these rib tips?”

Me: “Yes, there are.”

Customer: “Oh, well, what about the chicken wings?”

Me: “Those have bones, too.”

Customer: *Looks disgusted* “I don’t want any food with bones in it. I’ll just get a rotisserie chicken.”

Me: *Confused at the stupidity* “You want a whole rotisserie chicken?”

Customer: “Yes! How hard is that to understand? I just want a chicken because all your other food has bones!”

Me: “All right.” *Packages and gives her a chicken* “Enjoy!”

I can’t help but wish I could’ve seen her face when she got home and found there were bones in her whole rotisserie chicken.

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Getting A $100 Education

, , , , , | Right | July 5, 2021

My first job is cashiering for [Big Box Chain]. I’m fairly non-social, so I have had to pick up the little intricacies of smiling, nodding along, and small talk. In many ways, I am awfully, extremely, undoubtedly street-dumb, and this is one example of such that arguably worked in my favor. I’m eager to keep my minimum-wage paycheck and not get fired, so I do my best to learn the ropes.

A few months in, I’m starting to get the hang of some things. I’m confident with my register, have picked up a good rhythm for scanning and bagging, and have honed the fine art of keeping the average customer satisfied. But other things haven’t quite absorbed, two of which are relevant here. One, when my register is full of too much cash, the excessive amount needs to be “picked up” and whisked to the accounting office. And two, sometimes the dreaded “quick-change artist” makes their rounds to dupe us hurried, distracted cashiers out of our register money.

It’s a busy shift, I’ve accumulated Too Much Money in my register, and I’m doing my best to get customers’ purchases scanned, bagged, and paid for efficiently. A couple of hours before shift end, a man comes through my till with just a tiny two-pack of chapstick, which he goes to pay for with a $100 bill. For normal people, that’s a probable red flag, but naive me plugs it into the till and the register opens.

The man waves his arm to grab my attention and wants the $100 back, offering to pay with smaller bills. Present-day me knows he is trying to get the $100 back plus the $90-some-odd change.

Naive past me finds this a little odd, but without really thinking too hard, says the first thing that comes to my mind:

Me: “Oh, no, no, it’s okay! I know how hard it can be to break big bills like this. Don’t worry, I can do that for you.”

I don’t know if my genuine desire to be helpful stunned him or if he just figured that I was too foolish to fool, but he said nothing as I counted out and handed him his $90-something change like any other sale. He didn’t say anything and skulked out when I wished him a lovely day.

A couple of days after this, I was finally told what a quick-change artist is, and I got one step closer to being street-average.

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Unable To Get To The Meat Of The Issue

, , , , , | Right | July 3, 2021

I am a deli clerk in a big chain grocery store in Canada. My job involves slicing meats behind a service counter, with our opened chubs in bags with their shelf life represented in orange stickers. Recently, all employees had to do a racial and discrimination course to ensure we were dealing with customers properly, and I am extremely wary of offending anybody. This is also during the health crisis, so a lot of customers are wearing masks. I have been wearing one myself every shift since the beginning of April. A customer comes up to my counter and pulls down his face mask.

Customer: “I have strong accent; maybe you cannot understand me.”

He sounds Russian but I have no issues with that at all and actually enjoy listening to certain accents.

Me: “Maybe, but I have no difficulties understanding you at all. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “I want 300 grams European Bologna sandwich sliced.”

Me: “Okay.”

I walk over to the case and dig for the correct product.

Customer: “That will not be enough. I don’t want tiny piece. You cut it from this one.”

He indicates the closed chub on display.

Me: “Sir, there is more than enough on this piece to fill your order without giving you the end piece. We are not allowed to open multiple chubs of one type of meat—”

Customer: “That isn’t enough. Cut it from the new one.”

Me: “Sir, if you’ll let me—”

The customer cuts me off and begins complaining to the other staff that I refuse to serve him his meat.

Customer: *To anybody near enough* “This lady refuses to give me product from my own country!”

Me: “Sir, I have no issues filling your order, but I could get in trouble for opening multiple meat chubs of the same thing.”

The customer continued to cut me off multiple times, the conversation going around and around like this. After a few moments, I realized that I was not going to get a word in edgewise. Even lifting my hand to signal him that I was trying to speak didn’t help.

In the end, he left without his meat, complaining to two colleagues of mine on the way out of my department. The next morning, I sliced that same exact piece for our case and it would have easily filled his request without the end piece being too small.

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Music Is Music, My Friend

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

Sometimes, when it’s not too busy in the office, I’ll play music quietly from my Bluetooth speaker.

Coworker: “Hey, that’s [Christian Singer].”

I check my phone’s screen.

Me: “Yup.”

The wheels started turning in her brain.

Coworker: “But… you’re an atheist.”

Me: “Umm, yeah?”

Coworker: “But… that’s Christian music.”

Me: “Listen, you know I love music and go to a million concerts. If I let religion dictate what I listen to, I’d miss so much good stuff. Sinead O’Connor is now Muslim, and I love to drive to Hindi music. I listen to country when I draw and play pop when I’m entertaining. Christian music is uplifting and I just wanted a pick-me-up right now.”

Coworker: “But I like [Christian Singer].”

Me: “Great. What’s your favourite song?”

I reach for my phone to pull it up so we can share it.

Coworker: “I don’t know.”

She walked away, seeming kind of upset that a heathen like me could listen to music she likes. My lack of belief has always kept her at arm’s length from me, but now I think I may have ruined her enjoyment of music. Oops.

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