Language Is Fluid

, , , , , | | Healthy | August 20, 2019

Some years ago I had gastric bypass surgery. During the aftercare, I had appointments with a dietician at the hospital where I had the surgery. As a preparation for these visits, I had to fill out an inquiry. One of the questions regarded alcohol.

Did I drink less alcohol than before the surgery, the same or more?

Well, that looks like a straightforward question, but I couldn’t answer it truthfully. Because I do not drink, and is no alcohol the same or less? It can’t be more, but is it the same or less? The same implies some alcohol consumption, as does less. 

I added an extra line to the inquiry and simply stated that I do not drink alcohol. Ever.

The dietician went nuts. She berated me for 50 minutes for “my excessive alcohol consumption” as I hadn’t picked the only acceptable answer — less. “None” wasn’t a viable answer as it wasn’t included in the inquiry. I asked her to add to my chart that I do not drink. I asked if we could please continue with discussing my diet as I do not drink. She had worked herself into a frenzy and just kept screaming. Wonderful to travel six hours for a useless meeting with someone not listening at all.

Anyway, the next meeting was six months later, with another dietician. And the same inquiry to prepare. Once again, I answered that I never drink.

This dietician was even more aggressive. She rushed out during the meeting to get a colleague so they could scream at me together. While she was out I grabbed a paper and wrote on it in big letters, “I NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL.”

It didn’t help. They still couldn’t grasp that it is possible to not consume alcohol. I asked them to test my blood alcohol level and do whatever testing they wanted as my liver should be in prime condition. Because I did not f****** drink alcohol. And I still don’t. 

Maybe I just should have picked the option of “drinking less” on the inquiry, but… I’m a language teacher. Nuances are important. “Less” is not the same as “none” or “nothing.”


Liquor Is Quicker!

, , , , | | Right | August 18, 2019

Customer: “Boy, you guys remodeled quick. I was just in here yesterday and it wasn’t like this. Looks pretty nice.”

Me: “Nope, it’s been like this for a while.”

Customer: “Well, you weren’t in here yesterday, so you wouldn’t have known.”

Me: “Sir, I was working here yesterday and the day before that and the day before that. And by the way, you are probably looking for the liquor store that’s next door.”

(Go home, dude; you’re drunk!) 

Defeating The Guardian Of The Wine-Coolers  

, , , , , | | Working | August 16, 2019

(I am 25 years old and am a legal guardian to my 17-year-old younger brother. We are shopping at a wholesale store for a get-together I am having with a couple of friends. I decide I want to buy some wine coolers for the get-together since all my friends are over the age of 21. I usually like doing this by myself but I am already running late and figure since I am already at the store I buy my wine coolers from, I might as well buy them then and there, completely forgetting about my younger brother’s age and the law — my bad. We are finally checking out. When they get to the wine coolers, I show my ID as per usual. This conversation happens while I’m adjusting everything in our cart.)

Cashier: *to my brother* “May I see your ID, please?”

Brother: “What for?”

Cashier: “I need to see your ID for the wine coolers.”

Brother: “They are for him, not me.”

Cashier: “Since both of you are together, I have to see your ID; otherwise, I can’t sell you this.”

(I finally get back to them and hear the last part of her sentence.)

Me: “Can’t sell us what?”

Cashier: “The wine coolers.”

(At that point, I finally remember about his age and the law.)

Me: “Oh, I completely forgot about the law. Well, he is still a minor and I am his legal guardian; since these are for me you won’t need to see his ID.”

Cashier: “Since he is a minor I can’t sell you the wine coolers; it’s against the law.”

Me: “Normally, it’s against the law, but in this case, it is different since I’m his legal guardian. If you want, we can show you our IDs to confirm that we are related and living in the same address.”

(We proceed to show her our IDs.)

Cashier: “You are indeed related and under the same address but he is still a minor and I can’t sell to someone with a minor.”

Me: “So you don’t sell to parents that come with their kids?”

Cashier: “Well, that’s different since they are parent and child and the parents are responsible for the child.”

Me: “Well, I am responsible for him, since that is what legal guardianship is, so it shouldn’t be any different.”

(This goes on for a bit until a manager overhears our conversation and comes over to see what is going on.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Cashier: “They are wanting to buy the wine coolers while one of them is still a minor.”

Me: “Yes, he is a minor, but I am his legal guardian. We are brothers and live under the same address; we already showed her our IDs to confirm the relationship and address.”

Manager: “Did they show you their IDs with the same address?”

Cashier: “Yeah, but he is still a minor. It’s against the law.”

Manager: “Okay.” *proceeded to clear the flag on the register* “Your total will be [total].”

(I proceed to pay when I hear this.)

Cashier: “Hey, you can’t do that; it’s against the law.”

Manager: “Normally, yes, but since he stated that he is a legal guardian, he is like a stand-in parent.” *to me* “Here is your receipt.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(We started leaving while still hearing the cashier and manager “arguing” about what had happened.)

True Definition Of A Beer Belly

, , , , | | Legal | July 29, 2019

(One day, at around 10:00 pm, I am working the till at a small store. A man comes in wearing a high-vis jacket. He walks around for a while, going to the back. He opens and closes all of the beer fridges before buying some gum and then leaving. The man comes back about 45 minutes later, drunker than he was before. He staggers to the back and opens the beer fridges again. I tell my manager that I have a suspicion about what he is doing, but there are no cameras and the man has no bag to hide the booze. He buys more gum and leaves. My manager follows him around the side of the store and sees that he is drinking beer. My manager is angry that the guy has been stealing, but can’t do much as the guy has already left the store. But then, he comes back. We both watch as the man walks to the beer coolers and slips two six-packs into his high-vis jacket. My manager stops the guy before he gets to the till to buy his gum and asks him to remove the beer.)

Drunk: *slurring* “It’s not beer. It’s fat. I’m fat.”

Manager: “Sir, please remove the beer from your jacket. I know that you’ve stolen from us twice already. If you remove the beer and leave, I won’t call the police.”

Drunk: “It’s not beer! I’m fat!

Manager: “Please–”

Drunk: “I’m fat fat fat!

(The drunk ran for the door, and my manager just let him go with a sigh as the guy was shouting and acting crazy and he didn’t want us to get hurt.)

Capitalism Will Figure That One Out

, , , , | | Right | July 18, 2019

(I work in a small boutique wine shop in midtown. We get all sorts, especially since we’re very close to a subway hub. On this day, it’s just me and my boss working.)

Me: “Hi, how are you?”

Customer: “I’m fine. Hey, do you guys give discounts to alcoholics?”

Me: *blank stare, thinking quickly about how I should answer tactfully, coming up with nothing*

Boss: *the same*

Customer: *waiting expectantly*

Boss: “Um… No.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

(One of the most awkward exchanges I’ve had to date.)

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