The Daddy Of All Meanies

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2019

(My dad owns a typesetting and editing business in the 1980s and operates from a home office. He professionally prints stationery, wedding invitations, magazines… basically anything that is on paper, he can do. Since the only other house phone is in my playroom, I am trained from the age of three to take calls politely, put people on hold, and walk to my dad’s office to tell him he has a phone call. At the age of five, I am trained to help out after school, and can do extremely basic things, like get a file and tell clients how much they owe on their specific projects. Long term clients know the reason I answer the phone after three rings, and they know that I will help them if I can. This guy, however, even though he has talked to me face to face on several occasions — I remember that he’s loud and overbearing, which to my five-year-old self is translated to “scary” — and he’s taken my family out for dinner several times to talk about business ventures he’s pursuing, he still can’t accept my “receptionist” role, nor can he understand “family-home-based business,” so my dad usually meets the client at his office. This is the most memorable call from him:)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thank you for calling [Business]. I’m [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Longtime Client: “UGH!” *mumbling to someone else* “It’s that dumb little girl again.” *back to me* “I’m getting so sick of this s*** from you little people. Don’t you have anything else to do? Go play with your f****** toys or something.”

Me: “Sir! If you would like to talk to my dad, who ow—“

Longtime Client: “YOUR DADDY? UGH. NO.”

Me: “Okay, goodbye, then. Have a—“

Longtime Client: “NO! No, no, no! I want to talk to [Dad]!”

Me: “Okay. I will go get my dad, then.”

Longtime Client: “NOO! I WANT TO TALK TO [DAD]! ARE YOU DEAF, YOU ST—“

(I place the call on hold, with the client still ranting, and walk into my dad’s office thirty feet away.)

Dad: “Who’s that?”

Me: “[Longtime Client]!”

Dad: “WHAT?!”

Me: “The scary man!”

(I had not previously let my opinion on him be known. I am internally berating myself for saying that…)

Dad: “Um… Yeah, actually, he is, isn’t he?” *picks up phone* “Hel—“

Longtime Client: *apparently arguing with someone away from the phone* “AND IF THAT STUPID LITTLE GIRL HAD GOTTEN ME A HOLD OF [DAD] INSTEAD OF HER STUPID DAAAAAADDY, MAYBE—“

Dad: “OKAY, ONE D*** THING! I may be her dad, but I’m not stupid. I heard everything you said, and my daughter was unfailingly polite. You do not treat my daughter like that under any circumstances, ever!”

(My dad quietly shoos me out of his office and closes the door before he proceeds to rip into the guy completely. I remember looking up the word “unfailingly” later on that day. After he finishes, my dad comes to talk to me about my phone etiquette:)

Dad: “You okay?”

Me: *sniffily* “Yeah, that guy’s scary. Do we have to go to dinner with him again now that you have his work done?”

Dad: “No, never, honey. He’s not a client anymore. But you know what? When people say, ‘No, not your dad; get [Dad],’ you say, ‘Okay, [Dad] will be with you in just a moment,’ or, ‘Okay, I’ll go get [Dad],’ before you hit the hold key, okay?”

Me: “Okay. And I’m glad we don’t have to see him again.”

Dad: “So am I! I’m sorry he was scary and mean to you.” *hugs me*

(Years later, I found out that not only did the ex-client not pay my dad for the order that had just been completed that day, but he also wrote a bad check on the previous order, and had a habit of skipping the bill whenever he’d take us out. My parents took the client to court to recoup their expenses, and got a lot more than they were hoping for: the judge awarded them attorney’s fees in addition to the payments from the previously unpaid jobs, and our attorney asked my dad for 450 printed wedding invitations, insisting that that was more than enough to cover all the court expenses!)

Absolutely Zero Con-Text

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 9, 2019

I’m sitting at home on my computer when a text comes in from a random number. It just says, “Be A Man. Call me back.” I figure the spammers are trying out ways to get people to call them instead of vice versa, so I ignore it.

Fifteen minutes later, I get a call from a vaguely familiar number that turns out to be the same one that sent the text. A woman’s voice I don’t recognize, but which seems a bit antagonistic, asks, “Who is this?” Somewhat confused, I give my first name. She doesn’t seem to believe me and gets more agitated. She keeps asking who I am, and gets more and more upset as I tell her, basically, that I’m a middle-aged man who has no idea who she is or who her son is. Suspecting I’m talking with a crazy person due to how aggressive and upset she is, I don’t give out any specific details. She then segues into, “How do you think I got this number?” I have no idea and say so. “This showed up on my son’s phone. How did it get there?” Again, I have no idea.

She doesn’t believe me, starts ranting at me to leave her son alone, and gets quite worked up. I’m usually upset by confrontational situations, but I surprise myself by staying calm. She obviously made a mistake and is now yelling into the phone loud enough to make me pull it away from my ear, but this has nothing to do with me. My calm only makes her more agitated, since I’m not “taking her seriously.” Eventually, she slows down and ends with a short segment with the theme of, “I better not see your number on my son’s phone again!” I figure that is easy for me to agree to since I have no idea what her son’s phone number is. She then hangs up.

Five minutes later, a text from the same number: “I am SO SORRY! I mixed up your phone number with a punk kid my son has been hanging out with. I am only doing my best as a mom and sorry to bother you.”

Those two sentences explain more about the situation than all the ranting she did over the phone. To be polite, I reply, “That’s okay. Hope you can resolve your situation.” She replies, “Thank you. Sorry again,” and that is the last I hear from that phone number.  

I do hope she resolved the situation, but ten minutes of yelling and a lot of vocal cord stress could’ve been avoided if she’d double checked the number, or actually listened to me when I said I didn’t know who she or her son was.

Unfiltered Story #146368

, , | Unfiltered | April 8, 2019

My dad and I have a long standing tradition of trying to steal each other’s food, with the house rule being “you snooze, you lose.” We are out at breakfast in a small mom and pop place. It’s crowded, noisy, and difficult to have a conversation across the table, but very much worth it for the amazing food and service.

Our waitress takes our order and brings it out in record time. We have asked for the exact same thing, right down to the sides of eggs and bacon. As the waitress sets down the food, I can hear my dad talking to her and get the gist of “doesn’t need bacon.”

Initially, the waitress is confused, but quickly realizes what’s going on when she sees me glaring at my dad and pulling my plate closer to me. She smiles, immediately grabs my dad’s food, and starts handing it to me. We all start laughing, she puts the food back down, and my dad “complains” about how messed up it was that he tried to steal my bacon and the waitress turned on him.

Something about women sticking together. We had a great breakfast, waitress got a great tip, and we will definitely be going back.

“Nice Guys” Usually Aren’t

, , , , , , | Romantic | April 7, 2019

(Parking around the university is scarce and expensive, but there is a train that stops on campus that has free parking lots farther away. After a long day of classes, I head home. I have a really heavy backpack, so I’m relieved to see there is one seat left. As it takes a few minutes to get to my stop, I pull out a book to try and squeeze in a few more pages. Almost as soon as I sit down, the guy sitting in the window seat next to me is suddenly looking very squirrely, and turns in his seat towards me.)

Guy: “Um, uhh…”

Me: “Oh, is this your stop?” *preparing to stand up and let him out*

Guy: “NO! Don’t get up! Uh, I mean, you’re fine.”

Me: “Oh, all right, then.” *looks back down at my book*

Guy: “Um, hey, whatcha reading?”

Me: *after briefly explaining the synopsis* “If you like science fiction, it’s a really good one so far. I can’t put it down.”

(The guy just gives me a blank look and grunts, so I just smile and return to reading. I don’t even make it through another sentence before he pipes up again.)

Guy: “You’re really pretty.”

(I chuckle uncomfortably.)

Guy: “And you chose to sit next to me, out of all the other seats you could have taken… I can’t believe this is happening to me. I finally have a girlfriend!”

(Thankfully, just then, my stop is coming up, so I snatch up my backpack and quickly get up.)

Me: “Er, there actually weren’t any other seats… Anyway, have a nice day.”

(The guy, who up until now has been very soft-spoken, is suddenly so loud that it startles the other passengers.)

Guy: “Oh. OH. OH, so you’re just leaving, then?!”

Me: “Well, this is where I left my car, so… yeah.”

Guy: *overly sarcastic tone* “WHATEVER. I see how it is. You’re just like every other c*** looking for a free hand out, expecting guys to just give you seats because of your rack.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that seat belongs to the city. And I bought a ticket.”

(The guy opened his mouth to say something else, but the doors opened and I got out. As I walked towards the car park he stared at me out the window, glaring daggers and mouthing words, oblivious to the other passengers all turning in their seats at this spectacle. I was pretty nervous about running into him on the train again since I caught the same one every day, but luckily I never did. He probably thinks he’s a nice guy, not the reason why those red panic buttons are installed.)

Putting The Cold Into Cold Hard Cash

, , , , , | Right | April 4, 2019

While I am working at a gas station, a customer pulls up to the pumps and then comes inside. He wanders around for a moment and eventually grabs an ice cream cone from the cooler. He unwraps it and starts eating it as he heads to the register, ripping off the entire ice cream top in one go.

Then he seems to realize his mistake, as he can’t coherently communicate with ice cream in his mouth. His solution?

He spits the ice cream into his hand, asks for $10 on his pump, puts the ice cream back in his mouth, and proceeds to pay for the order in cash… with the hand that was holding the ice cream glob.

As you might imagine, the cashier is less than enthused to take the money and makes a beeline for the bathroom to wash his hands immediately after completing the transaction.

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