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Double The Bags, Half The Brain

, , , , , | Working | October 22, 2021

I’m scanning and bagging my almost $300 worth of groceries while the monitor employee comes over.

Employee: “Why are you double-bagging all of your groceries?”

Me: “Excuse me?” 

Employee: “You are wasting our bags!”

Me: “If you don’t like the way I’m bagging the groceries, feel free to come on over here and bag them yourself.”

Employee: “That’s not my job!”

Me: “Okay, then I will bag my groceries how I please if that’s all right with you.”

Employee: “Why are you using two bags?!”

Me: “Because the bags are weak and I don’t want the handles to break or the bottoms to rip out.”

Employee: “Well, that’s because you are putting too much stuff in the bag. If you took half of that stuff out and put it in a different bag, then you wouldn’t need to double-bag.”

This is followed by ten seconds of me just staring at her.

Me: “So, you want me to split these items in half and put half of them in a different bag so that I don’t have to double-bag.”

Employee: “Exactly.”

Me: “So, I would still be using two bags to hold the same number of items.”

Employee: “No, because you wouldn’t be double-bagging.”

I’m pressing two fingers to my left eye in an attempt to make it stop twitching.

Me: “Okay, so here I have a jug of milk and a bottle of juice double-bagged. If I take the milk out and remove the double-bagging and just put the milk in the single bag and the juice in that single bag, I’m still using two bags for these two items.”

Employee: “No, because you are not double-bagging them, so it’s not the same number of bags.”

I’m looking around at about ten other customers who are enjoying the show.

Employee: “Never mind, you just don’t get it.”

And with that, she went back to her little podium.

It’s A Tough Bridge To Cross, But She Did It!

, , , , , , , | Related | October 11, 2021

My mother suffered a terrible crash in the early 1990s that should have killed her but, for whatever reason, didn’t. It was off a low-water bridge and as a result, she went through a phase for over a decade of being terrified of driving over bridges. It lessened with time, but the one bridge that still terrifies her to this day is the bridge over the Mississippi River from Arkansas to Tennessee, which is unfortunate because she would have to drive over it to take me to visit my father as a child.

As I grew up, she refused to let me drive the trip because it was best for her to remain in control of the car while going over the bridge. But when my father died, we had to bring home several antiques in a moving van, which one of us had to drive, so she agreed to let me drive the trip for the first and only time.

On the way to the funeral, about a half-hour from the bridge, Mom is on her phone, reading an article about the history of the area, and she starts reading it aloud to me. I figure she’s doing this to distract and calm herself, so I tune her out and focus on driving. I get over the bridge and get to the eastern outskirts of Memphis when she finally looks up again.

Mom: “Uh… where are we?!”

Me: “We are [miles] from Nashville.”

Mom: “Did you cross the bridge?”

Me: “Kinda had to, yes. You were reading to distract yourself; I didn’t want to bother you.”

Mom: “I was just enjoying the article; I had no idea we even crossed the bridge!”

And then, on the way back, we’re trying to make the trip in one go because I have to be at work the next afternoon. Mom is driving the moving van, and we’re coordinating through our phones. About two hours east of Memphis, she calls me and asks me to pull over at the next gas station.

Mom: “You’ll have to call in to work; we need to stop for the night.”

Me: “Why?”

Mom: “The bridge is coming up and I just need a night’s rest. It’s dark and I’d rather it be daylight when we try.”

Me: “No, we’re going on, and we’re crossing tonight.”

Mom: “What?!”

Me: “It’s two in the morning. It’ll be four when we get there. There’s going to be no one driving. The bridge is lit up. We can get on the inside lane and go as slow as you need, because there will be no traffic to slow down. If you can’t see the water, you can tell yourself you’re driving on solid land. It’s going to actually be easier. If we stop, we stop in Arkansas.”

Mom: “I don’t know…”

Me: “Look, you can get a motel room for the night. I’ll see you at home.”

We cross the river, on the phone with each other the entire way, and we finally pull over at a large truck stop in West Memphis.

Mom: “I can’t believe I never thought of that before! That’s the easiest I have ever made that trip!”

Me: “Yeah, I have a lot of anxieties and phobias, and that’s how I always force myself past them.”

Looking For Change And A Change Of Customer

, , , , | Right | March 26, 2021

I work at a popular sandwich shop in a small town. My manager asks me to cover in another town because that store is running low on staff. I’m checking someone out and his total is six or seven dollars and he hands me a twenty. Our drawer only has a couple twenties and some ones.

Me: “Hey, [Manager], I need the safe code so I can grab some change real fast.”

She comes over and tells me the code, I grab out the zipped bag and search for some other bills. Unfortunately, there’re only twenties and ones in there, as well.

Me: “[Manager], we only have twenties and ones, no tens or fives.”

Manager: “We can’t buy either of those, so you’ll have to give change in ones.”

She explains that when we get change from the bank, we can only get it in twenties and ones, so whatever we have in the register from customers is all we have.

I grab the ones and count out the customer’s change. He has been listening to the whole conversation and doesn’t seem to mind about the change.

Me: “Here’s your change. Would you like your receipt?”

Customer: “No, thanks. Now I can go to the titty bar!”

My Nose Is Now Out Of Commission

, , , , , | Working | January 3, 2021

I’m working on an Air Force base. I’m checking on a lift station outside of a building to make sure the pumps are working. As I’m about to open it, an NCO (non-commissioned officer) comes over.

NCO: *Rudely* “What are you doing?”

Me: “I’m checking to make sure that this building’s lift station is functioning properly.”

He continues to hassle me.

Me: *Politely* “Step back, please.”

NCO: “I will not!”

So, I proceeded to open the lid. He got a nose full of what happens when you mix gas station hot dogs and energy drinks, and almost fell over from the smell. I told him to have a nice day and walked back to my truck.

Buckle Your Seatbelt And Button Your Lip

, , , , , | Friendly | December 29, 2020

A friend of mine needs a ride to her hometown to pick up some papers from the county courthouse she needs for her ongoing divorce. I take her up there and we get the papers. She wants to leave them at her parents’ house a few blocks from the courthouse for safe-keeping. This is a small town with narrow streets, and halfway there, I come to a two-way stop sign where I encounter a problem.

The house on the corner to my immediate left is some kind of business, and they have a HUGE advertisement sign in the yard on the corner so it can be seen by anyone on that section of road. But it creates the BIGGEST blind spot I’ve personally ever encountered. I cannot see oncoming traffic from my left at ALL. I try to lean forward, but it’s no good. My friend leans as far forward as she can.

Friend: “I can’t see anything. I think it’s fine; you should be able to go.”

The very next thing I remember is white smoke and the smell of oil smoke. I’m finding it a little hard to breathe as something is tight across my chest, and my friend is shaking me and shouting my name. I’m suddenly facing the way I came from and my head is throbbing.

It turns out that when I tried to go, an SUV slammed into my driver’s side door with enough force to turn my heavy car a complete 180, damaging the frame beyond repair. I can see kids on the corner on their phones, probably calling 911. The woman driving the SUV is beside herself with worry for me and her children who are shaken up, and is apologizing profusely.

The police arrive quickly and I’m given some kind of paperwork to fill out. My friend has to point things out and explain them to me because I’m so loopy from the wreck that I’m having a hard time reading and writing. I’ve not left the vehicle yet.

The only clear thing in my head is the story of a horrible wreck my mother was in when I was a child, and her telling me about how she’d been in shock and was able to walk up a steep incline with EMT while both of her legs were broken. I can understand that I’m in shock, so I decide to use it productively and fill out the paperwork while I’m still somewhat lucid.

Then, the tow truck driver arrives on the scene and begins to slam his hand on my window, frantically.

Driver: “MISS! MISS! Oh, my God, you’re okay! Can you move?! Do you need me to cut you out?!”

I hold up the paperwork.

Me: “I need to fill this out.”

Yeah, that is my biggest concern right now. I’m removed from the car, very dizzy, and my friend asks for us to be taken back to the courthouse because her mother is the county clerk. I exchange numbers and information with the lady who hit me and tell her to let me know if her kids are okay later. I call for my mother to come to get me once we get there to take me to the doctor.

They tell me I have a bad concussion and some internal injuries. I’m sent home after being patched up and am told to have someone keep an eye on me for a couple of days. As I’m being driven back to my house, I get a text message.

Driver: “Hey, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yeah. You must be [Driver]. Are your kids okay?”

Driver: “Yes. We just left the hospital, and we’re all okay. Are you okay?”

Me: “I have a concussion and a lot of bruising. I should be good later.”

Driver: “That’s good. I’m so sorry for what happened.”

And that is the end of it, I think, beyond maybe some insurance agent. The next morning, I’m woken up by my phone ringing, and it’s [Driver]’s number.

Me: “[Driver]? Hello?”

Man: “Is this the b**** that hit my girlfriend’s SUV?!”

Me: “What? Who are you?”

Man: “My kids are in ICU because of you, you b****! I’m going to f****** sue you for everything you’ve got!”

My concussion has completely stripped me of my verbal filter, so I just don’t have the capacity to try to diffuse the situation or calm him down.

Me: “Dude, I don’t know who the f*** you are, but I have text messages from [Driver] that I have screenshots of where she told me last night that she left the doctor with the kids, and that they were all okay.”

He hung up on me. When I finally got a copy of the report, [Driver] was faulted for the wreck. She admitted she had been breaking the speed limit, she’d had her eyes off the road to turn and yell at her kids for not sitting down, and none of her three children — all under seven — were in car seats or buckled up. 

And that business was forced to take their f****** sign down for good.