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Hashing Out The Hash Brown Issue

, , , , , , | Working | May 10, 2022

My car is out of commission, so I decide to order enough food from a nearby donut shop/breakfast place to last me through the weekend. My order is one latte, three bagel sandwiches, four donuts, and six orders of hash browns. Their hash browns are little medallions, so a single order of hash browns consists of a little paper baggie of five or six pieces each.

I decide to order on the mobile app as it’s a large order. About fifteen minutes after making the order, I arrive at the shop. There are only two workers: one making food and the other running the drive-thru, manning the cash register, and making drinks. My latte and donuts are ready in the pickup area with my receipt and name next to them. Everything listed on the receipt is correct, so I grab the finished items and sit at a table to wait for the rest of my order to get done.

Ten minutes pass and there is no sign of progress on my order, so I walk up to the counter. I was under the impression they were working on the rest of my order since someone obviously finished about a quarter of it, but boy, was I wrong.

Worker #1: “Are you waiting for something, ma’am?”

Me: *Confused* “Yes, I’m waiting for the rest of my order. I only got the latte and donuts.” 

I show my receipt.

Worker #1: “Sorry, I’ll get right on that.”

Another ten minutes pass as I idle by on my phone. [Worker #1] comes up to me with a bag. From the look and weight of it, I’m certain it’s not my whole order. Sure enough, when I open it, there are only two bagel sandwiches and just one baggie of hash browns. I go back up to the counter again.

Me: “Hi, sorry, my order still isn’t done.”

Worker #1: “What’s missing?”

Me: “There’s a bagel sandwich missing, and this bag only has one of the hash browns. I ordered six.”

Again, I motion toward the receipt, which correctly lists everything in my order. [Worker #1] looks as annoyed as I’m starting to feel.

Worker #1: “Sorry, I’ll fix that.”

I wait another ten minutes. If you’re keeping track, it has been forty-five minutes since I made the order on the app and thirty minutes since I showed up in the shop. The other worker, who has been busy with other duties, comes up to me.

Worker #2: “Sorry, ma’am. I’m making your bagel sandwich now. Would you like something as compensation for the wait? More donuts or hash browns?”

Me: *Like a fool* “More hash browns would be nice, I guess.”

Worker #2: “Got it!”

Five more minutes pass, and [Worker #2] hands me another bag. It has the third bagel sandwich and two more baggies of hash brown medallions, which are the “compensation.” I am still missing the complete six orders of hash browns I ordered from the very beginning. At this point, I think the universe is punishing me for wanting to eat unhealthy food from a donut shop. It’s a sign, but I’m in too deep; it’s been fifty minutes!

Me: *Finally losing my patience* “I’m sorry, my order is still wrong.”

Worker #1: *Angry* “What’s wrong with it?”

Me: “I’m still missing five hash browns.”

Worker #1: *Defensive* “I already gave you that!”

Me: “No, you didn’t.”

Worker #1: “Show me your food!”

I’m floored. I have been in sight of the counter sitting at a table the entire time on my phone and haven’t touched the food, nor do I have any place to put it. I start taking out the items from the order and passive-aggressively counting the contents as I pull them out of the bags.

Worker 1: “Give me the bags!”

Fed up, I hand them to her. At this point, [Worker #2] comes over and starts counting the baggies of hash browns.

Worker #2: “Ma’am, there are three orders of hash browns here.”

Me: “That’s not all of the hash browns. I only got one from my original order. There’s supposed to be six.”

Worker #1: “I gave you six!”

I stare at her. It finally dawns on me: she literally put six medallion PIECES of hash browns in the first baggie she gave me and didn’t realize I wanted six ORDERS of hash browns.

Worker #2: “Ma’am, we’re going to have you charge you for those if you want extra.”

Flabbergasted, I pull up the receipt of the order on the shop’s mobile app and hold it up, barely keeping myself from shoving it in her face.

Me: “I wanted six orders of hash browns. I only got one.”

From the food now spread out on the counter, it is now obvious what has happened.

Worker #2: *Long pause* “Sorry, ma’am. [Worker #1] didn’t tell me that. I’ll start on them right away.”

[Worker #1] has gone silent. I don’t even look in her direction anymore.

Five more minutes later, [Worker #2] gives me four more baggies of hash browns. I sigh, but I’ll take it.

Worker #2: “I’m really sorry, ma’am. She really did mess that up.”

I murmured a half-hearted thanks and finally got out of there almost a whole hour after I’d ordered the food. When I get home, I gorged myself on the hash browns and donuts. Was it worth the hassle? Debatable, but d*** if those things weren’t delicious.

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (Unless They Want To)

, , , , , , , , | Related | April 30, 2022

I was visiting my goddaughter, and I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up.

Goddaughter: “I want to be everything, except for a bad guy or a cowboy.”

Me: “Why not a cowboy?”

Goddaughter: “I don’t know. I just don’t want to be a cowboy.”

Me: “But you want to be everything else? You’re going to be a plumber, and a cop, and a doctor? Isn’t that a lot of things to do at once?”

Goddaughter: “No, I’ll do them all.”

Mother: “It’s too bad she won’t be a cowboy or she could be all of the Village People at once.”

My goddaughter stayed true to her claim for my whole visit, repeatedly telling me she didn’t want to be a bad guy or a cowboy. Poor cowboys get no love.

We Appreciate You! Like… Ten Of You…

, , , , , | Working | April 13, 2022

The company I work for makes software for car dealership websites. I’ve only been working there for a few months, and I’m not a salesperson, so this is my first time experiencing how it handles New Year bonuses, meetings, and sales contests. In early January, we have a big (online) meeting and the executive officers address all the employees scattered across the country.

CEO: “This has been such a great year. We really want to thank you all and find a way to give back to the employees who made this possible.”

I wasn’t really paying attention, but I lean forward in my chair when I hear this.

CEO: “We would like to give employees a discount on their next car! Anyone who purchases a car this year through a dealership using our software will have $500 added to the following paycheck.”

My wife and I have been planning to buy a new car but are struggling to justify the cost, so I am extremely excited to hear this!

CEO: “This benefit will be retroactive, so anyone who has already purchased a car this year will be included.”

Immediately, the employee chatbox fills with people excitedly posting that they just bought a car last week and are stoked to get the discount funds sent their way.

CEO: “This benefit will be for the first ten employees to purchase a car this year. If all goes well, we’ll consider doing this again next year and expand the number of employees who can receive the benefit. Thank you for all the hard work you do!”

After hearing this, I slumped back in my chair. More than ten employees had already posted about their new cars, so there was no way my wife and I had a shot at getting the discount. I think I would have preferred a normal raffle prize drawing because I would have at least had a shot at winning something. In a company of several hundred, I don’t feel like this was the way to make everyone feel appreciated.

Today, On “The World Is Too Big And It Scares Me”:

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2022

I work as a receptionist for a healthcare company that often helps people get started with disability, Medicaid, SSI, etc. We have locations across the entire country, with thousands of employees. The phone rings about fifteen minutes to close.

Caller: “Hi, I received this letter that says someone by the name C. [Somewhat Uncommon Last Name] is handling my application. I need to talk to them.”

Me: “No problem, one moment.”

I search by the last name in my directory and find four matches, three of whom have a first name that starts with C. I transfer the caller to the [Customer Service] representative on my list. The other two are in IT and Accounting, so they’re unlikely candidates. Two minutes later, the phone rings again.

Caller: “Yeah, I just talked to you. No one answered; I just got a voicemail. Can you get that person on the phone? It’s C.—” *Spells the last name*

Me: “Ma’am, I have three C. [Last Name]s in my directory, I sent you to the one I believed to be the most likely person. Do you have any other information, such as the department they are from? Is this regarding a Medicaid or Disability appli—”

Caller:Three?! But it’s an uncommon last name!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, it is, but we have multiple people working for the company with that last name. We have offices across the country, so there are bound to be some similar names.”

Caller: “But it’s such an uncommon last name! It’s [Last Name]!”

She spells it out again.

Caller: “I got this suspicious letter, and I need to find out what’s going on with my application!”

Me: “Let me send you to our general resolution line, and anyone there can at least pull up your information in their system and see what’s going on.”

Caller: “You can’t do it? Or get C. [Last Name] on the phone?”

Me: “I’m a receptionist and don’t have access to any client information. Let me get you over to someone who can help you.”

I transferred her before she could argue. As I hung up the phone, a delivery person arrived, so I left my desk to unlock the door and let them in. When I returned to my desk, I saw a missed call from the same lady. She left a very similar voicemail that I then forwarded to the rep. Sorry that some people within a nationwide company might share a last name?

Not Yet A Pro With These Pronouns

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 28, 2022

For some reason, possibly due to my ADD, I’m horrible at remembering details about people. I remember the people, the conversations we’ve had, and how I’m helping them if applicable, but a lot of what my mind considers “unimportant” gets lost quickly. Unfortunately, my mind files such trivial details as name, facial features, race, and gender in the “unimportant” category. This has resulted in my often needing to fake remembering people whose names I can’t recall to avoid others taking offense. I also volunteer with a large number of people, which makes it worse. I am always having to look back at old conversations when someone messages me just to remember which person they are.

One particular person I’d been helping for a while now and had come to consider a friend. I already knew she had dated women in the past; however, I remember being confused on several occasions about who they were dating currently. I presumed it was just my usual inability to remember details, but for reasons I couldn’t quite figure out, it seemed to happen far more often with this woman than others I volunteered with.

Finally, I had to travel out to my friend, staying with her for a few days, to help her with something important, and so I finally met her partner. They seemed nice enough, and at one point while my friend was gone, I was joking around with them and I jokingly agreed with them about something.

Me: “Aye-aye, ma’am!”

To this, they gave me a quiet, half-grumbled response, which surprised me a bit given the levity of the situation prior. Then, they almost immediately wandered off.

Partner: “Yeah, well, that’s ‘Aye-aye, sir.’”

This surprised me, since I’d been using — and had thought I heard others using — female pronouns to refer to this person for a few days now. I’m sorry to admit that I wasn’t knowledgeable enough back then to have considered they may be gender-fluid; I still thought people were either cis or trans, and neither of those concepts fit with someone who was referred to by both pronouns. More to the point, I figured that if my friend’s partner was trans, or non-cis, it surely would have come up during all the time I spent speaking to my friend by now. I would have asked her partner for details, but they didn’t seem to want to discuss their pronouns or identity anymore.

Still, they had asked me to go with “sir,” so I did my best to stick with male pronouns after that, especially once I heard others also using male pronouns for them. Given how oblivious I can be, I have no doubt I likely screwed up and used the wrong pronouns a few times, but I did my best.

Sometime the next day, my friend and I were alone.

Friend: “I noticed you started calling [Partner] ‘him’? How did that happen?”

Me: “Oh, he mentioned something offhand about preferring to be called ‘sir,’ plus [Other People that visited last night] were using ‘he,’ so I figured that’s what he wanted. Why? Did I screw up and call him something wrong?”

Friend: “Oh, no. He’s trans. It’s just that we hadn’t told you, so I was surprised you knew.”

Me: “No wonder I was so confused. I’d figured you would have said something if he was trans. Why didn’t you?”

Friend: “Well, we were kind of afraid you might refuse to keep helping us if you knew he was trans.”

Me: “I would never do that! He’s been putting up with female pronouns for the last few days just out of fear I wouldn’t support him? The poor man.”

Friend: “I’m so glad to hear you say that! He was the one that suggested we not mention he was trans, but I felt wrong calling him ‘her’ this whole time anyway. Sorry for not telling you sooner.

Me: “Oh. Oh, now I get it! No wonder I thought I was going crazy; you’ve been gaslighting me this whole time!

Friend: “What do you mean?”

Me: “You’ve been trying to refer to him as female, but I think you’ve slipped up and let out male pronouns a few times. Every time you did, I thought I must be confused about who you were dating or that you dumped them for a man or something, and you would tell me you’re still dating the same person, and I’d just think I was crazy. I figured it was my usual problem with remembering details about people, but man, I was starting to wonder why I could never keep who you were dating straight.”

Friend: “Oh, yeah, that probably was me. I’m sorry again that we didn’t trust you enough to tell you sooner.”

As it happened, my friend and the man she was dating had a mutual breakup a few months later. However, I’ve stayed in contact with my friend since, and many years later, she has recently married a genderfluid woman. As my friend’s six-year-old daughter, my goddaughter, likes to explain it:

Goddaughter: “[Mother’s Wife] is mostly a girl but is sometimes a boy. Mommy loves people like that!”

Thankfully, now my friend trusts me enough to just be honest with me about these sorts of things rather than confusing me with half-truths now.