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The Loneliest Tampons

, , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

Our little, independent, local supermarket has a shelf near the checkout for items marked down: things close to the use-by date, things with slightly damaged packages, weird things that clearly no one wants. (Most Australians remember the “Lamington-flavoured chips” debacle.)

There has been, on this shelf, for six months now, an opened packet of tampons with one missing. It’s only marked down to about 10% of its original price.

I know it hasn’t just been forgotten because I see them tend to the shelf often.

Seriously, how are they so cheap that they think they are actually going to sell an open packet of tampons and profit a tidy $2.50? What is their end goal here?

I have asked the teenage cashiers who work there a few times, because I just find it fascinating, and they just shake their heads and say, “I know, I know.”

It Starts With An Uphill Battle And Then Goes Downhill

, , , , , | Right | November 17, 2021

I’m going through a serious mental health crisis and am required to get an evaluation from my doctor to then receive a mental health plan which will help out with the costs for a therapist. The doctor I go to has been treating me for years and is walk-in only; you go in, they check out your Medicare card, and you’re put in the queue. It’s first in, best dressed, but it’s only a small office that not many know of, so it’s rarely crowded and the wait time is rather short. I’m twenty years old but look very young for my age.

On this particular day, I’ve been having a really bad round of issues. I am incredibly miserable and spent the last night and this morning crying. I decide to go right to the doctor’s office at opening to get things over and done with.

The office itself is a house that’s been renovated on the inside. Like most houses, there’s a steep driveway leading up to the entrance; however, they’ve also added stairs along the side. The driveway is much steeper than the stairs, which are the long type where you have to walk a couple of steps in between to reach the next stair.

I can see a middle-aged woman walking slowly up the driveway. As I start on the stairs, I see her glance at me and then quicken her pace. I still reach the entrance before her and enter right as she reaches the top. I hear her “hmph” as I hold the door open for her behind me.

She then walks really close behind me and tries to steer her way around me to get in front, but the hallway leading to the waiting room is too narrow. I reach the receptionist first, who is on the phone, so I stand a little way behind the desk, waiting to be called on. The lady stands next to me, a little bit in front, to make it seem like she got there first. I’m in no mood for a fight so I pretend not to notice.

The receptionist hangs up the phone and asks who is next, but she looks right past the lady and at me. At the same time, I can see the lady glaring at me out of the corner of my eye, as if expecting me to let her go first. Normally, I would let her, but my miserable mood mixed with her microaggressions have left me really not caring about her, so without looking in her direction, I go up to the desk. I get my card checked, fill out the general information slip, and sit down. This really only takes two minutes, yet the whole time I can hear the lady muttering and grumbling behind me.

After sitting down, the lady approaches the desk and loudly says, “Don’t you remember the days when kids respected their elders?”

The receptionist — in her mid-twenties — stared at her incredulously and replied, “No. I don’t.”

Helping Them With Everything Except The Kitchen Sink

, , , , , , | Right | November 16, 2021

I’m shopping at a popular superstore that’s having a really good sale on kitchenware. I’m replacing some cooking utensils when a young couple approaches me.

Young Man: “Excuse me, but I was wondering if this would melt?”

He points to an all-plastic turner.

Me: “If you leave it in the pan, yes, but I’ve you’re just cooking, then no. If I can make a suggestion, I’d go for this one.”

I pick up one made of metal and plastic.

Me: “It’s better quality and only fifty cents more.”

Young Woman: “Thank you, we’ve just moved into our first place and don’t really know what we’re doing.”

Me: “You’re welcome. I have some time to spare. If you would like, I can help you out.”

Young Man: “Thank you, we’d really appreciate it.”

I spent the next hour helping them pretty much set up their whole kitchen. While some things were a little more expensive, I saved them money on others. I found out they were international students who had just moved out of the dorms into their first apartment together and neither had lived on their own before.

When we went our separate ways, the young woman hugged me and they both thanked me profusely.

To Be Fair, I Still Think 1980 Was Twenty Years Ago

, , , | Working | November 13, 2021

My partner subscribes to a whisky club that sends him a bottle of whisky every month. I am often at the post office for business, so I am usually the one to collect it. The workers know me and skip the formality of asking me for ID. One month, he collects it himself and the following craziness ensues.

Worker: “I need to see your ID.”

My partner, who looks very much like a middle-aged man, hands over his driver’s license which shows that he was born in August of 1980.

Worker: “I can’t let you have this. You have to be twenty-one and it’s not August.”

I have no idea why he would need to be twenty-one because eighteen is the legal drinking age here, but that is beside the point. It’s 2021 and the worker is clearly having a bad maths moment.

Partner: *Dumbfounded* “I was born in 1980.”

Worker: *Getting irritated* “YES, and I said that it’s not yet August. You need to be twenty-one for me to release this package to you.”

Partner: “I’m forty.”

Worker: *Pauses* “FINE.”

She handed him the parcel with no apology and no awkward laugh or joke about not having her morning coffee.

I’m Looking For A Book, It’s Blue…Again

, , , , , | Right | November 12, 2021

Working in a bookshop, I will occasionally get a very, very vague request, somewhere along the lines of “The cover was blue,” “It had a dog and the dog died,” and so forth. This particular customer told us that he had read the book in high school, and it was about a guy who had lost part of his soul in a ritual and was kicked out of a magic academy, only to gain his soul back in an epic battle in the end. I was delighted because I knew exactly what book he meant.

Me: “Oh, you mean [Book #1]!”

Coworker #1: “No, isn’t it [Book #2]? I swear it was [Book #2].”

Me: “Are you sure? It sounds exactly like [Book #1].”

Coworker #2: “What book are you talking about? It sounds familiar.”

The customer explains again.

Coworker #2: “Oh! That’s [Book #3]! Let me show you.”

Customer: “The cover had a man with a stopwatch or pocket watch on it, I think.”

Me: “It sounds exactly like [Book #1]!”

Coworker #1: “It sounds exactly like [Book #2]!”

Coworker #2: “It sounds exactly like [Book #3]!”

Customer: “I guess it’s a popular plot or something. No one else has known, either. I’ll go try some other shop, I guess.”

Me: “Please, let us know when you do find it! Have a good day!”

We have a wager going for the book. The prize is a cookie from the café next door.