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The Only Thing Broken Here Is That Marriage

, , , , , , , , | Learning | August 25, 2022

Back when I used to work at an indoor soft play and cafe, we had to fill out paperwork if someone got hurt. One day, an eleven-year-old girl and her father approached me for first aid. She had changed her mind about the direction she was going and fell over her own feet and twisted her ankle. I gave first aid and filled out a report with her father. The girl was fine and her ego bruised more than the ankle as her dad was laughing at her fail. Ten minutes later, she was off running around again.

The next day, I got a phone call. I was increasingly suspicious throughout, but I was sincere and apologetic until the end.

Woman: “Hello. I need to make a complaint.”

Me: “Oh, I am sorry to hear that. What can I help with?”

Woman: “Your venue is dangerous. My daughter got her leg caught in the netting yesterday and broke her ankle.” 

Me: “Gosh! I hope she is okay. But, um, can you give me any more information about where and when it happened and who gave first aid?”

Woman: “It was at the top of the ramp up into the playframe. The woman at the front refused to give first aid because she was too busy.”

Me: “Wow! I am sorry to hear that. Did anyone fill out a report or call an ambulance?”

Woman: “No report. We rushed her out straight away and took her to the hospital. Now, what are you going to do for me?”

Me: “Wow, well, gosh, I really am sorry. I hope she makes a full recovery soon. Now if you don’t mind, I’m afraid I am going to have to fill out some paperwork. Can I start with her name?”

Woman: “[Girl].”

Me: “Oh. And her father’s name was [Girl’s Father].”

Woman: “How do you know that?”

Me: “Because I was walking past and saw her trip over, and so did [Girl’s Father]. She tripped over her own feet and all three of us knew that. Also, I was the woman who went up the front to administer first aid, who filled out the report with her father about what happened, and who bid them farewell two hours later after she had continued to run around and play. Now, I am sorry that she is hurt, and if she has indeed broken her ankle, then that will be awful for her, but I don’t know that it was because she got caught in our equipment.”

Woman: “Oh. Nevermind.”

She hung up.

I got another call later in the day. 

Girl’s Father: “I am really sorry, but my dips*** wife has just told me she made a fool of herself calling you this morning, and I wanted to let you know that my daughter is totally fine and is walking around as if nothing happened. It wasn’t your fault what happened and [Girl] had a really good day there. You have a really nice venue with nice staff. My daughter and I are moving out this weekend, and my soon-to-be ex-wife can sit and stew about whatever bulls*** she can come up with next.”

She Could Try Menthol But The Manager Would Still Be Cooler

, , , , | Right | August 22, 2022

I work as a supervisor. We’re basically a peg below managers and are responsible for the day-to-day running of the store, e.g., managing breaks, doing refunds, closing/opening the store, and dealing with irate customers.

A customer comes into the store complaining.

Customer: “I didn’t like the taste of the cigarettes that I bought.”

I’m extremely sceptical but still manage to appear as calm and as customer-friendly as possible.

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t provide refunds on cigarettes just because they have a ‘funny taste.’”

Customer: “I want to speak to the most senior person in the service area!”

Me: “That’s me.”

Customer: “Then escalate this issue to the store manager!”

I promptly call the store manager, who comes down with an annoyed look on his face. Apparently, the produce truck failed to show, and at the current rate, we will have little in the way of fruit and veg for tomorrow. He stands absolutely stock-still as this woman tears shreds out of him. Stony-faced, he says:

Store Manager: “I might have something that can help you.”

As he brushes past me, he mutters:

Store Manager: “Call security and have them come to the service desk.”

And with that, he walks out into the aisles. Like the little subservient worker that I am, I do exactly as he says and get centre security to watch over the proceedings from afar in case she gets overly irate.

After a short period of time, my manager returns with a packet of Nicorette stop-smoking aids and tosses them onto the countertop. In perhaps the driest tone I’ve ever heard, he says:

Store Manager: “You can’t b**** about the taste of cigarettes when you don’t smoke them anymore.”

The woman was allowed to take her free packet of stop-smoking patches and was escorted out of the shopping centre by the security guard. I was left feeling quite bewildered by the fact that my manager had just told a customer to essentially “stop her b****ing”.

“Sacred” Means Nothing To Some People

, , , , , | Right | August 17, 2022

I worked as a travel agent for several years, and one story stands out in my mind. A middle-aged man walked in with a request.

Client: “Yeah, I wanna climb Ayers Rock before they close it. How much?”

Me: “Well, I can look up flight prices for you, but please bear in mind that it is extremely offensive to Indigenous peoples for you to climb Uluru. It is a sacred site in their culture.”

Client: “Yeah, but it’s not illegal yet, right?”

Me: *Stern but polite* “No, not illegal, just highly offensive.”

Client: “So, not illegal.”

Me: “Not. Yet.”

I then stared at him using my best judgy face until he got uncomfortable and left. Thankfully, climbing Uluru is now illegal.

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 31

, , , , , , | Right | August 15, 2022



I run a bookshop. Some years ago — before the Internet became so widespread — I received a phone call from a man looking for books on breastfeeding.

Okay, some guys like to understand what’s going on and feel involved. I find a book.

Man: “Are there lots of pictures?”

Turns out his sister had just had a baby and watching her feed the little one had gotten him rather excited. He wanted something he could… enjoy himself… with.

To this day, I’m still not sure if this was a prank call or not. (He never came in for the book.)

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 30
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 29
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 28
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 27
On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 26

Karma In Flight

, , , , , | Right | August 15, 2022

When visiting family or going to university, I used to regularly fly as a passenger on a route affectionately known as the “milk run” — a smaller aircraft that flew down the coast in “hops,” with brief stops at each city. Most of the stops were those where you stayed on board the aircraft to keep turnaround time down, but at least once during the run, everyone would get off so the plane could refuel.

It was around 8:00 pm and we were coming in to land at Mackay airport. The flight attendants advised us all to put our tray tables away and buckle our seat belts before walking down the aisle to check that everything was ready. Suddenly, we heard yelling from the front of the plane.

Irate Passenger: “No! I refuse to put my table away! I’m using it! Why the f*** should I listen to you?”

The man kept yelling insults and abuse at the flight attendants, who were both women. His insults became louder and more abusive until the attendants had to leave and return to their seats for their own safety during landing. The man finally stopped yelling, and we landed without incident and disembarked.

While waiting in the departure area, I overheard the man complaining to ground staff. He had the audacity to complain that the attendants didn’t make him put his tray away and said that he was at risk because of their incompetence! I could scarcely believe the audacity of this man, who seemed determined to punish the attendants for their perceived slights against him.

It took considerably longer to reboard the plane than it normally did, and in the meantime, the only other flight that evening departed. It was just our flight left to go, and all the counter staff and shop staff appeared to have gone home.

When we finally reloaded, an additional airline employee was present at the gate, along with several airport security employees. When the trouble passenger approached the gate, the airline employee was calm and collected as he told the man that he had been removed from the flight due to his dangerous behaviour and he would have to rebook. Keep in mind that this was a reasonably small airport that was largely surrounded by sugar cane fields, and at the time, there was no nearby hotel airport or accommodation of any kind.

I wasn’t able to see the man ejected from the terminal, but I did think it was a nice touch that the staff waited for the other flight to depart. It’s so satisfying to see an a**hole customer get what they deserve.