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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.

Sale Fail, Part 9

, , , , , , | Right | August 14, 2022

The secondhand store I work at has different coloured price tags on all the clothing. This is to help us cycle through clothes since each week a different colour tag is on special.

A lady approaches me with an item.

Lady: “Hi, I know the item says $5, but I only have $3. Can I have it for that?

I see that the colour of the price tag is red.

Me: “Actually, anything with a red price tag is only $2 this week.

Lady: *Pauses for a moment* “So, you can’t do it for $3?

Sale Fail, Part 8
Sale Fail, Part 7
Sale Fail, Part 6
Sale Fail, Part 5
Sale Fail, Part 4

Not Being Cryptic About Your Dislike

, , , | Related | August 10, 2022

My mother got it into her head that I liked Cryptic Crosswords (the clues are word puzzles). Worse, it happens in a year when I’m living with my aunt instead of her for convoluted family reasons, so the first I know of this is when I visit around my birthday. I am also seventeen at the time, with no ability to blunt my opinions.

Mum: “Since you like cryptic crosswords, I got you this book to help you learn how to solve them better!”

She looks at me with the beaming pride of a parent who just got you a pony.

Me: “What? I hate cryptic crosswords. Where did you get the idea that I liked them?

Mum: “But… I’m sure you like them. Oh, well, here’s your present.”

When I leave, she doesn’t let me forget the book.

Mum: “You just need to learn how to do them, and then you’ll like them.”

I deliberately leave the book behind when I go back to the aunt’s place. It comes up on my next visit.

Mum: “I’ve been loving these cryptic crosswords; this book is so useful for them. Come sit here and solve some with me.”

Me: “Absolutely not. I told you last time, I hate them.”

Mum: “But they’re so easy and clever! Here, listen to this!”

For the next agonising half-hour, she tries to convince me of how much I’m “missing out” by reading out the questions and then explaining how to work them out. I am bored out of my skull and less engaged than I would be with a regular crossword, which is already dangerously unengaged.

Me: “No, stop. I am not on board. I don’t like these questions. I think they’re smug, and they make my brain hurt. I don’t want to do this.”

Mum: “But you love cryptic crosswords?”

Me: “No, you love cryptic crosswords. I like Sudoku.”

Mum: *Confused* “But you like them.”

On the next visit, the crosswords were not brought up, and I made it to the Christmas visit, thinking things had finally settled down… until I opened my presents. There was a brand new book of cryptic crosswords and how to solve them.

This goes alongside my memory of being eight years old and declaring, “But I hate ABBA!” when opening gifts and getting a very unwanted CD.

I still don’t know where she got the idea that I liked the darn things.

Meet The Mister Looking For His Miss-ogyny

, , , , , , | Right | August 9, 2022

I work as a beauty therapist at a VERY upscale franchise spa in a five-star hotel. The majority of our clientele are quite well-off and/or coming for a special occasion. Most are perfectly polite, but we do get a few clients who are entitled and demanding.

It’s about an hour before closing, and I’ve just exited from cleaning one of the treatment rooms when the receptionist pulls me aside. She’s a lovely girl from Mexico.

Receptionist: “Hey, [My Name]. I’m sorry, but you’ve had a last-minute booking for a thirty-minute massage.”

Me: “Oh, really? That should be fine.”

Receptionist: “Yeah, I’m sorry. The client asked for you specifically.”

I glance into the waiting room and see the client. I’m instantly confused.

Me: “I’ve never seen him in my life. Why would he ask for me?”

Receptionist: *Looking embarrassed* “Well… he said he only wanted to be booked with an Australian therapist, so it has to be you.”

I stare at her in disbelief. My coworkers at the spa are all extremely multicultural, and I love that. We have people who are Thai, Nepalese, Mexican, Spanish, German, Japanese, Italian, etc. I am the only white Australian who works at this particular location.

Me: “What?! Are you serious?! What does that have to do with anything?”

Receptionist: “I don’t want to book him, but [Manager] said just do it. I’m really sorry. I know it’s weird.”

Me: “I can’t believe this… Okay, fine. I’ll do it. Thank God it’s only a short booking.”

I’m so stunned and angry that I have to take a minute. I don’t know what to expect with this guy or what bearing he thinks cultural background has on this, but since I’m technically the only one who meets his request, I have no choice. I prepare the room, brace myself, and go to fetch the client.

Me: “Hi, [Client]? My name’s [My Name] and I’ll be your therapist today.”

He seems pleased and follows me to the room. I check his consultation form and he gets on the massage bed. I begin the massage.

Client: “So, you’re Australian?”

I’m irritated by his bigotry, but I try to be polite.

Me: “Well, yes. I was born and raised here.”

Client: “I’m glad. I’m [Ethnicity]. You been working here long?”

Me: “I started at this company last June.”

Client: “How often do you work?”

Me: *Thinking he’s just making small talk* “I work four days a week, currently. It’s such a physical job after all.”

Client: “So, you married?”

Me: “No.”

Client: “You have a partner?”

Me: “No, not right now.”

Client: “D***! I was going to say that your husband is a lucky man. Your hands are magic! How old are you?”

Me: “Late twenties.”

Client: “How long have you been single?”

I try to end this conversation.

Me: “A while.”

Client: “You should get married. You ever been with a [Ethnicity] man like me?”

Me: “No. Did you want me to turn the music up or anything?”

Client: “No, I’m good. See, honey, you need to get with a [Ethnicity] man like me. But just so you know, you won’t be able to work when you do. You can’t be Miss Independent with them.”

Me: “…”

Client: “You have to let them be in charge. If you submit, they’ll take care of you. If you try to be your own woman, it won’t work out.”

I die a little inside.

He proceeds to lecture me throughout the rest of the treatment about how a “proper” wife should behave while asking extremely invasive questions about my dating history, which I gently rebuff.

The thirty-minute massage is agonisingly slow, but I get him out as quickly as I possibly can. My coworkers are very concerned with his odd behaviour once I tell them what he was saying. A note is put on his file that he is not to be rebooked. I go home and think that’s the end of it, but the next morning, I arrive to find the receptionist looking worried.

Receptionist: “[My Name]! Are you okay?”

Me: “Yes. What’s going on?”

Receptionist: “That weird guy from yesterday came back looking for you.”

Me: “What?!”

Receptionist: “Yeah, before we opened, he was standing outside, staring into the window. He was wondering when you started work.”

Me: *Pauses* “If he comes back today, tell him I’m not working. And if he comes back again, tell him I’ve been moved to a different spa.”

Receptionist: “If he comes back, I’m calling security. He’s crazy.”

The spa manager was horrified when she found out, and the client was promptly blacklisted for life. So far, he hasn’t returned, and I hope it stays that way!