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Can’t Stress This Enough

, , , , | Right | December 2, 2020

I work at a bistro. Today, I am working alone. I have to prepare salad and rice for lunch, make sandwiches and cereal bowls, clean the tables, and serve customers simultaneously. There are a lot of customers, so I struggle to juggle everything at once.

A regular wants something from the antipasti bar. I fill her plate, but she wants more and more, even though the plate is full. I probably look a bit annoyed, so she asks me:

Customer: “Are you in a bad mood?”

Me: “No, I’m just stressed.”

Customer: “And you’re serving me this stressed?!”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “What am I supposed to do with this? Eat it and become stressed?”

Me: “W—”

Customer: “What are you even stressed about? There are barely any people here!”

Me: “…?”

Customer: “I don’t even know if I want this now that I know that you’re serving me this stressed!”

A colleague from the adjacent grocery store came over and asked what was wrong. The customer ranted that I was stressed and I was serving her stressed and now she couldn’t eat what I served her. She demanded that my colleague prepare her the same plate but in a calm way.

The customer next in line didn’t say anything, but she gave me a huge tip out of pity.

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Who Does That?!

, , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2020

My partner has a long-time friend that is difficult, to put it nicely. She hears that we are planning on visiting my niece’s baptism abroad, where we have booked a small flat.

Friend: “Great news! I just bought my plane ticket and am coming with you! You don’t really need a couch, so I’m sleeping on it.”

Me: “Sorry, that’s not a good idea. My family has planned out the entire three days fully, so we won’t have any time to spend with you. Both of us will even have to deal with work when we get home in the evenings. It’s going to be quite stressful, so it might be better if you book your own room and we meet up when we all are back.”

Friend: “Of course. I just want to spend some days abroad, and I’m happy to see you for a few minutes, should you ever be free. You won’t even notice I’m in the same city.”

Weeks later, we are abroad. After tearfully guilt-tripping my partner and bullying me, the friend takes over half of our flat.

The first evening:

Friend: “You are no fun at all! Why did you stay out until now? You promised to spend at least the evenings with me!”

Me: “No. If you are bored, you could make dinner or go for a walk while we finish work.”

Friend: “Alone? At almost midnight? Do you want me to get murdered?”

The second evening:

Friend: “Why didn’t you call all day? I could have joined you. Your family is mean and should be ashamed! If my child brought along a friend, I would invite them everywhere and pay for them!”

Me: “What if that friend rudely invited themselves? Besides, [Partner] told you that we are spending our own money, as is everyone else.”

Friend: “Whatever! [Partner] said that your family was throwing away money on this baptism, so I’m sure someone is paying for something! You said that you didn’t get to eat outside this flat yet, so whoever paid for lunch and dinner could have easily used what they saved on you on me instead. If [My Sibling] is rich enough to afford a child, they can certainly afford to invite me!”

Me: “I guess one of my old uncles might be interested. Are you really willing to prostitute yourself for some food in a cheap restaurant?”

Friend: “Don’t be ridiculous! I just think it’s a waste that you didn’t eat anything. I would have enjoyed two lavish meals with your family instead of suffering through my day all alone, again, thanks to your selfishness!”

Me: “Do you think I didn’t want to eat? I wish they had picked a restaurant with any food that fit my dietary restrictions. But I’m not going to whine about it and ruin my family’s holiday.”

Friend: “Of course not, but that’s your own fault. I hate cold vegetables and vinegar, so I exactly know what to do whenever I’m served something wrong. Just order any dish that sounds good, and if it doesn’t look or smell tasty, make them remove whatever you don’t want to eat or are allergic to. If I behaved recklessly like you and skipped a meal, I would actually die from starvation, since I’m slender.”

The third evening:

Friend: “You both have made nothing but salad for three days in a row now! Why can’t you cook anything I like? The whole flat reeks of vinegar. I’m going for a walk!”

A year later, the baptism of my sibling’s next child comes up.

Friend: “When are you going abroad again?”

Partner: “Sometime around the first week of June. And no, please don’t even think about joining us, not after last time’s drama!”

We had a very peaceful and relaxing family holiday in May. The friend did not enjoy her weekend away in June.

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Hopefully She Won’t Be Picking It Up From The Floor

, , , | Right | November 22, 2020

I’m currently switching out the displayed books on a shelf when I hear the telltale grating of one of the support boards give in. I scramble to grab the board but the books start falling, crashing into the books on the board below, and those books start falling as well. I try to catch at least some but most tumble to the floor around me.

A woman walks up to me as I’m still clinging to the board in the hope of saving at least some books.

Customer: “Please order [Book] for me. I’ll be picking it up next week.”

She then gave me her name as I was staring at her in disbelief, and then she left without saying goodbye.

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The Best Time To Play The Grandma Card

, , , , , | Working | November 10, 2020

I want to earn my own money, so during summer vacations in high school, I work at a small coffee shop which also sells tokens for all kinds of attractions, like trampoline jumping, mini-golf, etc., in the area.

In my final year there, another young man joins our shop. He is barely fourteen years old, but being the manager’s best friend’s son grants him his permission — or so he thinks — to act like the manager himself at times.

Although he helps us out in one tight spot or another with a lot of customers, most of the time he is annoying, loud, and all in all more of a hindrance than a help.

Around this time, news around the world reports certain groups being involved in terrorist attacks, so the boy thinks it’s HILARIOUS to greet people with certain hand gestures, greetings from different languages, and jokes heard from the news or read on the Internet.

It’s pretty tasteless. Some parents with their (rather young) children complain about him, but they are always laughed off by the manager.

Manager: “Oh, boys his age, you know?”

Having had enough, I tell him to stop multiple times, which only leads him to sulk somewhere for a few minutes and start again when none of us can hear him.

The manager’s response?

Manager: “Figure it out between the two of you! I can’t just keep holding your hand, you know!”

So, I look up the boy’s last name in the local phonebook, call the first person I find… and get his grandmother on the line.

After I describe his behaviour, she goes quiet on the other end of the line, but she ends the call with:

Grandmother: “Thank you. You can be sure that I’ll have a word with him.”

The next week, the boy is in a foul mood, a mix between angry and sad, but rather quiet without any more of his jokes. The manager, though, takes me to the side.

Manager: “Did you seriously call his relatives? How could you?! Don’t you know that he has a hard time with his parents and their current situation?”

Me: “You told me to figure it out between the two of us, so I did just that!”

I got a pretty nice tan from all that work under the summer sun, but that was about the only nice thing I took with me from that job.

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Secondhand Cold Cuts

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 30, 2020

I have some groceries delivered, and in one of the bags, there is a wrapped cold cut platter that I did not order. I immediately call the driver and the company, but they do not want to take it back, even though it is expensive, has its original sealing, and has been kept cold. I am a vegetarian, so I call around to find someone who can use a week’s supply of cold cuts.

Friend: “Do you think we are poor?!”

Me: “Of course not. I just thought you might enjoy some free food. The shelters I called all told me they could not accept food like that. As you have a husband and a young child, you were my first call.”

Friend: “Why do you always have to be so condescending? But okay, I’ll take it off your hands if you bring it over within the hour. Happy now?”

Me: “Sure, I’ll be there in forty-five minutes.”

Two and a half weeks later, I’m attending their child’s birthday party. When the topic of the relatively new online grocery shopping in my city comes up, I mention my experience to another guest, leaving out the timing and the part that I wasn’t the one to keep the platter.

Guest: *Jokingly* “Hey, [Friend], so was the super expensive cold cut platter you have for us tonight the bounty that [My Name] got? It tasted off.”

My friend directs assorted curse words at me.

Friend: “Anything that [My Name] says is a lie! We can afford the best of the best for our guests! I bought these cold cuts just for tonight, and only a week ago at most.”

Friend’s Husband: “Sorry, everyone. I begged her to let me eat the food, but she insisted it would last until tonight.”

Next time, I’m calling the animal shelters, followed by the rest of the phone book.

This story is part of our Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Read the next story in the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

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