Sandy Is Dandy

, , , , | Related | September 10, 2018

(My mom got a cat she named Sandy while she was an officer in the military. Sandy was declawed in her front paws before my mom got her. When she moved to a house on a mountain, she took extra precautions to make sure Sandy was in her house at night, afraid that Sandy would be eaten by a wild animal. Come time for her to move, and the moving company comes to take her furniture. She cannot find Sandy.)

Mom: “Have you seen my cat?”

Mover #1: “Sorry, ma’am, I haven’t.”

Mom: *to another mover* “Have you seen my cat?”

Mover #2: “Sorry–“

(Suddenly, a German Shepherd with its tail between its legs darts between the mover and my mom, followed by a sand-colored streak. My mom’s jaw drops.)

Mover #2: “Ma’am, I don’t think you have to worry a thing about that cat.”

(He was right. Sandy stayed with Mom for over ten more years. Her most arduous trial was tolerating her owner’s first baby pulling her tail.)

A Bagful Of Nice Customers

, , , , , | Hopeless Right | September 6, 2018

(I have just finished ringing up a customer I’d been working with for about half an hour. She was in quite a hurry as she had a formal event that night and was going right from the store to her hair appointment. She had just left to run to the restroom before leaving, so I am surprised when she comes to find me a few minutes later.)

Customer: “I was just in the restroom and realized I didn’t have my bag. I don’t remember ever having it.”

(We look all around the department before the customer says she has to go. I get her information so I can get back in touch with her. I call security, and she saw on the camera where I’d given the customer her bag, but we stopped to look at some lipsticks a little ways away, and the camera couldn’t see us. I asked the customer service manager what to do.)

Me: “Can I grab her three products and get them to her? If we find her bag, we can just put them back, and if not, we can do an inventory adjustment.” *we are quite well-known for our customer service, so this is not an outrageous request*

Manager: “That’s really up to you. If you think she’s on the up-and-up, then go for it. You’ll probably get a customer for life out of it.”

Me: “I totally believe her. I’m pretty sure someone accidentally picked up her bag, because it was so busy and there were a lot of people around.”

(I quickly grabbed the three products the customer had purchased and was filling out a form so I could deliver them to her house when my coworker came and got me.)

Coworker: “Hey, a customer just called and said she picked up someone else’s bag by mistake. It had some [Brand] in it. Did you sell that to someone?”

Me: “Yes! I’m just about to deliver some replacements to that customer.”

Coworker: “Well, this lady said she’d bring the bag back tonight.”

(I got to take care of my customer, who was totally sweet and wanted to pay for the replacements I brought her because she didn’t want me to get in trouble. And the other customer brought the bag back with all of the items in it. Faith in humanity: restored. For the time being…)

Wreck-onomy

, , , , , , , | Learning | August 30, 2018

While I never really got on with school as a whole, there is one lesson I had that really stuck with me. It was set up as a game. The class was split into teams; each team was a country. Each country started with $500 of their local currency and some materials such as paper, scissors, or rulers. The countries had to create shapes and sell them to the world bank for profit. The trick was that countries like the USA or UK had lots of scissors and rulers, and even compasses and Protractors — curved shapes were worth more — while the poor countries had lots of paper but not much else.

The game started with the world bank taxing each nation $100 to be collected by the USA. Unsurprisingly, my team’s Ethiopian Dollars weren’t worth much and were all taken, and the US got to keep 10% of the tax. Occasionally the teacher running the game would make up arbitrary rules that more often than not benefited countries with wealth and the tools, such as closing the border to Europe so only the wealthy nations could sell to the world bank, or rejecting certain shapes which had been overproduced while still allowing the wealthy nations to sell their excess stock

Eventually I got sick of being on a losing team, took all my country’s money and materials, and bought my way into the United Kingdom. We raked in the money mass-producing circles. My best friend started to cheat, himself, by stealing from other teams; he even tried to steal from the world bank. At the end of the lesson I asked the teacher why he let us cheat, since he obviously saw me buy my way into the UK. He went on to explain that very often people in poor nations do just what I did, exploiting my nation for personal gain, or, like my friend, steal from other weak nations to improve his own all the while the richer nations reap the benefits.

The class really stuck with me as a great way to explain a lot of how the world economy works, if very dumbed down.

Cupcakes Have Restorative Ingredients

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 11, 2018

Last Thursday at school, the whole school was under a medical lockdown for two periods in the middle of the day; no one was allowed to leave the room they were in. We later discovered a much-loved teacher had collapsed, and suffered a heart attack in front of his students and fellow staff.

Unfortunately, paramedics were unable to revive him, and he passed away just after third period started. Our whole school was very shocked, and understandably a lot of students and staff were very saddened at the news.

The next day, there was a “dark cloud” over the whole school and the lessons were certainly not as cheerful as normal. A boy in my class took it upon himself to bake cupcakes for all the staff at school — 144 cupcakes in one night — plus ice them all, and leave a note saying, “It may not be a relief but just know that we are all here for you. -A message from all of your students.”

He really did restore my faith in humanity.

It All Turned Out Shiny

, , , , , | Related | August 10, 2018

(We are returning to our home town after my nan’s funeral. My dad stays in her home state for a couple more days, while Mum, my brother, his girlfriend, and I are travelling together. On the second leg of our journey, we have stopped for a morning coffee in a rural town. My brother takes the opportunity to wander around, playing “Pokemon Go” and seeing what he can find. The rest of us are done fairly quickly, and I’ll be honest, I’m not really that patient; he has kept us waiting a fair while.)

Mum: “Can you please tell [Brother] to hurry up? We’re ready to go.”

(He’s over the other side of the road, lost in his phone; I call out.)

Me: *kind of grumpy, and using my usual sarcastic term for when he annoys me* “Hey, Wonder Boy! We’re ready to go!”

(After a delay, he wanders over, a smile on his face.)

Brother: “Sorry about that. I just had to make sure I caught this.”

(He shows me his phone; I begin to laugh and smile.)

Me: “That was not worth holding us up for!”

Brother: *also smiling* “Yeah, I knew you’d have that reaction.”

(The Pokemon he’d caught? A shiny Luvdisc. For those not in the know, Luvdisc is a Water-type Pokemon, vaguely based on a fish, shaped like a heart turned on its side. It’s a pretty underwhelming Pokemon in the main series games. It’s worth noting, though, that Luvdisc’s alternate, aka “shiny” colouring, is gold; basically, it is a heart of gold. And that sums up my brother. He’s a bit disorganised when he’s not at work or involved in his hobbies, but he really is a kind and well-meaning person. I just have to laugh at his laconic approach sometimes, and it cheered me up after Nan’s funeral the previous day.)

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