Everyone In This Story Needs To Be Hugged More

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 15, 2020

I’m taking a musical instrument class in my school during my senior year. It is a pretty laid-back class and we are allowed to play any instrument we provide ourselves, and our teacher just assigns our individual pieces to practice out of whatever sheet music books we bring in ourselves.

Unfortunately, the laid-back nature of the course attracts a lot of problem students who are just looking for an easy class in which to goof off. There is one particular boy who is in the 11th grade but acts much younger and lives for nothing more than to annoy me and a few other people. He does immature things like sitting in our seats when we stand up, pulling chairs out from under us, dumping the spit valve from his trumpet on us or our music books. You get the idea. Our teacher is well aware of his antics and is getting pretty sick of dealing with him.

On this day, a few friends and I snag a private room to practice and chat in peace. We see the annoying kid run up to our door. A boy next to the door and I try to stop it with our feet, but he manages to get it open enough to stick his trumpet bell into the door and blast us with a loud sour note. One of my friends is fairly quiet and gentle but quite large. Apparently, he has finally had more than he can take from this boy. I don’t get a good look at my friend’s face as he hops up and steps to the door, but I can see the look of fear in the annoying kid’s eyes. He turns to flee, but my friend grabs him and pins him to his chest with his arm around the boy’s neck. I can hear the boy gasping for breath.

My friend says, low and seething with rage, “Don’t ever… do that… again.”

My friend shoves him away and closes the door. The annoying kid attempts a show of bravado by banging on the window and yelling angrily before storming off. My friend immediately feels regretful for having let his anger get the best of him, but we reassure him that the kid had it coming. We leave the room to head to our next class and we pass our teacher, an older man who is nearing retirement.

My friend approaches the teacher and says, “I attacked [Annoying Kid].”

“He was harassing us again,” I point out.

But my friend insists, “It doesn’t matter, I hurt him and it was wrong.”

Then, the teacher asks us, “Is he bleeding or unconscious?” We tell him no, and he says, “Then I don’t care!” And with that, he goes into his office and closes the door.

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Sadly, She’s Not Scone Anywhere

, , , , , , | Right | February 14, 2020

When I was a young teen, I worked at a fifties-themed restaurant in our heavily tourist-oriented downtown. I was just the dishwasher and prep cook, and the real star of our little restaurant was our elderly cook.

She made all our fabulous baked goods, soups, desserts, and sauces, and she had “signature” items that drew in a lot of people. She had been a sous-chef at some high-end, fancy restaurant before her age made her look for something less demanding. She was in her 70s, a tough, plainspoken, chain-smoking kitchen genius. One of the things she made better than anyone else was scones.

One busy Sunday morning, she had already worked her hours and gone home. I was alone in the kitchen, since the fry cook had left for a bathroom break and the restaurant’s owner was up front handling the cash register.

Suddenly, a very large, loud woman in a vividly red dress barged into the kitchen and started yelling at me that she wanted the cook’s scone recipe. She forced me into a corner and kept screaming in my face about how she came to Stratford every year and how the cook always refused to share her recipe.

I was only fourteen and a rather timid, shy fourteen at that, and the woman’s yelling, flailing arms, and intrusion into my physical space had me scared, flustered, and close to tears.

The business’s owner heard the woman yelling even over the din of a full restaurant and ran into the kitchen. Seeing what was going on, she grabbed the screeching woman by the neck of her dress and bodily hauled her out of the restaurant. As she frog-marched the woman out, she yelled into her ear, “I will not have anyone coming into my restaurant, barging into my kitchen, and abusing my staff! Get out! If I ever see you back here again, I’ll have you charged with trespassing!”

The owner then came back into the kitchen and calmed me down. She told me that this woman was an American tourist who came every summer and always tried some ugly tactic to attempt to get the cook to part with the recipe. She had already tried bribing her, waiting until the end of her shift and following her to her home, and even threatening her. The cook had always managed to send her packing with her typical snarkiness.

She also told me that the only reason the cook wouldn’t give her the recipe is that it required steps to be done in perfect order, with exact timing, and with a very light touch, and she doubted the screaming, overly-entitled tourist nutbar could manage it… and she was just the type to sue her if her attempts at the recipe failed.

We never saw the insane tourist harpy again, thankfully.

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Nothing Like Midnight Sales To Bring Out The Best And Worst In People

, , , , , , | Right | February 13, 2020

I am a security guard, and I worked shoplifting prevention for a highly publicized and hugely popular annual Midnight Madness sale that has always drawn a large and sometimes rowdy crowd.

A huge line had formed at the door before midnight, waiting for the store to open. Among the first in line was a woman of about my age — mid-30s — who was obviously disabled with cerebral palsy. She wore a heavy-looking brace system on both legs and partway up her torso and walked using two canes. Because of the disability and the braces and canes, she walked a little slower and less steadily than able-bodied people. We were chatting while everyone waited for the store to open and I warned her that some people get pushy during sales like these.

A few minutes later, the store unlocked its doors and officially opened for the sale. The disabled lady began walking in, heading for the store’s scooters. She was doing just fine until a scuzzy-looking chick wielding a baby carriage like a weapon came up from behind her and started pushing and yanking at the disabled woman, who looked like she was going to fall because of the aggressive baby-mama shoving at her.

I ran over. I took the disabled lady’s arm and told the baby-mama that she had no right to shove another customer.

She retorted with, “These [mentally disabled slurs] have no right to be here, holding up the line!”

At that point, I saw red. The disabled lady was not mentally impaired, and even if she had been, she still had the right to be there and the right to be treated with respect and not called a hideously bigoted term.

I said to the disabled lady, “Would you like to press charges for physical assault against this jerk?”, and she said no. At that point, the baby-mama started screaming obscenities at me and at the disabled lady.

I took baby-mama by the arm and escorted her and her stunned-looking toddler in the baby carriage out forcibly. I told her that she was not welcome back tonight or at any other time. At that, she dropped the trailer-trash obscenity production and started whining about how the store I had just banned her from was the only one within walking distance of her apartment and how was she supposed to get groceries now?!

I said to her that she should have thought of that before assaulting a disabled person and making an absolute embarrassment of herself with the screamed obscenities and the bigoted comment. She whined at me a few minutes more, until I said that I’d be happy to call the police and explain what she did and said to them. She took off fast after that, dragging the baby carriage and the stunned-looking toddler along with her. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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Another Gen Z Innovation: Self-Kidnapping Children!

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 13, 2020

(My apartment complex has a large playground in the middle where kids from all over the neighborhood come to play, even on cold days. One Saturday, I am coming out to the car to go to the store, but I have to scrape ice off of the car. I unlock my car, pull out the scraper, and then start scraping the frost off my windows. When I get around to working on the back window, I see some movement by the driver door. I turn to look just in time to see a little boy, about eight or so, opening the door and climbing inside.)

Me: “Hey!”

(Before I can circle around the trunk, he pulls the door shut and I hear the sound of the locks locking on the car. I walk up to the driver door and he is sitting there with that mischievous grin kids have when they are doing something they know is bad but think is exciting. I knock on the window.)

Me: “Kid, you need to get out.”

(He just keeps grinning. I look around and see a woman making her way over. I think she is the kid’s mom, coming to get him and apologize. Silly me.)

Woman: “What are you doing to my baby?! Get away from my boy!”

Me: “Then get him out of my car!”

(I back up, but she just stands on the sidewalk by the front of the car and glares at me, like I shoved her kid into my car myself or something. After a few seconds, I lose patience and circle around, quickly scraping off the passenger windows. I then go to the rear door on the passenger side. Because my car is so old, the lock on that door doesn’t actually work, but it would cost too much to actually replace the whole thing, so I just live with it. I pull the door open and the kid’s face immediately goes from gleeful to wide-eyed surprised. The mom comes circling around the front.)

Woman: “Get away! Get away from my baby boy!”

Me: “THEN. GET. HIM. OUT. OF. MY. CAR.”

(Apparently, me shouting with no door between me and him was scary enough for the kid to decide to get out. He unlocked the door and shoved it open, banging my neighbor’s car, and ran off. Naturally, the mom didn’t go check on him. Nope, she kept yelling at me about staying away from her boy and about how she was going to call his uncle and have him come whoop me. I just closed the door, circled back around, climbed in the driver’s seat, and drove off, leaving her screaming on the sidewalk. Luckily, when I got back, there was no sign of her or her kid, and I haven’t seen her since then. I was able to explain the dent in my neighbor’s car to the owner, who laughed it off, and we both laughed about the messed-up mom.)

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The Manager Sounds Like A Broken Record-ing

, , , , , , , | Working | February 12, 2020

(This story occurs when I live abroad and work at a restaurant with a VERY abrasive manager. It’s the night before I have a relatively easy shift, but I’ve been given some terribly sad news from back home. In between crying in the night, stressing out over how I can’t get home quickly as I’ve just paid a large sum of bills for the month, I’ve barely gotten much sleep. However, again I’m reminded that I have an easy shift ahead of me tomorrow. I fall asleep eventually at around 5:00 am but wake at 8:00 am. I’m exhausted, dreary, and still stressed out. My mobile phone rings about half an hour later after I wake up. It’s from my abrasive manager’s manager.)

Manager #2: “Hey, [My Name], can you start earlier today? Like, within the hour?”

(I’ve always had respect for [Manager #2] as she sees people’s emotions, unlike my manager. But, despite her asking me to work essentially a double shift after last night’s news, I decide to decline.)

Me: “I’m sorry, [Manager #2]. I can’t today.”

Manager #2: “Oh… all right, thank you.” *click*

(I go to make myself a coffee and to try at least calm myself down a bit. For what it’s worth, I told my abrasive manager the evening before about what had happened. And of course, true to his form, he rolled out the usual “don’t forget you’re working tomorrow” spiel, as if I needed to be reminded. Not five minutes later, the phone rings again. This time it’s from my manager.)

Me: “Hello?”

Manager #1: “Buddy. You have to work earlier today.”

Me: “Sorry, [Manager #1]. I’ve already told [Manager #2]—”

Manager #1: “I do not f****** care what you told [Manager #2]. You come to work, buddy. Everyone has problems in this world; you’re just going to have to deal with it, understand?

(My patience with this manager has already grown exceptionally thin up to this point. This is normally the conversation that occurs with any of his staff if they try to put up any resistance to working more hours just because he said so. Under any normal circumstance, I would fold and just accept; hey, it’s more money. But because this time he’s shown no regard whatsoever for how much stress, anguish, and emotion I have right now, I decide to put my foot down for good.)

Me: “No.”

Manager #1: “What?! No, you come into work.”

Me: “No. Law states that an employer cannot force their employees—”

Manager #1: “I do not f****** care—”

(Tired of being cut off whenever I try to make my point, I just continue to explain to my manager that he cannot force me to work longer hours if it’s not already been agreed to on the rota, which it hasn’t. I also suggest to the manager that what he is doing is illegal, but I’m still met with the same response. But most importantly, I do NOT back down. Eventually, he goes silent.)

Manager #1: “Buddy. You listen to me now. You can either come in within the next hour and work all day, or you leave [Restaurant] for good. You have five minutes to decide.” *click*

(My stress, anguish, and emotions are all swapped out with seething anger at this point. Knowing my manager will do whatever it takes to force me into work earlier, I decide to cover my tracks as best as possible. I screen grab the rota as it appears on our restaurant’s website, I use an app on my phone that records the previous telephone conversation just in case I need to prove that he did, in fact, suggest I’d be fired if I didn’t come in early, and I also get in touch with a union rep whilst I wait for the manager to call back. Ten minutes on the dot later, he does.)

Manager #1: “So, when are you coming today, buddy?”

Me: “I’m not.”

Manager #1: “Excuse me?”

Me: “If firing me means you get your own way and I get the day off to deal with my very serious personal issues properly, then be my guest.”

Manager #1: “So, then, you have to work thirty days and then you go.”

Me: “Actually, you made no reference to that in the previous conversation.”

Manager #1: “Do you think I f****** care? Listen, you will—”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t think you fully understand what I’m trying to explain to you. I will not be coming in today. You know that I have a very serious personal matter that needs to be addressed but still, you decided the best course of action was to give me an ultimatum to either work longer or be fired. No referral at all to the 30-days notice period there. Oh, and I should also let you know a few things. First, that phone conversation has been recorded and this one will be, too. Second, I have time-stamped and screen-grabbed the rota for today’s shift just in case you want to change it. Finally, all this evidence will be submitted to my union rep once we are done here.”

Manager #1: “You are not allowed to record me. It’s illegal.”

Me: “Law states that as long as one person in a phone call is aware of the recording taking place then it is, in fact, legal. Good day, [Manager].” *click*

(I didn’t actually follow through with threatening union involvement. As much of a pig he was, my manager had a family who depended on his paycheck to get by. This still didn’t stop him from calling me all day that week, telling me to come in. I was even asked by [Manager #2] what I wanted from them in order to make the issue go away. But I refused to give in; the damage was already done with those phone calls and to return to working there would have essentially been an admittance of defeat for me.)

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