Entitlement Can Be Disabling

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 20, 2017

(I am attending the county fair, and I go to use the women’s bathroom. There is only one handicapped stall, and a polite woman using a wheelchair is waiting to use it. She even moves her chair to make sure I can get into an empty stall. Once I am done, she is still waiting, and I notice she is squirming a lot in her chair. I work with disabled individuals, and I know that those with mobility issues, especially those who are paralyzed, can have little to no control over their bladders.)

Me: “Are you all right?”

Woman In Chair: “Yes, it’s just… I’ve been waiting about ten minutes, and it’s getting harder and harder.”

Me: *I knock on the stall door* “Excuse me, are you all right?”

Woman In Stall: “See? I told you to hurry up; people are waiting! We are not leaving this stall until you go potty!”

Child: *also in stall* “I don’t have to go! I told you already!”

Woman In Stall: “I don’t care! We’re not leaving!”

Me: “Ma’am? I’m sorry, but there are people waiting to use this stall.”

Woman In Stall: “We’re in here!”

Woman In Chair: “I can wait, I think. I’m trying.” *squirms more* “Really, I don’t like to cause a scene.”

Me: *to the woman in the stall* “Ma’am, that is the only stall large enough for anyone with a wheelchair to use; you need to move so others can use it.”

Woman In Stall: “I have my daughter with me!”

Child: “I don’t have to go!”

(This goes around for about three minutes. The mother keeps yelling at her daughter to go potty, the daughter says she doesn’t have to, and I try my hardest to figure out how to get a woman who cannot walk at all into a stall that isn’t large enough for her wheelchair. It’s not happening, at all. Even the larger stalls all have tiny doors. The woman in her wheelchair is actually tearing up.)

Woman In Chair: “This is my anniversary trip. I don’t have any spare clothes, or another seat cushion, and I just can’t… I can’t wait.”

Me: *bangs on the stall door*

Woman In Stall: “FINE!”

(She comes out of the stall, revealing that her daughter has to be close to seven years old. They leave, and I move out of the way so the woman in the chair can get in. As I move, an eleven-year-old girl walks over and actually steps over the foot pedals of the woman in the wheelchair!)

Me: “Hey! Wait your turn, please.”

Woman In Chair: “Excuse me. I was next; I’ve been waiting.”

Girl: *stares straight at the woman in the wheelchair as she shoves the door shut and locks it, literally having to push the woman back to do so*

Woman In Chair: *crying* “Please! Please! I can’t hold it any longer. Every other stall is free! Please!”

(The girl ignores us, and a woman comes in and walks straight past us and to the handicapped stall. She begins talking to her daughter through the stall.)

Me: “Ma’am, your daughter pushed this woman aside, who has been waiting!”

Mother: “Oops, sorry about that.” *continues talking to her daughter, notices that the woman in the wheelchair is crying* “[Child], this is actually a very good lesson for you. Look how upset this woman is getting over a bathroom stall. That is ridiculous! You did nothing wrong; it’s stupid to get upset over a stall.”

Me: “Wow! I’d be more upset over the fact you and your daughter are b****es.”

(The mother throws a literal tantrum. Her daughter comes out, and the mother then refuses to move, standing in front of the handicapped stall and trying to get other women in the bathroom to side with her, repeatedly saying, “I don’t have to move if I don’t want to; am I right?” Finally, a woman who has been doing her makeup at the sink turns around and stares the mother down.)

Makeup Woman: “If I were you, I would be beyond embarrassed. First for your daughter’s obvious lack of manners, and then for your own. If you were one of my employees, or if my daughters acted even close to how yours has, I’d be appalled. You are at a community event, and you are a parent. Act like an adult.” *looks at the girl* “As for you, I hope that you do not grow up to act like you are acting now, or how your mother is, because I can assure you it is a mistake.”

(The mother grabbed her daughter’s unwashed hand and stormed out, a bunch of us laughing at her as she did so.)

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In Grave Danger

, , , , | Working | September 20, 2017

(I am passing another department’s office at lunchtime when I notice my coworker working at her desk, as she has been for the last six hours. She is boss of a department of two, meaning that she and her assistant have to go on alternate lunches so one of them is always present.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], have you had lunch yet?”

Coworker: “…Nope.”

Me: “Where’s [Assistant]?”

Coworker: *checks the clock* “Thirty minutes late. She went out with [other department].”

Me: “You’ve been here since 7:30, right? It’s now 13:30. Shouldn’t you text her to get her to find out where she is?”

Coworker: *serene smile* “Nope, I think I’ll let her take her time.”

Me: “…Why?”

Coworker: “Because after lunch I’m giving her a performance review, which she’s known about all week. I love it when they dig their own graves.”

(I never found out what happened in the review, but that afternoon, [Assistant]’s eyes were red.)

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When The Training Is Waning

, , , , , , | Working | September 19, 2017

(I’m a university student looking for a part time job to help with my tuition fees. This year I’m rooming with someone who works at one of the delis around the city, and they tell me their place of work is in need of additional staff. I call them up, do a short phone interview, and initially the job sounds ideal. I will be able to work hours when I don’t have class, the pay is decent, and the commute is manageable. I ask about training, having never done food service before, and they assure me it’ll be provided. Fast-forward to my first day. I turn up, greet the manager on duty, get handed my hat, apron, and name-tag, and am asked to put on gloves. Upon doing so, my manager gives me a nod.)

Manager: “All right, you look good. Now start serving; the lunch rush is about to begin.”

(He walks into the back, leaving me alone at the front store with no idea of what to do. After a moment’s hesitation, I head into the back.)

Me: “Um, sir?”

Manager: “Yes? What are you doing back here? You can’t leave the food counter unattended!”

Me: “Well… it’s just… I was told I’d get training. This is my first day after all.”

(The manager just shrugs.)

Manager: “You cut meat and put ingredients between slices of bread. It’s not that hard. Now get back out there. I’ll be out shortly to man the register.”

(He shoos me out of the back. I am thus left by myself to try and figure out how to make the menu items. There are dozens of ingredients to deal with, and as the customers start pouring in for lunch, I start panicking, as each time someone orders something, I have to repeatedly check the menu behind me for what is used to make what. Of course, it doesn’t list the amounts I’m supposed to use, so that’s a different problem. When the manager does come out to ring up folks’ food, he ignores any questions I try to ask, and just shoots the breeze with the customers. The only saving grace is that most of the lunch rush people are regulars, who are kind enough to help me along with how to make their sandwiches, which bread to use, which spreads, and so on. Even so, the line keeps growing and growing as I keep making mistakes and having to redo orders, until finally the manager notices the hold up and sends me to sit in the back while he finishes the lunch rush. After the store quiets down, he walks back, sifting through a small wad of bills.)

Manager: “Here, that’s for the hours you worked today. This clearly isn’t a good fit for you, so you can go now.”

Me: “What? It didn’t work because I had no idea what to do! As I said on the phone, I’ve never worked in a deli before! I was told you’d provide training!”

(The manager shrugs again.)

Manager: “The training was to see if you can sink or swim. You sank, and made the lunch rush a total mess. I need someone who can come in and get straight to helping out. Leave your apron and hat on the desk please. I need to start cleaning up now.”

(Not wanting to argue further, I head back to my dorms, chalking this up as just a harsh learning experience. That is, until my roommate storms in later that evening looking utterly enraged.)

Me: “[Roommate], what are you doing back? I thought you had your shift at the deli right after your classes were over.”

Roommate: “So did I, until I showed up. [Manage] told me what happened during your first day, and said he didn’t feel comfortable having me work for him, since we’re rooming together. He claimed ‘conflict of interest’ or some crap like that and told me I was fired.”

Me: “Wait, what!?”

Roommate: “Yeah, seriously a**-hole move.”

Me: “I… I am so sorry!”

Roommate: “It’s not your fault. Honestly, I guess I should’ve paid more attention to how often he let me run the food counter solo, and only came out when his regular customers came in to chat. Kind of a red flag now that I think about it.”

Me: “So… what do we do now?”

Roommate: “Well, he said my apron was dirty and that I had to launder it before returning it.” *He pulls his work clothes from his bag.* “Want to vent some anger by running over this with my bike a few times?”

(Sadly, to this day, four years later, that deli remains in business, though it apparently has a ridiculous staff turnover rate, and every time I’ve passed it by, there’s an ad for new employees in the window.)

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Trying To Put The Finger On The Problem Child

, , , , , , | Learning | September 19, 2017

(The school I work at has a great program in the summer, where international students come to Canada and check out the school. During their time, they experience Canadian culture and practice their English skills. We do have some young students come as well, and I work with a group of 7-11’s. Before class starts, I notice that there is some bullying happening. Since they’re the younger group, often when I speak to them, I use a lot of visuals or hand signs to communicate. I decide to address the issues I have seen.)

Me: “Morning, everybody. Before we get started, I just wanted to remind everybody about the rules we decided on for the class. One was treating each other with respect, and I did not see that this morning. Remember: in this classroom, we only say positive things. So only this:” *gives thumbs up* “None of this:” *gives thumbs down*

Student: “Or this.” *gives me the middle finger*

(I had a moment of shock, and then told the student to wait outside while I called the supervisor to come talk to him. However, I was really thinking about what a good segue that was, and how I couldn’t admit I was impressed.)

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When Grammar Nazi Jokes Are Inappropriate

, , , , | Learning | September 19, 2017

(I am in a German class. My teacher is very old, and is supposed to have retired a couple of years earlier, and even has a bad reputation for slacking among the other teachers.)

Teacher: “You guys are lucky I like you. Back when I was teaching at [Different School] I had one class with a lot of students I didn’t like, so I taught them the wrong grammar on purpose.”

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