A Number Of Things Wrong With This

, , , , | | Right | July 17, 2019

(I work for a popular craft retailer. The location where I work is well known for being very understaffed due to our exceptionally high turnover rate. There are two stations in the store: the registers and the cutting counter. Typically, I am working at the registers, but this time they have me on the cutting counter because I am dual-trained. The cutting counter works a lot like a deli; you take a number, wait your turn, and then tell us what you want cut. The cutting counter is a lot to handle while it is very busy; we had one employee quit after the first three days of it. I see customers who have no measurements or no idea how to read a pattern, bring in a whole dining room chair for us to measure, and have orders ranging from 1 to 30 cuts which take from 30 seconds to 30 minutes to get through. I call the next customer in the intercom.)

Me: “Would customer holding [number] please come to the cutting counter?”

Customer #1: “Excuse me, I was being helped by another employee and I missed my number.” *shows me her number that is about five behind*

Me: *looking at her with a brow up, knowing it is company policy to accept a customer past her number* “Oh, okay, how much do you need?”

(A woman steps up to me.)

Customer #2: “Why are you helping her? She missed her number, so she needs to take another.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, it is policy that we take a guest who has missed their number. Besides, she missed it while she was getting help from another associate.”

Customer #2: “She did this last Friday; last Friday she missed it by like ten!”

Customer #1: *looking confused* “I’m sorry, but I wasn’t here last Friday.”

Customer #2: *getting ticked off* “Yes, you were! You said that an employee was helping you before and you missed it! Would you get your manager?”

Me: *amused and reaching for my radio* “Sure. [Manager], could you come to the cutting counter to speak to a guest.”

(I love putting emphasis on “to” when it comes to rude guests I don’t want to deal with.)

Manager: “What’s going on?”

Me: “My customer missed her number, so I had to take her, and this customer got upset at me for taking her.”

Manager: “Well, ma’am, it is company policy for us to take someone next who has missed their number.”

Customer #2: “That’s not fair for the rest of us who have to wait just because she didn’t listen, again.”

Manager: “Again?”

Customer #2: “Yes, again. She was here Friday and cut in line!”

Manager: “Well, regardless, she did miss her number and we need to take care of her next. What number do you have?”

Customer #2: *shows a number four numbers ahead*

Manager: *quietly* “[My Name], please help the next guest. I will take care of this.”

(The confrontation continues to go on for about three minutes.)

Customer #1: “I’m sorry that I caused such a scene.”

Manager: *turning to [Customer #1]* “You’re okay; don’t worry.”

Customer #2: *shocked and repulsed* “You are saying she is okay because she is white! Oh, h*** no! This is ridiculous! This store is so racist!”

([Customer #2 ]is black. My manager is trying to calm her down.)

Customer #2: “Fine! I will wait for my fabric to be cut!”

(After she gets her fabric cut, she storms to the registers.)

Coworker: *over the radio* “[Manager], this customer wants the number of customer service.”

Manager: “We are not allowed to give any company numbers to customers; she will have to look it up herself.” *gets off radio and talks to me* “I will just need to send an email to the district manager with your statement about what really happened before her complaint comes through. There is nothing to worry about; they will dismiss her as a crazy customer.”

(A group of three women comes up to us.)

Three Women: “Can we get his email, too? We saw the whole thing and she was very out of line.”

Manager: “I cannot give the email, but the website would have our customer service number. Just tell the complaint department what really happened.”

Three Women: “Sure thing!”

(That lady never came back!)

It’s Not Fair To Force Your Beliefs Unless They’re My Beliefs

, , , , , , | | Friendly | July 17, 2019

(I’m attending my local parent and baby group when a new mum arrives and sits next to me. We’re making polite conversation.)

New Mum: “Any plans for the rest of the week?”

Me: “Vaccinations are tomorrow, so I don’t think we’ll get much more done after that.”

New Mum: “Oh, I don’t believe in vaccinations.”

Me: *thinking, “Here we go,” and waiting for a lecture* “Oh, right.”

New Mum: “But I don’t think less of anyone who gets them. I even understand why you’d get them. I just don’t want to take any risks with autism. Anyway, your baby is lovely. How old is he?”

Me: *surprised that she’s not insane* “She’s a girl actually and she’s four months old.”

New Mum: “But you’ve dressed her in such boyish clothes.”

Me: “I’d say gender-neutral rather than boyish. It’s only jeans and a jumper, basically the same as I’m wearing.”

New Mum: “You shouldn’t dress her like that. She’s going to grow up confused and won’t know if she’s a boy or a girl. It’s really not fair of you to force your beliefs on her.”

(At this point, I realise she is crazy and a hypocrite, so I politely turn to the woman on my other side and start speaking to her, instead. The New Mum starts speaking to someone else and I mostly tune her out until she says this:)

New Mum: “Oh, I don’t give my son any toys. I don’t want him to become emotionally invested in material items.”

(Yep, definitely crazy.)

A Woman’s Place Is Anywhere She D*** Well Wants

, , , , , | | Legal | July 12, 2019

(It’s very hot and late at night, and I’m trying to find cool air on the terrace. My very loud, thick, stupid, and rough neighbour is on his terrace and he’s so loud I cannot help but overhear what he’s complaining about.)

Neighbour: “Yeah, dat girl cop stops me and she wants to control things and all, and I tell her, ‘Nah, stop pissing me off, get back to the kitchen, do some cooking, clean up, leave me alone.’ And then she writes me down, the b****. And ya know what? I’m even scheduled to go to court! Just because I told her to go do women stuff! Life’s a b****!”

It’s A Gateway Candy

, , , , , | | Right | July 11, 2019

(I’m in a candy store shortly before Valentine’s Day. A customer and her elementary-school-age son come in. She’s helping him find candy he can share with his class.)

Clerk: “Maybe these?”

(He shows her a box of those little pastel hearts that have messages printed on them.)

Customer: “Okay, we’ll get those! But we also need something for the boys.”

Clerk: “Oh, uh… You mean, a candy that’s more… masculine?”

(The clerk looks surprised, probably because this is a strongly LGBTQ neighborhood, so it’s odd to hear someone assigning a gender to something like candy. Still, he tries to help.)

Customer: “Oh, what about these for the boys? Candy cigarettes.”

Clerk: “Uh, uh, okay…”

(She and her son go to check out. After a moment of banter…)

Clerk: “Would you also like to buy some of our Breaking Bad candy crystal meth?”

Customer: “What?!”

Clerk: “Well, uh… to go along with your candy cigarettes…”

No Pride In Her Daughter

, , , , , , | | Related | July 10, 2019

I am a non-binary lesbian and have more or less known this since I was 15, but I did not formally come out to my mother until a few months ago. When I first tried to come out to her, she’d become aggressive and angry. Later, as she mellowed out, she would frequently tell me that she loves me no matter what, but that if I changed my mind about liking girls then she’d be okay with that. If I tried to tell her how much that backhanded “support” hurt me, she’d yell at me and say I was trying to hurt her feelings. I decided not to tell her anything.

Things got better after I transferred to a school in another state. For three years, I lived on my own, became a lot more secure in my identity, and met a lot of friends who were unconditionally supportive. Last year, I moved back in with my mom for a new job that had a very supportive and progressive environment. I felt safe enough to come out on the first day, and with the exception of a few minor slip-ups, everyone from my teammates to upper management had no problem referring to me in gender-neutral terms. It made it that much more difficult to come home every night and pretend to be something else around my family.

One day, my mom and I had a huge fight. I wrote her a letter outlining my side of the issue, which included my frustration over the fact that she knew I was gay and yet insisted that I date men and acted disgusted any time I expressed even casual interest in a woman. After she read the letter, we had a talk in which I explicitly stated that I am gay and will never want to date men. She said that she doesn’t want me to be gay because she knows that will make life harder for me, but she supports me no matter what.

Fast forward to last week. I went on a few dates with a girl I’d met on Tinder and we had just made it official. When I told my mom, she reacted with disinterest and told me that I should be dating someone who was going to college and had ambition, someone who wasn’t “below” me, despite never having met my girlfriend. I didn’t want to start an argument, so I brushed it off.

The next day, I was talking to my younger sister, and she told me that she was upset that I hadn’t told her about my girlfriend. It turned out that my mom had outed me to my sister without consulting me. My sister was more supportive than I thought she would be, but it was still completely inappropriate that my mom outed me without my permission.

Last weekend, we attended the wedding of a close family member. During the reception, my 21-year-old sister was having a friendly chat with the best man, who was around 30 years old. My mom pointed out to me that they were getting awfully friendly, and I reminded her that he’s at least a decade older than her. Her response: “So?” That annoyed me, because just the week before, my mom gave me flack because my girlfriend is three years younger than me, though we’re both in our 20s.

Then, she really slapped the cherry on top of the nosy-mom cake: she said that the best man could also be a good match for me. I was furious, not just because she knew that I have a girlfriend, but we’d had a really great conversation about the letter I’d written and I had told her in completely unquestionable terms that I am a lesbian and will never want to date men. When I pointed this out, she’d just laughed it off. I want to think it’s just because she was a bit drunk, but you know what they say about sober thoughts.

Today, I happened to go to her Facebook profile — I have her muted so she never comes up on my timeline — and noticed that she’d put a “Love is Love” filter on her profile photo for Pride month. I’m upset but not surprised that she would show her “support” for social media brownie points while she doesn’t extend the same to her gay child.

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