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Pretty Much What Most History Books Are Doing These Days

, , , , , | Right | January 14, 2022

I’m designing a photographic history exhibit for a prestigious university. The project requires a series of panels that each depict a different decade, from the 1930s to the present.

Client: “You know, this is all great, but it could use a little more diversity. Right now, there are a lot of photos of all white men, and we don’t want to send the wrong message.”

Me: “Okay, that’s a reasonable request. I could pull some photos of your black student organizations and women’s center and add those to the panels showing the school’s more recent history.”

Client: “Actually, we’d love more diversity in the early panels too.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Client: “Like this panel depicting the university in the 30s. All the photos are of white men!”

The school did not admit black students until the 1970s.

A Most Reasonable Reason For A Meltdown

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Ok-Fox-8931 | January 11, 2022

I am a hostess at a restaurant. The patio is open; it is a nice day. There is a family of five out there. A guy comes in on a mobility scooter and asks for the patio, and I seat him.

The server out there is bisexual, and it is Pride Month, so he has borrowed my bisexual flag bandana to wear. The next time I see him, he gives me back the bandana, kind of strangely.

Me: “Are you okay?”

Server: “Yeah…”

I give him the side-eye but let it go.

It’s been fifteen minutes, and every time my coworker comes in, he looks kind of upset. I get up to the hostess stand, and the mom from the family of five is standing there, PISSED. I brace myself mentally for an entitlement meltdown. Instead:

Mom: “I demand that you remove that man on a scooter! He’s been harassing our server for being bisexual. And when one of my kids told him to stop, he called my kid a ‘little s***’ and ‘probably a [slur], too’!”

We removed him and gave her family free dessert. Good on her, and shame on me for thinking the worst of her.

Plant Your Feet Firmly When You Stand Against Racism

, , | Right | January 10, 2022

I work at a farm/nursery. I am ringing up a lady who was buying a lot of flowers. She is white and looks like she just got off a cruise vacation; she has a tan/sunburn, huge sunglasses, and flip flops, and she is dripping with jewelry.

The lady spots my wonderful Cambodian coworker, who is wearing her giant sunhat to keep her hair and skin healthy as she works. The customer physically points at my friend.

Customer: Loudly “How can you employ one of those towel-head terrorists?! Don’t you know Muslim women will kill you in your sleep?! You should get rid of her immediately!”

I am shocked into silence for half a second.

Me: “Not that it’s any of your business, but [Friend] is Buddhist, not Muslim, and it doesn’t matter either way; she would be allowed to work here even if she was Muslim.”

I then speak in my meanest, scowliest possible manner.

Me: “You need to leave and never return.”

I took her cartful of plants and began putting them back. She stood there and sputtered for a while and then fled to the parking lot. We’ve had lots of idiot customers, but that’s the first and last time I’ve had to kick someone out.

Uncovering Your Face Means Not Covering Your Tracks

, , , , , | Right | January 7, 2022

My store has a survey that customers can fill out on their receipt, with a one-to-ten scoring system. Everyone in the store gets punished if we get a score under eight because seven and below is considered a zero.

A customer comes up to the queue with her mask pulled under her chin and gets directly behind the other customer in line. It’s part of my job to enforce social distancing, and I ask her to step back and give the customer space.

Customer: “My God, is this the third f****** Reich?”

Me: “I’m just trying to make sure we stay open safely, ma’am.”

Customer: “The black b**** at the fabric counter was a Nazi; now you’re a f****** Nazi!”

Me: “There are children here, ma’am, so I need you to not shout.”

This includes her child in the cart. She has now arrived at my register, her mask still around her chin.

As I really don’t appreciate her comments, I decide to be as slightly antagonistic as store policy will permit. If I am confident that she’s leaving a negative survey, and a seven and a zero are the same thing, why bother trying to raise the score from zero up to four? I step as far back from the counter as I can.

Me: “Can you please pull up your mask?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I can’t ring your items until you pull your mask up.”

Customer: “Get the manager.”

Me: “I’m the manager.”

She pulls it over her mouth. I scan her one item. The fabric counter employee — the black employee who she called a b**** — has given her a hefty discount.

Me: “Okay, with the 75% off that my coworker gave you, your $39.95 item comes out to $10.76 with tax.”

By sheer luck, the phone rings. There is a timer on the phone, and if it’s not picked up before the third ring, it counts as a negative survey. I have to turn around to answer the phone.

Me: “[Craft Store], please hold.”

I radio to my coworkers that whoever is able needs to pick up the hold. This is the standard operating procedure when there’s only one cashier. The entire process takes a few seconds. Before I can turn around, something small and hard hits my back. The customer has taken $10.76 cents out of her wallet, slammed the bills on the table, and thrown the coins at me. She storms out before I can put the money in the till.

Me: *Very cheerfully and loudly* “Have a nice day, ma’am!”

I put the money in the drawer and the next customer comes up as the receipt is printing. I’m genuinely smiling at this point.

Customer: “I’m impressed that you’re not upset by her.”

Me: “The only feedback that the store reads is the receipt survey. I have her receipt, so she can say whatever she wants on Yelp or Google Maps, and my store won’t care. But, when the next cashier comes in half an hour, I’m going to go find her face on the security cameras and send it to all our sister stores, so we can ban her from all the stores in our entire region. Normally, we couldn’t do this, but since she wouldn’t pull up her mask, we have a clear shot of her face. Would you like to buy a reusable bag for 99¢?”

His Inquiry Went Direct To His Issue

, , , , | Right | January 5, 2022

My first foray into the telecommunication business is via directory inquiries, i.e. the number you call if you want to find out someone’s phone number. In Sweden, this service used to be provided by the government but was eventually sold out, so a number of private companies took over and charged a lot more.

The company I work for has inherited the number the government-provided service used to have, and as a result, we have a lot of customers who call in just to have someone to chat with, not knowing that the call is a lot more expensive than it used to be. Usually, when I get a customer like this, I inform them of the cost of the call and let them decide if they want to continue the conversation or not, but I am not allowed to hang up on customers unless they are verbally abusive.

Me: “Welcome to directory inquiries. How may I direct your call?”

Caller: “I want to talk to the government, right away!”

Me: “Certainly, I have the number for the switchboard right here. Do you want me to read it to you so you can write it down, or do you want me to transfer you?”

Caller: “I want to talk to the person who’s in charge of the elections.”

Me: “I don’t have the direct number, but the switchboard will help you with that. Would you like me to transfer you?”

Caller: “I’m not happy with [Elected Official] and I want to complain! I want him out of office! This is outrageous!”

Me: “I can transfer you to the government switchboard or give you the number. If you want to keep talking to me, I have to tell you that the cost of this call is [amount] per minute.”

The caller goes into a very long rant about everything that’s wrong with the government, the country, and the world.

Me: “I hear you, but there is nothing I can do about your issue. I can give you the number of the government switchboard or transfer you. Every minute you spend talking to me will cost you [amount]. What would you like me to do?”

Caller: “There are gay representatives in the government, I tell you. Gay representatives! What do you have to say about that?”

At this point, there are no representatives in our government who are openly gay, although there is one who wears his hair in a ponytail. I’ve already been on the phone with this customer for five minutes, listening to his rant, so I just decide to shut him up the best way I can think of.

Me: “Well, to be honest, you’re talking to a gay telephone operator right now. What do you have to say about that?”

Then came the longest silence I’ve ever heard, followed by the blessed *click* when he hung up.