A Proper Bollywood Ending

, , , , | Right | June 9, 2021

I own my own little corner shop. A grumpy old customer comes in to buy cigarettes, and when it’s time to pay, he flings his coins at me instead of handing them to me. I am forced to pick some coins up off the floor.

Customer: “That’s it, [South Asian slur]. On the ground where you belong.”

Me: “Don’t worry, sir. Considering how many of these you’re smoking and how terribly old you look, you’ll be in the ground while I’ll be on it for a long while yet. I’ll even do a little Bollywood dance on your grave.”

Customer: “How dare you!”

Me: “Goodbye, die soon!”

He stormed out as I turned up the Indian music on my radio.

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Here Comes Trouble[maker]

, , , | Working | June 9, 2021

I am the assistant manager at an Indian cuisine restaurant, and due to staffing shenanigans unrelated to this story, I’m left with three newbies, two coworkers, and some kitchen staff.

One of the newbies I shall dub [Troublemaker]. [Troublemaker], [Newbie #1], [Coworker #1], and I are on the schedule one night.

[Newbie #1] has a look in her eye that I don’t like, and I ask her what’s wrong. She takes me aside for a few moments as we are setting up the bar and tells me some unsettling things about [Troublemaker].

[Newbie #2] is apparently a sweet girl, hadn’t worked much in a restaurant before, and is learning quickly. It was her second night and [Troublemaker]’s first. She was following [Newbie #1] around, helping her with tables, when [Troublemaker] manifested in front of her and screamed at her.

Troublemaker: “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE TABLES! YOU’RE POSSIBLY THE STUPIDEST PERSON I’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED!”

[Newbie #1] and [Newbie #2] were stunned, and [Newbie 2] was quiet for the rest of the night. I had the day off, unfortunately; otherwise, I would have taken care of that pretty quickly. [Newbie #1] felt that if [Newbie #2] came back, it would be a freaking miracle.

Newbie #1: “[Troublemaker] has been rude to me personally and to our customers, and I know for a fact that he is going to be rude to you.”

Me: “Thanks for the heads-up. If he’s rude, I’ll handle it.”

Forewarned, I don my metaphorical brass knuckles and prepare for war. Dinner shift is when the brown stuff meets the fan.

It is slow at first, and we have a reservation for eight at 6:00 pm. I casually ask [Troublemaker] if he would like to take them, since [Newbie #1] and I already have a table.

Troublemaker: *Snapping* “I already have a section!”

He waves at his section, which is completely empty. He has been basically doing next to nothing around for about an hour, other than straightening things and giving people malevolent looks.

Me: “Well, then, since you clearly have nothing to do, kindly roll some silverware, as we’ve run out.”

Troublemaker: *Loud and angry* “YOU DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!”

Me: *Calmly* “Oh, but I do. I’m the assistant manager, and you have been here for two days. I give the orders here. You don’t. Roll the silverware.”

I walk away. He is absolutely fuming, and of course, he doesn’t do as I asked. That is just the beginning.

As soon as we start getting busy, I send customers into [Troublemaker]’s section. Things eventually slow down again. I notice that [Troublemaker] hasn’t been bussing tables, so his section looks awful.

Me: “[Troublemaker], bus your tables.”

Troublemaker: *Screaming* “You don’t tell me what to do!”

That’s it. I’ve had it.

Me: “BUS YOUR TABLES, [TROUBLEMAKER]! WHAT MAKES YOU SO SPECIAL THAT YOU FEEL YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BUS?!”

[Troublemaker] looks amazed but still wants to argue.

Troublemaker: “You don’t tell—”

Me: “BUS. YOUR. TABLES.”

Troublemaker: “You’re just a woman!”

I narrow my eyes dangerously at him.

Me: “BUS YOUR TABLES OR GO HOME!”

I then go for a cigarette. When I come back, he has pulled [Coworker #1] and one of the kitchen staff aside and is talking at them in Hindi while pointing at me.

I am not about to put up with him hiding behind his language. I approach them and stand squarely in front of them.

Me: “Hi.”

[Troublemaker] switches to English.

Troublemaker: “She needs to be fired!”

Unfortunately for [Troublemaker], he doesn’t know the history of our restaurant. I’ve stuck through thick and thin with the restaurant and was basically the reason why the restaurant lifted out of a slump that would have destroyed the business. If the General Manager fired me, the restaurant would crash and burn, and he knows it. Plus, he is the rare manager who really values employees for more than just the warm bodies filling a spot.

Coworker #1: “She’s not going to be fired. Do what she tells you, or you’ll be the one who gets fired.”

Me: “[Troublemaker], I don’t know what you’re used to, but here, you take orders from me.”

[Troublemaker] tries to interrupt a few times but I cut him off.

Me: “No. You take orders from me. NO, [Troublemaker]. Be quiet. I am talking. This is not negotiable. If you can’t handle taking orders from anyone, or worse, can’t take orders from a woman, we can let you go to find a new job. Your choice.”

Troublemaker: “You need to learn your place. You have no business giving orders to a man!”

I smiled at him like a shark, and at the end of the shift, I typed up a long, detailed email to the General Manager.

[Troublemaker] was gone before he had even worked a full week, and apparently, the loss of his job was also a loss of his ability to even stay in the country.

I made a phone call to [Newbie #2], letting her know [Troublemaker] was gone and she would never have to deal with him again. She thanked me, and after some gentle encouragement on my part, she agreed to continue working with us. 

Staffing this place is going to be a challenge.

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Unfortunately, Familial Support Seems To Be Fluid, Too

, , , , | Related | CREDIT: DazedMissile | June 9, 2021

I recently accepted myself as genderfluid. I haven’t come out to basically anyone yet except for my best friend and a small part of my family.

A few months ago, my grandma, who is on a walker and cannot move too much on her own, asked the family to visit. The health crisis was particularly bad in our area at the time, so most of us said no. A few days ago, we went finally to visit since the cases were going down, although I insisted on always wearing my mask, tried to approach people as little as possible, and did not touch other people’s stuff. And I got to see my cousins again.

I stepped out for a moment to talk to my best friend on the phone.

Me: “I’m a bit uncomfortable with what I’m wearing; I’m dressed a little more boyish today. I still look ‘normal,’ but my aunt’s kind of conservative, and she keeps saying stuff like, ‘You have such a nice body; such a shame you decide to act like a boy and not like the nice girl you are.’” *Sigh* “I wonder if one day she’ll understand that I’m no longer a girl.”

It turns out that my six-year-old cousin thought I was playing hide-and-seek, so he came looking for me and heard my last sentence.

I ended my call and walked back inside.

Aunt: “HOW DARE YOU CONFUSE MY CHILD WITH YOUR COMPLEX OF ATTENTION SEEKING?!”

Me: “What?!”

Aunt: “You said you were no longer a girl! What are you then? A [potentially offensive word for trans people]?”

Me: “Well, not, exactly I—”

Aunt: “I ALWAYS KNEW YOU WERE A BAD INFLUENCE ON MY KIDS! YOU’LL GIVE THEM THE GAY!”

My uncle tried to calm her down; all her yelling must have been heard from the streets. He failed.

So, with no way to reason with her, I just walked away and texted my other aunt, who I live with, to pick me up and take me home. I haven’t spoken to anybody else on that side of the family yet.

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They’ll Let Just Anyone Move In These Days

, , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: Look_Significant | June 8, 2021

I’m a teenager walking my dog, and I pass [Man #1], who is black, washing a Mercedes and an Audi, and [Man #2], who is white, smoking. I turn then and see what appears to be moving trucks, and I choose to go see if the new neighbors are there to introduce myself. As I do so, a car pulls up near the house and a woman gets out.

Me: “Hi! Are you moving in?”

Woman: “Hi! Yes, I just came to check on the person moving out and check on the house.”

Me: “Oh, that’s cool. Well, I’ll see you around, then!”

My dog and I do our rounds through the neighborhood and come back. I see the two men again, and the new woman. The woman spots [Man #2].

Woman: “Is smoking allowed in this neighborhood?”

Man #2: “Yes, safely on your own property.”

The woman scoffs and then turns and sees [Man #1] washing his cars. I have begun walking away at this point when I hear a screech. I turn around in terror to see the woman screaming at [Man #1].

Woman: “WHO DID YOU STEAL THOSE FROM?”

Man #1: “Nobody. I bought these with my own money.”

Woman: “NO, YOU DIDN’T! PEOPLE LIKE YOU CAN’T AFFORD THOSE CARS!”

Me: “Yes, he did. I see him washing them every day!”

Woman: “SHUT UP! YOU’RE TOO YOUNG AND NAIVE TO UNDERSTAND”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Man #2: *Cutting me off* “Would you like to call the police?”

Woman: “YES!”

I was confused, but the two men exchanged a look with each other, and I realized something was up, so I kept quiet. The cops showed up and they asked for documents and security footage, which [Man #1] happily handed over. [Man #2] even had his own security footage.

The shock on the woman’s face when she was proven wrong was priceless.

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All Tied Up In Cables And Toxic Masculinity

, , , , | Right | June 4, 2021

I work the third-level line of an Internet provider that also rents out hardware.

A customer calls because his receiver has stopped working. He is irate because he gets the message “no signal.” Knowing our first- and second-level support and how they deal with escalated customers — pushing them up the levels until there is nowhere else to push — I’m starting my spiel with the routine checks.

Me: “Have you controlled all the cables of your device?”

Customer: “You f****** c***! Do you think I am stupid? Of course I did! First thing! Those d***ed cables are fine!”

He then continues to rant about how our service sucks and how he’s had issues for weeks and called a hundred times with no results. This isn’t true; our systems log every call automatically to the accounts and I can see in his account that it’s the first time he’s called.

I patiently wait until he tires. Honestly, I don’t care about any expletives a stranger rants on the phone since I’m third-level and don’t have a call-handling time to uphold.

When he finally stops ranting, I give him my best super-service “f*** you.”

Me: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please walk the next steps with me for documentation.”

I always smile when saying this to make it sound extra sweet since I know how this aggravates an irate customer without getting bad reviews from quality.

Me: “Just so I can make a special measurement of the signal, please remove the cable from your device first and then from the box at the wall. Hold it a few seconds while I’m testing the signal and then put it back in.”

This is bulls***. I just want to get him to control the cables.

Customer: *While rustling in the background* “What is it with you d***ed women trying to do tech? I’ll do your nonsense, but I’ll have your a** fired if that d—”

He trails off.

Me: “Hello? Hello, Mr. [Customer]? What happened?”

Customer: *In a strained voice* “I guess I found the mistake. We can end this call and—”

Me: *Interrupting* “I’m sorry, but I need something to put in the file. Please, what did you find?”

Customer: *Very subdued and hesitantly after a long pause* “Well, it looks like the dog chewed the cable. I’m sorry.”

I have to restrain myself from laughter at this point. So much for, “I’ve done all the basic steps.”

Me: “Well, I can issue a new one free of charge as a courtesy if you’d like? It’ll usually arrive within the next two days.”

Customer: *Sighs deeply* “I’m really sorry. I could have had that about twenty minutes sooner had I listened, huh?”

Me: “Probably. Stuff happens. Sometimes it’s much easier to fix than you think. Please, in the future, just give us a chance.”

He was quite subdued but very pleasant when we went through the procedure and I got his cable sent to him.

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