Gremlins In The Library

, , , , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(I work the night shift at a large university library that is open 24 hours. There are only three staff members, me included, working this shift, and the library is fairly empty. In order to get into the library in the middle of the night, students have to swipe their student cards to activate the outer doors, and then are required to physically show the card to a staff member as they enter. We take turns checking cards at the door throughout the night, and it is currently my turn to do it. I’ve been sitting at the security podium by the door for about three hours already; it is required that someone remain at the door constantly in order to make sure that no non-students enter the library. As I glance up from the book I’ve been reading, I suddenly notice a small, white dog dart between two study rooms on the opposite side of the floor. Not sure at first if I’ve hallucinated it, I finally decide to radio my coworker.)

Coworker: “Is there a problem?”

Me: “Yeah… Um, you’re not going to believe this… but I think there’s a dog loose in the library.”

Coworker: *after a pause* “You let a dog into the library?”

Me: “No! Nobody’s come through the front doors in at least two hours, and I didn’t see anybody come in with a dog. I don’t know how it got in.”

(Another coworker, who has been listening in on the radio, decides to pipe in:)

Coworker #2: “You let a dog into the library?”

Me: “No! I don’t know how it got in!”

Coworker #1: “Where is it now?”

Me: “I think it’s in Study Room B.”

Coworker #2: “I’ll go check it out.”

Coworker #1: “All right. Radio back when you know what’s going on.”

(The coworker arrives a few minutes later and walks into the study room where I saw the dog enter. I hear her shout something unintelligible, and then her voice comes back on the radio)

Coworker #2: “It s*** all over the place!”

Coworker #1: *on the radio* “The dog did?”

Coworker #2: “Of course it was the dog!”

Me: “We hope it was the dog…”

Coworker #1: “All right, I’m coming down. Where is the dog now?”

Coworker #2: “Not in Study Room B. But he’s been here. He left his mark.”

Me: “I haven’t seen him come back this way, either.”

(My coworkers lock up Study Room B to be cleaned, and then do a sweep of the floor. They can’t find the dog, but they do find more of its feces scattered around the library, mostly in study rooms. Finally, they radio back to me.)

Coworker #1: “You’re sure this is a dog?”

Me: “You think a person is doing this?”

Coworker #1: “I guess not. It’s just…”

(He pauses.)

Me: “Just what?”

Coworker #2: “There’s a lot of s***, [My Name]. So much s***. It’s everywhere. This dog knows what he’s doing.”

(I try not to laugh as my coworkers frantically continue their search. Just as I’m about to radio in for an update, a white blur passes in my periphery, and I turn to see the dog darting beneath the wide central staircase, which is just a few yards from my post by the door.)

Me: *radioing* “Guys! He just went under the stairs! Do you want me to go try to grab him?”

Coworker #1: “No! Stay by the door. You need to watch for students. Just stay where you are; we’re coming to you!”

(They both come bolting down the stairs, and as they turn to duck under the steps to look for the dog, the dog darts back out the other side and goes running for an open study room opposite the stairs.)

Coworker #2: “No! Not in there! That’s one of the only rooms he hasn’t gotten yet!”

(I get up from my post to help give chase, but as [Coworker #1] passes me, he motions for me to sit back down. Begrudgingly, I obey. They chase the dog into the empty study room… and then back out again. They chase him around the floor for several minutes before the dog hops up the stairs and heads to the second floor. My coworkers frantically follow.)

Coworker #2: *on the radio again* “[My Name], watch the stairs. If he comes back your way, you ditch the doors and grab him. It’s time we put an end to this.”

(I suddenly hear someone shouting from the second floor. Concerned, I radio in to ask if everything is okay.)

Coworker #2: “The dog just blasted feces all over the Help Desk. I think there’s something wrong with this dog!”

(At that moment, I see a student swipe his card at the outer doors and enter the library. He walks up to me and shows me his card, as usual, then looks around.)

Student: “Hey, have you seen a little white dog in here?”

Me: “Yes! We’ve been trying to catch him for an hour. Is he yours?”

Student: “Yeah, I dropped him off.”

Me: “You… what?”

Student: “I said I dropped him off. Is he ready to leave?”

(I’m too dumbfounded for a moment to answer, and the student then turns to face the library and begins shouting.)

Student: “Gizmo! Gizmo, c’mere! C’mere, boy!”

(To my astonishment, the dog casually appears at the top of the stairs and makes his way down toward his owner. My coworkers follow, running at first, until they see that the dog is being beckoned by his owner. They slowly head toward us, visibly distraught by the entire experience, as the owner picks up his dog.)

Student: “Hey, Gizmo! Time to go!”

Coworker #1: “Hey, wait a minute!”

Student: “Oh, yeah? What’s up?”

Coworker #1: “That’s your dog?”

Student: “Yes.”

Coworker #1: “You can’t bring a dog into the library.”

Student: “I didn’t. I dropped him off.”

Coworker #1: “Well, he caused a huge disruption and damaged several of our study rooms. We’ve had to close them and they’ll need to be hosed down.”

Student: “I’m sorry. I didn’t think he’d be a problem.”

Coworker #2: “Well, he was! He defecated all over the library.”

Student: “Yeah, I’m sorry about that. But what do you want me to do?”

([Coworker #1], not quite sure how to handle this situation, ultimately decides to take the student’s information in case he may be asked to help pay for the cleaning that will be required. Still seemingly oblivious to the huge disruption that’s been caused by him and his dog, the student leaves, and my coworkers and I stand back for a moment to collect ourselves.)

Coworker #2: “Well, that was different.”

Coworker #1: “What is wrong with people? Did he think this was a doggy daycare or something?”

Me: “Honestly, I’m more concerned about what was wrong with that dog.”

Coworker #2: “Maybe he fed it after midnight.”

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Can’t “Wipe” That From Your Memory

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 9, 2018

I’m working retail in a department store in high school. While putting clothes away I notice a woman lurking in a seldom-frequented corner of the store. The company has a strict policy on apprehending shoplifters and prohibits clerks from approaching or even remarking on it to anyone suspected of it. Because of this, I follow her from a bit of a distance, keeping an eye on her in case I need to alert loss prevention.

She darts into some high-hanging racks used to hang long bathrobes and dresses. Glancing around, she doesn’t notice me and proceeds to grab a handful of bathrobe and whip it behind herself. She stuffs the wad of cloth deep into the back of her jeans and begins—to my horror— scratching and rubbing vigorously, using the cloth as what can only be described as toilet paper. She ends this session with one long, satisfying swipe, shakes the cloth free, and wanders off. Disgusted, I hunt down my manager and alert her. She moseys over, glances at it, and, seeing no “stains”… also wanders off.

I now launder all new clothes before wearing them.

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The Holiday Inn(sane)

, , , , | Right | August 9, 2018

(I have just arrived to relieve my coworker off her shift. She usually is very cheerful looking, but now looks very frazzled. She spots me and looks relieved.)

Coworker: “Okay, so, this crazy lady — the wife of [Long Term Stay] — has been going off all evening about her husband. Don’t listen; she’s crazy. And don’t transfer her to him; he says he doesn’t want to listen to her.”

(The phone rings.)

Coworker: “Don’t answer that. It’s her.” *leaves without another word*

(I’m completely confused, and I don’t know exactly what’s going on. But I figure I’ve dealt with worse. The phone keeps ringing and ringing, until finally I pick it up.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name], front desk of [Hotel]. How may I help you?”

Old Lady: “Who is this?! [My Name]?! Well listen to me, [My Name].” *sneers out my name* “I’ve been talking to that little b**** [Coworker] all evening, and she was very unhelpful, and if my husband has a heart attack, I’M GOING TO SUE. DO YOU HEAR ME?! I’M GOING TO—”

(She rambles on and on about her husband being sick and about suing, practically spitting on the phone. Her words are coming out in a jumbled big mess. She sounds likes she’s having a fit. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on, and can’t. Every time I try to break in, she raises her voice louder.)

Old Lady: “Don’t you try to interrupt me, you worthless w****! You b****!”

(I hung up. We have the right to hang up if the caller is being abusive and not listening. The phone rang and rang and I didn’t pick up. It rang for THREE HOURS straight, and then finally stopped. I made a note of it in the log, and sighed. Turns out the guest’s wife was angry because she and her husband had a big fight, and her husband didn’t want to speak with her, so she was taking it out on the staff here! The GM spoke with her husband, who was a long-term stay, and told him to tell her not to abuse us. I never heard from her again, thank goodness. Last I heard they were getting a divorce. I wish I could describe how much hate her voice had in it.)

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Should Update Their Life Insurance, Too

, , , , | Right | August 8, 2018

(I’m an insurance agent. A young woman in her early 30s has asked to have an RV policy transferred from her husband’s name into her name, as she says her husband is ill and doesn’t currently drive due to his medical issues. She is already on the policy, so a transfer isn’t necessary, but she thinks it will be a lower premium. When the quote is complete, it does not lower her premium, and she agrees to keep the policy as currently written.)

Customer: “Thank you for the quote; I’m not going to make any changes at this time.”

Me: “Thank you for doing business with [Company]. Let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.”

Customer: “Oh, I will. You know, I’ve had to take over all of the finances since my husband has been in the hospital.”

Me: “I’m sorry the burden has been placed on you; I hope that he recovers quickly.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. He’s really up there in years, and I just have to come to terms with the fact that he may not recover at all.”

Me: “He is quite seriously ill, then?”

Customer: “Not really, but at his advanced age, I have to be ready for the worst.”

Me: “…”

(The husband was only 60 years old!)

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Definitions Of Racism Are Getting Gooey

, , , , | Working | August 8, 2018

(I am a server. It’s not an easy gig by any means, and I always try to add a little humor to get myself through a shift while creating a positive dining experience. Each server does what we can to help the others out, especially if we are in the weeds. One of my coworkers asks if I can help deliver a dessert to one of her tables while she is finishing up a few of her other tables. I grab the dessert and walk it out to the guests.)

Me: “All right, who feels like a molten?!”

(Almost everyone at the table raises the hands amidst comments like, “Right here!” and “ME!”)

Me: “Well, good news! No one looks like one… BUT THIS DOES!”

(I pull the plate up, spin it on my finger — very carefully while keeping a hand near it — stop it, and put it on the table.)

Me: “Enjoy!”

Man At Table: “Thank you!”

(I’m smiling, they’re smiling, and I head toward the kitchen to finish up a few things before I go home, having no more tables, and see my coworker standing there, wide-eyed with her mouth open.)

Coworker: “What did you say to them?!”

Me: “What? Who?”

Coworker: “My table! What did you say to them when you gave them the molten?!”

Me: “Oh, it’s an old joke. I asked who felt like a molten, and said you don’t look like one, and gave it to them.”

Coworker: “Oh, my God! I can’t believe you said that! Are they pissed?”

Me: “Why would they be pissed off?”

Coworker: “Because… that sounded so racist!”

Me: *extremely confused* “Wh… uh… Why is it racist?”

Coworker: “Because they’re black!”

Me: “I don’t get it.”

Coworker: “Well, I’ll make sure they’re okay in a little bit. You have to be careful with things like that! It comes across racist!”

(She stormed away, leaving me more confused today than at the time. I don’t get how it could possibly have been considered racist at all.)

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