Wish They Would Go Back To The Moon

, , , | Right | November 9, 2017

(I work at an old mine turned into a State Historic Site. We teach people to pan for gold, and I often make small talk with people as I’m showing them how.)

Me: “Oh, I like your Roswell shirt, sir.”

Customer: “Oh, thanks. I have a friend whose nephew was stationed at Area 51.”

Me: “That’s cool. I did a paper on that incident once, although I originally wanted to do it on whether we landed on the moon.”

Customer: “We did.”

Me: “Oh, I know.”

Customer: “And the moon has an atmosphere, you know.”

Me: “Umm, okay. How does that–“

Customer: “It’s a lot denser than Earth’s, though. And we’ve had bases there since the 1950s.”

Me: *trying to change the subject* “Well, let’s see if you have gold in here.”

Customer: “They’re all underground and on the far side, which is why you can’t see them.”

Me: “Well, it doesn’t look like there’s any gold in this one. I’m sorry. I’d better go see how everyone else is doing.”

Friendship Comes With Safety Padding

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 9, 2017

(After lunch one of my friends comes running up to me and pulls me off to the bathroom. She looks worried, so I ask what’s wrong.)

Friend: *embarrassed* “Well, I started my period today and I don’t have any pads! I had some in my purse but my sister must have stolen them!”

Me: *relieved* “Oh, okay. I’ve got some in my purse.”

(I pull one out and hand it to her. She takes it and dashes into a stall. When she comes back out, she still looks worried.)

Me: “What’s wrong, [Friend]? It must be more than your period.”

Friend: *suddenly blurts* “I’m out of pads at home!”

Me: “Why don’t you tell your mom? I’m sure she’ll buy them for you.”

Friend: *shaking her head* “No, she won’t!”

Me: *stunned* “What?! Why not?!”

Friend: “Well, [Friend’s Sister] and I get an allowance of $20 every month for our ‘essentials,’ like toothpaste, feminine products, razors, deodorant… you get the idea. Our mom got the idea to do it to teach us how to budget.” *sighs* “Problem is, the cost of stuff has gone up since my mom started doing this, and she hasn’t increased our allowance, so it’s not enough any more. Usually my sister and I run out of something or other and have to do without until we get our allowance again.”

Me: “That’s terrible!” *I pull the other half dozen pads out of my purse and give them to her* “Stick those in your purse.” *pause* “Can you use scented pads?”

Friend: *frowns* “Yeah, why?”

Me: *smiling* “Good! I’ll bring you a whole box of them tomorrow!”

Friend: “You don’t—”

Me: *holding up one hand to silence her* “Yes, I do. Besides, I grabbed them by mistake a couple months ago, and I can’t use them because the scent makes my butt break out in a rash.”

(My friend bursts into tears and laughter at the same time.)

Friend: *sniffling* “I’m sorry! I’m just so happy you’re going to bring me pads, but at the same time, that butt rash story was TMI!” *giggles*

(That wasn’t the last time I had to bring pads to that friend. I used to sneak them to her when I’d stay the weekend, because if her mom saw me giving them to her, she lectured me, saying her daughter “needed to learn better money management.”)

On A Holy Gum Crusade

, , , , | Working | November 8, 2017

(I am purchasing some things from my local petrol station. I know the total comes to under £10, but I need change and decide to give a £20 note instead.)

Cashier: *leaning away from my money* “Umm, do you have anything smaller?”

(I fish around in my wallet and hand over £10. I then notice a pack of gum has appeared alongside my other items.)

Me: “Oh, was this scanned as well? I don’t want it. Can it be taken off, please?”

Cashier: “No.”

Me: “No? Why not?”

Cashier: *visibly sweating* “You aren’t allowed.”

Me: “But I don’t want it.”

Cashier: “But you must!”

Me: “Well, I don’t. Take it off.”

Cashier: “NO!”

(Our argument alerts the station owner who comes forward and I explain the situation.)

Owner: *to cashier* “Take it off.”

(She gives him an imploring stare but his face is set in stone. She’s actually shaking as she moves her hand to the register with her eyes shut tight, as if it were about to explode. The second the gum is taken off, she runs away, screaming that she “can’t go on.” The owner sighs and takes my £20.)

Me: “Thanks, but what was all that about?”

Owner: *shrugs* “Sometimes the ultra-religious around here make it hard to shop.”

Me: “Huh?”

(He taps the display saying the total: £6.66.)

Me: “Oh.” *takes change and leaves*

(Usually the ultra-religious in my area are over 60, so it was an odd sight to see a young adult with the same attitude. Whenever I go in there now and she’s in, she glares at me the entire time and runs into the back when I get near the register. Thankfully I don’t go in there often.)

Interview Technique Is Lacking An Interview

, , , , , , , | Working | November 8, 2017

(I have just finished an interview, so I am wearing a suit and nice shoes as well as carrying a laptop. I decide to stop in a well-known coffee shop to get a tea and a bagel. I sit down at an empty table to eat and play a game on my phone, with only a handful of customers in the store. A well-dressed woman walks up to me.)

Woman: “Hi.”

Me: “Hello?”

Woman: “Do you need a phone charger?”

Me: *confused* “No, thanks… Do you?”

(The woman shakes her head but doesn’t move. After a moment…)

Woman: “Could you move over there?” *points to a different table*

Me: *now really confused* “Uh, no? I’m fine right here.”

Woman: “You know, you aren’t making a very good first impression.”

Me: “Neither are you.”

Woman: *with a rude tone, points to clipboard in hand* “I’m marking this down, I hope you know.”

Me: “For what?”

(With a shocked expression, the woman turned around and disappeared into the back room. I figured that someone had an interview scheduled that day and the woman assumed I was the candidate. If that’s the case, it was pretty rude to not even introduce herself or ask me if I was there for the interview.)

Toilet Humor Differs From Nation To Nation

, , , | Working | November 8, 2017

(We have just moved from the USA to Qatar. During one of our first visits to the grocery store, we try to purchase the basics for our house and do not know many of the brands being sold. My husband is in the toilet paper aisle, trying to decide what brand to buy.)

Clerk: “Can I help you?”

Husband: “I’m just trying to decide what is the best kind of toilet paper to buy. We just moved here, so I don’t know the brands.”

Clerk: “The one you are holding is good.”

Husband: “Have you used this one? What brand do you prefer?”

Clerk: “I don’t use toilet paper.”

(He was quite serious that he didn’t use toilet paper. Cultural differences…)

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