Wish You Could Flush This Experience Down The Toilet

, , , , , | Right | October 23, 2018

(A teenage boy of about fourteen or fifteen comes out of the bathroom and approaches me.)

Boy: “Um, ma’am, there’s a problem in the bathroom.”

Me: “Okay, let me take a look.”

(I am thinking I’ll just have to plunge or something. I walk in, and my eyes grow wide. The entire floor is covered in poo water. A HUGE ball of paper towels full of poo has clogged the entire toilet — not just the drain, the whole bowl — and some is hanging out of the toilet. Several more pieces of paper towel are strewn on the floor. The empty paper towel roll is laid on the counter. Yes, there is an ENTIRE ROLL OF PAPER TOWELS in the toilet.)

Me: “What happened?”

Boy: “Well, there wasn’t a lot of toilet paper left, so I tried to use the paper towels.”

Me: “You needed that many paper towels to take care of yourself?”

Boy: “No. I mean, I used the first bit, but then it wouldn’t flush down, so then I just kept shoving more in there thinking it would fix it. I’m really sorry; this is so nasty.”

(I look at him, and then, in silence, I walk out and fetch his mom. I bring her into the bathroom to take a look. She peeks in, and as she does, the boy says:)

Boy: “I’m so sorry, Mom. I didn’t know what to do.”

Mom: *with a blank face she responded* “Oh, honey, it’s okay. Don’t be embarrassed; this happens.”

(In my mind, I’m screaming, “NO, IT DOESN’T! THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. THIS IS NOT A THING PEOPLE DO. PEOPLE DO NOT SHOVE ENTIRE ROLLS OF PAPER TOWELS DOWN THE TOILET. THAT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT JUST ‘HAPPENS.’ WOULD YOU BE SAYING THAT TO HIM IF HE DID THIS AT HOME?!” But I keep my cool and I stay silent. The mom looks at me.)

Mom: “Okay, let’s go, Son. Or did you want to ask about that book?”

(I’m standing in a puddle of her son’s poo water, staring. The boy looks at me and says:)

Boy: “Oh, yeah. Do you have Bram Stoker’s Dracula?”

Me: *still staring* “No. No, I don’t have that one. Or any more paper towels.”

(The mom laughs. The boy laughs. I do not laugh.)

Mom: “Okay, have a nice afternoon!”

(The mom and boy walk out. I’m still standing in the middle of poo water in the bathroom. I stare at the mess around me, dumbfounded. I call my landlord and ask her to send a plumber over. I begin cleaning. The plumber arrives, and he gets to the bathroom, opens the toilet, and exclaims:)

Plumber: “OH, MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENED?! THIS COULD CLOG A SEWER! THIS IS NOT TOILET PAPER!”

(Yes, yes, I know. $95 and two hours of cleaning later… Moral of the story: I now understand why there are signs in public restrooms stating, “Do not flush anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper.” We’ve removed all paper towels, napkins, and hand towels from the bathroom and put them outside.)

Ironic Irony

, , , , , | Working | October 8, 2018

(My sister has spent over thirty years in retail. As a present for her, I decided to buy a copy of “Pretending You Care,” a humor book about retail and the problems of retail workers. The bookstore I frequent doesn’t have any copies on the shelves, so I go to have it special ordered for me.)

Salesman:Pretending You Care? Oh, yeah, I read that one; it’s really good. It’s about how to drive sales by showing empathy with your customers, right?”

(Oh, I wish that I thought he was being ironic intentionally.)

Unfiltered Story #122324

, , , | Unfiltered | October 4, 2018

ME: “Thank you for calling [Bookstore]. This is [My Name], how may I help you?”

CALLER: “Do you sell pornography?”

(I can tell this is a teenage kid trying to prank me, but instead of calling him out on it, I decide to give great customer service.)

ME: “I suppose to depends on your definition of pornography, but we do have a sexuality section for books and several men’s sophisticates magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse. Is there something you’re looking for in particular?”

CALLER: “Are you down with that?”

ME: “I’m sorry, did you just ask me if I’m down with that?”

CALLER: (Obviously flustered that his joke isn’t working.) “Uh… no.”

ME: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

CALLER: “Uh… no.”

ME: “Thank you for calling and have a great day.”

Unfiltered Story #122313

, , | Unfiltered | October 4, 2018

(I am working at the front counter when a nonchalant-looking customer approaches.)

Customer: “Hi, I have a copy of ‘A Mastery of Love’ on hold for me?”

Me: “Of course! One moment.”

(I get the book and scan it for her. As the transaction proceeds, the customer suddenly appears to become more exasperated, even though I am not doing anything wrong. She gets snippy with me when I ask if she would like her card to be run as credit or debit, and proceeds to mumble furiously under her breath as I complete the sale. I think nothing of it until…)

Customer: *abruptly and nastily* So I get to be in debt because I have to buy insurance and pay bills, while some illegal immigrant gets to go to the f***ing ER and not pay a cent for it! Fantastic!”

Me: “…You try to have a good day, okay?”

(She leaves the store, and I have to take a moment to get over the shock. To this day, I don’t know what brought on that out-of-the-blue rant, or whether or not I did anything to inadvertently trigger it.)

That Isn’t Naturally Where Your Mind Should Go

, , , , , | Working | October 1, 2018

(A young woman walks up to my desk in the bookstore.)

Customer: “Do you have any books on dying naturally?”

Me: “I’m pretty sure we have some in the self-help section. Let me show you.”

(As I’m taking her up to second level of the store, where we keep the non-fiction, I mention:)

Me: “You know, there’s a very interesting website called The Order of the Good Death, if you want to know more about that sort of thing.”

Customer: “Oh, that does sound interesting.”

(She pulls out a pen and paper, asks me to repeat the name, and writes it down.)

Me: “So, on this shelf, we have several books on palliative care and making decisions around the end of life.”

(The customer gives me an odd look.)

Customer: “I was looking for books on dyeing fabric…”

(Understandable mistake, but she must have really wondered why I was telling her about that website.)

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