Not Quite A Day Of Rest

, , , , , | Related | March 20, 2019

(My parents are going on vacation for a week. Since they have a dog, they ask me to housesit for the week. Two days after they leave, I hear a thud, the doorknob jiggling, and then the doorbell. With the chain still latched, I open the door and see my aunt, hands empty save for her purse. For background, she used to fawn over me. However, since I turned 18 — meaning upon my parents’ death, I would no longer require a guardian and would receive direct control over their assets — she’s barely spoken to me, even when I’m in the room.)

Aunt: “Hey there! Why’s the door locked?”

Me: “Why shouldn’t it be locked?”

Aunt: “It’s Sunday.”

Me: “And?”

Aunt: “We always have dinner together here on Sundays.”

Me: “You know my parents are on vacation, right?”

Aunt: “Yeah.”

Me: “…”

Aunt: “…”

Me: “So, there’s no family dinner this Sunday.”

Aunt: “But we always have Sunday dinner!”

Me: “When my mother is here to host it. She invites you over. She’s not here, so I don’t know why you think you’re invited.”

Aunt: “Because I’m family!”

Me: *shoots her the dirtiest “Oh, really?” look I can muster* “That doesn’t make this your house.”

Aunt: “It doesn’t make it yours, either!”

Me: “Which is exactly why I’m not inviting you in.” *slams the door in her face*

(She bangs on the door, rings the bell, and calls the home phone non-stop. When she still can’t take the hint, I have to involve the police. By the time they get here, my uncle has shown up, hands also empty, and joined in the tantrum. Since the background with him is pretty much the same story, I don’t step out to help him. About an hour later, I get a phone call from my mother.)

Mother: “You had [Uncle] and [Aunt] arrested?!”

Me: “They kept banging on the door and demanding entry. What else was I supposed to do?”

Mother: “Invite them in! I told them to come over and bring pizza so you wouldn’t have to cook for them!”

Me: “Then how about you tell me that next time, too?”

Mother: “I shouldn’t have had to! We always have family dinner on Sundays!”

They’re Terrorizing Themselves

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2019

(A few months ago, a series of gas explosions rocked an area to the north of Boston. Several homes were damaged or destroyed, though injuries were thankfully low. My coworker lives in one of the towns affected and was evacuated in the early morning, and is thus unable to come into the office, so I’ve been providing cover for her. We work as faculty assistants. A woman from another department in the school calls to set up a meeting with one of my colleague’s professors.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have access to that professor’s calendar. If it’s for something urgent, I can try to catch him in person today?”

Caller: “I think it can wait. Do you know when [Coworker] will be back in?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. She lives up in [Town affected], so she’s displaced right now and it’s too early to know when she’ll be allowed back into her house.”

Caller: “Goodness, that’s awful!”

Me: “Yeah. Thank God, her house wasn’t one of the ones that blew, but it’s such a scary thing!”

Caller: “It’s terrible, just terrible! And I haven’t heard anything about how it happened, but it must have been terrorism, right?”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure about that—“

Caller: “It had to be! What else could it be?”

Me: “Well, I think I saw something about how they were doing maintenance—“

Caller: “Oh, they’ll say anything now. It’s just a cover-up! It had to be terrorists; that’s the only thing that makes sense!”

Me: “Right. Sure… So, why don’t you email [Professor], and CC me and [Coworker], and hopefully we’ll get this scheduled.”

(Why on earth terrorists would want to target an insignificant residential area thirty miles from the nearest city is beyond me, but she wasn’t the only one to jump to that conclusion!)

Living Luxuriously Can Be Taxing

, , , , | Right | March 2, 2019

(I work at a high-end fast fashion retailer in downtown Boston. I answer the phone.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [Store].”

Caller: “Do you have winter coats?”

Me: “Yes.”

Caller: “What are they made of?”

Me: “What are you looking for?”

Caller: “Corduroy.”

Me: “We have a cord blazer.”

Caller: “How much is it?”

Me: “$198.”

Caller: “No tax?”

Me: “It’s 6.25% on the amount above $175.”

Caller: “I thought clothes were tax-free in Massachusetts?”

Me: “It’s a luxury tax on the amount above $175.”

Caller: “Oh. What about food?”

Me: “I don’t know; I’m not in the food service industry.”

We Have A Title For People Like You, Too

, , , , | Right | March 1, 2019

(I answer the phone.)

Me: “Good morning. This is Doctor [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “Well, I had heard good things about you, and I wanted to be your patient. But you used your title. That makes you a snob and far too professional for me.” *hangs up*

There Is Nothing Preferred About This Customer

, , , , , | Right | February 12, 2019

(I’m a customer in this story. There have been a series of storms that have caused some significant flight delays into the Northeast. I’ve arrived almost eight hours late after what was supposed to be two-hour flight. It’s 2:38 am when I get to [Car Rental Agency]. There is a long line of beleaguered travelers who just want their d*** cars. Several customers in line are so-called preferred members who can ordinarily skip the line when the express counter is open. It is closed between 1:00 and 4:00 am. There is obviously some displeasure at the continued wait, but none are more pointedly accusatory towards the staff than one middle-aged man who is about twelfth in line.)

Customer #1: “Why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?”

Desk Agent #1: “Because the express counter is closed.”

Customer #1: “But why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?!

Desk Agent #1: “I’m sorry, sir, but the express counter is closed until 4:00 am.”

(This repeats several times.)

Customer #1: “That’s great. That’s just f****** great.”

Customers #2 & #3: *to me, just loud enough for half the line to hear* “We’re on the board, too!”

([Customer #1] rants at various volumes for the next ten minutes, until finally, his inner seven-year-old comes out. In the warbling, modulated moaning whine that any parent or former child would instantly recognize, he starts repeating:)

Customer #1: “But I’m a preferred customer!”

(This went on for ten minutes. The staff was moving people through at the best rate that they could, but they now had to deal with this middle-aged man’s tantrum. Finally, they created a line just for him. Sadly, this was a year ago, and the voice of this forty-something child still haunts me.)

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