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Why Would You Want To Travel With Someone So Clearly Uncomfortable With It?

, , , , , , , | Working | August 12, 2022

One of my male coworkers is from a country where, as he puts it, relationships and marriages are more of an arranged idea than something people choose to do and as such, there is a lot of “hidden fun” going on.

He wants to make plans to use his vacation time to visit different locations around the USA. One of these stops is New York City, where I used to live.

Coworker: “So, you can take me on a tour?”

Me: “I don’t have a ton of vacation time right now.”

Coworker: “Just a week or two.”

Me: “Yeah, I don’t have two weeks, and I have kids. Maybe if [My Husband] can get off his job, we can schedule a big vacation, but—”

Coworker: *Annoyed* “Why do people always say their partner has to go along? It’s not a romantic getaway!”

I have had this conversation with him before, as I know other people have.

Me: “I know that, but taking one-on-one trips with people who aren’t your significant other… It’s the way it looks. It’s not personal. It’s just—”

Coworker: “Well, that’s dumb.”

Me: “I would be unhappy going without my family, anyway. Why don’t you go with [Married Male Coworker]? He’s from New York, too.”

Coworker: *Offended* “I’m not touring New York with a man.”

Me: “Why?”

Coworker: “People will think we’re gay!”

I’m now annoyed enough that I want to laugh, but I hold it back.

Me: “So… it’s not a romantic getaway if you go with a married, female coworker, but it is a romantic getaway if you go with a married, male coworker.”

Coworker: “It’s completely different.”

Me: *Sigh* “Okay.”

Coworker: “Why can’t you just come with me? We won’t sleep in the same bed.”

Me: “I know we won’t. Because I’m not going.”

Coworker: “Why?!”

Me: “I’m not available.”

I turn to walk away.

Coworker: “You don’t even know when!”

Me: *Shrugging* “I know I’m not available.”

He continued to ask me to make plans with him for weeks before I finally cracked and screamed at him. Initially, I was written up by Human Resources for creating an uncomfortable work environment. I told them about our conversation where he refused to go with a male coworker but insisted on going with me. They dropped my write-up, and [Coworker] was moved to another branch.


, , , , , , , , | Right | April 28, 2022

I am checking out at an outdoor retailer, and I hand over my dividend card to get credit for the purchase.

Cashier: “Huh, [My Last Name]. I’ve only ever seen that name once. That was my fourth-grade teacher, but she left to have a baby.”

Me: “Oh, yeah? Did you grow up in [Town]?”

Cashier: “Yeah, how’d you know?”

Me: *Waves* “Hi, I’m the baby!”

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With This Customer, There’s Something Else That Should Stay Zipped

, , , , , | Right | April 21, 2022

My husband and I are at the grocery store and get into the checkout line after picking out our items. There are two customers in front of us: one with a bigger order that the bagger has almost finished putting into the customer’s reusable bags, and then another who only has a few items. The bagger finishes with the first customer’s order and is handing off the cart to her when the customer, an elderly lady who had been chatting with her friend, lashes out.

Customer: “What?! You have to zip every bag! I don’t care if it’s not refrigerated; every bag has to be zipped! Don’t you know anything?!

By the time she finishes yelling and harrumphs off with her cart and friend, the customer between us and her has been checked out, and the cashier has moved on to our order, pushing our reusable bags down the counter to the bagger. I move up toward the credit card machine and look at the bagger, who is clearly still shaking off the encounter with Ms. Must-Be-Zipped.

Me: *To the bagger* “Don’t worry; our bags don’t have zippers on them.”

We were all masked, but I could tell she smiled under the mask, and I heard laughs from at least three cashiers around us! I made sure (as always) to thank the cashier and the bagger each personally for their help.

That Poor Child

, , , , , , | Right | April 20, 2022

I worked as a manager in a busy Boston shopping and tourist spot in the mid-1990s. The shop was three floors: two above ground, open to the public, and a floor below ground for employees accessible through two locked doors and a narrow spiral staircase. Outside of the door on the top level were public restrooms.

It was a very busy summer afternoon with at least 100 people in the store. A little boy standing in line with his family told his dad he had to pee. Dad ignored him. The boy told him several times, and still, Dad didn’t react. He got to the register where I was helping to expedite the checkout process.

Dad: “Do you have a bathroom?”

Me: “There is a public restroom in the hallway upstairs, just outside of the store exit.”

Dad: “No. He needs your bathroom. He can’t wait.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but our employee bathrooms are not accessible on this floor, and for safety reasons, I cannot bring you below. The public restrooms are just upstairs, though.”

Dad: “Are you telling me you are ignoring the needs of a little boy due to ‘safety’?”

He did finger quotes as he said this.

Me: “Yes, sir, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

It went on for a few more seconds until the dad grabbed the kid who desperately needed to pee at this point and left to use the restroom. I checked out the rest of his family, who were embarrassed by the confrontation, and I was in the middle of checking out the next person in line when Dad came back into the store, dragging his child, who was crying and in wet pants. The father started screaming at me.

Dad: “He pissed himself! Are you happy, you dumb b****? This is all your fault! He pissed himself like a f****** baby!”

At this point, the customer who I was checking out spoke up.

Customer: “Are you joking? Your child told you he had to pee while we were still standing back there—” *gestures to where the line is stretched back at least ten people away* “—and you did nothing. You tried to bully this poor woman into breaking rules instead of just saying thank you and taking your kid to the bathroom. And now you’re humiliating him at the same time as trying to blame her? Your bathroom emergency was not her fault!”

It was a great moment made better when the dad started arguing with the customer. He started threatening violence, so one of my employees grabbed an officer patrolling outside to intervene. The officer told the angry dad:

Officer: “Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency for anyone else.”

A Member Of The Entitlement Club

, , , , , , | Right | April 14, 2022

When working at a museum, you get to deal with members who think that paying anywhere from $90 to $140 a year entitles them to the LITERAL WORLD. Having a museum membership is not like being a member at a yacht club; it’s more like being a member at a Costco. You get a lot of superficial complaints that are easily solved. I especially love it when an annoying member winds up correcting their own problem. 

It’s a busy Sunday afternoon. A member comes to me with a complaint.

Member: “Your website does not state that members need a timed-entry ticket for the travelling exhibit.”

Me: “Yes, sir, it does. I’m sorry for the confusion. Let’s get you entry for right now.”

Member: *Raising his voice* “This is ridiculous! Your homepage states members don’t need timed entry!”

Me: “I apologize, sir, but timed entry will be permanent for all traveling exhibits going forward. I’ll get you a ticket so you can begin your visit.”

Member: “This is no way to speak with a member. Pull up your website, right now!”

I pull up our homepage and turn the monitor. Nothing is listed to confirm what he says, so he orders me to click a bunch of random tabs. Eventually, we come to the part he is looking for, and he’s reading the rules thinking he’s “hot stuff”.

Member: “See, it says, ‘General admission tickets are no longer timed entry and are valid for the entire day of your visit. Special ticketed exhibitions still require a timed-entry ticket for all visitors and members.'”

He stops and just stares at me. I put the last nail in the coffin.

Me: “What time would you like the enter the exhibit, sir?”

To add insult to injury, he ran out of free member passes for the traveling exhibits. I got him in anyway just so he would leave me alone!