She’s A Bumper To Bumper Monster

, , | Right | February 18, 2021

I work in a bowling alley and we have just opened for the day. The front desk is always left in disarray by the night crew who, understandably, just want to get home, so I always take a few minutes to clean everything up at the start of my shift.

I’m just finishing up when I accidentally knock the display of cards off the front desk across the floor. I’m busy cleaning them up with my back to the entrance when suddenly a woman is looming over me. She is standing next to a man.

Customer: *Snappily* “Four games.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: *Scoffing* “Four. Games.”

She has not once made any sort of movement to help or comment about me picking up strewn cards, which would normally happen in a situation like this. Up to this point, I’ve been trying to sort them as I pick them up, but because she’s impatient, I quickly gather them up into a messy pile and dump them on the counter and then walk around to my computer. It dawns on me that it is not the day of the week where we sell by the game; instead, it’s by the time.

Me: “Oh, um—”

Customer: *Interrupting* “This is my client.”

She gestures to the man she’s with.

Customer: “I’m a social worker.”

We do have a rate for people with special needs that is by the game. I input the price and tell her.

Customer: *Completely irate* “What?! No way! I’ve been coming here on this day for years and it’s never been that price. I always get four games for [price one-quarter of what I told her]! That is not right at all.”

Me: “Oh, well, [price she said] is the cost for one game.”

Customer: “What?! No! No, no, no. You don’t know what you are doing. It has always been [price]!”

She glares at me expectantly.

Me: “I’m sorry. I’ve only been working here for four months and it has always been this pri—”

Customer: “Get me your manager… now!

Me: “No problem!”

I go and get my manager and explain the situation to her.

Manager: “Ma’am, the price used to be cheaper, but that was six years ago.”

Customer: “The guy that usually checks me in only charges me [price].”

Manager: “Apologies, but there’s nothing we can do. Whoever was charging you that price was wrong.”

The woman takes a business card, demands my manager’s name, and then purchases one game at the cost she was expecting four games to be. My manager goes back to her work and I go back to tidying up and answering the phone, which I like to do in a little room off the front desk because it’s quieter and I can hear better.

I finish a phone conversation and turn around to the front desk. The woman is back, strumming her fingers on the desk, looking annoyed at having to wait.

Me: “Oh, sorry, I forgot about bumpers!”

We put them up for small children, seniors, and people with special needs to make it a little easier and fair for them.

Me: “Let me just get those set up for—”

Customer: “What?! No! He wants the screen on.”

Me: “Oh! We usually don’t turn those on until night-time, but I’m sure my manager will let me turn them on. I just need to get confirmation. Are you sure your client doesn’t want bumpers?”

She scoffs about the screen rules and rolls her eyes at me.

Customer:No! No bumpers!”

She leaves, disgusted with me. I end up having to help another customer before I get the okay to turn the screens on. When I go over to their lane to turn them on, I see that they’ve already played a few rounds. The poor guy has zero at this point. She snaps at her client to thank me for turning on the screens, otherwise ignoring me. When they finish, I check the final score and her client has ten while she has ninety-eight. They leave and I explain everything to my coworker.

Me: “What kind of monster forces their special needs client to play without bumpers? It totally looks like she did that just so she could beat him!”

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Mmm, Bowling With Greasy Pizza Fingers  

, , , | Right | November 3, 2019

On Fridays and Saturdays, the bowling alley I work at closes at midnight. At 11:30, we pretty much have the kitchen shut down, and we’re cleaning. However, on this particular night, this group of five people came in at 11:30, and bought two games for each person. 

We thought that’d be it. Well, they decided to order food. Which is fine, because we usually keep one deep fryer on for this purpose. So, they decided to get a breaded tenderloin, fried pickles, and a freaking pizza with ten breadsticks! We had already shut down the pizza oven, and it takes ten minutes to heat it up. Okay, fine. 

The tenderloin was specified to only have pickles on it. So, I put just pickles on it and brought it out to the group. When I was bringing out their fried pickles, the girl who ordered the tenderloin said, “Actually, can I get ketchup and mustard for this?” I said sure, but as I was getting it for her, I was thinking, “Why didn’t you order it with your sandwich if you wanted it, then?!” 

I got the pizza out to them, and everything was fine. So, I got back to cleaning, shut everything off, and such. Then, I realized that they were not even there! They’d all gone to the bar in the middle of their game. After a while, they came out of the bar and started bowling again. Then, five minutes later, I had to go get a mop bucket. One of the guys stopped me and said, “Oh, we’ll be right back,” and they all went outside.  

I finished mopping and they came back in. I went and collected the pizza dish, so I could finish dishes before I needed to leave. One of them had the gall to say, “We’re sorry we’re staying so late.”

It was, like, 12:10 at this point. 

I finished the dishes and my boss told me I could go home. They were still bowling as I left, at 12:30. 

You’re not freaking sorry if you keep going in and out of the bar, in and outside, and keep putting money in the machine to play music.

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Stolen Broken Bowling Balls

, , | Right | October 2, 2019

(This story belongs to my brother, who is also my manager at the bowling alley where I work. This lady comes in demanding his help.)

Lady: “I need help! My car was stolen!”

Brother: “Your car was stolen?”

Lady: “Yes, come here!”

(They go outside and the lady points to her car.)

Brother: “Um, I thought you said it was stolen.”

Lady: “No, it’s broken! I need your help to fix it.”

Brother: “Well, ma’am, I’m not mechanically proficient. You’re going to need to call someone.”

Lady: “No, I need you to fix it.”

Brother: “Okay, what’s wrong with it?”

Lady: “There’s a bowling ball that is preventing it from starting.”

Brother: “Well… um… Okay, where’s the bowling ball?”

Lady: “In the trunk.”

Brother: “Well, why don’t you open the trunk and get it out?”

Lady: “I don’t know how.”

(My brother then opens the trunk and gets the bowling ball and she gets her “broken car” running.)

Brother: “Will that be all?”

Lady: “No, I want to go bowling.”

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Because Men And Women Can’t Just Be Friends

, , , , | Romantic | July 1, 2019

(A large group of us goes bowling one night after church. There are some new people in our group, including one particular guy who has decided to follow me around all night, attempting to enter every conversation I’m in. I’ve been able to avoid being alone with him so far, but when one friend gets up to take her turn, he slides into her seat.)

New Guy: “So, you’re [My Name], right?”

Me: “That’s me.”

New Guy: “I’ve been wanting to talk to you, but you’re pretty popular around here.”

Me: “And your name is…?”

New Guy: “Oh, sorry. I’m [New Guy]. It’s my first time. Do you guys always do big group stuff like this?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. It’s more fun that way.”

New Guy: *scoots closer* “So, are you single? Because I’d love to get to know you better…”

Me: “Um…”

(In one of those rare and perfectly-timed moments, one of my guy friends hops over the bench we’re sitting on and plants himself between me and the new guy.)

Guy Friend: “[My Name], what’s up? I feel like I haven’t talked to you all night. How’s life? How’s your bowling score?”

Me: “You know very well that you’re going to kick my butt, as always!”

Guy Friend: “Let it be known that you said it, I didn’t.” *turns to the new guy* “How’s it going, bro? Don’t think we’ve met. I’m [Guy Friend].”

New Guy: “Oh, fine. I get it.” *gets up and walks away*

Me: “Has anyone ever told you that you have insanely good timing?”

Guy Friend: *laughs* “You had that deer-in-the-headlights look.”

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Foiled By Oil

, , , , , | Right | April 7, 2019

I work in a bowling alley. During our Saturday night rent-a-lane that started at 11:30 pm — when people tend to drink more — we had a guy apparently trying to impress his girlfriend. He took a running start from the bowling area… onto the approach and onto his lane.

As you know, bowling lanes are oiled. The customer did know this as he slid/skated down the lane on the oil.

What he didn’t know or realize is that the oil only goes about two-thirds of the way down. As soon as he reached the end of the oil, his shoes stuck to the dry part of the lane… and down he went… face first. He was okay, but a little shaken up as he walked back.

There were only about ten lanes going in the small center, but I wanted to warn everybody that this is why you do not go out onto the lanes. I got onto the microphone and said, “Just a reminder… Please do not walk out onto the lanes, as there is oil out there and we don’t want anyone to trip and fall like the guy just did on lane five.”

I got a few small laughs from it, but I think he’d already learned his lesson.

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