But Is It Vegan?

, , , , , | Friendly | November 18, 2020

I’m talking with a coworker during lunch. While she is Jewish and I am of Catholic denomination, we are both very liberal-minded and do not take religious matters very seriously. So, we are freely talking about the oddities of various religions and belief systems, presently about Pastafarianism.

Coworker: “What I do not understand about the Pastafaris is that when they have noodlemass, they basically consume their god? Isn’t that weird?”

Me: “You know that this is literally what they teach us Catholics? That the wafer and wine we are served at mass are physically transubstantiated into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ for our consumption?”

Coworker: “Well, that doesn’t sound kosher to me.”

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Needs To Disable The Bigotry

, , , , , , | Working | September 11, 2020

I’m visiting a friend on campus, and we decide to go down to a cafeteria nearby for dinner. I expect to pay for myself, as I’m a visitor. I’m in a wheelchair, though I’m still very capable of taking care of myself. When we go through the entry line, instead of asking for payment, the cashier at the door just waves us in. My friend and I go in, giving each other confused looks.

Friend: “Huh. That’s a first.”

Me: “Maybe he thought I had a student ID out?”

Friend: “Maybe. Oh, well, free food!”

We get our food and start eating. My friend gets up to get more food, and the cashier comes over, apparently having swapped to the floor.

Cashier: “I can take your plate for you!”

He says this a little slowly, but I don’t think anything of it.

Me: “Oh, thank you!”

Cashier: “Where is your worker? She shouldn’t leave you alone here!”

Me: “My… worker?”

Cashier: “Yeah, your assistance worker!”

Me: “I don’t have one. That’s my friend.”

Cashier: “Okay, where did your friend go?”

He obviously exaggerates the word “friend,” as if mocking me.

Me: “She’s doing something somewhere else, as she’s allowed to do, as she is not in any way a caretaker for me or anybody else.”

My friend comes over and sets her plate down.

Friend: “Can I help you?”

Cashier: “Oh, good, you’re back. Your client is starting to get upset.”

Friend: *Pause* “She’s a friend. Who’s very capable of taking care of herself.”

Cashier: “They like to think that, huh?”

Friend: “I’d like to think you can grab your supervisor. Now.”

The cashier laughs and walks off. My friend then goes up to someone else wiping down a table, who does get a manager. The manager comes over.

Manager: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yeah, one of your employees has been implying that because I’m disabled, I need a carer.”

Manager: “Well, I’m sure there’s an explanation—”

Me: “He refused to listen to me as a functional adult which, even if I did need a carer, is not appropriate. I do not need to be talked down to or told I can’t take care of myself.”

Manager: “I… I see. I’ll have a talk with him.”

I went back to visit my friend a couple of weeks later, and she had found out that the cashier had been fired. He apparently assumed that anyone with any visible disability needed or had a carer.

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The Dining Hall Didn’t Ace Apple Pie Baking

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 8, 2020

I’m going to a moderately famous school, miles away from my hometown. My first couple of weeks are rough, as I don’t know anyone, but my roommate ends up inviting me to have lunch with a couple of her friends in one of the eating halls.

[Friend #1] is eating a fairly bland apple pie that was being offered pretty cheap. She makes an extremely exaggerated moan as she does so.

Friend #1: “Oh! It’s better than sex!”

Friend #2: “You’re ace. Scratching your armpit is better than sex for you.”

[Friend #1] just took an exaggeratedly big bite of the pie in response. They are now some of my best friends, and this is a prime example of the kind of relationship we all have.

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Don’t Sit At That (Vege)Table

, , , , , | Working | February 14, 2020

(My university dining hall posts allergen information for the most common allergens. Unfortunately, some of us have less common allergies and the listed allergens aren’t enough, so I’ve learned to ask about ingredients.)

Me: “Hi. Could you tell me what vegetables are in the vegetable pot pie?”

Employee: “What does the sign say?”

Me: “It says, ‘Vegetable pot pie,’ so it doesn’t say what vegetables are in it.”

Employee: “I would assume it’s just vegetables.”

Me: “That doesn’t answer my question. There are many different vegetables. Some of them I can eat; others I can’t.”

Employee: *shrug*

(I ended up not risking it. But, seriously? This is not a weird question.)

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Cooking Up A Sweet Moment

, , , , , , | Working | January 17, 2020

(At the particular place in the college cafeteria where I like to eat, you tell the person behind the counter what you want, and they circle it on an order pad and hang it up for the cooks to see. The people who write the orders also do the cooking if there aren’t very many coworkers on duty.)

Me: “I’d like a grilled cheese on wheat, please.”

(The cook hesitates and stares at the pad for at least a minute. The longer it goes on, the more panicked he begins to look. After a while, I decide to help him out and point to where “GRILLED CHEESE” is written.)

Cook: *circling my order* “Oh, thank you! One moment, please.”

(He hangs up the order for his coworker and comes back to wait for other kids. Since it’s before the lunch rush, though, I’m the only one there, and I decide to make small talk.)

Me: “Are you new?”

Cook: “Yeah, just started an hour ago.”

Me: “You looked kind of freaked out there.”

Cook: *sheepish* “I’ve heard stories from the others.”

(I can only imagine; just a few weeks ago, a girl threw a tantrum in the middle of the cafeteria because she couldn’t get a vegan grilled cheese sandwich, which this particular cafeteria does not offer.)

Me: “Vegan grilled cheese girl?”

Cook: “Among other things.”

(Now my sandwich is done, and I have to go.)

Me: *waving* “Well, good luck with the job!”

Cook: *waving back* “Thanks! I’m going to need it!”

(About a week later, I run into him during a slow hour; he’s the only one working the kitchen, so that means he both takes my order and makes my food. I order another grilled cheese sandwich before deciding to chat some more.)

Me: “You know what would be really cool? If you guys allowed the option to put vegetables or something on the sandwiches.”

Cook: *grins* “Yeah, that does sound pretty good.”

Me: “Anyway, how’s the job been?”

Cook: *peering at me* “Oh! You’re the girl from last week!”

Me: “Um, I guess so?”

Cook: “Okay, one moment, let me get your food ready.”

(After a few minutes, my sandwich is done.)

Me: “Thanks a lot!”

Cook: “Hey, no problem. It’s always nice to see a friendly face.”

(I took the sandwich and went back to my dorm to eat. When I unwrapped it and bit into it, I discovered that he’d put diced tomatoes and onions in it! Just that little gesture made me tear up a little bit. Thank you, whatever your name is! Your special sandwich was delicious and kept me smiling for the rest of the day!)

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