Mystery Meat Burgers!

, , , , , | Working | October 24, 2017

(I have a red meat intolerance, and because of this, I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life. I work at a store that also has a food court. All the food is cooked on site. While I normally work hard lines, which is anything that isn’t clothing, every once in a while they have me work the food court to cover a break. This isn’t usually an issue, as breaks are 15 minutes and I normally didn’t get any customers, but one day someone calls in sick and they decide to put me in the food court all day by myself. These are two of my interactions with customers that day.)

Customer #1: “Hi, can I have a ham sandwich?”

Me: *after looking in the fridge and finding two bags of unlabeled meat* “So… I have a pinkish-white meat and an off-white, grey meat. Which one do you think is the ham?”

(And the second interaction…)

Customer #2: “Can I get a hamburger?”

Me: “I will try my best.”

(I put the meat on the grill and watch it intently.)

Customer #2: “Is everything all right?”

Me: “Well, to be honest, this is the first hamburger I’ve ever cooked, and I’ve never had one before. So, this could be interesting. I’m aiming for better than [National Hamburger Chain] but not as good as [Local Hamburger Chain].”

(After I’m done, I hand it over and [Customer #2] makes a big show of inspecting it and then cuts it in half to look at the center. Finally, they take a bite and slowly chew, looking thoughtful.)

Customer #2: “Well, I would say this is equivalent to [slightly nicer National Hamburger Chain], so I think you hit your mark.”

(At the end of the day, as I’m clocking out and talking to a coworker:)

Coworker: “So, how did it go?”

Me: “I’m fairly sure I didn’t poison anyone. I was also able to figure out how to make a [Local Hamburger Chain] grilled cheese sandwich, animal style, so I will call it a win.”

(My manager also thought it was a win, because I ended up there as my regular position after that. On the plus side, I learned to tell turkey apart from ham.)

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About To Make A (Dis)Appointment

, , , , | Healthy | October 24, 2017

(My multi-specialty medical office has an audiologist who does hearing tests for patients. I assist the ENT [Ear/Nose/Throat] doctors so I handle calls from his patients, since he doesn’t have his own assistant. One of our phone operators calls me at the nurses’ station with an audiology patient on the other line.)

Operator: “Dr. [Audiologist]’s 4:00 says she’s going to be ten minutes late. Is that okay?”

(We allow a 15-minute window to show up for appointments, and a check of the schedule reveals she’s the last patient of the day.)

Me: “Yes, that’s fine, as long as it’s no more than 15 minutes.”

(The operator relays the message and I go about my day. Later, I realize it’s 4:45 and the patient isn’t showing up as checked in on the schedule. I’m about to call up to the front desk to see if they’ve forgotten to check her in when the receptionist calls me.)

Receptionist: “Hi… did you tell Dr. [Audiologist]’s 4:00 that we’d ‘just work her in’ when she got here? Because she just got here.” *I can practically hear the air quotes*

Me: “I most certainly did not. I said no more than 15 minutes late. She needs to reschedule.”

Receptionist: “Yeah… that’s what I thought. Okay. I’m gonna go talk to [Audiologist]. Bet he’ll say the same thing.”

(He did. When the receptionist politely relayed to the patient that he was unable to stay 45 minutes late to accommodate her, she threw a hissy fit and ranted at our poor receptionist for several minutes before storming out in a snit. Her best line, as the receptionist later conveyed, was that she’d told our phone operator she was “on 50” and he should have known how far away she was. Highway 50 runs from West Sacramento to Maryland…)

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Has No Power Over You

, , , , | Right | October 20, 2017

(I am a technician. I am fixing a blood pressure testing machine at the local supermarket when a man comes up wanting to have his blood pressure checked.)

Me: “Sorry, I’m not quite done here. I’ll have it up and running in a few minutes.”

Customer: “You aren’t really fixing that; you’re just stealing the electricity to power your laptop!”

(My laptop is indeed sitting beside me, not even plugged into anything.)

Me: “No, I’m not.”

Customer: “Would you like me to call a manager?”

Me: “Please, do it!”

(He didn’t.)

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What Can I Do Except Pay You?

, , , , | Working | October 16, 2017

(As a side job while I’m in college, I referee for the local region of a national organization that is, in short, miserable to work for. We work tournaments that last from 7 am until 11 pm for two to three days in a row, and often times get few or no breaks, due to the shortage of referees. We’re only paid $18 a match and work 12 to 14 matches a day. We’re also not compensated for our food, travel, or lodging while at the tournament. When they ask me to work a tournament two-and-a-half hours away from my house, I’m glad to say no due to my affiliations playing and coaching with several of the major clubs that are traveling to play. The day before the tournament, though, the director calls me.)

Director: “Hey, [My Name], I know you said no to working this weekend, but we have a mass shortage of referees and I desperately need you to work. Can you please come?”

Me: “As I said before, there’s too much conflict of interest due to my affiliations with [Major Club #1] and [Major Club #2]. Everybody that plays and coaches there knows exactly who I am.”

Director: “Well, I trust you to be fair and I need you badly, so please come anyways. We can figure out a way for you to not work those clubs.”

Me: “It’s not just them; lots of the players that I’ve coached have since moved on to smaller clubs. I’m not comfortable reffing anyone that I’ve coached before. I don’t think there’s any way to avoid some conflict of interest this weekend.”

Director: “What’s it going to take to get you to come?”

Me: “$30 a match and full compensation for food, hotel, and gas.”

Director: “As I’ve said before, we cannot provide compensation to officials, only administrators, and the price you’re paid per match is non-negotiable.”

Me: “Well, then, see you at the next tournament. Thanks, anyway.”

Director: “But I really need you. What am I going to do now?”

Me: “I don’t know. Good bye.”

(I wonder what he wanted me to say when he asked me what it would take to get me to come.)

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Our New Laptops Turn Water Into Wine

, , , | Right | October 13, 2017

(I work at a major electronics retailer. On this particular day I am in the computer department when I approach a friendly, somewhat stereotypically redneck, southern man to see if he needs any help.)

Me: “Hi there! What brings you in today?”

Customer: “Well, I’m lookin’ at some o’ these laptop computers, and besides Sony or Haytch-P or Tuhshibuh, what other brands do you like?”

Me: “Well, we have a great deal on an Asus—” *I pronounce it “AY-soos”* “—and it’s really—”

Customer: *interrupting* “’AY-SOOS?!’ Ain’t that what the Mexicans call Jesus?”

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