Short Nights Lead To Short Temper

, , , | Right | December 4, 2017

(I work at my local ice arena as a facilities attendant. My duties are pretty much janitorial. I am responsible for cleaning the change rooms as soon as possible and as many times as needed, keep the place looking presentable, and once everyone’s gone, doing a mad dash to clean the remaining change rooms, bathrooms, lobby, and sweep and mop the bleachers. We’ve been short-staffed lately, and because of this, I’ve had to pull in extra shifts, including what we call, “short nights,” meaning working an evening shift [4:00 pm to 12:30 am], then a day shift [7:30 am to 4:00 pm]. Last weekend I actually had to work from 3:30 pm to 1:00 am, then get back to work by 6:30 am as there was a hockey tournament starting. This is a conversation between a parent and I.)

Parent: “Hey, miss?”

Me: “Yes? Can I help you with anything?

Parent: “Oh, no. I was just wondering, weren’t you here last night?”

Me: “I was, actually. We’re short staffed at the moment, so I don’t mind.”

Parent: “Wow! Even if you’re short-staffed, you shouldn’t have to come in this early!”

Me: “I really don’t mind. It’s been a steady grind, so as long as I don’t sit down, I won’t pass out from exhaustion.” *cue my awkward, dry, laugh*

Parent: “That’s stupid! Why haven’t you complained? Aren’t you protected under the Union?”

Me: “Actually, every single worker here HAS complained. We have begged and pleaded with the town to not book any games with a start time before 8:30 am, as hockey players tend to arrive 45 minutes before games start. Yet the parents yell at the coaches that they want earlier start times, and the coaches book it accordingly. It’s completely out of our hands. All we can do is show up, unlock the doors, and wait for all of you to leave so we can clean up the mess. Which, by the way, meant that we were here until 1 am last night.”

(At this point I recognize her as a b****y council member and get even more p***ed off.)

Me: “If you were actually interested in my well-being, you would bring it up in council meetings that town workers are being pushed too far because of ice bookings. You’d help us petition to have the latest ice time be the 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, not all the way up to 11:45. You’d convince the other parents to ask for a slightly later morning slot, instead of one that means I have to wake up at 5:30, after less than two hours of sleep, to get here at 6:30 to unlock doors. I know you don’t really care; you know you don’t really care. Now, please, it’s time for flood, and I have to help out with that.”

Parent: “…”

(I didn’t hear a peep from her the rest of the day. I think she told the other parents, as after that, everyone made sure that there was nothing for me to clean up afterwards. One of the other hockey team’s coaches also brought us coffee and muffins, as well, so that was a good boost. This weekend I have to pull another short night, with similar hours. Wish me luck.)

Double Standards Need To Change

, , , , , | Working | December 4, 2017

(Every few days, a printing press needs to be shut down and cleaned because the ink spatters all over where it isn’t meant to be. The workers climb inside and wipe everything with solvent-soaked rags. Since it is a messy task, we put on disposable impermeable hooded jumpsuits [Tyveks AKA whitesuits], and since these factories are very hot, it’s common to take off your uniform to keep it free of sweat and solvent, and just go into the whitesuit in your underwear. The change rooms are a pain to get to; you have to cross the entire huge building, go upstairs, and come halfway back. Since it is 99% men working there, sometimes the guys just quickly go down to their boxers in some quiet corner and hope no woman walks by. As one of the rare women, I have to be a bit more private. I slip into this tiny closet that has a urinal in it; no running water, no sink. It is just a urinal that someone has connected to a drain [the bathrooms are too far away, too, so I guess people got desperate]. I have to move very carefully so I don’t get my clothes dirty, but I do it and swiftly get at my cleaning task. Later that day my supervisor calls me into the office and, WITHOUT EVEN CLARIFYING THAT THE GOSSIP HE’s HEARD IS TRUE, starts in on me about my inappropriate behavior.)

Supervisor: “Maybe you like the attention, but it’s not professional to give the guys a ‘show!’”

Me: “Huh?”

Supervisor: “[Guy I thought was my friend] told me! You changed clothes right in the middle of the factory floor instead of in the bathroom or change-room!”

Me: “Yes, I suppose technically I did… INSIDE the urinal closet. Why would I want pervs staring at me?!”

(I never even got an apology from either my boss for assuming the worst about me, or my “friend” for spreading rumors that made me seem indecent. That’s the reward I get for enduring the stench in that little closet, to save the company the ten minutes’ wasted time for me to walk to the proper change-room.)

He’s Bringing Home A Nine

, , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2017

(This takes place years ago, in college. I am renting a three-bedroom apartment with two other guys. My best friend and I are sharing the master bedroom, so we can rent the last bedroom to a fourth guy to save money. One of the numerous people who rents that room is a very good-looking guy that studies law, has everything paid by his parents, and obviously doesn’t have to work. All his free time is spent going to bars and pubs and bringing back women. When he does this, he always makes a show of presenting us by name and making us shake hands with his flavor of the week [if not day], and then he simply slips off to his bedroom that is, fortunately, very well sound-isolated. While we’re washing the dishes:)

Friend: “You know, I used to love Fridays, but now I know I’ll have to meet yet another ephemeral woman that will steal my coffee tomorrow morning.”

Me: “I’m wondering if he’s trying to rub it in our face, even though I don’t care.”

Friend: “What? You don’t care?”

Me: “Honestly, if I was good-looking, rich like he is, and I didn’t have a girlfriend, I would probably do the same. No, what gets to me is the fact he’s NEVER brought back the same woman twice, AND he always has to present that person to us as if he’s looking for an everlasting bond going forward.”

Friend: “That’s what I’m saying! Look, he’s been here, what… a month, maybe five weeks? And he’s already at the eighth woman.”

Me: “Oh, I hadn’t counted. Mmhh, so tonight would be the ninth?

Friend: “Yes.”

Me: “…I think I’ll just stay in front of the computer tonight and play games.”

Friend: “Good frigging idea. I’ll just sit in bed to read a book instead of being in the living room. I don’t want to see him tonight.”

(The subject dies and I start playing my video game on our PC in our bedroom. The game is online, competitive, and intense, and requires pretty much all of my concentration. The guy in question enters the apartment. Unfortunately, the bedroom door is ajar and the front door is in line with our door on my left. My roommate is reading on the bed behind me, away from view. The guy heads toward me with a girl in tow, but I haven’t even noticed they are here because I have headphones on.)

Guy: “Hey, [My Name], I want you to meet [Girl]. She’s—”

Me: *playing and totally in the zone* “Yeah, yeah… Hi, Number Nine.” *halfheartedly waves left hand to them, barely even looking*

(A moment ticks, then my head jerks up upon realizing what I just said and did. I turn my head slowly to the left to meet their gaze, mouth agape trying but failing to find something to say. She has a perplexed look on her face, but he lunges angrily to close our bedroom door while staring me dead in the eyes.)

Friend: *trying not to laugh* “…‘Hi, Number Nine?’”

Me: “I was… He… It came out on its own. I didn’t… I would never…”

Friend: *laughs loudly enough for the whole building to hear*

(I put some clothes on and fled the apartment to my girlfriend’s to avoid him at all costs. The guy told us he would be looking for another place during the weekend, and left the place at the end of that month. I don’t think I would have been able to come up with an objection even if I wanted to.)

Can’t Discount The Power Of Niceties

, , , , | Right | December 4, 2017

(I am a cashier at a home decor store. A middle-aged woman comes up to my cash with a cart full of product. From the get-go she is extremely friendly, almost to the point that it’s creepy. She compliments my hair and my eyes, and says that I am such a nice young girl, all with a weird smile that never leaves her face. I am a little suspicious about how overtly nice she’s being. Sure enough, when I’m finished ringing her purchases through…)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, your total is $251.75.”

Customer: *smile* “Oh, no, no, dear. That’s just too much. Don’t I get some sort of discount?”

Me: “I’m sorry; none of these items are on sale. Are any of these damaged at all?”

Customer: “Well, I was just so nice to you. Wasn’t I? I think I deserve some sort of discount for being such a pleasant customer.”

Me: “I’m sorry. You want a discount… for being friendly to me?”

Customer: *her smile is starting to slip and she raises her voice* “Yes! I saw something on Facebook that said if you’re nice to store employees they’ll give you a discount! Don’t you have an employee discount? Use that!”

(I am dumbstruck at the woman’s sudden personality shift. It takes me a few seconds to respond.)

Me: “Ma’am… I can’t do that.”

Customer: “Well, fine! I don’t want any of this s***, then!”

(She stormed off, leaving all the product on my till. My coworkers were just as flabbergasted as I was.)

This Is Not A Normal Relationship

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 3, 2017

(My classmate has a new boyfriend whom she already adores. For the purposes of this story, I feel that it’s important to mention that she is a white girl, and this is her first interracial relationship.)

Classmate: “He is such an amazing guy! I can actually see a future with him! I swear, I am going to marry this guy and be the mother of his children!”

Me: “Wow, that’s really neat, and I’m happy for you!”

Classmate: “Yep! You’re looking at the future Mrs. [Ethnic Last Name], here! Oh, but our kids are going to have normal names.”

Me: *mildly shocked* “Wait, what do you mean by ‘normal’ names?”

Classmate: “You know, just normal, traditional names, like John, Sarah, David, Amanda, etc. We’re not giving them [Ethnicity] names.”

(I just couldn’t continue this conversation with her. But I have developed a tremendous amount of respect for her boyfriend, who is still with her to this day, and has shown an equally tremendous amount of patience for her.)

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