Will Not Miss Mister

, , , , | Right | October 18, 2019

(In France, as probably almost everywhere, non-profits hire students to stop people in the street to ask them for donations. It’s expected that they remain friendly and smiling, and people seem to take that as a “please abuse me” sign. Sure, they can be a bit annoying, but they never insist once you tell them you’re not interested. I have a rather old bike which tends to fall apart easily, needing me to stop for a minute or two to pick up the broken parts and put them back together. One day, I stop right next to a student working for an NPO and hear this exchange between the employee and an old guy.)

NPO Employee: “Hi! Do you have a minute?”

(Note that in French, using words such as, “sir,” “mister,” etc., would be weird in that sentence and setting.)

Old Guy: “If you want to talk to me, you’ll call me mister!”

NPO Employee: *hesitant* “Okay, and does mister have a minute?”

Old Guy: *with a smug smile* “No!”

(I don’t like it when a**holes seem to think they can bother whomever they want, just because they’re younger, or for whatever reason. I stand up from my improvised bike repair and walk up to the old guy. I’m a 20-ish female, but I’m 1.80m — 5’9” — and am very well-built, so I tower over him.)

Me: *in the sweetest voice I can muster* “Then why did mister feel the need to importune that underpaid student? Would mister deign explain it to someone who isn’t contractually obligated to smile and be polite to him, or would mister rather f*** off?”

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Proving Your BS Is Proverbial

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 22, 2019

(One of my coworkers enjoys carpentry as a hobby and a side hustle. He’s done several small to medium projects for our group home where we work and for several coworkers. Today he’s brought in a work in progress that looks like a sign for home decor, with some words starting to get painted on it.)

Me: “Why does it say, ‘PROVE BS?’”

Coworker: “That’s supposed to say, ‘PROVERBS.’ I’m missing my ‘R’ stencil.”

Me: “Ah, I guess that makes more sense than a sign telling us to prove our bulls*** or something.”

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Spilled Milk You DEFINITELY Want To Cry Over

, , , , | Right | January 4, 2019

(I am working at a stall at the entrance to a supermarket, collecting on behalf of a local charity. Two women enter.)

Me: “Hello, ladies.” *charity spiel* “Would either of you be interested?”

(One of the women starts digging around in her purse while the other stares intently at the collection tin.)

Woman #1: “So this is ‘charity.’” *actual air quotes*

Me: “Yes, are you interested?”

Woman #1: “Oh, very. How much can I take?”

Me: “Take? No, sorry, we’re asking for donations… to give.”

Woman #1: “But isn’t charity for those who need it?”

Me: *realising she probably zoned out during my spiel* “Yes, but today I am asking for don—“

Woman #1: “Well, I need money! I only have £1,200 to spend today!”

Me: *internally: £1,200?!* “W-well, if you don’t feel financially secure enough, you don’t have to donate.”

Woman #1: “I just said I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH!” *storms off*

Woman #2: *putting money in the tin* “Sorry about her; she’s not all there. Her husband actually had to put a block on her card after she spent nearly £10,000 in a month on milk.”

Me: “On milk?”

(She nodded with a tired look and went off to shop. I saw them both later. [Woman #1] was being dragged out, saying she “refused to look at him [me].” I saw them both again a few months later, with [Woman #1] sporting a new hairstyle. She recognised me but was not sure from where, and it took a full ten minutes for [Woman #2] to remember. [Woman #1] seemed quite embarrassed about it when realising, but admitted that shortly after our meeting she was found to have a cancerous brain tumour that was making her act strangely. She was having treatment for it. I haven’t seen her since, but I hope she’s all right.)

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Her Heart Failed A Long Time Ago

, , , , , | Friendly | November 30, 2018

(My mum decides to hire out a hall at a very popular local park and run a Christmas Fair. Whilst she is deciding whether she should do the Christmas Fair or not, my dad goes for surgery six weeks after an unexpected heart attack and dies on the operating table. As a result, we decide that rather charge for admission we will ask for a £2-per-adult donation for a big national charity that researches heart conditions and supports those with heart conditions. Due to a mix-up that we only realise afterwards, the local park has advertised the Fair as “free entry.” Therefore, a few people grumble at having to pay. Since it is a charitable donation, we just inform them that we can’t make them pay if they don’t want to, and they can go straight in. The Fair turns out to be very, very popular, and there is a long queue to get in. Two of my sisters and I are running the front desk at the entrance. An old woman storms up to me.)

Old Woman: “Excuse me. This event was free entry! I’m very annoyed that you are now suddenly charging admission! I’ve brought sixteen people with me, and this is unfair!”

(She is fumbling around in her purse and slams 50p on the table.)

Me: “Well, we are asking for a charitable donation for [Heart Charity]. We can’t make you pay it if you don’t want to. We are just trying to raise some money.”

Old Woman: “Oh, good!”

(She leaves the 50p on the table and flounces in. As she moves away, she yells back to the group of women she has brought.)

Old Woman: “You don’t have to pay! Just walk straight in!”

(My sisters and I all dropped our jaws at the audacity of what she said. A few of the women in the party followed the old woman, but the majority of her party stopped. They pulled out their purses and donated the £2, looking noticeably embarrassed. In the end, we raised thousands for the charity in my dad’s name, and the event was a hit!)

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Child Mistaken As Resident Of A Woman’s Shelter, Vows To Buy Some New Sneakers

, , , | Related | November 13, 2018

(My mom does a lot of charity work, and I occasionally get to help her with lighter deliveries of clothing and other goods. One place my mom tries to support is a local shelter aimed at young women and teen girls. I’m about 16 or 17 when this takes place, and since it’s the weekend — with the accompanying chores — I’m not dressed all that fancy.)

Mom: “Hey, [My Name]. You want to help me deliver to [Women’s Shelter] today?”

Me: “Sure, I’m ready if you are!”

Mom: “They’re not expecting me today, but I don’t think they’ll mind as we’ll still be within their usual donation hours.”

(We arrive at the apartment complex with boxes of donated clothing, magazines, etc. Due to the nature of some of the women’s “care,” the location isn’t well-known, and only a few non-volunteers are aware of it. Before we can start unloading, Mom and I get out of the car to explain to the staff on-duty what’s all included. A middle-aged woman, no doubt a coordinator of volunteers, steps outside and nearly shrieks when she sees me.)

Coordinator: “OH!” *gasps and starts to grow frantic, glancing at my oversized sweatshirt and old sneakers* “They didn’t tell me we were getting a new girl in today! Oh, honey, we’ll get a room set up for you right away, but we’ll need a bit of time!”

(The second she catches on, my mom starts laughing too hard to explain. Meanwhile, I’m left standing awkwardly on the driveway, wondering what I can possibly say.)

Mom: “S-she’s my daughter, [Coordinator]!”

Coordinator:Oh! I’m so sorry!”

(My mom was now nearly on the ground in hysterics, so I calmly introduced myself before helping unload the car. The coordinator apologized again, and I dismissed her concerns while secretly resolving to buy some new sneakers.)

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