The Sign Only Provides Food For Thought

, , , | Right | March 4, 2020

(I work in a nonprofit agency that shares a building with a few other nonprofits. Our agency doesn’t give out food vouchers and never has. Despite this, we frequently get people asking us for them because we happen to be closest to the door. Directly next to our door is a sign that reads, “Food vouchers for the [Local Food Cupboard] are available at [Other Nonprofit #1] and [Other Nonprofit #2]. [OUR NONPROFIT] CANNOT GIVE REFERRALS.”)

Man: *looks in our doorway*

Me: “Can I help you?”

Man: “Yeah, I need an emergency food voucher.”

Me: “We don’t give those out here, but they can help you at [Other Nonprofit #1] across the lobby there.”

(I point.)

Man: *disbelieving* “I thought I got one here before.”

Me: “[Our Nonprofit] doesn’t actually help people directly; we only fund other agencies.”

Man: “Hmph.”

(He begins to walk away but catches sight of the sign next to our door.)

Man: *triumphantly* “‘Food vouchers…’ Ah, see, this is what I was talking about!”

(He finishes reading the sign.)

Man: *walking towards other nonprofit* “Well, you used to give food vouchers!”

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Do NOT Test A Mother

, , , , , | Working | March 3, 2020

(My local grocery store will often allow local charities to set up a booth outside to ask for donations. One day, I’m heading out and I see the charity is for the local children’s hospital, so I start to head over. Ahead of me, there is a woman with a full cart and three kids she is herding along. The guy at the booth steps forward towards her.)

Man: “Ma’am, do you have a minute to talk about donating?”

Woman: *trying to keep two of her kids from fighting* “Sorry, not now.”

Man: *scoffs* “Well, good evening, b****.”

(The woman was obviously shocked and ended up quickly hurrying away. As for me, I turned right around and headed into the store to find a manager to let them know what kind of attitude the charity they were helping was throwing around.)

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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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