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Getting Right To The Point

, , , | Right | October 15, 2020

A young European-looking man in his late twenties approaches us immediately after entering the store.

Customer: “Hello! Do you have any swords?”

Me: “Of course! Here’s a few; let me know if you have any questions.”

Customer: “Do you know why the end of the sword is flat?”

Me: “Uh…”

Customer: “Not many people know this. But it’s so you can hammer it into the ground to harness the Earth’s power. It takes all the electrical energy from the ground. And see that curved bladed knife? It goes behind your ear, actually. It’s to help transfer the power to you.”

Me: “Oh, really now?”

Customer: “Oh, yes. I am writing a book about it!”

Me: “How about we look at this copper jewelry?”

I lead him away from the pointy objects.

Me: “Surely you’re interested in the healing properties of metal, yes?”

I’m just playing into what he’s been telling me. After looking around for a bit, he talks to me again.

Customer: “I’d like to see that ear cuff.”

Me: “The Native American child’s bracelet?”

Customer: *Cutting me off* “ACTUALLY, it’s an ear cuff, but not that many people know that.”

Me: “Okay… Hey, boss, how much is the… er… ear cuff?”

Customer: “I love that you called it an ear cuff!”

Boss: *Looks quizzically* “$20?”

The customer hands us $20, puts the “ear cuff” on his ear under his hat, and walks out.

A customer observing nearby speaks up.

Customer #2:Muy especial…”

Just Keep Swimming… Even If You’re Doing It Weird

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 12, 2020

I work in a research lab where we use zebrafish to study genetics. When I joined, the first thing the professor told me was not to name the fish or get attached to them under any circumstances. We don’t kill the fish for our work; we just take tissue samples by clipping a small piece of a fin or the tip of their tail, which will grow back. If a fish gets sick or injured, though, we have to put it down quickly, to avoid it injuring or infecting the rest of the tank, or dying unnoticed and contaminating the water.

As such, when I notice that one of the young male fish we’re raising to restock our tanks is visibly deformed, I know he’s probably going to have to go, so I catch him and put him in a separate container.

Professor: “Any updates?”

Me: “Got some good results on the last sample set I’d like you to look over, and I pulled a fish with a birth defect out of the juvenile tank. I’m afraid we’re probably going to have to put him down.”

Professor: “Let me see.”

He takes the container and studies the deformed fish. The fish looks like someone took his head and his tail and twisted in opposite directions, but he’s still swimming, albeit slowly, and not showing any of the usual signs of distress or injury.

Professor: “Awww, but he’s so cute! Do we really have to put him down?”

Me: “Well, we can’t use him for research, and you’re the one who told me that any injured or sick fish have to go.”

Professor: “Yeah, I know, but he’s swimming pretty well, and I don’t want to put him down unless he’s in distress. I’m going to name him Austin. Keep Austin weird!”

Me: “What should I do with him, then? I don’t want to put him back in with our research fish.”

Professor: “How about putting him in the retirement tank with our older fish? They move pretty slowly anyway, so Austin will be able to keep up, and none of them are used for research anymore.”

Me: “Works for me. Austin gets an early retirement.”

I couldn’t be the one to make the decision, but if the professor okayed it, I was more than happy to move the fish to the retirement tank. Austin can’t move very fast, but he’s still around and has become our unofficial lab mascot. And at least half of our fish have been named.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for October 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for October 2020!

Not So Book-Smart, Part 3

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2020

My dad is massively impatient with customer service, making it very embarrassing to go shopping with him. A new book in a series he’s fond of has come out, and we go to pick it up. After searching the shelves for twenty minutes, we give up and leave to ring my books up.

Employee: “Find everything okay?”

Dad: “Actually, no. We searched everywhere for [Book] and didn’t find it, even though the other books in the series are up there.”

Employee: “Really? Let me check that for you.”

He proceeds to type the book into the computer’s database and finds it immediately. 

Employee: “Actually, we have two of that book in stock. Would you like me to go get it for you?”

Dad: *Very rudely* “No, we looked for it. I’m pretty sure it’s not there.”

Two weeks later, I need a book for classes. I search the shelf for a good ten minutes and cannot find it. Annoyed, my dad tells me to ask them to order it. I go to the customer service desk and hear a very familiar story. 

Employee: “Actually, we have quite a few of those in stock. Would you like me to go get one for you?”

Me: “Umm well… Yeah, okay, I can wait.”

Five minutes later, the employee returns with my book. I thank her and turn to leave, but then think better of it. 

Me: “Umm, ma’am? Can I ask you a question?”

Employee: “Sure!”

Me: “Do you sometimes not place books on the shelves even when you have them in stock?”

Employee: “Oh! Yeah, sometimes we keep them in the back to make room for more popular or modern pieces.”

Me: “Okay… Thank you!”

Not So Book-Smart, Part 2
Not So Book-Smart

It’s Best Not To Irritate The Demons

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 11, 2020

I’m a former professional costumer and I still love sewing and building props. My boyfriend and I met at a convention, and as you might imagine, we cosplay together at every opportunity. While I love making costumes, I don’t like wearing anything too complicated or heavy; I prefer lightweight and flattering. My boyfriend, on the other hand, loves elaborate costumes; the bigger and more impressive, the better. This suits us both beautifully; he buys the materials, I make both costumes, he’s my model, and I’m his handler since most of the masks tend to limit visibility.

At a recent convention, he is dressed as a many-eyed demon — a costume I am particularly proud of — and I am in a fairly simple kimono as a character from the same series. We’ve been getting compliments all day. Then, a guy stops us to get a better look.

Guy: “Dude, great costume!”

Boyfriend & Me: “Thanks!”

At this, the guy turns nasty and wheels around to glare at me.

Guy: “I wasn’t talking to you! What, did you thrift that outfit yourself?”

Boyfriend: “Dude… she’s the one who made this.”

Guy: “Big deal. You’re the one wearing it! Chicks are supposed to do s*** for their men, anyway.”

My boyfriend is a fairly big guy to begin with; with the costume’s mask and horns, he comes in at just about nine feet tall, and upon hearing this, he uses that to his advantage and LOOMS.

Boyfriend: “You need to leave, or I just might decide to harvest a few more human parts.”

The guy splutters and stomps off. A nearby demon slayer from a different series, who’s been watching the whole thing, grinned.

Slayer: “You both look great. Usually, I slay monsters, but in this case, I think the demon gets a pass. You want to hunt that guy, I won’t tell.”

Me: “Yep! He’s my favorite demon. He protects me from all the dangerous humans.”

Both of them had a good laugh at that, and when a few other people wandered over, the slayer wound up joining us in an ad hoc photoshoot.

Just Let People Enjoy Things, Buddy

, , , , , | Working | September 9, 2020

I’ve been having a bad time: I was just laid off from my job, I caught my boyfriend with my best friend who threw me out of our shared apartment, and I started my period.

My sisters decide to take me out to my favorite restaurant for lunch and we order a nacho plate, fried pickles, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, and Cokes. The waiter appears after our food has arrived.

Waiter: “Got a lot of food there, ladies. Don’t you think you have enough?”

He laughs like it’s funny, but I burst into tears and start crying. My sister demands to see the manager, and the waiter puts up his hands.

Waiter: “Woah! Just a joke!”

Older Sister: “Manager, now!”

Younger Sister: “Don’t ever say that to a woman!”

The manager comes over and when he hears what happened, he gives us the entire meal for free, and he orders the waiter into his office. Minutes later, the waiter storms out, face red as a tomato, and he comes over to our table. 

Waiter: “I’m sorry, that was insensitive. I shouldn’t have said it. I honestly thought it would be funny.”