Wearing Me Out

, , , , | Learning | September 28, 2017

(At a “How To Get A Job” course, we’re talking about interviews and how to dress for them.)

Lecturer: “How do you know how to dress to suit a given job?”

Student #1: “You could call and ask.”

Student #2: *mimes holding a phone* “Hi. What are you wearing?”

No Longer Part Of The Charity Machine

, , , , , , | Right | September 2, 2017

(My husband and I both work at a community centre, which provides emergency relief [food vouchers and parcels, help to get medications and pay bills such as rent, electricity, etc.] generally only four times a year, but some people take advantage of this. I have just been promoted from a volunteer to a paid worker, while my husband has been a paid worker for two years. We go to a local pub for dinner to celebrate. After dinner, we decide to put a couple of dollars in the pokies. My husband goes to the bathroom and to get drinks while I choose a machine. There are only handful of people in the gaming room. I find a machine I like and put a couple of dollars in it, and on my second spin I win some free games. I notice an older lady standing behind me, watching as I win over $60. As I go to play it down to an even $60, I can hear her mumbling behind me but don’t pay any attention. I happen to get the free games again, taking my total up to just over $100. I get a coin bucket and push “collect” when I’m pushed off my chair. I look up to see the old lady grabbing dollar coins from the machine.)

Me: “What the h***?”

Lady: “This is my machine. You’re playing my machine, so this is my money.”

(I’m confused, as there was no credit on the machine or reserve sign up. My husband and the gaming manager race over to help me.)

Husband: “What the heck are you doing to my wife?”

Lady: “She’s trying to steal my money. That’s my machine.”

Manager: *after radioing for security* “Ma’am, you weren’t playing a machine. I have to ask you to give this lady her money back and leave, unless she would like to press assault charges. You will also be banned from here.”

Lady: “No, this is my machine, I always play this machine. I spend more here in a week than they’d make in a whole month. You ban them.”

(By this time, two security guards have arrived and my husband has helped me up, I decline to press charges and she is escorted out, screaming about how it’s her machine. We are given vouchers for drinks and the restaurant. The next week at the community centre, I’m being trained in the welfare side of things, as I had only worked in the second hand shop before, when the lady from the pub comes in. She doesn’t recognise me, but I pull aside the senior worker who is training me and explain what has happened. She explains that this lady comes in every week demanding food vouchers, payment for her prescriptions, and help with rent and bills. They had already decided to just give her a food parcel and advise her on financial counselling if she came back within three months, but after I explain what happened at the pub, this is what the senior worker does.)

Senior Worker: “I’m sorry Mrs. [Lady], but we are unable to assist you anymore. I can give you the numbers of some other places that may be able to help you.”

Lady: “What? No, you are a charity; you have to help me. I need food vouchers and these bills paid now.”

Senior Worker: “I’m afraid that, no, we don’t have to help you, as we generally only assist every three months, and if it’s more than that we only give food parcels. You have been here every week for the last three months, demanding assistance. I’m sorry; we can’t help you anymore for the next 12 months.”

Lady: “What? This is an outrage. How am I meant to pay my rent? How am I meant to eat? I have diabetes, you know. If I die because of not eating, it’s all your fault.”

Senior Worker: “Ma’am, as I said, I’ve got a list of numbers here that may help you, but can I suggest not spending more in a week than I make a whole month at [Pub]?”

(I tried not to laugh as the lady looked between me and the senior worker. She finally recognised my husband and me as another worker arrived to escort her out, all while she was screaming how it was her machine and her money, and how she was going to die because we wouldn’t give her food. The manager contacted other services in the area to warn them about her.)

He Likes Them Green

, , , , , | Romantic | August 29, 2017

(I am a high school sophomore who is required to log service hours, and I decide to log some at a community center’s fundraiser. I’m a biracial [black and white] female, and though I have hazel eyes that often look green, with my hair pulled up I appear decidedly African American. A middle-aged male customer walks up to my station with a few relatively inexpensive items and puts everything onto the table.)

Customer: “Hello.”

Me: *sits up straight* “Good evening, sir. Will this be all for you tonight?”

Customer: *nods* “You’re a pretty girl, honey.” *sounds somewhat creepy*

Me: *thinking that this is one of those polite compliments that adults give children* “Um, thank you.”

(I begin to enter the amounts of his items onto the iPad that is being used for transactions.)

Customer: *almost to himself* “I didn’t know they came with green eyes.”

Me: *thinking that he’s talking to himself* “Okay, sir, that comes to—”

Customer: *interrupts* “Are your eyes real, honey?”

Me: *confused* “Um, yeah, of course they are. Your total is twelve—”

Customer: *interrupts again, in a creepily soft tone* “Honey, I like green-eyed girls.”

Me: *beginning to be weirded out* “Uh, your total is twelve-fifty. Card, check, or cash?”

Customer: *suddenly gets uncomfortably close to me* “I have cash. Lots of cash. You like cash, honey? I can make you a lot of it.”

Me: *now incredibly paranoid* “Um, sir, I-I’m fifteen…”

Customer: *suddenly steps back, looks at me like I’m crazy, pulls a twenty out of his pocket, slams it onto the table, grabs his items, and hurries out*

(I was immediately switched to another position when I informed the volunteer leader. It turned out they were trying to get that guy the heck out of the fundraiser for creeping out other volunteers.)

It’s Not Easy Being Green(eyed)

| | Romantic | November 11, 2016

(I am a high school sophomore who is required to log service hours and decide to log some at a community center’s fundraiser. Note that I’m a biracial (black and white) female, and though I have hazel eyes that often look green, with my hair pulled up I appear decidedly African American. This is definitely the creepiest encounter I have while working the register. A middle-aged male customer walks up to my station with a few relatively inexpensive items and puts everything onto the table.)

Customer: “Hello.”

Me: *sits up straight* “Good evening, sir. Will this be all for you tonight?”

Customer: *nods* “You’re a pretty girl, honey.” *sounds somewhat creepy*

Me: *thinking that this is one of those polite compliments that adults give children* “Um, thank you.”

(I begin to enter the amounts of his items onto the iPad that is being used for transactions.)

Customer: *almost to himself* “I didn’t know they came with green eyes.”

Me: *thinking that he’s talking to himself* “Okay, sir, that comes to—”

Customer: *interrupts* “Are your eyes real, honey?”

Me: *confused* “Um, yeah, of course they are. Your total is twelve—”

Customer: *interrupts again, in a creepily soft tone* “Honey, I like green-eyed girls.”

Me: *beginning to be weirded out* “Uh, your total is twelve fifty. Card, check, or cash?”

Customer: *suddenly gets uncomfortably close to me* “I have cash. Lots of cash. You like cash, honey? I can make you a lot of it.”

Me: *now incredibly paranoid* “Um, sir, I-I’m fifteen…”

Customer: *suddenly steps back, looks at me like I’m crazy, pulls a twenty out of his pocket, slams it onto the table, grabs his items, and hurries out*

(I was immediately switched to another position when I informed the volunteer leader. Turned out they were trying to get that guy the heck out of the fundraiser for creeping out other volunteers.)

Girl Power

| USA | Learning | February 8, 2016

(I’m volunteering in a kids reading group and I read a children’s story about family and love to a 4-6 year old girl. I’m female and have a girlfriend.)

Girl: “Do you have a family?”

Me: “Yes, I do. I have parents.”

Girl: “Do you have a husband or children?”

Me: “Not yet.”

Girl: “Do you have a boyfriend?”

Me: “Well… yes?”

Girl: “Is he kind?” *description of husband in book*

Me: “Yes.”

Girl: “Is he tall?” *another description of husband in book*

Me: “Not really.”

Girl: “What do you like about him?” *wife in book answers this with what her husband does around the house and his hobbies*

Me: “He can cook and likes to sing and make jewelry.”

Girl: “Really?”

Me: “Yes.”

Girl: “He sounds like a girl.”

Me: *pause* “Oh. I guess so.”

Girl: “But boys can do that. And girls can do boy things, too.”

Me: “Yes, that is very true.”

Girl: “Girls can also love girls and boys can also love boys, too.”

Me: *stunned* “You know about that?”

Girl: “Yeah. It’s called gay.”

Me: “Oh, wow. In that case, actually I don’t have a boyfriend. I have a girlfriend.”

Girl: *very loudly* “You are gay!”

(This attracted the attention of several people nearby, including the group leader. I sort of got in trouble because most youngsters don’t understand the issue, especially as some parents are uncomfortable, but after explaining how this came about it was understood. I later met the girl’s parents and found out the family was actually very open about these things.)

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