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Unconventional Harassment

, , , , | Right | December 5, 2022

My company has a stand at a conference centre. We are running a competition for anyone who signs up for the mailing list to win an electric cooler full of beer.

I’m quickly walking the hall before the next talk to drum up interest. So far, everyone I have spoken to has been interested, and most went straight to the stand to sign up.

I approach a couple and begin my spiel.

Me: “Hi there. I work for [Company], and we are running a—”

Woman: “Ugh, I’m not interested.”

Me: “Okay, fair enough.”

Man: “She said she isn’t interested, pal!”

Woman: “What is it with men thinking everything is a dating event?!”

Me: “I’m not trying to ‘date’ you. We are running a competition—”

Woman: “Who do you work for?”

Me: “I work for [Company].”

Woman: “I’m going straight there and putting in a complaint right now!”

Me: “Fine, you do that.”

Luckily, my boss is a pretty reasonable guy, and having met my girlfriend, he knows I certainly wouldn’t be interested in this woman.

I speak to a few more people and then make my way back to the stand.

It looks like my drumming up business has worked better than expected; there is a large crowd. I quickly let my boss know about the woman and then get stuck taking names.

It’s not long before the woman shows up with her friend and tries to push through but gets stuck at the back of the crowd. Eventually, we get through everyone.

Woman: “Are you his boss?”

Manager: “I am the owner.”

Woman: “Well, how do you feel about your employees harassing women?”

Manager: “That didn’t happen.”

Woman: “How dare you?! I am the victim here!”

Man: “That’s right. I saw the whole thing.”

Manager: “And what did you see? Because this young man has never stepped a foot out of line.”

Woman: “Well, he harassed me, followed me around, and wouldn’t leave me alone. Made some stupid excuse to talk to me!”

Manager: “The only time he left my side was for twenty minutes and to hand out flyers. I doubt he had more than a few seconds to even talk to you.”

Woman: “Well, I’m going to talk to the event coordinator about this!”

Manager: “[Coordinator]? Tell him [Manager] said hi.”

She stomped off. My boss told me later that she did manage to find the event coordinator, who had to spend the next two hours chasing video footage, only to prove she was lying. He was furious, apparently.

The woman and her friend were invited to leave the convention, and a letter went to their employer detailing why they were not to attend in future.

Oh, She’s A Speaker All Right!

, , , , | Right | April 14, 2022

I am working security for a big show. It is simple work: check the tickets and deal with anyone acting up. We deal with most of the visitors, and as it gets closer to the start time, the majority of the crowd is dealt with and only a few latecomers are left.

Out of nowhere, a smart-looking woman makes a beeline to the door.

Me: “Ticket, please.”

Woman: “Gah! Don’t you know who I am?”

Me: “I don’t, but I do know you need a ticket.”

Woman: “I can’t believe this! I’m the guest speaker!”

I have no way to confirm this. We expect speakers to get here early, and she’s coming through the main entrance, not the big guest entrance.

Me: “Then we need to see your ID, please.”

Woman: “This is stupid. Just let me in!”

Me: “I need to see a ticket or an ID pass for speakers.”

Woman: “If you don’t let me in, there won’t be a show!”

I don’t flinch. She eventually calls someone, and it sounds like she has forgotten her ID. From what I can make out, it sounds like the person is telling her to go to the main entrance, which she is now arguing about. Eventually…

Woman: “They said you have to let me in.”

Me: “I’m sure they will call me on my radio if that’s the case.”

She tries to push past.

Woman: “This is stupid. I’m going to get you fired!”

She ranted and raved and then made another phone call. Eventually, someone from the main entrance came and got her. It turns out she wasn’t even a speaker; the organisers had asked her to join a panel but she didn’t tell anyone she was going to be there!

Better yet, the panel was about dealing with conflict in stressful situations. Sounds like she could have been better in the audience for that one!

Biggers Can’t Be Choosers?

, , , , , | Friendly | June 5, 2021

I am Australian, and I’m at a company-wide meeting with colleagues from all over. I find myself explaining to an American the difference between Kiwi and Aussie accents; they are similar but there has been a vowel shift in New Zealand.

A few minutes later, we join another group who are asking a new colleague what he thinks of the city so far.

Colleague: “Before I got to London, I’d never seen a bigger.”

Everyone But Me: “What’s a bigger?”

[Colleague] holds his cupped hands toward us.

Colleague: “A person who asks for money.”

Everyone But Me: “Oh, a beggar!

My American colleague leans towards me and speaks with the pride of a student finding a practical application of a recent lesson.

American Colleague: “He’s from New Zealand, isn’t he?”

A Snappy Comeback

, , , , , | Right | May 19, 2021

A coworker, a seventy-year-old woman, has just finished her last day before retiring. She has said her goodbyes and is walking out through the lobby, still in her uniform. A customer approaches her and snaps her fingers.

Customer: “Tell me where Hall B is.”

My coworker snaps her fingers in the customer’s face.

Coworker: “Try again, this time with manners.”

The customer did not try again and my coworker is loving her retirement!


This story is part of our Best Of May 2021 roundup!

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When Your Close-Minded Friend Is Not So Closed-Minded

, , , | Right | March 24, 2021

I’m part of the con staff at a rather big convention. It’s the end of the dealer’s hall, so I’m asked to make sure the attendees start leaving. Because we have other staff working and the vendors still in to tear down, I always check badges before escorting them to the doors. I see two people looking at a booth that’s in the early stages of being taken down. Their badges are flipped, so I can’t see if they’re attendees or vendors.

Me: “Excuse me, can I see your badges?”

Attendee: “They already checked it at the door.”

Me: “I need to see what kind of badge you have.”

Attendee: “Why? They checked at the door!”

Me: “Because the dealer’s hall is closed. If you aren’t part of [Convention] staff or a vendor, I will need to walk you to the doors.”

Attendee: “They didn’t tell us you were closing!”

His friend pipes up.

Attendee #2: “Actually, they did. I’ve been asking you to head out since they’re closed. Now you’re arguing with the people with the con about it so you can feel like you’re in charge!”

The first guy shut up, and I walked them to the doors.