Don’t Be Xena-Phobic

, , | Hopeless | December 14, 2017

(I’m in a convention with role playing games such as LARPs and tabletop games as its theme. There are some dressing rooms for putting on costumes, and I’m there, chatting with a couple of other people as we get into our outfits. I’m in a post-apocalyptic getup and am about to add war paint on my face, when a little girl comes in with her mother.)

Girl: *looks at me as I paint a red hand-print over a black mask painted over my eyes* “Hi! Have you been coming here for long?”

Me: *though I don’t know the girl, I’m used to people of all ages making easy chit-chat in this particular event* “About five years, so I guess not that long. How about you?”

Girl: *proudly* “I was zero years old when I first came to this con! Mom brought me.”

Me: “Cool! You’ve been doing this for a long time then.”

Girl: “What are you dressed up as?”

Me: “I’m a post-apocalyptic scavenger and an explorer. Are you going to dress up?”

Girl: *beaming and with great pride* “Yep! I’m going to be a ninja geisha!”

Me: “That’s awesome!”

(As I speak, my heart is busy melting because the girl is so excited about the whole thing, and it made me remember how I wanted to be a warrior princess when I was little. It was absolutely adorable!)


Must Be A Common Problem…

, , | Friendly | December 6, 2017

(My sister and I are at a comic book convention, waiting in line for my turn to take a picture with one of my favorite actresses. An employee is making her way down the line, giving fairly standard information, like that there is a table to put down our bags, and that it isn’t a meet and greet, so we don’t have time to talk with the actress. Then, she says this:)

Employee: “Do not ask for a piggy back ride or ask to give her a piggy back ride.”

(This stops my sister and me dead in our tracks.)

Me: “I feel like there has to be a story behind this.”

What A Total Sell-Sword

, , , | Working | December 5, 2017

(One of the events at a con I am attending is a sword fight. Two men in full armor are competing, when suddenly, one man’s sword snaps neatly in half, landing at his feet. The crowd goes insane, cheering, laughing, and yelling. As the noise dies down, a man in the crowd leaps to his feet.)

Man: *dramatically* “The sword that DIDN’T break comes from [Vendor]!”

Everything He Says Is True

, , , | Friendly | October 5, 2017

(I work at an upscale garden show and vendors’ market once a year, which is sponsored by an aristocratic family and takes place on the grounds of their manor. On one evening, the head of the house also holds a special VIP event, to which he invites politicians, CEOs, and other aristocrats. They receive a special invitation, which also counts as their ticket to the garden show before the event. Unfortunately, a lot of the VIPs forget their tickets and are the stereotypically arrogant, “Don’t you know who I am?! I don’t NEED a ticket!” kind of people. So far, we’ve had four small altercations with VIPs, and I fear another one coming when I see a quite posh-looking man approach my table from the side.)

Posh Man: “Hello! I have a bit of a problem. My wife and I forgot our invitations to the VIP event. We’re terribly sorry. Is there any way to let us in, or do we have to drive back home?”

Me: *somewhat taken back by his friendly politeness* “Oh, that should be no problem! All I need is your ID or anything else that shows your name, and I can ask the organisers to check the invite list.”

(The wife suddenly begins to giggle while the man is searching for his ID.)

Wife: “You’re not going to believe us, I think.”

Posh Man: “Oh, yes.” *smiling sheepishly* “You probably won’t. We get it a lot.”

(Confused, I take his ID – and see that his title is Baron von Munchausen. I can’t help but laugh. “The Baron von Munchhausen” is a fairly well-known old collection of stories about said Baron, who makes up grand tales and stories of impossible feats about himself, such as riding on a cannon ball, riding a horse that was cut in half, etc.)

Me: *joking* “Oh, lord! Are you sure you got an invite?”

Posh Man: *winks* “I assure you it is not a lie!”

Me: “To be honest, I’d be tempted to let you in even if it was, just for the story!”

(After a quick chat with the organisers, they confirmed that he and his wife were invited, so I let them in. He winked at his wife, saying, “It worked!” loud enough for me to laugh again. He later left a tiny box of chocolate from one of the vendors in the office for “the ticket girl with good humour.” One of the nicest VIP encounters I’ve had in the five years I worked that job.)

Lacking A Few Dollars Of Kindness

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Right | July 15, 2017

(I work concessions at an arena that is often used for conventions. It is an annual event by some religious spokesperson, so the attendees are mostly stuck-up old church ladies. One such customer comes up to the stand to ask for change.)

Server: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we can’t make change from the registers. The drawer only opens when we put in a sale. We can’t open it ourselves.”

Customer: *huffy* “Well, all right. Give me a cup of coffee, then.”

(The server gets her coffee, puts in the sale, and gives her three $5 bills and a $1 bill as change. Then, naturally, he closes the drawer.)

Server: “Here you go, ma’am. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “Excuse me! This $5 bill has INK smudged on it! I want a different bill!”

Server: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that.”

Customer: “I don’t want change. I just want a different bill!”

(At this point, the server realizes he’s getting nowhere with this lady and goes to get me, who is the manager. As such, I keep small rolls of bills in my apron pockets to make change for the servers if necessary.)

Me: “What can I help you with, ma’am?”

Customer: “This bill has ink on it! I want a different bill.”

Me: “Sure, I can do that. Here, I’ll trade you for this nice, brand new $5 bill.”

Customer: *sarcastically* “Thank you! All I wanted was some change!”

(You’d think that would be the end of it, but no. A few moments later…)

Customer: “EXCUSE me!”

Server: “Yes, ma’am?”

Customer: “This coffee is terrible. I don’t want it anymore. Give me my money back!”

Server: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Let me go get the manager again to give you your refund.”

(He goes and explains the situation to my mother, who is the only one in the stand with a key to open the register for refunds.)

Server: *remembering that she originally came up to ask for change* “Would you like your refund back in dollar bills, or quarters, or…?”

Customer: “I want my money back!”

Server: “Yes, but since you asked for change earlier, I thought I’d offer to give you coins if that’s what you needed.”

Me: “We can give you your $4 back in dollars, or quarters, or whatever you need. It doesn’t make any difference to us.”

Customer: “No, just takes these back and give me my $20.” *pulls out the three fives and one dollar from her original transaction*

Me: “You want a $20 bill back?”

Customer: “Yes, give me my $20 back!”

(This is my least favorite event, even though the venue hosts monster truck rallies, boat shows, and boy band concerts. The previous year, the attendees were so obnoxious that the speaker actually lectured them on the need to tip and be polite to the workers. Apparently not all of them took it to heart.)  

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