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They Have A Band On Their Wrist And A Chip On Their Shoulder

, , , , | Right | March 11, 2020

(I am volunteering at a convention where people are given wristbands to wear instead of badges. I am standing at one of the entrances, and my job is to stop people if I can’t see their wristbands. Whenever someone passes me, I look at their wrists to check for a wristband. At one point, two young women come out holding hands. As usual, I look at their wrists as they pass. They notice and stop.)

Woman #1: “Excuse me, do you have a problem with us?”

Me: “Oh, I’m—”

Woman #2: “There’s nothing wrong with two people in love.”

Me: “I know, I’m just—”

Passerby: “This city is full of LGBT people; you’ll just have to deal with it! Otherwise, get the f*** out.”

Me: “Look, I’m just checking for wristbands, which you clearly have. I don’t have a problem with you.”

Woman #1: “Oh…”

Me: “Enjoy the show.”

Turning Being Cheap Into An Artform

, , , , | Right | February 20, 2020

(I am an artist and this is about my first convention, about ten years ago — around 2010. I am very nervous and because I don’t know what to do the whole day, I decide to make an art piece, in the hopes it attracts people. It does and it helps my sales a bit. The piece I am making is A3 sized and I start it at 9:00 am. I finish at 4:00 pm. A few people visit me throughout the day to see my progress.)

Lady: “Oh, you finished! It looks wonderful!”

Me: “Thank you.”

Lady: “I saw you started this piece this morning and I was amazed you finished it this fast.”

Me: “The atmosphere really gave me energy.”

Lady: “Let me buy this from you.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, but I don’t sell originals. Only prints.”

Lady: “What? Don’t be silly! I’d pay a good price for it. Here, let me pay you 5€.”

Me: “No, ma’am, I really don’t sell my originals. Maybe you can find something on my table that interests you? The prints are quite affordable.”

Lady: “Oh, come on. I like this piece. How about 6€?” 

Me: “Ma’am, I worked all day on this. And I don’t sell originals. If I would, I couldn’t offer these affordable prices on the prints.”

Lady: “Then what do you want? 10€? It’s not worth 10€; it’s just a kid’s drawing!”

(I am twenty-six years old.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to sell this. I can have it made as a print for you and ship it to you, if you’d like that?”

Lady: “No, I want the original. It’s quite clear you don’t know how things work around here. You won’t make any money as an artist if you go on like this!”

(The lady left. I may not be a world-famous illustrator, but I do know my worth.)

Not-So-Clearly Marked Markers

, , | Right | February 14, 2020

(I’m at a convention selling art supplies, including special alcohol art markers. For easy calculating, you can say that one art marker is five dollars, five markers has an offer of 20 dollars, and ten markers are 40 dollars. People often find them expensive; we, of course, understand and never pressure anyone. We also sell cases you can save the markers in: a case for 36 markers for ten dollars and a case for 72 markers for 15 dollars — also a special offer. The prices are mentioned near the products.)

Girl: “Wait, a case for 72 markers for 15 dollars?! I have to get that!”

(My father sells her the case; she uses a card, so we get a small fee on our side. The fee is small, so it means less profit for us. It’s a loss we calculated.)

Girl: “Great!” *walks over to me* “Can I see your markers? Which ones do you use the most?” 

(I talk to the girl and she mentions that she really wants the colours I have suggested. Since it’s not uncommon with us for people to buy one thing first and come back later, I’m thinking we’re up for a second sale. The girl starts putting markers in the case. When she reaches a third of the case, I walk to my dad.)

Me: *whispering* “She seems to have quite a budget.”

Father: “Well, she paid with a card; maybe she saved up. That happens pretty often.”

Me: “True.”

(Still, it feels off. The case is now half full. The girl is still happily browsing.) 

Me: “Dad, that’s a lot of markers. I know I shouldn’t judge, but she’s very young. She’s not thinking she gets the case and gets to pick her own markers, right?” 

Father: “Of course not! A single marker is five dollars! Anyone can conclude you can’t get a case of 72 markers for 15 dollars. Of course she knows that!”

(To save time, my father starts calculating the sale price. He has to do this manually, because of the special offers. He comes to a nice amount; a really good value for those markers.) 

Father: “Hey, I went ahead and calculated the sale price for you. If you want, you can pay now and keep on browsing at your own pace.”

(The girl stops and turns pale.)

Girl: “Pay?”

Father: *uneasy* “Yes… for the 72 markers?” 

Girl: “Eh… Oh… I thought… I mean… I misunderstood. I thought… I mean… I’ll put them all back.” 

(It becomes clear that the girl did think she could get hundreds of dollars of value for 15 dollars! My father also expects she will want a refund for the case, so he also takes the money out of our till — we can’t return it to a card. Indeed, she quietly asks if she can return the case, as well. We give the refund, having lost several cents and a lot of time… not to mention that the girl misplaces quite a few markers, so we have to check everything, as well. The second day of the convention, we discuss the event again.)

Me: “I’ll add a disclaimer with the cases: ‘markers not included.’”

Father: “Come on. Surely she is the only one. This won’t happen again.” 

(Later that day:)

Girl #2: “If I get that case for 36, can I pick my own colours or will you pick the colours for me?”

Me: “You can pick your own colours, but just to be clear, the price is for the case only. There are no markers included.” *points at disclaimer*

Girl #2: “I have to pay for the markers separately?!”

(Next convention, the disclaimer will be in bold and red. With arrows. And exclamation marks!)

Send You To Jail In An Undiscovered Country

, , , , , | Legal | January 18, 2020

In the early 1990s, I was part of a Star Trek reenactment of the Khitomer Peace Treaty between Humans and Klingons.

The guy playing Chancellor Gorkon, a Klingon, essential for the play, never turned up. “Surely, it is his new girlfriend. No respect for the fleet,” somebody accused. “He drank too much blood-wine,” somebody else suggested.

He never turned up… until the next day.

What had happened was the following. On the subway, two police officers asked him who he was; he said he was a Klingon. They thought this was a gang. They asked him what he intended to do with his big knife, and he replied that it was no big knife; it was a Bat’leth. And what are you going to do with this thingy? “Kill puny humans.”

The police put him in the overnight arrest for planned manslaughter.


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Has Very Bad Comic(on) Timing

, , , , , | Friendly | January 18, 2020

(I’m getting ready to go to a comic convention, but I’m having trouble affording the hotel room as the people that usually travel with me can’t make it. But one of them refers me to two friends wanting to go.)

Friend-Of-Friend: “Oh, my God, I’m so excited for the con!”

Me: “Glad to have you on board. Among the three of us, we each need to kick in $150 for the room. I’ll need it by [Date] so it will hit my bank account at go-time. I’m also bringing [list of grocery items], so we can make quick meals in the room. Do you need a ride?”

Friend-Of-Friend: “Okay, no problem! We’ll get there on our own. Looking forward to it.” 

Me: “Okay, see you there.”

(Fast forward to the day before I need their part of the room rental.)

Me: “Hey, I still need you to pay for your shares of the room. Where are you on that?”

Friend-Of-Friend: “Oh, yeah. How much are badges? 

Me: “It’s too late to pre-order, but you can buy them at the door for $50.”

Friend-Of-Friend: “WHAT?! I CAN’T AFFORD THAT! I just won’t go, then!”

(I managed to pay for the hotel on my own and still enjoy the convention. But how could this chick afford a hotel, but not a badge that was a third of the cost?)