The Magic Flute

, , , , , , | Right | November 3, 2017

In the early 90s, my mom’s car was broken into while she was at a music festival. The thief made off with all of her instruments, including the flute her father gave her over twenty years earlier when she was first learning. Naturally, she was devastated. She did manage to replace her instruments, and more or less put the experience behind her.

Ten years later, Mom was giving lessons at a music store. One day, she forgot her flute at home, and asked the owner if he could loan her a flute for the day so she could do her lesson. As luck would have it, someone had come in earlier that day and sold him a flute they’d found in a closet of the house they’d just bought. He reached behind the counter, and took out a case with a unicorn sticker on it. Mom immediately recognized the sticker, as she had that exact same one on her case. Excited, she took out the mouthpiece to check for the serial numbers her father had engraved in it. Unfortunately, they weren’t there. It wasn’t her flute.

Disappointed, she took the flute to her lesson room. As she was fitting the pieces together, she saw, on the middle section, a set of numbers. It was indeed her flute, and she’d simply mis-remembered which section had the numbers on it! As soon as her lesson was over, she went back to the owner, asked how much he’d paid for it, and told him she wanted to buy it.

Fifty dollars later, she was finally reunited with her flute. Since her father had died a year earlier, it was especially magical for her. Ironically, when he had engraved those numbers, she’d been upset since there was a sizable area where the silver had been stripped. But thanks to those numbers, the thief was not able to sell it, and simply left it behind when they moved, allowing it to make its way back to her.

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The Kind Of Guy Who Puts Their Mug Shot On A Mug

, , , , , | Right | November 3, 2017

(I’ve been a cashier at a grocery store chain for about six months. I’m one of the few cashiers who isn’t a minor and works nights on the weekends. It’s Saturday at around 10:30 pm when two young men walk up, reeking of weed. I greet them and ring up their order, and I scan some sort of cough syrup, which is an age-restricted item. Policy says we have to ID anyone who is under 40.)

Me: “Can I please see your ID?”

Customer #2: “What the h*** do you need his ID for?”

Me: “Oh.” *holds up cough syrup* “You have to be 18 to buy this.”

Customer #1: “Chill, man. She’s just doing her job.”

(He then searches his pockets and pulls out his phone.)

Customer #1: “I don’t got my ID on me, but I got my mugshot.”

(The customer shows me his phone, where the county sheriff’s department page and, indeed, his mugshot, are on screen.)

Me: “Um, sir, that’s not a valid state-issued ID.”

Customer #1: “It’s not?”

Me: “No, it’s… it’s just a mug-shot. Do you maybe have a license or a military ID?”

Customer #1: “No.”

(Legally, I couldn’t let them purchase the item. While they were mostly polite, the story was just too good to not share.)

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Needs A Break From Your Illegal Activities

, , , , , , , | Working | November 3, 2017

When working for an employment agency, I was asked to work in a certain bar one evening. When arriving there, all seemed right and, to be honest, the work was okay. However, after a few hours work, I asked how everything worked with breaks. The other workers reacted a bit surprised. Break? Oh, well, in fact they didn’t do those, because there was no time… despite the law making it very clear that the employer is obliged to allow it and the employee is obliged to take it. “We don’t do that. The employment agency should have told you. I’ll talk to them about this, because this is really important.”

A bit later they had the chef de cuisine make me a croquette sandwich. Since I was quite hungry, I was very happy about this and thanked the cook, despite the fact that he shouted at me and bullied a coworker earlier in the night. I ate it quickly and went back to work immediately.

After an evening of hard work in a very busy bar, I had to leave at midnight. One of the floor managers took me to the office to find the form for temporary workers. The office turned out to be a mess and she was unable to find the form, although she was clearly as annoyed by the mess as I was. In the end, the lady improvised and made me write down my name, employment agency, and hours on a blank note. I worked for seven hours, so that’s what I wrote down.

The next day, I commented to my contact at the employment agency about the break problem, stating clearly that I wanted to be fully informed, and that I thought it was weird that the place didn’t do breaks, despite this being illegal. My contact reacted somewhat defensively, although they called the incomplete briefing “a learning point for us.”

Despite this, I was assured that it was very common in hospitality work that you’re supposed to have eaten before 5:00 pm, and I was asked to have “some flexibility.” I didn’t answer, since I was clearly not winning this, although some Internet research and a phone call to the union made it clear to me that I was totally right.

Later, when I downloaded my payslip, it turned out that the place only paid me for six-and-a-half hours, anyway, while eating the sandwich took me about five minutes. I emailed my contact, asking exactly what the bar’s general manager submitted, pointing out that I didn’t take half-an-hour break and, therefore, worked for much longer.

No response ever came. Much later, I asked the financial person of the employment agency what was submitted. According to her, [Bar] indeed claimed I worked six-and-a-half hours with a half-an-hour break. Once again, the employment agency didn’t take any action, but since then, the bar was on my personal blacklist, which I made very clear to my contact.

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Thievery Requires Classy Caffeination

, , , , , | Related | November 3, 2017

(I am making a cup of tea for myself when Mum yells through the house to make her a cup of coffee, as well. I see there are two options: [Extremely Expensive Brand] and [Extremely Cheap Brand]. Both are open, but the cheap brand is further forward and seems to be more used. In fact, the expensive brand is practically hidden away, as it’s in the tea section of the cupboard, on its side, and behind the tea itself. Since I know Mum adores her expensive brand, I ask, yelling across the house.)

Me: “[Cheap Brand] or [Expensive Brand]?”

Mum: “Oh, just use the [Cheap Brand], because—” *incoherent as the kettle is boiling at that moment*

(I walk through to her.)

Me: “What were you saying? I only heard about using [Cheap Brand]. Also, why do you have two brands open?”

Mum: “Oh, I don’t. [Cheap Brand] jar contains [Expensive Brand].”

Me: “Why?”

Mum: “Because [Expensive Brand] is too big to fit in the coffee cupboard, so I fill the [Cheap Brand] jar with it so I can get it in there.”

Me: “Oh.” *pauses, then adds jokingly* “You know, Mum, you’re supposed to put the cheap stuff in the expensive container, so you seem classier, not make yourself look poorer.”

Mum: “But if someone robbed the place, they’d go, ‘Oh, they drink [Cheap Brand]; they must not have any money, so there’s no point robbing them,’ and then we’d be fine.”

Me: “Why would a burglar be in our coffee cupboard?”

Mum: “Burglars need a cuppa every now and then, too, you know!”

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Buy Bye!

, , , | Right | November 2, 2017

(At our hotel, we have a snack shop full of food as well as other things, like soaps and brushes.)

Customer: “Do you have a toothbrush?”

Me: “We have toothbrushes to buy. We don’t have them free.”

Customer: “Buy?”

(I show her.)

Me: “Yes, toothbrushes to buy, on the bottom shelf there.”

Customer: “Buy?”

Me: “Yes, buy.”

Customer: “Oh, buy!” *takes brush and leaves without paying*

Me: “…”

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