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Unmasking The Science

, , , , , , , | Right | March 24, 2023

As a grocery delivery driver, the first few months of the global health crisis were… wild, to say the least.

Firstly, I went from pretty much being treated like a non-entity by my customers to some kind of superhero. I would roll my trolley of groceries up to a customer’s house and would leave with chocolate, cold drinks, and more hand sanitiser and wet wipes than I could use in two lifetimes. I made a small fortune in tip money.

One night while I was working, a guy standing at a crossing started jumping and clapping and waving at me, giving me thumbs-up.

But then, there were also the REALLY stupid people.

I lost count of the number of times I’d get to a front door and have a customer open it coughing and spluttering.

Customer: “I should warn you I tested positive.”

But this one is without a doubt the worst customer I had. I was wearing my facemask, and as soon as his door opened, he launched into a rant about how masks were useless and didn’t help anything, I should do my own research, etc.

Me: “Look, you think whatever you want, but my godmother is a phlebotomist for the National Health Service and has been wearing masks at work for over thirty years. My best friend is doing her Ph.D. in biogenetics and wears a mask every day in the lab. My sister’s father-in-law was an army doctor and wore masks whenever he worked with patients. My aunt is the head of logistics for [Ambulance Service], and they spent a small fortune on masks and other PPE for their crews back at the end of 2019. So, that’s my research, and frankly, I’m going to value that over something a random idiot said on the Internet.”

No ID, No Idea: The Karmic Chronicles

, , , , , | Right | March 21, 2023

My friend is a pediatric oncologist. In order to protect his patients as best as he possibly can, he has been wearing a mask whenever he goes out, even when it has stopped being recommended and advised.

He, another friend, and I stop by a liquor store one evening. He is the first one to check out, while the other friend and I are still looking around.

He gets to the counter, hands over his ID, and briefly lowers his mask so that the cashier can confirm it is his. All good, he pays for his stuff and steps to the side to wait for us.

This is when, suddenly, a RANDOM CUSTOMER appears.

Random Customer: *To the cashier* “You’re kidding. It’s obvious his ID is fake.”

Cashier: “Your total is $29.45. Cash or card?”

Random Customer: “Nobody’s wearing a mask anymore. Don’t you think it’s suspicious he just happens to wear one to the liquor store?”

Cashier: *Clearly not having it* “Cash or card?”

Random Customer: “You don’t think it’s suspicious that he doesn’t want you to see his face?”

Cashier: “Sir, I need to check the people behind you out. Cash or card?

Random Customer: “You’re not going to do anything about him?”

Cashier: “Sir, he showed me his face. It looks like his ID. Please finish your purchase so I can check other people out.”

The random customer acts all huffy and begins to get his card out. Suddenly, a manager steps over from the side.

Manager: “Sir, may I see your ID?”

Random Customer: “What? I’m clearly over thirty.”

Manager: “Store policy is to card anyone who looks under fifty-five. May I see your ID?”

Random Customer: “…”

The manager takes his purchase and puts it behind the counter.

Manager: “I’m sorry, but I can’t sell to you without a valid ID. We don’t close for another two hours if you’d like to come back with one.”

Random Customer: “…”

Manager: *Motions to the man behind the random customer* “I can take you up here, sir.”

The random customer finally moves and heads to the door, pulls out his phone, and DIALS 911!

Now, my other friend and I are totally invested in this, so we take our time browsing the aisles and “discussing” bottles we’re totally not interested in.

In enters Mr. Policeman!

Mr. Policeman heads over to get the story from both the random customer and the manager. After a moment, he approaches my friend and asks for his ID. He provides it and briefly lowers his mask so that Mr. Policeman can confirm his identity. Mr. Policeman also looks like he’s so over it.

Manager: “We’d prefer if he—” *points to the random customer* “—didn’t return to this location.”

Random Customer: *Flips out* “F*** you. F*** all of you. F*** all of your f****** mothers!”

Mr. Policeman ended up escorting him out. Business as normal resumed in the store. We all bought our booze and the three of us headed outside, where the random customer was arguing over a citation from Mr. Policeman for driving without a valid license.

No ID, No Idea, Part 50
No ID, No Idea, Part 49
No ID, No Idea, Part 48
No ID, No Idea, Part 47
No ID, No Idea, Part 46

At Least You Didn’t Have To Pee On It

, , , , , , | Working | March 20, 2023

I work from home for a small company and communicate with my coworkers via our company’s instant messaging program. I catch the notorious sickness after years of managing to dodge it. I post in my department-specific IM that I will be out for a week minimum and upload a photo of my positive test as an explanation.

As I’m emailing my boss more details, my company notifications start going crazy.

Coworker #1: “Oh, my gosh, congrats!”

Coworker #2: “So happy for you, [My Name]!”

Coworker #3: “That’s awesome.”

Coworker #4: “We can definitely cover for you, no problem.”

Boss: “What?! Congratulations!”

Me: “Guys… This is a positive [illness] test.”

Coworker #1: “OH, NO.”

Coworker #2: “Okay, that’s actually a little hilarious. I’m sorry. Feel better LOL”

Coworker #3: *Cry-laughing emojis* “My bad, my bad.”

Coworker #4: “I was wondering why you were taking an entire week off rather than a day or so, but I didn’t want to be the jerk who asked that haha.”

My boss messages me in a separate private channel.

Boss: “I don’t know how I forgot that just six months ago you had to take a few weeks off for your surgery. I’m so sorry. Of course, you can take the time off, no problem. Feel better soon.”

The surgery I had just six months ago that my boss forgot about? My hysterectomy. Once I was able to laugh without coughing up a lung, I had a good laugh about it.

Nobody Wants To See That, Dude

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Absolutely_Not_Kevin | March 19, 2023

I’m a cashier at my local privately-owned grocery store. I’m out front running the cart sanitization station, where we clean carts before they’re given to shoppers.

Being in a small town, you get to know most of your regular shoppers, both the good and the bad. But there is this one guy who comes in every other Sunday. This guy has many defining features about him, specifically the hard hat, construction vest, and noise-cancelling headphones, and he has this pink dog chew toy strapped to the front of his vest. I’ve seen his unfavourable behaviour both inside the store in the aisles and checkout, and outside the store at the cart sanitization area.

On this particular Sunday, he pulls up to the store on his bicycle (recognized instantly because of the pink pool noodle tied in a knot on the back). He hops off and struts toward the doors. I wipe a cart and stick it in front of the door. He has no mask on (a usual occurrence), but today he also DOES NOT HAVE PANTS ON.

I (or anyone else on sanitization) usually don’t stop him for his lack of mask and immediately call a manager on our mobile store phone, because we know it will do absolutely nothing if we try and intervene ourselves. But today, I have to stop him before I even call the manager.

Me: “Sir, hey! Hey, sir! Stop!”

I wave my arm in front of him.


I gesture for him to take off his headphones, but he doesn’t.


Me: *Almost yelling* “I know, sir, but I can’t let you in if you’re not wearing pants!”

The guy then swats his hand at me, almost hitting my face shield, grabs his cart, and goes into the store. I grab the phone and dial the extension for any manager’s phone. When the manager on shift picks up, he barely has a chance to say, “Hello?” before I interrupt him.

Me: “Hey, [Manager], that guy with the headphones— Yeah, that one— No, it’s not just the mask; he doesn’t have pants on today.”

Manager: “What? Is he just naked?”

Me: “No, no, he has boxer briefs on — Superman ones, actually — but very clearly not pants or even shorts.”

The phone hung up on me, and not five minutes later, a cop car pulled up to the entrance. The cop and his partner nodded their heads at me and walked into the store. Another few minutes passed, and I was able to witness the guy being escorted out the doors and to his bike. I think he was given a ticket, but I’m not too sure.

Apparently, my manager had confronted the guy and asked if he had anything to put on as we would not serve him if he wasn’t appropriately clothed. He refused to dress up (even though he had a pair of cargo shorts with his bike) so my manager repeated to him a couple of times that he had to dress up or leave the store, and he continued to refuse.

At that point, my manager had called the non-emergency number for our town’s police and consulted with them about what he should do if anything, and the police themselves chose to come and deal with the issue personally.

What A Way To Treat Such A Valuable Resource

, , , , , , | Working | March 15, 2023

I’m a nurse at a large hospital. The floor I worked on was selected to be the [contagious illness] unit during the first and second waves of the global health crisis.

More nurses than not were catching [illness], so when I got an inkling of being sick, I called out for a day and got tested. If I tested positive, then I would get two weeks off without penalty, but I tested negative, so I returned to work the next day. I got called into the office where my manager gave me a verbal warning because I had one too many sick days.

Me: “You realize we are in a [health crisis], right?”

Manager: “Yes, I know that, but we still have to stick to the original policy.”

When we clocked in, there was an electronic message that popped up on the time clock that read, “During the [health crisis], we need to self-monitor ourselves, and by clocking in, you are declaring that you are fit to work.” There was no adjustment to the policy even though we were an [illness] unit during a health crisis, so I would either have to lie about feeling sick when I clocked in or call out and get in trouble.

Here is where malicious compliance comes in. I had always picked up a lot of extra time in a sister department, not because I needed the extra money but because the hospital was always short-staffed. My manager didn’t like the fact that I picked up extra time in the other department. She wanted me to pick up extra time in our department.

Manager: “As punishment, you can not pick up extra time in [sister unit] for ninety days, the length of your disciplinary period. You should be responsible enough to pick up extra time in your own department.”

As I didn’t need the extra money, I didn’t pick up ANY extra time anywhere in that period. I got called almost every day to ask if I could come in because my department was short-staffed. One of the reasons they were short-staffed was that our sister unit was even more short-staffed and the nurses on my unit were getting pulled to go work there. If only more nurses picked up extra time on the other unit. Hmm…

At the end of the ninety days, I was told I could pick up extra time in the sister department again. At that point, I handed in my two weeks’ notice and told my manager that I had accepted a position at another hospital.

Manager: “Because of your years of service, you need to give four weeks’ notice.”

Me: “No, that’s just a courtesy. So I’ll extend the same courtesy I got when I needed to call out sick.”