Somebody Missed “Personal Space” Day In School

, , , , , | Friendly | April 5, 2020

Supermarkets and other businesses that have stayed open are trying to get customers to respect social distancing by marking adequate spaces for queues on their floors near the checkouts.

I was at the head of the queue for the self-checkouts, having waited carefully behind all lines and giving plenty of room to the person at the first machine. A young man came up and stood right behind me, completely oblivious to the signs, tape, and rope barriers informing customers of where to stand. 

As luck would have it, I felt a tickle in my throat and a surge of overwhelming retail worker passive-aggression right at that moment. I threw my arm over my face and coughed as loudly and theatrically as my 5’2″ self could manage — which was pretty loud, if I say so myself. 

“Oh, ex-CUSE me!” I then proclaimed, juggling my groceries as I reached for my hand sanitiser. 

He finally backed up behind the next line, and I proceeded to the next free machine. I know it’s incredibly petty, but please, folks, take a step back.

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Not Handling This Well

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2020

I am a massage therapist at a hotel spa on the beach. Yesterday, I had a client who was scheduled for an eighty-minute Swedish massage. That is almost an hour and a half of being in an enclosed, private room with me essentially rubbing over 80% of a client’s body with my hands. 

With the viral situation, our numbers have obviously dropped as people aren’t traveling as much and are scared. Unfortunately for me, that means that this lady is my first and only client of the day.

At her scheduled appointment time, I walk up to her and greet her while holding my hand out to shake hers. She immediately held her hands close to her body.

 Client: “I don’t shake hand!”

 Me: “O…kay.”

 I brush it off, and continue.

 Me: “Have you chosen a scent for your massage?”

 She then picks up each one of our six scent testers, with her hands, and brings them right up to her nose where she breathes in and out… like every other person who had ever been in our spa.

When I finally get her back to the room and on the table, I ask at the beginning of the massage:

 Me: “Would you like your hands avoided?”

 Client: “No. Just don’t touch my face.”

So you won’t shake my hand, but you’re comfortable with me putting my hands all over you and breathing on you?

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Didn’t Pass The Think-It-Through Checkpoint

, , , , , | Healthy | April 2, 2020

It’s -17C, windchill to -19C, but the cutoff for “don’t take the baby outside unless the house is on fire” is -20 including windchill, so I bundle her three outfits deep under her snowsuit, mittens, toque, and bunting, and catch the bus to an appointment. She’s asleep by the time we get there, but I’m wide awake, cheeks frosty, steps quick. Stepping in, I find an antiviral checkpoint just inside the front door, manned by a guy in a white bodysuit and a blue mask.

My first thought: “Oh, no, zombies!”

I might be very slightly drunk on sleep deprivation.

Checkpoint Guy: “Hi, there! Just before you step in, can I ask you some questions?”

Me: “Sure.”

[Checkpoint Guy] asks about travel and a list of symptoms. I answer each question the same way.

Me: “Nope.”

Checkpoint Guy: “All righty, then. Let me just check your guys’ temperatures — or I assume you’ve got a passenger in there!”

Me: “Yup!”

I crack open one of the hoods, displaying a bundle of cloth that has two cheeks, two closed eyes, a nose, and no other visible skin.

Checkpoint Guy: “Awww! I shouldn’t have to wake her up. Just that little cheeky-cheek should be good!”

I think of my own frosty cheeks.

Me: “Her cheek’s going to be pretty cold.”

Checkpoint Guy: “Yup! Little cheeky-cheek!” 

His remote thermometer beeps and shows 30.

Checkpoint Guy: “Okey-dokey! Now, I need to do you.”

Me: “Sure.”

[Checkpoint Guy] beeps my cheek.

Checkpoint Guy: “Yup! You’re good! Just have some hand sanitizer and you’re on your way!”

Me: “Sure.” 

I use sanitizer, go through, and push the elevator button.

New Voice Behind Me: “Aren’t you cold?”

Checkpoint Guy: “Nope! I’m good! I’ve got long johns, extra shirts, and warm gloves under the medical gloves. Standing right by the door all day — I’m prepared!”

Pause.

Checkpoint Guy: “You know, everyone I’ve checked has read really low, like 30 degrees. Do you think it’s because they just came in from the outdoors?”

Yes, I mentioned this hitch to the doctor I saw.

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Hamburgers Are The Cure

, , , , , , , | Right | April 1, 2020

I was talking with the waiter at a restaurant yesterday about how crazy the people are being about buying supplies due to the panic buying. My local grocery store was out of expected items such as water, toilet paper, and paper towels. The cheap eggs were gone, but the more expensive eggs were untouched. More unexpected to me, at least, was that shelves were bare of other basics like hamburgers.

The waiter indicated they have been having problems too: people were stealing the toilet paper from their restrooms. I can just imagine the next customer in the restroom…

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Look Past-a Your Surroundings To The Wide World Of Noodles!

, , , , , | Related | March 30, 2020

(In this moment of nationwide quarantine in Italy, my dad has discovered the joys of online ordering products and getting them delivered to your house. After a long slog to get him to figure out how to use his dusty old work email for the purpose, he has started to go online and order various things from [Supermarket Chain]. I go to do something else… until he calls me back again several minutes later.)

Dad: “[My Name], come over here. I need you to order something for me; can you do it?”

Me: “Yes, I can. What is it?”

(He hands me his tablet, and I see two things: he has gone on [Big Company]’s site, and there are several pictures of pasta packages on it.)

Me: “Uh, Dad? Why are you ordering pasta on [Big Company]? They can’t have run out of pasta on [Supermarket Chain], could they?”

Dad: *annoyed* “No, look at what I’m showing you.”

(I take a better look at the packages and notice that they are all of a specific pasta format, called “castellane”… and that the labels are Indonesian.)

Me: *perplexed* “You’re trying to order castellane from Indonesia?”

Dad: “Of course, I am; I can’t find them anywhere else! Now, order them. I’m sure you can figure something out.”

Me: “But Dad, it’s gonna cost you lots of money. Are you sure?”

Dad: “Look, I have the money. I can afford it. Now do it.”

(Despite finding it silly to order pasta from half a world away while in Italy, I decide to try and figure something out. After several rounds of Google Translate and some guesswork, I manage to get myself on the page for one that works for our purposes. He tells me how many packs he wants to get and I input the number.)

Me: “All right. Do you have an account or do you want me to use mine?”

Dad: “No, try to use mine. If you use yours, it’ll get delivered to your flat.”

Me: *sighing* “Okay, can you tell me the password?”

Dad: “The password? What password? Can’t I just use my email?”

Me: “No, you can’t.” *realizing* “Wait, so you didn’t actually make an account?”

Dad: *getting agitated* “Didn’t I already make one? Why does that matter?”

Me: *resigned* “Because you put your email in [Supermarket Chain]’s database and made an account with them, not with these guys.”

Dad: *screaming* “What the f***? Who designed this stupid bulls***? F*** you and f*** your incomprehensible online things, you handicapped swine!”

(And with that, he started pouting and complaining about not getting his precious castellane. My mother suggested I just pretend to order that pasta from Indonesia and actually do nothing, since it was just “one of his personal fads,” but sometimes I wish I could tie him to a chair and make him learn basic informatics.)

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