The Curious Incident Of The Book With The Wrong Title

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2020

Many schools use the same books for summer reading. Every summer, bookstores stock up on these titles and place them prominently throughout the store. We booksellers tend to become very familiar with the various titles and covers. 

Me: “Hi. Can I help you find anything today?”

Customer: “Yes, my son is looking for The Upsided Down Dog.”

Me: “I’m not familiar with that book; let me look it up.”

I look in our system and nothing comes up for “The Upsided Down Dog.”

Me: “I’m not finding it. Did he say who it’s by?”

Customer: “I don’t know! It’s summer reading for his school.”

A lightbulb goes off. I go to a nearby table and pick up a book, showing her the cover. 

Me: “Ma’am, could it be The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time?”

Customer: *Sighs* “Yes, I suppose that must be it.”

This particular book is orange, with a small picture on the front of an upside-down dog.

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Time To Get Splashy

, , , , , , , | Working | September 28, 2020

Our subdivision has a clubhouse with a pool that we pay for out of our HOA fees. The clubhouse is staffed during the open hours with some very nice people. Lately, though, we have had a large turnover in staff. We also have several entitled people in our neighborhood who seem to think that because they are older they can determine when and where children are allowed.

I have my in-laws visiting. My kids, ages seventeen and fifteen, take their cousins, ages fifteen and thirteen, up to the pool so my sister-in-law and I can sit and discuss some family business.

Less than twenty minutes later, they come back in. I ask why they came back so soon. They inform me that they were told to leave by the woman in charge of the clubhouse. Apparently, there were some older people at the pool who like to sit there in the afternoons and read by the poolside and the kids were disturbing them. 

I immediately go up to the clubhouse with the kids in tow, as well as my sister-in-law who loves to watch me go off on people.

Me: “Hello, [New Employee], we haven’t met yet. I am [My Name]. I know you are new here so I am sorry I haven’t had the chance to welcome you; however, my kids came home and said you chased them off from the pool. Were they misbehaving?”

New Employee: “Oh, no, no, not at all. You see, they were splashing around in the pool and bothering the couple sitting out there who come up here in the afternoon to sit by the pool and read.”

Me: “Oh, okay. I see. When will I be getting a refund on my HOA fees, then? Shall we call your supervisor and have them cut a check or will you be paying cash… now, please.”

New Employee: *Taken somewhat aback* “I… I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”

Me: “Well, I pay the same amount of fees as they do — in the hundreds of dollars — and therefore, I have the same rights as they do, and by proxy, so do my kids. Therefore, since you are denying me use of the products and services I pay for, for no good reason other than that someone else doesn’t want us to, you owe me a refund.”

She is speechless.

I turn to the kids and tell them to go get in the pool, and then I turn back to her.

Me: “Listen. I get it. They have no doubt been driving you crazy with their entitled ‘I’m better than you’ attitude. They think they can come up here to a community pool and sit leisurely by the pool without being disturbed. If that is the case, they can go build their own pool in their own backyard. Until then, they have no right to deny my family their right to use the pool that I pay a great deal for every month. Are we clear?”

She meekly nodded. I didn’t want to be too mean because I know she was being fussed at by the couple that I’ve had to deal with before, but I wasn’t putting up with it. I came to find out that my family wasn’t the only one whose kids were being chased off by this couple.

The supervisor called and apologized, and after that, they sent a statement to all the neighborhood reminding them that EVERYONE has an equal right to enjoy the pool, regardless of age. We have had no trouble at the pool since.

I don’t know if they still go up there and read. Frankly, I don’t care.

This story is part of our Best Of September 2020 roundup!

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The Talking Bread

, , , , , , | Right | September 28, 2020

My coworker is the sort of gentleman that, once you see him, you never forget him, as he’s absolutely huge. He works in the seafood department which is adjacent to the meat department. Late one evening, well after meat and seafood are closed, he comes into the store to do some personal shopping. A lady approaches him to demand that he cut a large roast in half for her.

Coworker: “I’m sorry but the meat department is closed. If you come back after eight in the morning, the butchers will be happy to cut it for you.”

Customer: “You work here. You do it.”

Coworker: “Madam, I am off duty. Furthermore, I work in seafood. I’m not trained to operate the meat saw. And the butcher shop is cleaned up and closed for the evening. You have to come back when the butchers are here in the morning.”

Customer: *Now angry* “I demand service. Cut this in half for me now.”

Coworker: “As I explained, I cannot do that. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have shopping to do.”

Customer: “I’m the customer. You will do what I want.”

Coworker: “Let me find you a manager.”

He brings the night manager over and the lady starts in on him. The manager simply repeats what my coworker has said but the lady is having none of it, demanding that he make my coworker cut the roast for her. [Coworker] goes over to a display rack, brings back a loaf of bread, and sets it on the edge of the cooler.

Woman: “What’s that for?”

Coworker: “It will sit there and listen to you all night. We have things to do.” *Walks off*

Tell your story today! Ever been able to say the perfect thing at the perfect time to a bad customer? Share it with the NAR community so we can all enjoy it too!

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It’s Nice To Have A Comfortable Work Environment

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 28, 2020

I am a shift manager for one of the larger fast-food companies, almost exclusively working overnight shifts. That means that I get the usual assortment of drunks, stoners, and general oddballs you expect to encounter at three in the morning. I’m on first-name terms with the majority of the police also working nights in the local area due to my company offering them free coffees.

On this particular evening, three men come in at around 3:30 am. They’re extremely drunk, but they order their food without issue and sit down and eat. However, one of them decides naptime is in order and lies down on one of the benches and falls asleep. After finishing their food, the other two pile on top of him to create a triple stack of drunk guys. Since they’ve caused no issues, I just leave them be and carry on with my work.

Fast forward to about 5:00 am. A pair of police officers come in for coffee and ask me if I want the still-sleeping man-stack moved on. 

I point at the guy in the middle and say, “That’s my coworker.” He’s another shift manager.

Then, I point at the guy on top and say, “That’s my boss.” He’s the assistant store manager.

Finally, I point at the guy on the bottom and say, “That’s my brother; he’s also at work in two hours, so if anything, he’s early.”

This story is part of our Best Of September 2020 roundup!

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A Harmless Necessary Chicken

, , , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

I was inspired by this story to recount my own encounter with unwitting stage fauna.

Some years ago, I was in a summer production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in an outdoor venue. This venue was near a pond and had various birds wandering about. This included a few chickens and roosters.

In a particular scene, a washing basket was onstage at the beginning of a scene. As the actors went about the scene, they noticed they were getting more laughs than usual but thought nothing more than how responsive the audience was. As they got closer to the climax of the scene, they were getting more and more laughs and titters, so they amped up their energy.

In the climax of the scene, Falstaff had to hide in a panic and threw himself into the washing basket…

…to be encountered with a face full of enraged chicken, whose nice cosy resting spot had been disturbed by an actor almost landing on her. Apparently, the hen had been poking her head out of the basket, enjoying the show, to the amusement of the audience, without the actors noticing. The poor chicken took flight, squawking, through the audience, emptying herself on the actor as a final act of revenge. After a momentary pause, during which everyone attempted to pull themselves together, the show resumed. Poor Falstaff had to have a quick costume change.

A Harmless Necessary Cat

This story is part of our Best Of September 2020 roundup!

Read the next story in the Best Of September 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of September 2020 roundup!

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