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Not Very Closed-Minded: Opposite Day Edition

, , , , , , | Working | January 27, 2023

My dad and stepbrother went on a bike ride together. My stepbrother planned out a route with a restaurant at the midway point; the plan was for them to have dinner there and then cycle the rest of the route which would lead them back to our house.

They didn’t make a reservation at the restaurant beforehand, but they figured they wouldn’t need it for the time they planned to arrive.

When they arrived at the restaurant, according to schedule, they were initially disappointed. There was a large sign out front.

Sign: “Closed for private party.”

Stepbrother: “Oh, that’s unfortunate.”

He and Dad got off their bikes to stretch a bit and debate where they might go instead, but Dad wasn’t entirely convinced.

Dad: “Are you sure it’s closed? There are no diners inside.”

Not only was there no one inside except staff, but the hostess was also eyeing the two of them from the doorway like she was waiting for them to come in.

Stepbrother: “Well, maybe the party hasn’t started yet.”

Dad: “I’m just gonna go ask to make sure.”

At this point, I’m sure you’re all thinking my dad was about to become one of THOSE customers. I thought so, too, when I heard the story.

My stepbrother was equally apprehensive and tried to talk my dad out of it saying that if the sign said they were closed, they were obviously closed. My dad is a stubborn one, though, so in he went with my stepbrother trailing behind him.

Dad: *To the hostess* “Hello, are you open?”

To my stepbrother’s surprise:

Hostess: “Yes, we are! Table for two, then?”

Stepbrother: “Really? You’re not closed for a party?”

Hostess: *Slightly confused* “No, why would…” *Eyes going wide* “Oh, no. Is that sign still out there?”

My stepbrother confirmed the presence of a sign, and the hostess rushed outside to look. When she came back in, she was laughing.

Hostess: “Well, no wonder people keep driving by without coming in! And we were all wondering why it was such a slow day!”

One of the waiters hauled the sign inside, and the hostess explained where it had come from while showing my dad and stepbrother to a table. They HAD in fact been closed for a private party… the day before! Somehow, no one had thought to remove the sign after the party was over.

Everyone laughed about it afterward, but when I heard the story I couldn’t help thinking that this was the only instance I knew of where a customer’s refusal to heed a sign turned out to be a good thing!

Related:
Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 52
Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 51
Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 50
Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 49
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 48

You Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar, Part 3

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2023

After years of being unable to file her taxes (that’s worthy of a whole other story) my daughter finally got returns and a hefty check. She decided to treat me to dinner at a well-known steakhouse chain.

Our server was a trainee but was doing well. While waiting for our fried onion bloom, we got in our meal orders, and those were fine. The waiter checked on us.

Me: “It’s all delicious, thank you. But you might mention to the chef that my steak was medium, not medium rare.”

Horrors, right?

Waiter: “I can have them completely remake that if you like.”

Me: “Oh, no, please don’t. This is fine as medium.”

The waiter retreated, and I thought that was the end of it. But a few minutes later, a manager showed up.

Manager: “I understand that your steak was overcooked.”

Me: “No, not really overcooked. It’s a medium instead of medium rare.”

Manager: “We can make you a fresh one that’s medium rare.”

Me: “No, please don’t bother. I grew up eating steaks medium, so I’m perfectly happy with this.”

I was worried this was going to turn into the “Dirty Fork” sketch from “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, but the manager seemed satisfied. Once again, I thought that was the end of it. But ten minutes later, the manager was back with our bill.

Manager: “Sorry about the steak. As an apology, we comped the onion bloom.”

My daughter and I looked at each other in surprise. We got a free expensive appetizer because…. we didn’t throw temper tantrums?

Related:
You Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar, Part 2
You Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar

The Bus Driver Busted, But He Fixed It

, , , , , , , | Working | January 26, 2023

I have been taking a rural bus service for a few weeks to help out a friend who has had surgery. I live in town and catch the bus at a mall a couple of blocks from my house.

One day, I get on the bus, sit down, and notice a sign at the front saying that the service schedule has changed. When I get off the bus, I ask the driver if he will be coming back to where he can pick me up at the usual time. The place where he stops is about a ten-minute walk from my friend’s place.

Driver: *Absently* “Oh, sure, yeah.”

Later that day, I’m waiting at the stop. And waiting. And waiting. I forgot my phone at home today and don’t wear a watch, so I’m not sure how late it’s getting.

I’m just about to walk back to my friend’s place, where at least my husband can pick me up when he gets off work. A pick-up truck pulls onto the side road where I wait, and the driver beckons to me. To my surprise, it’s the bus driver.

Driver: “I zoned out earlier when you asked me about the schedule changes, and I forgot to tell you that I’d be coming by here half an hour earlier. I felt so bad that when I finished my shift, I decided to come back and see if you were still waiting here.”

He would have dropped me off at my doorstep, but I had shopping to do for supper, so I got him to set me down at the mall. That’s the nice thing about small towns; we look out for each other.

Getting Over The Ditch Is A B****

, , , , , | Working | January 26, 2023

I work for a company in dispatch. It’s not important to the story what sort of vehicles I’m guiding around town, but the process is mostly automated using GPS. I’m just there as backup when a human element is needed.

We have a new driver. I’m watching all of the vehicles on my map when I see [New Driver]’s vehicle take a wrong turn onto the highway. Instead of going south, he’s going north.

I radio in to him.

Me: “[New Driver], you’ve just turned the wrong way. You’re going north, and you should be going south.”

New Driver: “GPS says I’m going the right way.”

Me: “If you look, you can see that it’s asking you to take the next exit and get back on. I’m just giving you a heads-up.”

New Driver: “Awww, s***. I did turn the wrong way. One sec.”

Me: “Don’t do anything stupid, [New Driver]. Don’t you dare ‘one sec’ me. Every time a driver’s told me, ‘one sec,’ they’ve gone on to do something stupid.”

There’s some silence. I watch on the GPS map as his vehicle starts to glitch.

New Driver: “Hey, dispatch, I have a problem.”

Me: “Hello, [New Driver], did you just happen to drive into the ditch between the two directions in an effort to turn around and get stuck in the middle?”

New Driver: “Yes, ma’am, how did you guess?”

Surprisingly, we didn’t fire [New Driver], but ever since then, his informal call sign among the other drivers has been “The Ditch”.

Driving Away Customers — Literally

, , , , | Working | January 26, 2023

After just turning eighteen and getting our driver’s licences, my friend and I, obsessed with cars, started visiting local car dealerships. We wanted both to lust after new cars with the vision of one day buying something like that and also to check out the used car lots for something affordable. This was over twenty years ago, so used cars on sale were not reported online yet.

We went to one dealership selling Volkswagens, not a specifically high-end brand back then, and we decided to check the new cars on display before heading to the used cars section. A new Passat was prominently on display, and we decided to sit in it and see what it looked like inside, as well. Big mistake.

A salesperson saw us, rushed to the car, and started yelling.

Salesperson: “Get out! You have no business touching that car unless you have money to show that you are prepared to buy it!”

Many years have passed, and many cars have been bought but not a single one from that dealership — not by me, not by my friend, and not by our friends and families, even though my current car just so happens to be a VW Passat.