Trying To Fulfill Your Delivery Period

, , , , , , | Working | October 17, 2017

(I work as a delivery driver for a well-known supermarket. I’m 25 and male but quite familiar with the concept of a woman’s period and tampons. I’m training a new driver, and our current customer appears to have placed an “emergency order,” since their shopping only contains a box of tampons, some tea bags, and some chocolate. I look to my trainee and say:)

Me: “Okay, this next customer has a small order, but my advice is be patient. If she doesn’t answer the door right away, give it a few. She probably won’t want to be wound up.”

Trainee: “Why, is she a b****? Have you delivered before?”

Me: “Umm, no. Just look at the receipt, mate; it’s quite obvious what’s going on here.”

(The trainee looks at the receipt long and hard, but it doesn’t appear to sink in. Eventually I take pity on him.)

Me: “She might be on her period; she’s bought tampons, chocolate, and tea.”

Trainee:What!? I ain’t going near that! It’s disgusting!”

(He refused to even leave the van to make the delivery and generally acted like I might have caught some kind of taint just by being around a woman who may or may not have been on her period.)

The Power Of A Potato

, , , , , , | Hopeless | October 16, 2017

I’m sharing this, not to show off about how generous I am, but how broken the system is, and how easily well-meaning people can fall through the cracks. This is a message to encourage people to keep an eye out and try to be helpful where you can.

Recently, my wife was admitted to a National Health Service hospital with pneumonia. She’s also eight months pregnant, so it’s all a bit stressful, and we’re hoping the baby hasn’t been affected in any way by the pneumonia, or by its treatment. I visit her after work to take her a few items from home and to speak to her doctor. She’s going to be in for a few days, at least. We also discuss whether she should transfer to a private hospital, as we have private medical insurance.

By the time we decide on what’s happening, it’s nearly 9:00 pm, and I’ve not eaten since midday. My wife sends me down to the cafeteria to get some dinner before they close. In the line behind me is a boy of no more than 11, wearing the uniform of a local primary school, who is doing the same thing. He chooses a cheap sandwich, and looks enviously at my jacket potato with chicken curry. I pay, and move to sit down, but hear behind me that the card the boy is trying to pay with has been declined. It’s at this point I notice there’s only one other table occupied in the cafeteria, by a group of off-duty nurses. This kid is on his own.

He reaches into his pocket to look for change. He has about fifteen pence. By the time he goes to find his parents and comes back, the cafeteria will be shut. Of course, I offer to pay. The poor kid is crying, trying to refuse. The lady running the cafeteria only cares about closing up. I ask if there’s any chance of a cheap jacket potato for the lad, as they’re only going to be thrown out anyway.

“The prices are up there,” she says, pointing at the menu board.

“Fine,” I say to the lady. I turn to the boy and ask, “Chicken curry, or beans and cheese?”

“Beans and cheese, I guess,” he mumbles, tears clearing.

Of course, he’s wary of strangers, as he should be, but I ask him to sit with me. I guess I’m feeling helpless, not being able to do anything for my wife and unborn child, so I’m trying to help in any way I can. After a few bites of potato and a gulp of soda, he tells me that his mum is in the hospital for a second night in a row. None of the family that were supposed to help look after him have turned up, so he’ll be sleeping in the chair by her bed again, and going to school in a dirty uniform again. And of course, he’s worried sick about his mum. This is ridiculous.

I go back with the boy to the ward his mother is on. She is worried, as she just sent him down to grab a sandwich, and he’s been gone about half an hour. I explain what happened, and she tries to pay me back, almost ripping her IV cannula out as she stretches around looking for her purse.

“No need, no need, please!” I protest. She eventually relents, and looks drained from the effort. I have no idea what’s wrong with her, and don’t want to ask. Given the ward she’s on, I doubt it’s life-threatening, but it doesn’t look like fun, in any case. I convince her to make social services aware of her son’s predicament, and ask the ward sister why they hadn’t done so already. They blame shift changes, foreign and new staff not knowing procedures etc.

Eventually, they contact the out-of-hours social services, who promise to send someone home with the boy to get a clean uniform, and to chase up the family for somewhere for him to stay. I tried calling to find out what happened, but of course they couldn’t discuss it with me. I hope it all worked out okay for them.

And in case you’re interested, yes, my wife and baby were fine. A beautiful girl, induced a few days later, and a few weeks early, but absolutely perfect.

Will Make You Want A Drink In The End

, , , , , , | Working | October 16, 2017

Me: “Hello. Could I have a [chicken burger] please? Just the burger.”

Cashier: “Would you like cheese?”

Me: “No, thanks. Just the plain burger.”

Cashier: “What drink would you like?”

Me: “No drink. Just the burger.”

Cashier: “You choose the drink from the machine there.”

Me: “I just want the burger.”

Cashier: “So, you want a bottle?”

Me: “No. Just the burger.”

Cashier: “Okay. That’s £6.30 please.”

Me: “The board says it’s £4.50.”

Cashier: “That’s for the burger on its own.”

Me: “That’s what I want. Just the burger.”

Cashier: “Just the burger?”

Me: “Yes.”

Cashier: “Do you want chips?”

Me: “No. Just the burger.”

Cashier: “Do you want a drink?”

Me: “Just the burger.”

Cashier: “Just the burger?”

Me: “Just the burger.”

Cashier: “That’s £4.50, then.”

Me: “Thank you very much.”

Early Morning Reality Check

, , , , , | Right | October 14, 2017

(I work in a call center. I have just started my shift around 8:00 am, and am sleep-deprived from a party the night before. A customer calls:)

Me: “[Company] mail order, [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Are… are you real?”

(For a second that feels like a thousand years, I don’t know. I’ve never felt actual existential dread before this and am having trouble coming up with an answer.)

Me: “I… I think so?”

(It turns out my greeting was so rehearsed the poor lady thought I was a machine.)

Too Lazy To Hide The Obvious

, , , , , , | Learning | October 13, 2017

At 22, I decide to go back to college and get some much-needed A-Levels, since I have none.

During the length of my course, we cover numerous topics, including one on politics and government. Perhaps because I am older and therefore more aware of the things that go on in the world, I tend to find this class rather easy.

Perhaps one of the best moments is when I and the laziest member of the class are asked to do presentation on a political party. It just so happens we get the BNP, which, for those unaware, is a very right wing party in the UK that is associated with very racist ideals. I do all my slides, and at about 9:00 pm before the deadline, my partner calls me to admit he hasn’t done any work. I don’t really panic; I just stick in a few slides to cover his work and figure he can sink or swim.

The next morning, we give our presentation, and my tutor calls it the best of the lot and praises the content and the delivery.

The next year, the lazy classmate is not invited back for the second part of the course, and I have a conversation with my tutor, who explains that the current group hasn’t done anything near as good. I own up and admit that the lazy classmate didn’t do anything, and that I did it all.

The tutor responded, “Oh, I knew as soon as you stood up that he hadn’t done anything; he never handed in a single piece of coursework. I knew it was all your work and that he was just reading the info on the slides. All the praise was meant for you, because, honestly, that guy wouldn’t scratch his own a*** if he thought he could get someone else to do it for him.”

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