Look At What You’re Doing, Because You Can

, , , , | Right | January 11, 2019

(A patron has asked to speak to me.)

Me: “Good afternoon, madam.”

Patron: *shouting* “Finally! This woman–” *points* “–has been staring at me all afternoon. I want her removed. It is so uncomfortable. It has ruined my entire day. I want our meal for free, and a coupon for–”

Me: *interrupting* “Madam, I can assure you that this lady is not ‘staring.’”

Patron: “Are you f****** blind? Look at her!”

Me: “No, madam, I am not blind. The woman you are accusing of staring, however, is blind, and therefore, I can guarantee with absolute certainty that she is not staring.”

(The patron sputtered and quickly asked for the bill while turning the colour of a tomato. After she paid she practically dragged her husband out. He offered a quick apology to the blind patron and her guest. The guest glared at the couple as they left.)

Justice At 40 MPH

, , , , , , | Legal | January 10, 2019

I am with my mum and she is driving. In front of us is another car; it’s a red thing that that looks like it has power — I know my cars. We get to a junction and we can see a van coming down the road, but is well off so the car in front turns onto that road. Mum pulls up and realises the van has sped up by a lot — it’s a 40-mph road — so she decides to stay put until the van flashes past, and then she pulls out. We see the van speed past the car and pull in front before slowing down to normal speed. We tut. We catch up with the van and car; the van is actually doing 30 mph, so it’s going under the speed limit, but the roads are very bendy so overtaking isn’t safe. Clearly, this is some jerk who couldn’t handle someone being in front of them. So we tut. Again.

The van then suddenly slams on the brakes. The car in front emergency stops, as do we, thus there is no accident. The van starts again and makes to continue on its way whilst I get Mum’s inhaler, as the stop has triggered her lung condition. Then I start to call the police on my mobile and mumbling expletives under my breath. Mum has put the hazards on cause she can’t breathe properly.

The car in front turns on its lights and siren; it’s an unmarked police car.

The van stops. Mum wheezes in what I presume is a laugh. I hang up the phone, giving Mum her inhaler. Two officers exit the red car. They first check on us and note the respiratory distress this caused Mum. Once they’ve confirmed she’s not going to drop dead, one makes their way to the van whilst I give our details should they be needed and Mum recovers her breath.

Once done, we continue on our way home, past the van driver and another officer. The driver’s expression is something I will think about whenever I’m down.

Older Mind Readers

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 9, 2019

(I’m the twin brother of the girl from “A Graphic Train of Thought” and “Their Reactions are Identical”. My sister missed two of my favourite stories, so here they are. The first: when we have a double period last thing on a Friday, our teacher lets us get a drink between the two periods. I ask my sister if she wants something, and she asks for tea. When I come back with her drink, this happens.)

Girl: “Oh, my God. How did you know she wanted tea?”

Me: “I asked her. Why? Did you want me to get you something?”

Girl: “No, I would’ve heard. Are you guys psychic?”

Me: “You’re kidding, right?”

Friend: “He did ask her, [Girl].”

Girl: “No, I would’ve heard. Look. Aren’t twins meant to be psychic? I mean, how else would you have known how she wanted her tea?”

Sister: “Because we’ve lived together our entire lives and I haven’t changed my drink order since we were twelve?”

(The second: we’re in the same GCSE class for chemistry and our teacher is a newbie. He’s calling out the names on the register and gets to our surname.)

Teacher: “[My Name] and [Sister], are you two related?”

Sister: “Yeah, we’re twins.”

Teacher: “Oh, that’s really cool! So, who was born first?”

Me: “Me, by ten-ish minutes.”

Teacher: “Let me guess; you’re the dominant one.”

Me: “Wait. What?”

Teacher: “You know, you’re more independent.”

Sister: “What?”

Teacher: “Oh, I’m not doubting your abilities, [Sister]. It’s just that he’s older.”

(He kept on pigeonholing us for the two years we had him. He insisted on seeing my sister as “the smart one” and me as “the athletic one,” even though we got very similar grades all through the year and my sister broke a school record in the javelin. Also, when our parents saw him at parents’ evening, he told them he admired my independence and my willingness to help my sister, despite my sister being the most independent person I know and her helping me out as much as I helped her. It really annoys me that people don’t see us as two separate, unique people sometimes, but at least we get funny stories out of it.)

Family’s Enough To Make You Sick

, , , , , , , | Related | January 9, 2019

My twin sister and I were at our much-older stepbrother’s birthday party along with our dad. The food consisted of a BBQ outside, which our stepbrother manned, and a buffet inside. It was excellent food, but that night my dad, my sister, and I had food poisoning, my sister getting the worst of it to the extent that she spent the night curled up on the bathroom floor in pain.

My dad called my stepbrother’s wife that morning and found out that everyone had had it, including our stepsister’s one-year-old and our stepbrother’s eighty-year-old father-in-law with dementia, who ended up in hospital. My stepbrother’s wife apologised profusely every time we saw her for the next six months, as she did all the cooking that could have spoiled, and clearly felt very guilty about it.

My sister was very curious to find out what caused it and worked out that no two people had eaten exactly the same thing apart from me and her, and yet we all had it. I assumed it was going to be one of those things we never found out, until the following birthday party a year later, when my stepbrother made a joke about how even the dog got sick, explaining that it had vomited on the morning of the party and he’d cleaned it up.

Everyone one by one remembered that he’d manned the BBQ, which we’d all eaten from. He suddenly looked very sheepish, and his wife was absolutely furious that he’d let her think she’d put her father in the hospital. I seriously don’t know how it didn’t occur to him that dog vomit and food weren’t a good mix and were the probable cause of the food poisoning.

Your Accent Doesn’t Change As Quickly As Their Attitude

, , , , , , | Right | January 8, 2019

(I am British, but I have a really odd combination accent because growing up, I lived in places with vastly different dialects — Essex, Hampshire, Norfolk, and I even spent several years living in America, so on top of all those, I have a slight American twang, too. I am very used to people asking where my accent is from. Most are polite and just mildly curious. I am working in a call centre, though, when the following exchange happens.)

Me: “Hi. You’re through to [My Name] at [Company]; how may I help you?”

Customer: “Oh, your accent. Where is this call centre?”

Me: “It’s in Hampshire. I have a mixed accent because I moved around a lot growing up.”

Customer: “Are you South African?”

(This is a common guess; many people I speak to ask this.)

Me: “No, sorry. I’m British; my accent is just a mixture.”

Customer: “You’re lying. Why would you lie about being South African?”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, I am not South African, but even if I was, it is irrelevant. Now, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I bet you’re foreign. Probably claiming benefits, stealing from taxpayers, and you’ve stolen that job from an honest British worker. You’re f****** scum, you know that? No wonder you won’t admit to being South African!”

Me: “Madam, this is your first warning and only warning. If you continue to use language like that, I will disconnect the call. However, if you will tell me what it is you are calling about, I will be happy to help you.”

Customer: “Oh, f*** off, you b****. I want to speak to a British agent, not some foreigner w***e like you!”

Me: “As previously advised, I am going to terminate the call. Have a nice day, madam.”

(I hang up the call and go and speak to my manager to inform her of the call, just in case. The customer did not even give me a name, so I cannot pull up an account to make a note on. However, as I am talking to my manager, one of my colleagues comes up and says she has a customer on the line demanding a manager, saying that some “foreign worker” called her names, was rude, and swore at her before calling her a b**** and hanging up. Evidently, the same customer called back as soon as I hung up. My manager looks at me and sighs.)

Manager: “Get back on the phones. Don’t worry; I’ll deal with this.”

(A few hours later, my manager asked me to come to her office. She informed me that she had listened to the call and found no issues with my conduct, and applauded me for my patience and tact with this particular customer. She then told me that she had informed the customer that she had listened to the call and found no indication that I had done any of what she’d claimed, but that, in fact, she had been the abusive one, and if she continued to do so, she would be barred from calling us. Then, the customer shouted abuse at her and she was forced to end the call. A few weeks later, we got a big complaint letter from this customer claiming that my manager and I had insulted her, called her several racial slurs, and called her a w***e. She demanded £100k as compensation. She never got it, but for months we kept getting letters. Each time she ramped up the story until eventually she was claiming that we’d made threats of violence against her, her family  — including claims that I, the “South African,” threatened to shoot them all — and that we threatened to add — in her exact words — a “£1000 b**** charge,” which I personally thought was hilarious. She also threatened to report us to the police, to tell the energy watchdogs about our “conduct’,” and to tell the papers about how our company hired and protected “South African terrorists.”)

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