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You Need Thick Skin At This Table

, , , , , | Friendly | May 3, 2019

(I’m at a banquet with my mom, seated next to a husband and wife my parents’ age that I know, but not very well. I’m a biology professor and I’m pretty sure they’re aware of that. I’m wearing a sleeveless dress and I have a large mole that my dermatologist is not concerned about, so I haven’t had it removed.)

Woman: “Oh, you need to get that taken care of.”

Me: “What?”

Woman: “That mole. That’s cancer.”

Me: “No, actually, it’s okay. My dermatologist says it’s fine. I could have it removed if it bothers me, but I haven’t gotten around to it.”

Woman: “Nope, that’s cancer.”

Man: “You know, our daughter’s husband had a mole just like that. He didn’t even know it was there! It was on his back. Our daughter didn’t even notice it! But one day he got out of the shower and she said, ‘Hey, what’s that?’ And he got it checked. And you know what? The doctor sat down and said, ‘You have six months to live.’ It looked just like yours.”

Me: “No, really, I’ve had it looked at; it’s not cancerous.”

Woman: “You probably have six months to live, too.”

Man: “When the doctor finally looked at it, it had met… med… What’s the word? When it spreads?”

Me: “Metastasized?”

Man: “Yeah, that. He was a goner. It was everywhere. Lungs, brain. Everywhere.”

Me: “Yeah, skin cancer’s weird like that; it has its places it goes.”

Woman: “Do you know about cancer?”

Me: “Um, a little? We just covered it in my intro cell bio class last week. I use breast cancer as an example.”

Woman: “Are you going to apply to med school?”

Me: *completely taken aback* “No? I mean, I thought about it years ago, after I started my PhD, because it would have made more financial sense to get an MD/PhD at the time, but those programs are hard to get into. And really, I didn’t want to pursue an MD; I wanted a PhD.”

Woman: “But think of all you could do! You should apply to med school.”

Me: “No, really, I’m happy with my PhD. I like my job.”

Woman: “You should apply to med school.”

Me: *later, to my mom* “Why did you make me sit next to them?!”

(For the record, I was probably going to get that mole removed next summer, but now I don’t want to, just out of spite!)

This story is part of our Mole Day roundup!

Read the next story in this roundup!

Read the Mole Day roundup!

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An Emotional Victory

, , , , | Friendly | December 25, 2018

(I am at a chess tournament. My friend is the defending champion and has made it to the finals. After a hard-fought match, he is checkmated by his opponent.)

Opponent: “CHECKMATE! I beat the champion!”

Friend: “Well-played! Congratulations!”

Opponent: “In your face, loser! In! Your! Face!

Friend: “Um, dude, not cool.”

Opponent: “What’s the matter? Poor baby gonna cry? Waaaa! Waaaa!”

Tournament Official: “No, he’s not, but if you don’t stop, you won’t like the results.”

Opponent: *ignoring the official* “WAAAAA! WAAAAA! Loser, loser, you’re a worthless loser!”

Tournament Official: “[Opponent], for your poor display of sportsmanship, you have been disqualified from the tournament!”

Opponent: “WHAT?! That’s not fair! I’m the champion!”

Friend: “If you really were a champion, you’d know that a true champion doesn’t humiliate their opponent.”


(The official called over security, and the rowdy player was escorted out of the building. As they were dragging him out, he was screaming and threatening to sue. He was banned from the tournament for life. Incredibly, the moron made good on his threat of a lawsuit, but unsurprisingly, given the large number of witnesses who testified against him, he lost and is now banned from every chess tournament in the state, as a result. As for my friend, who remained calm throughout the whole ordeal, he was declared this year’s champion by default. However, he refused the title, saying that it would be better to not have a champion this year than to have one that didn’t earn it.)

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Trying To Lift Yourself Above The Customer Complaints

, , , , | Right | November 18, 2018

(I am working the bar for a ‘Family and Friends of RAAF Veterans’ function where the family and friends of Air Force veterans are invited to a free lunch, with free drinks, paid for by taxpayer money. Most aren’t veterans themselves, and the veterans are generally very lovely, but those who aren’t veterans — who are receiving free food and drinks — are always needy, greedy and demanding. I spot a man wandering around in the lounge area outside of the function room, obviously looking for something. I approach and ask if he needs help:)

Me: “Hi there, sir. Are you looking for anything in particular?”

Guest: “I need a lift!”

(We have a chauffeur car for patrons who wish to be picked up and dropped off from the club.)

Me: “Are you after the chauffeur car, sir?”

Guest: “NO! I need to find a lift!”

Me: “Ah, a lift. We—”

Guest: “Yes! A lift! Where’s the lift?!”

Me: “As I was saying, we have several lifts in the club due to having many different areas and split levels. May I ask which part of the club you need to head to?”

Guest: “I’m heading to the lift! I need the lift! This woman is sick and she needs the lift to go home!”

Me: “Ah. Well if someone is driving her we can bring the car around to this entrance–” *gestures to his left* “–so she doesn’t need to walk so far.”

Guest: “I’ll do that. Where’s the lift?”

Me: “Where did you park your car? We have several car parks and a couple of different lifts lead to different car parks.”

Guest: “I parked it out back.”

Me: “So, you parked in the car park here?” *gestures to rear car park* “If that’s the case, you just need to head out the doors here.”

Guest: “No! I said I parked out back! In the big car park!”

Me: “Oh, you parked out front? Did you come in through the big reception with the escalators? That’s the front.”

Guest: “Yes! And we came through a lift! Where’s the lift?!”

Me: “Okay, now I get it. Follow me, sir; it’s just around here. See the signs that say ‘Reception’?”

Guest: “Thanks. Finally. You know you could explain yourself better.”

(As I’m directing the gentleman, a woman,whose husband was one of the dead veterans displayed in a memorial presentation at the lunch, walks up to me:)

Woman: “This lunch was disgusting. I’m never coming back here again.”

Me: “Oh, no, I’m so sorry. What seems to be the problem?”

Woman: “I didn’t get the food I wanted.”

Me: “Well, at our events, like all large events I’ve ever been to, they place the meals in a rotation. You got the beef, but the people either side of you got the turkey, and the next person got beef and so on. You could have swapped with the person either side of you, or at another place on the table.”

Woman: “But I wanted turkey. You should have made sure I was getting turkey.”

Me: “Well, I was pouring drinks at the time. But you could have swapped with anyone at your table.”

Woman: “My husband died in the war, and you can’t even get my meal right.”

Guest: *who had been impatiently listening and huffing* “Your husband died in the war and all you can complain about is your FREE lunch being paid for by HIS—” *points to me* “—taxes. F*** off… and take me to the car for f***’s sake!”

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Turn That Brown Upside-Down

, , , , | Related | July 23, 2018

(I am eight and at a work event with my mom. It is important to note that one of my mother’s coworkers and her kids are black.)

Me: “Mom, look! The Brown kids are here!”

Mom: “[My Name]!”

Me: “What? That’s their last name, right?”

Mom: “Oh. Yes it is.”

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Pushing You Out Of That Job

, , , , | Working | June 19, 2018

(I have just been hired to go to events where there are a lot of people, and advertise our company. My boss is in her 20s, and shows up wearing yoga pants, Uggs, a thin shirt threatening to burst, and a lot of tacky jewelry. Meanwhile, I’m dressed in the uniform. I decide to shrug it off — after all, she is the boss — and start my job.)

Me: *to event goers* “Hello! Would you like to try some of our food?!”

(I’m yelling because the convention is very noisy.)

Boss: *gasps* “Oh, my God! Are you shy?!

Me: “Um, what?”

Boss: “You have to do it like this!”

(She walks up directly to a male event-goer.)


(Everybody looks around.)

Event-Goer: “I, uh, no thanks.” *tries to step around her*

Boss: *blocking his way with her body* “COME ON! IT’S FREE!”

(I see the man shaking his head no, but my boss refuses to let him through; he’d have to push her. It’s a cringeworthy scene. Reluctantly, he comes over and scoots away once he takes some food like he’s afraid of catching a plague.)

Boss: “And that’s how you do it!”

Me: “Making people looking for a good time uncomfortable? Sorry, I don’t think this job is for me.”

Boss: “Yeah, you’re too shy.”

(I think the word she was looking for was “polite,” but whatever.)

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