Souls… Twenty-One Souls

, , , | Right | July 31, 2020

I work at a museum and we have a ride that you can pay extra for. A man walks up to my coworker at the ticketing desk with three young boys.

Guest: “Can we do the ride?”

Coworker: “Sure! You can buy tickets from me right here. So, is it just three children or are you riding, as well?”

Guest: “Just the three kids.”

Coworker: “All right.”

My coworker punches the order into the computer.

Coworker: “Looks like your total is twenty-one.”

Guest: “Twenty-one what?”

Coworker: *blinks* “Dollars?”

The guest left.

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Would Be Totally Destroyed In The Roman Forum

, , , , , | Right | July 30, 2020

I’m doing guided tours in the historical centre of Rome, leading a tour group out of the Imperial Fora and bringing them to the Colosseum. [Tourist #1] from the group approaches me.

Tourist #1: *In English* “By the way, I was wondering, did the Romans ever ask to fix up the ruins?”

Me: “Not really, no, most of Rome’s citizens think they’re better that way.”

Tourist #1: “I mean, I suppose so, but isn’t there a representative body around to protect their interests?”

Me: *Confused* “What do you mean, exactly? The city of Rome has a lot of mayorships in it, but there’s not really one standing one above the other.”

Tourist #1: “So, I guess that you just kind of keep Romans in reservations like First Nations, then? Because that’s what it looks like.”

Me: “First Nations?”

Tourist #2: “[Tourist #1], cut it out, the Romans don’t exist anymore; they can’t be represented in the city body.”

Tourist #1: “Ah, I suppose they all died in the Holocaust, [My Name]? Because I’ve read that ‘Romas’ died in it…”

I bit my tongue and ignored the question, getting to the explanation of the Colosseum. [Tourist #2] did try to offer me a pastry as an apology, but I declined.

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Yet Another Spectacularly Organized American Institution

, , , , , , | Working | July 30, 2020

After being laid off from my job after nineteen years of working for the same company, I found myself bewildered, confused, and completely scared that my regular income was being cut off.

So, taking the time I would have spent working, I made sure to do all the steps you’re supposed to when you lose a job suddenly, including filing for unemployment.

In my state/country, unemployment tax is taken from your paycheck. I’m in my late forties and have never applied for unemployment, so in my eyes, I’m due some back, right?

I read all the rules and even did an online chat with the state’s unemployment department to make sure I was doing everything right. I filled out all their paperwork and soon began receiving my unemployment, which was maybe half of the pay I had been receiving but was better than nothing.

Everything was fine for two months while I got an updated resume and began searching for a new position. Then, I started getting letters in the mail threatening to cut off my unemployment benefit payments and perhaps make me pay back what they’d already given me because they had received information from somewhere — they wouldn’t tell me where — that I was receiving a pension.

Nope. I never signed up for one, so I didn’t have one. I told them.

Then, I received another letter saying they knew I had a pension, and unless I gave them the information about this pension, blah, blah, blah.

I told them again that nope, I didn’t have one.

Then, I got the letter saying my payments were being stopped because I couldn’t prove I didn’t have a pension — the old proving a negative argument.

If I disagreed, I could have a formal hearing. So, I said yes.

Six weeks later, I still haven’t received any payment and I am in the hearing.

The hearing officer is going over all the information they have, marking this page as an exhibit, that page as an exhibit, and so on and so forth.

I remain quiet as this is a legal hearing and, having seen their exhibits, I have a simple answer for her.

When it’s my turn to speak on my behalf, I say simply, “That exhibit you said you sent me? I never received it.”

It was a letter that, according to her, I would have simply check-marked that I never signed up for a pension and do not receive one, and they would have been satisfied.

She seems to be completely flummoxed and begins giving all sorts of excuses as to why and how every other communication reached me but this one crucial piece of paper, while I silently stew.

She wraps up the hearing with a good, old-fashioned, “Well, I’ll make my decision by the end of the week.”

You do that, sweetie, I think, but instead of giving vent to my months-long frustration, I shake her hand and leave. It still takes a few weeks for them to get my past-due benefits to me, which amounts to several thousand dollars.

Note that all this happened around the holidays, a time when people generally need every dollar they can get their hands on.

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Like Looking For An Aqua In The Ocean

, , , | Right | July 30, 2020

Me: “Thank you for calling [Drug Store]; how may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. I was wondering if you had a medication. I forget what it is called but it is aqua-something.”

Me: “Do you know what kind of medication it is?”

Customer: “When you are sniffling or something. Look it’s called aqua-something and you are a drug store. Don’t you have it?”

I happen to watch a lot of television and I remember a commercial for a new product that just came out.

Me: “Did this product have a commercial with a dolphin in it?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “All right. I believe that what you are looking for is called [Medication] and it is an allergy medication.”

Customer: “Well, that’s basically what I said. I don’t know why you had to ask that question about the dolphin and waste my time. Do you have it in stock?”

Me: “Yes, we do.”

She later came into the store and asked a coworker about a product called aqua-something. My coworker had no idea what she was talking about and I came over to show her. As she was leaving, I heard her complain about how difficult we were making it for her to purchase this product.

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PIN-Headed, Part 12

, , , , , | Right | July 30, 2020

I am working at the checkout. I finish scanning a customer’s stuff.

Me: “Your total is £12.34.”

Customer: “Wow, that’s my PIN number!”

Pause.

Customer: “Oops.”

Related:
PIN-Headed, Part 11
PIN-Headed, Part 10
PIN-Headed, Part 9
PIN-Headed, Part 8
PIN-Headed, Part 7

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