The Memory Of A Goldfish Game

| Long Beach, NY, USA | Bizarre, Popular

(I am the customer in this one. I have gone to a weekend fair to get zeppolis for the family, and decide to walk back to the games to take a look around. I am the only non-worker there. I am wearing a Yankees hat and a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ T-shirt.)

Red Star Game Guy: “Hey, you want to give it a try?”

Me: “No thanks, I’m good.”

Darts And Balloons Game Guy: “Hey, every play’s a winner!”

Me: “No thanks, I’m good.”

Basketball Game Guy: “Hey, you look like you could do—”

Me: “No thanks, I’m fine.”

Baseball Game Guy: “Hey, Yankee hat, wanna giv—”

Me: “No thanks, I’m fine.”

Goldfish Bowl Game Girl: “Hey, I like your pirates shirt!”

Me: “No thanks, I’m fine.”

Goldfish Bowl Game Girl: “I… said I liked your shirt.”

(Suffice to say, I immediately apologized… though I was laughed at by the goldfish girl and the nearby Squirt Gun game girl.)


Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 11

| Oakland, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body

(I overhear this exchange as I’m setting up my booth at a small craft fair that occurs monthly. An older woman approaches the artist, who is pregnant but not yet showing, in the booth next to me.)

Customer: “Do you have any more of those adorable t-shirts? I remember you had them last month at the holiday fair.”

Artist: “No, I’m afraid I don’t. I’m not doing any silk screening; I’m pregnant so I’m avoiding the chemicals.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s such a shame. Will you have the shirts next month?”

Artist: “…”

Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 10
Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 9
Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 8

Allergic To Common Sense, Part 8

| IN, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

(Two summers ago I worked as an intern for the state fair. Part of my job was to register students for a pre-veterinary day camp in partnership with a state university. The campers talk to veterinarians & vet students, practice sutures, watch a surgery, etc. A mother calls to register her middle-school aged daughter. It goes normally until this point:)

Mother: “Will my daughter interact with any live animals? Like dogs or cats?”

Me: “Actually she won’t, although she’ll have the opportunity to watch a surgery through glass. I’m sorry if that’s disappointing!”

Mother: “Oh, no, I’m so glad! My daughter is very allergic to dogs and cats! She can’t stand to be around them!”

(The mother goes on to tell me what a great opportunity this & how much her daughter wants to be a veterinarian. I didn’t have the heart to point out this probably isn’t the career field for her…)

Allergic To Common Sense, Part 7
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 6
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 5

Sweet Holiday Bonus

, | Singapore | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I’ve just finished junior college, and a couple of friends and I get temp jobs as sales staff manning a small patisserie’s stall at a Christmas food fair. Everything they sell is made by hand by the co-owner’s mother and absolutely delicious. I’m rushing about the stall as usual, on my own. A customer gives me the usual ‘just looking’ brush-off and so I step back to leave them to it when two hands grab me about the arms. I jump and turn; behind me there is a tall, positively Amazonian lady. She’s in yoga pants and a tank top and flip flops, but she is unmistakably well-groomed.)

Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am.”

Customer: “I’d just gotten my nails done and it would have spoiled my pedicure.”

(I thought I was in for a world of pain; but we both look down and admire her nails for a bit and the conversation turns to the wares. I offer her samples and give my spiel, and we chat while her husband, an older long-haired man just as casually dressed, stands around staring into space, occasionally munching the samples when offered. In the end she leaves with four massive shopping bags filled to the brim with cookies, gift boxes, and various other seasonal confectioneries. It is the largest sale I’ve ever made (not that I get a commission, but I am awed just keying that amount of money into my till as it was more money than I’ve ever seen in one place. They leave as my boss approaches, and they greet each other, chat for a bit, and move off. He comes to me.)

Boss: “Do you know who they are?”

Me: “Um… no?”

Boss: “He owns [Large Business] and she’s the lady boss of [Car Dealership that is the exclusive distributor of a particular luxury car brand]. They’re very impressed with your service. She told me to pay you more.”

(I’m stunned and it takes a while before it sinks in. On the last day of the fair our boss comes with our paychecks and pulls me aside to give me mine.)

Boss: “Don’t show the others your pay-slip. You got more than them.”

Me: “They know I put in more hours and overtime.”

Boss: “No, your bonus is a higher percentage than theirs and it’s reflected there. [Customer] and [Husband] made sure to remind me, and [Hidden Partner] posed as a customer yesterday and he was really impressed with you, too.”

(This was seven years ago, but as an awkward and really quite off-kilter seventeen year old, being told that my hard work paid was an insane boost to my self esteem. I still look for the stall every year at that food fair and make sure to say hi and buy something.)

Crime Has Reached A Tipping Point

, | YK, Canada | Criminal & Illegal, Extra Stupid, Money

(I’m at a local fair selling my arts and crafts. One of the things I do is make pins on the spot for people, and I have a sample of each pin design on display on a board. They’re very popular with kids as they’re only $2 each, so there are a few kids at the table. Most are pretty young, but this one was about 10.)

Older Kid: “Can I have a pin of [design]?”

Me: “Sure! $2 please!”

Older Kid: *puts a $5 bill on the table*

Me: “Okay, just one second. Let me just make it for you!”

(I make the pin, and then hand it to the kid and pick up the $5.)

Me: “Here you go, kiddo! Let me just get you your change!”

Older Kid: “Thanks!” *he looks at the board, then suddenly grabs a display pin and RUNS from the table*

Husband: *sitting next to me* “… Did he just steal a pin?”

Me: *holds up the $5 bill* “Looks more like he tipped us!”

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