Her Son Trends Against The Curve

, , , , , , | Right | June 6, 2017

(A customer comes in to clean out and sign paperwork for a vehicle in her name. The car is totalled, as it had run head-first into a tree and sustained more repair costs than the car itself is worth. My coworker comes up from the accounting area of the offices with the forms and they stand by my receptionist desk to get everything done.)

Car Owner: “I can’t believe my stupid son wrecked this so badly!”

(She keeps referring to him as her “stupid son” or “stupid boy” but not meanly — it’s more like she loves him but can’t believe what he did. My coworker just ignores it in favor of taking care of business, but she finally smiles and shakes her head.)

Coworker: “I’m sure he’s not that bad.”

Customer: “Do you know what he told me? ‘I didn’t know the road curved, Ma.'”

Coworker: “Oh, well… I guess you have a point!”

Frozen Yoghurt For Warm Hearts

, , , , , | Hopeless | June 5, 2017

(I work at a small self-serve frozen yogurt store. One night, a man and his young daughter come in, the daughter clearly excited about getting frozen yogurt. I chat with them, help them out, and everything goes fine until it’s time to pay. He reaches into his wallet to pay, and pulls out a $100 bill. Because $100 bills are so easily faked and because we have so little in our change drawers, our store policy won’t let me accept it.)

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t accept a $100 bill, sir; it’s against our store policy. Do you have another method of payment, like a credit card?”

Customer: “No, this is all I have. Are you sure that you can’t take it?”

(He shows me the entire wallet, which, true to his word, only has $100 bills. By this point, from his accent and the contents of his wallet, it’s clear to me that he and his daughter are foreign tourists out for a late night treat, and as she has been so excited, I don’t have the heart to make her give the yogurt back.)

Me: “In that case, I’ll just let you have the yogurt for free.”

Customer: “Oh! Thank you — but I’ll come back to pay you. I’ll go to the bank and get smaller bills.”

Me: “You don’t have to do that; it’s all right. Have a good night!”

Customer: “No, no, no. I will come back!”

(The two of them start to head out with their yogurt.)

Customer’s Daughter: “Where are we going, Daddy?”

Customer: “To the bank, so that I can pay the lady. Go ahead and eat your yogurt.”

(They leave, and I leave the check open and go back to tending to the store. About fifteen minutes later, I notice a truck pull up in front of the store, and to my surprise, it’s that customer and his daughter!)

Me: “Hello, I see that you are back!”

Customer: “Yes, I went to the bank to get money you can take. Here you are!”

Me: “Oh, thank you!”

(He hands me a $20 to pay. Since I’d left the check open, I was able to give him change and hand it to him.)

Customer: “They closed the exit to here so I had to drive all the way around to the other exit — but I was going to get you your money!”

Me: “Thank you very much for coming back, sir. A lot of people wouldn’t have bothered.”

Customer: “No, thank you for letting us take the yogurt. Have a good night!”

(That girl is lucky to have such a great father!)

Oh What Fools These Mortals Be

, , , , , , | Right | June 5, 2017

(I am browsing through a book shop when I see a boy run up to his dad clutching a book. From where I am I can see it is a complete collection of Shakespeare.)

Boy: “Dad! I found it!”

(The dad takes the books and looks at it.)

Dad: “Put it back. You just need one of the plays for school.”

Boy: “But it’s on offer; it’s the same price as Macbeth but it’s all of them, see?”

Dad: “It’s a waste of money. You shouldn’t buy collections. They’re just a way to get more money from you.”

Boy: “But it’s the same price as just the one–”

Dad: “Shakespeare will just release another book, and they’ll all have different covers and you’ll have to buy the new complete collection. Just buy the one you need.”

Boy: “But Dad, I really want this one.”

(When the two continue to argue, a member of staff who had previously been putting books on a display walks over.)

Staff Member: “Excuse me, sir. I couldn’t help but overhear. The collection is an excellent bargain; it’s half price today. And I can assure you there will be no other plays by William Shakespeare because he’s dead.”

Dad: “Of course you’d say that. You want us to spend more money.”

Staff Member: “It’s the same price as a book with just one of his plays in it and like I said, there is no chance of there being another Shakespeare play, or anything else by him for that matter.”

Dad: “Look, I know Shakespeare isn’t a real person. He’s like a mascot to get people to go see plays and make people think it’s good.”

(At this point I have to hide around the corner because I start laughing. I find what I am looking for and head for the register. As I get there, the dad and his son are being served. It looks like the dad has agreed to buy the collection but is still arguing because when I come within earshot of the registers I hear the cashier say:)

Cashier: “I’ll tell you what, sir. If William Shakespeare ever publishes anything else, I will refund you the full price of the book and give you £100 from my own pocket.”

(The dad walked away looking smug while the son kept his eyes to the ground, looking very embarrassed.)

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Will Just Ask Tampon-And-On-And-On…

, , , | Right | May 29, 2017

(A woman and her family come into the shop and she is purchasing tampons, pads, and condoms, plus bubble tape for the kids.)

Eldest: *seven at most* “Hey, what are those?” *points to box of tampons*

(The mom and I make eye-contact and almost start laughing.)

Mom: “Um, they are for mommies.”

Eldest: “But what are they for? What do they do?”

Mom: “They’re for mommies. Go outside to your dad.”

(The kid leaves and goes outside.)

Me: “At least he didn’t see the condoms.”

Mom: “Oh, god, yeah. ‘What are those for, mommy?’ For not having anymore of you!”

The Importance Of Life-Saving Sandwiches

, | AZ, USA | Hopeless | April 27, 2017

I work at a large mine in an isolated area. As a member of our Technical Rescue Team, I have been called many times to assist the local sheriff’s Search and Rescue.

One day in late May, when wildfires less than 20 miles away are suffusing the air with smoke, we receive a page to proceed to a canyon near the state line. This canyon has a highway carved into a steep rock wall, with the debris pushed down into the chasm. In the past, our team had been called to the area to remove the remains of drivers who crashed through the guardrails, so we are ready for the worst.

When we arrive, the SO officers tell us a father and his three sons have “hiked” to the bottom of the canyon and are stranded. They actually scrambled down approximately 600 feet of broken rock, and then found that climbing back up was impossible. It is after 5:00 pm when we arrive.

By the time we manage to get rescuers to the bottom and formulate an extraction plan, darkness has set in. I am the first down, making contact and bringing water and flashlights. Other team members follow close behind, and we move the group (father with sons 6, 7, and 9 years old) to the raise point. One of the team members brought a backpack with sandwiches, granola bars, and water. The boys agree to wait for the sandwiches until we reach the top and gobble up the granola bars (I’ll admit, the one I had was the best ever).

The trip back up the fractured rock pile takes nearly two hours, most of the time at least partially suspended on the main-line rope. There are several small incidents (lost cell phones and tennis shoes, rolling rocks, etc.) on the way up, but topping out and disconnecting was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. The family is rushed to a waiting ambulance for evaluation, and my team leader and incident commander examine the other rescuers and me carefully before allowing us to stow our gear and get ready to leave.

I remembered that I had the sunglasses of one of the children in my pack, so I went to the back of the ambulance and opened the door to return them. That’s when the youngest asked, in one of the smallest, most plaintive voices I’ve ever heard, “But what about our sandwiches?”

When we drove away into the dawn, the father and three boys were standing in front of the ambulance eating sandwiches.

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