An Animal Lover And A Hugger

, , , , , | Related | August 8, 2017

(I work as a ticket collector for a public farm. They have a play area for children, with tons of attractions like a corn maze and bouncy castles, and of course, farm animals. The animals are caged in so they can’t injure the guests or vice versa. A teenager and their father comes up to the ticket booth. The father doesn’t seem to speak English well.)

Dad: “Can… Can you… hug the chickens?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, could you please repeat that?”

Teen: *cuts in, embarrassed* “Can visitors interact with the farm animals?”

Me: “No, sorry. They’re behind a fence for the visitors’ safety.”

Teen: “Oh.” *in Chinese to the dad* “I don’t want to go if I can’t hug the chickens.”

(We have two pet chickens in the entire farm. There are petting zoos for a reason.)

Blueberry Fields, For Never

, | Woodbine, MD, USA | Right | July 10, 2017

(I used to work at a pick-your-own fruit farm. People arrive, pick and pay by the pound. Occasionally, we let groups reserve a section of field for private picking, but we have to reserve them weeks in advance so we can rope off a section of field and let it grow to good picking condition.)

Caller: “Hi, I’m bringing a pre-school class to pick blueberries.”

(Blueberries are very popular, and we’ll often be out for several days at a time after a busy weekend.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we are completely out of ripe blueberries. We just had a very busy weekend, so we’re pretty low on pickable produce.”

Caller: “Come on, now, don’t you guys do special tours of the fields? I want to reserve a section of field for the kids.”

Me: “Yes, we do group picking sessions, but this is contingent on us having fruit to pick.”

Caller: “How can you guys offer tours on your website and then run out of fruit? That’s not good business!”

Me: “We also place our picking conditions for the day on the site, and today it reads that blueberries are closed today. It also states on our website that we need to place these reservations at least three weeks in advance so we can rope off a section of field that has fruit in it. I’m sorry, ma’am.”

Caller: “Well, we’re coming down, so you better have that blueberry field ready for us.”

Me: “As I said before, we do not have any blueberries to—”

Caller: *click*

(At this point I inform my manager that a pre-school is arriving expecting to pick blueberries. About an hour later, a school bus filled with kids and parents arrives and stops in the middle of our parking lot. A lady gets out and strides up.)

Caller: “Okay, which field is the blueberries? We’ll just drive over to it.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we do not have any blueberries available to pick. The only thing we have available to pick to day is beets.”


Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am, that’s the only product we have available for pick-your-own today.”

(We also have a barn where we sell some of the produce. Most of the fruit is grown on the farm and picked by the employees, but blueberrries are hard to grow in Maryland, so to maximize the amount of fruit for our picking customers, we import our store fruit from a nearby specialty farm. The caller sees our store fruit.)

Caller: “What about all these blueberries?! You’re holding out on us! You’ve got some secret field you won’t show us, don’t you?!”

Manager: “Those berries are brought in from outside, ma’am. I assure you, every last field of blueberries has been picked clean by other customers.”

Caller: “You’re lying! I’m not leaving till you show us the secret blueberry field!”

(She then proceeded, in front of a bus full of toddlers, to throw a temper tantrum, sitting down in in the gravel lot, kicking and screaming about our secret fruit. The manager decided to let her have her little kicking fit for about two minutes. It then started pouring down rain on this woman. She just stood there for about a minute, fuming, then got back in her bus and drove away. We stopped taking groups into the fields after that.)

Your Knowledge Of English Is Ballin’

| SD, USA | Working | March 6, 2017

(I own two horses, one of whom just turned a year old. He has been having some problems with his hoof so we had the vet out to look at it. The vet works with his wife, who is a very nice Asian lady who doesn’t have very good English. A couple months earlier we had the baby horse gelded, which is the horse equivalent of being neutered. This exchange happened while the vet’s wife and I are petting the year-old horse.)

Vet’s Wife: “What’s his name?”

Me: “[Horse].”


Me: *trying not to die of laughter*

Wasn’t Egg-specting That

| WI, USA | Related | November 6, 2016

(I live out in a fairly rural area, and thus keep a variety of animals for basic needs (cows for milk, chickens for eggs, etc.) so don’t have to drive several miles to the store for groceries all the time. On this particular day my boyfriend’s parents are coming over for dinner and, as a surprise, say they’ll be doing the cooking. Since this means my boyfriend and I have time to head out on one of our monthly treks for feed and supplies, we leave them to the kitchen duties, and come home to a nicely laid table and the scents of something very delicious in the air.)

Me: “Wow, smells like you two outdid yourselves!”

Boyfriend’s Mom: “Yep! Dig in!” [Boyfriend’s Father] is just washing his hands and cleaning up from butchering.”

Me: “Butchering?”

(I get a better look at the table, and notice the centerpiece a huge, steaming plate of roast chickens.)

Me: “That’s… wait… Where did you get the chickens from?”

Boyfriend’s Mom: “From your pen. Good timing, too! Those babies were all nice and plump and perfect!”

Me: *now horrified* “My… my pen!? Those are my chickens?”

Boyfriend’s Mom: “What are you shouting for? What’s the problem?”

Boyfriend: “Mom, those chickens were for our egg supply!”

Me: “They had names!”

Boyfriend’s Mom: “You assign names to your meat?”

(Needless to say, dinner ended up being cancelled and my boyfriend’s parents weren’t allowed to visit for a long time. They still have trouble understanding that there are other reasons for keeping animals than just to eat them.)

Mismanagement Misdirection

| QLD, Australia | Working | October 31, 2016

(I am doing some very seasonal work and the end of the season has come. I take the opportunity to follow a life-long dream and head to Northern Australia to Jackaroo on a cattle station. I end up on a family run property and do everything with the family, which wears a bit thin on me. Fairly early on Boss’s Daughter made the throwaway comment “The boss is always right” which irked me at the time. Boss, Boss’s Son and Regular Casual are working in the cattle yards. Boss is heading out there and I am to go with her to bring a truck back to the house. I travel this road daily as a part of my work on the place. Boss hadn’t been this way for over a week and Regular Casual had been over some of the roads with the grader.)

Me: “Um, [Boss Lady], you missed the turn off to the yards.”

Boss Lady: “No, I didn’t.”

Me: “[Regular Casual] ran over some of the roads with the grader the other day. This is the track out to [completely different paddock].”

Boss Lady: *standing on the brakes, face turned red with anger* “[My Name], I have lived here for 35 years! I know this place like the back of my hand, I know where I’m going, and I don’t need you to tell me how to get around my own home!”

Me: “Sorry.”

(She then continued driving for another two or three minutes and when she started to drive into scrub and found a gate she shouldn’t have she sheepishly turned around and took the turn off she should have in the first place. This sort of thing happened a number of times with various members of the family. Sometimes I got the win; sometimes I was berated for opening my mouth. I finished the traineeship I was on and left. I was glad I did it but their attitude stunk.)

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