Selfie Sick

| Germany | Friendly | January 4, 2017

(During a town festival our class is holding a bake sale to raise money for our graduation party. Occasionally, customers will ask for a sample before buying something, so we have a plate with a few bite size pieces ready. A man in his 60s comes along.)

Customer: “Oh, that cake looks delicious! Could I get a sample?”

Classmate: “Sure!”

(Before she can grab one, the customer pulls a fork out of his pocket and proceeds to unfold it, much like a telescope. The thing is almost a meter long. He then takes one of the samples with it. We all start laughing.)

Me: “Wow, that’s a pretty cool gadget! Where did you get something like that?”

Customer: “Oh, you can get this kind of stuff in dollar stores all the time! Here, look, I have some really fun things with me at all times. Never know when you might need it!”

(He then proceeds to pull increasingly ridiculous items out of his pockets, locking my classmate and me into a lengthy conversation. We don’t really mind, since it isn’t busy. He seems a little bizarre, but not overly creepy, until he whips out an angled mirror, extendable like the fork…)

Customer: “And this thing, you can use to look under pretty, young ladies’ skirts!”

My Classmate & Me: “…”

Customer: *winks and stretches across the table, as if to use the mirror as described*

(We both jumped back. Before we could say anything, he laughed and wandered off. And he didn’t even buy anything!)

Greek Shriek

| USA | Right | December 19, 2016

(I am 15. Like many Greek Orthodox churches, my church holds an annual Greek Festival where we sell Greek food and display Greek culture. It’s my first year working there, and my older sister has promised to help me. We are the only people working at the the dessert stand. Note: Greek is the language we speak at home, so it’s the language my sister and I communicate in.)

Sister: *in Greek* “Why don’t you take this one?” *points to approaching customer*

Me: *in English* “Hi, I’m [My Name]! How may I help you today?

Customer: “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?”

Me: “Yes, I do. What can I get for you today?”

Customer: “Good, I heard that other girl talking in that foreign muck and I was afraid you’d be too stupid to speak English too. Give me a dozen baklava.”

Me: *shocked* “Yes, ma’am. That’ll be [Price]. Just pay [Sister] after I load your box.”

(I start to load a styrofoam take-away box with baklava.)

Customer: “NO! I don’t want those. They’re too small. Give me the big pieces!”

(She points to galaktoboureko, a completely different dessert cut into bigger pieces than the baklava.)

Me: “I’m sorry, that’s galaktoboureko, a custard-based dessert, not baklava. If you’d like to try some I’d be happy to give you a sample—”

Customer: “Don’t you dare try to cheat me! I want the big pieces, you little foreign brat!”

Sister: *in Greek* “Just give her the galaktoboureko.”

Customer: “I know you’re insulting me in your language! Speak English like a normal person!”

(I nod and smile as I fill a new box up with galaktoboureko. She pays and walks away with a smug smile on her face.)

Me: *in Greek* “Do you think she’ll notice?”

(One hour later, the customer returns dragging the Festival Director behind her. She looks angry.)

Customer: “There! That’s the girl that cheated me! She gave me this squishy stuff instead of baklava! I demand my baklava and I want a refund!”

Festival Director: “[My Name], is this true? Did you give [Customer] the wrong dessert?”

Me: “Yes, but she asked for it. She said she wanted the big pieces, and I told her it was galaktoboureko and not baklava, but she accused me of cheating her, so I gave her what she wanted. Also, she called me a ‘little foreign brat.’”

Customer: “No! That’s a lie! She purposely tricked me, and the other girl insulted me in your language! You should really hire employees that are smart enough to speak English.”

Festival Director: “[Sister], did you insult her?” *in Greek* “I don’t blame you if you did.”

Customer: “YOU’RE DOING IT AGAIN! STOP INSULTING ME, YOU B*****S! I WANT MY FREE BAKLAVA!”

(She throws her galaktoboureko box to the ground and starts stomping on it, then moves aggressively towards my sister.)

Festival Director: “Ma’am, I’m going to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “FINE! I’LL JUST MAKE MY OWN BAKLAVA AND IT WILL BE BETTER THAN YOUR S***!”

(She storms out and security confirms that she’s left the premises.)

Sister: *in Greek* “I swear to you nothing like that has ever happened before.”

(The next year I worked in the kitchen and I liked it much better. People still talk about “crazy baklava lady.”)

Must Work For The Umbrella Corporation

| Annapolis, MD, USA | Friendly | November 13, 2016

(My two friends and I are at a Renaissance fair and it’s raining. At the beginning of the day, one of them gives me a very large umbrella, big enough to fit three people under, to borrow for the duration. Around lunch, I decide I want a pulled turkey sandwich and my other friend and I go to purchase the food, taking the umbrella with us. There’s a group of four standing by the counter, staring at us as I order my sandwich, but I don’t think much of it. Immediately after ordering the food, one of the men darts over and starts to TAKE THE UMBRELLA OUT OF MY HANDS.)

Man: “Can I borrow this? You’re under the overhang so you don’t need it.”

Me: *caught off guard and a bit freaked out* “Uh, I’m sorry?!”

(I try to back away, but he continues to hold onto the umbrella.)

Man: *aggressively* “Come on, we’ll be standing right there!” *he gestures towards his group while maintaining a grip on the umbrella*

Me: *finally managing to pull the umbrella away and take a step back* “I’m sorry, this umbrella’s not mine; it’s a friend’s…”

(My friend and I left the safety of the overhang and stood out in the rain to get away from the man and his group, who glared at us until my sandwich was ready and we could leave. Dude, maybe next time you should ASK before you try to borrow something from a complete stranger?)

A Different Kind Of Blonde Joke

| Hampshire, England, UK | Friendly | November 1, 2016

(I have a very good friend. We’re both “alternative” and regularly dye our hair unusual colours, and both acknowledge that we only ever go blonde as the first step — although it’s been a while for me, as I’ve been growing my hair out and I wanted to give it a break. I’ve been thinking about doing a partial dye and am talking to her about it to get feedback, after asking for specific dyes that she’s found come out well. I’m a guy, and my hair is just long enough at this point to tie back.)

Me: “So what I was thinking was a strip on the top—” *I gesture* “—similar to when you have an undercut, except narrower.”

Friend: “Oh. Oh, no, I don’t think you should do that.”

Me: *disheartened, as I really miss dying my hair but don’t want to do my full head* “Oh. Well, that sucks. Oh, well.”

Friend: “Yeah, it’d look really weird from a distance; like you’ve got a bald strip on top of your head.”

Me: “Uh… What?”

Friend: “Yeah; with the rest of your hair being so dark, having a blonde patch would just look weird, I think.”

Me: *I start laughing, completely confused at how she arrived at this conclusion* “I’m not going to STAY blonde!”

Friend: “You’re not?”

Me: “No! Can you see me, going blonde? I’d look awful!”

Friend: “Oh! I thought you were just going to bleach it!”

Me: “Why would you think that? I’ve never gone blonde. That’s why I wanted to know what dyes you used last time.”

Friend: “Oh… OH!” *now she starts laughing too* “That makes sense! I was thinking that it was weird you’d go blonde…”

Me: “That’s like the people who see your after-bleaching pictures on Facebook and think that’s the colour you’re staying!”

Friend: “Haha, yeah.”

Me: “So, dying the top of my head?”

Friend: “Should look great!”

(It does. I’m very happy with it, my head is happier, and I think I’m going to stick to dying it like this from now on!)

Thinks LGBT Stands For Little Girls Barely Teens

| Louisville, KY, USA | Romantic | October 1, 2016

(I’ve just traveled with a group from my college to an LGBT+ pride festival to represent our school’s LGBT+ resource center. We are taking turns running the booth and talking to people approaching the table. At this point, the guy running the table with me is busy helping someone else while another man who looks to be at least twice my age approaches. I am a 20 year old female.)

Me: “Hello!”

Man: *mumbles*

Me: “I’m sorry, what was that?”

(This continues for a while, the man mumbling and me trying to ask him to speak up.)

Man: “I SAID YOU’RE VERY PRETTY!”

Me: “Oh, well, thank you! We’re here representing [School] and this is what we do.”

(I give my spiel about what we offer, and the entire time he watches me unblinkingly. I start getting uncomfortable.)

Me: *after an awkward pause* “Well, if you’re interested in hearing about future events, you can sign up on our emailing list.”

(I try to direct his attention to the clipboard, but he continues staring at me.)

Man: “You’re very cute.”

Me: “Um, thanks.”

Man: “You’re really sexy. Do you know that?”

(At this point, I’m completely uncomfortable and I awkwardly try to ignore him, hoping he gets the hint and moves on.)

Man: “Where can I get a drink around here? I want to buy you a beer.”

Me: “Um, you can’t. I’m underage.”

Man: “Seriously, I’ll buy you one.”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Man: “You want anything then? Do you want candy?”

Me: “No. I don’t want anything. If you don’t mind, other people would like to see our booth.”

(He finally leaves. I kept my eye out for him the rest of the time I’m there, until we finally get a break from people approaching our booth. I tell my friend what happened.)

Friend: *with a baffled expression* “Um, does he even know where he is right now?”

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