An Extra Flirt Of Lemon

| Seattle, WA, USA | Working | October 11, 2013

Boyfriend: “Hi, I would like two lemonades and a bag of kettle corn.”

Food Stand Attendant: “$17.50.”

(My boyfriend pays. While they are getting our lemonades ready, he runs to the restroom. I have been standing there holding the lemonades for a while at this point.)

Me: “Excuse me; can I please get my kettle corn?”

Food Stand Attendant: “That’ll be $6.”

Me: “Oh no, I am sorry; my boyfriend just paid for it. He’s in the restroom; we just never got it.”

Food Stand Attendant: “Whatever, that’ll be $6.”

Me: “But I just paid for it; you never gave it to me!”

Food Stand Attendant: “No you didn’t; you bought the lemonades. That was it.”

Me: “Two lemonades for $17.50?”

(At this point my boyfriend has returned, wondering what the hold up is. The food stand attendant gives him a flirty smile.)

Food Stand Attendant: “You forgot your kettle corn; so glad you came back!”

(As we are walking away, I realize she has written her phone number on the bag. That’s why she didn’t want to hand it to me.)

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Molding Young Minds

| NJ, USA | Working | July 24, 2013

(I am in my first job at a custard stand.One of the bosses stops by with a special list of chores.)

Me: “This one says, ‘remove mold from the shaved ice flavors’. What’s that?”

Manager: “Oh, just take the mold out.”

Me: “What mold? I haven’t seen anything green in the bottles. That’d be gross!”

Manager: “Oh, it’s not green, since the flavoring is dyed. But you can easily see it, as it clumps together.”

Me: “I’m adamant I haven’t seen anything like that.”

Manager: “Oh, no, I’ll show you. There! That’s a large lump of mold!”

Me: “Uh… that’s mold? Not flavoring?”

Manager: “Yes, yes.”

Me: “You know we’ve been selling shaved ice with these flavors for the past three months?”

Manager: “Of course. Why wouldn’t you?”

Me: “And you… didn’t think to order flavors without mold?”

Manager: “No, I wanted to finish up last year’s supply first.”

Me: “And you… didn’t think to tell us that was mold?”

Manager: “No. Why? Does it matter?”

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What A Bun-eficent Guy

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Working | June 5, 2013

(My friends and I have just finished our first-ever game of paintball. In the game, there were many cheaters, so we’re in a bad mood. We decide to get hot dogs from the stand outside the paintball center.)

Vendor: “You guys had a fun game of paintball?”

Everyone: *sadly* “Yeah…”

(There is a long pause while the vendor cooks the hot dog.)

Vendor: “Kumusta ka?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Vendor: “Kumusta ka?”

(I realize he is trying to speak to me in Tagalog.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I only speak English. My mother didn’t teach me Tagalog.”

Vendor: “Oh, that’s a shame. How about you, young man? Where are you from?” *motions to one of my friends*

Friend #1: “I’m from Taiwan.”

Vendor: “Nǐ zěnme yàng?”

Friend #1: “I can’t believe you know Mandarin!”

Me: “Wow, that’s so cool! How many languages do you know?”

Vendor: “About twenty… no twenty-five.”

Friend #2: “How about Arabic? Kayfa ḥālak?”

Vendor: “Ana bekhair.”

(My five friends and I continue talking to him in all the languages we know, and we even taught him some Russian. By the end of it, all of us had bought a hot dog from him except for me, since I didn’t have any money.)

Vendor: “Alright, all six of your hot dogs are done. It was nice talking to you.”

Friend #3: “Six? We only bought five.”

Vendor: “Did you? My, I’m getting old. You, girlie!” *points to me* “Take this hotdog!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have any money.”

Vendor: “No, just take it. I made too many. It’s either you take it, or it goes to me. I’ve had too many today already.”

Me: “Thank you so much!”

(We leave. Only then, do I realize I forgot to ask for his name! He really did turn our whole bad day around; a little kindness can go a long way!)

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Cotton-Pickers

| CT, USA | Right | April 21, 2013

(I work at a stand in the food court of a mall. We make cotton candy, and I usually have one out for display with a sign that says, “Please do not touch”. Children are usually pretty good about it, but adults are a different story. A customer reaches out and grabs the cotton candy.)

Female Customer: “Ooh, is this real cotton candy?”

Me: “Yes, it is. And now that you’ve touched it, you have to take it.”

Female Customer: “I don’t want that one; I put my hands all over it!”

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Children Take Note Of When You Take Notes

| Philippines | Right | January 25, 2013

(I am at small cupcake store. I have Php100 (around $2.50), which is the exact amount for the two cupcakes I purchase. Next to me is a shifty woman with two rowdy kids. I order and leave my money on the counter. When I get my cupcakes, the money is gone, so I assume my cupcakes are paid. I’m about to leave, when the store owner says she hasn’t received payment.)

Me: “I already paid, miss. I left the money on the counter.”

(She looks down on the counter, and on the floor, but it isn’t there. I am about to take out another 100, doubting if my memory was fine or if the money flew away, when the owner makes a small gaze at the other woman, who quickly notices it.)

Lady: “So, what? You’re blaming me? Why am I to be responsible for some girl who’s whiter? Does that mean she’s not going to cheat you? She didn’t leave any money on the counter!”

(In the Philippines, like America, there’s some racism on the skin color as well. I’m unnaturally white for a Filipino, which hints to everyone about my Spanish ancestry. I’m part Spanish, but dominantly Filipino. Anyone with light skin are automatically assumed to be of Spanish heritage while tan and darker are pure Filipino ancestry. Because of the Spanish colonization back in the early day, some still believe that Spanish-lineage people look down on Filipinos. The lady goes on a rant about how hard her life is as a mother of two, and refuses to be a victim of a, as she puts it, a Spaniard. I keep a cool and unemotional face, but the owner, who triggered the woman’s anger, begins cowering. Finally, her little boy, who looks like he would want nothing more than to leave the kiosk and find a bathroom, butts in.)

Boy: “Mom, I really have to pee. Can’t you just give them back the money you got on the counter a while ago and we can go?”

(The mom’s face turns red, grabs her bag, dumps a crumpled 100 on the counter, turns on her heel, and leaves with her nose in the air.)

Me: “Merry Christmas!”

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