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That’s One Hot Potato

, , , , , | Working | November 25, 2022

The logistics department forgets to unplug a forklift during a stormy night. When we arrive in the workshop; there is a smell of gas and sulphur because of the hydrocarbons. Because of the smell and the risk of explosion or fire, we have to evacuate.

[Coworker 1] has just arrived (slightly late).

Coworker #1: “Oh, it smells like tartiflette.”

Tartiflette is a dish with potatoes, pork fat, and onions, among other ingredients.

Coworker #2: “Uh, it’s a gas smell. Don’t come in.”

Coworker #1: “But it really smells like tartiflette.”

Me: “It would be nice if someone would play a joke on us and prepare a surprise tartiflette party, but that’s not the case here.”

Coworker #1: “Not a surprise tartiflette party — more like if our supervisors wanted to make a tartiflette without us.”

Coworker #3: “[Executive Secretary] has just informed us that [Boss] has called the fire department to check the security of the place. They’re on their way. If it’s just to hide the fact that they’ve been eating tartiflette on the sly, the firefighters will appreciate it.”

Coworker #1: “But—”

Coworker #2: “I know you love tartiflette, but either you stay outside and if you’re right you miss a tartiflette and if you’re wrong you stay alive, or you go back in and you’re right and you get a tartiflette or you’re wrong and you risk dying.”

Fortunately, [Coworker #1] finally decided to stay out and stay alive. When we got back to the workplace, she found that there was no tartiflette. So, remember, your life is worth more than the possibility of having tartiflette.

Way Worse Than A Bee In Your Bonnet

, , , , , , , | Working | November 22, 2022

When I am fourteen, I go on a school trip to Normandy to visit the D-Day beaches and various graveyards. For the duration, we stay at a very nice hotel that has a large enough cafeteria to house about forty students and ten teachers.

This incident occurs when we are eating dinner one night. We get a piece of baguette with each meal. I pick up my piece of baguette, but then I stop and put it back down.

Classmate #1: “[My Name], you’re not going to eat your bread?”

Classmate #2: “Yeah, you always eat that first.”

I pick the baguette back up and point at what’s wrong. The piece that I was given has a wasp baked INTO the bread.

Classmate #1: “Oh, dear.”

Classmate #2: “I’ll get a teacher.”

They start waving at the teachers’ table.

Me: “Oh, please don’t. I don’t want to make a fuss.”

Due to being at a low point in my life, I try to avoid confrontations or drawing attention to myself, but one of the language teachers notices my classmate waving and comes over to our table.

Teacher: “What’s wrong?”

Classmate #1: “[My Name]’s bread has a wasp baked into it.” *Passes it to her*

The teacher — who I don’t know, mind you — stares at the bread for a moment before getting a very angry look on her face and striding straight for the kitchen.

Me: “Was— Was that the best idea?”

Classmate #2: “Trust me.”

From the kitchen suddenly bursts a cacophony of angry shouting, none of which we can understand due to it being all in French, but we can definitely tell it’s coming from [Teacher].

A few minutes later, the teacher comes out with a new piece of baguette for me

Me: “Thank— Thank you.”

Teacher: “It has been dealt with.”

She walks off and sits back at the teachers’ table.

Later on, when the big trays of desserts come out, which are normally just big pans of sheet cake, I am given a big slice of fancy chocolate cake by an embarrassed-looking employee before they scurry off. I notice that the teacher has a slice, as well.

Me: “As much as I appreciate the gesture, I can’t eat all of this. Any of you want to share?”

So, alongside the regular sheet cake, I shared the chocolate cake with the five other girls at my table, and for the rest of the time we spent at the hotel, none of the employees would look at me and would always look slightly fearful of the teacher that came to my rescue.

Entitlement So High It’s Airborne

, , , , , | Right | September 22, 2022

I work as a flight attendant for an Irish-based airline. On a flight to France, we hear three call-bell chimes. That is the sign we learned in training that indicates an emergency, and EVERY cabin crew member must respond to it. We find a man in the forward galley at row three vomiting in his seat and profusely sweating. A registered nurse aboard the plane also comes to our aid, and the captain is told to have an ambulance waiting for us on arrival.

On landing, the captain reminds the passengers to remain seated so the paramedics can do their jobs. I block the aisle between the paramedics and the passengers behind the casualty, so they do not interfere. My supervisor orders the first three rows of passengers off the plane. A man in front of me, however, collects his items and comes toward me.

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you will need to wait, please.”

Passenger: “I just want to get off the plane.”

Me: “You will have to wait until the paramedics have done their jobs and taken the gentleman off the plane.”

Passenger: *Snottily* “But they’re not taking him off, are they?”

My supervisor for the flight overheard and ordered the remaining passengers off of the aircraft through the rear exits. This, however, wasn’t good enough for the passenger, who just charged his way through the aisle and off the plane through the front. Never mind that a casualty could easily be dying; he was CLEARLY more important.

Forcing Conformity Is Pretty Rude, You Know

, , , , , , | Related | September 22, 2022

I’ve been having a pretty tough year mental-health-wise, and thanks to a plan made by my family long in advance, I’m currently experiencing a month of said year in a completely unfamiliar country without any access to my safety net. I’m handling everything as well as I can, but two weeks of daily panic attacks will really wear you out. At this point, I’m completely dependent on my sensory aids to function, including my headphones, which have caused many problems in the past from my mother (who is a therapist, and aware of my anxiety disorder) considering me wearing them “rude”. 

I’m already pretty exhausted by the events of this particular day when she pulls me aside on our group walk to get lunch.

Mom: “This is a fancy restaurant, so you can’t wear your headphones.”

I haven’t been informed of this rule before, and it seems strange, to say the least — what about people using hearing aids or translation apps?

Me: “Will they kick me out?”

Mom: “No, but it’s rude! We’re going to go and have conversations, not wear headphones or look at our phones.”

Me: “Right, but wearing my headphones is what makes me able to have conversations.”

Mom just sighs angrily and stares at a nearby building, marking the conversation over.

Wanting to avoid any more fights, I remove my headphones at the door and stow them in my bag. Unfortunately, between the lasting stress of having an argument and intrinsic anxiety about 1) eating, 2) in public, 3) using a foreign language, and 4) surrounded by people who are mad at me, soon I’m having a panic attack without access to any of my coping mechanisms.

I’m making a valiant effort to keep from causing a scene by hyperventilating or crying, which means closing my eyes and putting all of my focus on my breathing. Needless to say, this barely leaves any room for social interaction. I can’t handle any eye contact, and I’m communicating in nods and short whispers.

A question is directed to me about a place I went, and I can barely formulate a sentence.

Me: “Um, I— I saw the, um, I went to— i-it was called, it was the, uh—”

My mom interrupts me, sounding annoyed.

Mom: “[My Name], you can wear your headphones if it’ll make you talk. I thought that you’d participate in the conversation.” 

I scrambled to dig the headphones out of my bag, and I could FEEL the serotonin flooding my brain as I put them back on. I was finally able to put my thoughts in order and finish the sentence, and I spent the rest of the meal speaking and having as good of a time as I could while riding off the rest of the panic attack.

I still don’t know how a TRAINED PSYCHOLOGIST could think that banning my coping mechanisms would somehow magically make me neurotypical!

Why Does No One Understand Personal Space?! Part 2

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 15, 2022

This story takes place in France during the summer of 2020. The global health crisis has “slowed down” a little bit, so masks are not mandatory but are still strongly promoted. I am wearing one while walking to my job. I’m not really good at interacting with strangers, and this morning, I’m still feeling sleepy.

I’m on one of the main streets of my city when I see a man with a paper in hand who seems lost. We are in a tourist area, especially in summer, so I imagine he is a tourist looking for someplace. I make eye contact a little bit unintentionally, so he starts talking to me.

Man: *In French* “Hey, are you Italian?”

We’re close to the Italian border, and yes, I’m part Italian, but I’m starting to get creeped out.

Me: “Yes.”

He switches to Italian and starts SHAKING MY HAND.

Man: “Oh, you’re beautiful. Are you from Milano?”

Me: *In Italian* “No. Sorry, I need to go to work.”

Man: “Oh, okay. Goodbye.”

Then, he proceeded to shake my hand and try to kiss me on the cheek. Now, that’s kind of a normal thing to do in France between people that know each other, as a way to say hello or goodbye (pretty much like a handshake). It is not something you do with a stranger, and obviously not something you do in the middle of a global health crisis.

Oh, and since I had a mask on, instead of the cheek, he kissed me on the neck. I practically ran away, and when I got to my office, I went to the bathroom to clean myself as much as possible. I still don’t understand how I did not react, but I think I was just amazed someone could do something this stupid.

Why Does No One Understand Personal Space?!