Movie For Seven For A Family Of One

, , | Right | December 2, 2019

(I work at our local cinema. It is Sunday. I wait at the register for the first customer to come for the 3:00 pm show. The movie theater is small, so I am the only one in charge today. An old, wealthy-looking couple enters.)

Old Lady: “Hello, we just wanted to renew our yearly membership card; the last one may have expired.”

(She hands me a five- or six-year-old crumbling card.)

Me: “Yes, indeed. So, to renew your card, it will cost you €15 and if you present it here, you will get a discount of €2 on every movie ticket until the end of the year.”

Old Lady: “Oh, that’s expensive! But I will do it anyway. We plan to watch the latest Pixar movie with my daughter, her husband, their children, and their cousin. They do not come to visit often, you know.”

Me: “Excuse me. I just wanted you to know your membership car is personal and does only cover your own tickets.”

Old Man: *waking up from his catatonic state* “What?! This is unacceptable! They are part of the family!”

Old Lady: *to her husband* “Calm down, honey.” *to me* “Young man, this is impossible. We came a couple of months ago and the membership covered my ticket, my husband’s, and Cousin [Cousin]’s.”

Old Man: “This hooligan just wants my hard-earned money!”

Me: “Listen, ma’am, sir, as I said before, the card is personal and there is no way you could have gotten a discount for three people with one expired card.”

Old Lady: “But… They are part of the family…”

(The stubborn couple then took their old membership card from the counter and left, arguing about “respect for the elderly.” The sad part is, they actually returned with their relatives and stayed at the entrance. They sent a ten-year-old boy to buy seven “member discount tickets” with the same old expired card. I told him I could not make any discount with this card. He went back to the entrance and told his grandparents. They all just turned around and left. The poor boy seemed disappointed.)

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A Long Wait Un-Till

, , , | Right | November 15, 2019

(I sell tickets in a booth at a ski resort. The mic is not working very well and even when we speak loudly, the customers have trouble hearing us. Because of this and the sun’s reflection on the glass, they often have trouble even acknowledging our presence at the till and we have to call them multiple times before they realize there’s a cashier behind the glass. I’m at till #4. One day, my coworker at till #3 gets up and leaves for her lunch break. I see a customer approaching till #3 to get a ticket. I call him a few times so that he can come to my till, instead. He’s not coming and I don’t see him anymore so I assume he went to till #2 or #1, instead. A few minutes later, I see him coming to me to get a ticket:)

Customer: “I was waiting at that till but the cashier left and she didn’t come back!”

(This customer really kept waiting five minutes for her to come back instead of just going to another till like anyone would! Besides, we have to put a sign to indicate that the till is closed when we leave for lunch break, and there was no one else in the queue so he could have gone to another till very quickly. I tried hard not to laugh!)

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This Relationship Has Teething Problems

, , , | Healthy | November 4, 2019

(I’m a dental student. During our fourth year, all of us have to do a week-long rotation at the ICU to provide “dental healthcare” to comatose patients — basically brushing their teeth with an iodine scrub and calling it a day. One of the patients is conscious but intubated, and he speaks using a whiteboard. After I finish brushing his teeth, a nurse comes into the room and makes small talk.)

Nurse: “So, I heard that [Woman] visited you yesterday, huh?”

(The patient nods.)

Nurse: “That’s nice! Also, your daughters called this morning; they want to come a bit later.”

Patient: *on the whiteboard* “Did they say what time?”

Nurse: “During the afternoon. They were afraid you’d get bored and alone, though, so I told them not to worry since [Woman] came by.”

(I see the patient’s eyes widen and he starts furiously scribbling on his whiteboard.)


(I had to leave the room and didn’t stop laughing for a good five minutes.)

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Will Not Miss Mister

, , , , | Right | October 18, 2019

(In France, as probably almost everywhere, non-profits hire students to stop people in the street to ask them for donations. It’s expected that they remain friendly and smiling, and people seem to take that as a “please abuse me” sign. Sure, they can be a bit annoying, but they never insist once you tell them you’re not interested. I have a rather old bike which tends to fall apart easily, needing me to stop for a minute or two to pick up the broken parts and put them back together. One day, I stop right next to a student working for an NPO and hear this exchange between the employee and an old guy.)

NPO Employee: “Hi! Do you have a minute?”

(Note that in French, using words such as, “sir,” “mister,” etc., would be weird in that sentence and setting.)

Old Guy: “If you want to talk to me, you’ll call me mister!”

NPO Employee: *hesitant* “Okay, and does mister have a minute?”

Old Guy: *with a smug smile* “No!”

(I don’t like it when a**holes seem to think they can bother whomever they want, just because they’re younger, or for whatever reason. I stand up from my improvised bike repair and walk up to the old guy. I’m a 20-ish female, but I’m 1.80m — 5’9” — and am very well-built, so I tower over him.)

Me: *in the sweetest voice I can muster* “Then why did mister feel the need to importune that underpaid student? Would mister deign explain it to someone who isn’t contractually obligated to smile and be polite to him, or would mister rather f*** off?”

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Society Is Transitioning With Them

, , , , | Working | October 12, 2019

(I study dentistry in France. I’m a VERY anti-social justice woman, but I still think it’s important to support real issues, like gay and trans rights. Therefore, I educate myself on those topics, perhaps a bit more than the average person. This takes place at the dental clinic. We get the names and file number of patients on paper and then have to get them from the waiting room by calling their name out loud. I open my patient’s file using their number and read through it quickly, not paying much attention to their name. I see them being referenced as a woman, with pronouns like she and her. I then go and get them by calling “Mrs. [Last Name], and an older woman stands up and accompanies me to my chair. I then notice that the first name on the file is male. It sometimes happens that we get patients with the same last name confused, so I check:)

Me: “Um, sorry, but… what’s your first name? There might be a problem with the file.”

Patient: “Oh, it’s [Male Name], but I use the name [Female Name] now. I haven’t legally changed sex because that would make me lose my pension, but I am male to female transgender.”

Me: “Oh, all right. I guess you want me to refer to you by using female pronouns?”

Patient: “Well, you can call me [Female Name]!”

Me: “Haha, I can’t really do that since I don’t know you that well, but sure, I’ll call you ma’am, then.”

(The appointment goes well, and we chat about how and why she came to find out she’s a woman. At the clinic, our chairs are basically in half-open cubicles, so people walking by can see and hear everyone’s patients. After I’m done treating her, a guy from my class approaches me. It’s worth noting his father is an imam — a Muslim prayer leader — and he was raised VERY conservatively.)

Guy: “So… What was up with your patient?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Guy: “Well… I don’t get it. Was it a man? A woman? Was it a woman who wanted to be a man? Was he wearing a wig?”

Me: *pause* “Bruh.”

Guy: “What? That’s weird.”

Me: “Well, she’s male to female. When she was young, she was a man, physically at least. Now, she’s taking hormones; that’s why she has a female body. She identifies as a woman, so that’s what she is. She just wasn’t born in the right body, so to speak. And yes, that’s her real hair… You know that if you let yours grow, it will get long, as well, right?”

(I know I simplified it a bit, but my colleague was mystified by the concept of transgender people, so I didn’t want to overcomplicate it for him. To his honor, he didn’t feel “disgusted” or anything of that sort, just confused. I didn’t think there still was anyone under forty in France who didn’t know what a transgender person was!)

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