It’s A Smaller World Than You Think

, , , , , , | Working | July 3, 2020

I met up with a friend; let’s call him John Jones. John Jones is married to Mary Smith and they recently gained new acquaintances. This is the story of how they met those acquaintances.

My friend, living at, let’s say #1 Maple Street, received a registered letter, and without thinking signed for it as it was addressed to John Jones. The mailman did check his ID as is required and all. After the mailman left, my friend inspected the letter more closely and, checking the sender, started wondering why [Company] would send him a letter by registered mail.

That is when he checked the address. The letter was sent to John Jones living at #1 Maple Lane. The same ZIP code is used for the whole village — cities have more than one ZIP code — so the ZIP code was the same.

Being a good citizen, my friend brought the letter to John Jones living at #1 Maple Lane. John Jones at #1 Maple Lane, married to Mary Smit, and my friend found out at that moment that they had been getting each other’s mail for a while. As it was mostly companies sending targeted mailings, they didn’t really notice until the registered letter arrived.

Both families see each other on a weekly basis now, swapping their mail.

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Doesn’t Jimmy Eat World Have A Song About This?

, , , , , | Working | June 30, 2020

I go to a nearby walk-in clinic for the first time to get my ankle looked at, as it has been hurting since yesterday afternoon. The waiting room is already packed with people, despite it being around 9:00 on a workday. I go up to the desk and sign in, presenting my Health Card for identification, and providing my information as a new patient. I sit down and begin my wait to see a doctor.

Three hours roll by, and my name hasn’t been called yet. The closest I get to being called is a seven-year-old who has the same first name, much to the confusion of the nurse calling names. I start seeing people who have arrived after me getting called so I go back up to the receptionist.

Me: “Sorry to bother you, but can I ask for you to see where I am in the queue?”

Receptionist: “Sure, can I have your name?”

Me: “[My First Name].”

Receptionist: *Searches for a moment* “I’m not seeing anyone with that name. Can you give me your full name?”

Me: “Okay, [My Full Name].”

Receptionist: *Searches again* “I don’t see anyone with that full name, but would your name happen to contain a [Middle Name]?”

Me: “Yes, that’s my middle name.”

Receptionist: “Well, your Health Card has that listed as your first name, so that’s what we entered into the system.”

Me: “What?! No, it doesn’t.”

I hand the receptionist my Health Card again, which clearly shows my name in the proper order.

Receptionist: “Yes, see here, it does. See, first name—” *points to [My Middle Name] on my Card* “—middle name—” *points to [My Last Name] on my card* “—and last name.” *Moves back to point at [My First Name]* “But, since you are insisting, I’ll fix up our record and get you in next.”

In total, it took me almost four hours to see the doctor. Thankfully, she didn’t see any signs that the ankle was broken or fractured or any signs of swelling, and she got me on some painkillers and signed me up for a followup X-ray to verify that nothing was broken.

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When Karens Are So Bad They Bring Other Names Down With Them

, , , , , , | Right | May 30, 2020

We do custom cakes in our shop. A customer has ordered a cake with “Happy Birthday, Karen!” written on it. She comes in for collection.

Customer: “You’ve spelt this wrong.”

Me: “Oh? That is how it’s spelt on the order form.”

Customer: “Well, it’s wrong. I’d like a discount.”

I call the shop owner over as discounts must go through him.

Owner: “I can’t do a discount as this is how it was spelt on the form, and the form is filled out by the customer. I can get [My Name] to redo it free of charge. It will take another an hour, though.”

Customer: *Huffs* “FINE!”

Owner: “Can I get the correct spelling, please?”

Customer: “D.”

The owner gives me a confused glance and I notice the other customers in the store, having taken notice, do much the same.

Owner: “This was meant to be ‘Darren’?”

Customer: “No, ‘Karen’! D-A-R-I-A-N.”

Owner: “That doesn’t spell ‘Karen.’”

Customer: *Grunts* “Just give me one of your piping kits for free and I’ll do it myself! This is terrible service. After this, I won’t be coming here again!”

The owner obliges, and the customer sloppily fixes the cake on a free counter. A friend comes in shortly before she finishes up.

Customer: “They got your cake wrong.”

The customer gives us a nasty look.

Customer: “I’ve had to fix it myself.”

Friend: “Oh?” *Looks at cake* “Why does it say, ‘Michael’?”

Customer: “UGH! IT’S SAYS KAREN!”

The customer grabs the cake — the literal cake, leaving the base — and storms out. Her friend follows her out, yelling:

Friend: “Who the f*** is Karen?”

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Didn’t Pick Up The Name At The Pickup

, , , , | Right | May 26, 2020

My store offers curbside pickup for groceries. The customers have to tell us their names through the call box before we bring their groceries out. I get a call for a delivery.

Me: “Hi, can I get the last name for pickup?”

The customer is garbled because his loud truck is running, but I’m able to hear the ending.

There are two names with that specific ending at this point. However, I just spoke to one of these two customers and she said she was on her way over. For our purposes, let’s say the two names are Johnson and Williamson.

Me: “Was that Williamson?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll be right out.”

I grab the groceries and the card reader and head out to meet the customer. Every single bag has the customer’s name clearly labeled in large, bolded, capital letters. By the time I get out to the car, pushing out the cart of groceries, the customer has turned the truck off and is waiting outside the vehicle for me.

Me: “Hi, Mr. Williamson?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, your total is $226.52.”

Customer: “All right.”

He hands me a credit card.

Customer: “Can I start loading?”

I notice the name on credit card.

Me: “Um, wait. Are you picking up for Williamson or Johnson?”

Customer: “Johnson.”

The customer notices Williamson on the tags finally.

Customer: “Wait, are there two Johnsons?”

Me: “No, there’s not. I thought you said Williamson, so I grabbed that order. I’ll be right back with your order.”

I get that maybe he couldn’t hear me over the truck the first time I asked, but the truck was off the second time I asked. How unobservant are you that you don’t notice your last name suddenly has, like, five extra letters and an extra syllable, and starts with a different letter of the alphabet? Especially after you look at it?

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Slippers, Sneakers, And Tighty-Whities Are Next

, , , , , | Friendly | May 18, 2020

My husband and I have just bought our first home and moved in with our kitty. It is the peak of summer and we are getting him used to the new house before letting him hang out in the yard, so he has not been outside to explore yet. He seems pretty keen on it; he was an apartment kitty before and now we live on a street with only four houses and almost zero traffic. He is a very distinctive white cat with brown socks and brown ear tips.

Once the weather cools down and he is used to the house, I take our kitty out to the back deck and plonk him down, which he responds to by rolling in the grass and sniffing a tree before curling up in the garden bed to nap. I sit outside with him for a bit and then go inside to get a drink. When I come back, I think I am seeing things. There are TWO of him!

An identical cat is perched on the fence leading to my neighbor’s house, and they are holding a staring contest. I go to scoop up my cat when a woman around my age pops her head over the fence.

Neighbor: “Hello! You must be— Oh!” 

She spots my boy in my arms and looks back and forth from him to her cat, who is now purring and headbutting her.

Neighbor: “Well, I’m [Neighbor], and we apparently have twin cats.”

Me: *Laughing* “I’m [My Name], and this is Scarf!”

My neighbor cracks up laughing so hard she nearly falls off of the fence. I’m used to people laughing at Scarf’s name, but she finally stops laughing and picks up her cat.

Neighbor: “This is Pants!”

We both laughed a lot that afternoon, joking about how we needed some more cats to complete the outfit — which did happen a few months ago when they got a kitten named Socks! — and made sure we didn’t own any of the same collars so we could tell them apart.

As I type this, Pants has let himself in through the cat door to loaf around on Scarf’s cat tree. They are both getting older but are firm friends, just like our neighbor is for us. Matching cats are a great icebreaker!

This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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