A Long Way From The Surf And Turf

, , , | Right | September 17, 2020

I’m working in a restaurant in a landlocked state with no access to the ocean. We do have shipments of Maine lobster, though. I get a call.

Caller: “Hi. I’m wondering if your lobster is locally sourced.”

Me: “No, but we get our lobster from Maine. We actually have a shipment coming at two if you want something really fresh tonight.”

Caller: “That’s a shame; you should really support local businesses.”

Me: “I absolutely agree; however, since we’re in a landlocked state, we have to buy from Maine.”

Caller: “But supporting local businesses helps the economy.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we can’t buy local since we’re a landlocked state.”

Caller: “Huh?”

Me: “We don’t have access to the ocean.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “Why don’t we have access to the ocean?”

Caller: “Yeah.”

Me: “Because we’re very far away from the ocean. It’s nearly 500 miles away.”

Caller: “But why can’t you just get local lobster? You should help support local businesses.”

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They Border Barramundi

, , , , , , , | Right | September 1, 2020

Customer: “Do you have any fresh… What’s the name of it? Hold on. The fish named after a South American country.”

Employee: “Named after… Oh! Chilean sea bass?”

Customer: “No, no, it’s just the name of the country. Like if there was just a fish called ‘France,’ you know?”

Employee: “I don’t know any fish just named after a country. Brazil… Ecuador…”

He’s staring at a map of “where our fish are from” and naming every South American country under his breath.

Customer: “Oh, here it is! Tilapia.”

After he packages up the tilapia and the customer leaves…

Employee: “Either he needs to go back to high school geography, or I owe an apology to the Tilapian people.”

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Lonely Island

, , , , | Right | August 20, 2020

I overhear this when I work above a bar on the seafront. On a clear day, you can see the island of Fuerteventura from Lanzarote.

A customer is sitting on a barstool having a midday drink.

Customer: “What’s that island I can see out there?”

Barman: “That’s Fuerteventura.”

Customer: *Sips his beer* “It wasn’t there last year, was it?”

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Geography Is Extra Hard When You’re Racist

, , , , , | Working | August 17, 2020

My dad’s family is from a very popular US territory island. I’m working at a location in a very small town.

Coworker: “So, you mentioned once that you’re half Spanish on your dad’s side. Right?”

Me: “Yep.”

I get this a lot. I’m probably the only person of that ethnicity in the area.

Coworker: “So, remind me, where was your dad born?”

Me: “[Large City].”

Coworker: “Huh?”

Me: *Slightly louder* “[Large City].”

Coworker: “No, no. Where’s he from?

I know what she’s getting at, but I play dumb.

Me: *Much louder* “[Large City].”

Coworker: “You mean… he was born in the US? He’s a citizen and everything?”

Me: “Yes and yes. I mean, even if he was born on the island, he’d still be a citizen, since it’s part of the US.”

Coworker: “No, it isn’t.”

Me: “Yes, it is. It’s a US territory, and has been for over 100 years.”

Coworker: “I went to [Territory] and I had to show my passport. It’s not part of the US.”

Me: “I think I know my own family history. Are you sure that’s where you went?”

Coworker: Yes! I think so. Or maybe not. Maybe it was the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas…”

She wandered off. I texted my parents the story. My dad joked that she was trying to get me deported. Obviously, I don’t work there anymore.

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It’s Not The Customers, Honey, It’s The Mileage

, , , , | Right | August 16, 2020

I’m a self-employed locksmith and security hardware consultant living in Savannah, Georgia where I’ve lived all my life. I get a call from a service company based in New Jersey to go check out a lock issue in a chain discount store.

That by itself isn’t uncommon; most chains these days use out-of-state service companies to find qualified repair technicians and locksmiths. When their location needs something, they call corporate, corporate calls the service company, and the service company calls me, validates my credentials and availability, and hires me to do the job. Easy. And most of them are really great to have as customers. 

What’s weird is when I ask where the store is located and they say Kathleen, Georgia.

I tell the representative I’ll have to do a quick Google search, because while I don’t recognize it, it might well be a small town inside my service area — usually about 100 miles — but I do make exceptions if they’re willing to pay my rates for commercial/industrial work. I have her spell out the name of the city so there are no mistakes. 

When I search, I find out that Kathleen, Georgia is about 180 miles away from me.

Me: “Huh… Well, please understand, I’m completely free today, and I’m more than happy to take the job, but that location is 180 miles from here, and my standard rate is $2/mile plus one hour labor minimum at $75/hr. It’d be about $435 minimum. Might I suggest calling a—”

I am about to suggest to the representative — again, from New Jersey — that they find a locksmith in the nearest major city to Kathleen — which is only about thirty-five miles away and should have at least a couple of qualified legitimate locksmiths — to save money, but she cuts me off. 

Representative: “$435?! THAT’S INSANE!”

Me: “I completely understand. I’m sure you can find a qualified locksmith who’s closer, but for me, it’s a 180-mile trip.”

Representative: “There’s no way it’s that far!”

Me: “I just checked Google; maybe there’s a different Kathleen, Georgia that’s closer? Are you sure that spelling is correct? Do you have a zip code?”

Representative: “You people in the south think we’re stupid. I can drive across New Jersey in less time than that!

I don’t really know what to say.

Me: “Ma’am, I can only tell you what Google tells me.”

Representative: “I know for a fact that Georgia is not that big!”

I’m getting frustrated here, but I don’t want to burn bridges with that service company… provided a different rep calls next time.

Me: “Ma’am, perhaps if you call a locksmith in Macon or Warner Robbins, I’m sure you can find someone there who’d be a lot cheaper.”

Representative: “Well, I’ll do that, then. Maybe I can find someone honest about their mileage.” 

Me: “Okay, have a nice day.” 

She hung up on me.

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