Wedlocked Into That Narrow-Mindedness

, , , , , | Related | January 2, 2019

(When I am born, my mom isn’t married. Due to circumstances good enough for another story, my mom becomes a single, working mom. At one point when I’m about four, my mom takes me to a dinner with family at her cousin’s. When everyone else is seated at the nicely-set-up dining room table, my mom’s aunt comes in, sees me, and says:)

Cousin’s Mom: *slightly irate* “I’m not sitting at the same table as a child born out of wedlock!”

Cousin: *recovering more quickly than the rest* “Oh, no problem, Mom. I’ll set the table for you in the kitchen, then, shall I?”

Moaning About Immigrants While Eating A Kebab Doesn’t Give You A Leg To Stand On

, , , , | Friendly | January 2, 2019

(I get a kebab and join two ladies at a standing table in front to eat. It’s a basic counter-only place, so the three standing tables are where everybody eats. A man with crutches, missing a lower leg, joins. In order to eat, grabbing the kebab with both hands like everybody else, he rests his —  fully-clothed — upper leg stump on his crutch and sets his elbows on the tabletop. All nothing to write home about, but this seems to disgust the other two ladies at the table. They scoff and scowl, and as the man ignores it, they finally speak up.)

Lady #1: “This is disgusting.”

Lady #2: “Yeah, talk about losing one’s appetite!”

Lady #1: “You should be ashamed. Can’t you eat somewhere else so you don’t bother other people?”

(The man, hardened by such stuff it seems, ignores them, but I feel like I can’t.)

Me: “Are you listening to yourself? How can you say such things and still think you are in the right?”

Lady #1: “Well, if you don’t mind eating next to something disgusting that’s your business. It is simply our opinion that people like that should not flaunt their abnormalities around where everybody can see them.”

Me: “Well, sure, you are free to speak your mind, but with this ‘opinion’ you are just discriminating a**holes.”

Lady #2: “I can’t believe it. How dare you?! This is what Germany has come to, with all the immigrants and such!”

(Mind you, the guy is not in any way foreign-looking, not that that should matter.)

Lady #2: “How can you expect us to eat while he waves his disgusting stump around?”

(The dude is eating his kebab rather fast and does not acknowledge the whole thing.)

Me: “Yeah, you should not eat in his presence. I agree.”

(I know it’s not right, but I am just so angry. In a quick motion, I sweep the rest of their two kebabs from the table; they splatter over the outdoor pavement. The one-legged dude finally looks up from his food and starts laughing. The two women freeze and then explode into curses. They demand that someone call the police, that I should be arrested for destruction of property, assault, terrorism, whatever comes to their mind. Other diners look, one shouts for them to zip it, some laugh. One lady even starts pushing me, and another guest comes up and pulls her away. The employees come out from behind the counter and tell them to stop shouting. The man with the crutches stops laughing and holds up one hand:)

Man: “Stop, all of you. Stop. Here, I’ll pay for your food.”

(He got his wallet and handed [Lady #2] a 20€ bill, at least double the amount of what the two kebabs had cost. They sputtered but took the money without hesitation. They kept cursing, but left, as other diners were telling them to get lost, as well. I turned to the employees and offered to sweep up the food, but they were already at it and were all smiles. One told me that what I’d done was awesome. The man with the crutches handed me a can of soda and we chatted a bit. He’d lost his leg as a teenager due to an infection. We parted and he thanked me again, saying that I’d really made him feel like not all people are s***.)

The Theater Is Happening In The Kitchen

, , , | Working | December 31, 2018

(Our hotel regularly works with a theater group to offer a “crime drama dinner” to our guests. It’s a fancy, five-course dinner with a theater performance between courses. We always try our best to stick to the schedule the theater group gives us, to prevent any delays for the actors. The coordinator of the theater group storms into the back office and starts yelling.)

Maître D’: “Sorry, I’m aware that we’re two minutes late clearing the tables. Some people are still eating.”

Coordinator: “You people are too slow! We’re late! Everything is too late! I’ve never had to deal with wait staff this slow in my life!”

Maître D’: “As I said, madam, we’re trying our best, but we can’t just take the plates away from guests who are still enjoying their meals.”

Coordinator: “You’re so unprofessional! It’s unbelievable! How dare you do this to us?! We have a schedule! How stupid do you have to be not to be able to stick to a simple schedule?!”

(At this point, a colleague of mine tries to slip past her with empty plates he collected. She is blocking our entryway.)

Maître D’: “Madam, you’re in the way. We were on schedule, but we can’t force the guests to eat faster. So, we can either wait for them to finish and collect the plates, or you can continue the play while they are still eating.”

Coordinator: “No, we can’t! Nobody pays attention while eating! How unprofessional are you people?”

(We’re all getting a little annoyed. She’s walking up and down our back office, wildly gesticulating and yelling.)

Maître D’: “Could you please calm down a bit? The guests can hear you. And you’re still in the way of the servers. If you want all the plates out of the room, you have to wait until everyone is done eating. I don’t know what else to tell you.”

Coordinator: “SERIOUSLY, HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT?!”

(She finally stops yelling and starts to hiss at my boss.)

Coordinator: “This is absolutely unacceptable. If you had started serving the main course a bit earlier, everyone would be done now!”

(She steps back and knocks into a colleague. The stack of plates they were carrying goes flying. Frantic sweeping ensues.)

Maître D’: “Madam, please, you reminded all of us that we’re not supposed to enter the room while the doors are closed, so we don’t disturb the performance. We were ready to serve the main course five minutes ahead of schedule. You opened the doors six minutes late; we took six minutes to serve everyone—“

Coordinator: “YES! YOU WERE TWELVE MINUTES TOO LATE! TWELVE WHOLE MINUTES, YOU IDIOT!”

Maître D’: “Don’t take that tone with me. We were perfectly on time—“

Coordinator: “I WON’T EVEN DISCUSS THIS WITH YOU! YOU ARE RUINING THIS PERFORMANCE! YOU ARE NOT EVEN ABLE TO GET FOOD TO A G**D*** TABLE ON TIME–“

(She’s still gesticulating wildly and nearly knocks over a tray of dirty wine glasses.)

Maître D’: “Madam, please leave this room. We’re working as fast as we can. You caused a six-minute delay, and I won’t force my wait staff to take food away from guests. There is nothing else I can say to you right now.”

(The coordinator stares at our Maître D’ for a few seconds before she stalks out of the room, still cursing us out under her breath. She turns around in the doorway and hisses:)

Coordinator: “See if I ever work with this sham of a hotel again!”

A Very Lacy Faire Attitude

, , , , | Working | December 19, 2018

(My girlfriend and I decide to check out a higher-priced lingerie store, hoping they carry something we’ll like. We are both in our twenties, but never mention that we are together, so the employee might have assumed I’m just a friend, not necessarily her boyfriend.)

Employee: “Hi there. Are you looking for something in particular?”

Me: “Hi. We just wanted to look around, but we’re interested in regular bras. The type that isn’t lacy, just plain and hopefully with some kind of pattern or in some fancy color.”

Employee: “Um… I’m afraid we don’t really have this kind of bra. Why don’t you like lacy ones?”

Girlfriend: “Well, it’s just a preference. I like the non-lacy ones more.”

Me: “Me, too.”

(Some discussion and product examples later:)

Employee: “But, you know, the lacy ones are sexy and feminine. You would want to stay new and interesting for men.”

(We look at each other and I laugh nervously.)

Me: “Yeah. I guess we’re out of luck here. Thanks and bye.”

(This woman, herself in her twenties, could have come straight out of a 1950s-style commercial. My girlfriend and I still joke about it, like her saying, “But I want to stay interesting for men,” when she likes some new clothing item.)

The Daughter of Count Olaf And The Grinch

, , , , | Friendly | December 14, 2018

(My twins got into Kindergarten this summer, and they have a support club of parents raising extra money for the place. This ranges from selling cakes to encouraging sponsors to give something for certain events. Around Christmas, the town has stands reserved at the Christmas market that get used by all the different places and organisations who want to sell stuff to make money. The parents are encouraged to make cookies, jam, decorations, and such stuff to sell, and they need people to man the stand in two-hour shifts over the day. I am an avid baker, so I make a batch of very tasty gingerbread cakes and package them to sell, and volunteer for the six- to eight-pm shift. I encourage the Club to use a pay-what-you-want system this year, so instead of, say 50 cents for a little bag of homemade cookies, people are encouraged to just give a donation as they see fit. People love that, it seems, and when I get there, the stand is rather bare already. We still keep selling stuff. I go around to the nearby mulled wine sellers and offer cookies to people and tell them to come over and get some. After that, I am in the hut selling stuff, and so many people are like, “For the Kindergarten? Of course! Have 5€ for them!” and only take a couple of bags of cookies. But, of course, some people are just impossible. There is an older woman hovering over the free-sample dish we have. Her clothes are rather fancy, so she’s not likely a poor person by the look of her jewellery alone.)

Me: “Please, help yourself! These are made by the parents of [Kindergarten].”

Lady: “Oh, thanks! Don’t mind if I do!”

(She takes a cookie, exclaims it’s delicious, and takes another.)

Me: “I’m glad you like them! You are welcome to take a bag or two home if you want! Just give a little donation and the kiddies will thank you, as well.”

Lady: “No, absolutely not! I have no money at all.”

Me: “Well, you can give what you want, so you could just take a bag and give some small change. Like, 10 cents would be fine. Every little bit helps.”

Lady: “No, that is impossible; I have no money.”

(She takes two more sample cookies and eats them.)

Me: “Well, if you are that poor, here!”

(I give her a bag of some stuff; we have lots left over and will not sell out, anyway.)

Lady: “What? Is this free?”

Me: “Yes. Consider it a Christmas gift from the kids at [Kindergarten]. Nobody should be so completely out of money they can’t have cookies at Christmas.”

(She thanks me profoundly and goes off. The other people buying stuff make good for her at least thrice, exclaiming how nice that was and grumbling about cheap people. About 20 minutes later, I see a lady hovering over the sample dish again. I invite her to help herself, then spot the earrings again. She has taken off her hat and scarf, but I recognise it’s the lady from before.)

Lady: “Oh, can I take one for free?”

Me: “Yeah, sure. Take a free sample.”

Lady: “Can I get one of the bags, please? They are free, as well, right?”

Me: “No, the bags are not free. But you can donate whatever you see fit.”

Lady: “Oh, but I have no money at all. Can’t you give me one for free?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no. We want to raise money for the kids at [Kindergarten]. And still, if you have 10 cents it would be enough if you think it’s enough to give to the children.”

Lady: “But you gave away the bags earlier; I saw it! Why won’t you give me one?”

Me: “Because I know you are the only person I’ve given one to all evening, and nobody else so cheap came here after you. Please enjoy the free cookies you got earlier, but if you want more, please donate at least something.”

(She then slunk off and that was the end of it. The vast majority of the people were great, but there are some that will never get into the spirit of giving, only taking.)

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