They Undertook The Precept To Refrain From Incorrect Speech

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 28, 2018

(I work in an alternative book store at the end of a long strip mall. There’s actually another book store five doors down, but they are a Christian bookstore so we don’t have much to compete over. Occasionally we get customers from the other store walking in because they were not paying attention and get confused — or offended — by our products. The store is heavily decorated with draped fabric making it kind of dark inside. One day I see a car pull up front and drop off a cute little old lady, complete with short, curly, white hair and a pink pantsuit. The car immediately drives off as soon as she closes the door, and she wanders into our store while looking through her purse.)

Lady: *still looking in her purse* “Hello, dearie, can you help me return this book? It doesn’t have the right plants. My, it is dark in here! You should tell your manager to fix those lights; it’s not good for your eyes to be in the dark all the time!”

(She pulls out a book about “gardening with the Lord” and sets the book, with a receipt, on the counter. I can also see a gold cross on her necklace.)

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but I believe you are actually looking for [Christian Store] a few doors down.”

Lady: “Oh? Am I in the wrong store again?”

(She takes a moment to pull a pair of glasses out of her purse and puts them on before looking around.)

Lady: “Oh! You’re right; this isn’t [Christian Store]! No wonder it’s so dark in here; what an interesting place! What is this store?”

Me: “This is [Alternative Bookstore], ma’am. We specialize in books, supplies, and some knick-knacks, for a variety of religions and spiritualists.”

Lady: “Do you sell books on witchcraft?!”

(As she says this, she looks shocked and holds her hand up to her little gold cross. I brace for the usual shouting as I reply:)

Me: “Yes, ma’am. We do sell books about Wicca, along with books on a wide variety of religions, such as Buddhism and Asatru.”

(For a moment she just stares at me like I slapped her, and very slowly turns around again to look at the store. She is quiet for so long that I begin to worry about her health. Then she turns back to me, all smiles, as if nothing is wrong.)

Lady: “I’ve always wondered what people meant by those words. What is ‘Wicca’? Or that ‘bood-ish’ thing you said? Oh, can you show me any books on gardening?!”

(She was perfectly cheerful, and wandered all over the store asking a thousand questions about everything she could. Since we were slow, I was happy to talk with her and even helped her find a book on planting healing herbs. She kept looking at everything with an expression of amazement I usually only see on children. I checked her out once she decided she had had enough looking around, and we chatted for a few minutes. Apparently the car that had dropped her off belonged to her granddaughter, who dropped her off at the mall once a week, as she couldn’t drive herself, so that she could spend time in the Christian bookstore down the way. And, as her family was all very religious, she had no idea there were so many different beliefs out in the world. She left, happy, and has become my favorite regular, visiting the store every other week, and is still perfectly happy with her beliefs, but loves to talk with me about absolutely everything.)

Banana-Drama

, , , , , , | Related | July 27, 2018

(We are having a family dinner for my mom’s birthday. Towards the end of the meal, the conversation turns to my sister-in-law’s VERY elderly and sickly dog.)

Brother: “…and she insists on buying the forty-pound-bags of food for him, and every time, I tell her that the food will outlast the dog.”

Grandma: “You know, that’s how I feel every time I buy green bananas.”

When Superstition Is A Superpower

, , , , | Related | July 12, 2018

(My grandma has come for a visit all the way from Romania. She’s a quirky type and pretty superstitious.The results can be either awkward or funny. Example #1: We’re having dinner and my brother bites his tongue.)

Grandma: *translated* “Someone recently told a lie.”

Eight-Year-Old Brother: “What did she say?”

Me: “Biting your tongue during a meal means you told a lie recently and you’ll have bad luck until you tell the truth.”

Eight-Year-Old Brother: *blushing* “I was the one that dug up the flowers, not [Dog].”

(Example #2:)

Mom: “My eye keeps twitching.”

Grandma: *with her back turned, cooking* “Left or right?”

Mom: “Left. Why?”

Grandma: “Something’s going to disappoint you.”

(As if on cue, my twin brother and I come back from school.)

Twin: “Hey, Mom, you look wonderful today.”

Mom: “What did you do?”

Twin: “I failed my English test.”

(Example #3:)

Grandma: *translated* “Don’t stay in the corner of the table, [My Name] or you’ll never get married.”

Inner Me: “I wasn’t interested in getting married, anyway.”

Outer Me: “Sure, Grandma. I’ll move right away.”

Go Pee Or Feel The Bern

, , , , , , | Right | July 9, 2018

(I am a checker in a grocery store. I am working on our express lane when an older gentleman approaches, looking generally disgruntled.)

Me: “Hi, sir, how are you doing today?”

Customer: “I’m angry. I can’t believe your bathrooms are in the back of the store. I p**sed myself walking back there. I’m 80 years old, and I shouldn’t have to p**s my pants because your bathrooms are in the back instead of in the front.”

Me: *speechless*

Customer: “I’ll get arrested if I p**s in the bushes out front. Your store on [Other Street] has the bathrooms in the front. Why don’t you? That’s why I go to [Home Goods Store] and your other location. They have the bathrooms in the front.”

Me: “I do apologize, sir. I know it’s inconvenient, and it’s not how I would have designed it, but nobody asked me.”

Customer: “I know it’s not your fault. I blame the corporate bigwigs; they never think of the little guy. I’m about ready to vote for Bernie Sanders.”

(He continued on in this vein while I finished the transaction. I’m not sure what he expected me to do.)

Call Of Grandma: Outdated Warfare

, , , , , | Right | June 30, 2018

(My fiancé works in a customer service call center for a large cable, Internet, and phone company. He takes mostly calls related to cable, or payment questions and issues. This occurs one night close to the end of his shift.)

Fiancé: “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [Fiancé]. If I could just start off with your name and account number, I’d be happy to assist you.”

(The caller, an elderly woman, gives her information.)

Fiancé: “All right, Ms. [Caller]. What can I do for you this evening?”

Caller: “I’m trying to buy a game for my grandson, but I’m not entirely sure how to do it.”

Fiancé: “All right, ma’am. I’m sure I can help with you that. Were you talking about [Special Product]?”

(This is a product sold by the cable company, allowing access to several PC games provided by the company, with an addition to the customer’s bill.)

Caller: “No, no. It was some kind of war game… Modern Duty, Calling Something… I’m not entirely sure.”

Fiancé: “Okay, well, I’m not seeing anything in my system matching that description. Is there any other information you could give me?”

Caller: *yells to grandson in background* “[Grandson]? What was the name of that game you wanted?”

Grandson: “‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.’”

Fiancé: *overhearing the grandson and containing his laughter the best he can* “Ma’am, we are an Internet, cable, and phone provider. The only video game service we offer is [Special Product]. What you are asking for is a disc game, designed to be played on a gaming console. Now, it’s a decently dated game, so your best options for finding it would probably be Amazon or eBay.”

Caller: “What’s Amazon?”

Fiancé: *facepalm*

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