This Job Is Hell

, , , , , , | Right | November 25, 2019

I am a widow and almost forty, but I look younger and many people assume I’m still in my late twenties.

I have a very physical job, doing freight in a grocery store in a very small town; there are lots of patriarchal world views out this way. 

A few months back, an elderly man was shopping right as we opened, about an hour before my shift was over. He gave me this slightly offended look while I was sweating my life away, putting heavy things on the shelf. 

Then, he asked, “What does your husband think of you doing this job?” 

I said, “I don’t know; let me ask”. Then, I bent down and yelled at the floor, “Hey, [Husband], what do you think of me doing this job?” and cocked my head to one side as if listening. After a few seconds, I stood up straight, looked the customer in the eye, and said, “I don’t think he minds.” The horrified look I received was priceless.

I’ve seen him a few times since and he just gets so embarrassed with himself when I greet him. And I make a point to smile really big and be super chipper, because that only gets him more flustered. 

I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, after all. Specifically manners.

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Yogi Bear Had It Better Than Yugo(slavia) Bear

, , , , | Friendly | November 25, 2019

(My mom has been going to the same hairstylist for years. The stylist is from the Balkans and still has family there. They know quite a lot about each other’s lives, but every now and then they surprise each other. Easter is around the corner, so the conversation turns to food.)

Mom: “We are making perogies this year for the entire family. It takes a lot of work, but they taste way better than store-bought.”

Stylist: “Oh, yes, we make them, too. They are like perogies, but a bit different.”

Mom: “Oh? What do you stuff them with, cheese?”

Stylist: “Sometimes, but usually we would stuff them with beer.”

Mom: *confused* “How do you do that? Fry them in beer?”

Stylist: “No! Beer! You know, grr!” *raises her hands, imitating claws*

Mom: “Oh, bear. Wait, with bear?!

Stylist: “It’s pretty good, and means one less bear looking for Easter dinner!”

(The stylist’s family was apparently much more rural than we thought.)

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Scream Until You Get Results

, , , , , | Right | November 25, 2019

I live in a very bad neighborhood. Mostly the people are what makes it this way. 

One day, my family decides on having chicken for dinner so I take my young daughter with me to get it. When we get to the restaurant, it’s mostly dead — not a lot of customers. I place our order and we move to the side.

While we’re waiting for the order to be made, my neighbor walks in. She’s screaming and throwing her hands in the air. She tells the cashier it’s the worst food she has ever eaten and throws a receipt at the poor cashier. 

My neighbor continues to scream about how bad her food was burnt, how horrible the sides tasted, and how the cashier had to make it right. She keeps screaming even after the manager agrees to replace her food.

My food is done, so my daughter and I immediately leave; my neighbor is still screaming. We go out to find her car parked next to mine with her eleven-year-old daughter inside. 

I ask, “Hey, what was wrong with the chicken for your mom to scream that bad?”

The daughter replies, “Nothing was wrong with it. Mommy just wanted more but didn’t want to pay for it. So she screams at people to get free food.”

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Check Out Freak Out  

, , , , , | Right | November 24, 2019

(When I am a teenager I help out at my parents’ bed and breakfast. This took place some time ago, so the numbers are fudged. A husband and wife have just approached the desk to checkout.)

Me: “Okay. What room were you in?”

Wife: “Room three. Under [Wife].”

(I quickly pull up their room.)

Me: “The total is $363.”

Wife: *shrieking* “What?! Look again!”

(I double-check the booking and nod.)

Me: “Room three, booked under the name [Wife].”

Wife: “How can it be that high?”

Me: “Well, you booked for four days at a rate of 80 dollars a night. That’s 320 there. You checked in outside of regular hours without informing us and that’s a 20-dollar charge.”

Wife: “No one told us of that charge!”

Me: *glancing at computer* “You booked online and I know our website won’t let you continue until you acknowledge the warning of that charge.”

Wife: “I don’t read those!”

Me: “Um… well, you confirmed that you had read it, so you have to pay the charge.”

Wife: “Well, that’s stupid!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you were warned about it. We can’t force you to read it.”

Wife: *huffily* “Well, what are the other charges?”

Me: “You bought a movie on cable and—”

Wife: “What movie?”

Me: “[Movie].”

Wife: “We didn’t watch that.”

Me: “Um… did you buy it?”

Wife: “Yes, but we didn’t watch it. It was stupid.”

Me: “Well… it still gets charged to your account.”

Wife: “But we didn’t watch it!”

Husband: *with a sigh* “Yes, we did. You forced me to watch it with you and you cried at the end.”

(The wife glares at him and then snaps at me:)

Wife: “Fine! What else?”

Me: “You requested a mini-bar, which adds five dollars automatically and the items taken out of it total fifteen dollars.”

Wife: “I did not!”

Husband: *holding his card out to me* “No, I did. Putting up with you on this trip made me need a drink.”

(The wife snatches the card out of her husband’s hand before I can take it.)

Wife: “It still shouldn’t be that high!”

Me: “Those are all the charges and they total $363.”

Wife: “Well, we didn’t use any soaps. We brought our own! So we shouldn’t have to pay for them.”

Me: *confused* “But you’re not—”

Wife: “And we cleaned up after ourselves! We even made the bed. So you should take that off too!”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s… They aren’t individual charges. I mean…” *takes a breath* “There are certain things that are assumed when you stay in a hotel. The availability of soaps and the cleaning services are a couple. And, while we appreciate you… assisting the cleaning, there’s no individual charge I could remove from your bill.”

Wife: “But—”

Husband: “For the love of– Would you just let him run the card? I want to get home!”

(The wife splutters at him while he takes the card from her and hands it to me. I silently run the card while the wife humphs, picks up her suitcase, and leaves. I hand the card and receipt to the husband, who signs it, turns to leave, and then faces me again.)

Husband: “Sorry about her.”

(He drops a ten-dollar bill on the desk and leaves without another word.)

Me: “Thank you, sir!”

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Play Possum Until It’s Gone

, , , , , , | Right | November 23, 2019

(I work maintenance for a property management company and often carry a work phone to take after-hours maintenance calls.)

Me: “[Company] repair line, this is [My Name]; what can I do for you?”

Tenant: “Miss [My Name], you aren’t going to believe this. There’s a baby possum in my house. Can you send someone out to come to get him?! I’m scared he’s gonna come up my stairs and climb in my bed or something while I’m sleeping!”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Unfortunately, ma’am, due to state laws, none of our pest control specialists can remove it. You’re going to have to call the Department of Fish and Game and see if they can come out and remove him.”

Tenant: “Are you sure you can’t send someone out sooner?”

Me: “I’m sure, ma’am. It would be illegal.”

Tenant: “Okay. I don’t think they’re open right now so I guess I’ll have to call them in the morning. Miss [My Name]?” 

Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

Tenant: “Possums can’t climb stairs, can they?”

Me: “I think you should be safe if it’s small enough.”

Tenant: “Okay. Okay, thank you, Miss [My Name].” 

(She called me the next morning to tell me the saga of how her neighbor came over and managed to herd the baby possum out of her home.)

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