Love Needs Its Beauty Sleep

, , , , , | Romantic | January 7, 2019

(It’s very late at night, and I am sound asleep when my phone rings.)

Me: *groggily* “H’lo?”

Voice: “[Not My Name]? [Not My Name], it’s Bob.”

Me: “Bob?”

Voice: “Yes. I need to know how you feel about me.”

Me: “What?”

Voice: “Look. I’ve been in love with you for years, and I need to know if you feel the same way.”

Me: “Who is this?”

Voice: *impatiently* “It’s Bob; you know me!”

Me: “It’s 2:30 in the morning. I don’t know who you are, and if you were in love with me, then you’d know better than to call me at this hour.”

Voice: “Look! I just—“

Me: “If you want to talk to me about this, find me and talk to me about it in broad daylight. I don’t love anybody right now. I’m tired. Goodbye.”

(I hung up and went back to sleep. I never got another phone call from the mysterious Bob, and no one ever confessed their hitherto unknown love for me. Seriously, though, there is no confession of love that can’t wait until at least sunrise.)

Just Axing For Trouble

, , , , , | Romantic | January 6, 2019

This happens when I am a single 24-year-old. I am walking home through my local park around nine pm — so wickedly late! — when a girl comes up to me. She’s young, maybe 16 or so, and she tells me she’s been sent over by her friend sitting at the picnic tables to ask me for my number. Apparently, her male friend is too shy to ask me himself.

While this might be considered cute to some, I have literally never seen this boy in my life before. I find it stupid and creepy. But then, I have an idea. While I have no interest in the boy, I am curious about his tactics. I let the girl take my number, and she gives me hers as well as his, so I have some back up that he’s “not a creep or anything.”

About an hour later the young man texts me. Nothing spectacular, but with traditional w1ck3d l33t txt sp33k, with no sense of grammar or spelling, asking me about maybe a date. I text back with proper spelling, capitalization, and grammar — as a hint — to suggest that I don’t know him at all, and point out that asking some stranger for their number in the middle of the night is not the smartest thing to do.

Two more rounds of text ensue; he seems puzzled by my lack of interest. Finally, I drop my kicker.

“You don’t know me at all. I’m just some stranger from the park. For all you know, I could be a psychotic ax-murderer.”

Strangely, he never texted me again after that.

I always wonder if he got the hint about harassing strange women, or if he went around freaked out that he might have just gotten himself put onto a hit list.

Not Demonstrating Acceptable Behavior

, , , , , , | Working | January 1, 2019

(At this time, I identify as a woman and have a high-pitched “customer service” voice. I have just gotten accepted for a job demonstrating a product for [Company A] at the store of [Company B]. The interview on Monday is over the phone, and the job is Saturday and Sunday, except for the first week where I will be trained on Friday. As a college student, I make it clear that I’m not available for any kind of communication between Tuesday and Thursday because I need to focus on classes. My interviewer, who is also my direct manager, agrees to this. Everything is going fine; I’ll see them on Friday. Or so I thought. Tuesday, I receive a text.)

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], how are things? Don’t forget you need to bring [documents] on Friday if you didn’t submit them by email. I haven’t checked, lol.”

Me: “Please keep in mind, I am not available for any communication on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I submitted [document] by email. We can talk more on Friday. Have a nice day.”

Manager: “Oh, I wanted you to actually train Wednesday.”

Me: “We never agreed to that. I specifically said I am not available. If you’re unhappy with my availability, I will be informing you now that I am prioritizing my class work over this job. If you want that priority changed, it’ll cost [higher price per hour], as that is the industry standard, above the wages you’re currently offering. I am including any text messages individually as one-hour charges each. Thanks for your understanding.”

Manager: “Jeez, it was just a joke. See you Friday!”

(Wednesday, the manager sends a series of about forty to fifty messages, all varying in tone from casual chatting to borderline sexual harassment, like asking me what I’m wearing and a few ranting about his ex. The final message is the important one.)

Manager: “So, are you still interested in the job or do I need to find someone more dedicated?”

(Pissed about his genuine disrespect of boundaries, and having PTSD flashbacks because of how his messages are similar to those sent to me by my abusive ex, I decide I’m done with his nonsense.)

Me: “I was still interested in the job. And I would have shown up on Friday and everything would have been fine. Everything you sent me could have been discussed on Friday as we had planned, and some of it shouldn’t have been sent at all. But now? No. I no longer want this job. You have shown me that you have no concept of boundaries, and demonstrated an inability to respect your employees. I don’t want to work for someone like you. I don’t get jobs to make friends. I do not and did not ever want to be your friend. I get jobs to make money. Learn to make friends in appropriate settings. I quit. Lose my number.”

Manager: *suddenly back-pedaling* “You can’t do this! We need you! Just take a joke! We already spent five grand securing the location at [Company B]! And you were the only qualified applicant! If you’re serious about this, you need to tell [Company A]’s owner why you’re pissing on his money!”

Me: “No, you can tell him how you threw away his money by being so unprofessional. In fact, show him our text messages. Good luck finding a new demonstration-lady with half as much experience as me, in this economy, for those wages.”

(He gets the hint and doesn’t reply. He tries to call on Thursday, but I ignore the calls, and my voicemail isn’t set up so he can’t yell at me that way. On Friday, I get a call from [Company A]’s owner and he asks me to, in my words, explain why I didn’t show up for training.)

Me: “Is [Manager]’s phone with the number [exact phone number] a company device or a personal device?”

[Company A]’s Owner: “It’s a company device. Why?”

Me: “Go to your account provider for the phone and pull up the text messages from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Call back and tell me what you think happened.”

(I hang up on him because he’s wasting my time by not having done so in the first place. On Saturday, he calls again:)

[Company A]’s Owner: *nervous* “So, uh, about the issue this week. I just wanted to personally apologize. [Manager] was… totally out of line; don’t worry about a thing. We won’t charge you a penny if you don’t share those text messages.”

Me: *in the most passive-aggressive polite and cheer customer service voice I can manage* “That’s nice of you to offer, but I don’t owe you anything. The expense of training and location rentals is the burden of the business, not of the employee. What you’re attempting is blackmail. I’ll do whatever I want, and you’ll never contact me again unless you want the police involved, mmkay?”

(He hung up on me. I happened to go to [Company B] on personal business, and saw [Company A]’s demonstration booth set up but unmanned. It remained unmanned for three weeks, until another lady started working there. After a brief conversation, I found out that [Manager] was doing the same harassment to her, and she was going to quit after only two shifts because of it! The next employee to man the booth was a man, who was a Poe’s Law-subtype of sexist with a familiar voice. Thankfully he got banned from entering [Company B]’s premises after talking too much about the anatomy of female customers, and [Company A] hired someone much more decent.)

Checking You Out When You’re Checking Him Out

, , , , , | Right Romantic | December 27, 2018

(It is the holiday season. My shift ends in ten minutes and I just want it to end without incident. My male boss is at the cash register next to me; I’m female. A middle-aged man comes up to the counter; he’s a bit annoying, but seems relatively harmless. He pays and leaves, but comes back after my boss goes off to do other things. I am twenty, but not used to people hitting on me, as I look around fourteen.)

Me: “Hello again.”

Customer: “Just decided to get something else.”

Me: “All right. What was your phone number for the rewards card again?”

Customer: *provides number*

Me: “All ri—“

Customer: “Remember it. I’m free after seven.”

Me: *too creeped out to respond*

Customer: “It was a joke.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “You’re supposed to laugh.”

Me: “Uh-huh.”

(The transaction continues in silence until the computer prompts me to ask if the customer wants his receipt emailed. It does this at random.)

Me: *trying to continue smiling* “Would you be interested in having your receipts and coupons sent directly to your email?”

Customer: “No, but I’ll happily give you my email.”

Me: *failing to continue smiling* “Please confirm the information on the screen. Okay. Your total is [total].”

(He hands me cash. I hand him change and accidentally drop some.)

Me: “Sorry!”

Customer: “Don’t worry; you can throw money at me anytime.” *leaves*

Me: *creeped out and speechless*

Next Customer: “I’ll give you a minute.”

You’re Their Number One Customer Service Representative!

, , , | Right | December 19, 2018

(I am taking a quick bathroom break mid-shift. I’ve just sat down when someone loudly knocks on the stall door. I look up to see a customer with her face pressed to the gap in the door frame, staring at me.)

Customer: “Excuse me! Do you have these pants in a size sixteen?”

Me: “I, uh… don’t know. I’m in the bathroom.”

Customer: “Well, yeah! I know! I followed you in. I just need to know if you have them in a size sixteen?”

Me: “There are other employees…”

Customer: “Yeah, but I’m asking you!”

Me: “Okay, well, uh… When I’m done I will check, okay?”

Customer: *sighs* “Okay, fine!”

(There’s a long pause, and the customer is still staring at me.)

Customer: “Are you going number one or number two? I don’t have a lot of time to wait!”

Me: “Why don’t you wait outside, and I’ll help you when I come out?”

Customer: “Why is it so hard to get good customer service?!”

(She stormed out and I was left with a bad case of shy bladder.)

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