The Mother Of All Voices

, , , , | Right | October 20, 2018

(Our store has been having a lot of trouble with people, from children to young adults, fooling around on the escalators — running up the down escalator and vice versa, putting their feet on the sides and sliding on the down escalator, sitting on the steps, etc. I work at the jewelry counter, which wraps around the base of both escalators, and our department members have tried politely asking people to practice safety, to no avail. I get permission from my manager to start being a bit more firm. I have a very chipper, cheery personality, and my normal pitch is a bit high, but I’ve done some theater, so I am able to lower my pitch and project my voice pretty darn far, and I also have the benefit of being able to imitate my own mother’s truly terrifying “Mom voice.”)

Me: *next time I see a teen girl crouching on the up escalator, hanging off the handrails* “STAND UP, PLEASE.”

Girl: *jerks her head around to stare at me*


Girl: *immediately stands*


(I turn around and my manager and coworkers are staring at me.)

Me: *normal voice* “I think that worked.”

Coworker: “Holy s***.”

Manager: *laughs* “Even I snapped to attention a little bit! It’s so weird to hear that voice coming from you; normally you sound like a Disney princess.”

(A few days later, I’m showing a customer pieces when the after-school crowd from the nearby middle school shows up. Two girls start racing each other up the down escalator behind me.)

Me: *turning my head* “TURN AROUND AND WALK DOWN, NOW.”

(They come down and scamper away with their friends, and I turn back to the customer, who’s looking at me a little wide-eyed.)

Me: *normal voice* “Sorry about that. You wanted to see this bracelet?”

(Not even a minute later, I hear the tell-tale loud squeaking of people trying to slide down the escalator, this time a few middle-school boys.)


(They stand properly and ride down normally, and I turn back to the bug-eyed customer. I apologize again and continue assisting her.)

Customer: “Um… Do you know those kids?”

Me: *nonchalant* “Oh, no, but I don’t want to clean up blood today.”

(The next day, not wanting to have my customer service interrupted again, I stood by the base of the down escalator ten minutes after schools got out, and waited. When the crowd of middle-schoolers showed up, I counted at least three who walked directly to the down escalator’s base, suddenly noticed me standing there staring at them, and quickly veered away. Saved my throat from the “Mom voice” for a day!)

Acting More Precious Than The Jewels

, , , | Right | October 2, 2018

(I work in the fine jewelry section of a department store, and this is a conversation I’ve had numerous times with different customers.)

Customer: *trying on a gold and diamond pendant necklace* “This is pretty. I’ll get this one.”

Me: “Sure! Let me ring that up for you.”

Customer: “Oh, could I get one from the back?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we only have one of these in stock.”

Customer: *disappointed* “Really?”

Me: “Yes, the majority of our higher-end pieces will only have one per store.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I wanted one that hasn’t been touched. Could I get another discount then, since this is a display item?”

(Our fine jewelry is kept in locked glass cases.)

Me: “No, ma’am, unfortunately, that’s not something we can do. If you like, I can order you one from the warehouse?”

Customer: *sighs* “No, that’s too much trouble. I guess I’ll just take this.”

(With the number of pieces we have, it’s rare for an item to be tried on by more than a single customer. And while I’ve had this conversation about necklaces, bracelets, and rings, I’ve never had it about earrings, which is the ONLY sort of jewelry you might be concerned about someone before you trying on. We are careful to clean them with alcohol after. I’ve never had this issue in the years I worked in clothes, and you don’t want to know how many people tried on that dress before you did!)

Pearls Of Irony

, , , , | Right | September 12, 2018

(I get a phone call from out of state, which happens more often than it should. I happen to answer it.)

Me: “Moshi-Moshi?”

(Because I don’t recognize the number, I have a little fun with it. It’s the polite Japanese greeting over the telephone.)

Caller: *pause* “Is this [Person]?”

Me: “Nope, sorry. You’ve called Hawaii.”

Caller: “Oh. Was that Japanese?”

Me: “Yep.”

Caller: “Isn’t that kind of ironic?”

Me: “What is?”

Caller: “That you’re Japanese and you live in Hawaii.”

Me: “I don’t know what you mean.”

Caller: “Well, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, right? Isn’t that ironic?”

(I was stunned and slightly offended, and decided to hang up.)

Not Much Scarier Than Flagrant Misogyny

, , , , , | Related | July 20, 2018

My cousin and his wife have been ribbing me ever since I gave their daughter nightmares by showing her a certain Robin Williams movie about a magic board game.

Tonight at dinner, their daughter starts talking about waking up scared again and, fearing the worst, I ask why. She points to her father and says, “We watched Ghostbusters.”

Cue my cousin’s wife glaring at him, while he indignantly tries to claim that the movie wasn’t scary because it was “stupid” and “starred four women.” I don’t know about the movie, but the look in her eye was frightening enough!

Will You Please Just Pokémon-Go Away?

, , , , | Friendly | July 9, 2018

(My mom and I are on a bus together on a mutual day off. I went into the city to play Pokémon Go, while she needed to run errands and asked me to keep her company first. The errands run way longer than expected, and she apologizes and lets me pick where we go for what’s left of the day. I’m playing while talking to her, and she’s even looking at my game and commenting about it the moment a middle-aged man moves from his seat to sit across from us.)

Man: *to me* “Now, ma’am, I have to say something. You see this person sitting next to you? They are your best friend.”

Me: *giving him a dead-eyed stare* “That’s my mom.”

Man: “They are your best friend. And you’re on your phone, talking to your Internet friends. Now, you see, you can have your Internet friends…or you can have your best friend. You can’t have both of them.”

(I raise a perfect Spock Eyebrow and keep staring at him. He is looking at me for reaction, and looks like he might even keep going until he sees the look my mom, who doesn’t suffer lightly idiots, mansplainers, or weird men approaching her daughter, is giving to him. The guy silently decides to move back to his original seat with the air of someone who has imparted great wisdom.)

Me: “Soooo, I guess we can’t be Facebook friends anymore?”

Mom: *rolls her eyes and shakes her head* “Go catch another coconut tree-thing.”

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