Not All Families Are Going To The Dogs

, , , , , | Friendly | April 17, 2019

(A friend and I go to the mall together. We both have service dogs, both for different conditions. We’re in the food court, trying to decide what to eat. A stranger comes up to us with her three young kids.)

Mother #1: “Oh, look at the pretty doggies!”

(My friend and I exchange looks. We know exactly where this is going.)

Mother #1: “Do you guys want to pet the doggies?”

(Another mother with a young child, about four or five, comes up. She’s noticed the other family eyeing our service dogs.)

Mother #2: *loudly* “[Son], do you see those two dogs?”

Son: “Yes! Can I pet them?”

Mother #2: “Nope, do you see what they’re wearing?”

Son: “They have coats on! Why are they wearing coats?”

Mother #2: “It means they’re working. Some dogs have very important jobs. You know how [Name] helps people who can’t do some things by themselves?”

Son: “Yeah! He helps them go out and get food and medicine and do fun stuff!”

Mother #2: “Well, those dogs do that, too. Some help blind people, some help people get around, and some even warn people if they’re going to eat something they’re allergic to!”

Son: “That’s so cool!”

Mother #2: “But if you pet them, you’ll distract them from doing their important job! So, that’s why you never, ever per a dog wearing that vest!”

Son: “Okay, Mommy!”

(The first family seems to have understood and wanders off. I go to the second mom and thank her.)

Mother #2: “Oh, it’s all right. My nephew is an aide for people with disabilities; he works with some people with service dogs and says it’s the biggest problem.”

(We ended up buying her and her son ice cream. The son wanted to learn all about service dogs, so we talked for a while about what ours do. He also told us to tell them they were doing a very, very good job!)

Harry Potter And The Effects Of Climate Change

, , , , , , | Right | April 17, 2019

(I’m standing at the ticket stand in front of our biggest theater, which is currently playing “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” The movie is going full swing, so the halls are pretty quiet. For some reason, my eyes and throat are irritating me.)

Customer: *comes out of the theater* “Hey, I was wondering if you guys could turn down the smoke machine.”

Me: “Smoke machine?”

Customer: “Yeah, it’s a really neat effect, but there’s too much smoke and it’s hurting our eyes.”

Me: “We don’t have a smoke machine.”

(I flagged down the manager and we checked it out. Somebody had vandalized the fire extinguisher in the theater, puncturing it, so it was slowly leaking CO2. By an amazing coincidence, it reached the point where it was noticeable in the dark at exactly the same time Ron and Harry enter the mist-filled Forbidden Forest, so nobody realized what it was. We had to evacuate the theater, refund all the tickets, and close down our biggest theater. I got to finish my shift standing just close enough to the disaster to further irritate my eyes and throat.)

At Least They Were On The Hospital Side

, , , , , , , | Legal | April 17, 2019

I grew up in a small country town that was mostly made up of farms. As a result, I learned to drive as soon as I could see over the steering wheel — sitting on my grandfather’s lap — but didn’t actually get my license until I was 21. My home town is separated by a river and, until about ten years ago, there was only one bridge. Quite often there would be an accident on the bridge, blocking the whole bridge, effectively cutting off one side of the town to the other.

Before I got my license, my best friend had her first baby. Three weeks before her due date, she and her fiance had a BBQ as a last hurrah before the baby came. As I was working late, by the time I got there, everyone but the mum-to-be was well over the legal driving limit. About 20 minutes after I arrived, my friend’s water broke and the contractions were coming hard and fast — she’d been suffering Braxton Hicks Contractions for about a month so when labour actually started she didn’t realise.

We called an ambulance, only to find that an accident had shut the bridge down and all three of the ambulances in town were stuck over on the other side. As we were on the same side of town as the hospital, I decided to drive her the kilometre and a half to it. I managed to get her, the father, and my boyfriend into her car and race to the hospital. With about one kilometre to go a police car pulled up behind me and put its lights and sirens on. I ignored the cops and kept going.

I pulled up in front of the emergency department and got out, only to face two pissed-off officers. I ignored them as I send the father in to get help and, without looking at the officers, opened the back door to get my friend.

As I did this, I said to the cops, “Look. No, I don’t have a license. Yes, I was speeding, but the bridge is closed, there are no ambulances on this side, and she’s having a baby. Everyone else is drunk; I’m sober. You can arrest me once she’s taken care of.”

Another contraction hit my friend and both the male officers went pale. Doctors and nurses came rushing out and managed to get her inside.

One cop said to me, “We’ll give you a warning due to the circumstances, but you need to get your license. We hope everything’s okay with the baby.”

My friend didn’t even make it to the maternity ward, and not even ten minutes later, she delivered a happy, healthy baby boy. I got my license the next week.

Accidental Pizza

, , , | Right | April 16, 2019

(I am part of my school’s film club, and we are on the last leg of shooting our first official short film. It’s cold, and we’ve been shooting for fourteen hours so everyone’s exhausted, but we still need these last couple of scenes, so we’re putting up with it. We can’t afford to pay our cast and crew, so we decide to buy pizza for everyone. My friend calls in the order.)

Friend: “Hi. I’d like three large [specialty pizzas] for delivery to [address], please.”

Employee: “You said [address]?”

Friend: “Yes. We’re filming a movie out at the park next to the aquarium.”

Employee: “Okay, got it. Your order will arrive in about forty minutes.”

(More than an hour later, it still hasn’t arrived, so I call the store, thinking the address threw them off.)

Me: “Hey. I just wanted to check on the status of our order.”

Employee: “Oh… Oh, I see. I’m so sorry, but your driver was in a car accident and had to go to the hospital. Would you like me to refund your order, or—“

Me: “Oh, my gosh. Is he okay?”

Employee: “Yeah, he’ll be fine. It was a minor accident. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.”

(I was shocked at how eager he seemed to quell my supposed fury, though having worked in food and bev before I could kind of understand. We just sent one of the crew to pick up a fresh order to appease the ravenous actors. I called the store the next day, and it turned out the delivery person was T-boned by a drunk driver, but thankfully escaped with barely a scratch.)

Bad With Faces But Good With Lollipops

, , , | Working | April 14, 2019

(I was diagnosed with prosopagnosia, which is a disorder which makes it all but impossible to recognize faces, when I was about eight years old. I’ve learned to use ears or hair or necks along with types of clothing people wear to know who they are. After a few years of landing a job with a dream company of mine, where I’m on the phone and not doing any face-to-face with customers, we get a department transfer to my department. For some reason, I get the feeling he doesn’t like me because he’s always very brisk with me and never really says, “Hello.” While I’m friendly and easy to get along with, I don’t generally have a lot of time to chat with my coworkers, but when passing through I might quick small-chat with them if I notice something interesting on their desk, a nice new outfit, or if they catch me and want to know about how my days off were or the like. One day, I’m suddenly called into the office for a meeting with Human Resources. I have absolutely no idea what I could have possibly done and am ready to defend myself against any possible customer complaint. When I get there, the HR manager tells me who she is, as I’ve only had very limited exposure to her, and seated next to me is the guy who transferred to our department about a month earlier. I’m told I was brought in because the transfer felt I didn’t like him and had some kind of vendetta against him. Completely caught off-guard, I adamantly tell both of them I have no idea what they are talking about.)

New Guy: “I know you don’t like me because before I transferred over you had filled out a ‘coaching form’ for something I did wrong, and ever since I transferred over, anytime you see me you just stare at me in disgust.”

Me: “I stare at you in disgust?”

New Guy: “Yes! Anytime I walk by you, you’re staring at me like I’m from outer space or something! It’s because I’m Chinese! I find it offensive and racist!”

(I hear a bit of thunk, and look over to see the HR manager dropping back in her chair, putting a hand over her face and slumping a bit.)

HR Manager: “[New Guy], what do you know about [My Name]?”

New Guy: “What do you mean? I’m not interested in learning that much about someone who hates me because I’m Chinese!”

Me: “What she means is, I have a disorder that makes it hard for me to know who I’m looking at. I literally cannot tell people apart by their faces. I’m staring at you because you’re new to my department. I am looking at you because I’m trying to figure out who you are every day. You wear the same type of clothing as [Supervisor], have the same skin tone as [Supervisor], are the same height as [Supervisor], and have the same large muscle mass as [Supervisor]. You come in wearing a heavy jacket like [Supervisor] and I don’t want to say, ‘Hey, [Supervisor]! I have a question,’ and it’s you, or vice-versa. I’m looking at you like you’re from outer space because… well… everyone looks like that to me.”

(It’s dead silent for what feels like an eternity, but couldn’t be more than a couple of seconds in real time.)

New Guy: “I… Is that real?”

(The HR manager starts is nodding her head rapidly.)

Me: “Extremely rare, but very real. I have to use other means to know who I’m talking to. [HR Manager] knows about it because I let her know before I was hired. It’s actually why she said exactly who she was; I can’t tell who she is, even though we’ve spoken a few times.”

New Guy: “I’m really… really sorry. I had no idea. Really, I had no idea. I guess that’s why people thought I was odd for saying [My Name] didn’t like me.”

HR Manager: “Sooooo… is everything okay, then? We all good?”

Me: “I’m fine as long as [New Guy] is!”

New Guy: “As long as there are no grudges, yeah, I’m okay.”

Me: “I don’t hold grudges; don’t worry. Hey! If you see me staring and say like, ‘Donut!’ or something silly, I’ll always know it’s you!”

(Both the HR manager and he started laughing and we dismissed the meeting. Anytime he walks by now, he goes, “Lollipop!” so I always know who it is and say hello with his name after chuckling.)

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