That Is ‘Pretty’ Awesome

, , , , , , , | Healthy Related Right | August 15, 2009

(I am a photographer running a studio in the inner city. We are well known for our children’s portraits, and we range from high-end portraits for modelling jobs to fun sibling photos and birth announcements. We do a bit of everything; as such, we are extremely busy, and it states on our website that we do not accept walk-ins. We are usually booked up six months in advance. One day, ten minutes before closing, a mum walks in with a young girl around six or seven behind her. I internally groan.)

Mother: “Hello. I know you’re closing soon, but I have a special favour to ask.”

(At this point the little girl peeks around her mother’s legs and I’m lost for words. Under her thick winter coat and hat, she is skeletally thin with huge dark circles under her eyes. From what I can tell, she has no hair, and a tube taped to her cheek that feeds into her nose. It is immediately clear this kid is very, very sick.)

Mother: *near tears* “My daughter saw one of your photos taped to the wall at the hospital. She REALLY loves unicorns and the photo had a girl photo-shopped onto a horse. I know you’re booked up, and it’s months before the next appointment, but…”

(At this point she actually starts crying. I realise that our next available appointment is probably way too far away for this particular kid. The little girl squeezes her mother’s hand. I am a very big dude, covered in tattoos and a beard, but I’m not ashamed to say I needed a minute before I spoke.)

Me: “Aww, that’s just for regular customers! I’ve been waiting all day to take a photo of someone as beautiful as you! What’s your name, sweetheart?”

(I lock the front door and spend the next three hours taking photos of this kid in every princess costume I have in my closet. She is the sweetest, most well-behaved kid I have ever worked with. Once we’re done she curls up on the couch in my office and falls asleep while I load up the photos for her mum to see and choose the ones she likes best, and ask her what kind of retouching she’d like done. She’s adamant that I leave her daughter as is — apparently the little girl has been worried for the past month that she is no longer “pretty.”)

Me: “All right, so we’ve settled on these. I can have them edited and all finished in two days. If you give me your email I can send you the link to the website and the password to download them when they’re ready.”

(The mother thanks me over and over and comes up front, carrying her sleeping daughter, and holds out her credit card.)

Me: “Nope. No way.”

Mother: “Please, I insist. You stayed open so late and your shoots are listed for [amount] online. Please at least charge me that.

Me: “Absolutely not. I am not taking money for this. No way in h***.”

(A few days later I send the link through and hear nothing. I see she’s downloaded the photos and I think nothing of it, hoping my sweet little friend loved her photos. Almost six months later I’m once again closing up when a very familiar face pops up at my window, grinning and waving frantically.)

Me: *throwing open the door* “Hey, you!”

Little Girl: “Hi! I’m better! Look, I’m better!”

(Sure enough, she’d put on some weight, was flushed and pink, and had a fine fuzz of hair over her head. Her mother was a few steps behind her, grinning. She once again tried to force an envelope full of money into my hand, and again I refused. She got frustrated and eventually in her exasperation said, “at least let us take you to dinner!” which I happily accepted. Seven years later that photo of a sick little girl astride a giant pink unicorn is in a frame in my lounge room. My now-step-daughter groans every time I point it out to the friends she brings home!)

1 Thumbs
3,750

No, Really: Sink Or Swim

, , | Right | August 14, 2009

(I’m manning the rope swing we have at the deep end of the pool. A guy in his mid- to late-30s comes up to me.)

Guy: “Um, is this safe for me to have a go?”

Me: “Sure, adults can use this. You’ve just got to be able to swim in deep water.”

Guy: “Yes, yes. But it can hold my weight, right? It won’t break?”

Me: “No, it’s safe. The water would break your fall anyway.”

Guy: “Oh, okay.”

(The guy grabs the rope, swings out and purposely lets go. However, instead of swimming, he begins sinking to the bottom with his hands weakly flapping as he tries unsuccessfully to pull himself up. I immediately dive in and pull him up. After I’ve gotten him out…)

Guy: “You said it was safe!”

Me: “You said you could swim!”

1 Thumbs
5,608

Would You Like To Super-Size That Band-Aid?

, , , | Right | August 10, 2009

(I’m working register when a lady comes up leading her sobbing son. He has a big lump on his forehead that’s starting to turn black and blue.)

Customer: “Could I have some ice for his head? He hit it on something.”

Me: “Yes! Poor little guy.”

(I fill a glove with ice, wrap it in a paper rag and hand it over.)

Me: “First Aid is just down there.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks. Hey, while we’re here, could I get a grilled chicken salad?”


This story is part of our Terrible Parents roundup!

Read the next Terrible Parents story!

Read the Terrible Parents roundup!

1 Thumbs
2,222

There’s No Substitute For Brains, Either

, , , , | Right | August 5, 2009

Customer: “Do you have a pill I can take instead of drinking water?”

Me: “Um, what do you mean?”

Customer: “When I’m at work and I drink water, I have to pee so much! I know there’s got to be a pill I can take instead.”

Me: “There’s really no substitute for drinking water.”

Customer: “No! I know there has to be some kind of pill you can take instead of drinking.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s not.”

Customer: “There has to be something. Never mind, I’ll try to find it myself!” *wanders over to the vitamin aisles in search of water pills*

1 Thumbs
2,608

The CSR Of Delphi

, , , | Healthy Right | August 5, 2009

Me: “Good evening, thank you for calling [Bookstore]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “My husband is going in for a CAT scan, and he’s kind of claustrophobic. I was wondering what kind of equipment they use?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I really don’t have that kind of information. Maybe if you called your doctor?”

Caller: “It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday night! My doctor’s office is closed, duh! That’s why I’m asking you!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we really don’t have that information.”

Caller: “Well, you have books, don’t you? Why don’t you just go and look it up in a book?”

Me: “Ma’am, we do have a small selection of home reference medical books, but I can’t look it up for you.”

Caller: “Well, you have an intercom, don’t you? Why don’t you just page a doctor and ask him to come to the phone and talk to me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We really aren’t allowed to do that sort of thing.”

Caller: “Well, can you at least connect me with the information desk, or is that too much to ask?!”

Me: “This is the information desk.”

Caller: “Well, a fat lot of good you are!” *click*

1 Thumbs
2,578