Not The Kind Of Attack You’re Used To Dealing With

, , , , , | Friendly | January 11, 2019

I sometimes randomly faint. It doesn’t matter if I’ve eaten or not, or if it’s hot outside or not, I just faint, or everything goes black, but I’m still technically conscious. I can’t avoid it, so the only thing I can do is sit still wherever I can.

I was in the line in the supermarket with my mother when I felt an “attack” coming. There was a wooden couch very close to the lines, so I knew I could make it there instead of having to sit on the ground. There was an old couple in front of me, so I politely asked them if they could move. They completely ignored me. Normally I’d repeat it louder, but I was feeling very fuzzy at this point and could only repeat it at the same volume. After the third time, I just pushed past them and walked to the couch. I felt kind of bad for doing that.

After a couple of minutes, I felt well enough to go to the line again so I could help my mother with the heavy bags. When I arrived, I saw that she was having a big argument with the old man and that a random woman in the line had joined in.

Apparently, the couple had heard me, but had chosen to ignore the “stupid, young, lazy brat.” After I had left, they’d started insulting me and complaining about me “pushing them to the ground because standing for a minute is too much for the youth.” My mother did not appreciate that and told them off. The old man had then started insulting her, too, and a woman in the line had jumped to her defense. Meanwhile, the cashier was attempting to convince the old woman to leave because she was done scanning their stuff and they had paid already.

The old man then attempted to make it physical, but after trying to shove my mother weakly, security showed up to escort him and his wife out.

My mother and I thanked the random woman, and I was offered something to drink by the manager, but I declined because I just wanted to go home.

The old man ended up banned from the store.

Family’s Enough To Make You Sick

, , , , , , , | Related | January 9, 2019

My twin sister and I were at our much-older stepbrother’s birthday party along with our dad. The food consisted of a BBQ outside, which our stepbrother manned, and a buffet inside. It was excellent food, but that night my dad, my sister, and I had food poisoning, my sister getting the worst of it to the extent that she spent the night curled up on the bathroom floor in pain.

My dad called my stepbrother’s wife that morning and found out that everyone had had it, including our stepsister’s one-year-old and our stepbrother’s eighty-year-old father-in-law with dementia, who ended up in hospital. My stepbrother’s wife apologised profusely every time we saw her for the next six months, as she did all the cooking that could have spoiled, and clearly felt very guilty about it.

My sister was very curious to find out what caused it and worked out that no two people had eaten exactly the same thing apart from me and her, and yet we all had it. I assumed it was going to be one of those things we never found out, until the following birthday party a year later, when my stepbrother made a joke about how even the dog got sick, explaining that it had vomited on the morning of the party and he’d cleaned it up.

Everyone one by one remembered that he’d manned the BBQ, which we’d all eaten from. He suddenly looked very sheepish, and his wife was absolutely furious that he’d let her think she’d put her father in the hospital. I seriously don’t know how it didn’t occur to him that dog vomit and food weren’t a good mix and were the probable cause of the food poisoning.

Don’t Panic; Just Attack

, , , , | Working | January 8, 2019

(I’ve been out of a job for a while due to depression and anxiety issues. Things are getting better, so I apply for a job as a picker for an online supermarket. This company is mostly run by young people who give space to starting adolescents to succeed in the market, no matter the background. I get the job and find out newbies are being put on “flow” duty, meaning that instead of picking orders, as the job description said, I’m stocking crates and the like. That works fine for me, but the crates are quite heavy and the stress level is high. One week in, I’m put on crate supply. This means I have to fill up a big trolley with crates, put it in an elevator, let the elevator go down while I take the stairs down, and unload again a level below, climb back up the stairs, and repeat. People from four different departments are nagging for crates, and I do what I can — on my own — to fill their demands. I feel the anxiety building up but I’m too busy to catch a break. At one point I feel like I’m about to burst, and I ask my department manager, who is quite a stern-looking woman, if there is something else I can do.)

Manager: “What do you mean, you need something else to do? Why can’t you just do your job?”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, but I’m doing a job that is meant for three people, on my own now, for the last two and a half hours. I’m at the end of my rope here. Can I please go back to filling duty and swap with someone else?”

(Filling means putting plastic bags in the crates. She huffs but agrees, muttering something under her breath about laziness. This adds to my insecurity and I feel tears welling up. I struggle to get a plastic bag to fit over the edges of the crate. The manager comes to stand beside me.)

Manager: *very condescending* “What? Is this too difficult for you, as well?”

Me: *shaking* “Again, I am so sorry. I sometimes get panic attacks and… and… I’m sorry; I have to go take some medicine for it. Excuse me.”

(I bolt to the break room to have a panic attack and take my meds. Unfortunately, I’m not the only person there, and soon enough I’m surrounded by concerned coworkers. I’m sent upstairs to the boss.)

Boss: “I’m so sorry to hear you are having trouble keeping up. I know what it’s like; I used to have panic attacks, too. It’s a nasty business.”

(I’m getting my hopes up; if he understands what it is, he must know how hard it is to keep a job, and will, therefore, show some compassion, right?)

Me: “It’s just the stress of the first week, I assure you. If I can maybe get the rest of the day off, I’ll be fine.”

Boss: “I don’t think you will be. We can’t really use someone like you on the floor. It holds up the production line. I’m sorry, but I have to let you go.”

(Well, so much for compassion, and way to add to the anxiety!)

No Belly Or Liver Laughs

, , , , | Working | January 8, 2019

(There’s one guy in my office who doesn’t seem to have a filter between his brain and his mouth. He continually goes out of his way to make stupid puns and lame jokes, apparently in a misplaced belief that this makes him hilarious. Nobody ever laughs. A coworker comes by to let us know he is going to be out for a day.)

Coworker: “I’m taking next Tuesday off. I have to take my wife to an appointment.”

Joker: “Oooh! Taking her out for drinks and dancing, eh? Eh?”

(Our coworker just stares at him for a moment.)

Coworker: *tightly* “No, we’re going to the oncologist to talk about her liver cancer.”

(This was news to the rest of us, too — we didn’t know he was dealing with that! — but “an appointment” is almost never a fun time!)

Many, MANY Red Flags

, , , , , | Friendly | January 7, 2019

(This is overheard at the gate waiting area in an airport. They both seem to be Americans by accent.)

Stranger #1: “So, what color do you see here?” *points at red*

Stranger #2: “Dark brown.”

Stranger #1: “So, you can’t see the red?”

Stranger #2: “No.”

Stranger #1: “Then what do you see as red?”

Stranger #2: “I can’t see any red.”

Stranger #1: “So, is this ‘red’ to you?” *points at purple*

Stranger #2: “That looks deep blue.”

Stranger #1: “Then is this ‘red’?” *points at actual dark brown*

Stranger #2: “Dark brown.”

Stranger #1: “You see brown! How about…?” *points at pink*

Stranger #2: “Yeah. That’s light blue.”

Stranger #1: “This?” *points at yellow*

Stranger #2: “Yellow.”

Stranger #1: “Oh, you see yellow, too!”

Stranger #2: “Yep.”

Stranger #1: “So, what’s red to you? Can you point at something red?”

Stranger #2: “I said I can’t see any red. Nothing at all will look red to me.”

Stranger #1: “There must be some color you see that looks red. Does black look red to you?”

Stranger #2: *sigh* “No… I see black.”

Me: *rolls eyes and walks away, muttering about how that’s not how being color blind works*


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