Cutting Caffeine Is Baby Steps

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2018

(I’m ringing up a regular customer, an old-school hippie type. He’s very, very chatty and emphatic, so I’ve been making small talk with him. He’s in his late fifties or sixties, and I’m a twenty-year-old woman.)

Customer: “Oh, and do you have any free samples of the yerba mate tea?”

Me: “Yeah, we’ve still got a few left. Which flavor would you like?”

Customer: “Dark roast! Hey, can I take a couple? My friend is quitting coffee so I want her to try some!”

Me: “Sure, go ahead.”

Customer: “Yeah, these are great for if you’re quitting coffee, or even just cutting back! It’s still got caffeine, but it’s way less harsh on your body than coffee!”

Me: “Huh, maybe I should try it. I probably drink too much coffee.”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, you totally should! Coffee is just so hard on your body! You know, you should just think about your eggs, the babies you’re going to have! Right now they don’t exist; they’re floating around in some netherworld, waiting for you! They’re hoping you take care of your body, so you can carry them safely!”

Me: “…”

(The customer grins wildly and enthusiastically as he packs up his groceries, completely unaware that he might have broken some boundary.)

Me: *awkward pause* “I really like the taste of coffee, though! Have a great day!”

(Pro tip: unless you’re her gynecologist, her mother, or her long-term partner, maybe don’t start chatting to women about their wombs!)

There Is No Method To This Madness

, , , | Friendly | June 27, 2018

(My boss’s daughter sometimes comes in to chat. She is into fashion and works at a jewelry store, while I’m more technical and interested in science.)

Boss’s Daughter: “So, you’ll like this because it’s all science-y. I went to a specialist to find out if I have any allergies or intolerances to food, because sometimes I just don’t feel great after eating something.”

Me: “Really? I’ve got some seasonal allergies and I’ve been meaning to get a skin test done to figure out exactly what’s going on.”

Boss’s Daughter: “I’ll give you the contact info. But the way they figured it out was way cooler than a skin test. So, they ask you to wear loose clothing so that they can access a patch of skin on your shoulder, and they blindfold you. She’ll put a piece of fruit or vegetable against your shoulder and ask you to make an ‘okay’ symbol with your hand. While the piece of produce is on your skin, she’ll try to break the circle you make with your fingers. If she can, it means that you have a sensitivity.”

Me: “That… isn’t really scientific at all.”

Boss’s Daughter: “I don’t know, it sounds like they have a whole method and all that.”

Me: “That would be the scientific method, and no, it isn’t.”

Treating Disabilities Is Going Down The Toilet

, , , , | Working | June 27, 2018

(I am pregnant and have had awful morning sickness lasting the whole day. At about five weeks, I let my manager know so she won’t wonder about my extended bathroom breaks. I work in a large office building full of gossips. I am worried people will hear me getting sick or notice me being in the cubicle for ages and spread rumours before I am ready to announce my pregnancy. My manager speaks to HR, who notifies Building Security that I will temporarily need to use the only disabled toilet in the building, which is near the security desk. They also say we don’t currently have any registered disabled employees, so I can take as long as I need in there. A few days later, I am in the middle of a bout of morning sickness when someone tries the door. I ignore it and, as they don’t knock, I assume they have gone away. About five minutes later, the sickness has passed, so I wash up and exit. An angry woman I haven’t seen before is outside the door.)

Woman: “Finally! What was taking you so long?!”

Me: “Uh… That’s really none of your business.”

Woman: “It is when you keep me waiting. I have places to be.”

Me: “Well, you could have used one of the standard bathrooms instead of waiting.”

Woman: “No, I want to use this toilet. Why are you in there, anyway?”

Me: “I already told you: that’s none of your business.”

Woman: “But you’re not disabled!”

Me: “You don’t know that.”

Woman: “Yes, I do! You look normal! You’re not disabled!”

Me: “On that basis, neither are you, so why are you insisting on using the disabled toilet?”

Woman: “It’s none of your business! How dare you?!”

Me: “My point exactly.”

Woman: “Oh, f*** off. Why didn’t you answer me when I knocked?”

Me: “You didn’t knock. You tried the handle and then I thought you left.”

Woman: “Well, you should have told me you were in there.”

Me: “Did the locked door not make it obvious?”

Woman: “You’re such a b****. Just f****** let me in. And in future, stay away from this toilet. It’s not for you to use.”

(At this point one of the security guards comes over to see what the fuss is about. I fill him in.)

Security Guard: “[Woman], this is a disabled bathroom and is for use by employees who are permanently or temporarily disabled. You cannot stop someone from using it, and you cannot ask someone why they are using it. We normally turn a blind eye to people using this bathroom, but I’m now going to have to ask you to use the other bathrooms.”

Woman: “You can’t do that! It’s discrimination! I need to use this toilet; she doesn’t! She’s only faking. She just doesn’t want to do any work.”

Security Guard: “If you have a need to use this bathroom, please let HR know and they will notify us. Until then, you must use the normal bathrooms.”

Woman: “I won’t stand for this! I’ll contact HR to make a complaint.” *to me* “Tell me your name so I can tell HR what you’re up to.”

Me: “Happily. It’s [My Name].”

(Afterwards, a number of my colleagues told me this woman had emailed them to ask what my disability was, so I complained to HR. It turns out she had already complained to HR about me using the disabled toilet. When they said I had a legitimate reason to use the bathroom, she tried to get information on my disability from HR. This was the last in a long line of complaints against the woman, and she was let go.)

Straining To Voice Their Hypocrisy

, , , , | Related | June 27, 2018

(I get a phone call from my grandfather.)

Grandfather: “Hey, [My Name]! I haven’t heard from you in a while.”

Me: *coughing, obviously strained throat* “Hi… I’ve been sick.”

Grandfather: “Oh, that’s terrible. I just had one question about my computer for you…”

(I try to talk as little as possible. After the email thing is figured out, something which could have been easily resolved by Google, he says this:)

Grandfather: “Well, your grandmother wanted to talk to you, but I don’t want her to strain your voice. You should rest as much as possible and not talk at all.”

Me: “Mh-hm…”

Grandfather: “Well! I love you! Talk to you soon!”

Dad Needs The Medicine Of Truth

, , , , , | Related | June 26, 2018

(My mother recently broke her ankle and is couch-bound. This is hard for both my dad and me, as I have to take care of her and the house, while my dad has to do this — albeit to a lesser degree — while I’m at work. He’s used to telling my mom to get everything for him during the day while he’s working. He thinks he has pink-eye and can’t get in touch with his eye doctor, so I drive down there. I set up an appointment and call him.)

Me: “Okay, I’ve got you an appointment tomorrow at 11:00 am.”

Dad: “I don’t have time for that.”

Me: “I’ll try and set up a different time.”

Dad: “No, I’ve sent you a picture of my eye. Tell them to look at it and give me a prescription.”

Me: “…”

Dad: “You there?”

Me: “I don’t think it works like that.”

Dad: “Just ask them.”

(I go to the desk and look at the receptionist.)

Me: “I’m sorry. I already know the answer, but can you look at this picture and write my dad a script?”

Receptionist: *looks at me like I have two heads* “It doesn’t work like that. The doctor needs to see him, and I’m not a doctor.”

Me: “I know. I’m so sorry.”

(I call my dad back and tell him that they need to see him in person, not a picture.)

Dad: “I don’t have time! Why can’t they just give me the medicine?”

Me: “Because it’s illegal.”

(I still don’t think he gets that. This was by far the dumbest errand I’ve ever had to run. What’s worse, when I told my mom, she said this isn’t the first time he’s done this.)

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