Needs To Update His Newsfeed, Not His Operating System

, , , , , | Right | September 16, 2019

(It is September 16, 2001, five days after the terrorist attacks on the USA’s east coast. While we are 3000 miles from there, many people have friends or family who have been affected. Our computer store was supposed to have the new Mac OS available, but with plane flights suspended, we haven’t gotten it yet. One man is less than understanding, and is screaming at my coworker:)

Customer: “What do you mean, you don’t have it?! Your ad promised it would be here, and I reserved a copy weeks ago! How can you not have it?!”

(He pauses for breath and I put on my best “helpful customer service” voice.)

Me: “Sir, due to the terrorist attacks Tuesday, in which thousands of people died, shipping has been disrupted. Would you like to leave your name and number so we can call you when your order arrives?” *which we’d be doing for everyone who pre-ordered, anyway*

Customer: *after a long pause, blushes, and whispers* “No, thank you; I’ll check back later.”

(At least he had the grace to be embarrassed.)

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The Day That Silenced Everyone

, , , , , , | Right | September 11, 2019

(In September 2001, I am on vacation. While I’m there, my boss suffers a massive heart attack and has to be placed in a medically-induced coma. I return home from vacation late on the evening of 10 September and go into work the next morning needing to handle the small company myself. Of course, the day ends up being one of the worst in US history. Several of our clients and vendors are in New York City, and my boss was still comatose. To top it off, we import a significant portion of our product from Scandinavia, which is then held in Customs during the Anthrax scare a week following 9/11. Most of our clients are understanding, but I have variations of this conversation multiple times a day — including with the owner.)

Client: “Why isn’t my [product] here yet?”

Me: “As you know, [product] is shipped from Scandinavia—“

Client: “So?”

Me: “Currently all shipping containers are being held at Port Authority—“

Client: “What?! Why? I need it!”

Me: “Due to recent events, everything is being secured—“

Client: “Well, what the h*** are they even doing?”

Me: “Checking for explosives and/or Anthrax.”

Client: “I want to talk to [Boss]!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but [Boss] is currently unavailable due to a medical emergency—“

Client: “When will he be back?”

Me: “At this point, I am unable to say.”

Client: “…”

Me: “…”

Client: “…”

Me: “I will email you as soon as your [product] clears customs and is in route.”

(When my boss woke up six weeks later, we had to explain to him how the world had literally changed, which caused a second heart attack. I ended up running that small company for the next four months, and then quit once my boss was back and recovered.)

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Maybe He Overheard There Were “Fine People On Both Sides”

, , , , , | Related | September 10, 2019

(My six-year-old son is reading a book about “boys who dare to be different.” He is going to take it to school for share time, so we’re looking for one of the stories he can explain to his classmates.)

Son: “I want to talk about this one!”

Me: “Oh, that’s Hans Scholl [WWII resistance fighter]. I don’t think your class is ready for learning about Nazis.”

Son: *excitedly* “But I like Nazis!”

Me: “Nooooo, we don’t like Nazis…”

Son: “No, I really like the Nazis!”

(I explained that Hans Scholl was fighting against the Nazis and gave him a brief rundown on why we really, really don’t like the Nazis.)

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Minecrafting Some Good Questions

, , , | Learning | September 4, 2019

(I’m giving a guided tour to a group of kids, ranging in age from six to eight.)

Me: “The paintings on the walls were really impressive for the people back then, since they didn’t have TV or newspaper or even paintings of their own. This helped them picture the biblical stories they heard in the church.”

Kid: *raises hand* “Sooo… It’s like if you were playing Minecraft… or if you could play Minecraft… and then if you were really bad at it… then you would come to the church and like, watch and be better at it?”

Me: “Yes. I guess it’s like that.”

(I love that the kid managed to relate my explanation to something more familiar to him, but I was really curious where we would be going when we started from Minecraft. The kids were very inquisitive and asked many questions I had never had to answer. Other highlights were the kids debating why the church was made of wood if even their apartment blocks were made of stone — they were very sceptical of my explanation that wood was more affordable and easier to work with back in 1750s — one kid asking me how the windows were made, and yet another kid confessing to me that he was afraid that a wooden statue in the church would come to life and attack him.)

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Quentin Tarantino Really Took Liberties With History On That Movie

, , , , , , | Working | August 26, 2019

(I work for a film locations company. I get a call from a stage director.)

Me: “[Company], how can I help you?”

Director: “Yeah, I’m looking for an old house.”

Me: “Okay! Can you give me a few more specifics? Do you mean run down, or from a certain decade?”

Director: “I need a first-century house.”

Me: “Sorry, did you say first century?”

Director: “Yeah.”

Me: “So, like… a cave?”

Director: “Ugh, no! Umm, okay, have you ever seen Inglourious Basterds?”

Me: “Yes.”

Director: “You know the old house from the opening scene?”

Me: “Yes.”

Director: “I need a house like that.”

Me: “Okay. Now that I have a sense of what you need, I’m sorry to say that we don’t have any properties in our database that look like that. Our houses are more residential.”

Director: “Ugh, seriously? Well, I guess I’ll have to look elsewhere.”

Me: “I’m so sorry we couldn’t help you today, but for your future reference, Inglourious Basterds takes place in Nazi-occupied France in the 1940s, so you’re looking for a house from the 20th century.”

Director: “Thanks.” *hangs up*

(The opening shot, with the house in the background, literally states the setting year is 1941.)

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