As If Pregnancy Wasn’t Stressful Enough!

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | May 20, 2020

After a job contract is up, we’re moving back home from Honolulu to Seattle. My husband is wrapping up the last bit of work in Hawaii while I fly home with our two-and-eight-ninths kids. That is, I’m a couple of days away from being thirty-six weeks pregnant, nearing the end of the time airlines and obstetricians like pregnant women flying. I’m very excited to get back home.

But it seems like everything is working against it. Part of the highway is closed to film an episode of Hawaii 5-0. The line to check in is way longer than anticipated. And there’s a line to check that we’re not exporting exotic flora. And there’s a huge line for security. At the end of this line, I accidentally leave a carry-on bag, not realizing until I’m halfway to the gate, so I have to go back. And of course, my husband was unable to get a gate escort pass, so he can’t help.

I end up running as fast as an eight-month-pregnant woman can, pushing my two-year-old in a stroller laden with carry-on bags, dragging my four-year-old, both kids crying, my glasses slipping down my nose from sweat; it’s hot in Hawaii, and our trek includes an outdoor walkway. 

Fortunately, the plane crew knows we’ve checked in and a flight attendant is holding the door for us; they close it as soon as we’re through.

Out of breath and flushed, we make it to our seats, where the flight attendant and the passenger in the last of the four-seat middle row kindly help us stow our carry-ons and fold up the stroller. I notice the passenger’s eyes get big as he sees my obvious pregnancy bump.

“Don’t worry,” I reassure him. “I still have a month to go, and my older two weren’t early. I have no labor symptoms, even after running through the airport, and I really, really want to get back to the mainland. If I start labor, I’m crossing my legs until it’s too late to turn back.” His relief is palpable!

We make it back with no new passengers arriving, and a flight attendant even helps me from our arrival gate to baggage claim where my parents meet us. I get her name and let her supervisor know.

My youngest is born three weeks later, well after my husband has rejoined us.

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Signing Yourself Up For Friendship

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 8, 2020

(My two preschool-aged children and I are taking the bus home. Both have speech issues, so we use some sign language as well as their gradually-improving English to communicate. The speech therapist says that signing is a great way to help them out; rather than not communicating at all, they just have trouble talking, which is resolved a few years after this story happens. I’m signing to them when two young men catch my eye and start signing to me. The following conversation takes place in American Sign Language. In ASL, it’s common to have name signs to avoid spelling out a person’s name every time you need to reference it.)

Young Man #1: “You three sign? Is one of you deaf?”

Me: “No, we’re hearing, but the kids are still learning to speak, so we sign in the meantime. I learned to sign in school, so at least this way they can tell me what they need!”

Young Man #2: “Oh, I see. Good thing you sign. It’s nice to meet you; we almost never see people signing!”

(Both young men spell their names and show their name signs.)

Me: “Nice to meet you, too!”

(I introduce both of my children by spelling their names and giving their name signs, and I introduce myself by spelling my name.)

Young Man #2: “Do you have a name sign?”

Me: “Huh. No, they just call me ‘Mom.’ I haven’t needed a name sign!”

(We didn’t come up with one for me and I still don’t have a name sign, but the young men and I got a good laugh out of my neglecting to think of one.)

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Password Blurred

, , , , | Right | February 2, 2020

(I work as a service coordinator at an MSP in Honolulu. We reset passwords, work on networks, etc., for dedicated companies)

Client: “Hi, I deleted my file with all my passwords in it and I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, we can recover that file for you.”

Client: “Oh, no, that’s too much trouble. I just want to know what to do if I forget my password.”

Me: “You want your password reset?”

Client: “No, I know my password but what if I fall asleep and forget it?”

Me: “Well, we can always reset your password, or we can recover the file with your passwords on it so that you have a copy of your password.”

Client: “No, I want to know what I should do if I forget it. I’m really afraid I’m going to fall asleep and wake up and forget the password.”

Me: “We can reset your password in that case.”

Client: “But then what if I forget that one, too? What if I fall asleep and the next morning I can’t remember it?”

Me: “Let me transfer you to a technician, ma’am.”

(He ended up resetting and advising her to call in when she forgets it.)

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Unfiltered Story #181163

, , , | Unfiltered | December 29, 2019

(I am standing behind the counter in our pharmacy, transferring money from the till into a bag when a wild customer appears…)

Customer: “Hi! Do you work here?”

Unfiltered Story #179768

, , , | Unfiltered | December 14, 2019

I work in a small franchised “specialty” shoe store. The area we’re in is the main tourist hub, right on the beach, but there also happens to be a rather large homeless population. Once in a while we have a problem transient and are forced to call security, but it’s been quiet since the beginning of the year.
Next to us is a jewelry shop; on my way back from the restroom I noticed an oddly thin woman standing in front of my store. Because the door to my shop was closed she decided to go into the jewelry shop. I unlock and open up, as I’m standing behind the counter I hear someone walk in.
“Aloha!” I greeted two bodies without looking up as I worked on the POS system.
Two women had entered the store, one in a blue dress, the other was the oddly thin woman. As the thin woman approached the counter I could detect a smell unique to the homeless in the area. I look up to greet her, I can smell her, and she coughs in my face.
“So, how much are these?” She pointed to the caddie full of lip balm.
“Oh, they’re about five dollars. They have sunscreen in them too.”
She coughed again, a wet nasty cough.
“So are you just fucking rude to homeless people or something?”
I looked at her, having been working on the register. I gather very quickly that our neighbors in the jewelry store had to ask her to leave.
“Sorry?”
“What’s your fucking problem with homeless people? Like, are they allowed to be in here?”
The woman leaned over the counter to a point where it would have made anyone uncomfortable.
“Totally, if you’re going to buy something.” I didn’t give her my full attention, just sort of answered her question and continued working on my register.
“Well FUCK THAT. Can’t just fucking stand in the store if I want to?”
The other woman, having heard the thin woman cursing, decides to bolt and leaves the store. The exact reason we don’t like it when vagrants hang around.
“No, sorry. You should leave, I’m calling security.”
The woman coughed in my face again, then turned and ran.