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Try Not To Flubber Your Lines

, , , , | Right | June 8, 2022

In the ’90s I worked for a now-defunct retailer that sold books, music, and movies, and also did movie rentals. When we were slow in the other departments, we would help out putting returned movies away. As I was doing so, I heard this exchange (which has been burned into my brain for twenty-five years) between a customer and our video manager:

Customer: “What’s this one about, this Hamlet?”

Manager: “That’s Shakespeare, the Shakespeare play. They did a movie of it.”

Customer: *Pointing at Mel Gibson on the cover.* “You mean him?”

Manager: “Right, Mel Gibson plays Hamlet. Glenn Close is in it too, Alan Bates. Good cast.”

Customer: *Looking at the pictures on the back.* “So who does Shakespeare play? Which one’s he?”

Manager: “Um, he isn’t in it…”

Customer: “So he’s the director or what?”

Manager: “No, he wrote it…”

Customer: “But he’s not in it?”

Manager: “No, he… he’s been dead for some time…”

Customer: “Well, what’s it about?”

My manager gives him a two-sentence summary of the plot, to which the guy responds with nine words that instantly became an employee inside joke for ages afterward, and I quote:

Customer: “So it’s not a family movie like Flubber, then.”

He left with ‘Flubber.’

I Just Learned Something New

, , , , , , | Healthy | February 10, 2022

My cat passes away, and in the stress of dealing with his illness, I do forget to wear a mask outside a couple of times. The following days after his death, I suddenly get very sick, and naturally, all I can think of is that I caught something when I forgot to wear a mask. I have almost entirely lost my voice. So, I decide to get tested.

The nurse looks down my throat.

Nurse: “Yeah, you look a bit torn up in there from coughing. Let’s get the tests started.”

She swabs for a couple of different things, and while we are waiting for the results, she says:

Nurse: “Also, your tonsils looked kind of inflamed and oddly shaped…”

Me: *Croaking* “My what?!”

Nurse: “Tonsils, in the back of your throat?”

Me: *Coughing* “I had a tonsillectomy seven years ago!”

Nurse: *Pauses* “That would explain the odd shape they’re in. Well, you’re negative for [contagious illness], strep, and flu, so it’s probably tonsillitis.”

It turns out that, much like if you have part of your liver cut off, your tonsils can grow back, too. I’m the first person I know to have tonsillitis after getting tonsils removed. Good grief!

When The Hold Isn’t Holding

, , , , | Right | January 18, 2022

The restaurant I work at has two phones for the same line, and at the moment, my coworker is taking a phone order on the first line while I take an in-person order. The other phone rings, so I go to put it on hold.

Me: “[Street] [Restaurant], this is [My Name]. Can I put you on a quick hold, please?”

Caller: “Sure.”

I put her on hold and continue helping the people in front of me. Forty seconds later, I am still taking their order when the same phone I just put on hold rings. The last person hung up, then. I apologize and go to put it on hold again. It’s the same woman, as I can see from Caller ID.

Me: “[Street] [Restaurant], this is [My Name]. Can I put you on a quick hold, please?”

Caller: “Oh, sure.”

I put her on hold and finish helping the customers in front of me. Then the phone rings again, also her, meaning she has called, hung up, called, hung up, and called the store within the two minutes it took me to help another customer. I’m irritated, but I pick up the phone.

Me: “[Street] [Restaurant], this is [My Name]. What can I do for you?”

Caller: “Oh, finally. I think I’m still on hold with you guys.”

Me: “You can’t be on a hold right now, as I’m speaking to you.”

Caller: “No, on your other line, then.”

Me: “We only have one other line, and I’m watching my coworker take the same order she’s been taking for the last four minutes. There is no available line for you to be holding on.”

Caller: “Oh… Well, I’d like to place an order—”

She’s a regular, and yes, she’s exactly that much of a pain every time.

In Short, I’m Short

, , , , | Working | December 24, 2021

First of all, I’m short — as in, measurably under five feet tall. This happened when I was about thirty-six (then the mother of three). I’m not sure I really looked like I was in my thirties, but I was carrying a “mom purse”.

It was about mid-August and I had previously mentioned to my husband that I would need new shoes soon. We were driving into the city and he said he’d drop me off at [Department Store] so I could get some new shoes. He kept our three young daughters with him.

I walked inside and noticed that the store seemed busier than normal, but it didn’t sink in that school was starting in a matter of days until I saw the chaos in the shoe department. Parents and their kids were cramming the shoe section.

I was standing there confused about where I should look in all this mess, and one of the employees, in the middle of a mad dash across the store, stopped in his tracks and asked me if I needed help.

Me: “I need new shoes.”

He pointed to my right and away from most of the activity.

Employee: “Adult section is that way. What size do you need?”

Me: “Three and a half.”

His mouth gaped wide open and he sputtered for a moment or two while I was trying to suppress my laughter at his stunned expression. He finally pointed to my left.

Employee: “Children’s shoes are over here.”

Yes, I’m now pushing sixty, and I still shop in the children’s shoe section, but that was the funniest reaction I’ve ever had to my extremely small feet. They fit nicely with my extreme lack of stature.

Look. Do You Want To Sell A Car Or Not?

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

My wife and I have been looking for a particular model of car for a while, and suddenly, a local dealership has three of them! They’re all used but made within the last couple of years, with mileage varying from 14,000 to 60,000. We go through the nonsense of testing them all and choosing one. The one we decide to buy has 40,000 miles on it and is three years old. The only problem is that the initial asking price is at or above how much it’d cost if I bought a brand new one, made this year as a custom order, from the factory. Time for negotiations.

Salesman: “So, what’ll it take to get you in this car?”

Me: “I want it, but the price is way too high. I could buy a new one online for that much.”

Salesman: “Oh, but that’s because it’s the [Model] S edition, not the [Model] X edition. The [Model] S is… [blah, blah, blah, blah].”

Me: *Pauses* “No, that’s not what I meant. This [Model] S from [three years ago] with 40,000 miles on it costs as much as a [Model] S from this year with zero miles on it. I’ll buy it if you can sell it for a fair price. Somewhere around [75% of their asking price] is much closer to the [Industry Standard Website] suggested price.”

Salesman: “Oh, you can’t trust [Industry Standard Website].”

Me: “Again, though, I could just leave and buy a brand new one for your asking price.”

Salesman: “The price is non-negotiable.”

Me: “C’mon, you know that price is nonsense for a used car. Why can’t you negotiate?” 

Salesman: “I don’t set the prices.”

The salesman suddenly makes an excuse to leave and sends in his colleague.

Colleague: “Hi there. I hear you want [vehicle]. We can get you monthly cost of—”

Me: “I don’t care about the monthly. I care about the overall cost. Are you able to negotiate the price?”

Colleague: “The prices are firm but let me get [Other Employee] in here to see about financing options—”

Me: “Are we seriously gonna do the salesman hokey pokey, where you and a couple of others jump in and out of the room to try to exhaust and confuse me into agreeing to a bad deal? I’m not here to play children’s games. I want you to sell me a vehicle that I’m ready and willing to buy, right now. How is that so hard to sell under this circumstance that you need to get three separate men and—” *checks my phone* “—two hours to negotiate? Does it take this many men to change a lightbulb around here, too?”

The colleague stutters for a second before regaining his composure.

Colleague: “Well, uh… Let me get [Salesman] back so you can talk about finances with him.”

Me: “No, thanks. I’ll just buy a brand new one online, customized how I want it to, for that same amount. Bye!”

I left the office, followed closely by [Colleague]. [Salesman] looked mad at [Colleague] but didn’t say anything about it in my presence. [Salesman] called me once a day for the next three days but I brushed him off each time. On the fourth day, he sent me an email with prices a few thousand dollars less than the non-negotiable price, begging me to come back and make a deal with them. I simply replied asking how he had the authority to change the prices now after he was so sure he couldn’t change prices before. He didn’t reply.