The Flashlight Is On But There’s No One Home

, , , , , | Related | February 28, 2021

Dad: “Do you have a flashlight?”

I start to hand him my phone.

Dad: “Right. Phones have flashlights.”

He pulls his phone out and wanders off. A few days later:

Dad: “Do you have a flashlight? I can’t find mine.”

Me: “I use my phone.”

Dad: “Oh! Yes, right.”

He pulls his phone out and wanders off again. The next day:

Dad: “I need a flashlight.”

Wordlessly, I hold my phone up. He rolls his eyes, pulls his out, and walks away. The next day:

Dad: “I can’t tell if the sump pump is working and I don’t have a flashlight in the house, do you—”

I just looked at him. He shrieked in annoyance, pulled his phone out, and stalked off downstairs.

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When Your “Opinion” Is Simple Geographic Fact

, , , | Right | February 28, 2021

This conversation happens between the assistant manager of my store and an elderly female customer.

Old Lady: “Excuse me, where’s your [Rival Store’s organic produce] section?”

Manager: “We don’t have a [Rival Store’s organic produce] section, ma’am.”

Old Lady: “You mean you got rid of it?!”

Manager: “No, I mean we never had one in the first place. That’s only at [Rival Store].”

Old Lady: “But this is [Rival Store].”

Manager: “No, this is [My Store].”

Old Lady: “What’s [My Store]?”

Manager: “That’s the store we’re in right now.”

Old Lady: “When did that happen? This was a [Rival Store] last year!”

Manager: “No, this store opened nine years ago.”

Old Lady: “I distinctly remember I was here last year, and this was a [Rival Store]!”

Manager: “I’m afraid you’re mistaken.”

Old Lady: “No! I remember it clear as crystal! The [Rival Store] on [Street I’ve never heard of] next to the [Chain Restaurant that went out of business thirty years ago]!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, you’re confusing us with another location.”

Old Lady: “Well, that’s your opinion. Where’s your [Rival Store’s organic produce] section?”

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Not What They Ordered, Not That We Care

, , , , | Right | February 27, 2021

We have two shifts for waitstaff: a lunch and early afternoon shift and then a late afternoon and dinner shift. Each server covers a specific “zone,” and you hand off to another server at the end of your shift. That means that if someone comes in right when things are changing over, the person who brings them their food or brings them the check can be a different person than the one who took their order.

I’ve come in for my shift to find I have a group of six already seated with their order taken. Their meal comes up quick, and I take it out to them. They don’t seem to notice that I am a different person, but I am able to ask who had what and I get five of the six meals laid out. On the sixth, however, we hit a snag.

Me: “And here is [meal] for you.”

Diner #1: “This isn’t what I ordered.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. What did you order?”

Diner #1: “I dunno, but this isn’t what I ordered.”

I check the receipt to confirm that the meals all match what was ordered.

Me: “Okay, did anyone else actually order the [meal]?”

The table all either ignore me as they’ve started chowing down or give little shrugs.

Me: “Well, this is what is on the order form. Are you sure that you didn’t order the [meal]?”

Diner #1: “No.”

One of the other diners looks over from her food.

Diner #2: “[Diner #1], you did ask for [meal].”

[Diner #1] gives a sort of shrug. I’m getting rather annoyed because more people are coming in, and I have more orders I need to go take, but I work to keep my smile up.

Me: “All right, well, this is the [meal] that you asked for. I’m sorry if it doesn’t look like you thought it would, but this is what was on the order ticket. There is a menu there if you want to look up something else. I have to run. Let me know if there is anything else you need.”

I then left the meal in front of her and hurried off before she could claim it wasn’t what she had ordered again. I mentally wrote off that table as far as tipping goes, but one thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t pay to bend over backward for one customer when it means leaving several other customers neglected.

Of course, when I came back by, her plate was half-devoured and she was eating it quite happily. She didn’t mention the order being wrong again, and they tipped just fine.

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What Are You Feeding Those Sparrows?!

, , , , , | Related | February 27, 2021

During the health crisis, my mum’s gotten exceptionally bored as she’s had to shield, so she has picked up the hobby of bird watching by looking at the front garden from her chair in the living room. She’s been very successful in getting birds — almost exclusively sparrows — to flock as she’s been putting an inordinate amount of varied bird food, plus housing, out for them on the tree just outside that window. These are probably the most pampered — and fattest — wild sparrows in the UK.

As we’ve been hit by snow, Mum’s aggressive bird feeding policy has only upped, resulting in a LOT of fat little sparrows gathering. As of the week of this story, we’ve got about a hundred of the little hooligans fighting over the abundance of food and attacking every other non-sparrow that so much as glances at it.

I’ve made a cup of tea and, upon reentering the living room, I notice that all the little fat things have gone and that a lone sparrowhawk — without any prey — is perched on the tree with the food on. I slowly get my phone out to take a picture.

My mum is sat in the chair next to the window.

Mum: “What are you doing?”

Me: “Don’t move; there’s a sparrowhawk.”

Mum: “It’s just a large sparrow.”

Me: “Did you actually look?”

She looks directly at the MUCH LARGER THAN A SPARROW sparrowhawk.

Mum: “It’s just a sparrow… Where are the other sparrows?”

I’m struggling with my phone whilst trying not to spill my tea.

Me: “They’ve f***ed off cause a sparrowhawk tried and failed to nom them.”

Mum: “It’s not a sparrow—”

The sparrowhawk flies off.

Mum: “Oh, it was a sparrowhawk. I thought it was a sparrow.”

Me: “It’s like 100 times the size! Only the colouring is similar!”

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When Reading Is The Hardest Exercise At The Gym

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2021

I walk up to the desk of my rec centre after work to renew my gym membership. A world-weary woman behind the counter looks up at me.

Attendant: “Are you here for the gym or pool?”

Me: “Umm, I’m looking to renew my gym membership. The pool’s closed for two weeks.”

Attendant: “Wait. You know that?”

I look at her strangely.

Me: “Yeah. There’ve been signs in the parking garage and on the doors for weeks. I was staring at three signs about it as I was waiting in line. I saw it in big letters on your webpage when I checked your hours. I mean, my hand is resting on a Sharpie-written notice right now.”

Attendant: “So… some people do see them…”

Me: “I am so sorry about your next two weeks. Here’s my card to renew.”

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