Not Really Knocking ‘Em Dead There, Friend

, , , | Working | July 16, 2020

I’m actually the idiot here. I am new to my job as a bank officer. This happens at a time when various welfare government pensions are being disbursed. However, some people know only that some pension has to be credited, but not which. As back employees, we have nothing to do other than tell them whether the same has been credited or not.

A customer comes up and asks me a question, pointing to the woman beside him.

Customer: “My wife’s pension was supposed to be credited to her account. Can you check it?” 

He gives me the account number. I see no credit, but I’m trying to be helpful.

Me: “There is no credit. If you tell me which pension, I may be able to tell you where to enquire about that.”

Customer: “We don’t know what it’s called.”

Me: “Is it any unemployment benefit?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Is it her widow pension?”

They stared at me, wide-eyed. I realized with horror what I had just said. I profusely apologized and quickly directed them to the nearest government office.

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Not Exactly The Soundest Counsel

, , , , , , | Learning | June 27, 2020

It was just before our final exams in school. In my country, you appear for these exams under a certain state or national “Board,” and these marks determine if you clear cutoff for colleges. The higher your marks, the higher your chances of getting into a good college, unless you have to sit for competitive exams.

Our stress was through the roof, all students studying harder than ever to either clear the Board exams or competitive exams because these would determine what our lives would be like. 

It was during this time that I had a severe heartbreak. A guy I used to like rejected me, then went on to have a friends-with-benefits relation with his previous crush who had rejected him. Worse even, this girl was one of my best friends; she had pestered me to share my sadness with her secretly, only to go and spill them all to my crush. They didn’t get into a relationship, which made it worse for me.

Meanwhile, I had to study for my exams and manage school events and ECAs, as I was the Head Girl and the sole one in my position.

Things got worse when my subordinate, the Deputy Head, left his post following some personal reasons. My crush — who was also a great friend until all this — made fun of my appearance and I got extremely lonely. The Friend-With-Benefits even went on to have some action (nonsexual) right in front of me. 

Basically, I was miserable.

So, I went to my school counselor, who also holds an important position in the school authority. We had worked together in organising many events. She also taught us Psychology. She had done many shrewd and outright b**** things, but she was the only one I could share my concerns with.

I wanted to tell you that I’ve been feeling very lonely lately,” I explained. “I’m sitting among my friends, yet I don’t feel like I belong there.”

Mind you, all the people I sat with are great friends even now.

“Now, now, you don’t come to school to talk to friends, do you?” the counselor asked.

“I mean, they are a very important part of my school experience,” I said. “I do look forward to their presence.”

“You are making a mistake,” she insisted. “You come to school to meet your friends. Recently your grades have gone down. You are doing poorly.”

There wasn’t any way she could tell that. We hardly had any tests before we went on study leaves.

“If you want good marks, you have to work hard,” she continued.

Then, she uttered the worst set of words she could come up with.

“If you want to score above 95%, get rid of your friends.”

I was horrified. These friends meant life to me. We did almost everything together, even walking back home together. We even got so late that at first our parents worried. But then, all the parents knew and even chatted amongst each other while waiting for us.

Apart from these friends, I had almost no one. I was already having trouble with two friends thanks to crushes gone wrong. Now, the counselor wanted me to get rid of all of them. I wanted to score well, but not at the cost of my mental health.

Needless to say, I ignored her advice. I could settle for a mere 80% but not lose my mental peace. Later, it turned out that I had anxiety and depressive phases, and my friends actually helped me through it.

Fast forward to the very exciting and nervous result day. I drew up my result, and it turned out, I topped my class, scoring more than 95%, actually, with full marks in two subjects — all this without losing even one friend. By then, I had already made up with my ex-crush and his fling and was seeing another guy. 

We went to collect our results and all the teachers congratulated me. The counselor came up, ignored me for some time, and then looked at me.

“I expected you to do better,” she said before walking off.

We went rolling on the ground hearing what she’d said.


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They’re Going To Regret That In The Morning

, , , , , , | Right | May 8, 2020

I work at a call center for a cellular network. We are open 24/7 so everyone gets night shifts. 

A lot of callers are just drunkards, calling and talking dirty with female executives. At first, we are instructed to simply disconnect the call, but the number of calls doesn’t go down. Now, we have started logging in “caller used abusive language” and “flagging” the interaction. 

The QA on shift hears the call and if they find it abusive — which it always is — they will block the number. 

The customer will call next morning saying he isn’t able to make calls and the executive tells him that his number is blocked because of his behaviour. 

In order to unblock his number, he has to submit a written apology at his nearest cellular retail store. 

Within a month, these calls dropped.


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One Door Closes, Another One Stays Closed

, , , , | Related | July 1, 2019

(I have reached home after class and as my parents have gone to an aunt’s house, I try to use my key on the door. Our house has two front doors, and as I try to open the door with the key I have, it turns out to be bolted from the inside. Usually, when my parents won’t be home at the time I return, they unbolt the door and leave through the other door. Now, apparently, they’ve left through the main door and forgot to unbolt my door. Forced to wait out in the sweltering heat, I try calling my parents and leave about six missed calls — petty, I know, but I just hate being locked out. With no answers, I finally text my brother.)

Me: “Don’t Mom and Dad have their phones on them?”

Brother: “They must have, why?”

Me: “I’ve been trying to call them for a long time and they’re not answering.”

Brother: “What’s wrong?”

(I’m tired of waiting outside and just want to make sure they haven’t left a key of the other door for me.)

Me: “The door’s bolted. Can you please tell them to call me?”

Brother: “Did you try ringing the doorbell?”

(I was about to type an annoyed reply when realization struck me. The front door opened and my brother was waiting with a smug grin. He had said that he wouldn’t be going with them but I had completely forgotten. An hour later, I had to explain to my worried dad why I’d left him six missed calls while he was taking a nap. I learned not to fly off the handle like that again.)


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Burger, Frustration, And Milkshake

, , | Right | May 21, 2019

(I am the customer in this story. I am hosting a small party for my birthday at a very popular fast food joint. We are almost fifteen people, and our order is really complicated since everyone wants a different kind of meal with different drinks. As such, the cashier has a tough time with my order but she is extremely patient and makes sure to take the order correctly. I pay for my order and take the numerous trays to the table, helped by friends. By this point, I am very flustered, too, since my friends are complaining about not getting the right drinks, etc. By the time I have made sure everyone has the right food, I realise I forgot to buy food for myself. Extremely annoyed, I go back to the counter.)

Cashier: “Namaste! How may I help you, ma’am?”

Me: “I forgot to buy food for myself in all that confusion. I’ll have a [burger meal].”

Cashier: “Sure! Your total is [amount].”

(I pay, take my tray, and start walking towards the table when I realise I forgot to get ketchup. I am so frustrated now that I storm to the condiment bar and put my tray there. I obviously am not paying much attention, because the entire tray falls down along with the food. There are fries and drink everywhere on the floor. I have had enough. I go and sit at my table with a huff.)

Friend #1: “Where’s your food, [My Name]?”

Me: “I dropped it, and now I’m not going to the counter again.”

Friend #2: “Look, [My Name], the cashier is calling for you.”

(Sure enough, I turn back and see that the cashier is gesturing to me to come to the counter. I go over, and she hands me a tray with a burger, fries, and a drink.)

Me: “But I dropped my—“

Cashier: “Take this; it’s on the house.”

(I thanked her and went back to the table. Thank you, kind lady. You made my day! Or rather, my birthday!)


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