The Free Lunch Was Only The Beginning Of The Perks

, , , , , , | Learning | April 20, 2021

I’m completing the final year of my apprenticeship for my company. They come around and ask us if we could volunteer to attend a school event to promote the company and potentially encourage the next generation of apprentices.

As soon as it’s clear that this won’t be paid as overtime and only for an extra day off, most of the guys refuse to help, moaning about “free labour.” However, I volunteer as I reckon that four hours worked on a Saturday for eight hours holiday is probably still a good deal.

We do the event and I enjoy it way more than I thought. Inspiring young minds and seeing how they handle the tasks is enjoyable. I help a few of the school kids and get some good feedback on the day. Plus, we get a free lunch and I am already planning what to do with my day off.

When I finish my apprenticeship, the other in my year and I are interviewed to see where we will be placed. There are a few hotly contested areas so we all want to do well.

Interviewer: “Sorry, but have we met?”

Me: “I’m not sure, sorry.”

Interviewer: “Didn’t you do that school event?”

Me: “Oh, yes, sorry. I recognise you.”

Interviewer: “I remember. You really took charge that day. I was impressed.”

Apprentice Manager: “You know, he volunteered that day without pay.” *Smiles at me*

Interviewer: “Really? Oh, that really shows dedication. Listen, we are going off track, but there is a really promising role in [department]. They have been looking for someone who is willing to learn and succeed. It’s not strictly an [ex]apprentice position, but I think they would consider you. What do you think?”

Me: “That’s great, thank you!”

It took some convincing, but I got the job! A couple of the other guys in my year tried to lodge a complaint, saying that they would have volunteered if they had known, or something, but it was thrown out before it got anywhere.

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Holy Guacamole! Part 3

, , , , , , | Right | April 19, 2021

I’m at a fun dinner meeting for members of an international high school group that I’m a part of. It’s for students doing international transfers between America and Japan or America and South Korea.

We’re at a semi-fancy restaurant where Korean and Japanese food are cooked in front of you in a showy way. It isn’t busy at this hour and the woman who owns the place is lounging at the bar. We’ve come to know her during our meetings; she is a commanding woman who enjoys us hosting our meetings here.

Unfortunately, some members’ parents have decided their other kids should join us too even though they won’t be traveling with us and have done nothing but whine of boredom and distract us from our pre-dinner meeting. One of the little sisters is thirteen, so too old to be acting how she does.

Tempers are rising but are sated when food starts being served. The little sister gobbles her fried rice in less than one minute.

Little Sister: “So, where’s the rest?! I want more!”

Older Sister: “You have to wait until after they finish cooking your food.”

The little sister sees that other people haven’t eaten as fast and emits a shriek in my direction.

Little Sister: “GIMMIE YOURS!”

Me: “Uh, no. You eat yours. I eat mine. It’s not my responsibility to feed you.”

Little Sister: “THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

Me: “Well, yeah, it is, actually. I paid for my food. Did you? No, your parents paid for yours. So since your parents didn’t pay for mine, I’ll eat all of mine.”

As though she thinks she’s being discreet, the little sister starts dramatically inching her hand across the table as soon as I set my bowl down for a moment. I pick up a fork and drive the tines into the tabletop as dramatically as I can in front of her hand.

Me: “Back. Off.”

The owner calls from across the dining room.

Owner: “CHILDREN! Please stop that nonsense!”

Me: *Grumpy but polite* “Yes, ma’am.” 

Little Sister: *Intentionally defiant* “My mom says I don’t have to listen to anyone but her!”

The owner starts texting on her phone, looking annoyed. Somehow, the older siblings keep the little sister in check until our main course is finished and plated. Surprisingly, our adult chaperone arrives a bit later to “keep an eye on us” even though this meeting was only supposed to be for the students.

The chaperone does nothing. Yet again, the little hellion girl eats her food too fast to taste it and starts showing her interest in everyone else’s plates. She also starts trying to steal others’ sodas. I get an idea; I turn to the older sister with a dollop of wasabi paste on my chopsticks.

Me: “Gosh, I just love the guacamole they include on these plates, don’t you?”

Older Sister: *Playing along* “Oh, right, so amazing.”

The little sister catches interest, seeing the two of us eating the green stuff.


Me: *Dramatic eye roll* “Okay, you can have mine, but on one condition. You listening?”

Little Sister: “Yes! Gimmie!”

She reaches for my plate, which I hold back.

Me: “You cannot speak again until you are back in your parent’s car because we have been trying to finish the meeting and you’re distracting.”

Little Sister: *Obviously not listening* “OKAY! GIMMIE!”

I scoop the rest of the “guacamole” into a spoon and give it to her, nodding to the others. Everyone grabs their soda and tea for dear life as the greedy little gremlin deep-throats her spoon covered in wasabi. Of course, she immediately starts sobbing and turning red, grabbing at our drinks. She fails to get something to quench the fire. The owner comes over with her hands on her hips. 

Owner: *Loud, commanding Mom voice* “Well! Are you all proud of yourselves now?!”

I presume she is talking to me since I initiated the prank.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. It’s just that I couldn’t—”

Owner:Hush, you!” [Chaperone], who is the littlest one and why is she like this?!”

Chaperone: *Startled* “Well, I couldn’t tell her parents that only some of their children could be here…”

Owner: “I don’t care for your excuses. Next time, only the [international student group] members can come to [international student group] meetings. I’m not a daycare! Either you do it my way or no more events can happen here, okay? I love these mature children, so that hurts me, too!”

Chaperone: *Awkward* “I’m sorry, ma’am. I’ll do better.”

Thankfully, we were able to make up for lost time in another meeting before the trip, and I never had to trick another child into eating a whole spoonful of wasabi again. The trip was amazing!

Holy Guacamole! Part 2
Holy Guacamole!

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Get With The Times Or Pay The Fines

, , , , , , | Learning | April 18, 2021

My mother is a long-serving special needs teacher with almost thirty years of experience in the field. After serving in a number of schools, she has spent the last decade and more as an advisory teacher who travels around schools helping them to give appropriate assistance to pupils with disabilities and other educational needs. A lot of what she does involves issuing laptop computers to children who need them, something not all schools seem to understand.

She has been called out to a school that has a headmaster with rather old-fashioned ideas to assess a pupil with motor control issues. Her assessment is that he needs a laptop to enable him to complete his work. She reports this to the headmaster.

Headmaster: “Oh, no. You see, handwriting is one of our key skills here, so we will not allow him to use a computer.”

Mother: *Bluntly* “Well, then, I’ll have to report you to the Equalities Commission.”

Headmaster: *Gasping* “W-WHAT?!”

Mother: “The law says that you must make reasonable provision for pupils with disabilities. You are telling me that you are going to refuse to do that, which means I have no option but to report you to the Equalities Commission.”

Oddly enough, he decided to change his school policy there and then.

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Bad Customers Should Expect Bad Service

, , , , , | Right | April 15, 2021

I am a cashier. I used to start crying when someone was mean to me; now I just say a little prayer in my head that their bags will rip on the way out. I have an extremely rude customer and I am biting my cheek in order to not snap at her.

She finishes paying and FINALLY pushes her cart up for me to put everything into the cart for her. However, I have a huge line, she has a lot of bags, and she’s pissing me off! So, I hand her her receipt and start ringing up the next person.

Customer: *Scoffs* “Aren’t you going to put my bags in my cart?!”

Me: *Pretending I misheard* “Hm? Oh, yeah, you can put your bags in the cart. It’s okay.”

And I continued helping the next customer. The best part is, I am known for mishearing things all the time, even with my coworkers and family, so no one told me off because they just assumed I misheard again.

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Schrödinger’s Groceries, Both Paid For And Not Paid For At The Same Time

, , , , , | Right | April 14, 2021

I am working at the register near the door when I see two teenagers walking by, each with a bag of items. I bid them a good night, but as they go through the sensors, the alarm goes off.

Me: “Oh! I’m sorry, could I see your receipt and bags real quick? The managers make me do this.”

I always say that and it tends to help people not get mad at me for having to do my job.

Customer #1: “Uh… sure…”

They step back over and I take the receipt and start looking through the bags, really just glancing. But I notice that the receipt only has like five things on it and they have well over fifteen items.

Me: “Um… it looks like you have some things here that aren’t on the receipt. Did you have another receipt?”

Customer #2: “No. What do we have that’s not on there?”

I take one of the bags and set it on the counter.

Me: “Everything that’s in there. Did you want to purchase those here real fast?”

I hand them back their other receipt. What [Customer #1] says next, I will never forget, because it makes no sense.

Customer #1: “Well, we already paid for it but we don’t have enough money to pay for it.”

Me: *Bewildered pause* “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer #1: “We already paid for it but we don’t have enough money to pay for it.”

I just stand there for a moment, blinking a few times and trying to figure out what I’m hearing.

Me: “I… see… Well, unfortunately, you can’t take these items if you don’t have a receipt for them. You can come back later for them when you have some more money.” 

And then I just watched them walk off into the distance. I knew that they were trying to steal, and in our store, if we stop someone from stealing, we get 10% in cash of the total amount of items we saved. I looked into the bag again to start counting the prices and started laughing. The kids had torn off all of the barcodes but left all of the sensors on, assuming that the barcode was the sensor!

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