Bringing Some Rock’N’Roll Into The Music Store

, , , , , , , | Right | March 9, 2020

Back in 1988, I sold my small music store to a larger music store and was offered a job there. I decided to take it.

On my first day, an older lady — a piano teacher — with zero personality came up to me and handed me a note. It was a list of piano books she wanted. As there was no one in the music book section to assist — they were either away or helping other customers — I took the note and started looking for the books, even though it wasn’t part of my job or specialty.

I guess I was taking longer than expected and she came up to me and started b****ing that I was taking too long. I explained politely that it was my first day and I wasn’t familiar with the layout of the books. She huffed and said something like, “You’re just being stupid. The books are in the same places they always are.” Again, I said it was my first day and had no experience in the books, as musical instruments like guitars, drums, etc., were my specialty. That didn’t satisfy her and she continued to b**** at me while I tried to fill her order. 

She was so incredibly annoyed with me that she let out a big groan and almost yelled, “Someone get this stupid boy out of here and get me someone to get my order!” I was totally embarrassed, not knowing any of my coworkers and not knowing the store. Eventually, one of the girls came and helped her (and me). 

After a couple of weeks, I got my bearings and my confidence. I was standing at the front counter and the same old cranky sourpuss proceeded to walk up and hand me a note. I looked at it and said, “What’s this?”

“My book order.” 

I replied, “Yeah? And…?”

She looked at me sternly and said, “AND?! THESE ARE THE BOOKS I WANT!”

I handed it back and said, “When you go shopping, do you go up to the cashier in [Grocery Store] and hand her your grocery list? Go get ’em yourself.”

The girls in the music department turned and stared at me. My boss gave me a “What the h*** are you doing?” look. 

I told him, “You don’t need rude customers like this in here.” He actually laughed and from that point forward, the girls in the music book department would help people find books, but no one ever took another list from anyone else. Sometimes you have to bring that rock‘n’roll attitude to the classical music section.

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Another Reason To Hate Stairs

, , , , , , , | Romantic | March 7, 2020

My local subway station is elevated, meaning that you walk up about two flights of stairs to get to the platform. I leave for work rather early and head away from downtown so my side is typically not very crowded. A few years ago, there was a certain man who would wait for the train just a couple of steps from the top of the stairs. You’d have to pass him to get anywhere on the platform.

While waiting, he would try to hit on almost every woman who passed by him if she wasn’t alone. He’d say things like, “Hey, baby, you’re so beautiful, you’re so beautiful! Do you have a boyfriend?” Even though he didn’t follow anyone, it was pretty obvious that he was making them uncomfortable. I wanted to do something but he was a lot bigger than me. Plus, past experiences confronting people on the subway have not gone well for me.

However, I noticed that he didn’t do this on days when it was crowded. This gave me an idea. On days when I saw him, I started waiting for the train as close as I could to where he was standing without it being weird. I kept my phone out to be less obvious but whenever I saw him about to turn toward someone, I moved my body or made noise in some way to remind him that I was there — nothing confrontational, just stretching and coughing. Surprisingly, this worked extremely well. Whether out of embarrassment or perhaps because I’d put myself between him and the stop of the stairs, he stopped.

Then, one day, I reached the platform to find him in a heated conversation with a woman on the other side of the tracks. She’d noticed what he was doing and he was trying to defend himself by saying things like, “It’s just a compliment,” “I’m just being friendly,” and, “I ain’t hurting nobody.” She was having none of it and basically told him that he needed to stop, permanently, or she’d get station personnel to remove him the next time she saw it.

After that, he keeps to himself.

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Totally InDane

, , , , | Right | March 7, 2020

It’s relevant to know something about us Danes, something that makes certain other cultures view us as a bit cold and unfriendly: we like our personal space. We don’t like when our little bubble is invaded. We like to be left alone, and an unwanted intrusion is generally unwelcome. Keep to yourself and don’t cause trouble, basically.

It’s also worth pointing out that in Aarhus, unlike everywhere else in Denmark, passengers board the bus at the rear and exit at the front, or if the bus has a door in the middle, board in the middle and exit at the front and rear.

This particular bus has doors in the middle. On this ride, the bus is somewhat packed. There are no seats left, leaving only room for standing passengers, of which there are already quite a few. At one of the downtown stops, three boys, maybe 13 or 14, get on, and they immediately start causing trouble.

They are talking loudly to each other, have music blaring from a mobile phone, run up and down the bus, bump into other passengers, and talk rudely about certain passengers. Everyone else does the Danish thing and remains silent rather than doing anything about it.

As the bus steadily trundles toward the outer neighbourhoods of the city, it approaches a stop where a sitting passenger has to get up. In order for her to get out, an elderly lady with a crutch has to get up from her seat, a somewhat slow procedure. The departing passenger gets out, and before the elderly lady can sit back down, two of the three boys rush in and take the two seats.

The lady tells them, “Excuse me, I was sitting there.”

The boy now sitting in her seat tells her, “So what? Now it’s mine! Buzz off!”

Everyone around them looks miffed but does nothing, apart from one guy who helpfully offers up his seat. All this time, the driver has been waiting for the lady to be seated, watching everything in the rear-view mirror, and hearing everything as well as the boys, who are loud enough for everyone to hear. The elderly lady now seated, the bus sets off again.

However, having left the third boy standing in the front of the bus causing mischief, they soon abandon the seats to join their friend, leaving two other passengers to take the seats. Eventually, the boys wind up in the middle of the bus.

As the bus approaches a minor industrial area with nothing of interest, except to those who work there, it starts slowing down. To those of us who can see the next stop, this seems strange. No one has pressed “STOP” and there are no passengers waiting to board. The bus then comes to a halt at the stop, the middle doors open, and a voice comes on the tannoy:

“Would someone please throw those three baboons off the bus?”

In a split second, a few other passengers grab the boys by their arms or collars and more or less yank them out of the bus with enough force that they almost lose their balance, and with the doors closing, the bus sets off again, leaving the boys stranded in one of the most boring areas of Aarhus until the next bus comes by.

Strictly legal? Perhaps not. People actually cheer, though. Karma’s a b****.

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New Band Name: Sluts And Punks

, , , , , | Friendly | March 6, 2020

(One of our regular customers is a girl in her late teens who often babysits for the parents in her apartment complex. Thus, she tends to come in with a different number of kids and different ages when she visits. On this day, she has five children with her, all of whom are clearly under the age of four.)

Child #1: “[Teen], can I get soda with the ice cream? I want soda!”

Teen: “I know it’s hot, but no soda, sweetie. How about lemonade, instead? You and [Child #2] can have lemonade.”

Child #1 & #2: “Okay!”

(As the kids get their drinks, the customer I’m currently helping starts whispering to me.)

Customer: “Ugh! Can you believe that? She’s what, 16? And she doesn’t even seem ashamed. Kids today. No morals. They’re all just little sluts and punks.”

(Before I can say anything, the girl speaks up, having overheard her.)

Teen: “Excuse me, ma’am. It’s not your concern, but since you’re so curious, I’ll tell you. I happen to be celibate. I have never had a boyfriend, let alone been sexually active. Second, I babysit a lot for the parents who live in my building. That’s why I have these children with me. I’ve been babysitting since I was 11.”

(The customer just stammers, trying to figure out what to say.)

Teen: “Also, my own mother was a teen parent, but she is a wonderful mother. I certainly hope she doesn’t consider herself a slut for having had me when she was a teen because I wouldn’t want to be anyone else’s daughter.”

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Slow To Read But Quick To Complain

, , , , | Right | March 6, 2020

(I am working an express lane — fifteen items or less — when a lady with over fifty items comes through. I start scanning her order and she acts crabby and begins bagging.)

Customer: “Whenever I come to this d*** store I always have to bag my own groceries!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I can bag, but express lanes usually don’t have their own bagger.”

Customer: “Well, how was I supposed to know it was an express lane?!”

(I just pointed to the sign that said “fifteen items or less.” She shut up pretty quick.)

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