The Boy, The Octopus, And The Strawberry

, , , , | | Right | August 12, 2019

(I work for tips as a balloon artist at a local arts market.)

Boy: “Excuse me. How much is a balloon?”

Me: “I work for tips.”

Boy: *looks confused*

Me: “That means you pay whatever you want.”

Boy: “Okay!” *runs off, returns a few minutes later* “Can you make me an octopus?”

Me: “Sure!” *makes balloon* “Here you go, sweetie.”

Boy: “Thank you! Here’s your tip!” *pulls out a huge, bigger-than-his-hand strawberry* “I don’t have any money, so I chose the biggest, bestest strawberry! Bye!” *runs off with octopus balloon*

Boy, Were They Wrong!

, , , , , , , | | Romantic | April 30, 2019

(I recently moved to the city from my hometown in the midwest for my new job. A small group of my new coworkers has taken me out to their favorite bar in an effort to welcome me. I’m telling everyone a little bit about of myself when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and see a man I’ve never met before.)

Me: *confused* “Hello… Can I help you?”

Guy: “[My Name]? Is that really you? You look great!”

(Everyone is looking at me with puzzled looks on their faces. I honestly have no idea who this guy is, but I don’t want to be rude, either.)

Me: “I’m really sorry, but I’m not honestly recognizing who you are. Mind giving me a hint?”

Guy: “Oh, that hurts. It’s me, [Name Which Happens To Be Gender-Neutral], from high school.”

Me: *with a polite smile* “I’m sorry, but I think you must have me confused with someone else. I just moved to this area and I’m pretty sure we didn’t go to the same high school.”

Guy: “No, no, I remember you. You were pretty cute then, but d***, you’re hot now. Wish I made a better effort to get to know you better if this was how you were going to turn out.”

(He laughs it off as it’s not a big deal and tries to put his arm around me like we’re buddies. I’m getting a bit annoyed, but I simply just smile, instead.)

Me: “You said your name is [Gender-Neutral Name], right? Did you go by the same name back then?”

Guy: *a bit confused* “Well, my friends and I had nicknames for each other, but that’s what the teachers called me.”

Me: “You know what? I think it’s starting to come back to me. I remember someone named [His Name] at my school.”

Guy: “I knew you’d remember.”

Me: *with as much honesty and goodness I can muster* “Got to say I hardly recognized you. I mean, we all knew back then how uncomfortable you felt in your own skin, constantly saying you were a guy trapped in a girl’s body. I really felt bad about all the grief you got from the principal about wanting to attend prom in a tux rather than a dress, despite our entire class standing up for you. But I got to say you look amazing now – you’ve transitioned so well!”

Guy: *with a look of utter disgust and shouting* “What the f*** are you talking about? I ain’t no [homophobic slur]. I’m a real man!”

(With that, he leaves my table and me alone, with the entire table looking at me in utter confusion.)

Me: “Another fun fact about me is that I attended an all-girls high school for all four years — no boys allowed. So, when guys try that lame pick-up, it’s super easy to shoot them down.”  

(They all started cracking up. I was an instant member of their group from that point forward, and it made the transition to a new city much easier.)

Fail Caesar!

, , , , , | Right | April 26, 2019

(I work at a popular fast food restaurant that sells chicken. During the lunch rush, we have people outside on iPads taking orders. I’m standing outside in my lane when a car approaches me to order. It’s a teen guy.)

Me: “Hi. Welcome to [Restaurant]. What can I get started for you today?”

Teen: “I want a Caesar salad.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we actually don’t have Caesar salad. We have the Cobb salad, Market salad, and Southwest salad.” *hands him a menu*

Teen: *looks at me blankly*

Me: “Um. Well, I recommend the Cobb salad. That one is really good.”

Teen: *even though the menu literally says, word for word, every ingredient in the salads* “What comes in it?”

Me: *pointing at the list on the menu* “The Cobb salad comes with mixed greens, bacon, egg, corn, carrots, shredded cheese, red cabbage, grape tomatoes, and sliced-up fried chicken.”

Teen: “Okay. Um. Can I do that? But I don’t want mixed greens, corn, egg, carrots, tomatoes, or red cabbage.”

(So, just shredded cheese, bacon, and chicken?)

Me: “The mixed greens are the lettuce of the salad.”

Teen: “Oh. Okay, keep that, then.”

Me: “All right, so, a Cobb salad with chicken, cheese, and bacon only. And what kind of dressing would you like?”

Teen: “Caesar.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We don’t have Caesar dressing.”

Teen: *looks at me blankly*

Me: *shows him the list of dressings* “We have avocado lime ranch, light Italian, garlic and herb ranch….” *lists off the rest of the dressings*

Teen: “Which one is the closest to Caesar?”

Me: “Um, well, I’m not really sure if there’s one close to Caesar. If you want, you can pick a couple of different dressings to try.”

Teen: “Is the Italian like Caesar?”

Me: “Not really. Italian is a vinaigrette and Caesar is more creamy.”

Teen: “Okay, uh… I guess I’ll do Italian. And avocado lime ranch. And creamy salsa. And garlic and herb ranch.”

(I just know the person who is going to bag this order with the insanely custom salad and four different dressing is going to be like, “What the heck?”)

Me: “Sure, sir, no problem. Anything else for you?”

Teen: “Uh… no. No, that’s it.”

Me: “All right. Your total is [total]. You can drive forward and they’ll take your payment at the red umbrella.”

Teen: *looks at me confused, and starts driving away very slowly* “Um. Where do I go?”

Me: *points at my coworker standing under the red umbrella not far from me* “If you’ll pull up right over there, sir, my coworker can take your payment.”

Teen: *continues to drive slowly forward and actually drives RIGHT past my coworker*

Coworker: “Sir! Right here! I can take your payment here.”

Teen: *slams on the brake* “Oh, okay.”

(My patience has never been tested so much.)

Their Comprehension Is XXS

, , , , | Right | January 8, 2019

(A customer enters wearing expensive yoga clothes that emphasize how lean she is. She walks to the clearly-marked plus-size section, so I go to greet her. She ignores my greeting and cuts me off before I can guide her to clothes that will fit her.)

Customer: “What does 4X mean?”

Me: “It’s one of our larger plus sizes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Is that smaller than a large?”

Me: *pause* “No, ma’am. That’s much bigger than a large.”

Bad Debts Get Bad Language

, , , , , | Right | November 24, 2018

(I am a debt collector, so I have had several interesting phone calls, but this one is a favorite. To speak to someone who isn’t the account holder, we must have verbal authorization from the account holder to speak with them, for obvious security reasons.)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name], speaking on a recorded line. Who do I have the pleasure of assisting today?”

Customer: “Well, my name is [First Name], but I’m calling because you called for my dad and I’d like to know why.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. Do you have a reference number, or his full name, so I can pull up his file?”

Customer: “No, I want to know why you called my elderly father!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I do have thousands of customers, so I’m not sure why we called your father. It could possibly be a wrong number.”

Customer: “Well, we got a letter saying he owes [Client]. He has no affiliation with them! We called them, and they said he owes nothing!”

(Once a debt is in my office, this particular client forwards all those calls to our office.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, as I stated previously, it’s possible it’s a wrong number or a fraud. What’s the number we called, so I can find the file?”

Customer: “I’m not giving you anything! You should be ashamed of yourself, calling old people for an imaginary debt!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m here to help; I’m just trying to do my job.”

Customer: “I’m sorry that you have that job. You should try finding a new one, unless you’re just a crooked, evil person who likes harassing old people!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sorry I have this job. I like working here. I’m here to help, but if we’re unable to keep this on a professional level, I am going to have to disconnect the phone call.”

Customer: “Well, before you disconnect, you can go f*** yourself!” *click*

(I immediately brought that call to my supervisor to listen to and get a good laugh out of. To this day I have no idea why she thinks elderly people are incapable of accruing debt, and why they should be exempt from being held responsible for it!)

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