An Unnatural Fixation With Color

, , , , , | Working | April 21, 2021

This happens around 1993 or so. I’m about thirteen and my cousin is twelve. She is visiting for the summer. My cousin has very bright strawberry blonde hair, and her hair turns VERY bubblegum pink when she gets in a pool. This happens pretty much every summer.

The problem arises after we get to summer camp after a day at the pool and beach. [Cousin] gets called into the director’s office for having an “unnatural” hair color. He doesn’t believe her when she says that she didn’t dye it. Our grandmother comes to pick us up.

Director: “The rules are very clear; this camp does not tolerate unnatural hair colors.”

Nana: “Sir, this is her natural hair color. We went swimming yesterday and the chemicals in the pool turned her hair pink. This happens often and it will fade in a week or two.”

Director: “That won’t do! You will take her home and dye her hair back to a natural color. She will not be allowed back in until then.”

We leave. [Cousin] is in tears, absolutely baffled about what she did wrong to get kicked out of camp. Nana is muttering up a storm. I start laughing.

Nana: “What’s so funny?”

Me: “Well, the director said that cousin’s hair had to be a natural color, not her natural color. Didn’t she want to dye it black a few weeks ago?”

[Cousin]’s ears perk up. Nana gets a rather evil grin and tells me that I’m absolutely right!

Nana: “[Cousin], do you still want to dye your hair black?”

Cousin: “YES! YES, I DO! Are you really going to let me?”

Nana: “Absolutely, let’s go to the beauty store.”

The next day comes. The director calls us back into the office and calls our grandmother to come get us. The director lays into Nana about how this isn’t a “natural color.”

Nana: “Excuse me, black hair most certainly is a natural dang color!”

Director: “It’s not her natural color.”

Nana: “The rules clearly state ‘natural colors.’ Nowhere does it specify that it must be her natural color.”


Nana: “So, you mean to tell me that your black hair, your secretary with the flaming red hair, and the super bleached-out platinum blonde instructor are all your natural colors? Because I know darn well they are not! Now, you will stop harassing my grandchildren, or I’m pulling them out of this program, with a full refund, I’m reporting you to the super head honcho—”

My nana is very good friends with the head honcho, and the director knows it.

Nana: “—and I will convince every parent and grandparent to pull their kids. You have no right to harass children and their bodies. I don’t give a s*** if it’s just hair or not! You do not give impressionable kids body image issues.”

True to her word, she pulled us out after he refused to let it drop and got all the parents to pull their kids and place them in the other camp across town run by the same organization. The head honcho fired the director since numbers got too low to keep his camp open and transferred anyone who wanted to keep their jobs to the other camp. No one was sad to see him go, and the transferred employees were much happier being out from under that tyrant. [Cousin] never heard another peep about her “unnatural” hair.

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They Seriously Have Nothing Else To Argue About?

, , , | Right | April 21, 2021

I look younger than I actually am. I’ve just gotten off work, and my makeup is smeared because it’s a hot day. A man comes up to me.

Man: “Excuse me, ma’am, my partner and I were just having a disagreement about how old you are. She says you’re thirty-five; I think you’re sixteen.”

Me: “I’m nineteen.”

Man: “Oh, okay.” *To his wife* “We were both wrong.”

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Something About Catching More Flies With Honey…

, , , , | Working | April 21, 2021

One of our biggest customers has a major incident on their site and they ask our owner for help. He promises them we will help and, as without them we don’t really have jobs, we all pitch in to help.

Everyone is pulling long days, extra help is pulled in, temps are hired. Everyone is trying to do their job as well as help the customer. It is pretty intense, but at the same time, everyone working together under crisis brings us all together.

I’m working long hours to do my work and others. I’m also one of the few people to have any experience in the customer’s software, so this makes me very busy.

After a few months, the customer starts to recover and we slowly return to normal. A big meeting is called by the owner for all the team. I am quietly expecting good things.

Owner: “I just want to thank everyone for their support and dedication. [Customer] is recovering and has placed one of their biggest orders ever with us. We have become their preferred supplier. This is excellent news for the company and all of us. As a sign of appreciation, we have arranged for individual gifts for all of you. We have some surprises later on in the year, too.”

Human Resources Manager: “Please come forward when I call your name so I can check you off the list.”

I see people being called forward and they return with little handmade gift sets, bottles of wine, etc. I get called over next.

Human Resources Manager: “Here you are, and thanks.”

She hands me a small bunch of flowers.

Me: “Flowers?”

Human Resources Manager: “Yes, and thank you for your support.”

Me: “I’ve worked over 200 hours this month. Everyone else has personalised gifts and you give me a bunch of flowers? What does a bloke want with flowers?”

Human Resources Manager: “Well, we didn’t know what you liked.”

Me: “Sure, whatever, real nice, I feel very valued. Keep your flowers.”

I realise I’ve made a scene. I worry how I’ve come across but I’m angry about how little they made an effort. I go back to my desk and get on with it.

I decide to decline all further overtime. This leaves them stuck without anyone to work the software, the work starts backing up, people start to get stressed, and they start talking of hiring someone who can work the customer’s software. Just as I think I might have to help out again, I get a request to go to HR.

Human Resources Manager: “I am really sorry; the way I acted wasn’t acceptable. I should have treated you fairly. I talked to the owner and he wanted you to have this.”

She gave me a bottle of whiskey — my favorite — with a handwritten note, thanking me personally for the work I’d been doing. I did end up helping out after that.

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Customer, Interrupted

, , , | Right | April 21, 2021

Me: “Yes, ma’am, your pizza will be done in twenty minutes, and then you can—”

Caller: “Make sure it is a supreme.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we will most certainly check for—”

Caller: “B-but I might be a little late on picking it up as I’m very slow.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I will have it hot a—”

Caller: “A-and is it okay if I add a two-liter Coke, as well, to my order?” 

Me: “Yes, ma’am, that brings your total to [amount] and how will—”

Caller: “All right, I will pay when I get there. How much longer for my pizza?”

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but if you keep interrupting me, then—” 

Caller: “Me? Interrupting you? Man, you must be daydreaming. I’ll finish up when I get there! Good God!” *Click*

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Some People Just Look For Arguments, Part 2

, , , | Right | April 21, 2021

It’s slow, so my boss and I are chatting. She tells me something funny and I laugh. A customer walks in with a pronounced scowl.

Me: “Hello, sir! What can we help you with?”

Customer: “Why are you so perky?!”

Me: “Uh… come again?”

Customer: “You were laughing when I walked in here. And you’re smiling and chipper. There is nothing to be happy about!”

Me: “I’m… sorry?”

Customer: “STOP BEING SO PERKY! I should file a complaint!”

Me: “My boss is right here. Would you like to speak to her?”

My boss smiles and waves.


He storms out. My boss and I exchange glances.

Boss: “I’d love to see that complaint go to corporate. ‘Your teller was too perky!’ No, sir, you’ve just got a stick where it doesn’t belong.”

Never did get that complaint.

Some People Just Look For Arguments

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