Inheriting Some Real Hot Real Estate

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 8, 2014

(I’m riding a subway and working on a crossword puzzle one day when an elderly woman carrying a Bible sits down in the seat across from me. After a moment or two of staring at me, she points at my T-shirt, a collage of AC/DC album covers.)

Elderly Woman: “You listen to rock music, young man?”

Me: “Yes.”

(She then points at my crossword puzzle.)

Elderly Woman: “And you’re left-handed!”

Me: “So?”

Elderly Woman: “You’re going to the 12th circle of Hell, young man!”

Me: “I’ve read ‘The Divine Comedy.’ There are only nine circles, according to Dante. So apparently, I’m getting my own private home in Hell? Thanks!”

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Should Be As Easy As Pie To Explain

, , , , , | Working | April 25, 2014

(My mom and I are eating dinner at a country-style restaurant that features homemade desserts. I’m in my mid-twenties. We have been getting along great with our waitress all evening.)

Waitress: “So, any dessert tonight?”

Mom: “I’d like a piece of strawberry pie to go, please.”

Waitress: “Sure! And you?”

Me: “None for me, thanks.”

Waitress: “Are you sure? We have chocolate and lemon meringue tonight, too.”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Waitress: *winking at me* “Tell ya what? I’m going to box you up a piece of the strawberry, too, on the house for being such great customers.”

Me: “Wait, I’m a diabetic. That’s why I don’t want dessert. But thank you for the offer. That’s really nice.”

Waitress: “You’re a diabetic?”

Me: “Yes.”

Waitress: *to my mom* “Is she really a diabetic?”

Mom: “Yes. So that’s just one piece of strawberry pie to go and then the check, please. We’d better get going.”

Waitress: “You can’t be a diabetic. You’re skinny!”

Me: *Pause* “Well, I am. I was diagnosed five years ago.”

Waitress: “Were you fat before you were a diabetic?”

(I am visibly uncomfortable. I don’t mind discussing my health, but I prefer not to with total strangers. My mom notices and squeezes my hand under the table.)

Mom: *very calmly* “We’ll have the check now, please.”

Waitress: *to my mom* “Does she just have an eating disorder?”

Mom: “No, and to be honest, we prefer not to discuss this any longer. I just want the check.”

Waitress: “Are you mad? I was only asking. No need to get mad.”

(She leaves to get the check and the manager comes over.)

Manager: “How was everything, ladies?”

Mom: “Our food was great, and I hate to say this because our waitress was great all evening, but you may need to talk to her about appropriate conversations with customers. My daughter has a medical condition and our waitress pushed a little too hard and asked some personal questions.”

Manager: “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve never gotten any complaints about her before but I will talk to her.”

(He reassures us that it will never happen again. We pay the check and get up to leave when the manager comes back with two to-go boxes.)

Manager: “Ladies, I’m sorry you had a bad experience, so I wanted you each to have a piece of chocolate pie on the house.”

Mom: *heavy sigh* “Thank you. My daughter can’t have dessert, but we’ll take the other piece to her father.”

(The manager is flustered and tries to offer us something different, but we just want to go. As we are walking to the door, the waitress walks by.)

Waitress: “That’s chocolate pie! I knew you weren’t a diabetic!”

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Charity Begins At Home Furnishing

, , , , , | Right | April 9, 2014

(As a charity shop, all items are donated to us. The staff are volunteers and so do not receive wages. The money made from sales goes to our cause – in this case, the care of the elderly in a local home. I approach a customer that has been looking at a sofa for some time.)

Me: “Can I help?”

Customer: “This sofa, isn’t it a bit expensive?”

(Customers sometimes try to haggle or cheat us, so I’m not surprised so far.)

Me: “Well, even though the sofa has no signs of wear and looks to be new, it has been heavily discounted. It would be triple the price from any other shop.”

Customer: “Yeah, but this is a charity shop.”

Me: “Yes…”

Customer: “So I don’t see why you can’t just give it away.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I rent out property, you see. I get more if the places are furnished, but if I have to buy the furniture…”

Me: “We can’t just give things away. We raise money for the charity, which cares for elderly people.”

Customer: “Yeah, but you get this stuff for free.”

Me: “… ”

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The Land Of The Free From Thought

, , , | Right | April 1, 2014

(I am the manager at a discount department store, and one of our regular customers is a little bit flaky. She often talks to herself, repeating herself over and over.)

Customer: “Where are you from? What country do you come from?”

Me: “I was born in Colorado.”

Customer: “You need to go back to your country at once. America is for Americans.”

Me: “Colorado is in America.

Customer: “You must go back! You must go back! You must go back!”

(She continues this ad nauseam until she finally leaves. A few weeks later, she returns and purchases some items. Her total is $7.60 or so, and one of the coins she hands me is a Canadian quarter. I calmly inspect said quarter, and hand it back.)

Me: “I can’t accept this coin. Here in America, we only accept American currency. If you want to spend the Canadian currency, perhaps you should, you know, go back to Canada to do so.”

(I haven’t had a problem with her since.)

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The War On Terrorizing Customers

, , , | Right | March 28, 2014

(I, like many other Brits, like to wear a remembrance poppy through October and November. I work in an in-store bakery inside a larger supermarket, where adornments are not usually permitted in case they fall off into our raw products. I have bought a remembrance poppy from the British Legion. I laminate the paper part to make it wipe-clean and glue the stem to a safety pin, so it’s not likely to fall off my uniform. My manager gives me the go-ahead to wear it, and I am chuffed. Most customers who see it compliment me on work-proofing my poppy and being so keen to support the charity; however…)

Customer: “Excuse me. What is that?!

Me: “What, sir?”

Customer: “That… that atrocity next to your name badge!”

Me: “Sir, it’s a remembrance poppy, a charity symbol. To honour our war dead and injured veterans.”

Customer: “I know what it is, you blithering idiot! What have you done to it?”

Me: “Sir, I customised it a little bit so it would be safe for me to wear in my work environment. Nobody else seems to mind. In fact, the poppy seller at the front of the store was telling me he wishes they’d make laminated or plastic poppies anyway.”

Customer: “You’re defiling a religious symbol! You should be sued!”

Me: “It has nothing to do with religion! It’s the emblem of a charity and a national symbol of remembrance. Plenty of people from all religions and countries lose their lives in the tragedy of warfare. I lost a friend in Afghanistan several years ago. Furthermore, once I have bought and paid for the poppy, it is my property to do with as I wish. Laminating it was not intended to be disrespectful, but rather the opposite.”

Customer: “But—”

Me: “Can I ask you, sir, would you have reprimanded me for not wearing a poppy at all? I am quite young, after all. You might blame me and my generation for not caring about our veterans.”

Customer: “Well, you young people can be quite disrespectful. I don’t approve of the means, but I guess I understand the motive.”

Me: “So, can I actually help you, today, sir?”

Customer: “Just think before you defile a religious symbol next time!” *walks away*

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