The Bridal Shower Of Tears

, , , , , , , | Related | October 26, 2017

While planning my wedding, I have neglected to plan, or get a family member to plan a bridal shower. I don’t particularly mind, but my aunt very graciously offers to throw a bridal shower for me. I give her a guest list based off of my previous baby shower for my son, and she starts planning away.

One day after handing out the invitations, my future mother-in-law calls saying that I forgot to invite two of my fiancé’s cousins. I don’t know them well, but I feel bad for neglecting them, so, after asking my aunt, I tell my mother-in-law to invite them, but to make sure to let them know that this isn’t a children-friendly event.

A week before the shower, my aunt calls me, confused, as several people not on the guest list have RSVP’d, and specified that they are bringing their kids. I call my mother-in-law to make sure there wasn’t a miscommunication. She not only invited four of my fiancé’s cousins, most of whom I don’t know, or my fiancé doesn’t talk to anymore, but she also told them to invite their kids, too. This adds up to about eight more people than previously expected, and my aunt’s house can’t accommodate this.

After hanging up with my mother-in-law, I call my mom, because I am not sure what to do or how to approach this situation. My mother, understandably, is mad that my mother-in-law was rude enough to invite people without at least asking me or making sure I knew the people. She decides to call my mother-in-law to figure out a solution: either have two showers to accommodate the people, or rent space so that there is room for these people and split the cost.

My mother calls, and she barely gets into the conversation before my mother-in-law loses it on her. She calls my mom all sorts of names and ends with, “Shove this party right up your a**.” My fiancé and I, after hearing this, decide not to engage with my mother-in-law’s behavior and let her calm down.

The next day, my mother-in-law texts me, telling me that her side is throwing a “Welcome to the Family” party for me, despite the fact that I gave her a grandson two years ago and have been a part of the family since then. I bluntly tell her that I will not attend any event until she apologizes to my mom for her outburst. After much foot-stomping and whining and, “You don’t care about my feelings,” she finally relents and gives my mother a half-baked apology.

When it comes time to attend her party, every person there ignores me. It is, in theory, a party for me, but not one person really talks to me the entire time. It is bad enough that even my maid of honour, who came with me, notices.

I did marry into the family, in the end. But honestly, if I didn’t know my now-husband so well, I would have taken off running as far away from that family as possible!

Party To Your Demands

, , , , | Right | October 26, 2017

Customer: “I need to book a birthday party. How much advance notice do you need?”

Me: “Okay, we can do that. We need at least one week of advance notice.”

Customer: “Well, that won’t work! I need it to be next Sunday!”

Me: “No, that’s fine. That’s a week, so we can do that.”

Customer: “What time is my party going to be?”

Me: “We have one spot open that day. Our only available spot for [date] is 10:00 to 11:45.”

Customer: “Well, that won’t work at all! We have a very important church event that morning. What other times do you have?”

Me: “There are three other parties going on here that day. The 10:00 am spot is the only one open.”

Customer: “What if we did it earlier in the day? Can’t I do that?”

Me: “We open at 10:00.”

Customer:You are inconveniencing me! Fine, what about Saturday?”

(I check the system, and see that we have three parties on Saturday as well. I groan inwardly because I can just tell this is going to be a problem for this customer. Also, I shouldn’t be booking a party less than a week in advance, but I figure that since it is nearly a week, my boss won’t mind too much.)

Me: “There are three parties Saturday as well, but there are two spots open. You could book your party from 4:00 to 5:45 or from 6:00 to 7:45.”

Customer:Ugh! This is not going to work for me! You people are very inconvenient about this; it’s like you don’t even want people to have their parties here!”

You Can Be Pompous In Any Language

, , , , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(I am serving a customer when an older woman comes up and speaks to me in a language other than English.)

Me: “Sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

(The older woman shrugs and wanders off.)

Customer: *in a snooty voice* “She was speaking Arabic; she asked you for a bag.”

Me: “Oh, did she? I’ll get her one when I’ve finished serving you.”

Customer: “You don’t speak Arabic, then?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Customer: “You mustn’t be very well-travelled, then.”

Me: *annoyed now* “Unfortunately not. I’m afraid I only speak four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Polish. Had she spoken to me in any of those languages, I could have responded, but unfortunately I have not yet learnt Arabic.”

Customer: “Well, I speak the language fluently. It’s quite an important language in Australia.”

(I’ve just finished an Anthropology course on migration in Australia, so I know this fact.)

Me: “You’re right; it’s currently spoken by almost 1% of our population.”

(She went red at this and we finished the transaction in silence.)

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Another Reason To Celebrate Easter

, , , , | Friendly | October 25, 2017

(I’m a woman in my 20s, and have just moved into my first apartment six months prior to this incident. It’s a Sunday afternoon, and my mom is visiting, when I decide to hang a picture. My walls are hard concrete and require special hooks, so it takes a minute or two to work the hook into the wall. Thirty seconds into the hammering, someone bangs on my door. I answer. It’s my neighbor, a man twice my age and size, red-faced and fuming, yelling and threatening to call the disturbance hotline on me and get me evicted. He’s been awful with me and with other neighbours before, so I am prepared.)

Neighbour: *screaming* “Are you stupid!? It’s Easter; the rules say—”

Me: *interrupting* Actually, the rules say…” *points to the sign where the rules are posted on the wall and quoting it* “’It is forbidden to hammer, drill, or make excessive noise on red days.’”

(Sweden has both common holidays and so-called “red days,” which are specific holiday days. Red days usually refer to Sundays and days AFTER we celebrate major holidays, but NOT the holidays themselves. This is why holiday-related rules are suppose to specify that they are in effect on “red days AND the day before red days.” Our rules, however, are only written to be in effect on red days.)

Neighbour: “Exactly! It’s Easter—”

Me: “…and according to Swedish custom, Easter is not a red day. It is a holiday. Red days are Sundays and the days after religious holidays. Today is a Saturday, and Easter Even. This rule does not apply.”

(Absolute silence falls. He looks like a deer in the headlights. I coldly stare him down as the slow realization of what has happened dawns on him. I’ve just robbed him of the only justification for his behavior.)

Neighbour: *meekly* “O-okay… Um… Are you going to be drilling a lot more?”

Me: *sickly sweet* “Oh, no. We’re almost done! Just another minute, and then we’ll be quiet for the whole rest of the weekend.”

(Looking utterly deflated, he slowly turned and wandered back into his own apartment without another word. My mother barely managed to wait until I closed the door before she fell over laughing, undoubtedly remembering when I called her on the phone crying over how this man had treated me. Perhaps I took it too far. But then again, that was two years ago, and he hasn’t dared to confront anyone since.)

Team Leading The Way To Quitting

, , , , , , | Working | October 25, 2017

(I work at a big national department store. My initial availability is basically “all day, every day.” After having been there for about a year, they start looking to promote me to “team lead” status, but at the same time my mother’s health takes a serious downturn, and the following occurs:)

Assistant Manager: “We were looking to make you a team lead, but I see you just changed your availability until only six?”

Me: “Yeah, unfortunately my mom’s just been through several health scares, and I’m the only one that lives with her.”

Assistant Manager: “Well, if we’re going to give you this promotion, you need to be a bit more flexible. You can’t work closing at all?”

Me: “I can occasionally, if it’s absolutely necessary, but not on any sort of permanent schedule. Why is this such a big deal for being a team lead?”

Assistant Manager: “Well, when you’re a team lead, you need to be available to close one day and open the next day, twice a week. It’s just the regulations. We’d really, really like to give you this opportunity; you’re one of our hardest workers and we think you’d be a great fit.”

Me: “I’d like it, too, but unless you can find someone who’ll voluntarily be a 24/7 live-in nurse for my mom with no compensation, I just can’t do it right now.”

Assistant Manager: “Are you sure? This could be a really big opportunity!”

Me: “As you said, but my mom’s health comes first.”

(This conversation happens about once every two or three months with a couple different assistant managers. They even start sneaking closing shifts outside of my listed availability onto the schedule, despite me repeatedly saying I can only occasionally cover someone as an emergency, so it becomes a weekly ritual of finding someone to switch shifts with. After about a year and a half, my mother passes away, right in the middle of me landing a more standard 9:00 to 6:00, Monday through Friday job. Unfortunately, in order to score the job, I basically have to give in my notice on Thursday that I’m starting the new job on Monday, and end up talking with the very first manager that started the cycle.)

Assistant Manager: “Listen, I’m really disappointed you’re looking to go through with this.”

Me: “I know, but it’s a stable position. It’s about 50 cents less per hour, but it’s more hours and more stable hours without constantly having to shift my schedule around, and honestly, I have more potential for improvement there. I’ve already found people to cover my scheduled shifts here the next two weeks.”

Assistant Manager: “But you’re finally free up to switch to team lead!”

Me: “Really? That’s your take-away from my mother dying? That my schedule’s more free?”

(At least he had the sensibility to look embarrassed about that. I still took the new job, and got several rapidfire raises and promotions, well past what I would have in the department store. Here’s the funny part! About six months later I was shopping in that store, and the assistant manager saw me. He actually asked me if I “came to my senses” and wanted my old job back!)

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