Mama Told Me Not To Come

, , , , | Right | July 28, 2019

(I work in the call center for a local non-profit. We’re not telemarketers, but people usually assume we are when they hear where we’re calling from. On this call, a young boy — maybe five years old — picks up.)

Boy: “Um… Hello?”

Me: “Oh, hi! Is your mom there?”

Boy: “Um…”

(In the background, I can hear his mother. She’s muffled, but distinct enough that I can hear her every word.)

Mom: “Ask them who it is.”

Boy: “Um… who is it?”

Me: “It’s [My Name] with [Organization]!”

(The child relays this.)

Mom: “Crap. Tell her we’re not here.”

Boy: “Um, okay. She’s… uh… not here right now.”

Me: “Okay, no problem! When will she be available?”

(He puts his hand over the phone and undergoes lengthy consultation with his mother.)

Boy: “I, um, uh… Later.”

Me: “How about later this week?”

Boy: “Uh…”

Mom: “Yeah, sure, whatever.”

Boy: *to me* “That’ll be okay, I guess.”

Me: “Okay! Tell your mom thanks for me, and I’ll talk to her later. Oh, and one more thing?”

Boy: “Yeah?”

Me: *very solemnly – “after-school special” style* “Tell her that lying is very bad, and honesty is always the best policy.”

Boy: *sounding relieved and happy* “Okay! I’ll tell her! Thanks!”

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The Older They Get The Younger They Get More Annoying

, , , , | Friendly | July 27, 2019

(I am 22 years old and a nanny of a two-year-old girl. We are leaving the library and as we are walking outside, we are playing which gets the attention of an elderly man, who at first seems friendly. Note: she is pretty shy of others and we look nothing alike.)

Elderly Man: “Hi there!”

Me: “Hello.”

Elderly Man: *smiles at us and looks down at the little girl* “She sure is a cutie!”

(He bends down a little bit and asks her how old she is. She doesn’t respond and hides behind me.)

Me: “She’s two.”

(The second I say this he jerks back up, makes a face, and starts yelling:)


(I quickly pick her up and continue to walk away as he shouts at us, yelling back:) 

Me: “YES! And I’m out of college, too!”

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Not Keeping It Five Alive

, , , | Right | July 26, 2019

(It’s the middle of lunch hour and I’m working the food court where there are only two cashiers. The lines are long and it’s incredibly busy. [Customer #1] is next in line and [Customer #2] is behind her.)

Me: “Hi. How can I help you today?”

Customer #1: “I want a stunner with coffee for the drink.”

Me: “Which stunner would you like? We have quite a few.”

Customer #1: “I just want a $4.95 stunner with coffee.”

Me: “We have three $4.95 stunners: a cheeseburger, chicken wrap, and five nuggets.”

Customer #1: “I’ll have an—“ *looks at the menu board and starts humming and thinking*

(She keeps doing this for another five minutes. As I’m waiting, I look around, and [Customer #2] tries to order but he can’t until I’ve put this lady’s order through.)

Customer #1: “I’ll have a chicken wrap stunner with coffee for the drink.”

Me: “Okay, that’s $5.45.”

Customer #1: “Why?”

Me: “Coffee adds 50c to the price.”

Customer #1: “I only have $5!”

Me: “I’m sorry. Do you still want to order?”

Customer #1: “I’ll just have a chicken wrap and small coffee.”

Me: “That’s $5.65.”

Customer #1: “I only have $5!”

Me: “I am sorry. Would you still like to order?”

([Customer #1] is silent for about another minute.)

Customer #1: “I’ll just have a small coffee, then.”

Me: “That’s $3.35.”

(I put the order through and give her the change. As I give her the coffee, the next customer steps up. In total, this transaction has taken about seven to ten minutes.)

Customer #2: “Hi. I’m going to stand here for ten minutes and waste everyone’s time because I can’t be bothered deciding what I want before I order and can’t be bothered bringing the right money, either.”

([Customer #1] snatched her coffee and stormed off furiously.)

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Non-Paid For Advice Is Not Advice

, , , | Right | July 26, 2019

Being an avid reader, I spent lots of time after school in a bookstore. One of the clerks there came to know me quite well and sometimes asked my opinion on some books, what I would recommend to a certain age group and similar questions. Sometimes, when there was a customer she thought I might be able to help, she would go and ask me to come over to try and find something, so I was used to dealing with people in this store.

One day, I was browsing through the teenage section when a woman with her boy walked up and started asking me what book I would recommend for her son. So, I talked to the little guy and we found a book that he might enjoy.

Just then, the clerk walked up and asked if she could help them. The woman looked puzzled, and the clerk explained that I didn’t actually work there.

The mother looked affronted, took the book out of the boy’s hands, turned to me, and started accusing me, “You pretended to work here, giving unsolicited advice, and I’m sure the book you just told us to read is crap! How dare you?! Who do you think you are?” and kept going on in this vein for some more time.

Despite the boy saying, “Mom, I actually like this book!” she returned it to the shelf, took his hand, and dragged him away.

The clerk and I stood there, speechless.

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Off The Clock And On To The Chopping Block

, , , , , | Working | July 26, 2019

(I am a cashier at a big box retailer. Our longtime front-end manager has retired recently. His successor is a young blonde woman in her late twenties. I meet her on her first day and she seems like a very sweet and enthusiastic person, even taking an almost immediate liking to me. The next day, I’m off, and I’m shopping for my family when she approaches me.)

Manager: *smiling* “Hey, how are you doing?”

Me: “Very well, thank you.”

Manager: “Hey, do you think you could get on register four? We’re getting swamped in here.”

Me: “I can’t. I’m shopping.”

Manager: “Well, we’re really busy and the lines are getting long. I really do need you over there.”

Me: “It’s my day off! I’m not even in uniform!”

Manager: *no longer smiling* “You don’t have a choice in the matter, and I do not like this attitude of yours. Get on register four, now. That is an order.”

Me: “With all due respect, you cannot make me work off the clock.”

Manager: *now yelling* “Again with your attitude! Go to the office! Now! I’ll deal with you later!”

(I head to the store director’s office.)

Store Director: “[My Name]? What are you doing back here? Is something wrong?”

Me: “Apparently, I’m in trouble.”

Store Director: “What do you mean? I thought you weren’t scheduled today.”

Me: “I wasn’t; that’s the point! I was just here shopping when [Manager] sent me back here.”

(Just then the front end manager comes storming in.)

Manager: *screaming* “I’m sick and tired of your attitude and refusal to do as you’re told! You’re fired!

Store Director: “Whoa, whoa! Hold the phone! First and foremost, [Manager], you do not yell at anyone in this store. Second, what exactly are you firing [My Name] for?”

Manager: “I’m firing him for insubordination! He wasn’t getting on register when I told him to!”

Store Director: “Oh, really? Did it ever occur to you that [My Name] wasn’t even scheduled today, and that maybe he was just here to shop?”

Manager: “I don’t care! His job is to do as he’s told!”

Store Director: “And you essentially told him to break the law and work off the clock. You cannot fire him for refusing to do that, and even if for some reason you could, it would have to go through me and I still wouldn’t allow it.” *to me* “Sorry about that, [My Name]. You can go about your business now. I’m going to have a word in private with [Manager]. Hope your day gets better! I’ll see you tomorrow!”

Me: “You, too!”

(I left the office and finished my shopping. As I was checking out, the front end manager emerged from the office cursing out loud and stormed out the front door. When I came to work the following day, she was nowhere to be seen. I later learned she was fired that day for intentionally violating federal labor laws. It just goes to show you that sometimes sweetness and enthusiasm are only skin-deep. Thankfully, her replacement wasn’t a demon inside like she was.)

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