A Cancer On Society

, , , , | Friendly | March 8, 2018

(I’m 18 but look more like 13.)

Employee: “How are you today? You don’t look too well.”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve been sick, but I’m better than yesterday. Thanks for asking.”

Employee: “My mom also has cancer. I can give you the name of her oncologist, if you like.”

Me: “Um… I don’t have cancer.”

Employee: “Then what is a little girl like you doing with a shaved head? Where are your parents?”

Me: “I’m 18.”

Employee: “Then what are you doing with a shaved head, young lady?”

Me: “It’s my hairstyle?”

Employee: “But you’re a lady! Ladies don’t shave their heads.”

Me: “Well, congrats. You just met one that does. There’s hundreds of us out there.”

Employee: “There are also hundreds of thieves, murderers, drug addicts, smokers, cheaters, perverts, and so on out there, too. Doesn’t make it good.”

Me: “…”

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Seizing Control Of The Schedule

, , , , , , , | Healthy | March 8, 2018

(I work Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. My daughter has been having some health issues and recently started having grand mal seizures which require the school to call me to come pick her up. All my coworkers know this. My boss is trying to cover some shifts and asks me:)

Boss: “Can you cover some of the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday shifts?”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t think that’s a good idea. My daughter has been having seizures; she had to be picked up Thursday and Friday last week.”

Boss: “So, Friday is the only day you can’t work?”

Me: “No, I don’t have an emergency person to pick her up Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”

Boss: “So, she’s scheduled to have seizures on every Thursday and Friday?”

Me: “No. We don’t schedule her seizures.”

Boss: “Well, can you schedule them, then? We really need these shifts covered.”

(Best part is, we work in healthcare!)

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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

, , , , , | Learning | March 8, 2018

(It’s the middle of January and it’s pouring rain and freezing cold outside. One of the girls in my class is complaining.)

Student: “Mr. [Teacher], I hate today. My jeans got soaked on my way in, my hair and makeup are ruined, and my shoes are all wet. I hate this weather; it’s destroying my life.”

Teacher: “I think it’s funny how in your world, the sky falls when there’s a little rain. In the real world, we call this phenomenon ‘winter.’”

Student: “Well, I like my world better. It’s always sunny there. Why can’t the real world be like that?”

Teacher: “Because we aren’t in Philadelphia. Good thing you go to college next year; move there and it’ll be your dream fantasy world.”

Student: “Now, why would you want me to go to Philadelphia? That town sucks.”

Teacher: “Well, you’ll be 3,000 miles away, and I won’t have to listen to you complain every day about, uh… everything.”

Student: “But I like complaining to you.”

Teacher: *looking at the calendar* “June can’t come soon enough.”

(The girl ended up going to college in Arizona, and still complains every day, even years later.)

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Driven To The Only Logical Conclusion

, , , , , , , , | Related | March 8, 2018

(When I was little, I didn’t have that many toys. I always envied my friends when I went in their rooms and saw beds covered in plushies and teddy bears. I am at my mum’s friend’s house. They have two kids and a room FULL of toys. It is like heaven to six-year-old me.)

Me: “[Mum’s Friend], can I please play with the toys?”

(My mum shoots me the “don’t embarrass me” glare I have learned to recognise. I ignore it and put on my best puppy face.)

Mum’s Friend: “Of course you can! Go have fun.”

(I gleefully go play with the myriad of toys. I am being a bit rambunctious, and I can hear my mum grumbling her disapproval and her friend loudly brushing her off: “Oh, let her have some fun!” That is all the encouragement I need. After about half an hour, I spot the jackpot: a little red toy car — the kind big enough for kids to get in and ride — partially covered under a desk. Again, I scurry over to my mum’s friend:)

Me: “There’s a red car under the table in that room. Is it okay if I drive it a bit?”

Mum: “No. You need to sit down and behave.”

Mum’s Friend: “Oh, there’s no need to be so harsh, [Mum]. You only get to be a kid once! Of course you can play in the car, honey. Have fun!”

Mum: “No. She’s had enough fun. Other kids can sit quietly when their parents take them out; so can she. She’s being disrespectful to you in your house.”

Mum’s Friend: “Oh, stop it, [Mum]. I don’t mind her at all. It’s fine, sweetie. You can go play in the toy car.”

(I look between my angry mum and her smiling friend as they go back and forth a little more. Then my mum says this to me:)

Mum: “[My Name], if you go play on that toy car, you’re going to get a beating when you get home.”

(Perhaps contrary to her intentions, this ultimatum made it much easier for me to decide what to do. I could drive the little toy car and get a beating, or I could forego what might be my only opportunity ever to drive a little toy car — I was only going to get bigger as I got older, after all — and there was no guarantee I wouldn’t get a beating in the future, anyway, for other offenses. With this sound logic, it was not a difficult choice. I rode that little toy car around the house to my heart’s content, careful not to crash into anything. I did get a beating when I got home, and it was 100% worth it.)

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A Human Pairing As Good As Wine

, , , , , | Working | March 7, 2018

(This happens on my first day working in a new grocery store, well over a decade ago, when Google is new. A customer I have just helped with something in the bakery finds me while I’m on a break:)

Customer: “Oh, good! It’s you! You’re so nice; can you help me choose some wine?”

Me: “No, sorry. I’m—”

Customer: “Oh, nonsense! You’re the perfect person to help me!”

Me: “I’m not—”

Customer: *launches into an incredibly detailed description of her dinner, the various wine choices, and what a chore it is to choose wine*

Me: “I don’t know anything about wine pairings. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Well, why not?!”

Me: *pauses to steady my nerves* “I’m 19, ma’am.”

Customer: “WELL, WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY SO?!” *realizes her volume and pauses* “Oh, I’m so sorry. I really shouldn’t have shouted there, yeah. Do you know how to find something that would go well with my chicken parmesan?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. The Internet might know. Google would help a lot more than I can, sorry.”

Customer: “You know, I don’t really know if I have that Internet thing at my house, but I do have a computer. If I don’t have the Google, my son can install a Google on it… Oh, and thank you, young lady; you’ve been a dear.”

(I tell her to have a nice day, as she starts to shuffle away, mumbling about computers and “installing a Google,” and I stare after her, amused. The liquor department manager comes up to me.)

Liquor Manager: “Oh, that’s Mrs. [Customer]! I’ve never thought to suggest that she use the Internet before!”

Me: “Is she a regular?”

Liquor Manager: “Yeah, and she doesn’t get that I know nothing about wine pairings, because I hate that stuff!”

Me: “Well, I’m 19. She actually apologized to me when I told her that.”

Liquor Manager: “Wow.” *starts playing with her hair and trying to put it up* “Hmmm. I might actually try to pass for 20. I mean, not that you can even look that…” *sees the look on my face get a bit squinty* “…y-young? I’m not saying you’re lying, it’s just that you cannot possibly be 19! You have got to be… You can’t be 19, is what I’m saying.”

Me: *hands her my ID, which confirms my age* “If you’re trying to say I look over 21, I appreciate the compliment.”

Liquor Manager: “Wow. So… I mean… Wow! You don’t look that age. I mean, you look much younger than you actually are!”

Me: “I’d much rather look my actual age, to be totally honest.”

(She went on and on about how wonderful it was to have such access to the fountain of youth, and how young I looked, even though I kept on making it clear that I really didn’t appreciate much commentary on my age. She kept getting huffy and assuring me that it was just a compliment and that I should just accept that. I found a way to not-so-politely excuse myself, to get back to my job, as I found this manager to be much more unpleasant than the customer and her wine request! Two years, and many liquor-related conversations with my new favorite customer later, the customer found out when my birthday was. She gave me a rosé Champagne, with a card that read, “For your next chicken parmesan, now that you’re old enough to not have to rely on that Google anymore!” She also suggested that I apply for a position in the liquor department, and when I got the job, the liquor manager was so pissed off she quit! Due to my Google-found expertise with wine, I was quickly promoted to replace her, and lasted five years in that job before I left the company.)

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