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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A Clearance On Bad Customers

, , , , | Right | March 7, 2018

(In the store where I work, we often have some items of a kind of material on clearance while others are not. We leave the clearance items on the shelf, but the clearance items are clearly marked with red and yellow labels, while the regular items have the usual white labels. This has never been a problem, until one day one of the checkers calls me up to the register to do a price check.)

Customer: “This ribbon is $2.00! You’re trying to charge me $4.99!”

Me: “I’m sorry about the mix-up, ma’am. I’ll go check on that for you.”

(I go and I immediately see the problem. There are no old sale signs left up, and all the merchandise is clearly marked, but okay, people make mistakes. I radio the checker and explain, but when I head back up to the front, the customer is ranting.)

Customer: “That’s not true! It’s clearance! The whole shelf was clearance!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the ribbon you have is regular price. The ribbon right next to it was on clearance. You may have just looked at the wrong label.”

Customer: “NO! It was the WHOLE SECTION!”

Me: “I can show you what I mean, if you would like.”

Customer: “Fine. Show me.”

(She smiles all smug, like she’s got me, and follows me back to the aisle.)

Me: “See, this yellow ribbon was on clearance, but the orange ribbon you want is right next to it. See how this label is for yellow and this one for orange is regular price?”

Customer: “You expect me to be able to read that?!”

(The labels are two completely different colors, but again, okay, the customer is elderly. Also, I am much taller than she is and closer to eye-level with the labels concerned. However, there are two shelves right below that one with the same kind of ribbon and the same mix of red-and-yellow clearance labels and white labels. I point that out.)

Me: “Fair enough. I’m sorry. See here, how some of this ribbon is clearance and some of it isn’t?”

Customer: “Well… well… There’s nothing there!” *points to a section of the shelf where we’ve sold out of some of the clearance ribbon*

Me: *trying really hard not to snap at her* “Yes, because those were on clearance and now all of them have been bought.”

Customer: “Well, THAT label says clearance! That means the whole shelf is clearance!”

Me: “Um, ma’am, as you can see, all the ribbon colors have their own price listings right underneath each one.”

Customer: “NO! It isn’t clear! That one said clearance and I thought all of this was clearance! It’s misleading!”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion. There are different labels here.”

Customer: *clearly just feeling stupid at this point and trying to save face* “IT’S NOT CLEAR!”

Me: *seething inwardly* “I’m very sorry. The orange ribbon is regular price.”

Customer: “Well, I’m going to return it!” *draws herself up and smirks at me like she’s just struck a killing blow and I will grovel and beg her forgiveness*

Me: “All right. You can do that at any open register.” *walks away*

(Sure, lady, our large chain store will never recover from losing the sale of one five-dollar roll of ugly ribbon. The sad thing is, if she had been polite and hadn’t gone to such lengths to blame us for her own mistake, I would’ve been happy to give her her stupid ribbon for the clearance price, just the once. It just goes to show that being an a**hole won’t get you any favors.)

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Banned From Getting The Band

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

(My fiancé and I have decided, two weeks prior to our wedding, to finally go to the jewelry store and pick out wedding bands. As we both dislike most jewelry, we have decided on getting plain, white gold bands to match my single-stone, white gold, 1.5-carat Moissanite ring. We decide to check out a jeweler in the department store I work at, meaning I would get an employee discount. We’d gone to another jeweler for the Moissanite, because the one at the department store doesn’t have Moissanite rings, and I am very specific about not having a diamond.)

Me: “My fiancé and I are looking for wedding bands. We want simple—”

Clerk: *grabs my hand* “Oh, what a gorgeous diamond! I have several wedding bands that will match!”

(She drops my hand and goes to a nearby jewelry case. Within 45 seconds, she brings out a gigantic onyx and diamond monstrosity for him, and a silver, three-stone, two-carat engagement ring for me.)

Clerk: “This is only $3,560! A steal at that price!”

Me: “What I was trying to say is that we would like plain, white gold wedding bands. No stones; I’d prefer my Moissanite to stand out on its own.”

Fiancé: “Yeah, those aren’t even an option based on the stones alone. And that looks like an engagement ring. Also, she works at [Department Store], so we were wondering about the employee discount?”

Clerk: “Yeah, it’s an engagement ring. It’ll work; I promise. I mean, you could always get rid of that single stone; it’s too small.”

(She briefly explains the discount. Over the next half-hour or so, she shows us about ten different options at decreasing price points that are not anywhere near what we wanted, promising each time that we’ll like her selection and that she’ll get us what we want. I clarify several times that we would really like to see plain rings. At one point, I notice a full case of plain rings right behind her, on the back wall of the store. I ask her about the case, and she ignores me. I am getting increasingly irate, and in response to her showing me a $599 engagement ring and wedding band set and sneering at me with disgust as she does so, I finally snap:)

Me:As I have stated, several times, I would love to see any of your plain. White. Gold. Rings. Don’t bother showing me another one. I’m sure that [Competitor], the place I bought my Moissanite from — with my fiancé — would be able to give us what we want.”

(She ignores me, of course, so she produces yet another diamond encrusted piece of “f*** this.” A $200 wedding band, at this point. She glares at me. I turn and walk out without another word.)

Fiancé: “You have done a fantastic job at ignoring everything we’ve stated. Goodbye.”

(Less than five minutes later, we arrive at the competitor.)

Me: “Hi! We were looking for wedding bands.”

Jeweler: “Of course! I have an entire case right here. What were you looking for? We have silver, white gold, gold, 14k, 10k, with stones…”

Fiancé: “Ah, just plain, and white gold to match her ring.”

(After a brief exchange of information to bring up my account:)

Jeweler: “Oh, what a beautiful Moissanite!”

Me: “Thank you! I get asked, ‘Is it real?’ all the time, and I’m like, ‘Yes, it does exist!’”

Jeweler: *laughs* “Very good choice, I must say. Your ring is a 14k, but I recommend a 10-carat for you, sir.”

Fiancé: “Excellent, thanks!”

(We selected our rings, and our transaction was processed within 15 minutes of our arrival in the store. We got a better deal with them than anything I was being offered at the other place, so I was quite happy. As we were walking past their shop-front, I saw the woman in her shop. She glared at me with her arms crossed. I smiled and waved at her with the hand that was holding my new ring.)

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