Bad Parenting, No Bones About It

, , , , | Right | April 2, 2018

(A mother comes up to my register with her young daughter, who looks no more than two years old. Everything is going normally until the customer’s daughter starts to wander toward a candy display a few feet away.)

Customer: “Hey! Do I hear a skeleton?”

(The little girl freezes and turns to her mother with a look of terror.)

Customer: “Do you see any skeletons? You’d better stay by Mommy!”

(At this, the little girl runs back to her mother and clings to her leg, on the verge of tears as her eyes keep darting around the store looking for “skeletons.”)

Customer: *laughs and turns back to me* “She got really scared by a Halloween decoration a few weeks ago. It’s the best for keeping her from misbehaving!”

(I looked back at the shaking toddler and had nothing to say… That poor, traumatized little girl!)

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Their Acting Is On Fire(d) Tonight

, , , , , , | Right | April 2, 2018

(It is near the end of my shift on my last day, and I am taking orders at the counter. I have been helping a customer with a thick accent which I am having trouble understanding. Although I have tried to be polite, it is obvious he is getting frustrated, and he has asked to see a manager.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “This boy is incompetent. I have been trying to order for over ten minutes. I make over 100k, and my time is very valuable. I demand you fire him.”

Manager: “Okay. [My Name], go home. You can pick up your last paycheck on Friday.”

Me: *over-acting* “What about my wife and kids? I need this job!”

Manager: *also over-acting* “You should have thought about that before upsetting this fine gentleman who makes over 100k.”

(Mimicking Hollywood movies, I fell to my knees and yelled, “NOOOO!” to the ceiling. My manager laughed and gave me a hand up. We “bro-hugged” and I clocked out. The bewildered look on that customer’s face is one of my favorite work memories.)

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This Taxi Entitlement Condition Is Terminal

, , , | Right | April 2, 2018

(It’s the last day of a college class trip to France. Some in our group have pooled money for a van to take us to the airport. As we’re all putting our luggage into the back, an American couple and their older son suddenly dash out of their hotel and yell about their cab going missing. We shrug it off and get in the van. The woman of the couple gets in with us.)

Woman: *in English* “I need you to take us to the airport!”

Driver: “Madame, they paid for me to drive them. You need to call for another cab.”

Woman: “No! Someone took our taxi. You need to drive us! We are late!

(This goes back and forth for a while. The woman refuses to listen to anyone in the van, her own family included. We tell the driver to just take them along, because we know this woman won’t get out. She proceeds to backseat drive the entire way to the airport, though I’m almost certain she has never been to Paris before.)

Driver: *stops somewhere far away from the terminal* “Here you go!”

Woman: “But this isn’t—”

Woman’s Husband: “This is fine. Thank you.” *pays the driver and ushers the family out*

(They have to walk over a concrete divider to get into the nearest building.)

Driver: *to us, in French* “That woman was driving me crazy!”

(He drove us to our terminal, and we gave him as good a tip as we could with the Euros we had left. Be nice to your cabbies, and don’t backseat drive.)


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The Training Is Waning

, , , , | Working | April 2, 2018

(I work at an adult education center. A coworker and I are told to attend a local training for four days. At the end of the first day, my principal calls me, tells me to skip the rest of the training, and to return to the school. She says she needs me back and I can do the training next year.)

Coworker: *leans over and says* “I just want you to know that I know you skipped out on the last three days of training. You are lucky I am not the kind of person to report you to the principal. You’d better be grateful to me.”

Me: “You are welcome to let the principal know I was not at the training for the last three days. Check the sign-in sheet and you’ll see exactly where I was.”

(The coworker slunk away. The next year, Hurricane Andrew hit during the training days, and by the third year, the training was obsolete. I never did get trained.)

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Not Flexible On The Racism Thing

, , , , , | Working | April 2, 2018

(I have been working at the same family-owned business for over seven years, and am two weeks away from starting a new job at another company. The owners, a husband and wife, both from the Middle East, are notoriously miserly when it comes to wages and benefits, and they have a well-earned reputation for empty promises. This has resulted in nearly constant turnover of staff and extremely low morale among those of us who remain. I am working late to make up a deficit in flex-time, and the wife and I are the only ones in the office.)

Boss: “Are you sure you wouldn’t be able to come in on the weekends for consultations about [Software Program I Administer] after you start your new job, if we have questions?”

Me: *having long had enough of these antics* “I am afraid that won’t be possible. I’ll need to focus on the new job, exclusively.”

Boss: “What are you working on, anyway? Why are you here so late?”

Me: “I have a big deficit on my flex-time, and I want to reduce it as much as possible before my last day so I don’t take as big a hit on my paycheck.”

Boss: “Tell you what; I’ll forgive that deficit if you’ll do some consultation work for us.”

Me: “Sorry. The answer is still no.”

(There is an uncomfortable pause.)

Boss: “You know, I don’t want to believe this about you, but I’ve been hearing around — I don’t want to say from whom — that you’re bigoted against Arabs.”

Me: *standing up and starting to shut down my workstation* “That’s absolutely ridiculous. I had Lebanese in-laws from my first marriage, my late stepfather was half-Lebanese, and I loved them all like family.”

(The boss immediately began back-pedaling, saying she hoped we could at least say hello to each other if we met on the street by chance. I shut down my workstation, packed up, and left for the weekend. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to my last day there at the end of the month.)

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