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Object Permanence Is Hard, Part 2

, , , , , , | Related | January 25, 2023

My niece is two and occasionally likes to hang out with just me. One night, we are hiding from her mom in her closet. 

Niece: “Can you shut the door?”

Me: “I’m sorry, baby, but I can’t. You’ll have to do it.”

Niece: “Why not?”

Me: “I’m not really there. I’m just on the phone with you.”

Niece: “Oh, yeah.”

Object Permanence Is Hard

When Ignoring The Trolls Actually Works

, , , , , , , , , | Right | January 16, 2023

I am Hispanic, but I know about as much Spanish as your average Johnny Q. Public: “Como se llama,” “Uno, dos, tres…”, and that’s about it.

Yet when I started working in customer service as a cashier, I would routinely come across these types of comments:

Customer #1: *After misunderstanding something I said* “Oh! Sorry, it’s your accent. I’m not Mexican, after all.”

Customer #2: *Again, after not clearly understanding something I said* “You can speak English with me, not Spanish.”

Customer #3: *After discovering an error with his order* “If you can’t understand fluent English, then you just need to work in the kitchen or ask your boss to give you an interpreter to help you!”

And then, there was this woman. She was in a separate line, waiting for another cashier. He went on break as she was approaching and directed her over to me. She walked up to my register while wearing a twisted, sour expression on her face like I was openly picking my nose.

Customer #4: *Very slowly* “Can you understand me?”

Me: “I most certainly can! How can I help you today?”

Customer #4:What?”

I repeat myself more slowly.

Customer #4: “You’re not as fluent as you think you are, so just stop. And that’s ‘May I take your order, please?’ not ‘How can I help you today?’ You say that when you’re working in a retail store.”

She then proceeded to very slowly give me her order. When she was finished:

Me: “For here or takeaway?”

Customer #4: “…”

Me: “For here or takeaway?”

Customer #4: “…”

Me: “Madam? For here or takeaway?”

Customer #4: *Screaming*For here! And it’s called ‘to go’, not ‘takeaway’.”

Me: “Your total will be $8.50.”

Customer #4: “Can you break a $100 bill?”

Me: “No, I just started and don’t have enough—”

Customer #4: *Loudly huffing* “Can I have someone who speaks English, please?! I don’t have all day!”

That was when the customer behind her stepped forward next to her.

Customer Behind Her: “Hi, I’ll have [series of food items].”


Customer Behind Her: “I’m on my lunch break. You want to play your games, do it on your own time.” *Continues his order*

She loudly protested, only for the customer to continue talking to me like she was invisible. I smirked, canceled the first order, and gladly took the new order, also while pretending she was invisible. She ultimately gave up and stomped out of the restaurant.

An Organic Answer

, , , , , , , , | Working | December 22, 2022

I’m in line at the grocery store checkout. The customer in front of me is carefully watching as each of his items is scanned. Then, suddenly, he erupts.

Customer: “That bag of frozen vegetables is too much! Why is it that expensive?”

The young cashier looks at the bag of frozen vegetables.

Cashier: “They’re ‘organically grown’; those are usually higher priced.”

Customer: “’Organically grown’? What does that even mean?”

The cashier thinks for a few seconds and then responds in an authoritative voice.

Cashier: “It means the person who grew them had organs.”

I assume the cashier was either joking or just wanted to be done with the situation.

Love Always Finds A Way

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 20, 2022

Before my parents met, my dad was in the army, and my mom was a civilian working at the same army base. Both were far from home. In my mom’s case, it was her first time living in an area with no family nearby.

My mom got involved in some of the women’s groups and other groups to get to know the community. One older woman in particular took my mom under her wing and repeatedly told her she wanted to introduce her to a lieutenant who worked under her husband. My mom was very open to meeting people, but the woman never really followed through.

Fast forward a bit. My parents met at a party on base, started dating, and got engaged a few months later. They had an engagement party.

At the engagement party, the woman who had wanted to set my mom up with that nice young lieutenant was there, and she came up to my mom.

Older Woman: “Congratulations on your engagement! I’m very happy for you. I’m just sorry I never got a chance to introduce you to that nice lieutenant; I really think you would have gotten along well. He’s here, though! I still want to introduce you.”

She flagged down the nice lieutenant.

Older Woman: “Here he is! [Lieutenant], I wanted to introduce you to [Mom].”

Mom: “Well, you were right that we’d get along well; this is my fiancé!”

The older woman was definitely right that they’d get along well! My parents have been married for forty-eight years.

This Just In: Customer Is A Jerk. Film At Six Sharp.

, , , , , | Right | December 7, 2022

After a serious head injury in an accident permanently put me out of commission as far as working was concerned, I had to go on disability. It covered my rent and expenses, but that was about it. For anything extra I needed, such as new clothes or repairs on my car, I was just out of luck.

I was then told about working “motor routes” for the local newspaper. The way it worked was that subscribers who wanted their paper delivered would put their cash payment in special envelopes and leave them in a dropbox at the main office. (Alternatively, they could pay it directly to the delivery person.) The money was given to the delivery person, who then delivered the paper regularly to all the addresses from which they were paid.

At the end of the month, the delivery person received a bill from the main office for all of the papers they took and delivered that month. They paid the bill using the money they received from the subscribers. In the end, their profits came to about $1.50 per customer every month. They were essentially their own boss, save a few “customer service” rules that must be respected such as prompt and regular delivery by 4:00 pm.

It sounded like something I could do, and I took over a few routes with a total of about 200 customers.

Most (if not all) of the subscribers were friendly, but there was one woman who was determined to be a persistent pain in my rear.

When I would go to pick up my stacks of papers from the office, I would constantly find a complaint notice attached to the stack, to the tune of:

Complaint: “[Customer] called and was angry because she wants her paper in the morning, not noon. We’re not obligated to do special requests, but could you just do it as a favor so she will stop harassing the administrative staff?”

Complaint: “[Customer] called. She was mad that you delivered it at 8:00 am. She wants it at 6:00. You don’t have to, but… please? As a favor for [Employee that I’d now become friendly with]?”

Since I wasn’t going to wake up at 5:00 in the morning to go deliver ONE paper, everyone started getting their papers by sunrise. Then…

Complaint: “[Customer] called. She was mad because you tracked mud footprints up the steps to her porch.”

Complaint: “[Customer] called. She didn’t like the way you rolled her newspaper up. We asked if it was damaged, but she said it just looked shoddy.”

Complaint: “[Customer] called and screamed at [Employee] because you delivered the paper at 7:00 rather than 6:00.”

Complaint: “[Customer] says to stop ‘baby talking’ to her dog when he runs up to you.”

Complaint: “[Customer] called. She said it was extremely rude of you not to greet her when she stepped out to get the paper you’d just delivered.”

Then, one month, I was given my stack of subscriber payments, and what do you know — [Customer] was not amongst them!

Cue Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus.

That month was the quietest with next to zero complaints, save the occasional dork who’d think his paper was never delivered but couldn’t be bothered to take a few steps out on his porch to see it sitting in plain view.

Then came the following month. I was handed my stack of payment envelopes… and there it was: [Customer]. I squeezed my eyes shut and just stood there for a moment. When I opened the envelope, attached to her money was a note.

Customer’s Note: “Next time, I’ll stop my subscription for three months! I want my paper at 6:00 am sharp, neatly folded, and if we see each other, you will show some respect, come up to me, and greet me!”

Enough was enough. Not knowing how much trouble it would land me in, the following morning, I left her payment envelope taped to the inside of her screendoor with a note of my own.

My Note: “For your information, I receive $1.50 a month per customer. For the proxied abuse I’ve had to tolerate from you over a three-month period of time, I would say that your withholding of $1.50 as a ‘punishment’ is a negligible loss. You buy your paper from the vending machine on [Street #1] from now on, or pick one up from the [Convenience Store] on [Street #2].”

She did call and complain, but she was told that the business has the right to refuse service to abusive customers — which had been extensively documented.