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I Wonder If I Can Double My Birth Control Dosage…

, , , , , , , , | Right | August 1, 2023

While I’m checking out at the bakery, a tired-looking man comes in.

Customer: “Can I get one of your vegetarian cakes with the cheese, and can you write on it?”

Employee #1: “Um, we can definitely do a custom message, yeah, but what was that cake?”

Customer: “Vegetarian?”

Employee #1: “All our cakes are vegetarian. Do you mean vegan? And what’s this cheese?”

Customer: “Oh, d***, I don’t know what it’s called… It’s a vegetarian cake and it has cheese frosting. My sister-in-law loves ’em.”

Employee #2: “Sir… do you mean carrot cake? With cream cheese frosting?”

Customer: “Yes! That. Thank you!”

Employee #1: “Okay, and what’s the message?”

Customer: “Can it say… ‘Thank you for looking after our dumb a**es while we work out how to be parents,’ but make it sound better?”

Employee #2: “Just a guess… How recently was your child born?”

Customer: “Is it still Wednesday?”

[Employee #2] hands the customer a muffin.

Employee #2: “Congratulations! It’s Friday. Why don’t you sit down and have a snack, and we’ll workshop that message?”

About ten seconds later, as I’m walking out…

Employee #1: “Do you think we should wake him up?”

The Help Starts Comin’ And It Don’t Stop Comin’

, , , , , | Healthy | CREDIT: No-Language-7256 | July 30, 2023

I have to get some regular medications from the pharmacy, which involves using a script and waiting for the pharmacist to sort it out. Usually, this will take about half an hour just because the pharmacy is always busy with other people’s stuff, as well.

I also have to take hay fever medication every day, and because I have to cycle through them (some work better at different times of the year), I generally know a bit about the ones they have stocked at the pharmacy.

The waiting area for prescription medications just so happens to be in front of the hay fever medication. I’m a naturally introverted person and will often avoid unnecessary social interaction, but I also like to be helpful where I can, especially if someone looks confused. This was one of those times, but it kind of dominoed on me.

I was about ten minutes into my wait when I saw a man in his twenties looking at the hay fever medication with sheer bewilderment on his face. After a couple of minutes of his indecision, I stepped in to offer my help.

Me: “You seem lost. What are you after?”

Man: “Uh… Just, like, something for a runny nose.”

Me: “Is it an all-the-time thing or just occasionally?”

Man: “It’s just on and off.”

Me: “I would recommend the [Pill Brand #1] since it’s the cheapest and works best for snot.”

He looked at it for a couple of seconds, shrugged, and went on his way reading the box. It was a job well done, and I went back to waiting. Or so I thought.

A second later, I got a hesitant tap on the shoulder from a woman in her twenties.

Lady: “Excuse me. Do you know which one I should use for everyday use?”

Me: “Well, it depends on what symptoms you’re trying to get rid of. Snot, cough, sneezing, or itchiness?”

Lady: “Um, I guess mostly itchiness, but occasionally, cough.”

Me: “You could go with either [Pill Brand #2] or [Nasal Spray]. If it’s mostly itchiness, I would recommend [Nasal Spray] as that works best for me. But if you don’t like nasal spray, [Pill Brand #2] does well.”

Lady: “I think I’ll go with the [Pill Brand #2]; I’ve not done nasal spray before. Thank you.”

Me: “Not a problem.”

Looking around, I saw a couple looking hopefully in my direction. With an internal sigh, I asked if they need help.

Couple: “You wouldn’t happen to know where baby formula is?”

Me: “Ah, not exactly. However, the baby stuff I have seen is in aisle four. I think it would be about halfway down since I know those are tins of some sort. I’ve not paid any attention to know what’s in the tins, though, sorry.”

Couple: “Okay, thank you. We’ll start there. Thanks.”

And off they went. At this point, I didn’t see anyone else looking like they were waiting for help, so I thought I was free to do more of my own waiting.

Then, an elderly lady snuck up behind me like a ninja.

Elderly Ninja: “Excuse me, sir. Do you know where they keep the hay fever eye drops? I couldn’t see them with any of the other hay fever stuff, and I heard you helping the other people, so…”

Me: “Of course. They keep it in the eye aisle.” *Which is fun to say, by the way* “Do you need it for itchiness or dryness?”

Elderly Ninja: “Um, mostly for dryness, I guess. I never really thought of it.”

Me: “Okay, I would recommend this one.”

I grabbed the blue-packaged [Eyedrop Brand #1].

Me: “It has a mild active ingredient for general allergies but is focused on lubricating rather than just hay fever. You could get the stronger one…” *gesturing to a red bottle* “…but I find it can dry the eyes a bit.”

Elderly Ninja: “Thank you so much. You know, you’re the only person that’s been any help in this store. You should put in an application and then ask for a raise.”

And off she wandered into the shadows, chuckling at her own humour.

Getting back to my waiting spot, I looked at the clock, and I was now only about twenty minutes into my expected half-hour wait, so I settled back in.

Pharmacist: “What was your name?”

Me: “Oh, it’s [My Name].”

Pharmacist: “Okay, give me a minute.”

He riffled through his papers for a second and then grabbed my stuff.

Pharmacist: “Thanks for helping. Here you go.”

Me: “Oh, thanks! I wasn’t expecting you to push me to the front of the queue.”

Pharmacist: “And I wasn’t expecting you to help half the customers in the store.”

And with that, I took my drugs and went home with a spent social battery.

I Don’t Work Here, But I’ll Do It For The Kids

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: 3milyBlazze | July 26, 2023



I was at a gaming retailer a few days ago to see if they had anything new in the DS cartridges I could trade for. I found something I wanted, but the employees were in the back doing something, so I started looking at the games on the walls. Then, this elderly couple came in.

Note: I wear a lot of black, so I do occasionally get mistaken as a worker in certain places.

This couple was pretty clearly out of their depth looking around. They spotted me and came over with the usual, “Excuse me, honey.”

And they proceeded to tell me their story.

Couple: “We just got custody of our three grandkids from our daughter’s ex, who is abusive. Our daughter passed away. During the proceedings, her ex destroyed the kids’ game system and all their games in a fit of rage, so as a welcome home present, we want to get them a whole new system and set them up with games.”

Yeah, I was on board after that. Being a huge nerd, I started explaining the different systems, how they could go online and play with others on certain ones, and what kind of games would be good for kids their age — seven to thirteen or so.

It took around ten minutes. They were really nice and appreciated the help, and when they got to the front and the manager came out from the back to ring them up, they complimented him on having such a nice employee.

He looked at me in confusion.

Manager: *To the couple* “She doesn’t work here.”

A Dizzying Display Of Kindness

, , , , , , , | Healthy | July 26, 2023

The details of this story reminded me of something that happened to me a few months ago. I was in my local German budget chain supermarket — no, not that one, the other one. It was evening, and I hadn’t eaten all day. I felt a little shaky but basically fine. I brought my basket up to the register and waited in line.

I don’t know if it was a coincidence or if suddenly standing still after moving around had some effect, but I suddenly started feeling absolutely awful — dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, the works. I’m not in the habit of eating or drinking anything before I’ve paid for it, but this felt like a legitimate emergency, so I grabbed a small bottle of orange juice out of my basket and chugged it. Too little, too late. My legs were about to go, so I caught the cashier’s eye and said:

Me: “Excuse me. I’m so sorry, but I need to sit down.”

(This is England, after all.) Then, I staggered a few steps out of the line and flopped down on the ground.

When I knew what was going on again, there was a very nice manager helping me put my head between my knees and asking me how I was doing. When I explained that I was pretty sure it was just a low blood sugar thing, he whipped an unopened tube of dextrose gel out of his pocket like some sort of first-aid Batman! Turns out he was diabetic and always had some on him.

Between the sitting and the sugar, I began to feel better quickly. I was very embarrassed and inclined to just scrape myself up and stagger home — not a very bright idea, but I wasn’t firing on all cylinders. The manager kindly but firmly bullied me into staying put while he called an ambulance. Due to the ambulance service staffing crisis, it took twenty-five minutes just to get through to emergency services on the phone.

During that time:

  • The lady who had been behind me in line came over and put a bag down next to me. She had bought all the groceries I left behind — an embarrassing assortment of ready meals and junk food, because of COURSE it couldn’t happen on a day when I was buying a respectable assortment of fresh vegetables. She refused to take any payment.
  • The young couple who had been behind HER came over to keep me company and chat with me while I waited for the ambulance.
  • Everyone who walked past said something along the lines of, “Feel better soon!” or, “Take care!”

Finally, the manager got through to emergency services, and the ambulance turned up quite quickly after that. The paramedics checked me out, kindly refrained from commenting on the fact that I was wearing a fuzzy pyjama top under my coat — Murphy’s law was in full force for me that day — and decided that the most sensible thing to do was just to get me home and let me go to bed. After making me swear a blood oath that I would go to my doctor and get checked out as soon as possible, they drove me right to my door.

The whole thing was simultaneously mortifying and heartwarming. I felt daft because I had brought it on myself, but every single person present was so kind to me. Of course, I went back to thank all the staff later, and I sent a glowing email to their corporate people about how well I had been treated. And I’m more careful now not to shop hungry!

Best Be Quiet Or They’ll Sip You A New One

That Had Better Be A D*** Good Party

, , , , , , , , , , , | Working | July 19, 2023

I accepted a remote job with an employer who decided that it was time for us all to meet in person. In Berlin. I live on the other end of Germany. Doesn’t matter. Boss pays. Good food and a party, too. Okay. Why not?

Public transportation is disrupted. After various misadventures, I give up, and my husband takes the day off to drive me to the train station. The problem is, today happens to be his office day, which his brilliant employer just has to remember, and now he has to drive from the office to pick me up.

Finally, the journey begins at the train station. The train is delayed. Of course. 

On the first intermediate stop after thirty minutes, the wheels of my suitcase get stuck. The cause: a dead mouse! What the f***?!

The second train is also delayed, and it’s packed. The air conditioning doesn’t work. It smells like stinky feet, and someone thought it would be a brilliant idea to insert a fish sandwich into this situation and eat it as slowly as possible. It has onions on it, too. We all can smell it.

Fortunately, someone gets off at the first stop, but someone else tries to cut in line and get to the seat. However, I am angry and use my elbows. That seat is mine! 

Next stop. There’s a train announcement: we are here indefinitely because the track is on fire. What. The. F******. F***?!

Twenty minutes later, we are informed that it was only homemade Molotov cocktails thrown on the tracks by a few teenagers! I thought I wasn’t old enough to say this, but what is wrong with today’s youth? In my time, we felt pretty cool if we smoked a joint and stole cherries from the neighbor’s tree for the munchies! Who on earth thinks it’s a bright idea to stick old rags in a vodka bottle, set that on fire, and throw it on train tracks? Luckily, it didn’t burn well, so the train employees only needed a fire extinguisher to put out the smoldering grass around the tracks.

Finally, we arrive in Berlin. The wheels of my suitcase get stuck again. Reason unknown. For inexplicable reasons, pigeons fly low through the train station. A fellow passenger idiot is unable to stop to stare at the pigeons, so he crashes into me, not seeing me because he was completely overwhelmed by the spectacle of flying fat air rats. He’s stumbling as he collides with me from behind. Fortunately, he manages to hold onto the railing.

I don’t.

In my attempt to stay upright, I wrench my hand before I have to let go of the railing and collide with a trash bin.

My hand slowly swells. My foot doesn’t want to cooperate. [Rideshare Company] doesn’t pick up from the side of the train station where I’m standing. I can’t walk to where [Rideshare Company] can pick me up.

There’s a ray of hope: a kind Polish taxi driver sees me limping and carries my suitcase to the taxi, offering a fixed price. I know that if the taxi meter were running, there couldn’t be a fixed price. If it’s not running, it’s not exactly legal to get into that taxi. Usually, I wouldn’t get into an illegal situation, especially when it comes to taxis. But I have history with Polish people, and so far my experiences have always been good. I have a soft spot for them. Screw it. She’ll have to deal with the consequences if someone catches her working under the table and she gives me good vibes. I for sure won’t report her; after four hours of Hell on Deutsche Bahn, I just want to get to the hotel.

The friendly Polish woman drives with a swift style. My map app says the journey will take thirty minutes. She does it in twenty. After the day I’ve had, I’m almost surprised I reached my destination at all. 

Finally, I’m at the hotel, standing at the reception. I want to identify myself… but my wallet is gone. It is still there in the taxi; I paid, after all. Desperately, I run to the entrance. My foot doesn’t like that. The nice Polish taxi driver is standing in front of the entrance, about to get in. She saw the wallet on the back seat and came after me to bring it back. This gracious angel on Earth is truly the only silver lining so far! I give her an extra five euros.

I return to reception, where I encounter [Staff Member #1]. He has just the right amount of compassion when checking me in. He books House Three, ninth floor, room 947.

House three? What hotel has three houses? Okay, this one doesn’t have three houses. It has four. Oh, my.

I wander through a labyrinth of corridors to the elevator of House Three. I find the room and put my card up to the sensor on the door.

Nothing. The door lock doesn’t work.

I try several angles. No luck.

I go back to the reception, where I meet [Staff Member #2], who is also very nice. She gives me a room with a card and a key — she does have a sense of humor — again in House Three, eighth floor, Room 850. I don’t miss the fact that the sum of the digits of the room adds up to 13, which, when added together again, equals 4, which is considered the number of death in China.

It was a prophecy.

The room is hot as h***. The ventilation only makes a faint clicking sound. The air conditioning shows an error.

Back to the reception, where I meet [Staff Member #3]. New attempt, new luck. Another very nice person.

He books House Two, fourteenth floor, Room 1423. He also winks and hands me a key in addition to the key card.

I arrive at the new room. And what did this second angel of the day do? He booked me a room with a bathtub!

I quickly grab my little flask of all-purpose cleaner and the emergency sponge to give it a quick wipe down. After all, it’s a hotel room and not my first business trip. Now, finally, I can relax my foot. My hand and my side also don’t hurt as much anymore in the warm water.

The hotel has a bar. This second, lovely angel I met today, the third hotel employee, this epitome of all receptionists, has stuck a cocktail voucher to the key card.

I’ve earned that.