How About You Take The Advice AND Make More Hot Chocolate?

, , , | Right | December 12, 2018

(I volunteer at my local library from middle school until I leave the area for college, and during that time I am the youngest staff member by about forty years. Given my age and familiarity with the library, the other staff members frequently come to me for opinions on book-related things for younger library patrons. This particular occasion, however, is one I may never be able to forget.)

Head Librarian: “Hey, [My Name], you’re pretty familiar with book trends for teens, right?”

Me: “Yeah, I keep track. I like to pay attention to what the other kids at school are reading, and I check what’s selling well online.”

Head Librarian: “Right. Do you think you could come up with a list of things we could do to get a bigger teen presence in the library? Different things we could have in stock that they would consider worth it?”

Me: “Sure. Not a problem.”

(I spend a significant chunk of my summer vacation on this project, listing out the most popular things I know kids at the local high school like, as well as researching what’s growing in popularity. Then I take it back to the head librarian.)

Me: “There are three main problem areas in our inventory. First, there aren’t any comic books, manga, or graphic novels. They’re very popular, and that popularity is only growing. I highly recommend getting some collections in both junior fiction and young adult fiction, because that alone is going to be a great way to start. Second, we have a DVD collection, but it’s rather sparse and outdated, and it contains almost no television. It would be a smart investment to commit to a wider collection of DVDs, because they’ll bring teens in the door, and from there the rest of the library will be used. Third, new adult fiction. I know it’s an iffy genre, but making a separate section just for books geared a bit older than the standard young adult will make that whole section a lot more user-friendly for the older teens who want to read more mature books without jumping straight to adult fiction.”

(She’s just staring at me, so I press on, handing her a few stapled-together sheets of paper.)

Me: “I put together lists of the most recommended comics, graphic novels, and manga, as well as some recommendations for DVDs and new adult fiction.”

Head Librarian: “Hm… I was just thinking you’d tell me everything was fine. Or that we should make more hot chocolate.”

Me: “I mean, that’s fine, but if you want me to tell you what teens are looking for, that’s it.”

Head Librarian: *pause* “Hm… I’m just not sure I believe that’s what’ll work.”

(She then walked away without a thank-you, and nothing I recommended happened. Years later, I was invited to a meeting at the library where an auditor was checking everything over and then giving a recommendation. I showed up, and what do you know. The very first thing he recommended? Manga and graphic novels.)

Top Marks For Honesty

, , , , , | Working | December 10, 2018

(I’m a manager at a chain restaurant and one of my responsibilities is interviewing potential employees for a job. I like to ask people why those chose to apply for us instead of our competitors, because we hold ourselves to a higher standard and want employees who actually want to work for our company specifically, not just a job for money. This happens when I ask that question.)

Me: “So,why did you choose to apply specifically to us? Our competition down the street is also hiring, but you chose us. Why’s that?”

Candidate: “Well, when I think of them, they always be busy and stuff. But when I think of y’all, I don’t think y’all get busy. And I’m trying to get a job where I don’t have to work so hard.”

(She did not get the job.)

Opening Them Up To The Possibility They Were Wrong

, , , | Right | December 8, 2018

(I work as a customer service rep for an online retailer. It is a marketplace, so our products are sold by third parties. A customer calls in for an ongoing support ticket, and I pull it up by the phone number.)

Me: “Hello. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I ordered four rolls of shelf liner but only got one. I was waiting to hear from the girl I spoke to earlier and have not heard back.”

Me: “I see that agent emailed you with an update from the seller. The seller had said the four rolls were packed together for shipping.”

Customer: “I just got one roll!”

Me: “I see one of the rolls was 24 inches wide and the other three were 12 inches wide. Is the roll you received 24 inches?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Have you had the chance to open it to see if the other rolls were included as the seller said?”

Customer: “No! That is ridiculous. It is such a pain to open. It will mess up the integrity of the roll. I opened just the ends.”

Me: “I apologize that it’s inconvenient, but as the seller has advised, it was shipped together; opening it will determine if they did send the four rolls in one shipment or if we need to ask them to ship the other three.”

Customer: “I can’t believe I have to open it!”

(The customer then opens it, grumbling the whole time about how annoying it is to have to actually open the product and follow the instructions.)

Customer: “Well, I guess it is all here. Ugh. I can’t believe they shipped it all together, and I guess I was wrong, then. But this is ridiculous!”

(I have learned you can hardly ever make anyone happy when it comes to online shopping.)

No One Ever Got Injured Eating Pizza

, , , , , | Healthy | December 7, 2018

I’m a very lazy person by nature. I’ll get up and walk around if I feel like it, but I never really go out of my way to try and stay fit. I’m also notorious for hating every sport except for swimming, due to poor performances in gym class. As part of a co-op program for college, I end up staying with my marathon-running, fitness-nut uncle for a month. He is constantly offering for me to join him for workouts or trips to the gym, but I always decline, and he never pushes it. He just wants to be polite and offer to let me come along.

One day, I decide I want to try it, so I get his help setting up a workout routine. When I go back to college at the end of the program, I try it myself without supervision. I end up hurting my hip and have to stop, but after a week or two, I notice that the pain is not going away. It takes me two years to get a proper doctor’s appointment for this — my community is notorious for long waits to see doctors for anything — and I am diagnosed with a muscle tear in my right hip.

So, to sum it up, I hate sports, but the first time I do an actual workout to try and get myself into shape, I come away with what is commonly called a “sports hernia.” Everyone who found out laughed at the sheer irony of it.

Never Give Up On Anyone… Except Maybe You

, , , | Working | December 6, 2018

(I work in a cafe that hires students for internships. They work as full-fledged employees, while training on the job. There is a high preference for students with a disability or behaviour problems, because they usually don’t get many chances. Most succeed and get jobs in “normal” cafes or catering. One student, however, is not looking promising, despite the intensive training, coaching, and personal mentor. He’s been late every day for two weeks now, and he has received his final warning. Today he showed up on time, with the cafe’s uniform, but without the required shoes. The shoes are normal black shoes, but have a strong top — in case of falling knives; yes, that has happened more than once — and anti-skid profiles on the bottom.)

Mentor: “[Student], where are your work shoes?”

Student: “Oh, eh… I lost them.”

Mentor: “You… lost them?”

Student: “Yup, they are totally gone.”

Mentor: “Ah, well… Then you’ll have to buy new ones.”

Student: “What?! No way!”

Mentor: “You know the required shoes are for your own safety. If you can’t find them, you’ll have to buy new ones.”

Student: “I’m not going to pay anything!”

Mentor: “Then you’ll just have to start looking for them!”

Student: “Haven’t you been listening?! I can’t search for them; they are lost!”

(Our cafe’s motto is, “Never give up on anyone,” but I fear we may have to look for a more suiting place for this student.)

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