A History Of Violence

, , , , , | Right | March 28, 2020

Working in a small military museum in London, I’m used to hearing a lot of stupid questions from tourists, but the crowning glory had to be from one little old American lady who asked me, “Does your museum have anything violent in it?”. She was clearly missing the point that members of the military, throughout their history, do tend to engage in a fair amount of violence!

Don’t quite know what she expected to find in a regimental museum of a British Army regiment that’s been fighting since the 1600s!

Has Been Masking His Chess Skills

, , , , , | Related | March 26, 2020

I am working from home and like the rest of the country, I’ve been practicing social distancing. My seven-year-old son’s school is closed so he’s been playing all day – and I see no harm in him playing in the garden. He runs up to me late in the morning.

Son: “Mum, do we have any masks?”

Me: “You mean the masks to stop getting infected like you saw on TV?”

Son: “Yeah!”

Me: “We have some, but why do you need one?”

Son: “To play in the garden!”

There is no one in the garden, but I am loath to stop my son from being enthusiastic about good health practices! I give him one of the masks I received from my office before we were all sent home and send him off to play.

I get stuck in my work and rely on my son to let me know when he’s hungry so we can stop for lunch. After finishing a rather complicated piece of work, I realise it is almost 3:00 pm and there’s no sign of my son! I head out to the garden, and see this:

Our next-door neighbour, an old woman in her late seventies, is sat by the dividing fence of our respective gardens, wearing a mask, sat in front of a chess set. My son is sat in our garden, keeping a distance of six feet from her, wearing his mask, and shouting out orders.

Son: “I’ll move my horse to where your castle is!”

Neighbor: “Well done! But look what you did for my bishop!”

She took away one of his pieces with the bishop my son had inadvertently cleared a route for. My son groaned jokingly and then laughed.

My son did not know how to play chess that morning. Our neighbor had spent four hours teaching him the rules, coming up with interesting alternative names for some of the pieces (King & Queen were Mum & Dad) and all while respecting social distancing!

They’ve been out there playing for three afternoons in a row now and I have to keep reminding him to come in for lunch!

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Their Carpets Are Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey

, , , , | Right | March 25, 2020

(My father and I go to a “Doctor Who” shop in London, as we’re both big fans of the show. This happens as we’re going to check out.)

Clerk #1: “Hello!” *normal checkout conversation takes place*

Clerk #2: *on store phone, in background* “Hello? No, this is not the carpet shop. You must have copied the number wrong. We have not ever sold carpets; this is a sci-fi merchandise store! No carpets.”

(This phone conversation goes on for quite a few minutes, back and forth.)

Dad: *to [Clerk #1]* “Does this happen often?”

Clerk #1: “Yes, the carpet store is right next door; sometimes we get confused customers.”

Clerk #2: *hangs up phones* “One day I should, if they won’t believe me when I say we’re not a carpet shop, say, ‘Yes, you’re right; we’re the carpet shop. Can I have your name, address, and payment info?’ I wouldn’t actually do anything with it, but maybe wait until they complain about no carpets.”

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The Tables Have Turned

, , , , | Right | March 24, 2020

(ALL of our tables have numbers on them for the kitchen to take food to. When customers come to a till to place their order, we must ask for a table number, as there are approximately two-hundred tables. This happens to my coworker who is working the till.)

Coworker: “Hello! How are yo—”

Customer: “I’d like a steak sandwich, kids’ spaghetti, a salmon sandwich, side of chips, side of onion rings, a latte, a cappuccino…”

(She rants off this massive order without stopping. Meanwhile, my coworker hasn’t done anything yet as she hasn’t been given a table number.)

Coworker: “Sorry, I need a table number first.”

Customer:What?!

Coworker: “I need a table number before I can take your food order.”

Customer: “Well, I’m over there!” *gesticulates randomly*

Coworker: “Each table has a number; we need the number or I cannot take your order.”

Customer:I am outside! Can’t you just tell the kitchen to take it outside?”

Coworker: “No, because there are other people sitting outside as well as you. I need the table number.”

(The customer then THREW the menu at my coworker and stormed off. She didn’t go to get her table number as we didn’t see her for the rest of the day!)

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Let Them Eat Cake, Those Dirty Rats!

, , , , , , | Working | March 23, 2020

(Our offices are located in several converted houses built in the 18th century. Several people on our floor persist in leaving uncovered food like cake and biscuits out overnight, despite pleas from the cleaning staff. Inevitably, we have mice. On occasion, I’ve seen them scampering across our office floor! The company has traps put out regularly, but since winter’s coming the mice are naturally going to escape from the cold any way they can, particularly when their refuge is well-stocked. During a meeting with a coworker whose office is in the building next door:)

Coworker: “You guys have mice in your building, right?”

Me: “Very likely, although I haven’t seen any for a while.”

Coworker: “Yeah, so we have mice and rats.”

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “You know [Coworkers] had their leaving do last week? Well, they left such a big mess that apparently one of the cleaners had to come in on Saturday to finish tidying up. And when he got into the office, the first thing he saw was this big fat rat eating cake, right off the carpet! Because, of course, they left the food out overnight, and some of it fell to the floor. It was just stuffing its face; it wasn’t scared of him at all.”

Me: “Good grief.”

Coworker: “The guy was really angry; he said he hadn’t been hired to clean a rat-infested building!”

(I very much hope the company is going to step up with pest control, and that the people next door got rightly scolded for creating extra work for the poor cleaner and leaving food out. I’m tempted to tell people on my floor about the step up in pests, in the hope that they’ll tidy up after themselves. I now also try not to let my feet touch the floor when I’m sitting at my desk, in case something scurries past.)

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