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Sometimes We Look At Men Who Are Married And We Ask… “How?”

, , , , , , , | Right | May 13, 2022

Working in a breakdown (roadside assistance) call centre, we would naturally have extremely busy periods in a day, but equally, there could be times when we wouldn’t get a call for ages. These times were useful for getting some admin work done — especially for the team leaders — but now and then there simply wouldn’t be anything to do.

In one of these rare periods, my coworkers and I are sitting about and chatting. The conversation has turned to discussing particularly memorable calls, whether for spectacular rudeness, unusual situations, or otherwise amusing conversations.

All our calls are recorded, and evidently, the team leaders keep a “hall of fame” directory in the system, and people begin requesting their favourites. The first they play is from one of our team to the recovery agent.

Teammate: “Hi, this is [Teammate] calling from [Breakdown Company]. I’m just checking in on the progress of the [car model] you’re recovering for us?”

Agent: “Ah, yes, in Harrow?”

Teammate #1: “Hello, yes, can you hear me?”

Agent: “Yes, Harrow.”

Teammate #1: “Harro, yes, can you hear me?”

This goes on for longer than you might expect.

Agent: “Mate, I’m NOT saying, ‘Hello’, I’m confirming the location of the recovery, which is in the TOWN, Harrow!”

Teammate #1: “Oh… right. Sorry!”

We stop the recording there and move on to the next one. It starts off as a pretty standard call; the driver sounds a little agitated but is polite to our teammate. Partway through taking some details, the caller suddenly explodes:


Teammate #2: *Who is a woman* “Erm…”

Caller: *Talking over a raised voice in the background* “Sorry [Teammate #2], I wasn’t talking to y— SHUT THE H*** UP! I’M TRYING TO TALK TO THE BREAKDOWN PEOPLE!”

There is a heated discussion between the caller and the woman in the car. Shortly, there is a sound of a car door being opened and then slammed shut.

Caller: “Sorry about that. The wife thinks it’s all my fault the car’s doing this. You know women, all a bunch of b****es, right?”

He makes a strangled noise, seemingly remembering he’s talking to both a woman and a complete stranger.

Caller: “…and men, we’re all b*****ds, too! Haha… Anyway…”

The rest of the call proceeds without incident. As it’s wrapping up:

Caller: “Okay, thanks, [Teammate #2], we’ll wait to hear from you! And sorry for calling all women b*****s! Bye!”

The Only Size You Are Is Perfect

, , , , , , | Right | April 10, 2022

I come from a country that has weird expectations of women’s bodies. I have always been a chubby girl. I was taunted my entire childhood for that, and after pregnancy, I have gained some more weight. I have always been on various diets and exercises, and my weight fluctuates like the weather.

I have moved temporarily to London and am clothes shopping one day. It’s a beautiful high-end shop known for good collections of formal clothes. Every design that I like is not available in my size, and naturally, I am upset about it. A shop assistant comes up to help me.

Clothes shopping has never been fun for me at all, so I am apprehensive to ask for help. I am also worried that I may offend her by declining help.

Me: *Timidly* “Umm… I am not finding anything that fits me well.”

Employee: “What size are you looking at?”

Me: “I am not very familiar with the sizes here. Eight or ten seems too small and sixteen and above is a little too big. I am guessing twelve to fourteen may be my size but I am not sure. There aren’t many options in that size range.”

Employee: “Well, ma’am, that’s a popular size range in work attires. This is the middle of summer and peak shopping season; we usually run out of those sizes pretty soon, but I can check our system and let you know if we have any in stock in our store or any nearby stores. If you are sure, we can place them on hold, too. Do you want to do that?”

I was surprised that A) she did not judge me, B) she is happy to help, and C) if my size is popular, then there are many women like me, so I am not abnormally huge! With these thoughts in my head, I show her a few designs that I like and she gets a few of them for me to try on. When I am done making my choices and am leaving with my purchase, I summon the courage to thank her.

Me: “Thanks so much for your help! You have no idea how incredibly helpful you have been.”

Employee: “No problem at all, ma’am! I am glad you found something you liked.”

Me: “Well, that’s the point. I usually never find anything in my size. I have had people mock at me for not being slim. Clothes shopping for people like me is a nightmare. You’ve made it so much easier today.”

Employee: “I don’t know why anyone would make you think like that! Most women I have met are in this size range, but we really shouldn’t limit ourselves by our bodies.”

I got really emotional because of her words. We talked a bit about body shaming and such. I had never felt so empowered about my body.

I am slowly on the path to accepting myself for who I am rather than by what society wants me to be. I maintain a healthy lifestyle and am still no skinny person, but I have stopped worrying about my weight when I occasionally decide to indulge. It’s a long journey of self-acceptance, but thanks to that kind lady who gave me the much-needed confidence. I can never forget her!

Tea For Tea Towels

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | March 25, 2022

When the health crisis started, the National Health Service set up a volunteer responder scheme, so people could help those in need — mostly with things like grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions for those asked by their doctors to shelter and those isolating or in quarantine. The prescriptions are often free; for everything else, we arrange payment.

I call a man and see if there is anything he needs. The only thing he is short of is tea (dish) towels. It’s an unusual request, but I can do it when I am shopping anyway, so I say yes. Knowing that these people are usually on a fixed income, I say that if I can get a packet of three for £5 or better, I will buy them, and he agrees.

I manage to do better; I find a pack of four beautiful tea towels for £5. Bargain! I buy them and give him a call to let him know I am on my way. I confirm he has £5 to pay me. There is no misunderstanding.

I arrive, and he comes outside to greet me.

Me: “Here are the tea towels. Are they okay?”

Man: “That’s great, thank you! Do you like tea?”

Me: *Taken aback* “Yes, I guess.”

He handed me a packet of teabags. They were cheap ones, and the packet was opened but had been resealed by the white paper sticker. The packet had a greasy feel like it had been near a cooktop for months. It had the price printed on the packet: £1.59. I did not want this, but I didn’t want to be rude, so I took it. I assumed it was a gift to thank me for my effort.

I awaited being paid the amount we’d agreed on. There was a long, awkward pause as I stared at him, eyes widening as he made no move to pay me. Finally, he realised that I was not bartering £5 worth of tea towels for rubbish, and he pulled the £5 out of his pocket. The tea bags went in the first litter bin I passed.

Never Sausage A Thing Before, Part 4

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2022

I work at a student union bar while at university. The bar doesn’t really do great business and so comes up with new ideas to try to attract more customers. One of these ideas is a hotdog stand, which is not popular! I am the first server on shift when this happens. The stand is on the other side of the room from the bar. I’m not allowed to call out about the hotdogs in order to attract customers. I am told to simply sit beneath a sign at the cart and wait for customers to come to me.

I customer approaches, refusing to make eye contact and shifting from side to side.

Customer: “Yeah, I bought a hotdog half an hour ago and it was cold. I want my money back!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’m unable to do that. If you have a problem, please go to the bar and ask for a manager.”

Customer: “Listen, you served me a disgusting, cold hotdog! Just give me £2!”

Me: “Like I said, I am unable to do that. Please speak to a manager at the bar if you are unhappy.”

The customer heads off to the bar and returns with a manager, a guy who is generally miserable in his job.

Manager: “This gentleman says you served him a cold hotdog and won’t refund him. Give him his money back!”

Me: “I can’t do that.”

Manager: “Why not?!”

Me: “I’ve been here for two hours and I’ve been the only one serving hotdogs today. I’ve not sold a single hotdog. This gentleman is mistaken.”

This was the politest way I could think of to say, “He’s trying to scam us.”

The customer disappeared. The manager scowled at me and stomped off.

Never Sausage A Thing Before, Part 3
Never Sausage A Thing Before, Part 2
Never Sausage A Thing Before

A Storm In A Teapot

, , , , , | Right | March 14, 2022

We are doing a special promotion on a certain brand of china. Customers can bring in old pieces of china, and for every piece, they will get 50p off a new item. All the old china brought in will go to charity. There have been fliers handed out for a week and large notices all over the shop explaining all this.

A couple comes in with a large box of china items, and we set about counting them, all the while praising the customers for their generosity. There are seventy-two items.

Me: “Wow, you’re certainly going to have a lovely new dinner set! What would you like?”

Customer: “The teapot, please.”

Me: “Good start! What else?”

Customer: “Just the teapot.”

Me: “Oh, how generous! You’ve given all this china to charity, and you’re just getting the teapot, with 50p off! Brilliant!”

I’m suspecting now where this is going.

Customer: “No, we brought in seventy-two items. Seventy-two times 50p is £36, the price of the teapot.”

Me: “I’m afraid it’s only one item against one item.”

Customer: *Swaggering, sneering, hands on hips* “And where, may I ask, does it say that?”

Me: *Pointing at the large print on the bottom of the flyer* “There…”

Customer: *Crumples* “Oh…”

In the end, they bought their teapot with 50p off and a couple of mugs and plates, sorted out what they didn’t want to give to charity after all, and left.

At least they didn’t flounce off.