A Car Too Far

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 6, 2019

(I rent out a house with four other women, one of whom is my sister, who’s ended up not having the best relationship with the other two people. She’s never done anything outright horrible, but has an air of entitlement and does little things that bother us sometimes. One of the things that has bothered us the most is whenever she asks to borrow our personal cars. Hers was wrecked by her boyfriend two years ago and, since I sometimes have “no good reason” to NOT allow her to borrow the car while I’m using it, I’ve allowed her until recently. She’s never been in a wreck herself, but she always treats my car like it is her own garbage bin, always claims she needs it for an “emergency” when really she wants to go shopping, and never, never, NEVER tops up the tank. She once borrowed it for a full week without telling me until I confronted her about my almost-empty tank of gas. I always let her walk all over me until one day I put my foot down and set some rules, which doesn’t exactly work, so I take away the “deal” we never made of sharing my car, telling her to finally look for her own. What does she do? She goes and asks our roommates, of course. [Roommate #1] gives her a shot, but refuses after my sister is gone past one am and won’t answer her cell phone when our roommate calls to see if she is all right. [Roommate #2] gives her a hard no from the beginning. So, my sister has been forced to take a mix of public transportation and ride-hailing apps, despite having a valid license. I have always thought it was because she worked out it was cheaper that way, despite the passive-aggression she always throws my way whenever a bus is late during her route or the comments about how inconvenient it is to catch a [Rideshare]. That was all until [Roommate #3] moves in. Literally within the first week of settling in, while she’s playing a video game in the living room and [Roommate #2] and I are in the kitchen, my sister approaches her:)

Sister: “Hey, [Roommate #3]! Listen. Huge favor. Would it be okay to let me borrow your car?”

Me: *not thinking I heard right* “Wait, wha–”

Roommate #3: “Uh, sure? Why? When?”

Sister: “Oh, I was–“

Me: “[Roommate #3]! Seriously? You don’t have to.”

Sister: “She already said yes.”

Roommate #3: *raises an eyebrow at the both of us* “Um… Is there something I’m not getting? Do you, what, have a DUI?”

Roommate #2: *muttering low enough just for me to hear* “Nope, just her ex.”

Sister: “What? Are you f****** serious? Do I look like someone who would have a DUI?”

Roommate #3: “All right, sorry, jeez. But, yeah. Unless you have a history of f***** up cars–“

Sister: “I don’t.”

Roommate #3: “Okay, so, when do you need it?”

Sister: “I was thinking right now?”

Me: *getting up* “Okay, no. [Sister], that’s just rude to try and practically bully [Roommate #3] into giving you her car.”

Sister: “But she said yes!”

Roommate #3: *shrugs* “That I did. And sure. My key is the one with the green keychain.”

(My sister thanks her profusely and goes to get ready to leave while [Roommate #2] and I share a look, completely floored, not only over how brazen my sister was, but how careless [Roommate #3] seems to be. Ultimately, we just shake our heads and allow this incredibly poor idea pan out. My sister leaves, dressed up and ready to go… before coming back in, seeming annoyed.)

Sister: “You’re out of gas.”

(I try to stifle laughter over the irony.)

Roommate #3: “What?”

Sister: “I said, you’re out of gas.”

Roommate #3: “Did it not turn on? I put five bucks in it yesterday.”

Sister: *confused* “Er, no. I was able to turn on your car, but the gas gauge is basically sitting on the ’empty’ side.”

Roommate #3: “Ohhh. Psh. Yeah. It does that, but that baby’s got another couple miles in it. Don’t worry; it can make it to the closest gas station and you can just put in how much money you need for gas.”

(Note that this entire time, [Roommate #3] hasn’t even looked up from her video game to address my sister fully, who’s staring at her like she’s just grown another head. After a moment, my sister sneers and huffs out a “fine” before storming back out. A while later, while most of us are talking and hanging out, my sister comes in and hands [Roommate #3] a receipt.)

Sister: “Here. For the gas.”

Roommate #3: *looks at the receipt and eyes go wide* “WHOA! You filled the whole tank?!”

Sister: “Yes, and you can pay me back whenever yo–“

(She doesn’t get to finish the sentence and, thankfully, [Roommate #3] seems to never have heard it since she was too busy bolting up and almost tackling my sister to the ground with a bearhug.)

Roommate #3: “Thank you, thank you, thank you so much! You didn’t have to do that! You can borrow my car whenever you want!”

Sister: “…”

(It didn’t take long for us to learn that [Roommate #3] came from working-class parents where she picked up a lot of penny-pinching techniques and habits, one of them being to only pay for only the amount of gas necessary to get from point A to point B. She legitimately thought that’s how most people did it, and her mind was blown when she found out none of us made the “common, new-driver mistake” of running out of gas on the freeway from overestimating how much was left in the tank. This meant that eventually when all the gas my sister put in dwindled, [Roommate #3] kicked back into her old habit of just paying what she needed, confused as to why this had suddenly become a pet-peeve to my sister’s. Other than her unique money-saving tactics and her obliviousness, she’s become an awesome housemate. My sister made it through borrowing her car for about a month until [Roommate #3] confronted her about dirtying up her car — “I mean, you could pay for the car cleaning, at least? Then you can drive my car again. Fair?” — and she magically found her own money to get a used car, herself.)

The Theory Of “I Know Everything”

, , , , , | Friendly | April 1, 2019

(I am sitting outside soaking in the sun right after a quantum mechanics final. A guy approaches me and says hi.)

Me: *not wanting to be rude* “Hi. How’s it going?”

Guy: “It’s all right. I’m [Guy]. What’s your name? What are you doing here?”

Me: “I’m [My Name]. Just got out of a final.”

Guy: “Oh, what final? What major are you?”

Me: “I’m a physics major. This was the final for the last course in the quantum mechanics series. I have a math final later, too, so I’m just waiting on campus.”

Guy: “Quantum mechanics? That’s so cool. How much do you know about it?”

Me: “I mean, that’s a little hard to say, but I know everything I should at an undergrad level, and enough to be able to engage in research. The core of the subject, essentially.”

Guy: “Well, I could teach you so much about!”

Me: “Oh, that’d be cool. Are you a physics grad student or something?”

Guy: “No, I’m a psychology major. I don’t really know anything about the math or anything. But I’ve seen so many YouTube videos about it. There’s so much crazy stuff about it that you won’t believe. Anyway, maybe I could take you out to dinner or something?”

Me:  “…”

(While I appreciate people trying to learn about a subject in whatever way they can, it seemed really arrogant to assume that YouTube videos would make you more familiar than me with a subject I’m majoring in. Especially when the subject in question is essentially all math; you can’t do any physics without doing the math! It’s what differentiates it from random thought experiments.)

As Long As The Coffee Survived

, , , , | Working | March 18, 2019

(A coworker and I are walking back from our break, and he’s carrying a tray of take-out coffee for everyone. He is carrying the tray with one hand, looking at his phone in the other as he walks.)

Me: “[Coworker], be careful.”

Coworker: “Huh?”

Me: “Watch out where you’re walking.”

Coworker: *clucks his tongue at me affectionately* “See, you’re like the big sister I never had, worrying over nothing.”

Me: “You have like five cups of hot coffee in one hand, and it’s all uneven here. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

(He scoffs at me so I let it drop. A few paces later, however, as he’s looking at his phone, he comes up on a ledge that has a central set of steps, misses the steps, and his foot comes down on open air. It’s only about a foot drop or so, but he pitches forward and his phone goes flying as he reflexively grabs for the coffee tray, jerking it up over his head like he’s offering it skyward — amazingly not spilling a drop — as he lands hard on both knees.)

Me: “Oh, my God! Are you okay?!”

Coworker: *gritting his teeth in pain* “Yes, thanks. And a preemptive thanks for not saying, ‘I told you so.’”

(At least he saved the coffee, and luckily, his phone was okay, too!)

Unfiltered Story #141603

, , , | Unfiltered | February 23, 2019

*We have five popcorn makers at our theater, four of which are currently broken. I hvae been making fresh popcorn all morning, transporting it from the one working machine to the broken ones, so that things at least LOOK nice.  I only serve guests out of the machine that works, though, so they can have fresh, hot popcorn. I’ve just finished making another batch, when a man approaches my counter.*

Me: Hey there! What can I get for you?

Customer: Can I get a large popcorn?

Me: Sure thing! *I head to the working machine to get him the fresh popcorn, which is the machine farthest away from my register.*

Man: Going on a journey for my popcorn, eh? *joking tone*

Me: Haha, yeah. *returning* That popper has the freshest popcorn, I just made it a minute ago.

Man: Oh, well, thank you!

*He pays and is on his way, and I think nothing of it. A few moments later, though, he’s back, with his full bag of popcorn*

Man: Um, this popcorn is cold.

Me: What?

Man: The popcorn. It’s cold.

Me: That– doesn’t make any sense, I just popped it. I’m so sorry! *taking the bag from him. The bag is still warm. I hold my hand over the popcorn to see if it’s radiating heat, which it is. I look at him, confused*

Man: Yeah. It’s just no good. 

Me: … Let me get you some fresh? *I toss the popcorn in his bag into the garbage, and then refill the bag with popcorn form the exact same popper as before, before handing it back to him*

Man: *eating some of the popcorn* Much better. You should only ever serve fresh popcorn!

Me: I’ll… keep that in mind.

Of Coffee Slips And Well-Timed Quips

, , , , , , , | Working | February 21, 2019

I work as a producer for a video game publishing company. Recently I met up with a former employer for lunch. I left the company on good terms, and he essentially got me started on my career, so even though I don’t work for him anymore I still consider him a mentor and am eager to show him how well I’ve done and how far I’ve come. With me is another colleague, and a young intern we have working with us.

Lunch itself goes great. I’m happy to see him and catch up, and my coworker says great things about me to him. Towards the end, he’s chatting with our intern, encouraging him in general but also saying, “Don’t worry. Just stick to [My Name] and learn from her and you’ll be just fine.”

Even though it’s obviously just kind flattery, I beam at him, go to set down my mostly-full coffee cup… and miss the edge of the table entirely so it drops to the floor and shatters, spraying coffee everywhere. There’s a moment of horrified silence, and then the intern looks at my former boss and deadpans, “Don’t worry. I’ll do as she says, not as she does.”

At least I know our intern is quick with a quip, and that I can always rely on the universe to put me in my place with perfect timing if I ever get too big a head.


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