My Business Lunch Is None Of Your Business

, , , , , | Related | September 10, 2018

(One of my first jobs is as a secretary and receptionist. I am angling for a promotion, so I make myself as indispensable to my boss as possible, and I persuade him to allow me to accompany him on a business lunch with our marketing reps. I am talking to my mum about it.)

Me: “I’m pretty excited about this. It’ll be my first business lunch.”

Mum: “Who are you meeting with?”

Me: “Our marketing team: [Employee #1] and [Employee #2].”

Mum: “[Employee #2]? No kidding! I know her! She’s really nice.”

Me: “Cool! Good to know.”

(I go to the lunch and conduct myself with as much poise and professionalism as a 22-year-old is capable of. I am quite nervous, but I pretend that I do this sort of thing every day. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. Later, when talking to my mum again…)

Mum: “How’d the lunch go?”

Me: “Great! I think my boss was impressed. I saw [Employee #2] talking to him afterwards and pointing at me; she was smiling.”

Mum: “That’s probably because I called [Employee #2] beforehand.”

Me: “Uh… You did?”

Mum: “Yes! I told her it was your very first business lunch, and that you were really excited and nervous. I also told her that since you’re just a kid, she should be nice to you.”


Mum: *bewildered* “What? What did I do?”

(Sigh. I love my mum, and I know she only had the best of intentions. I might have gotten that promotion after all, despite or because of Mum’s “help,” but another job opportunity came my way first. I jumped at it.)

Big Sign = Big Trouble

, , , | Right | September 7, 2018

(The first Tuesday of every month is “10% off Tuesday.” I amv working the customer service desk when a customer brings me his receipt.)

Customer: “The cashier never took off my 10%.”

Me: *reading the receipt* “I’m sorry, sir, but you only spent $25. The promotion requires a minimum purchase of $50.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Where does it say that?!”

(I walk exactly three feet and point to the fine print of the giant sign on the window, which clearly reads “with purchase of $50 or more in a single transaction.”)

Customer: “How do you expect anyone to read that? It’s so small!”

Me: “It… it really isn’t.”

Phone Gall

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 29, 2018

(This happens shortly after I’ve given birth to my first daughter. She and I are asleep in our hospital room. This is in 1994, when it isn’t as common to have security measures to ensure that babies aren’t stolen from hospitals.)

Voice: “Hello? This is [Woman].”

Me: *groggily* “Sorry, what?”

(I open my eyes and sit up, expecting to see a nurse. Instead, I see a strange woman using the phone in my room.)

Woman: *glaring at me* “Do you mind? I’m trying to make a phone call here.”

Me: “What the h***? Get out of my room!”

Woman: “Excuse me? I’m just trying to make a phone call!”

Me: “Then go find a payphone! GET OUT!”

(She flounced out, muttering, with no idea why I was so upset. It was just lucky that all she wanted was the phone and not my daughter.)

A Very Awkward Engagement

, , , , , , , | Related | August 23, 2018

(When my boyfriend asks me to marry him, his parents announce that they are going to throw us an engagement party.)

Me: “Thank you! Where would you like to have it? We could have it at our house…”

Future Mother-In-Law: “Oh, no. We’ll have it at our house.”

(Her house is in a town that’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from where my fiancé and I live.)

Me: “Oh… That’ll be kind of a long drive for all our friends, though.”

Future Mother-In-Law: “That doesn’t matter; I’m not inviting them.”

Me: “Ah, who were you planning to invite?”

Future Mother-In-Law: “Family members, plus some of [Future Father-In-Law]’s colleagues.”

Me: “Um… Okay.”

(Cut to a few weeks later. My fiancé and I are driving to the party.)

Me: “It’s nice of your parents to do this, but I’m confused about why they’re inviting your dad’s colleagues. We’ve never met them.”

Fiancé: “I don’t get it, either.”

(We arrive at the party. There’s a big sign that says, “CONGRATULATIONS, [My Name], [Fiancé], [Additional Name #1], and [Additional Name #2]”.)

Fiancé: “Mum, whose names are on the sign?”

Future Mother-In-Law: “That’s are your dad’s assistant and his fiancée. They got engaged at the same time as you, and we wanted to throw them a party, so we figured we might as well kill two birds with one stone and have one for you at the same time!”

Fiancé: “…”

(That was one awkward event. We were pretty upset at sharing a special time in our lives with another couple, especially since we’d never met them before.)

Forced Friendship

, , , , , | Learning | August 22, 2018

(When my daughter first starts high school, she doesn’t know very many people. She is quite shy and introverted, so she doesn’t have any friends at first. One day, this happens.)

Teacher: “Every lunchtime, I see you sitting here in the library alone. It’s not right.”

Daughter: “I don’t mind. I like the library.”

Teacher: No. It’s not right. A young girl like you should be having fun with friends.”

Daughter: “Um…”

Teacher: “Yes, yes, I know; you don’t have any. That’s about to change. I’m going to bring you out of your shell.”

Daughter: *alarmed* “No, thank you! I’m fine as I am.”

Teacher: “Nonsense! All you need is a little push in the right direction. Leave it all to me. We’ll start tomorrow.” *leaves*

(My daughter is horrified and doesn’t know what to do. I notice that evening that she is very quiet, and after some gentle prodding, she tells me everything. I ask her if she’d like me to intervene, and I get a hesitant, “Okay,” for an answer. I call the school and leave a message asking the teacher to call me. The next day:)

Teacher: “Hello, is this [My Name], [Daughter]’s mother? I had a message to call you.”

Me: *pleasantly* “Hello, Mr. [Teacher]. I understand that you’ve decided to take my daughter under your wing.”

Teacher: *happily* “Oh, yes! I see shy kids like her all the time, and–”

Me: “Let me stop you right there. My daughter is fine. Please leave her alone.”

Teacher: “But… I’m just trying to help.”

Me: “I’m sure that you have good intentions, but your help is neither wanted or needed.”

Teacher: “But a young girl like her should have friends! It’s not natural for her to be alone all the time!”

Me: “She’ll make friends on her own when she’s ready.”

Teacher: “…”

Me: “I hope I’ve made myself clear.”

Teacher: *long pause* “Yes.”

Me: “Good. I’m glad we had this talk. Have a nice day!” *click*

(He never talked to my daughter again unless it was about schoolwork. She started making friends soon after that.)

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