Surfing Through Some Wonderful Encounters

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 6, 2017

Years ago, my dad and brother went to Mexico. One day, they were in the nearest town for supplies when my dad ran into a woman in the grocery store who gave him a recommendation on mango juice. They chatted for a bit, then said their goodbyes. Later, they were in the parking lot, and the woman walked by. She noticed his license plate, and they discovered that they were from the same area of islands in Canada, though she had been living in Mexico for several years. So they exchanged contact information, and my family returned to camp.

A couple weeks later, my brother was surfing on his short-board. During a wipeout, his board went between his legs, and the fin sliced his calf rather deeply. Someone in camp bandaged his leg, while another fetched Dad from out in the water. Dad threw his mattress into the back of the truck, loaded up my brother, and drove to Guerrero Negro as fast as he could (which couldn’t have been at all pleasant for my brother, considering it’s a one- to two-hour trip, 30 minutes of which on a very bumpy dirt road).

Eventually they reached town and got him to a doctor, at which point Dad called the woman he’d met at the store to help him with translating. When she arrived, all the work had been done, and Dad wasn’t sure what to do about payment. He had her ask about it, and according to her, the doctor laughed and asked, “We charge for this?”

Afterwards, my dad returned to camp while my brother stayed with the woman and her family, since it seemed cruel to have him lying on the beach, watching everyone else in the water, doing what he couldn’t. He was with them for a month, and made good friends with the daughter, who was about our age.

Dad stayed in touch with them over the years, and a decade later, I went down with him and got to meet them. When I mentioned the story to the daughter, she was really surprised about how it happened. Apparently, my brother told her he was attacked by a shark, and she believed it right up until I told her otherwise.

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Wearing A Shirt Of Lies

, , , | Right | June 27, 2017

(This is a conversation I had through the customer service chat.)

Client: “I want to return a t-shirt.”

Me: “Sure thing. We accept returns that haven’t been worn and with the receipt. What’s the problem with it?”

Client: “It’s all torn up!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Did you get the shirt like that from the store?”

Client: “No, but the moment I put it on my son, it tore up.”

Me: “Just like that?”

Client: “Well, he spent just one day with it and now it’s all torn up. It’s low quality.”

Me: “I’m sorry. That’s never happened before. I can do a refund for you. When was this purchased?”

Client: “Just last month.”

Me: “Okay, let me check the code… It says here you bought it in January.”

Client: “Oh, maybe.”

Me: “It’s June.”

Client: “Well, I’m busy and I’m not in the same city as your store. I can’t just go. Can’t you just deposit the money into my account?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t offer that service and you need to bring in the shirt in order to give you a refund.”

Client: “What if you give me a new one?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but considering the timing and the circumstances, I can’t exchange it. I need to talk to the supplier about this.”

Client: “But my son loves that shirt. He never takes it off.”

Me: “…so it wasn’t a one use thing?”

Client: “I said it was, right? So it was. I’ll send a friend to pick up a new shirt.”

Me: “Please don’t. We can’t sell you another shirt since we risk this happening again. I’ll give you a refund, but we can’t sell to you again.”

Client: “Fine. I’ll send for the money.”

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Taking Action On The Distraction

, , | Right | May 26, 2014

(I’m the customer in this story. I’ve come to the mall and on the way out I visit a stall that makes crêpes.)

Me: “Yeah, I’d like a ham with manchego one, please.”

Worker: *Inputs the order in the computer* “Would you like chipotle or jalapeño, sir?”

(I’ve wandered into my own thoughts and don’t listen.)

Worker: “Sir?”

Me: *snapping back* “Uh?”

Worker: “Chipotle or jalapeño, sir?”

Me: “Yes.”

(The worker stares at me awkwardly and then I realize what I just said.)

Me: “Sorry, sorry! Chipotle, please.”

(The rest of the transaction goes without any trouble and then they proceed to make the crêpe.)

Worker: “You tell me how much chipotle do you want, sir.”

(I look at her dabbing a little of the stuff and then adding more and more.)

Worker: “Uh… are you distracted again?”

Me: “Not this time. I just like it spicy.”

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Can’t Bear To Be Apart

, , , , | Related | July 31, 2013

(My dad uses some connections to reserve us an island to camp on in the Gulf of Mexico. The island is tiny, and we are the only people camping there. The largest animal on the island is probably a rabbit. I am eight, and my brother is three. The week we are there, low tide is around 11:00 pm, and my parents leave to go and look for shells. I’ve never been very good at sleeping, so I decide to follow after them. Eventually, they run into me on the beach.)

Dad: “[My Name], is that you?”

Me: “Yes, Daddy!”

Dad: “Do you know what time it is?”

Me: “Dark.”

Dad: “Yes. Why aren’t you asleep in the tent?”

Me: “There’s a bear attacking the tent. It scared me.”

Dad: “Baby, there aren’t any bears on the island. Why do you think there’s a bear attacking the tent?”

Me: “I heard it. It growled and banged on the wall.”

Mom: “Where’s your baby brother?

Me: “He was asleep already. I left him for the bear to eat.”


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Double The Pictures, Half The Brain

, , , | Right | April 10, 2010

(I am giving information about documents students need to bring to their university interview.)

Me: “We’ll need you to bring your birth certificate, an ID, your high school diploma, and eight black and white photos for your file.”

Customer: “Eight photos? How?”

Me: “Yes, eight black and white photos.”

Customer: “You mean four black and four white?”


This story is part of the College-Admission-Fails roundup!

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