Hard Work Gets A “Nice” Reward

, , , , , | Hopeless | January 29, 2018

(I am rushing through a busy day at a popular fast food place. I answer the drive through, take their order, and meet them at the window for payment.)

Me: “That’ll be $11.62, please.”

Customer: *looks at me, peers around, sees the enormous crowd inside, and then turns to her grade-school son* “See her?”

Son: “Yeah.”

(My stomach twists.)

Customer: “See how hard she’s working? And see how nice she’s being to us?”

Son: “Uh-huh.”

Customer: “It doesn’t matter what kind of job you get, or what you want to do when you grow up; as long as you’re like this nice lady, you can be whatever you want, okay?”

Son: “Okay!”

Me: *flabbergasted*

Customer: “I bet you get a lot of people belittling you because you work here, huh?”

Me: “You have no idea, actually.”

Customer: “Trust me, I do. I used to work for [rival Fast Food Place] while paying off tuition. The only consolation to that was watching their faces go red when I told them this. I’m guessing this isn’t your permanent job?”

Me: “No, actually. I’m an intern on weekends at the radio station.”

Customer: “And there you go. You’re not in the best place yet, but you will be.”

(She handed me the money, and I had a hard time ringing her up through the tears in my eyes. After she pulled to the other window, I snuck a few packs of cookies into their bag. Wherever you are, nice lady, thank you a hundred times over!)

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Hitching A Hint From Dad

, , , , | Related | January 29, 2018

I am about to leave on a long-distance trip, during which I will be living in my SUV. My dad has offered to help set it up for the trip by removing the back seats, adding stowable tables, etc., to which I happily agree. I leave my SUV with him for a month before my trip, as I live hours away.

When I am ready to head out, I have a friend drop me at my parents’ house. No one is home, so I start loading up my belongings, when I notice something odd. My dad has taken out the passenger seat and replaced it with a chemical toilet! I am appalled!

Years later, I realized this was probably his “subtle” way of making sure I didn’t pick up hitchhikers (which I would never do).

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Not Getting It One Little Bit

, , , , | Right | January 26, 2018

(A woman accompanied by her husband or boyfriend is picking out ranch dressing and settles on some three-cheese ranch. I thought she mentioned wanting bacon ranch, so I show it to her.)

Customer: “Oh, no, we have some at home; I was just saying it’s good, but I like the three-cheese kind better.”

Me: “Oh, well, if you still want the bacon flavor in your salad with the three-cheese ranch, you could put some bacon bits on it, too.”

(The woman lights up as if the idea is genius.)

Customer: “Oh, that’s a great idea! Where would the bacon bits be?”

Me: “Just past the salad dressings, on the top, over there.” *I point*

(The woman tells me about how she is not a good cook because she’s never been married. She says that she knows you don’t have to be a cook to figure it out, but that she isn’t good at thinking of flavors to mix. I nod and smile and she goes over to deliberate on which bacon bits to get. I return to stocking and share a bemused look with a coworker who is stocking in the same aisle, just a few yards away. About five minutes later, the customer gets my attention.)

Customer: “Now, which ones of these taste better?”

Me: “Well, a lot of people buy [Brand] because they’re known for good meat. I’ve only ever had the [Store Brand] ones, because they were cheaper, but I can imagine that I wouldn’t be able to taste the difference, anyway, since they’re both just plain bacon. I’ve had [Brand Imitation Bacon Bits] before, too. My mom used to buy them, but they taste nasty. I would recommend that if you’re going to put bacon on something, just put real bacon.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. Now, is this real bacon?” *she shows me both the [Store Brand] and [Brand] bacon bits she is holding, both of which clearly read, “Real Bacon Bits” on the pouches*

Me: “Yes. And they’re pretty good.”

Customer: “Okay. So if it say, ‘real,’ on the package, does that mean it’s real bacon?”

Me: *pauses a moment to register the question* “Yes. That is real bacon.”

Customer: “Okay. So if it says, ‘real,’ it’s real bacon?”

(I assure her that it is real bacon again, and that if they say it’s real bacon, brands aren’t really allowed to put anything but real bacon into the package. I assure her again and again as she rephrases the exact same question about three more times, as if she isn’t grasping the concept.)

Customer: “Okay, so… So, could you show me an example of something that would not be real bacon?”

(I am stunned for a moment, but I pick up a bottle off the shelf and point to the label as I read it off to her.)

Me: “Here. ‘Artificially-flavored bacon chips.’”

(By now my coworker was silently trying to keep his cool and not laugh in front of the customer. We had to wait 10 or 15 minutes until she was out of the aisle, at which point we cracked up to each other.)

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It Was All Gouda The First Time

, , , , , | Right | January 25, 2018

(After handing an order — a sandwich with cheese — out the drive-through window, I walk away. The customer starts banging on the window and yelling for me to come back. When I return, the customer holds the now-unwrapped sandwich out to me.)

Customer: “There’s no cheese on this sandwich!”

(There is definitely cheese on the sandwich. It is melted, and stringy, and sticking to the wrapper at the sides of the sandwich. I don’t really know how to respond, so…)

Me: “Oh, uh… I’m sorry… about that… let me fix it for you…”

(I take the sandwich back. I walk back to the girl who is making sandwiches. I explain the situation to her, and we both have a bit of a chuckle. Then, I re-wrap the same sandwich and take it back to him. He unwraps it, checking it for cheese.)

Customer: “Ah, you made it right this time. I guess sometimes we all make mistakes, right? Thank you!”

(And with that, he drove off. Yes, sir, sometimes we ALL make mistakes.)

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Would Rather Walk Into Mordor Than Do That Again

, , , , , , | Learning | January 25, 2018

(I have an anxiety disorder, but I am moderately all right with performing on stage, as I have learned to look over the heads of the people and at the back wall. I am a big fan of “The Hobbit,” so when my co-op decides to put on a play of the book, I try out. I end up getting the role of Gandalf, which pleases me, as he is my favorite character and I act very much like him in real life, even though I am female. Halfway through the year, we perform a scene at a performance held twice every year. The stage is much smaller than the one we have been practicing on, and there was only one rehearsal on the smaller stage, which I missed due to sickness. Since I play one of the mains, I show up to the performance, and the director tells me what to do, vaguely, while gesturing at the stage. I begin to panic, but I figure that since Gandalf only has two lines in this scene, I’ll be okay. Five minutes to the performance, as I am watching one of my close friends sing, the stage manager grabs me from the audience and pulls me to the lobby to add more stress to my life. Note: this is the first time I have been in a play.)

Stage Manager: “So, [Assistant] and I were thinking that at the end, when you lead the dwarves off the stage—”

Me: “I lead the dwarves off the stage?”

Stage Manager: “Oh, yeah, totally.” *pause* “Did [Director] not tell you?”

Me: “No!”

Stage Manager: *waving me off* “Eh, you’ll be fine. Anyway, you have to lead everyone off the stage, and then we were thinking that instead of going into the audience, that you should curve around the stage, crouch and stay there, wait for [Bilbo] and [Gollum] to get done with their scene, and then stand up and bow.”

(I freak out a little, but I again assume I’ll be fine. It seems easy enough, and I don’t panic that much until she says this:)

Stage Manager: *with hand on my shoulder* “Just don’t mess this up, hon. If you mess this up, nobody will want to come to the actual play. We’re counting on you.”

(She claps me on the back and walks away. THAT is when I start to panic. We are called to get ready, and I go to get Gandalf’s cape. This is the conversation I have with the costume designer.)

Costume Designer: *blinking at me* “Oh, [My Name]! Why are you here?”

Me: “I’m… here to get my cape?”

Costume Designer: “But you’re not in this scene, sweetie!”

Me: “Yes, I am. Ask [Director].”

(She checks with the director and then comes back, looking rather sheepish.)

Costume Designer: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t remember, because, you know, Gandalf isn’t really all that important. Here, wear this.”

(She hands me what appears to be the kind of cape that a princess would wear, but at this point, I’m panicking too much to care. I’m also feeling rather downtrodden, as she has made it seem like I, and the character I am so proud to play, are worthless. To put the cherry on the crappy ice cream sundae, I hear the stage manager, her assistant, and the director talking.)

Stage Manager: “So, [My Name] is going to do what we talked about. Hope she doesn’t mess it up.”

Assistant: “I don’t think she will, but if she does, the scene will be screwed.”

Director: “I wonder how she’ll even do on stage. I mean, she’s a good actor and everything, but she’s so d*** shy that I don’t think she’ll do the best.”

Assistant: “Good actor? Really? From what I’ve seen, she has the acting skill of a five-year-old.”

Stage Manager: “No, she’s a good actor. Bad human being, good actor. I mean, who acts like that? I can understand why she doesn’t have any friends.”

(Their conversation ends and I am nearly in tears. We get on stage, and I do all right with my first line. I look down to the floor around the stage as I am sitting before the battle, to plot out how I am going to get us all through the tight space we are given. I see the stage manager.)

Stage Manager: *mouthing* “Don’t. Mess. Up.”

(Everything goes to hell after that. I end up saying my other line too early, because I can’t see the action that is my cue, as my glasses were taken from me so I’d look more “Gandalfy.” I start to panic as I see the assistant gesturing wildly at the stage manager, and I forget the instructions I have received and end up crouching at the bottom of the stage without leading everyone around. This isn’t too horrible, and we don’t look bad, but the stage manager starts gesturing at me and mouthing, “Go, go!” while the director shakes her head from next to her. I do nothing, listening to the director. The scene ends, we bow, and then we exit into the lobby where the stage manager storms up to me.)

Stage Manager: “I can’t believe you! You messed up the entire d*** scene! You’re going to ruin this entire play, aren’t you?”

(She stormed off and I saw the assistant glaring at me. I ended up in the parking lot next to the building, alone, having a panic attack. I also ended up throwing up in the bathroom. Later, as I left, still trembling, I saw the director chewing the assistant and the stage manager two new a**h***s. Even though justice had been served, I still felt horrible. I am still in the play, but I have decided something: I am going to play the hell out of my awesome character, even if it’s the last thing I do.)

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