Oh, Hi-o!

, , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2017

(I am a student library assistant at a small public library across from the administration building of an osteopathic medical school. One day, a woman who looks to be about the same age as my parents comes into the library. We strike up a conversation.)

Woman: “I haven’t been back here since my husband graduated from [Medical School].”

Me: “Where are you living now?”

Woman: “Columbus, Ohio.”

Me: “Oh, my family has friends there! Maybe you know them!”

Woman: *condescendingly* “I doubt we would know them. Columbus is a big city.”

Me: “Well, the husband is chief of surgery at [Major Osteopathic Medical Center in Columbus]. I just thought—”

Woman: “Oh! We do know him!”

Me: *quiet smile*

The Internet Sucks!

, , , , , | Working | November 22, 2017

(I’m the awkward worker in this one. It is 1999, and I am working for a big electronics retailer. The Internet is beginning to be pretty ubiquitous, but you still run into people that have never used it before. One day a customer tells me he wants to learn “that Internet thing” and begins asking me a bunch of questions about it. I’m happy to show him some of the basics on one of our Internet-connected display computers.)

Customer: “I don’t even know where to start. What do people even use it for?”

Me: “Mostly to search for information. Say, for example, you want to find some info out about our store, you just go to this search bar here and type in our company name, and it will come up with a bunch of links related to us.”

(I type in our company name, and I’m a little embarrassed to see that the first hit is a blog website called “[RETAILER] SUCKS!” I try to do a new search before the customer notices.)

Me: “Uh… Or you can do a search on [Local Sports Team] and find out when they’re playing next.”

Customer: “Wait, wait, go back! What was that? It said ‘[RETAILER] SUCKS!’ Why would your Internet say that?”

Me: “Uh… well, it’s not our Internet; it’s the Internet. We don’t have control over everything that goes on it.”

Customer: “Oh, cool! So, anyone can put stuff on there?”

Me: “Yeah, pretty much. Apparently, these people don’t like us very much.”

Customer: “Neat! I’m going to look at this for a while!”

(He spent the next hour or so happily reading that blog on our display computer in the store. Later that night when I got home, I looked up that same blog and spent many hours of enjoyable reading on it myself. It was like a pre-2000s version ofNot Always Right” specifically for our company!)

Retraining Doesn’t Stop Customers From Being Themselves

, , , , , | Working | November 20, 2017

(I work for a home goods store. One of our manager’s duties is to do random observations of employees and rate us on a one-to-four scale in various categories; too many ones in a shift or a week can result in being sent for retraining or losing your job. On a day where we’re unpacking new inventory during regular business hours, a manager calls me over to show me my evaluation.)

Manager: “I gave you fours on safety and store maintenance, but I had to give you a one on customer service and a one on productivity. You were so focused on the new inventory that you ignored four different customers in your department. I need you to sign the notice that you will be getting retrained on customer service, since you had two ones in the same shift.”

(He points out the four customers; I recognize each one from earlier interactions, but I sign the slip, anyway.)

Manager: “Before we get this on the schedule, do you know how you could have handled the situation differently?”

Me: “Well, when I asked the customer looking at flatware how she was doing 20 minutes ago, she said, ‘Yes,’ and scurried away. The two in bakeware never looked away from their conversation long enough to acknowledge that I’d asked if I could help them find anything, and the one in table linens has been on her phone for the past ten minutes, and when I greeted her, she rolled her eyes, pointed at the phone, and stormed off.”

(I didn’t have to go for extra training.)

Marriage Causes Pregnancy: It’s A Fact

, , , , , | Friendly | November 20, 2017

(My fiancé and I have been living together for five years when he proposes and I accept. Oddly enough, several people assume too much.)

Them: “Are you pregnant? When are you due?”

Me: “I’m not pregnant. They know what causes that, now.”

Thrifty With Love

, , , , , , , | Romantic | November 19, 2017

(My older sister and I have finished shopping at a thrift store and are waiting in line to check out. There are lots of families in the store, and soon there is an announcement over the store’s PA system.)

Store PA: “For safety reasons, children cannot be left unattended in the store. Please make sure your children are with you at all times.”

(While we wait, I’ve decided to look at the jewelry displays on the other side of the register counters. I am gone for maybe a minute, but out of the corner of my eye I notice my sister is already talking to someone, which isn’t that unusual, given how outgoing she is. She’s in her mid-20s and is talking with a man who looks to be in his 40s. When I return, I do not expect to hear the following.)

Random Man: “It’s important to keep up with the trends to look presentable. I have thousand-dollar suits, but this was too good a deal to pass up. I mean, eight dollars?” *holds up old-looking, yellow-ish and tan blazer* “One time, it was raining and I didn’t want to ruin my fancy shoes, so I wore grungy shoes—”

Sister: “And you brought the other pair to change into?”

Random Man: “No. But wearing those shoes turned out to be a mistake.”

(I’ve been silent, trying to figure out why she’s talking to him about work clothes. She suddenly turns to me.)

Sister: *in a louder, more excited voice* “I’m thinking about going back and buying that Super Truck video game.”

Me: *groaning* “Please, no. That game looked so stupid.”

Sister: *continues pointedly talking to only me* “Nah, it looked fun!”

(I get the feeling she’s trying to avoid talking to the man again, and we continue to chatter about video games until we reach the register. We pay quickly and dash out the door before he can follow us.)

Me: *Incredulous* “Was that man in a thrift store trying to hit on you by saying he has thousand-dollar suits?!”

Sister: “Yeah! I don’t know how I get all these random guys hitting on me! He was definitely way older than me and not that attractive. He just started talking about how he was going to get [the blazer] tailored.”

Me: *joking* “I should have known better. They clearly said not to leave your children unattended in the store, for safety reasons.”

Sister: *also joking* “Yeah, this is all your fault.”

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