Turning Trolling Into An Art

, , , , , | Right | June 4, 2021

My job sometimes means hand-delivering scientific equipment across the country. I often use the train as it’s safer for the equipment, but occasionally this leaves me waiting around for hours for the next train back.

I find out the next train home is cancelled, meaning an even longer wait than normal, when I realise that there is an art museum nearby and it’s free admission! I figure, while it’s not my normal choice of activities, I can still enjoy my time.

As I’m checking out the pieces, my view keeps getting interrupted by a woman standing right in front of them. I move, she moves; I wait, she waits. 

It doesn’t take long to realise that she is doing this on purpose. Clearly, she is no art snob; she looks about as out of place as I do. She is doing this just to be spiteful.

I have loads of time to kill and no particular interest in the artwork, so if she is trying to get a reaction from me it isn’t going to work. But I am bored, so I play her game and see how committed she is to being a nuisance.

I start speeding up, making her dash from piece to piece. I stop randomly, then move slowly, and then move fast again. The woman is clearly out of shape and is starting to struggle to keep up. I am quietly impressed with her dedication.

It is a disappointingly short time before I “win” her little game. She just can’t do it anymore and has to sit down, red in the face and angry. 

I don’t have much time to enjoy my victory as security is already approaching. I pretend to look at a nearby painting with interest as they eject her from the museum for “disturbing other visitors.” Clearly, she forgot about the many CCTV cameras in every room.

I take my time with the rest of the museum. I enjoy it more than I thought I would, but admittedly not as much as I did in the first room.

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“Just Go Get A Job,” They Say

, , , , | Working | May 18, 2021

During eighteen months of unemployment, I try to figure out new ways to increase my chances. I get a lot of generic advice from people around me, like, “Look beyond the qualification list!” and “Try every possibility!’” and “Why don’t you just do [something that doesn’t make money at all]?” You get it. Getting desperate, I try some of this advice after all, only to find out that they are completely useless.

One piece of advice I see on several websites and hear from several people is, “Making a phone call still is the best way!” This seems a bit outdated to me, but it also isn’t a good combination with my shy personality and autism. At some point, I decide to try it anyway. In the case of a few vacancies, I try to call the person who is mentioned as a contact for questions. The problem is that I am not very good at finding real questions about the jobs, so the phone calls feel forced. After some time, I realise it isn’t working and I quit making forced phone calls in the hope of making more personal contact.

There is, however, one very interesting case. I call the contact person for a vacancy at a museum.

Me: “Good afternoon, this is [My Name]. I want to ask you some questions about the vacancy for [job].”

Contact: *Somewhat mockingly* “Really? That’s a bit strange. The text is quite clear.”

Me: “Well, I still have some questions. For instance, it’s a bit vague on salary. It says—”

Contact: “Right, hang on. For questions like that, you’d better contact our financial department.” *Gives contact information* “Anything else?”

Me: “Ehm… No.”

Contact: “Okay. Goodbye, then.”

Me: “Yes, goodbye.”

I felt baffled. Why is there a phone number for questions if you don’t want to answer them in the first place? At least I learned two things from this phone call. First of all, I need to have real spontaneous questions instead of calling in for the sake of contact. Secondly, I learned that I didn’t want to work at a place where a stranger is treated so rudely. I became unemployed after years of working for a rude, ungrateful man-child, and I was not about to make the same mistake again.

So, to some extent, the phone call served its purpose after all. I came into personal contact with the people there and might have dodged a bullet by doing that.

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Someone Probably DID Scream For That Ice Cream…

, , , | Right | April 29, 2021

I am working at the front desk of a museum featuring an exhibit about Leonardo DaVinci which has a room dedicated to studies of the Mona Lisa. An older lady comes up to my ticketing counter.

Lady: “Good morning! Can I have one senior for the museum and the DaVinci exhibit?”

Me: “Of course.”

Lady: “Have you seen it yet?”

Me: “I have, a few times, in fact.”

Lady: “It’s just so wonderful! I was here yesterday but I couldn’t get enough! I just love the Mona Lisa! But can you believe someone threw a rock at it?! A rock! You know what they used to do to people who did that? Cut their heads off! Cut off their heads! That’s what I would do! Just cut their heads off! It’s so terrible. Cut their heads off is what they deserve!”

Me: *Pauses* “All right. Well, here’s your ticket and your change.”

Lady: “Oh, keep it, dear. Buy yourself an ice cream.”

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Turning Being Bored Of Art Into An Art Form

, , , , | Right | April 14, 2021

I work at a multiple-story art museum as a gallery attendant. We do not allow food or drink on the upper floors, just in the lobby. It’s Saturday, the museum’s busiest day of the week, and there’s a baseball game happening down the road later in the day, meaning the museum is extra busy.

I am alone on this particular floor, walking back and forth between the two rooms, which are separated by a small hallway with an elevator. I spy a family: Mom, Dad, and two boys aged maybe thirteen and eight, with a red wagon, right in front of the elevator. The older boy takes a water bottle from the wagon, cracks it open, and takes a sip right in front of me.

I make eye contact with the dad and approach.

Me: “Excuse me. I’m sorry, but if he wants to take a drink right here, that’s fine, but we don’t allow food or drink up here on the floor, so it’ll have to stay put away near the artwork.”

Yes, this is totally against the rules. I should have asked them to take it back down to the lobby for storage, but I decide to try to be nice today.

Dad: “Oh, right, sure.” 

They put the bottle away. Dad maneuvers the wagon and the younger boy to the corner near the elevator. The mom and the older boy go off to explore the floor.

All is well and fine for the next few minutes. What appears to be Grandma and another teenage boy go over to the elevator, where Dad and the younger boy are still in the corner. I overhear Grandma ask what they’re doing.

Dad: *Loud enough that I can hear* “We’re leaving because that b**** told [Older Boy] he couldn’t drink water.”

I keep walking, though I definitely blush in anger. Grandma leaves and reappears shortly with Mom and the older boy, while Dad is still going off with “that b****” comments, obviously loud enough for me to hear as I walk back and forth.

When the family is reunited, Dad is still going off about me. I’m still walking back and forth, just about ready to intervene, when Grandma starts.

Grandma: “Well, [Older Boy] should’ve known better! You’re the ones who snuck it up here! It’s no surprise ‘that b****’ said something if he drank it in front of her!”

The elevator thankfully opened and the family departed. I talked to a coworker later; the family never went to the floor below or any other floor. Dad made the whole family leave because they decided to break the rules and got caught for it.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed, Tribe Again, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | March 27, 2021

I work in a museum that focuses on the Cherokee nation. Most of the employees, including me, are Cherokee. Phenotypically, I look white, especially compared to a lot of my other coworkers. 

A guest comes in and starts talking to one of my coworkers. He follows her to the counter, turns to me, and sneers.

Guest: “Let me guess, white girl. You’re here because your great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess, right?” 

I look him dead in the eyes.

Me: “Actually, I’m here because I was born on the boundary and was raised here by my grandmother and father; both are enrolled members of the Cherokee nation. How else can I help you today?” 

He turned and left without buying the genealogy materials my coworker had tried to talk him into buying.

Related:
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Tribe Again

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