Wise To Take Time Off

, , , , | Working | September 3, 2019

(After getting out of college, I get a job as a part-time gallery attendant at a museum featuring an artist known for his Silver Clouds. Basically, I watch you while you look at the artwork. We also sit at the front desk and take admission. I’m at the desk, speaking with the director of my department. We have a working relationship, but otherwise, we don’t like each other. She speaks to us as if we’re children who can’t do our jobs. It’s mid-March now; I’ve been dealing with wisdom tooth pain since October and finally, after a plethora of insurance issues, I have a date for surgery set.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss], I finally have a date set to get my wisdom teeth out. It’s March 26th.”

(It just so happens that the museum is doing three days’ worth of free admission March 26, 27, and 28. I’m scheduled to be on the desk taking admission on the 27th.)

Boss: “Oh, that’s good. Thanks for giving me notice beforehand.”

Me: “Sure. Now, I’m under strict orders to be on bed rest for at least five days after the surgery. Do I need to ask the surgeon to send in a doctor’s note?”

Boss: “For one day? Of course not.”

Me: “So, you want me to come in the day after having all four bone-impacted wisdom teeth removed, two of which are in my sinus cavity, and two of which are so close to my bottom nerve the surgeon is so concerned about swelling and numbness that he wants me on bed rest? You want me to come in and take admissions when I’ll barely be able to talk?”

Boss: “Oh, right. You’ll be out for more than one day. I guess that’s fine. Just make sure you send in the note.”

(The doctor’s office sent in the note, and the surgery went just fine. It took a little over an hour, and I swelled like a chipmunk. I couldn’t move my jaw or talk for three days after the surgery, so I guess it was a good thing I didn’t go into work!)


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Unfiltered Story #161876

, | Unfiltered | August 31, 2019

(I work in the very large gift shop of an art museum. In addition to souvenirs we also sell over three hundred different books, all of which have to do with art or artists displayed in the museum. My shift has just ended but I haven’t managed to leave the store when a customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Excuse me, I need help finding a book. I saw it the other day and I can’t find it now.”

Me: “I can certainly try to help. What book was it?”

Customer: “I don’t remember the name. But it was $12.99. And it had a white label.”

(All of our books are priced $XX.95, so I already know we’re off to a bad start. I pick out one of our most popular books, a guide to the museum, which is $12.95 and has a white cover.)

Me: “Was this the book you were looking for?”

Customer: “No, no. That’s not it. It had a white label. It was $12.99. And I don’t think it was that shape.”

Me: “Okay, could you tell me anything about it? Was it about a certain artist, or a particular kind of art? Or you said it was a different shape, was it much larger or smaller?”

Customer: “I wrote it down, but I can’t find it. It had a picture in it that I liked, and I want to look at it again.”

Me: “What was in the picture?”

Customer: “I don’t know. But I liked that picture. I want to look at it again.”

Me: *getting desperate* “I need some kind of information in order to help you find this book. Anything at all. Do you remember anything about it?”

Customer: *blank stare* “It had pictures.”

Me: “Ma’am, we’re an art museum. All of our books have pictures. Were they pictures of paintings? Photographs? Sculpture?”

Customer: “Well this is very frustrating! It had a picture I liked, and I want to look at it again! It was $12.99! If you can’t help me, I guess I’ll have to look for it on my own!”

(She storms off muttering “It was $12.99!” to herself and I nearly run out of the store since it is now well past the end of my shift. I wonder if she approaches grocery store clerks and demands that they find her “food” without telling them anything about it!)

Such A Delicate Little Flower

, , | Right | August 5, 2019

(I work for a museum. We have a number of historic sites; not all of them have staff on site. This phone call is in relation to a site about eight miles from our main building. [Site #1] is my location at the museum.)

Me: “Good afternoon. [Site #1]; how can I help?”

Customer: “Hi! I’ve just been out to [Site #2] and all the flowers are gone.”

Me: “Flowers are gone? I’m sorry, but we don’t have any flower beds at that site.”

Customer: “I know. The path around the place. Someone has picked them all.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but it’s a public path. They are wildflowers.”

Customer: “My wife and I walk there every day and it’s really upset us! It’s horrible that people think they can just pick them. You need to do something; what are you going to do about it?”

Me: “I’m sorry it has upset you. The best I can do is take down your information and complaint and see if the museum manager can do anything. But I suspect we will just have to wait for them to grow again.”

(He wasn’t too pleased but grumbled his info to me and I took it to my manager. He laughed until noticing I’d taken it as an official complaint, so he now has to contact the man and tell him how they resolved his issue. I’m still not convinced he did.)


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That Old Hatshepsut, Always Bringing People Together

, , , , , | Friendly | July 20, 2019

My husband and I were visiting Oslo, and we went to the National Museum. We are American, and we were speaking English between us. My Norwegian was enough to get by and be polite.

At the time we were there, there was a special traveling Egyptian exhibit. It was only a largish room, and I read faster than my husband, so I was hanging around by a wall-sized mural of Hatshepsut’s tomb. Suddenly, an elderly lady approached me, put her arm through mine, and started telling me how her father excavated the tomb, how much fun she had playing there, and how slippery the ramp was when it rained. When she was done, I thanked her for sharing with me, and she patted my arm and wandered off.

It doesn’t sound like a story, until you take into account that she was speaking German, which I do speak but for obvious reasons hadn’t been. I have no idea why she thought I’d understand her.

I never checked on her story to see if it matched up. The whole bizarre story might be better than the truth.


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That Will Put Lead In Your Pencil

, , , , | Right | July 10, 2019

(I work in a museum gift shop that carries long, bendy, novelty pencils. Customers often tie them in knots and hide them in the display. Simply hilarious. If the staff doesn’t find the knotted pencils in a timely fashion and untie them, they become permanently bent and unsellable. I assume it is probably kids doing it, but one day I spot a grown-up adult man sneakily tying a pencil in a knot and attempting to hide it, and I get to use a line I have been saving for just such an occasion.)

Me: *in my best customer service voice* “Excuse me, sir, but when you’re done playing with that, can you also untie it?”

Grown Up Adult Man: *sheepishly unties pencil*


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