To Be Fair, They Probably Get A Lot Of “It’s Blue!”

, , , , | Working | September 26, 2020

This is Christmastime in the late 1990s, and I’m shopping for a present for my brother-in-law. He just purchased a CD player for his home and I want to get him something for it. I decide on The Beatles’ “White Album.” There’s only one record store in my town, a now-defunct corporate chain.

I can’t seem to find the album on the CD rack, so I ask a sales clerk, who doesn’t look a day older than twenty, for some help.

Me: “I can’t seem to find the White Album by the Beatles.”

The clerk gets a dumb look on her face.

Clerk: “What’s it called?”

Me: “The Beatles’ White Album.”

Clerk: “So, the cover’s white, but what’s it called?”

Me: “It’s the White Album. It’s by the Beatles. It’s kind of famous.”

Cue an “older” clerk, about thirty.

Older Clerk: “Let’s look it up in the system.”

The older clerk goes to the computer.

Older Clerk: “Nothing is coming up. Maybe it hasn’t been released yet?”

Me: “Never mind.”

I wound up making a few phone calls and found a small record store the next town over — about eighty miles away — that had it. They offered to ship it, but I made the drive over anyway. I love small businesses with competent staff.

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Sometimes, Something Beautiful Happens…

, , , , , | Friendly | September 25, 2020

I’m heading to join my friends at their usual area in the cafeteria when one of them leaps from his seat and runs up to me.

Friend: *Excited* “[My Name]! Have you heard I just had sex?!”

Me: *Stunned* “Congratulations?”

The Lonely Island had released a song titled “I Just Had Sex,” and that was how I found out about it.

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Wait Until She Hears Cardi B’s Newest Little Ditty

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 23, 2020

I’m a singer, “pro” by formation but it’s not my career, nor how I win my life. I’m also the owner of a duplex, occupying the first apartment and renting the second. Insonorization is pretty good, but it is a nice warm day and everyone has opened the windows. Also, because of the recent health crisis, my tenant lost her job, and school was canceled for her eight-year-old son, which causes them to be home when I don’t expect them to be.

As I often do, I start a playlist to sing for an hour or two for practice and fun. About thirty minutes in, there’s a knock on my door. It’s my tenant, looking rather angry.

She explains to me that her son heard me sing, and now he’s “asking questions.”

She states that and crosses her arms, looking at me with bulging eyes.

I don’t understand and ask what’s the problem, thinking that maybe I was too loud or that she had some hate against singing in general.

Tenant: “I don’t care if you sing, but what you sing! How dare you be howling obscenities like that in front of children?!”

Now it clicks: while I do opera and classical, I also do popular music. Some songs are in the “sexy” range, but it’s all stuff you could hear from any radio station without censorship.

Me: “Well, there are no children here in my apartment. So much for ‘in front of children.’ Second, it’s the first time I was made aware I was heard from your apartment and I have been renting for fifteen years at this point. Also, I sing what I want; I could drop F-bombs and you would still get no say with that choice. I guess you’re lucky that I elected not to. Otherwise, the lyrics are rather clean in themselves, and out of context it doesn’t mean much.”

Tenant: “But now my son is asking questions! What are you going to do about it?”

Me: “Me? Nothing, he’s all yours to educate.”

Tenant: “It’s all your fault! You deal with it!”

I think it’s pretty funny and I can’t help but smirk.

Me: “So, you want me, the landlady who’s ‘howling obscenities’ to teach your son about the birds and the bees, then answer and explain, in detail, all about what he just heard in the songs? Really?”

I think she changed her mind because she turned around and left without a word.

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It’s A Big Country

, , , , , | Right | September 15, 2020

I work for a well-known dollar store. I am a cashier and can’t process returns without a manager’s help. I’m heavily into screamo, death metal, dubstep, and the like, but I look mousy and unassuming, with glasses and a bun. A black man, whom I have never seen before, comes in with a CD.

Customer: “I’d like to return this.”

He sets down an oldies country CD with Dwight Yoakam on it.

Customer: “I grabbed the wrong one.”

Knowing my manager is very busy, I decide to try to do an even exchange, since all of our CDs have the same barcode.

Me: “Well, sir, what CD did you mean to get?”

Customer: “This is your people’s music!”

Me: “Uh, what?”

Customer: “You know. White people. I’m black. I grabbed the wrong CD. It’s very misleading.”

I look at the cover.

Me: “Considering this has nothing but ‘my people’ on it, plus it says, ‘Country Music Legends,’ on it, and it is the only country music CD on the rack next to all of these African American artists, I find that hard to believe.”

Customer: “Just get your manager, girl!”

I shrug and go get her. She asks for a description of the customer, peeks over a shelf, and sighs.

Manager: “That man came in last night and bought that CD. I asked him three times if he really wanted that CD, and he told me to not be racist.”

Me: “He just told me that because I’m white, it’s my type of music.”

Manager: “He’s done this too many times. I think he’s burning the CDs and then returning them for the money.”

He eventually slipped up and admitted that’s exactly what he was doing. He was banned from the store.

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A Peaceful Resolution Is Music To Our Ears

, , , , , , | Working | September 14, 2020

I’m working as a server for a caterer. We’re at a wedding that he’s catering and the band is playing painfully loudly. At one point during the reception, the caterer notices the father of the bride looking upset and goes over to check what the problem is.

Caterer: “Is something wrong, Mr. [Father]?”

Father: “Yes, I told the band when I booked them that I didn’t want loud music. I just asked them to turn the volume down and they refused. They won’t even listen to me.”

The caterer walks over to the band and unplugs the loudspeakers. The members of the band start to get verbally belligerent with him, but the caterer merely points to the father of the bride and starts to speak.

Caterer: “You see that man over there? He’s the one paying for your services tonight. If you want him to sign your cheque, then I suggest you do as he asks and turn the volume down.”

Point made. The band backed down, and the volume of the music was lowered, to the relief of the guests and workers alike.

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