Gotta Love Gatekeepers

, , , , , | Working | April 15, 2020

I’m working on night replenishment in a supermarket over the Christmas period, which mostly involves getting as much as possible of the last delivery of the day and the multiple overnight deliveries of chilled stock onto the shelves ready for opening. One of the good things about night shift is that you’re allowed to have headphones on to listen to your own music. Like nearly everyone there, I take advantage of this.

My work playlist is best described as eclectic, spanning a few hundred years and several genres. I also have a habit of singing or humming under my breath as I work, usually without even realising I’m doing it. Most people ignore this or can’t hear it through their own music, but sometimes I get comments on my musical choices.

I once got comments from the person who’d been paying enough attention to my singing to realise that I had metal, pop, classical, and showtunes all mixed together, among other genres. This annoyed him, enough to call me a “fake metalhead” and demand that metal not be mixed in with “lesser music.”

My response was a very mature one: I unpaired my headphones, searched a specific song, and played it through my phone’s speakers. It was from a metal band’s most recent album, but it was most definitely not a metal song, instead being a choral arrangement of a poem.

He had no answer for that… especially as the manager for that section started yelling for him to get back to his own department and stop harassing me.

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They Love To Laugh… And Sing!

, , , , , | Related | April 12, 2020

My brother and I are kids, about eight and six, and we just finished watching “Mary Poppins” on TV. We liked it and we’re going around imitating her and her songs.

Dad: “Why are they singing?”

Mom: “Oh, they just finished watching something.”

Dad: “What?”

Mom: “It’s called Mary Poppings I think.”

Dad:Poppings? What?”

I dance by, singing in a bad British accent.

Me: “Just a spoonful of sugaaa makes da medicine go dowonnnn!

Dad: “Why are you singing weirdly like that?”

Me: “I dunno. It’s how she sings!”

Mom: “They have British accents.”

Dad: “Ohh.”

Me: “Mom, what’s ‘British’?”

She just shook her head, and much later I learned about it. It’s funny to picture little me going around singing in a bad British accent before I even knew what it was. And before Brits get upset, I did and still like it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have tried to copy them, so no hate here.

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This Lady Does NOT Crank My Tractor

, , , , , | Friendly | April 9, 2020

I am in the grocery store buying milk and cereal for tomorrow morning. This lady comes out of nowhere and says, “Excuse me, you should leave the milk for the people who actually need it.”

I look at her funny because there are three full refrigerated cases of milk in the milk aisle, and does she expect me to eat my cereal dry? I tell her about all the other milk available and go along with my business. 

I check out, load all my groceries in the car, get in, plug my phone in, crack the windows open, turn my music on, and go through my shopping list to make sure I have everything

The lady comes up to me again and knocks on my window! She goes, “Can you turn your hillbilly music off? You’re going to turn my kids into rednecks.” 

I’m pissed, because I’m listening to my favorite artist, Dustin Lynch, who doesn’t have a very heavy accent and isn’t heavy country. I am also in my own car, minding my own business. I pull up my most Honky-Tonk, twangy country song and put it on full blast for her and her crotch goblins to hear. 

Then, she sees me again in the street and puts her full body weight on the horn as she passes me.

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Beaten By A Minor Key

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2020

(I am male and work at a small music store. As well as music, we sell instruments, including upright pianos. A middle-aged, balding customer enters and makes a beeline for the uprights.)

Customer: “God d*** it, I’m so f****** good at the piano! You just sit your d*** a** down and listen to me play!”

(He begins to play Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 10 No. 1, which is an impressive piece, although I wouldn’t be surprised if an eighteen-year-old could play it. The man appears to be drunk, so I say nothing about his talent and listen to the piece as he requested.)

Customer: “I’m so f****** good at the piano that you should give me this piano for free to show your appreciation for my motherf****** amazing talent!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, I can’t do that.”

Customer: “Why the f*** not?”

Me: “Well, sir, because this piano costs a lot of money, and I can’t just give it away for free. Also, if you keep using that kind of language, I’ll have to remove you from the store.”

Customer: “What the f***, you…”

(As the customer rants at me for not giving him the upright for free, a gorgeous young girl who looks about fifteen approaches.)

Girl: “Sorry, I think I can solve this situation. If I can sight-read this piece better than you just played it, you don’t get the piano for free. Deal?”

(The customer grumbles a bit but eventually agrees. The girl sits down and plays the piece with much more expertise and fewer mistakes than the customer did, even adding in little comments like, “In this part, you’ve got to be as sassy as humanly possible,” and, “I’d use pedal here, but not where the sequence repeats, just to shake it up a bit.”

The customer gripes and groans but finally leaves the store. I tell my manager and he gives her half off her entire purchase. As she is leaving, she drops this bomb.)

Girl: “I’m glad he fell for it. I wasn’t really sight-reading. I haven’t played the piece since I was nine, though, so I guess it counts!”

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Sometimes It’s Not About Content; It’s About Aesthetic

, , , , , | Romantic | March 29, 2020

(I’m going through a breakup-song phase. It has nothing to do with my feelings for my boyfriend; I just really like the songs. My boyfriend, apparently, does not approve. He only speaks Spanish, so he’ll often ask me to translate the songs I’m listening to in English. Keep in mind that these conversations are all in good humor.)

Boyfriend: “What’s that song about?”

Me: “Breakups.”

Boyfriend: *laughing* “[My Name]! You can’t listen to that!”


Boyfriend: “What are you listening to?”

Me: “It’s a song about how [Artist] is moving on from their breakup. It’s really goo–“

Boyfriend: “[My Name]! Why are you listening to this stuff?”

Me: *laughing* “It doesn’t have anything to do with you, I promise! I just really like [Artist]’s style!”

(Later that week:)

Boyfriend: “What’s that song about?”

Me: “Umm…”

Boyfriend: “[My Name]!”

Me: *laughing* “What?”


Boyfriend: *suspiciously* “What are you listening to now?”

Me: “Well, it’s about a guy who keeps having failed first dates, but he’s–“

Boyfriend: “Oh, for heaven’s sake! What is wrong with you?”

Me: “No, no! Wait! It’s about failed first dates, not relationships, and how [Artist] has decided to keep trying! He’s really looking for love! It’s a positive song, I promise!” *laughing* “And it’s not about breakups!”

Boyfriend: *pause* “Yeah, I still think that’s about breakups.”

Me: *facepalm*

(Luckily, I was nearing the end of my breakup-song phase!)

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