They’re Not On Each Other’s Tempo

, , , , , , | Learning | January 1, 2020

(I get a job as a music instructor at a small music school outside a big city. About a week into working there, I get assigned a new student, who is presented to me by the student’s mother.)

Mother: “Hello, this is [Student]; she’s your new student.”

Me: “All right, thank you, ma’am.”

(I start to take the student to the practice rooms.)

Mother: “Um… I’m sorry, what are your qualifications?”

Me: “What, ma’am?”

Mother: “What are your qualifications?”

Me: “Well, I’ve played piano for fourteen years, was trained as an opera singer, and have competed internationally in musical theatre competitions.”

Mother: “Oh, that won’t do. You see, I’m a musical theatre education major, and I hold the highest standards.”

Me: “Ma’am, I assure you I am qualified for this position.”

Mother: “I assure you, you are not.”

Me: “Ma’am, you may find another instructor, or, if you desire to be so rude, you could simply teach her yourself. You are a music education major, are you not?”

Mother: “Why would I want to teach my own child?”

Me: “Because she’s… yours, ma’am?”

(The mother stormed out with her child. Two weeks later, we got a call at the academy from the same mother asking for the best instructor for musical theatre, which was me. My coworker asked what I would like my response to be. I said I would rather try and teach a stick to sing; mother nature would be nowhere near as much a b****.)

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Candy Cane Crush

, , , , , , | Working | December 25, 2019

(I’m working away at the front desk when an interviewee comes in for her appointment. I ask her to have a seat, call the appropriate manager, and get back to my work. I have Christmas music playing, not very loudly, from my computer. A minute later, I hear some beeps and whooshes over the music… the unmistakable sounds of a certain candy-themed mobile game. I’m just about to ask her to turn the sound down or off when:)

Interviewee: “Could you turn the music down? I can’t hear my game.”

Me: *stares*

Interviewee: *stares back*

(We stared at each other for a good few seconds before she apparently got the clue, turned her phone off, and stuck it in her bag. Just… wow.)

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time To Sing  

, , , , , | Right | December 23, 2019

(It’s a few days before Christmas. It’ll be a couple of days before the restaurant gets busy again. This evening is pretty quiet; we only have about ten tables occupied. One table is a group of four fairly loud Americans — we get a lot of tourists in our little city. They’re all about forty or fifty years old, drinking a LOT, but overall being very polite and friendly. They’re not bothering anyone, either, just getting amused looks from the other tables and smiling back brightly. I am enjoying this evening intensely, as are my coworkers. We’re all having fun serving people and everyone is content. I go to check on the Americans.)

Me: “Hello again! Anything else I can get you guys?”

Guest #1: “I’m gonna get another wine. How about you?”

Guest #2: *lifting his glass* “Hit me!”

Me: *giggling* “Absolutely!” *suddenly unable to stop myself, I start singing* “It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiime of the yeeeeeaar…”

Guest #3: *practically shouting* “HEY, SHE SINGS! SHE CAN SING!”

Guest #1: “Huh?”

Guest #2: “Yeah, you were singing, weren’t you?”

Me: *blushing like my face is on fire* “Um… yes. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.”

Guest #4: “Well don’t apologise!”

Guest #3: “IT’S THE MOOOOST WONDERFUL TIIIIIME OF THE YEEEE… Well, come on, sing it with me!”

Me: “Um… I actually don’t know any of the other lyrics… I could sing you another song, though.”

Guest #2: “Yes! Go!”

Me: *now completely over my embarrassment* “Okie dokie…”

(I sing “Powder Your Face With Sunshine,” complete with gestures. The guests film it.)

Guest #3: “My God, you’re the best! Okay, honey, I found the lyrics! Come on, sing with me!”

(We then proceed to sing “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” in the nearly empty restaurant… loudly. They tipped about 20%, but even without that, this would’ve been the best pre-Christmas ever. I love my job. And I love people.)

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I Have A Song!  

, , , , , , | Right | December 23, 2019

(I work the front desk at an assisted living home. My desk is in an area set up like a living room. Residents and their visitors hang out here throughout the day. I always have music playing for them — pretty much always something instrumental. Today, being Christmas Eve, I have a jazz piano holiday playlist playing. Most people are very appreciative of it, and so far — of what I’ve paid attention to — it’s been Christmas songs. Then, I recognize a song that relates to Hanukkah. It’s a very upbeat song and I’m enjoying it even though I don’t celebrate the holiday, because music is music. Then, this lady who I recognize as the daughter of a resident, comes up with a look of Hell’s own fury upon her face.)

Resident’s Daughter: “It’s Christmas! This is a Christian place!”

(It’s not; we have residents and staff of several religions here.)

Resident’s Daughter: “My dad hates this song!”

(He’s actually sitting in his wheelchair smiling and nodding along to the beat.)

Resident’s Daughter: “Why are you playing this disgusting bulls***?!”

(And then, after she blows her gasket, she asks me to turn it off. Cue my customer service face:)

Me: “No, ma’am, the rest of my residents and their visitors seem to be enjoying it.”

Resident’s Daughter: “You’re a godd*** Jew-lover!” *explodes into an incoherent rage of screaming and profanities*

Me: *customer service smile again* “Yes, ma’am. I love Jewish people, Christians, Muslims, Pagans… Religion doesn’t matter to me. I judge a person based on their character.”

(I think her eyeballs about popped out of her face as she turned a wonderfully festive shade of red, did more of the incoherent screaming and swearing thing, and then stomped out the door… or tried to, because I didn’t unlock the door in time and she kind of smacked into it. Oops.)

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She’s Been Watching Too Much “Futurama”

, , , , , | Related | December 22, 2019

(It’s Christmas time. My extended family is holding a get-together, and my sister and I are carpooling there. I end up in the backseat with my nieces, who are four and two. This year, my older niece is old enough to “get” the idea of Santa Claus, and she is excited to tell me what she hopes Santa will bring her. She alternates gift ideas with bits of Christmas songs, sung off-key and missing words. It’s when she switches to singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” that I realize that maybe she doesn’t “get” Santa like we thought she did.)

Niece: *singing* “You better not run, you better not cry. Santa Claus is coming… for you.”

(Clearly, further discussion is needed.)

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