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The Only Thing Broken Here Is That Marriage

, , , , , , , , | Learning | August 25, 2022

Back when I used to work at an indoor soft play and cafe, we had to fill out paperwork if someone got hurt. One day, an eleven-year-old girl and her father approached me for first aid. She had changed her mind about the direction she was going and fell over her own feet and twisted her ankle. I gave first aid and filled out a report with her father. The girl was fine and her ego bruised more than the ankle as her dad was laughing at her fail. Ten minutes later, she was off running around again.

The next day, I got a phone call. I was increasingly suspicious throughout, but I was sincere and apologetic until the end.

Woman: “Hello. I need to make a complaint.”

Me: “Oh, I am sorry to hear that. What can I help with?”

Woman: “Your venue is dangerous. My daughter got her leg caught in the netting yesterday and broke her ankle.” 

Me: “Gosh! I hope she is okay. But, um, can you give me any more information about where and when it happened and who gave first aid?”

Woman: “It was at the top of the ramp up into the playframe. The woman at the front refused to give first aid because she was too busy.”

Me: “Wow! I am sorry to hear that. Did anyone fill out a report or call an ambulance?”

Woman: “No report. We rushed her out straight away and took her to the hospital. Now, what are you going to do for me?”

Me: “Wow, well, gosh, I really am sorry. I hope she makes a full recovery soon. Now if you don’t mind, I’m afraid I am going to have to fill out some paperwork. Can I start with her name?”

Woman: “[Girl].”

Me: “Oh. And her father’s name was [Girl’s Father].”

Woman: “How do you know that?”

Me: “Because I was walking past and saw her trip over, and so did [Girl’s Father]. She tripped over her own feet and all three of us knew that. Also, I was the woman who went up the front to administer first aid, who filled out the report with her father about what happened, and who bid them farewell two hours later after she had continued to run around and play. Now, I am sorry that she is hurt, and if she has indeed broken her ankle, then that will be awful for her, but I don’t know that it was because she got caught in our equipment.”

Woman: “Oh. Nevermind.”

She hung up.

I got another call later in the day. 

Girl’s Father: “I am really sorry, but my dips*** wife has just told me she made a fool of herself calling you this morning, and I wanted to let you know that my daughter is totally fine and is walking around as if nothing happened. It wasn’t your fault what happened and [Girl] had a really good day there. You have a really nice venue with nice staff. My daughter and I are moving out this weekend, and my soon-to-be ex-wife can sit and stew about whatever bulls*** she can come up with next.”

Meet The Mister Looking For His Miss-ogyny

, , , , , , | Right | August 9, 2022

I work as a beauty therapist at a VERY upscale franchise spa in a five-star hotel. The majority of our clientele are quite well-off and/or coming for a special occasion. Most are perfectly polite, but we do get a few clients who are entitled and demanding.

It’s about an hour before closing, and I’ve just exited from cleaning one of the treatment rooms when the receptionist pulls me aside. She’s a lovely girl from Mexico.

Receptionist: “Hey, [My Name]. I’m sorry, but you’ve had a last-minute booking for a thirty-minute massage.”

Me: “Oh, really? That should be fine.”

Receptionist: “Yeah, I’m sorry. The client asked for you specifically.”

I glance into the waiting room and see the client. I’m instantly confused.

Me: “I’ve never seen him in my life. Why would he ask for me?”

Receptionist: *Looking embarrassed* “Well… he said he only wanted to be booked with an Australian therapist, so it has to be you.”

I stare at her in disbelief. My coworkers at the spa are all extremely multicultural, and I love that. We have people who are Thai, Nepalese, Mexican, Spanish, German, Japanese, Italian, etc. I am the only white Australian who works at this particular location.

Me: “What?! Are you serious?! What does that have to do with anything?”

Receptionist: “I don’t want to book him, but [Manager] said just do it. I’m really sorry. I know it’s weird.”

Me: “I can’t believe this… Okay, fine. I’ll do it. Thank God it’s only a short booking.”

I’m so stunned and angry that I have to take a minute. I don’t know what to expect with this guy or what bearing he thinks cultural background has on this, but since I’m technically the only one who meets his request, I have no choice. I prepare the room, brace myself, and go to fetch the client.

Me: “Hi, [Client]? My name’s [My Name] and I’ll be your therapist today.”

He seems pleased and follows me to the room. I check his consultation form and he gets on the massage bed. I begin the massage.

Client: “So, you’re Australian?”

I’m irritated by his bigotry, but I try to be polite.

Me: “Well, yes. I was born and raised here.”

Client: “I’m glad. I’m [Ethnicity]. You been working here long?”

Me: “I started at this company last June.”

Client: “How often do you work?”

Me: *Thinking he’s just making small talk* “I work four days a week, currently. It’s such a physical job after all.”

Client: “So, you married?”

Me: “No.”

Client: “You have a partner?”

Me: “No, not right now.”

Client: “D***! I was going to say that your husband is a lucky man. Your hands are magic! How old are you?”

Me: “Late twenties.”

Client: “How long have you been single?”

I try to end this conversation.

Me: “A while.”

Client: “You should get married. You ever been with a [Ethnicity] man like me?”

Me: “No. Did you want me to turn the music up or anything?”

Client: “No, I’m good. See, honey, you need to get with a [Ethnicity] man like me. But just so you know, you won’t be able to work when you do. You can’t be Miss Independent with them.”

Me: “…”

Client: “You have to let them be in charge. If you submit, they’ll take care of you. If you try to be your own woman, it won’t work out.”

I die a little inside.

He proceeds to lecture me throughout the rest of the treatment about how a “proper” wife should behave while asking extremely invasive questions about my dating history, which I gently rebuff.

The thirty-minute massage is agonisingly slow, but I get him out as quickly as I possibly can. My coworkers are very concerned with his odd behaviour once I tell them what he was saying. A note is put on his file that he is not to be rebooked. I go home and think that’s the end of it, but the next morning, I arrive to find the receptionist looking worried.

Receptionist: “[My Name]! Are you okay?”

Me: “Yes. What’s going on?”

Receptionist: “That weird guy from yesterday came back looking for you.”

Me: “What?!”

Receptionist: “Yeah, before we opened, he was standing outside, staring into the window. He was wondering when you started work.”

Me: *Pauses* “If he comes back today, tell him I’m not working. And if he comes back again, tell him I’ve been moved to a different spa.”

Receptionist: “If he comes back, I’m calling security. He’s crazy.”

The spa manager was horrified when she found out, and the client was promptly blacklisted for life. So far, he hasn’t returned, and I hope it stays that way!

People Who Work With Customers Know The Good Ones

, , , , , , | Right | August 9, 2022

After driving for eight hours, I finally reach my hotel. I’m exhausted but starving. Not wanting to try and park again in the small hotel parking lot, I walk to a nearby popular fast food joint. An employee is cleaning tables outside.

Employee: “Sorry, inside’s shut. The drive-thru is open, though.”

Me: “Bugger. I walked up from [Hotel]. Is there any way I can order and pay on the app and someone bring it out here?”

Employee: “We’re not busy. Just walk through to the first window I’ll meet you there.”

Me: “Thank you so much!”

I walk through, order, and pay on my card. I try to hand him $10 as a thank-you; tipping is very uncommon here.

Employee: “Don’t worry about it. Just glad to be able to help. If you want to take a seat out the front, I’ll bring it out to you.”

It only took a minute before he came out with my food and wished me a good night. When I got back to my room, I found extra nuggets and a chocolate doughnut from their café. Thank you, kind worker; you brightened a long stressful day!

Respect Your Coworkers And They’ll Respect You Back

, , , , , , | Working | August 8, 2022

I supply tools and fire safety to the rest of my organisation statewide. Nearly everything is simple, polite requests for stuff like a fire blanket or spanners. A lot of it isn’t for us, but we always tell them who to contact.  

My colleagues are getting tired of the attitude of one department manager, but he has never contacted me. New starts are warned, women especially. I’m waiting and ready for him. This happens via instant messenger.

IT: “I need you to be my minion, please.”

What is a minion? I look it up, and needless to say, I find it really patronising.

Me: “‘Minion: noun, a follower or underling of a powerful person, especially a servile or unimportant one.’ We don’t stock minions.”

IT: “I need a guinea pig. A lab rat, or rat for short. Henceforth, you will be known as ‘rat.’”

I do some Googling to redirect him.

Me: “No, my name is [My Name], not Rat, and the number you need is [number].”

IT: “I think you gave me the wrong number; that’s a pet store.”

Me: “Yeah, but they should have what you need. They’re mostly in the family pet business, though, so I wouldn’t mention the experiments.”

IT: “Eh? What?”

Me: “What, ‘what’? There’s a place in Tasmania that supplies lab animals. Could try them.”

Half an hour passes. I can practically hear the gears turning in his head 700 km away as he realises he isn’t talking to one of his direct reports.

IT: “I am so sorry, I have just been contacted by another one of my minions. I have the wrong [My Name].”

I have the same name as someone in his department.

Me: “Call me, extension [number].”

IT: “I didn’t mean to.”

Me: “I’ll talk to you or your boss. Take your pick.”

My phone rings.

Me: “You said you were contacted by ‘another’ one of your minions. Do you understand that this requires me to be one of your minions? Is that how you think of your colleagues, and me?”

IT: “I didn’t know—”

Me: “You should have known. I do not report to you, and I don’t stock minions. I do stuff like fire extinguishers. Look, my colleagues have been getting tired of how you talk to them, a lot of it is misogynistic. Nobody else starts an email with, ‘Hey, sweetcheeks.’ Not one other person. And you do realise that if you’d started that with the words, ‘Hi, [My Name], can you help me with…’ I wouldn’t have been sending you to the pet store? Does this make sense?”

IT: “Yes, it does.”

Me: “Thank you. I will keep it off the record for now. Between you and me, if you need advice on how to phrase something, call me and ask.”

He later emailed me, asking me to pass along his apologies for his choice of words. It’s early days, but we are hearing much less nonsense from him.

It’s Not Unheard Of, But Most People Only Have The One

, , , , , , | Working | July 13, 2022

I used to have my mobile phone set up through Australia’s largest telecommunications company. When I would receive my bill, I also received a printout of all the phone numbers I supposedly called during the month. I never looked at it… until this one time.

I called the company. The representative did their spiel, clarified my information, etc., and asked how they could help. 

Me: “There’s a mistake on my bill. There are phone calls I didn’t make.” 

Representative: “I can assure you that our records are never wrong.”

Me: “Well, this time, they are.”

Representative: “Okay, ma’am, please tell me which date, time, and number.” 

I do so.

Representative: “Do you not recognise the number, ma’am? You’ve called that number in previous months.”

Me: “Yes, I do recognise it, but I didn’t call it this month.”

Representative: “Perhaps someone else used your phone to call them?”

Me: “No, no one would take my phone without my permission anyway, but they wouldn’t have called that number. It was my fiancé’s number when he was overseas, but he’s been back here in the country for two months.”

Representative: “Maybe it was a different fiancé.”

Me: “Um, what?”

The line goes silent, except I can hear the cogs turning. 

Representative: “I’ll get that fixed for you.”