Closing Early And Opening The Floodgates

, , , , , , | Right | February 22, 2020

(I am a manager of an indoor children’s playland. I have the discretion to close early if we have not had any customers for a length of time. Weekends are always hectic with kids of all ages, but on weekdays we are mostly busy in the mornings with toddlers and often quiet in the afternoon, especially in winter with Daylight Savings. One Tuesday afternoon is particularly quiet. We had everyone pile out fairly quickly by 2:00 — probably for the school run — and we were left empty. I make the call at 4:30 that we’ll close at 5:00 and hang a sign on the door at 4:45 notifying customers. At 5:05, with everything locked up and the sign still on the door, I stand by my car, waiting with my colleague whose mum is late picking him up. Into the car park comes a car that parks next to mine.)

Colleague: “Who’s that?”

Me: “Oh, that’s not your mum, then?”

Colleague: “No.”

(A woman and her two- or three-year-old toddler come up.)

Woman: “Are you closed?”

Me: “Yes, I am terribly sorry but we have closed at 5:00 pm tonight. We will be open again tomorrow from 9:30 am.”

Woman: “But you can’t close early. He wants to play.”

(The kid looks like he doesn’t have a clue where he is and is preoccupied with a balloon.)

Me: “I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience but everything is already locked up and my colleague here is just about to be picked up. I won’t be able to open up again on my own.”

Woman: “I know [Owners] and they will fire you for closing early. They let my son and me play until close all the time.”

(This kid must have been minus-five-years-old when he met them!)

Me: “Again, I am sorry but [Owners] have not been the owners here for seven years, though they were the ones that created the rule to close early and the current owners agree with the logic behind it.”

(At this point, my colleague’s mum arrives but he stays with me, presumably in case there are any issues. Seeing the woman’s commotion, she, too, gets out of the car to see what’s going on.)

Woman: “You’re missing out on business here. You’re going to go out of business.”

Me: “Thank you for your concern, but as I mentioned, I am following protocol and we are now closed, so I will certainly be very happy to see you and your child another day for a play.”

Woman: *now yelling at us* “Tell me one reason why you can’t open. You should be open. I am a paying customer. I am right. You are wrong. [Owners] will fire you. You need to open now. My son is distraught!”

(He isn’t, though he looks upset by his mother shouting.)

Woman: “Why are you closed? Open the d*** playland now. My son is hungry and we want some chips. You’re not logical. You’re a b**** and you just want to go home early! Your manager will hear about this. This is illegal. I want free entry! I want free chips! You’re going to go bankrupt soon!”

Me: “Lady, stop screaming at us in front of your poor kid; you’re scaring him. We are closed. I was originally sorry that we inconvenienced you but I am no longer, as you’re being completely rude. I am the manager; I make the call if we close early and the correct, current owners approve this. I don’t need to explain myself to you, but since you enjoy going around in circles with no comprehension, nor manners, I’ll lay it all out for you. We had an unusually quiet afternoon and it made no logical sense to stay open any longer. Unless several customers came in, it wouldn’t cover the pays, let alone everything else. We are a business. We’re not a charity. The prices are what they are to cover rent, insurance, electricity, water, gas, food, drinks, staff, maintenance, software, play structures, cleaning, advertising, and a much longer list of items that are all behind the scenes to make us what we are today. Now, if you would like to come back on another day, when we are open, and you are polite and considerate, then we would absolutely love to see you and your son again. And if not, then I wish you a good evening, for we are all going home. Should you require any assistance leaving, I might be able to conjure up the security team we also have to pay for, to help you leave.”

(She stood there speechless for a minute before getting back into her car. The next day was my rostered day off so I didn’t have to deal with her expected wrath but, as it happened, she never called.)

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Speaking English Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Polite With It

, , , , , | Right | February 20, 2020

(My friend is working as a bank teller in a branch of a major Arabic bank in the middle of Sydney. She was hired for being bilingual; both of her parents are of Palestinian descent, although all three of them now have Australian citizenship. My friend is a Christian and doesn’t wear any kind of headscarf, but she still looks very Arabic. An elderly, Caucasian lady walks into the middle of the branch and stands there, looking confused. My friend walks up to her and politely asks in English:)

Teller: “Is everything all right? May I help you with something today, ma’am?”

Elderly Lady: *visibly relieved* “Oh, thank goodness! And you speak excellent English, too!”

Teller: “Well, thank you, and so do you.”

Elderly Lady: “Oh, but I was born here!”

Teller: “Oh, so was I.”

Elderly Lady: “Oh, I mean, my parents were Australian.”

Teller: “Yes, and so are mine.”

Elderly Lady: *flustered again* “Oh, you foreign types, coming here to take our jobs and then you speak to me like this! All you want from this country is to buy up our businesses and get rich!”

(My poor friend managed to grit her teeth and deal with this bigoted old bat, and it turns out that she had hundreds of thousands of dollars invested… in Arabic-speaking companies overseas, of course.)

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Smoking Is The Key To Looking Young

, , , , , , | Right | February 14, 2020

(Back when photo IDs are easier to fake, I am a cashier at a convenience store. The age to buy cigarettes is eighteen. A young guy who looks sixteen or seventeen brings up some soft drinks and snacks to the checkout.)

Me: “Good evening. Anything else?”

Young Guy: “Oh, and a pack of [cheap popular cigarettes] and a lighter.”

Me: *before I get the cigarettes* “Sure, I just need to see some ID.”

(He pulls out what looks to be a state-issued ID that almost gets me.)

Me: “Oh, wow. You have to tell me your secret.”

Young Guy: “Um… secret?”

Me: “According to this, you’ve just turned 118. I’ve got to say you look amazing. What’s your secret?”

Young Guy: *looking defeated* “Um… so, I guess no smokes, then?”

Me: “That’s right, and I’m sorry but policy is to permanently ban you.”

Young Guy: *with his head hung low* “Can I at least have the ID back?”

Me: “Sorry, but I can’t do that.”

(He left the store and I passed it along to the police who regularly come in for coffee. Even they were impressed with the quality but had to laugh at the mistake.)

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Unfiltered Story #185628

, , | Unfiltered | February 11, 2020

(Our movie theatre opens directly onto the street. I was locking up for the day at ~0015, and nearly bowled over a man as I exited from the side of the building. I was bewildered to see that he was cutting roses off of a collection of rosebushes. Stunned, and freaked out because he was super shady (it was isolated, and there wasn’t anyone else around at this time of day), I tried to be cool)

Me: *too chipper* “Hi! How are you?”

Man: *glare*

(I hurried away to my car.)

Stop Guarding Lives!

, , , | Right | February 10, 2020

(This is my first year as a lifeguard on the beach and all has been smooth sailing, just a few rescues and warning people… except for this one mother who walks up to me with her son in tow.)

Mum: “My son lost his action camera out in the surf.”

Me: “Okay, did it have a floaty on it?”

Mum: “No.”

Me: “Well, I’ll keep my eye out for any that are handed in.”

Mum: *starts to get mad* “No, aren’t you going to go and look for it now?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I can’t go out looking for it as it is a busy day and I can’t leave my spot.”

(I’m the only lifeguard on duty.)

Mum: “What do you mean? Of course, you can! No one is in trouble and he just lost it over there!”

Me: “Look. Even if there was no one in the surf, I would still not go looking for your son’s lost action camera.”

(She grabs her son and walked away, yelling at me.)

Mum: “I’m calling your manager for not doing your job and have you fired.”

(Did this lady really think I was going to leave my spot watching the ocean to go and look for her son’s missing action camera?)

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