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You’re Bacon-ning To Upset Me

, , , , , , | Working | July 13, 2020

I’m busy at work so I decided to order in some pasta from the uptown location of a restaurant I love with an outpost near my apartment downtown. The menus are different but when I see “Penne alla Stolichnaya” on the menu, I assume it’s the same as the “Penne alla Vodka” I get from their downtown restaurant. I check the listing, confirm the ingredients, and place the order.

It arrives ten minutes before I dash into a meeting — my fault, not theirs. I decide to have a few quick bites before my meeting and open it. I take a few bites and notice there is something else in the pasta. I sniff and realize it’s bacon. I don’t eat meat, so I’m annoyed. I go back to the menu and check the ingredients again to see if I made a mistake. It’s not listed. 

I call the restaurant and ask them to confirm it’s bacon. They say, “Uh, yeah, it comes with bacon.” I respond that it’s not listed on the menu and she goes, “So?”

I am a little taken aback that she didn’t care. I tell her they can’t send people food with extra ingredients not listed on the menu, especially considering some could harm people with allergies. She responds, “So… do you want us to replace it? I mean with one without bacon?” 

Starving, I agree, but I end up emailing the delivery service to complain. I get a full refund.

I ended up ordering it again this week but made sure to specify “NO BACON” on the order. But I’m still shocked that they thought there was nothing wrong with adding ingredients not listed on the menu. It’s a high-end place, too!

A Battery Of Imprecise Descriptions

, , , , , , , | Learning | July 11, 2020

I’m a grad student. We’re researching injury prevention, and we’re assessing a list of patients that we may include in our study based on the manner of injury.

Study Lead: “Okay, everyone, we really need to be precise here. If you look at line 156, someone just wrote ‘bat’ as the cause of injury. Were they bitten by a flying rodent or hit by a baseball implement?”

Grad Student #1: “Well… comments say, ‘Bruising,’ so I’m guessing baseball.”

Grad Student #2: “Oh! That was me. The patient was hit by a thrown battery.”

Study Lead: “Clarity, people! Okay, next line, I see a cause of injury listed as ‘axe.’ [Grad Student #2], if someone was hit in the head with a can of body spray, I’m enrolling you in the study.”

Grad Student #2: “But I haven’t been injured by anything.”

Study Lead: “Not yet!”

Too Bad You’ve Lost Your Inner Child

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 14, 2020

My girlfriend is a bit childish — not as in being immature and acting spoiled, but she likes some things popular with kids and is easily excited.

We’re shopping for shoes we need for our jobs when she spots a huge teddy bear all the way at the other end of the store in the toy section. She races to it like the Roadrunner. It’s blue and purple, and covered in glitter, and I can tell from her huge smile it’s going home with her. She grabs it and carries around instead of putting it in the cart.

We already have our shoes, so we get in line. The line is long, so she talks to me all about the bear — what she’s going to name it, where she’ll put it, hugging it, and going on about how adorable it is. Lots of the other customers are chatting in line, too, so I’m certain we aren’t disturbing anyone until:

Customer Behind Us: “Shut the h*** up!”

The customer is loud enough to draw the whole line’s attention and quiet them.

Customer: “Shut up! Is she f****** mental?!”

Cashier: “Sir, is there a problem?”

Customer: “This d*** girl sounds like a f****** five-year-old! My God, shut the f*** up! No one cares about your f****** toy! It’s for children, not slow people! Are your kids slow like you?”

I realize a total stranger has no way of knowing, but my girlfriend had cancer as a teenager that made her infertile. She didn’t know as a teen if she wanted kids or not, but it’s taken years of therapy for her to not feel she’s “broken” because she couldn’t have them if she wanted. 

Honestly, I want to knock this customer’s teeth out for all of his comments.

Me: “Mind your business! She’s my girlfriend. I like to see her happy, and she can buy whatever she wants. It’s her money.”

This guy kept arguing and insulting my girlfriend, me, and eventually the line of people, who I guess he was mad at for not being on his side. One of the cashiers called for a manager, who asked the nasty customer to leave.

He tried to spin it that we instigated the scene, but some of the other people in line backed us up. The guy argued with the manager for a bit before finally leaving, and the manager apologized to us for the experience.

My girlfriend was quiet for the rest of the time in line, but she smiled when the cashier who checked us out gave her a lollipop.

This Story Tips Both Good And Bad

, , , , , , , , | Right | May 28, 2020

My husband and I are Australians on holiday in America. My cousin spent about two years working in America as a waitress and has drilled into us the importance of tipping our servers. Even when the service is shockingly bad, including the time they forget to put our order into the system for forty-five minutes, we tip at LEAST 18% because that is what my cousin recommended, and we’re a little stunned that servers work for pennies an hour and rely on tips to survive.

A large amount of staff who notice our accents seem pleasantly surprised when we tip them the proper amount or more. We stop for lunch in a little diner near our hotel and the waitress is AMAZING. She chats with us, asks about Australia and expresses how much she’d love to visit, tells us where to find a specific store I really wanted to visit but haven’t been able find, and is just all-around wonderful.

She is coming over with our refills:

Waitress: “Here we go, guys, here’s your—”

Mid-sentence, a small child who has been running around unchecked for the last half an hour slams into her legs. She drops both our drinks — one all over the kid and one directly into my lap.

The kid’s mother starts SCREECHING at the top of her lungs and demanding to see a manager. The waitress is trying to clean up the kid, apologise, and get us napkins all at once. I clean myself up as best I can and wave her off — I can easily pop back to our hotel to change — so she leaves to get her manager to deal with the screaming mother and her crying child.

She comes back a few minutes later with new drinks for us and is near tears; while her manager had her back, the other woman had said some awful things and her entire party of ten had left her without a tip. She drops off our drinks and we finish them, and she brings back the bill.

Waitress: *Still nearly crying* “I am so sorry about that, guys. I took your refills off the bill; those are on me.”

Feeling bad, my husband is trying to make her laugh.

Husband: “I think you’ll find they were on my wife and that demon kid.”

The waitress, realising we’re just kidding, does crack a smile as she walks off to handle another table. While we were already going to tip her about 25% on our tiny lunch bill — seriously, food is RIDICULOUSLY cheap in the States — for being so wonderful to us, my husband just rifles through his pockets for whatever he has on him in cash and shoves it into the billfold. It adds up to about $60 on our $19 bill, and we try to escape before she sees it as we don’t want her to thank us for it. 

We’re about five steps out the door when she chases us outside.

Waitress: “Wait! You guys, two of these are twenties! I know we joked that you’re used to your rainbow money but you’ve gotta read the numbers. Here!”

She tries to hand us back some of the money and we refuse to take it.

Me: “Honey, no, that’s your tip. You were amazing. Take it.”

The waitress seemed dumbfounded that we had deliberately left her that much, and my husband joked that it was to make up for the gremlin’s parents stiffing her. She legitimately started to cry and asked if she could hug us, which we accepted, and she went back inside.

I’m still stunned that she was honest enough to try and give the tip back to foreigners she thought didn’t understand. We saw her again a few times before we left — the food was incredible at that diner — and she was just as lovely each time. Tip your servers, people!

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Theater Lovers, Avert Your Eyes!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | May 22, 2020

Some years ago, a friend and I had tickets to see The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway. We went with one of those bus tours and got to the theater early so we could take our seats and be comfortable.  

And then two things happened.

Incident one:

About ten minutes from the opening curtain, two gentlemen came to our aisle and began to argue with the women sitting next to us in the aisle. The women were in their seats and the men wanted them to get out. They debated the point — all of them leaning over us and getting tenser and more irritable as the debate went on — for several minutes until an usher was called over.

The usher looked at the men’s tickets and said, “You are correct. Those would be your seats… if you were coming to see The Scarlet Pimpernel. Unfortunately, your tickets are for The Lion King which is at the New Amsterdam theater.”

The men argued a few more seconds and then finally took off running. My friend and I and the ladies beside us couldn’t help but wonder out loud how you can see the name “Minskoff” and read “New Amsterdam” or read the name of the musical and mistake it for another.

We all settled back in. A loud buzz of voices started up behind us. Everyone in the theater looked back to the balconies where a large group of high school students was taking their seats. No problem. Schools bring kids to the theater all the time. They usually quiet down as soon as the play starts.

Not these kids.

The theater probably did themselves a disservice when they announced that “This performance has been selected to be taped for airing on PBS later this year. We ask the audience to please be on their best behavior.”

Almost immediately, the kids in the balcony started shouting random words and screaming at each other, and their teachers did nothing to stop them.

As the play began, it was almost impossible to hear the actors’ words or enjoy the music as the kids in the back continued to sing loudly — other songs, not the songs in the play — and shout out suggestions to the actors during quiet periods.

At one point in the performance, the characters gathered to quietly plan a coup and, even though we were sitting in the ninth row, we could not hear a word they said. Suddenly, at that point, the cast all stood up from their positions, went to the front of the stage, and said “SSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” The audience joined in and we all waited until the kids were silent before the play resumed.

I took a quick look back at the balcony: two ushers were up there speaking with the teachers. Before the act was over, the balcony had been cleared and the rest of the play took place without incident.

I am sure the kids were screaming in hopes of seeing the play on TV and hearing themselves ruining the experience for everyone else. I have to wonder what kind of pea-brained little snot thinks that’s an appropriate thing to do. More to the point, I wonder why the teachers didn’t think it was their responsibility to shut the class up.

This story is part of our Musical Theater Roundup!

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