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Time For Rover To Find A New Buddy

, , , , , | Romantic | March 18, 2023

I’m on a first date with a woman. I met her in our dogwalker’s club, and our dogs are friends. We’ve decided to visit a restaurant together.

When we get there, the first thing she asks the waiter is:

Woman: “What’s the most expensive thing on the menu?”

And she proceeds to order exactly that.

Me: “Do you expect me to pay for that?”

Woman: “Yes.”

Me: “No.”

I stood up and simply left.

Our dogs are no longer allowed to be friends.

One For All The Struggling Little Kids

, , , , , , , , , | Right | March 17, 2023

I occasionally volunteer for a charity that helps provide medical care to children in need. It’s late October, and there is a community event happening in the park, so we’ve set up a table to both share what we do and collect donations which I’m manning. Given the nature of the event, we are not the only charity to have set up a table.

A young boy comes up to our table. He appears to be alone, but given how many people are milling about, I just presume one of them is his parent and is keeping an eye on him.

Boy: “Are you a charity, too?”

Me: “Yes, we are. We’re [Charity].”

Boy: “What do you do?”

I give him the usual spiel and answer a few fairly standard questions he asks. After I answer his last questions, he seems to stop to think very hard for a few seconds before apparently coming to a decision.

Boy: “You seem pretty good; I’ll think about it. Thanks for talking to me.”

With that, he runs off before I can respond. I found the whole conversation a little bemusing, though the boy’s very intent expression and questions were cute. I mostly forget about it until a little while later when the boy shows back up with two women and an even younger girl in tow.

Boy: “This is the one.”

Girl: “Hi! You help sick kids?”

This girl is young enough that I decide to simplify my usual explanations a bit.

Me: “Yes, we do. We help to pay for them to go to a doctor and for the doctor to do whatever is needed for them.”

Girl: “And you make them better?”

We’re not supposed to promise that our charity will save everyone since, sadly, even with the best treatment, some children don’t pull through. So, I hedge just a bit here.

Me: “We do the best we can to make the kids we help get better. And we’ve managed to save many kids and help others who were too sick to do things get healthy enough to go back to their normal lives.”

Girl: “Do you get to meet the kids?”

Along with the other material at the table, we have some photos of children we’ve helped along with descriptions of what our charity did for them. I intentionally pick a picture of a girl around the same age as the one I’m speaking to and show it to the family as I’m talking.

Me: “No, I don’t get to; I’m busy helping in other ways. But they tell us about some of the kids. You see this little girl here? Her heart didn’t work right and it was making her very sick, but we found someone who could help fix it. Now she’s healthy and getting to go to school and play with her friends.”

Girl: “Awww. I want to help! Mom, can I pick this one?”

Mom: “Sure, you can; it’s your choice. But you have a month before you have to pick. We could wait to see if there are any charities you like better, and if you don’t find one, we can send the money to these folks closer to Christmas.”

Girl: “No, I want to help them now!”

Mom: “Okay, honey. Well then, why don’t you ask the nice man if they’re accepting cash donations here?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we are.”

Girl: “Can I give it to him?”

[Mom] pulls out a wallet and hands a twenty-dollar bill to the girl. The girl in turn hands it over to me beaming with excitement.

Girl: “Here you go. For sick girls.”

Me: “Oh, wow! That’s a lot of money. Thank you so much! We’ll make sure we use this to help other kids. It sure is very kind of you to help other kids like that. Your mom must be very proud of you.”

Mom: “Oh, I’ve always been very proud of both kids here.” *To the girl* “And honey, I think you made a good choice. Your Mama and I give some money to this charity every year, also.”

Me: “Oh! Thank you for your contributions, as well, then.”

Mom: “Oh, it’s no problem. We try to give back to a few charities at the end of the year. Mostly we donate it all online, but we’re letting each of the kids pick a charity of their own to donate some money to this year — you know, to help them see how charity works and get more involved.”

Me: “Oh, that’s a wonderful idea!”

There were a few more pleasantries I won’t bore you with before they ended up leaving my table. But what I remember most about the whole encounter was just how excited the little girl was to hand over her twenty to me. Both of the kids were adorable.

You Run Cold, You Don’t Get The Hot Stuff

, , , , , , | Working | March 15, 2023

This happened in 2017 when I was an apprentice electrician in New York City. As anyone in construction can tell you, the apprentice is the one sent out to get the coffee for everyone on the job, and as I was one of only two on the job site and was fresh in the business, I was the one who was picked to get it most of the time. Every day, when the work day started, I would go to each of the other workers, get their order (if any), and then later pick it up for break, bringing it down to where we were all working to eat together. Or, in the case of the foreman and sub-foreman, I’d leave it in the shanty upstairs if he was going to be up there.

The foreman overall wasn’t a bad guy, but he tended to run a bit hot and cold. Most days he was nice, friendly, understanding, chatty, and overall a good guy. Some days, however, the stress would get to him and he’d get a bit angry and snappy. And of course, I wouldn’t know this until my first interaction of the day when I asked for his coffee order. On those days, he’d generally respond with something along the lines of…

Foreman: “What is it with you and coffee? Why are you asking me about coffee? I don’t want to hear about coffee! Go away! Go away!”

It didn’t happen too often, but it got annoying being yelled at for doing my job. Usually, I’d get his coffee order later, but one day it took me asking him three times before this exchange happened.

Foreman: “Why are you asking me about coffee?! Stop asking me about it! [Coworker], what is the one thing I say I never want to hear about?”

Coworker: “…dust masks?”

Foreman: “Dust masks and coffee! I never want to hear anything about them again! Go away!”

So, I shrugged, said okay, and walked off. I didn’t talk to him again about it that day.

Fast forward a few days to Monday. I was sitting downstairs with the other workers at break as we ate our sandwiches and drank coffee. The foreman and sub-foreman showed up.

Foreman: “Hey, [My Name].”

Me: “Hey, [Foreman].”

Foreman: “So, ah, I take it my coffee is upstairs in the shanty?”

I pointed at the sub-foreman.

Me:His is.”

Foreman: “Well, where’s mine?”

Me: *Smugly* “What is the one thing you told me you never wanted to hear about ever again?”

There was a long pause.

Foreman: “Are you sure you want to do this?”

Me: “I just did.”

Another pause.

Foreman: “Go get the [several pieces of very heavy pipe that take two people to lift] and move it from [Sub-floor 8] to [Sub-floor 2].”

And then he walked away. He probably thought he was punishing me since it was nothing but stairs to get up those floors, but I just laughed as the other apprentice had already asked me to help him do that anyway. 

I left that job site a month or two later, but the foreman never snapped at me about coffee again, and he always calmly gave me his order.

Everyone Got Their Tea Total Today

, , , , , , | Right | March 14, 2023

I go to a sub-sandwich shop that’s just around the corner from me. They have a soda fountain and a tea fountain thingy. I pay for my food and turn to the drink fountains while the employee who helped me rounds a corner and goes into the back of the shop out of eyesight. I’m in the mood for iced tea, so I walk up to the iced tea fountain.

At the top are some buttons, while there’s a traditional spout at the bottom. I don’t notice that the spout has a little switch you lift to dispense the tea since it’s all matte-black and kind of blends together. Without thinking, I place my cup down and press and hold the most obvious top button, assuming it will dispense tea. I am suddenly greeted by an immediate hissing sound and steam. I quickly realize the button is used to brew tea and let go. About five seconds later, hot water/tea begins to overflow and lightly spray from the top of the machine since it was presumably already full.

I go into a panic and start mashing buttons to stop it. This does nothing as more water/tea flows out. I grab my cup and back up. The employee hears the commotion, comes out, sees what’s happening… and literally leaps over the counter. He runs up to the machine and pulls it forward, spilling more tea and making the top come loose, and manages to wrestle it and shut it off somehow about ten seconds later.

The employee backs up and turns, totally covered in VERY hot tea. He begins to try and pull his shirt forward to cool down while letting out little “Ehhh!” and “Uhhh!” noises. He looks back and forth, not sure what to do, darts around the counter, and runs into the back again while pulling his shirt off.

I stand there, flabbergasted. About fifteen seconds later, another employee — a woman — comes out, looking very confused. She sees me holding a sub and an empty cup, sees the iced tea machine, which is completely pulled out and emitting large volumes of steam, and sees the soda fountain counter and floor completely covered with tea. She looks dumbfounded.

Employee: *Turning to me, wide-eyed* “Wha… what happened?!”

Being a rational man in my thirties, I did the only thing I could think of: I dropped my sub and cup on the floor, closed my eyes in embarrassment, and darted out the door behind me like a scared child.

And that was the last time I visited that particular sub shop for about four years until I was pretty sure that either they had forgotten or new employees were working.

He’s Like Baby, Making Noise, Don’t Know What To Do

, , , , , | Right | March 3, 2023

It’s September of 2022, and like a number of theaters, we are playing the re-release of the 2009 film “AVATAR,” which has been put back into theaters to promote the upcoming sequel. Disney has chosen to only provide the local theaters with the 3D version of the film. Both our website and every third-party website have the movie clearly labeled as “AVATAR (RE-RELEASE)” along with the “RealD 3D” logo, and the showtimes are all listed under the “3D” section.

Additionally, we’ve posted a sign front-and-center at eye level on the door clarifying that it is a re-release of the original film in 3D and NOT the sequel, and one of the first things you see when you walk into the lobby is the standee for the sequel with its December release date. We’ve basically done everything possible to ensure people understand that what we are playing is a 3D re-release of the original movie.

It’s the first showing of the day. A customer in his late forties or early fifties walks up to me at the greeter’s stand with his wife and teenage daughter and presents his online ticket. I scan it and hand him three pairs of 3D glasses.

Customer: *Immediately annoyed* “What’s this s***?! I didn’t want 3D!”

Me: “Unfortunately, the Avatar re-release is only being presented in 3D in this area. That’s the version of the movie the studio wants us and [Other Local Theater] to promote.”

Customer: “It didn’t say it was 3D online!”

Me: “I apologize, sir, but our website and every major third-party website has every show listed as a 3D showtime.”

Customer: *Raising his voice and becoming aggressive* “Ugh! You know, I’m very disappointed! This is ridiculous!”

Customer’s Wife: *Starting to turn red* “It’s not that big a deal, honey. It said 3D on the website.”

Customer: *Under his breath, but over-enunciating every syllable in anger* “It most certainly did not! This is ludicrous! I shouldn’t have to pay for a 3D movie when the website didn’t say it was 3D! I should demand a refund and get in for free! Friggin’ scam artists!”

He rants under his breath for about another thirty seconds before finally storming into the theater with his wife trailing behind, beet-red, and his teenage daughter walking slowly, staring at the ground, obviously embarrassed.

About forty-five minutes later, his daughter walks out, wanders up to me, and whispers to me.

Customer’s Daughter: “Um… is this the first movie?”

Me: “Yes. The second movie doesn’t come out for a few months. This is a special limited re-release of the original film.”

Customer’s Daughter: “Oh. Um… does it say that online?”

Me: “Yes, the movie is clearly labeled as a re-release online. There are also plenty of banner ads on the website advertising the re-release. We also have signs on the front door clarifying that it’s a re-release, and the standee for the sequel listing its release date is right there when you come in the door.”

Customer’s Daughter: “Yeah, I figured as much. My dad doesn’t pay attention. I’m sorry, but he’s probably gonna scream at you after. He’s ranting in the theater about it. Thank God we’re the only ones in the theater.”

Me: “If he comes out now, you guys can get a refund and leave. But if he sits through the whole movie, he’s not gonna get a refund.”

Customer’s Daughter: *With an annoyed smile* “He’s gonna scream either way. Might as well stay and watch the movie… He kept me home from school because he wanted to see Avatar 2. Let him waste his money.”

She wanders back into the theater. And as expected, once the movie ends, the man bursts out of the doors in fury, storms up to me, and begins a rant that sounds weirdly rehearsed. He seems like he’s trying to remain calm, but he’s clearly furious.

Customer: “This is, without a doubt, the biggest scam I have ever experienced. How dare you advertise this movie as the sequel? Honestly… how dare you? How can you sleep at night? I have never been more disappointed in my life with a business. You are stealing people’s good money, and for what? To show them a movie they have already seen? You are corrupt. You are evil. And I will be getting my money back. I. Am. A. Lawyer. And I understand my rights. Understand me?”

Me: *Bluntly* “It says it’s a re-release online. They’ve been advertising this re-release for weeks. And they’ve been advertising the sequel’s December release date for months. My manager is not going to authorize a refund after you sat through the whole movie.”

The customer lets out a frustrated “Argh!” and storms over to the manager’s desk. I should note I’ve warned the manager well in advance, so I’m treated to seeing the customer getting more and more frustrated, ranting louder and louder, while my manager just stands there shaking her head. About one minute into it, his wife and daughter just sort of leave the building, clearly not wanting to be seen with him. He finally STOMPS toward the exit before turning and screaming:

Customer: “F*** YOU ALL!”

He finally left.