Compassion Also Died That Week

, , , , , | Working | November 29, 2017

My mother-in-law passed away during the week. I went to work the day after but was in too much of a mess to stay. I arranged someone to take over for me, did all the tasks that I knew she couldn’t do, and sent emails to my line manager to explain my situation before heading home. The next day was my rostered day off.

When I got home I noticed a huge bouquet of flowers on the table and realised that [Husband]’s work had sent them to him.

What did I get? A message from my line manager at 8:35 am the next day, demanding to know why the store was closed. We don’t open until 9 am, and the opening staff was already inside the store.

Hard To Teller What They Meant

, , , | Working | November 27, 2017

(I go to my bank to deposit some cash. There is a short queue and while waiting in it for about two minutes, a staff member approaches.)

Staff: “Oh, you’ve been waiting a long time!”

Me: “Not really.”

Staff: “What service do you need?”

Me: “Just need to deposit some folding money; can you do that?”

Staff: “Yes, but I will show you how to use the ATM for that!”

Me: *having had problems with deposit machines before, a loss of $2000 for example* “No, thanks; I prefer to deal with tellers.”

Staff: *shrugs* “Oh, well, if you want to take the risk.” *she walks off*

(Still not sure what “risk” she was implying. I have heard that the bank wants to improve its performance on surveys and reduce complaints by eliminating the number of staff dealings with the public, but that seems a weird way to go about it.)

Dogs Are The Best Drugs

, , , , , | Friendly | November 23, 2017

(I volunteer with my dog at a rest home. We go around all the rooms and common areas interacting with the residents, especially those who love dogs. Because it’s a rest home, the residents are elderly and often ill; I am getting used to old friends passing away and new ones coming in. As I’m nearing the end of a corridor, a lady is standing in her doorway. We haven’t met her before.)

Resident: “Is that a drug dog? Are you here looking for drugs?”

Me: *jokingly* “No, why? Have you got some?”

Resident: *big, deep sigh* “Only the ones they give me, sadly.”

(Later in that same visit I accidentally walked in on two of the residents canoodling. I left that day reminded that age is no indicator of mischievousness!)

Have Lunch Or Be Lunch

, , , , , , | Related | November 16, 2017

My family has always loved the sea, and we’ve always had a boat, travelling around New Zealand during weekends and holidays. Growing up, my siblings and I loved to swim off the boat whenever it was anchored, and we often proved difficult to persuade out of the water, causing our mother to go hoarse as she yelled over the waves for us to come in.

The year I was 12, we were anchored in the Hauraki Gulf which is around the top of NZ’s North Island. My siblings and I decided we’d have one more swim before lunch. I was wearing a snorkel and a mask and although I could hear Mum calling us in for lunch, I decided to take one more dive. I dove and resurfaced a couple of times, moving away from the boat. On my third dive, I turned up the right way, floating in a circle to see all the fish… and found myself staring into the face of a grinning great white shark.

Looking back, years later and with a degree in marine biology under my belt, I know now it was quite small — probably not even seven feet — which meant it was a juvenile. It was so close I could see each one of its ampullae of Lorenzini, the black marks around the snout. Every cell in my body was screaming in terror, but I had frozen in place. After regarding me for a couple more seconds in what can only be described as mild curiosity, the shark swam away on its business, leaving me to float, still literally scared stiff, to the surface, where Mum was standing on deck waving her arms in the air.

“Honestly, [My Name], you are such a dreamer! I’ve been hollering for you the last 15 minutes. I know you could hear me when you popped up! What do I have to do to get you out of the water, start screaming that there’s a shark around?”

Although that baby great white gave me the fright of my life, it sparked in me an obsession with sharks that has endured to this day. I studied marine biology at university and have a fantastic career in shark research. I’ve cage-dived with great whites in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. The first time, at Stewart Island in New Zealand, I was privileged to see a magnificent, 18-foot male pass majestically back and forth in front of the cage. He was truly astonishing, but as I gazed at him, marvelling at his sheer size and power, I couldn’t help but think back to the little, baby great white who’d started it all!

You Want Chicken That Is Number-Crunchy

, , , , | Right | November 15, 2017

(I work at a fast food chain which is known for its fried chicken. I’m working the till at the front counter when a middle-aged woman walks into the store.)

Me: “Hi there, ma’am! How may I help you today?”

Customer: “Hi, I was just wondering how many chicken wings I would get if I bought a 20 pack?”

Me: “Uh… 20, ma’am.”

Customer: “Okay, cool. Also, do you have any specials on chicken today?”

Me: “Yup, we sure do! We are currently selling five pieces of chicken for $9.90.”

Customer: “Okay, and how many pieces of chicken would I get in that?”

Me: *just stands there bewildered*