Some Stories (Chop)Stick With You

, , , , , , | Hopeless | July 14, 2017

This story takes place about 20 years ago. I own a small Chinese restaurant and every week on Sunday at 11:30 on the dot, a family comes in. The father is Caucasian and the mother is Chinese. Their daughter is about five or six and is one of the loudest and rambunctious children I’ve ever met.

Every Sunday without fail, they’ll come in, and the kid will make a mess, scream, etc., and the father will ask for a fork for himself and their daughter. The mother will constantly try to calm her daughter down and tell her to be a “proper lady” and tell her husband to at least attempt to use chopsticks — and usually fail to do so. It becomes a habit and I usually have to deal with this table because the kid’s such a pain that none of my servers want to deal with her.

One week, the family just stops coming. Most of us are thinking “Oh, good, no more brat.” Three months pass and the family comes back, but it’s just the father and the child.

Surprisingly, the child is very calm. In fact she orders the dishes, says please and thank you (I’d like to mention that half of our adult patrons don’t do that), and she uses chopsticks better than my eight-year-old.

After the meal the father comes up to pay for the bill. I ask him how he got his daughter to be so polite, because quite frankly it seems like a miracle.

He gives me the most forlorn look I’ve ever seen. Apparently his wife died in a car crash about three months earlier (at this point I am feeling very guilty about calling her a brat) and never came home. For some reason his daughter thought it was her fault and that because she was being naughty her mother didn’t want to come back. Even though the father said it wasn’t the case, she insisted on being a “proper lady” and got both of them to learn how to use chopsticks, “Because Ma Ma will come back if she sees how nice we are.”

After he paid for the bill I just went to the back and cried. I went home and hugged my daughter.

It’s been 20 years since then and they’re still regulars. She even has a little family of her own that she brings in. The little girl eventually realized that her mother wasn’t coming back, but was still the most polite customer I’ve ever had. I’m sure her mother would be very proud to see how well she’s grown up.

It still brings me great joy when I see the daughter teaching her own children how to use chopsticks.

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A First-Class First-Grade Forgery

, , | Learning | July 12, 2017

When I was in first grade, our bus had a stop at the corner by my house on [X Street] and a second stop at the fire hall located across the alley and main road, behind my house, for all of the kids on [Y Street]. Typically, I caught my bus at the corner stop, but I thought the stop at the fire hall was so much cooler since the kids got to cross the main road.

One day, on the way to school, I wrote a note and signed my mom’s name on it, giving myself permission to get off the bus at the fire hall with all of my friends. Keep in mind, I was six years old with nothing but crayons and some old worksheets in my book bag, and no knowledge of cursive handwriting. You can imagine how ridiculous that permission note looked.

The school accepted it. My mom had a field day telling the school administrators about themselves.

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Adjustable Expectations

, | Related | July 11, 2017

When I was learning how to drive, my father would have me practice in his car. Since I am significantly shorter than him, I would always have to move his seat forward, and then he would have to move it back if he wanted to drive.

One day, shortly after I practice driving with him, Dad decides he needs to run an errand. I don’t remember where it was, but he needed to go somewhere that was about a twenty-minute drive away. He came into my room and told me to drive him, because he didn’t feel like readjusting the driver’s seat. To recap: my dad made me waste nearly an hour being his chauffeur because he couldn’t be a**ed to spend thirty seconds adjusting the driver’s seat of his car.

A Testing Set Of Circumstances

, , | Learning | July 11, 2017

We have an impossible physics teacher. Everyone hates him, but he always specifically targets me. He always give us Scantron tests, which I always fail. This one, however, is the worst, with questions terribly phrased.

When I point this out to him and ask what to do, he simply tells me to “figure it out.”

There is even one question that asks about the velocity of a bicycle, and all the answers are about a rock rolling down a hill. The test is a total disaster, and he refuses to do anything about it.

At the end of the class, one of my classmates asks if he can keep a copy of the test to help him study for the final, and the teacher says no. So, he ends up stealing a copy, and during lunch most of the class get together and mark everything that is wrong with the test to give to the vice principal.

She was beside herself that the test was like that, and forced the teacher to give us all an extra 50 points on the test. It was the only one I passed all year.

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A Lot Of Nuggets Of Stupidity

, , | Right | July 8, 2017

I’m working in the grill area of a well-known fast food restaurant. It’s during the dinner rush and we get hit with two HUGE orders, one after the other. They both will take roughly five minutes to make. One of the orders also includes several pies that will take ten minutes to bake, though the staff up front offer to give him the rest of his food when it’s ready and to bring the pies to him when they come up. The other order calls for sixty nuggets.

I’m new to grill so I’m already annoyed by having to suddenly make so much food since I have only the vaguest idea of what I’m doing. Still, the food is made and sent up within a reasonable amount of time and everything’s fine.

Then one of the managers comes back in disbelief and tells me I need to put down the sixty nuggets AGAIN. I find out later that they prepared the order with the nuggets and called out the number. Somebody responds, takes the tray, and sits down. Five minutes later, he comes up and says he’s missing sandwiches and that the sixty nuggets aren’t his. A manager looks at his receipt and, surprise, he took the wrong huge order, even though the orders were nothing alike. The man then tries to keep the wrong sandwiches he didn’t pay for and only wants to return the nuggets, to the point a manager has to warn him that they won’t give him his food until he returns the ENTIRE ORDER he has taken.

Thankfully, the woman who HAD ordered the sixty nuggets is understanding that it isn’t the staff’s fault and waits patiently for her entire order to be remade. (She ends up waiting a half hour for her food, though she is refunded for the trouble.)

The kicker was that while the grill team was busy remaking the order, the man who started the mess in the first place had the nerve to ask when his pies were coming up.

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