Iced Mochas Sure Aren’t What They Used To Be

, , , , | Right | November 11, 2019

I’m making drinks for orders. Since I’m not on the register, I don’t realize that two separate orders have come in under the same name. I make the first drink, which is a large, hot tea, and place it on the counter, then call out the customer’s name.

Immediately, a woman zooms up to the counter, picks up the drink, and takes a big gulp. I turn to grab the next cup, which is for a small, iced mocha, and notice that it has the same name on it as the prior order. Before I can start on that drink, I hear an “Excuse me,” and see two women standing at the counter; the one who took the tea, and another one who was waiting a little further back. They both look annoyed.

The woman who took the tea tells me that this isn’t her drink. The second woman nods and tells me that it’s hers. I ask them if their names are both the name on the separate orders, which they confirm. I explain what happened, apologize for the confusion, tell them both their drinks will be up in a moment, and then go back to remake the tea. The tea-stealer calls me back over, and says that she should get her drink first, since it’s my fault she took the wrong drink because I didn’t specify which drink it was.

Gee, lady, the fact that you ordered a small, iced drink and the one that came out was a large, hot one didn’t give you the slightest clue?

I remade the tea first.

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Ballet Commentary We Can All Get Behind

, , , , , , | Related | November 10, 2019

This story happens when I’m quite small, about three or four years old. My parents have taken me to a children’s matinee at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. They were worried that I’d be bored, but apparently, I’m utterly enthralled.

At one point, a male and female dancer begin to perform a romantic pas-de-deux, and a small voice pipes up from the middle of the crowd, “Oh! The pretty lady loves the man!”

We’re sitting far enough back that the dancers don’t hear this, but a ripple of laughter moves through the audience nearby. An usher hurries over and asks my father to take me to sit at the back, and he complies.

Another scene is circus-themed and features a clown putting on his clown suit. Midway through, the same small voice rings out again. “He’s putting on his jammies!”

More laughter from the audience. This time the usher asks my dad to remove me from the audience entirely. 

As my dad says, this was clearly the beginning of my career in media analysis.

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Dogs>People

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 10, 2019

My three-year-old daughter recently got a betta fish as a first pet, and one afternoon we go to the local pet store to buy a decoration for his tank. She picks out a yellow submarine and proudly walks it to the checkout counter.

As I’m paying, I feel something large and fuzzy bump into me, sending my daughter a few steps back, as well. A massive dog has jumped onto the counter and pulled the submarine down, breaking it. The dog is bigger than my daughter and she begins to cry because she can’t get to me. 

The woman holding the dog gives a token apology while doing little to rein the dog in. I have to move past the dog and pick up my daughter, who is starting to cry. The lady then proceeds to say there’s no reason to worry; her dog is fine — I wasn’t worried about the dog.

She then proceeds to talk to the clerk checking me out, demanding to know if another employee is working, all while he’s still trying to process my payment. 

The clerk discounts the damaged submarine and I head out, clutching my crying daughter, all while the woman with the dog that’s too big for her to control sits there, unsure why everyone is upset. I’ve always liked dogs, but now I know I don’t like dog people!

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Mothers Are Fighters

, , , , , | Healthy | November 10, 2019

Two years ago, I was admitted into the hospital for seven weeks via the ER. In good weather, the hospital is roughly an hour away. My boys were three and eight at the time and I had been a stay-at-home mom for most of their lives. My parents stepped up and helped keep the kids on a regular pattern of school, therapy, and play dates along with FaceTiming me. My husband would drive two round-trips a day to stay with me, see our kids, take care of our pets, and work. 

This pattern repeated itself over again for the next six months, and at one point, I was told to start preparing my boys for life without me. The staff at the hospital was amazing. They tried their best to give me a room that faced outwards so I could see the sunset. They made sure I could be unhooked from chemo and transfusions when my boys got to visit. Then, they completely surprised us on Christmas when they gave us a Christmas party in my hospital room. 

There were presents, food, and joy even though it was extremely hard to be there. They helped me fight even when I was beyond exhausted. 

They became my family and even now we all stay in touch. They were complete angels that helped our family get through an extremely scary time. 

I’m now in remission and hopefully will get the “cured” status once I reach five years in remission.

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The Customer Is Not Always “Not Right”

, , , | Right | November 9, 2019

A lady comes up to my register with a 16-gig flash-drive. It rings up for about $14, at which she balks, because the display she picked it up from marked it as about $6. Given that I know well that the display marks its items as 40% off, I explain to her that the flash-drive had likely been put there by a customer who couldn’t find its original place, but that I’d be happy to give her the 40% off that the display where she found it promised. At my place of work, we’re encouraged to do so with issues like this, though usually for a 20% discount, so I am already being generous to someone who was acting rather rudely, even at this early stage in the encounter. She seems troubled, but agrees to finish the transaction with minimal fuss and ends up paying about $8 for it. 

Three minutes later, she walks in and says to me, “I’ve been thinking about those two dollars, and, you know, I just don’t think it’s right.” She is dead serious. She emphasizes the word “right” in a way that implies it is some sort of moral issue that she get something for 60% off for no other reason than that she feels entitled to it. It would be sad if it weren’t annoyingly self-righteous and entitled.

At this point, I have another coworker covering the registers and am able to walk her to where the thing originally came from. Lo and behold, it is marked for the price that originally popped up. She just keeps repeating, “It’s not right,” and when I give her a helpless look that says, “There’s nothing else I really feel like doing for you after I already gave you this for a massive discount,” she asks to speak to a manager. 

Eventually, a more senior coworker who was the one to point her to the display in the first place actually returns it for her and lets her re-purchase it at a 60% markdown. She leaves with a grin so smug it should be illegal, with one more adamant statement of, “Thank you. I just didn’t think that this was right.” 

Some people need government-mandated lessons in perspective. I hope she promptly lost the wretched thing and ended up having to buy a new one. Could I have just refunded her transaction and given her the extra 20%? Yes. But I felt as a matter of principle that it… Well, to put it in terms she might understand, it wouldn’t be right.

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