A Whole New Kind Of Dead-Parrot Sketch, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | June 25, 2020

My coworker messaged me this morning with this gem. Our stock person was on cash today, which she doesn’t often do.

Non-English speaking people often come in to buy canary birds; I was told by one it reminds his family of home. Apparently, one such customer came in today with a box and told our stock person the bird had “fallen asleep and not woken up.” 

Now, we do have to see a body, so my coworker took it to the back to set it aside. However, when she opened the box, she was met with a very much alive and frantic bird. By the time she came out front, the man was already gone with his refund.

Okay, fine. She took the bird back to put in a cage… and then came to realize that this wasn’t even our bird to begin with! He had just returned a bird, which he did not buy here, and he claimed it was dead.

I couldn’t help but laugh at how utterly bizarre of a scam was pulled there.

A Whole New Kind Of Dead-Parrot Sketch

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Probably Shaved Off Some Of The Cost, Anyway

, , , , , | Working | June 25, 2020

I was about to finish my course after three years of studying, and I wanted to treat myself to a posh-looking hair salon before the final oral exam. I was by no means looking dirty, but my hair and beard were getting too long for my own comfort. Trimming isn’t a problem to do myself, but having a professional doing it is always nice… or so I thought.

I was standing there in front of the store — white Marmor front and pictures of beautiful women and perfectly shaved men in the window, perfectly styled. Inside, I was greeted and offered drinks, coffee, and complimentary snacks while waiting.

Everyone was helpful and nice, and men and women inside were as styled as the pictures promised.

When it was my turn, a guy started to show me possible cuts and listened to what I expected about my hair. I was nervous, so I mostly just said, “Yeah, I have my final exam and wanted to treat myself. Short but not military is fine by me.”

Then, I had the experience of having my hair washed, massaged, oiled up (?), washed again and slowly cut to the shape I had awkwardly explained.

After about half an hour of “treatment,” he showed me what my head looked like. To be honest, I was pleasantly shocked by how well he did it, with millimeter fine lines around the ears and at the back of my head.

I was just thinking, “Nice. Next, my beard,” when he started to “unstrap” me from the chair and said, “You’re welcome. I hope to see you again!”

There was an awkward silence since I wasn’t sure what to say.

“Uhm… and where is the station for my beard?” I finally asked.

“Oh, we don’t support that profession, so we don’t cut beards here.”

So, I was sitting there. Business-styled hair with wild-looking eyebrows and a wild, unshaved — and in comparison to my hair — dirty-looking beard.

He stood there like everything was fine and ready for payment. 

I paid, silently left, and awkwardly shaved at home. I mean, my mistake; hair salon, I should have asked, but… come on!

Since then, I’ve been visiting a barber near my place who is a few times cheaper and faster, and actually cuts everything like the pictures seen at the store.

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Take The Tip; Don’t Ask About The Tip

, , , , , | Working | June 25, 2020

I’ll start off annoying all servers by saying that I’m not a standard tipper. Average service will get you an average tip, outstanding service will get you an outstanding tip, subpar service will get a crappy tip, and awful service will get you a shiny penny.

That said, years ago, my mother, kids, and I frequented a Chinese buffet that was, at the time, highly regarded. Although it was a buffet, they had workers coming to clear plates, refill drinks, etc. As such, it was our custom to only tip 10%. Also, since tips paid with a credit card are counted toward your income tax in our state, we always tipped cash.

One night, we had a fairly inattentive person assigned to our area of the dining room. Plates piled up, waters went dry, and napkins never appeared. We weren’t messy customers. Usually, if a plate was getting the same dish or only had dry foods on it, we’d bring it back to reuse it, and I always cleaned the table after my messy boys.

We decided our attendant was only getting 5% instead of the usual 10% we’d leave, but we realized no one had change to leave the tip, so as Mom and the boys wandered off to pay the tab and get change, I was a little behind sweeping up crumbs of the table.

As I grabbed my coat and turned around, the attendant swooped down onto the table and loudly exclaimed, “No tip?!” in a nasty tone. So, I turned around and looked her right in the eye and said, “Not now that you’ve said that.”

I have intentionally left 25-30% tips in my life, and I have made sure a truly awful waitperson has seen me place a penny on the table. But never before or since have I had anyone try to insult me into giving a tip.

To be fair, in my state, if your tips don’t add up to minimum wage by the end of the week, your employer is required to make up the difference. So, it’s to your advantage to provide the best service you can so as to earn more than that.

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The Misogyny Convention Is In Town!

, , , , , | Right | June 25, 2020

I work in a grocery store. One day, I got an influx of… I don’t know where they hailed from, but there must have been a convention of them in town. I am female, and this day our male-customer ratio was through the roof.

Several barked “Manager!” and each time, they demanded a man to ring them up. Since our cashiers are largely female, this means that the manager and our stock boys would have had to use the register all day — and the stock boys aren’t trained for, or responsible for the registers.

When the manager basically told them that they could be rung up by a woman, or they could leave without their products, they became insufferably rude.

All of them either threw their cash on the conveyor belt or slapped it on that little platform for filling out checks. When I greeted them, they glared. When I talked to them, they clamped their mouths closed and refused to so much as look me in the eye. When I tried to give them change, they leaped back like I had the plague and wordlessly jammed a finger at the check platform.

I would put their change down, and they wouldn’t touch it unless my hands were well away from their money, because they refused to touch it if I even vaguely made a motion in the change’s direction after I put it down.

And they just kept coming. A few hours in, the manager grabbed the PA system and made announcements at hourly intervals stating that all customers would be rung up by a woman and that if a customer was “uncomfortable” with it, then we regretfully wished to refer them to another store to make their purchase.

Thankfully, this nonsense only lasted a single day, though by closing, we were all thoroughly sick of it.

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No Particular Emphasis On “Assisted” Living

, , , , , , , | Healthy | June 24, 2020

A few years ago, I — a sixty-four-year-old male — had a bad bicycle accident. The damages included a concussion, broken right collarbone, broken right elbow, four broken ribs on my right side, and three fractures in my left pelvis; if you can explain the physics of that, I’m all ears.

Four days in the hospital got me stabilized, but then I needed rehab and was sent to a nursing home. That’s when the fun began.

I was transported to the home at about 6:00 pm. After intake, I struggled for a few hours to find a comfortable position and finally got to sleep, only to be awakened at 11:30 pm (!) to have them take pictures of my bare backside to see if I had bedsores already. Two days later, I was awakened at 4:45 am (!!) because the traveling technician was going to take my blood and wanted to get done early.

I was getting both physical and occupational therapy from the same outsourced company. The routine was to do the PT first at one end of the building and then get wheeled back to my room for the OT. The third day, the occupational therapist was taking me back to my room and one of the physical therapists came with us. The two men were discussing a barbeque they were going to have that weekend.

No problem, except that when we got to my room they stopped in the hallway and talked over me for five minutes. I called out the OT when we were alone; to his credit, he apologized and said that I wasn’t their typical patient, meaning I had no dementia.

I was on a schedule where I was given two assisted showers a week. This wouldn’t have been too bad, except that the home had no air conditioning and we had a heatwave in the nineties the second week. I was waiting for the aide to take me when I noticed five young women hanging around the door to my room. When I asked, they told me they were going to watch my shower as part of their training. I informed them that no, they weren’t, so they waited outside the shower area with my wheelchair.

By that point, I could walk slowly with a cane, so after getting dressed, I limped to my chair with help from the aide. One of the women was standing behind the chair with her hands on the grips. I let go of the cane, grabbed a handrail on the chair, and almost fell on my face as the chair moved out from under me! She hadn’t set the brakes on the wheels and hadn’t held on to the chair. I was lucky there was no damage but it hurt like crazy.

In addition to the therapy for my hip, I needed to wait until the swelling in my broken elbow went down before surgery. When it was ready for the procedure, I went to the hospital having had no food or drink for over twelve hours. I was lying on the gurney about to go into the prep room when I was approached by a young doctor I’d never met. She wanted me to give her permission to perform a “nerve block” on me after the operation. In her telling, this would keep me from feeling pain afterward.

This had not been discussed before, I had no knowledge of what a nerve block entailed, it sounded dangerous, and this person was a total stranger. She was persistent, I’ll give her that, but she finally took the hint when I told her to get the h*** away from me.

The surgery went fine and I had no real discomfort afterward, even to the point where I never filled the prescription for the opioid painkiller I was given. So much for the nerve block. I was not, however, forewarned about another side effect of the anesthesia. It is common that urination is inhibited after the procedure, and by 6:00 pm, I was in real pain.

The nurses’ aides didn’t have the authority to give me a catheter and had to get permission. An hour later, I got my first experience with the process. Then, they took it out. And a few hours later, the pressure built up again.

This time, they didn’t want to put the tube back in; their training said they had to wait four hours. My wife had to yell that she’d take me to the emergency room and file charges against them before they fixed the problem. This time they left it in, and by the following evening, the plumbing worked.

As to the home itself, my stay confirmed my fear of the places, even without a contagion situation. Most of the other long-term residents had some degree of dementia and there was lots of moaning and shouting at all hours. And the food was just as bland as the stereotype; luckily, my wife brought me meals a couple of times a day — including the occasional illicit cold beer.

I got out three days after the elbow surgery and was able to navigate my house, including the stairs, immediately. In another week, I rarely used the cane and have a story for my grandkids.

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