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The Tantrum That Never Came And The Husband Who Stopped It

, , , , , , , | Healthy | October 15, 2021

It was 7:30, and I’d dropped into my local pharmacy in order to grab a prescription on the way home. I went back to the pharmacy counter and saw a woman hovering around the counter, wearing a mask, so I did as I always do and stayed a safe distance back to wait. She turned to me, immediately, and I realized I was in for something interesting, as she immediately asked me if I was there for a vaccine. I simply replied that I was there to pick up a prescription, and I could tell from the way she turned from me that she was trying to find someone to complain to. Her attitude radiated impatience and a little entitlement, so I was ready for fireworks.

After a moment, a man came around the corner and started talking to the woman; it turned out that he was her husband. He had been looking for something on the shelves and couldn’t find it but was going to check again since they were still waiting; she requested he stay at the counter because he was “better at talking” than she was. He told her to just call for him when the pharmacists got to them and headed back off to go find whatever it was he needed.

She then proceeded to start making “ugh” huffing noises, like she was scoffing at the wait already, but she did it so often there was hardly a second between her scoffing noises. It was like a mini-tantrum to herself. I don’t know how long they’d waited before I arrived, but I had only been there for maybe two minutes, and I’ve been to the pharmacy enough to know their wait times at the counter didn’t tend to be long if there wasn’t a line, so there was almost no way she’d been waiting more than a few minutes before I arrived, as the counter and back half were empty except for a car or two outside.

After another second, the head pharmacist/doctor in charge approached the counter to ask what they needed, and she called for her husband in a clipped tone before starting off anyway without waiting for him to get back to her. 

Woman: “We’re here for our boosters.” 

Doctor: *Not unkindly* “We don’t take walk-ins after 1:00 pm, and we don’t have appointments after 7:00.” 

He could tell they didn’t have an appointment without having to ask, considering the hour, and his tone was mostly confused and a little concerned, like maybe they’d managed to book an appointment anyway and he was about to have to deal with a massive system issue. He was clearly anticipating fallout, either way. The woman opened her mouth, and I could hear the complaint starting in her throat through the half-second of tone she got out.

Then, her husband cut her off, emphatically and in a volume and tone that were almost teacher-voice-like. 

Husband: “No. He is telling us what he can and cannot do.” 

He then turned to the pharmacist and, in a pleasant tone, asked again about walk-in times so he knew when best to come back. The pharmacist walked him through using the app to make an appointment and clarified what vaccine they needed the booster for. The husband seemed almost pointedly pleasant when he talked, like he was making a point to his wife about how you talk to people when you can’t get your way. She didn’t say anything else except to ask what vaccine they had because, apparently, another of the same pharmacy carried the other kind, and when they left, they left quietly and with no further tantrums.

The Lady At Check-In Has Checked Out

, , , , | Working | October 7, 2021

It is late December. I am a big New Orleans Saints NFL fan. My wife gets me tickets to a Saints game. We live too far from New Orleans to go to a home game and the closest away game for us to see the Saints is at the Carolina Panthers.

We are checking into our hotel. Check-in is at three and I am ten minutes early. Most of the time, hotels let you check in a few minutes early, but the lady at the front desk won’t let me.

Employee #1: “Check-in isn’t until three.”

Me: “Okay. No worries. I can wait. I’ll wait in the car for a few minutes and come back in.”

I go back to the car with my wife and I wait until the clock says 3:00 pm. I go back in to check in.

Employee #1: “Oh, your room’s not ready yet.”

I’m a little annoyed, but it is what it is.

Me: “Umm, okay. I will wait.”

The front desk lady tells other customers the same thing. Clearly, they are running behind, most likely shorthanded. I used to work retail before I began teaching, so I know what that’s like.

I sit at a table in the lobby. Thirty or forty-five minutes later, [Employee #1] begins checking in other guests who came in after me. I am a little annoyed but I wait my turn in line. [Employee #2] comes in and waits on me.

Employee #2: “May I have your name and ID, please?”

I tell her my name and hand over my ID.

Employee #1: “Umm, his room isn’t ready yet!”

Me: “Still?” *Sigh*

Employee #2: “Actually, I can get him into this room. This is the type of room he booked.”

Me: “Thank you!”

Employee #2: “May I have a card for payment and incidentals?”

I hand her my debit card. My debit card is one of those printed instantly at the bank when you open your checking account. Some readers will decline it the first time you swipe; you just have to run it again. This is exactly what happens.

Already annoyed, I sigh.

Employee #1: “Umm, do you wanna stay here or not?!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Employee #1: “Do you want to stay here or not?! Because I can cancel your stay if you don’t calm down! She is doing the best she can!”

Me: “I wasn’t even doing or saying anything! I know it’s not her fault and I am not frustrated with her!”

Employee #1: “It’s in your body language!”

Me: “Yeah. I have been waiting for about forty-five minutes, so I’m already annoyed. I have been patiently waiting. I would just like to check into my room. I am sorry if I took it out on anyone because I didn’t mean to.”

Employee #1: “You’ve been rude this whole time.”

Me: “Can I talk to a manager?”

Employee #1: “Our manager will be here tomorrow morning! Her name is [Manager]!”

Me: “Well, I will be sure to report you to her for this. You were looking for an argument with me the whole time and didn’t acknowledge my wait or attempt to diffuse the situation.”

I get my room keys and my wife and I go to the room. I tell her what happened and then I contact headquarters to report what happened.

The next morning, we get ready to go to the stadium. We eat a continental breakfast before we call a ride share company. I see someone in management.

Me: “May I speak to [Manager]? A lady at the front desk told me that this was the manager’s name.”

Management: “I’m sorry, but nobody here with that name works here. I am the manager, so how can I help you?”

I look at his name tag and see “Hotel General Manager” as his title. I tell him the story. He sighs and shakes his head. 

Management: “Sir, I am very sorry about what happened. This is not the first complaint I have had like this. I will certainly take care of it, and I will certainly give you something complimentary as an apology.”

Me: “I don’t really need anything complimentary. I just want to know for my sake and others that this is not the norm and you seem like you’ll take care of it.”

Enveloped In Confusion

, , , , , | Related | September 28, 2021

My uncle is very sweet, but sometimes I’m not 100% sure how his thought processes work. My birthday is coming up, and today I got a letter-sized envelope from him in the mail. Inside, stacked on top of each other, were:

1) a small gift card, which would easily fit inside a greeting card;

2) a birthday card (folded in half to fit into the envelope);

3) a taller, narrower envelope, perfectly sized for the birthday card, clearly bought with the birthday card, and also folded in half to fit into the letter-sized envelope. 

I can’t figure out why he didn’t use the birthday card’s envelope; the gift card was nowhere near big enough to keep it from fitting, and he wouldn’t have had to fold the birthday card. But even if he did have a reason for wanting to use the letter-sized envelope, why did he send me the one that came with the birthday card?

When Mom Projects Her Insecurities, You Project Them Right Back

, , , , , | Related | September 24, 2021

I sew as a hobby and have been occupying my free time by making clothes for my toddler. I’m showing my mother some patterns I got on sale and a bunch of fabric. The fabric has cute stories behind it: extras from prior projects, fabric and trim I found while helping clean out my late grandmother’s place, and fabric I bought at an estate sale for a nice old lady I traded tips with.

She is not impressed.

Mother: “Well, with all this talent you have, why not make some clothes for work? That’s far more practical than all…” *waves hand over my cutting table* “…this.”

Me: “Because most of what I have are scraps. A yard or two is plenty to make clothes for a kid, but not enough for a grown adult.”

Mother: “You could use those scraps to make me some pants instead of spending your time going to thrift stores and making all this frilly stuff. Is [Daughter] even going to wear this?”

This is not the first time she’s made snide comments about my hobby, but I’ve had it at this point. I put on my best customer service smile.

Me: “You know, I have six yards of black twill I need to use up. Why don’t you grab my tape measure and give me your measurements? Waist, hips, and inseam.”

She does this, feeling smug as heck. I compare them to my master sizing chart and go through my stock of patterns, pulling out every pants pattern in her size. There’s a variety of styles, but they are all “women’s” or “plus” patterns.

Me: “Okay, pick one.”

Mother: “Um… these are all… big women’s patterns.”

Me: “Yes, your measurements put you in women’s sizing and not misses’. Pick one, please.”

Now it’s my turn to be smug, as I watch the realization dawn on her that vanity sizing (a common retail practice of labeling a garment as smaller than it is) doesn’t extend to sewing patterns. She puts the patterns down and starts backing out of the room.

Mother: “I guess the pants I have are fine.”

Me: “I guess they are.”

She left it alone and I go back to designing for my daughter. She loves her new outfits! The ladies in my moms’ support group are starting to offer to pay me to make clothes for their kids!

Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 19

, , , , | Right | August 27, 2021

I am female and have been working as a technician at this arcade for over a year. It’s a slow evening during the week, the only technicians working are a (male) trainee and me.

As I’m walking the floor, I get stopped by a man at one of the games. It’s showing an error code.

Customer: “Can you call one of the guys over here to fix this?”

Me: “Sir, I can get this fixed for you.”

Customer: “No, you couldn’t possibly. Send a man over.”

Me: “All right, sir.” *Into my walkie-talkie* “Hey, [Trainee], could I get you to come over to [Game]?”

Trainee: “Sure!”

We wait for my coworker to come over, with the customer getting antsy.

Trainee: “What seems to be the trouble?”

Customer: “[Game] is broken and I need you to fix it.”

Trainee: *Looks over at me* “So, what do I need to do?”

The customer looked crestfallen as I proceeded to walk the trainee through how to identify the error code and fix the issue, which turned out to be one button press. Had he let me fix it, he could have been back to playing five minutes sooner.

Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 18
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 17
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 16
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 15
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 14