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There’s Only So Much You Can Do

, , , , , , , | Working | June 14, 2022

When I was fifteen, I got my first part-time summer job as a “server” at a local buffet restaurant. I put “server” in quotes because what I did was refresh the trays of food, bring out new utensils and flatware, and in general look after a section of the buffet. I was not in any way doing table service.

My family had a two-week vacation planned for the beginning of August, and as I was only fifteen, there was no way that I was not going to be going on it. I was upfront about that and the dates in my interview, I gave the manager a letter detailing the dates that I would be out when I started, and I periodically reminded him of the dates throughout May, June, and July. He always acknowledged these with a verbal “okay,” and I never got the impression that those constraints would not be honored.

Fast forward to late July, the week before the vacation started, and lo and behold, I saw my name all over the schedule for those two weeks when I would be out. I went to the manager and remind him that I wouldn’t be there.

Manager: “Time off is never guaranteed. If you want that time off, you need to find other people to cover your shifts. If you don’t show up and there is no one covering for you, you will be fired.”

Me: “Okay…?”

I did not find anyone to cover my shifts. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. I didn’t have contact information for any of my coworkers, and as this was the early 1990s, there was no social media or any of those other fallbacks. Besides, when I got home and consulted with my Dad on that dilemma, he reassured me that I had done everything right and that the whole situation was the manager’s fault and his problem to fix.

So, we went on vacation as planned.

Two weeks later, we came home to a lot of increasingly angry voicemails from the manager, really ranting and threatening, which pissed my parents off quite a bit. 

The next day, my dad took me to drop off my uniform and pick up my last paycheck, since we both assumed that I was fired. Surprisingly, this was not the case.

Manager: “So, you aren’t coming in for your shift tomorrow?!”

Me: “No!”

Dad: “After what you said on our answering machine? You have got to be kidding!”

Honestly, I would have quit after Labor Day, anyway, since my parents were adamant that during the school year my job was to focus on school. I wasn’t unhappy to have those last couple of weeks free, even though I was upset at how my very first job ended.

I’m All Stylist And No Stardust

, , , , | Right | June 7, 2022

I’m a hairstylist, and sometimes my clients are very sweet but also very dumb. I habitually check throughout a haircut to see if they’re happy with the length.

Me: “Okay, how does that look to you?”

Client: “Umm, maybe just a little shorter?”

Me: *Snip, snip, blend.* “Okay, how’s that? Don’t be afraid to tell me, I’d rather keep going until you’re happy with it!”

Client: “Hmm, just a little more, please.”

This continues for a bit, eventually taking off a bit more than I thought she wanted, but it was a dry cut at this point, so it wouldn’t shrink up on her. However, after the last check I did, I got this response:

Client: “Actually… yeah, that’s a bit shorter than I wanted. Could you cut it longer, please?”

Me: *Laughs.*

Client: *Is completely serious and expectant.*

Client’s Mom: *Stares at her daughter in WTF.*

Me: “Umm… I’m sorry, what?”

Client: “Yes, it’s a little shorter than I wanted, I should’ve stopped you after the last one. Will you cut it longer, please?”

Me: *Thinking I’m being trolled.* “I’m sorry, my pair of magic shears are on back order!”

Client: “Oh, shoot! Well, can you ask another stylist to borrow hers?”

Client’s Mom: “[Client’s Name], what are you talking about?!”

Client: “You know, like in that movie we watched the other day!”

Client’s Mom: “…You mean Stardust?!”

Client: “Yes! Where the captain is doing a makeover on the kid and cuts his hair longer! Exactly!”

Me: *Still thinking I’m being trolled.* “I know that movie and that scene. But no, I’m sorry, I can’t use anyone else’s.”

Client’s Mom: *Staring at her daughter in horror.* “You know that’s a movie, right? A complete work of fiction?!”

Client: *Pointing to me.* “Well, yeah, but she’s a stylist. She knows how to do these things.”

Me: *Realizing this adult woman is serious.* “Uh… no… no, I’m sorry, I can’t cut it longer, just… just shorter…”

My client was twenty at the time and was genuinely confused as to why I couldn’t use my shears to add length. Her mom looked like she couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. As I said, sweet girl, but dumb AF.

Minimizing The Screen Leads To Maximum Aggravation

, , , , | Right | June 3, 2022

I work in the children’s department of the local library, specializing in presenting storytimes for our youngest patrons. However, occasionally, tech questions get thrown my way. I am rather tech-savvy and can at least navigate all the digital services the library offers.

One morning, a “gentleman” walks in to print concert tickets from his phone — which is a service we offer. Things go well at first. The tickets are on his phone’s hard drive, and he knows exactly where to pull them up from — so many patrons never know where things are stored.

I then tell him to close or minimize his download folder and open up his Internet browser. He looks at me like I’ve sprouted three heads.

Patron: “I don’t know how to do that.”

Me: “Just minimize your folder by pressing that square. Or close it out by pressing the X.”

Patron: “Ugh! I just want to print my tickets! You do it!”

He tries to shove his phone into my hands. I take two steps backward.

Me: “I’m sorry. We’re not allowed to touch other people’s devices because of the liability and for health reasons.”

Patron: “And that’s more bulls***!”

He tries pushing his phone on me again.

Me: “I can’t touch your device. All you need to do is close the current display.”

Patron: “Like this?”

He swipes, and the My Downloads folder vanishes so I can see his home screen.

Me: “Yes, that’s perfect. Now click on Google Chrome to open it.”

Patron: “I don’t see why you can’t just do this.”

Me: “Tap underneath the word ‘Google’ and type in [URL to the library’s website].”

This will allow us to access our website’s embedded printing app, so that his phone will then communicate with our printers.

Patron: *Scoffs* “And I suppose you’re not going to do this for me, either!”

After he enters the URL, Chrome displays a “Failed to Connect” error message.

Me: “It looks like you’re not connected to the Internet. Minimize Chrome so we can connect to our Wi-Fi.”

Patron: “I don’t know what any of that means! I don’t know how to do any of that s***! I just want to print my tickets!”

He again tries shoving his phone at me.

Me: “You just need to minimize the screen like you did before. Then we’ll connect you to the Wi-Fi.”

Patron: “This is bulls***! You’re bulls***! I’m done with this!”

Me: “It’s not really my fault you don’t know how to use your phone.”

He storms to the front desk and starts complaining loud enough about me that I can hear him clear in the children’s department. He lies, saying I was calling him “an idiot” and treating him like a child.

I walk up to the front desk since clearly, this involves me.

Me: “Sir, would you like to talk to me about this?”

Patron: “Get away from me! Get out of my face! I’m done with you and your bulls***!”

I am still six feet away.

Manager: “I’ll find someone else to help you. There should be someone upstairs. This way.”

Patron: “You’d better find someone! All I want is to print my d*** tickets!”

Me: “If you just minimize your screen, we can have you connected to the Internet and your tickets printed up in thirty seconds.”

Patron: *Does the “talk to the hand” motion* “Get out of my face; I’m done with you!”

Manager: *Trying to get the patron to leave the area* “There might be someone upstairs. Follow me.”

The patron refused to move and started fiddling with his phone. He actually managed to minimize Chrome with no sweat whatsoever! It took the manager urging him three more times before he followed her.

I later learned that the only person on duty upstairs was our eldest reference librarian. She admits herself to not being tech-savvy and doesn’t even own a smartphone.

About ten minutes later, the man charged downstairs, threw the door open wide, and stalked down the street. Considering he never went near the printers, I doubt he ever got his concert tickets printed.

Sorrey, Sareah.

, , , , | Working | June 2, 2022

When my husband and I moved into our new home, I contacted the only Internet provider available in our area to get set up. Everything went smoothly until I received our first bill and saw they misspelled my first name by adding in an E — for example, Sareah instead of Sarah.

I called in to have it corrected.

Me: “Hi, I noticed my name was misspelled on my statement and would like to have it corrected.”

Internet Company: “Unfortunately, we cannot correct it over the phone. You will need to drive to one of our store locations and show your ID to prove it is spelled wrong.”

Me: “But you guys just put in an extra E. It should be Sarah, not Sareah.”

Internet Company: “Sorry, there is nothing I can do. Would you like me to look up a location closest to you?”

Me: *Still confused* “Ugh, sure.”

They told me the closest store was one hour away in the opposite direction I usually travelled in.

Me: “Okay, so just let me get this all straight. When I set up my account, your company misspelled my name, and now, due to your company’s mistake, I need to take time out of my day and drive an hour out of my way to correct it?”

Internet Company: “Yes.”

Me: “Thank you. Have a nice day.”

I will be Sareah now until the day I die.

Sounds Like This Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others

, , , , | Friendly | May 30, 2022

When I was in middle school, I remember my friend and I were at the park after a fun day at the pool. There was another family there, and their two kids were playing on the playground. These kids were much younger than us — maybe four years old?

In our town, we have a restriction on the age older kids can play on the playsets when other kids are around. This age happened to be fourteen. My friend and I were both thirteen, but we were super considerate of this other family’s kids. We steered clear of bumping into them and other things of the sort.

We were on the swings when their mother came up to us.

Mother: “Are you kidding me? Why are you on the playset when my babies are on there? You could get them hurt!”

Friend: “We were avoiding your kids for the same reason, ma’am, and could you please get out of our personal space?”

By this time, she was in our faces while complaining. Her husband was just watching and kind of looks ashamed.

Mother: “Yeah, well, you guys shouldn’t be here! The limit is fourteen, and I know you guys are older than that!”

Friend: “Actually, [My Name] and I are both thirteen. I have my ID on me if you want to see it.”

My friend started pulling out her ID from her wallet. The lady huffed and left before she could even see it. The family left five minutes later, and we had the ground to ourselves.