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Next Time, Take Mom For A Walk, Too

, , , , , , , | Related | January 15, 2023

The year is 2020, and you know what that means: lockdown! I am supposed to be taking the LSAT (test for law school admissions) and, due to the global health crisis, it’s to be taken at home. I instruct my parents to not make a peep as I need to concentrate.

My parents assure me that they will be quiet and are more worried about my dog, who hates being locked out of a room without me. My dad takes her on a walk so I can have some peace and quiet, but little do I know, my dog isn’t the problem.

After I’m all finished, I go confront my mother.

Me: “What the f*** were you thinking?!”

Mom: “What did I do?”

Me: “How many years have we told you to not do the dishes in the morning as it’s loud as h*** and would always wake us up? So, you decide the perfect time is literally during the hardest section! Then, you were running up and down the hallway for some reason!”

Mom: “I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was that loud.”

Dad: “I thought we agreed to stay downstairs until she was done?”

Mom: “I wanted to dye my hair and do some laundry, though!”

Me: “Seriously, though, at one point I asked if it would be okay to yell at you to shut up but was denied.”

He Wants To Use His Hands Because His Mother Doesn’t Use Her Mind

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 14, 2023

I started my career as a manual machinist, and making things has always been my passion. Since then, I’ve done well for myself financially and have built myself an admittedly pretty extensive home workshop. I have a refurbished Bridgeport knee mill, a large metal lathe, surface grinders, and several other tools that would be typical in a well-equipped machine shop.

I have a nine-year-old son who thinks all of Dad’s big fancy tools are fascinating. Obviously, he’s not allowed in the workshop unsupervised and knows not to try to run any of the machines. Everything is kept locked if I am not there, but he knows how all the machines work and is very proud of that.

One night, [Son] has a friend stay over, and he wants to show his friend the tools. Everything is turned off and I am with them, so I let [Son] show [Friend] around. He walks [Friend] through what all the machines do and how you would use them (as well as a nice lecture about shop safety).

Once he’s done, we go have pizza, the boys spend the evening playing video games, and I don’t give it a second thought until the next morning when [Friend]’s mother comes to pick him up.

She storms up to me.

Mother: “What the h*** is wrong with you?! You have no right to endanger my son like that! He had no business around those tools!”

Now, I know that small children are prone to exaggeration, so I figure [Friend] oversold what all was involved.

Me: “All I did was show your son around my shop. None of the machines even had power. He didn’t touch anything; it was just a show and tell.”

Mother: “I don’t care! You put ideas in his head! My little [Friend] risked life and limb, and now he wants to use those blasted things! He is too smart to use his hands!

Me: “Well, I guess we have different levels of respect for people that work with their hands.”

I left it at that as I didn’t think either of us would change the other’s mind.

Her Plans Of Saving Gas Went Up In Smoke

, , , , , | Related | January 12, 2023

Mom is a smoker. I am not. I have recently purchased a nice used vehicle for myself whose previous owner did not smoke in it. I am determined to keep it this way, which is fine with Mom. She doesn’t like that I won’t let her smoke in it, but she respects my decision and honors it.

We need to head to the store for weekly groceries.

Me: “Hey, which vehicle are we taking? Yours or mine?”

Mom: “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me. Whichever you want to take is fine.”

Me: “You aren’t allowed to smoke in mine.”

Mom: “We’re taking mine.”

Aisle Be Right With You

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2023

I work in a tiny store that sells craft supplies, including paints. A woman and her young son come in and are browsing the paint aisle (one of only three aisles in the store, really).

Me: “Hi, let me know if you need help with anything.”

Customer: *Absent-mindedly, looking at the paints.* “Hmmm.”

I leave her to browse while I complete some other duties. I come by a few minutes later, and somehow the aisle is completely trashed! In the space of a few minutes, her young son has pulled as many items as within arm’s reach on to the floor, with the mother totally ignoring him while she decides on paints.

She finally makes her selection, looks at her son, looks at the floor, and then finally looks at me.

Mother: “Come on [Son’s Name], let’s go check out while this nice lady cleans up.”

She drags her kid toward the checkout. I’m the only one working at the moment, so I decide to get even.

I start suuuuuper slooooowly cleaning up the aisle, while the mother is waiting to make her purchase at the register, the register that I would be manning if I wasn’t forced to tidy up after her son.

Mother: Coughs. “Excuse me, I am waiting to be checked out.”

I put on my widest retail smile, and say:

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but health and safety regulations mean I can’t leave any aisle obstructed in case of an emergency evacuation. I need to clean this aisle before I can do anything else.”

She just stares at me as I stare back, throw her another smile, and get back to work. I waited until her super-bored kid was giving her enough grief before I finally happened to finish and check her out, wishing her the most sugary-sweet “have a nice day!” in my retail history.

When The Quit Is Writ

, , , , | Working | January 10, 2023

This happened a long time ago now and I am condensing the situation to just the important events.

I’ve been working in my grocery store for over seven years, and I am tired. My tenure here plus my time working in most departments means I am very knowledgeable about each department and its processes, plus my experience with customers is unmatched in the store.

As a result, I am often called upon to fix more difficult problems, even though I am not a manager and am not paid anything more than the normal associate.

Coworker: “[My Name]! I have a mom with her kid in the condiments aisle. The kid keeps knocking stuff to the ground and I’ve told them to stop but they’re ignoring me.”

Me: “Well, best to call [Manager] then.”

Coworker: “But they always take ages to come out, and they always moan at me for bothering them in the first place. Please?”

I sigh, but I head over. True to my coworker’s word, the mom is totally ignoring her child as he makes a mess of the shelving.

Me: “Ma’am, please stop your son from disturbing the items, or—”

Mom: “Ugh! Another one of you? For f*** sake he’s seven! He’s just playing! He’s not hurting anyone!”

Me: “No, ma’am, but some of these items are made of glass so he could hurt him—”

In perfect timing, the kid knocks over some glass ketchup bottles. The glass shatters and the ketchup flies everywhere.

Me: “—self.”

The kid starts crying as he knows he’s f*ed up.

Mom: “There, there my baby. You didn’t do anything wrong. The workers will clean it up, don’t worry.”

The kid immediately stops crying and points and laughs at me. Before I can even call in for a clean up the kid starts picking up some of the larger pieces of ketchup-covered glass and throws one at me!

Me: “Ma’am! Stop your child at once! He could injure himself or someone else!”

The mom rolls her eyes but realizes that her kid might have gone a bit too far. Suddenly my manager arrives after the commotion. He looks at the customer, the floor, and me covered in a little ketchup. Before I can even speak the customer interrupts.

Customer: “This worker broke the ketchup bottles and blamed my son!”

I am too shocked at the audacity of this woman to immediately refute her lies, giving time for my manager to talk.

Manager: “[My Name], how could you? This is totally unacceptable! Apologize to this customer and then clean this up at once!”

I’ve finally regained my senses, and I am reminded of how long I have worked here, how I’ve been overlooked for promotion many times, and yet how still vital I am to the running of this store. I’ve had enough.

I take a healthy amount of the ketchup that is on me and the floor, and write out five letters clearly for all to see:

Ketchup Message: “I QUIT.”

I stormed to my locker, got my bag, left the ketchup-stained shirt in the trash, and stormed out.

My boss tried calling me at first to punish me for leaving in the middle of a shift, and then to apologize and ask that I come back, to finally begging me to come back.

I only went back a week later to meet with HR, hand over an official resignation, combine my leave notice with my many untaken leave days, and found myself another job as an office manager within a few weeks.

Every time I have ketchup with my fries I smile.