“Changing” Their Tone Pretty Quickly

, , , , , | Working | April 10, 2018

(When I am in the fifth grade, we take a class trip to an alligator park. I find a few little knick-knacks that I like at the gift shop and take them to the register.)

Cashier: “Your total is $5.35, please.”

(I pull a ten-dollar bill and 35 cents out of my pocket and try to give them to her.)

Cashier: *smiling* “I just need the $10, honey.”

(She tries to take just the $10, but I don’t let go.)

Me: “But I want $5 back, so you need to take the change, too, please.”

Cashier: *condescendingly* “Sweetie, I only need the $10.”

Me: *sighs* “Ma’am, I’m trying to get back $5, because I’ve already got a bunch of change in my pocket and don’t want more.”

Cashier: *loudly* “And I said I only need the $10, you stupid brat! $5.35 is less than $10!”

(My teacher, who has been looking at a nearby display, rushes over at the cashier’s sudden hostility.)

Teacher: “[My Name], what’s going on here?”

Cashier: *glaring at me* “This stupid kid can’t do math, that’s what!”

(My teacher ignores her and asks me again.)

Me: “I have a bunch of change and didn’t want more, so I tried to give her $10.35 to pay for my stuff, and she keeps saying she only needs the $10. I just want a $5 back.”

Teacher: *sighs* “Is that all?” *to the cashier*You are the one who can’t do math. She’s trying to give you $10.35 so that she can get back a five-dollar bill. What part of that don’t you understand?”

Cashier: *scoffs* “Whatever.”

(She finally cashed out my transaction, and I got my $5 bill and went back out into the park area. My teacher spoke to the cashier’s manager. I never went back, but apparently the manager later called my teacher to say the girl had been fired.)

They Usually Go For Black Cats

, , , , | Friendly | April 9, 2018

(I own a very fluffy, friendly, and adorable puppy. It has gotten to the point where hearing somebody say, “Oh, my God!” while we are walking will make me stop so my pup can meet his new adoring fan. Most people will ask what breed he is or make generic comments about the amount of fluff and how sweet he is, but this one stands apart.)

Random Lady: “Oh, my God! That is not a dog; that is a stuffed animal you brought to life with black magic, you evil witch! Ooh, who’s a good doggie?! Oh, I just love how soft he is!” *continues with the usual praise I’ve heard a million times before*

Cycling Straight Into Child Abuse

, , , , , , | Related | March 30, 2018

(This is before cell phones are commonplace. I’m a volunteer for a bike race that a cycling club puts on every year. The ride is a one- or two-day race that covers 202 miles and has 10,000 riders. I’m the lead coordinator for the chase cars, and usually the highest level person for whatever zone I’m in. Each zone has a stop, usually at a park, where people can rest, get food and drinks, and use restroom facilities. It’s getting late on the first day, about nine pm, right around sunset. I’m radioed asking if I am near one of the stops that is about 50 miles from the starting line. I let them know I am and they tell me there is a situation, so I head over.)

Me: *to the head stop volunteer* “Hey, what’s up?”

Volunteer: “We were starting to shut down the stop for the night, when we noticed her.”

(I look over to where there are a few volunteers with a child that looks to be no more than seven. They have a blanket wrapped around her and have given her some hot chocolate to drink.)

Me: “Hi, hun. How are you? Where are your parents?”

Child: “My mommy is at home, but this was my weekend to see my daddy. He said we were going to have a fun bike ride. Then, he got mad because everyone was passing us and he said that I was slowing him down. Then, I started to cry, because he was yelling and this wasn’t a fun bike ride, so he said he knew somewhere that I could play and have all the donuts I wanted. It was really fun here, but now it’s dark and I want to go home.”

(She looks like she’s about to start crying.)

Me: “Well, we want to get you home. Do you know your mom’s phone number so we can have her pick you up?”

(She shakes her head no.)

Me: “No worries. How about this: was your daddy wearing a big piece of paper with a number on it?”

(She nods.)

Me: “Now think really hard. Do you remember the number?”

Child: *smiling* “Yes! He was really proud of it because of how low it was. It was 465!”

Me: “Great! Do you want to listen to music in my car while I call your mom to have her pick you up?”

(She went and sat in the car and quickly fell asleep. Meanwhile, I coordinated with different people to get the police there, along with pulling the guy’s registration sheet. One of the things listed was who to contact in an emergency. It took about two hours, but we were finally able to contact the girl’s mother and get her home safely. The father had a bunch of people eager to talk to him after he crossed the finish line. He was arrested for child endangerment. I hope he enjoyed his bike ride, since it was the last one he ever did with our organization.)

Sees Every Color Except The Paint Color

, , , , | Friendly | March 28, 2018

(It’s a sunny day, so I decide to take a walk in the park. I kneel down to tie my shoelace just as a middle-aged African-American woman sits down on a bench. After I finish, I notice a sign that must’ve fallen from the bench.)

Me: *after reading the sign* “Excuse me, ma’am.”

Woman: *cheerful* “What is it, dear?”

Me: “You can’t sit there. It’s—”

Woman: *full-on moodswing to anger* “Why? Because of my skin color? I have every right to sit on this bench, you ungrateful little hussy!”

(I notice as she is shouting that a few heads have turned.)

Me: “Ma’am!”

Woman: “What?!”

Me: “I was trying to tell you that the bench is freshly painted. See? The sign fell.”

Woman: *red and embarrassed* “Well, I… Um…”

(She stuttered a bit more and then grabbed her bags. As she ran away, I noticed her nice green dress had red paint stripes. I just sighed and went on with my day. A bit quick to accuse someone of being racist, if you ask me.)

When You Were Younger, You Gave Away The Moon

, , , | Related | March 15, 2018

(I am 13 at the time, and I’m using the swing set with my 16-year-old sister at the park. For some horrible reason I have neglected to put on underwear today.)

Me: “I’m going to swing higher than you!”

Sister: “Oh, yeah? I’d like to see you try!”

(I swing so high I start to fall backwards, until my belt loops snag onto the chains. My sister gasps. I swing upside-down by my belt loops, so that my pants have slid down to my ankles.)

30-Year-Old Man: *with small daughter* “Um… Do you need help, miss?”

Me: *moons growing audience of parents and small children*

Four-Year-Old Boy: “It’s a BUTT!”

(My shirt has fallen over my face by this point, and I have to do a nude sit-up to grab the chains.)

Four-Year-Old Boy: “Are you okay?”

Sister: *dies laughing*

Me: *falls off swing and kicks [Sister] before sprinting away*

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