, , , , , | Romantic | CREDIT: tamiraisredditing | June 24, 2021

I am studying in the park by my house one afternoon when a cute guy around my age, wearing a sweatshirt from my college, sits down directly next to me. I think that’s kind of odd, especially during a global health crisis, so I kind of scooch in the other direction.

Guy: “So… hi, I’m… I’m [Guy].”

He’s all stuttery and not making eye contact. I think it’s so sweet that he is this nervous to talk to me, so I take the bait.

Me: “Oh, well, hi, I’m [My Name].”

Guy: “Oh. That’s a really pretty name. I never would’ve guessed that would be your name.”

There is a long awkward pause as I try to think what I could say in response to that.

Guy: “So, uh, how about a walk? Around the park?”

I think, “That’s really gutsy to ask, but you know what? I kind of like that.” So, I say sure and pack up my books and off we go. I figured it is the middle of the day and we’re surrounded by other people, so, worst-case scenario, I can always ditch him if things feel shady.

As we walk, he makes more nervous small talk. I tell him some stuff about my interests and background, asking him about his.

Guy: “Wow, I didn’t expect you to actually tell me so much about yourself.”

I’m not sure how to feel about that, but all right.

Guy: “Should I just, should I tell you a little more about me, then? Because it is almost 3:00 pm.”

I figure maybe he has to go somewhere by 3:00 and I missed him mentioning it.

Me: “Sure, tell me everything I should know about you.”

I figure the whole experience to this point has been like a fairy book or sitcom so I should just keep rolling with it.

Guy: “Maybe we should have this conversation at your place.”

Uh… I thought asking me, a total stranger, to stop what I was doing and take a walk with him was gutsy. I think what he just said was sleazy. At best.

I kind of nervously chuckle as I look for non-confrontational outs to the situation.

Me: “Ahaha, we’re definitely not going to my place.”

Guy: “Oh. Okay. Sure, fine. I didn’t mean where you live, necessarily; I just meant the place, wherever it is we’re going. I’m sure you’ve got something all worked out. Anyway, I can start telling you… uh… about myself now, sure.”

He kind of looks around to see if other people are listening.

Guy: “See, I’m really more of an a** kind of guy. I have a major spanking fetish. So, if you’ve got any short skirts or—”

Uh… AAAHHHHHHHH! WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAAAAAT?! Forget the non-confrontational exit.

Me: *Instinctively* “Stop. This conversation is over.”

I turn to hightail it into the nearest store. The guy runs after me.

Guy: “Wait, what? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to— I’m sorry! The ad said you were cool with kinks and stuff, so I just thought… Wow, I’m sorry.”

All right, that slows me down. Did he just say, “ad”? He’s stopped near me now, catching his breath.

Guy: “Again, I’m so sorry, and look, this may not be the best time to ask this, but am I still gonna be charged? Like for the full time? Even if you’re leaving?”

It took a second to figure out, but to make a long story short, this poor guy was experiencing a touch of lockdown loneliness, so he went and hired a call girl off of some personals section online.

She’d told him she’d be there in the park wearing an identical graphic tee to mine, and we apparently have very similar features because she’d described a similar height, build, hair, and eye color to mine.

Once we got everything worked out, he was especially apologetic and begged me not to speak of the encounter ever again in case we know anyone in common.

I’m going to do my best to keep that promise; instead, I’m posting about it under the cloak of Internet anonymity because — oh, my God — I just had to tell someone.

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They Read You Like Sheet Music

, , , , , | Friendly | June 2, 2021

Five girls approach me, dressed in punk-style gear and complete with wild spiked or mohawked rainbow dyed hair.

Girl #1: “You like hip hop, right?”

Me: “Yeah!

I’m lying in hopes of scoring a phone number; in truth, I actually hate it. I happen to like hardcore heavy metal music.

Girl #1: “Cool! We’re a local hip hop group; we’re [Group].”

She introduces each girl and they shake my hand.

Girl #1: “We’re really trying to get our name out there because we don’t have an agent or promoter or anything. We have to do the legwork ourselves, knocking on every door we can, hoping someday we can finally get ourselves a record contract.”

Me: “Hey! [Music Artists] started out by selling tapes out of a car trunk, so don’t feel ashamed at all. I respect what you’re doing.”

Girl #1: “Would you be so kind as to buy one of our CDs? We’re happy to take anything you offer.”

Admiring their effort trying to make it to the top by any means possible, I paid them $10 for a CD despite the fact that I knew it was going to end up as a beer coaster next to my computer. They heartily thanked me and we went our separate ways.

About two months later, I randomly came across the CD and decided to pop it in for the h*** of it, seeing that I paid money for it anyway.

IT WAS HARDCORE METAL AND I LOVED IT! Sneaky little b***ards!

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Sometimes It’s Okay To Be A Naysayer

, , , , , | Working | May 31, 2021

Our workplace isn’t open the entire year; from November to March, we’re only open during the holidays and spring break. Obviously, employees with a permanent contract still need to get paid during those months. Since many of them are technical staff, gardeners, or animal caretakers, it makes sense they are needed throughout the entire year.

One year, however, the owner tries to solve the winter expenses by firing all of them, temporarily at least, since he obviously needs them back in spring. Since Dutch law prohibits just firing employees on a whim, he has to negotiate their termination, which takes far longer than his petty mind likes. At some point, when the permanent workers are taking up their remaining vacation days, he even tries to order the planner to suddenly schedule them all in, hoping he can fire them for refusing to come in. Luckily, she ignores him.

In the end, many of them are fired for three months and allowed to return after three months, weeks after the season has started, resulting in lots of overdue maintenance.

Skip to a few years later. I have a different job now, but I coincidentally meet up with a former coworker.

Me: “So, still working at [Company]?”

Coworker: “Yes, I still am. Your job fine?”

Me: “Okay, I guess. Still no permanent contract, but it could be worse.”

Coworker: “Pity. I have permanent and I am still working there, winter or no winter.”

Me: “Even back then?”

Coworker: “Oh, yes, he couldn’t just fire me or force me to quit. I simply said no. You know, he was like, ‘Could you please quit for three months?’ So I said, ‘No.’ And then he said, ‘Please.’ I said, ‘No.’ ‘It would be really nice.’ ‘No.’ ‘Pleeeaase!’ ‘No.’ ‘But it’s necessary!’ ‘No.’ ‘YOU HAVE TO!’” *Long pause* “‘No.’ And since then, I’m out of favour, but I still have my job.”

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The Paths Towards Entitlement

, , | Right | May 28, 2021

My husband is the estate manager for a large private business park. He continually gets the strangest requests.

Request #1: “On leaving the park and driving down the [public highway], I don’t like the way the next junction is laid out. Please change it to give me the right of way.”

Husband: “That is a public highway. I have no authority over public roads outside of [Park]. I am not [Local Authority] borough council.”

Request #2: *Same person* “I live in [Village one mile from the park] and there is no footpath from my house to the park. When will you be building one?”

Husband’s Reply: “I’m still not [Local Authority] borough council and still have no authority over the public roads outside of the park.”

He has had recent issues with cyclists not dismounting to go through the security gates. As the site is secure, they are expected to do so in order for security to check their bicycles. The gates are narrow and my husband had complaints that cyclists had to remove their saddlebags, so he had new security gates installed that were wider. A few days after they are installed and working, he has a new complaint:

Security: “We’ve had a complaint that the new gates aren’t big enough.”

Husband: “We carefully measured them to make sure they were wide enough.”

Security: “No, that’s not the problem. One of the staff says they aren’t tall enough.”

Husband: “They still have to dismount for the check. Tell them to dismount.”

Security: “No, that’s not the problem.”

Husband: “What is?

Security: “Apparently, the new gates aren’t tall enough for him to get his penny-farthing through.

Husband: “For f***’s sake.”

The guy with the penny-farthing had a visit from my husband, who thought the guy was just having a laugh. Nope, he was totally serious. He had decided that he was now going to ride his penny-farthing to work, and Hubby could just replace those terribly expensive and new gates to accommodate him. It was explained that this would NOT be happening. The guy has gone back to his normal bike.

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And Then, After A Pregnant Pause…

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 13, 2021

My toddler and I are at a park with a good friend of mine and her toddler. We’ve been friends for almost twenty years at this point. We both want another child, and a couple of weeks ago we lamented to each other how we hadn’t had any success getting pregnant. Just yesterday, though, I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive. I know my friend will be happy for me but disappointed for herself, so for the hour we’ve been at the park, I’ve been trying to find a good way to tell her.

Then, out of the blue, as we’re pushing our toddlers on the swings, she says:

Friend: “So… I have some news. I’m pregnant.” 

She’d been having the same dilemma I had and was trying to figure out how to be sensitive to me! It turned out we were due two days apart and had both been pregnant but hadn’t known yet when we were talking about wanting second children. Our babies were born within a week of each other, and she’s my second child’s godmother. All our kids get along well, and we take family camping trips with them nearly every summer. I’m very lucky to have such a good friend in my life.

This story is part of our Best Of May 2021 roundup!

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