The Number Of The Mistress

, , , , , | Romantic | April 7, 2018

(My store has a loyalty program with no card or keyring tag; we look customers up by their phone number. In cases where people are shopping for gifts and are not in the system or not interested in being in the system, we encourage people to give us the phone number of the parent of the child they’re shopping for, so they get the points for the purchase. For the sake of this story, we will say my husband’s phone number is (123) 456-7890.)

Me: “And your phone number for your rewards?”

Customer: “(123) 987-6543.”

Me: “Hmm, nothing under that number. Could it be under your home number?”

Customer: “Oh! It’s probably under my boyfriend’s number. He has kids! (123) 456-78—”

(At this point, my brain stops. I’m thinking, “This can’t be happening. She’s giving me MY HUSBAND’s phone number as her boyfriend’s. What are the odds of this happening?!”)

Customer: “—09.”

Me: *bursts out laughing in nervous relief* “Oh, you have no idea how relieved I am! I thought you were giving me my husband’s phone number! His is (123) 456-7890!”

Customer: *laughs hysterically* “That is great! I’m glad I’m not your husband’s mistress!”

A Monstrous Tale

, , , , , | Related | April 6, 2018

(My parents have taken me on my very first camping trip.)

Me: “Mommy, I have to pee! Can I go in the woods like Daddy?”

Mom: “No, you can’t go in the woods! You’re not a boy! There’s an outhouse right here you can use.”

Me: “No! It’s yucky in there and there’s monsters!”

Mom: “I know it smells bad in there, so you’ll just have to go as fast as you can. And there aren’t any monsters in the outhouse, I promise.”

Me: “Yes, there are, and they’ll pull me in and eat me, and you’ll be sad because you won’t have a [My Name] anymore!”

Mom: “Look: there’s no monsters in the outhouse. I’ll go first and show you.”

(My mom opens the door and discovers that there’s not one, but two timber rattlesnakes curled up together on the floor. They must be asleep, because neither of them start rattling until after my mom slams the door shut again.)

Dad: *later* “Why did you decide to let her pee in the woods? I thought you were taking her to the outhouse.”

Mom: “No way! There are monsters in there!”

Hopes Of A Normal Transaction Melting Away

, , , , | Right | April 4, 2018

(I work at the customer service desk for a very large grocery and retail store. It has been a busy day full of customers, and it has finally slowed down. Then, I have a woman approach the customer service desk wanting to make a return.)

Customer: “I need to return this; it’s no good.”

Me: “Okay, may I see your receipt? Let’s have a look at the return.”

(I open up the bag with the return. It’s the remnants of a pound of individually-packaged cheese slices.)

Me: “All right… What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “I can’t get any of it to melt; this cheese is non-meltable!”

Every Bulb Goes Out Eventually

, , , , | Right | April 4, 2018

(An elderly customer comes up to the service desk with a light bulb in his hand. It’s one of those new, long-lasting, compact fluorescent bulbs.)

Customer: “I need to return this.”

Me: “Okay. Was there something wrong with it?”

Customer: “No, but it says that it lasts for 14 years. I’m not going to live that long!”

Reenact: Take Two

, , , , | Hopeless | April 3, 2018

When I was in high school, I was a serious history geek. My Civil Air Patrol unit volunteered to help out at an airshow every year, and when we weren’t doing volunteer shifts, our time was our own. The first year I went, I was struck by how cool the reenactors were, and I decided that I wanted to do some reenacting, too. I did my research, and decided on a persona that I thought I could accurately portray. I tried to find a unit local to me but had no luck. I saved my money to rent a uniform and equipment, and I had to talk my parents into letting me do all of this.

The second year at the air show, after my volunteer shift, I changed into my persona’s clothes and went out to wander around the reenacting units, hoping to meet up in person with some groups I’d read about online. I was (and am) a bit socially awkward and shy, so it took a serious amount of investment to make myself get out there and try to talk to people.

To my dismay, one of the units I’d read about on the Internet was a lot more standoffish than I’d hoped, and one member even pointed out some discrepancies with my uniform. I was able to explain that I knew that what I was wearing was different from what most of the unit was wearing, and what that signified (artillery vs infantry, if anyone cares!), but it really didn’t seem to help, and I left the encampment feeling like a total failure at both reenacting and talking to people.

Still in uniform, thinking about how I’d never reenact again, I went to get food and sat down at a long table by myself. A total stranger took a seat across from me, correctly identified that I was supposed to be in the artillery, and complimented me on my unusual but totally valid choice of persona. We started talking, and he said it was so nice to see a younger person take an interest in history like this. We talked for a good twenty minutes, and I’ll never forget how he totally changed my mind on reenacting. He re-convinced me! While I didn’t go back to that event (or that time period), I still do reenacting, and I’ve come to realize that if you do your research, people will appreciate it.

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