A Towering Problem

, , , , , | Right | July 2, 2019

(I work for a television station. On rare occasions, we have to go off the air to repair our tower. It happens less than once per year. We’ve been off the air for an hour when the phone rings.)

Me: “[Channel Station], how may I direct your call?”

Viewer: “Did you know that you’re off the air right now?”

Me: “Yes, we have a crew on our tower right now to make repairs. The power is cut while they’re on the tower. We should be back on the air in an hour or two.”

Viewer: “But I’m missing my show.”

Me: “We’re working to get back on the air. Shouldn’t be much longer.”

Viewer: “Why can’t they work at night?”

Me: “They need to see what they’re working on.”

Viewer: “Why can’t they use flashlights?”

Me: “It’s not safe to have anyone climb the tower at night.”

Viewer: “Why do you have to turn the power off to make repairs?”

Me: “It’s to prevent our crew from being electrocuted.”


Me: “Thank you for watching. Do you have any more questions?”

(They hung up.)

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The Mother Of All Bad Cashiers

, , , , , , , | Working | June 21, 2019

(I’m shopping after work at an electronics store. They have convenience items, like cookies, sodas, and various treats along a small aisle by the cash registers. A man and his kid are checking out in front of me.)

Kid: “Daddy! Daddy-daddy-daddy-daaaaddyyyyy! Can I have this? Please?” *puts a bag of cookies on the counter by the register, and addresses the cashier* “I wanna get these cookies, too!”

Dad: “Son, no. Reme—“

Cashier: “OH! I don’t know; you’d better ask your mommy! She mi—“

Kid: “I DON’T HAAAAAAAVE A MOMMY!” *starts wailing*

Dad: “Who? What?” *trying to talk and comfort his son through the crying* “Son, I already told you, we have those cookies at home!” *glares at the cashier and says quietly* “You have some d*** nerve.”

(They rush out of the store, the man consoling his very agitated son, as I bring a cart, a soda, and the same brand of cookies to the register, along with a ticket for a TV in the back.)

Cashier: “Oh, you just like contradicting your husband, don’t you? And what is this?” *holds up my ticket for the TV*

Me: “What? I’m extremely single. I don’t have any husband. And that’s for a TV.”

Cashier: “Oh, so, he won’t be helping out with this today? How can a little girl like you lift such a thing?” *holds up the ticket for the TV*

(Instead of scanning the ticket for the TV, the cashier talks in the most condescending, smarmy manner she can muster about how small and weak I must be, and how a real man would help me lift a TV like that. I’m pretty vexed at this point, and while I may be super skinny, I’m also rather tall so, instead of slouching over the cart I have for the TV, I push the cart aside and stand up to my full height. The cashier stops talking mid-sentence.)

Cashier: *finally scans ticket* “Um… so, how will you be paying for this today?”

Me: “Oh, me? Pay? This?” *going from serious to sarcasm in the next couple sentences* “Oh, I am no longer interested in purchasing those items. They are oh sooooo very hard to lift because I’ve never, ever, ever lifted a single thing ever in my entire life before this! Oh, dear me. Whatever shall I doooo?” *wipes my hand across my forehead, fake coughs, and becomes serious again* “I’d like to speak to your manager now!”

(The manager seemed rather apologetic about her behaviour, saying that they’d gotten several complaints, and even had one customer who was refused service after the cashier had scanned her item with a guy’s items, and told both of them to suck it up, when he realized that he was paying for the random person behind him. I said that while I appreciated his apology and the offer for free delivery and installation of my TV, the fact that the company seemed willing to tolerate this cashier and her antics – particularly the story he mentioned – made my decision for me. I accepted only corporate’s phone number, opting to never shop there again. On my way out, I saw the man come back with his son, who was sleeping in a cart. I gave him the number to corporate and introduced him to the manager I had spoken with. The manager was short-tempered and grumpy towards the man, who returned his entire order and got a refund for that and the cookies he was charged for but never took out of the store.)

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Unfiltered Story #154739

, , , | Unfiltered | June 13, 2019

[I have a German Shepherd who comes to work with me, who is great with people and always receives lots of compliments. Sometimes the conversations get weird…]

Patient: German Shepherds are my mom’s favorite dog! That’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen!

Me: Actually, she’s –

Patient: She’s enormous!

Me: Well, as it happens –

Patient: I didn’t even know they came that big!

Me: Actually, she’s the smaller end of average for her breed.

Patient: …..so they’re normally bigger?

Me: Yes.

Patient’s father: You’ve never even seen a German Shepherd. Just stop talking.

The Lack Of Signing Is A Bad Sign

, , , , | Right | May 31, 2019

(I work in a kitchen and bath showroom. Our computer systems are a bit old school but work fine. Because they are old, I have to manually enter cards. Most people aren’t phased by this at all. Some people… don’t get it.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, that will be $160.45. You are putting half down for the deposit, so let’s do an even $80. Will that be check or card?”

Customer: “Card. But where do I swipe? All you have is the signature pad!”

Me: “I have to manually enter the card. Just hand it over.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. Do I swipe on the signature pad? I don’t see a spot…”

Me: “Hand the card to me. I have to type it into the system.” *gesturing towards the screen that is set up for entering cards*

Customer: “Is it a tap machine? My card doesn’t do the tap. I have to swipe it or use the chip.”

Me: “I enter it myself. I put the number in. I put all the information in. If you would hand me your card, I will type in the number, security code, zip, and your name. Once I enter it, I will charge your card.”

Customer: “Your coworker doesn’t have a machine, either. How do I pay?”

Me: “Hand me the card.”

(The customer finally hands me her card, and she seems baffled when I enter it and complete the payment.)

Customer: *trying to sign on the signature pad* “This isn’t working, either!”

Me: “Oh, the system doesn’t allow for signatures until the product arrives and the rest of the payment is received. Since we have to order and this was just a deposit, you don’t sign.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why it isn’t lighting up. Is it broken?”

Me: “You don’t have to sign. Not until your order gets here.”

Customer: “Where am I supposed to sign if your pad is broken?”

Me: “You don’t have to sign.”

Customer: “Oh. See you when my order gets here!”

(Yeah. Can’t wait.)

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Someone Made Your Dream(boat) Come True

, , , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 25, 2019

In 1973 or ‘74, when I was five or six years old, my family and I lived in Phoenix. We had very little in the way of money or material things, but we were a happy little family for the most part. My brother was just a baby, and my sister and I spent our days playing outside in the Arizona sunshine. That year was a particularly lean one for us. We drove up to Flagstaff to cut our own Christmas tree, free of charge back then, I think, and made our decorations from egg cartons and glitter. It must have been a hard time for my mother and stepfather, but I can’t remember really wanting for much; we were always fed and clothed.

I can still remember sitting down at the kitchen table to write my annual letter to Santa. I told him that we didn’t have much, and that I knew he was very busy, but that I had a few small requests for him. My sister loved to read, and I asked him if he could bring her some books and something for my baby brother. We pretty much lived on tuna and macaroni those days and I asked Santa for a ham or turkey as a special treat for our family’s Christmas dinner. I closed my letter with a special request, stating, “If you have room in your sleigh, I would love a Barbie Dream Boat.” I was obsessed with Barbies, and the Dream Boat was all the Barbie rage that Christmas. I sealed the letter in an envelope, gave it to my mother, and really didn’t think much more about it since Mom had told me that kids didn’t always get what they wanted from Santa, seeing as how he was a very busy man with lots of children on his list.

A few days before the “big day,” we went out shopping with the little money we had. We bought gifts for our family and I remember how sad my mom looked while we shopped that day. Looking back, I know that her melancholy was due to not being able to give her children the fantastic holiday that all children desire. I was sad for her.

We returned home from our excursion and piled into the house, removing our coats and falling back into whatever activities were abandoned earlier in the day. Minutes later, I remember hearing bells and a hearty, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” from the front yard of our run-down little house. My sister and I ran out onto the front porch to see our stepfather walking toward the house, arms full of brightly-wrapped presents. Much to our delight, there were more on the tailgate of our old Willys Jeep, including a big ham. He told us that Santa had just been there, saying that he had made a special early trip to our humble home. He explained that the bells we had heard were from Santa’s sleigh and that we had just missed seeing him fly away with his reindeer. We were all very excited, me especially, happy in the knowledge that Mr. Claus had read my letter.

Christmas morning was delightful! Santa had filled my entire list, complete with a set of Winnie-the-Pooh books for my sister and a Mickey Mouse blanket for my baby brother. There were gloves for all of us, and big marker sets for my sister and me. The biggest present of all was for me, and you never saw such a happy little girl when I finally took off the wrapping. It was the Barbie Dream Boat I had asked for! It was a happy Christmas, indeed!

I got many hours of fun playtime out of that cardboard and plastic boat, and we all enjoyed the presents that “Santa” had brought us. We filled our tummies with ham and had a wonderful day. For many years to come, I was a firm believer in Santa Claus, even though he never again gave me exactly the items on my wish list. After all, he was a very busy man with lots of children’s dreams to fulfill.

Many years later, my mother and stepfather sat my sister and me down on the couch and said that they had something to tell us. They reminded us of that Christmas, which we still remembered well. We were 12 and 14 by that time, and our belief in Santa was fading fast, if not completely gone. They told us of a postal worker in Phoenix who picked one child’s letter each year, and that the letter he picked that year was mine. He had told my parents that my letter touched his heart because I had put myself last on the list, thinking of my family before asking for myself. They had prearranged a time for him to drop off the goodies, and staged it so that it would seem as if Santa had really been there. I have to admit I was just a little crushed to find out that it wasn’t really St. Nick who had paid us a visit that year, but I knew in my adolescent mind that it just couldn’t have been.

It warms my heart to this day to share that story, and to think about the way that postal worker made our holiday a happy one. I often wish that I knew his name so that I could thank him personally, but I’m sure he knows how much it meant to all of us.

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