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Some People Just Can’t Fathom Being Charitable On Purpose

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: MangoNotBanana | January 15, 2023

I am selling figurines of Bernie Sanders as he looked at the Presidential Inauguration. All the profit is going to [Food Pantry], an organization that has “Asian” in its name and specifically helps Asian seniors with access to food.

I get this message to my online store from a potential customer.

Customer: “Hi. Is your price firm on the Bernie statues?”

Me: “Hi. These figurines are made with the profit going to [Food Pantry], so I can’t go any lower than the advertised price.”

Customer: “Okay… Your ad says that you are keeping five dollars for the material cost, so that’s how much it costs to produce them. So, can you sell them to me for five dollars each without making a donation?”

Me: “No, I cannot do that.”

Customer: “Why can’t you sell them to me for five dollars? You are not losing out on anything!”

Me: “If it helps you out, I can sell you an unpainted figurine for five dollars and you can paint it yourself. It can be a nice fun project. And I will donate the five dollars to [Food Pantry] under your name.”

Customer: “No, I want to buy the painted ones for five dollars each. I will buy six of them, so you will be making thirty dollars. That’s how much you will be making off of them, anyway. I think these will sell great at my shop, and if they do well, I can buy more from you. So you get long-term business from me.”

Me: “Here’s the thing. Five dollars won’t even cover the time it takes for me to paint them. I am donating my time to the charity, which is why I am only taking five dollars for material costs. Also, the point of this is to raise money for [Food Pantry]. The fact that we are even having this conversation is disgusting.”

Customer: “Well, f*** you! F****** [Asian Race] b*****ds! I am going to bomb your page with negative reviews and call you out on social media. I have already doxed you, so you can go f*** yourself!”

To Quote A Certain Animated Lion, “Be Prepared!”

, , , , , , | Learning | January 13, 2023

I completed my student teaching in 2018. I was assigned a ninth-grade geography class at a school in a rough area. The students were not super motivated to do their school work, and many of them were several assignments behind in all of their classes.

They were mostly fourteen and fifteen years old, old enough to be aware of the state of the world and tensions between our country and others. Occasionally, I would ask a student why they had not completed an assignment, and the student would respond with something like, “Nuclear war is inevitable. We’ll all be dead by 2020. There’s no point in doing school work since we won’t live long enough to go to college.”

At the time, I was showing a student news segment each day. Usually, the kids ignored the news, but one day, the host was talking about the President of the United States meeting with the leader of a certain Asian country in person. This was interesting to the kids, and after the news ended, one of them raised their hand.

Student: “Miss, does this mean we won’t be going to war in the immediate future?”

Me: “It doesn’t look like it.”

Student: “Dang it! I guess I should ask my English teacher for an extension on that essay I was supposed to turn in today. If I’m going to be alive for graduation, I should probably make sure I actually graduate.”

I am writing this in 2022, so clearly, we haven’t all perished. I hope he and my other students were able to raise their grades in all their classes. Things may still not be great as far as our relationships with other countries, but refusing to prepare for any sort of future isn’t the way to live. If anyone reading this is still in school, please keep your grades up, just in case.

Drunk Or Sober, A Racist Is Still A Racist

, , , , , | Right | January 9, 2023

Like many a millennial, I work multiple jobs to make rent. I am a cashier and a customer is purchasing some alcohol. Due to some incidents in the past, we have to card everyone, no exceptions, even if they look like they’re a hundred years old.

Me: “Can I see some ID please, sir?”

Customer: “Seriously? I’m old enough to be your daddy!”

Me: “Be that as it may, sir, I need to see ID for all alcoholic purchases. It’s company policy.”

Customer: “What a stupid f****** policy!”

Me: “Can I see your ID, sir?”

Customer: “No you may not! This is a stupid libt*rd policy and it’s people like you making this country all woke and pathetic!”

Me: *Ignoring the rant.* “I’ll just put your whiskey aside then.”

Customer: “You stupid f****** b****! Go back to your commie country you f****** [racial slur]!”

He storms off. I guess he didn’t like me being Asian? Anyhoo, water off my back at this point.

I finish my shift and start my next job, which is an evening shift at a nearby bar. I’m serving drinks and who should turn up and order a round of beers?! Now, our bar isn’t as strict with the ID policy as my grocery store is, but I am feeling petty.

Me: “Can I see your ID, sir?”

Customer: “No, you cannot—”

His eyes widen, as he finally recognizes me.

Me: “I denied you alcohol before because I had to, sir. This time, it’s because I want to.”

Customer: “F*** you! Where is your manager!”

My manager comes over as he has overheard us.

Manager: “Sir, it is our policy to stand behind every refusal of alcohol where our bar staff see fit. You will not be getting a drink tonight.”

Customer: “You f****** woke [racial slur]-loving a**hole!”

Manager: “And now you won’t be getting anything. Leave now or I call the cops.”

He slams the bar out of frustration and storms out.

Manager: “A nicer person might just think he really needed a beer, but nah, he’s just a racist a**hole. Anyway, as you were!”

The rest of the shift went as smooth as the whiskey he didn’t get to drink.

Sadly, No Separation Of Church And Hate

, , , , , , | Right | December 28, 2022

I am working in a campaign office for a politician. We are calling the numbers provided on an online survey taken by local residents who said it was okay to conduct a follow-up survey over the phone. I am talking to an older woman who said she would not be voting for our candidate.

Me: “May I ask why you have chosen not to vote for [Candidate], ma’am?”

Local Resident: “Oh, because they’re evil.”

Me: “Evil? What makes you say that?”

Local Resident: “I spoke to my pastor, and they said that [Candidate] is evil and that only [Rival Candidate] supports Jesus.”

Me: “And may I ask why your pastor thinks that [Candidate] is evil?”

Local Resident: “Because [Candidate] is an atheist and [Rival Candidate] believes in Jesus!”

Me: “That may be true, but [Candidate] supports multiple causes to help poorer people in the district; isn’t that something Jesus would approve of? [Rival Candidate] actually voted to decrease the welfare budget.”

Local Resident: “My pastor told me about those, too! They only help immigrant kids, not American ones!”

Me: “So, that is the reason you’re voting for [Rival Candidate]?”

Local Resident: “Yes! Because this is America, and in America, we vote for Jesus!”

The Politics Suck, But Some People’s Kindness Knows No Borders

, , , , | Legal | December 15, 2022

Back in the days when Germany was still separated firmly into the DDR — Deutsche Demokratische Republik or east Germany — and the BRD — Bundesrepublik Deutschland or west Germany — it was really hard to cross the border into east Germany from any country that wasn’t part of the Soviet Union.

You had to make an official request that had to be granted by the eastern German authorities, which didn’t happen often for western Germans to visit eastern Germany, and rarely ever for eastern Germans for visiting the BRD

At the border, even if you had all the required paperwork, you had to endure tenuous searching and questioning. There were very strict rules on what you could bring with you into the DDR and equally strict rules on what you could export. The border was very wide, with only small control points where you could cross. The land in between was a death zone full of mines, and people who tried to cross the borders without a legal pass and travel permit risked being shot; if you tried to pass through the death zone you also risked being shot or blown up, and if you got caught, definite incarceration.

But the eastern Germans weren’t bad people. They were friendly and generous, and it was well known that the border patrol was usually much more friendly and lenient if you brought your whole family, as long as your papers were on order.

I was still very young when my parents started visiting friends in eastern Germany. They would bring them many goods that were hard to get in eastern Germany and sometimes even smuggled medications. They did this rarely since it was very risky — not lose your life risky but definitely being held for quite a while and never allowed to come back risky. It was also required to exchange a certain amount of western money into eastern currency, but you couldn’t change it the other way round and couldn’t take any money with you out of eastern Germany; it was strictly prohibited and would definitely result in prison time if you got caught.

To make things easier, we would all go together as a family, and since I was so young, I didn’t really understand all the stress and the seriousness of the whole situation. The border guards were indeed always very friendly to me and my mom, and the border checks were intense but short. 

As a German girl, I didn’t really understand weapons or what the guns of the guards meant, so I enjoyed those trips. Our friends’ family had a small farm with chickens and sheep, and I loved it there. I was always sad when we went back home, and the guards always thought that was cute.

One time when we went back home, things were different from the other times. At first, everything was normal. An older border guard, [Border Guard #1], checked our papers and told us to drive on the side for a quick check-up. He saw me sniffing because I had to leave before the birthday of my personal friend, the family’s young daughter, and he bowed down to reassure me before he left.

But then, everything went downhill. 

One of the younger guards decided that my father was behaving suspiciously and ordered a full search of the car. That meant we all had to leave the car, during early spring in No Man’s Land. Everything around us was flat and open; you could only see the street, the border posts, the watchtowers, and the empty death zone between the mesh fences topped with barbed wire. It was extremely cold, and I had to watch as several angry-looking soldiers filched through our car. I was terrified.

Meanwhile, another border guard questioned my father next to me while I clung to my mother.

Border Guard #2: “Why did you come to the DDR?”

Border Guard #2: “What did you take there?”

Border Guard #2: “What did you bring back with you?”

Border Guard #2: “Do you have any money still on hand? You know it is forbidden to bring any money with you…”

That was the moment I truly realized that it was forbidden. I knew before that we shouldn’t have any eastern German money on us but I didn’t really understand that it was so serious. I really was very young. And young and stupid as I was, I indeed had some money — just a few coins my friend had given me, also not knowing how bad that was.

I then started crying earnestly. I was deadly afraid they would arrest my dad. They looked so angry. A female officer took away my mom for searching, and then [Border Guard #1] came back and saw me crying. He picked me up and smiled at me.

Border Guard #1: “Hey, why are you crying, Kirsche? Come on, smile for me!”

“Kirsche” means “cherry”, a common nickname in eastern Germany for small girls.

He turned to the other guard and my dad and told them he’d bring me into the warmer office. They agreed. I don’t think my father had much choice in this and thought it would be better to be quiet.

I liked that guy. He had something nice and grandfatherly about him. I couldn’t stop crying, though. And after a bit of gentle poking, I told him what my friend and I had done. 

He looked at me with worry.

Border Guard #1: “Hoo, Kirsche! That’s bad! You shouldn’t have done that.”

He then hugged me.

Border Guard #1: “Do you promise to never do it again?”

I nodded.

Border Guard #1: *Whispering* “Then give it to me. I won’t tell anybody.”

I gave him the money. It was only two or three small coins — really not much. You couldn’t buy more than a roll for them. He gave me a wink. 

Border Guard #1: “That’ll be our little secret! We will tell no one! You listen? No one can ever know!”

And I promised. And I never told anybody. This is the first time I’ve done so. 

After a little while, my mom was brought in. The whole search lasted almost two hours more, and my father was worried sick, but we didn’t have anything else that wasn’t allowed. The coins were gone, safe in my new friend’s pocket.

I later learned that what that guy did was considered treason and if anyone had found out, he would have gone to prison, even though it was just a few, almost worthless coins.

It was the most frightening situation I ever had in my life, but also one of the best because I learned back then that even in the worst and most unreasonable situations, there are still decent people, and sometimes you find a friend where you expect them the least.

It was the only time we were searched this intensely. It luckily never happened again. But I know for sure that ever after, my parents only brought strictly legal stuff and never risked smuggling again. They suspected that someone had snitched on them bringing medication sometimes. But it could also just have been a random search. I guess we’ll never know.