Flipped That Argument Around

, , | Right | January 22, 2021

I work in a small café. It’s after closing hours and the big flip-sign on the door says, “CLOSED.”

A customer walks in anyway.

Me: “Sorry, we’re closed.”

Customer: “What does it mean?”

Me: “It means we’re not open.”

Customer: “So open? I need a coffee.”

Me: “No I said, ‘not open.’”

The customer turns around and sees the back side of the flip-sign on the door.

Customer: “Why does it say, ‘OPEN,’ then?”

He got me.

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This Is So Tiring

, , , | Working | November 4, 2020

We are a group of English sports skydivers on holiday in Portugal as part of an organised trip. Each night after a day of jumping, we’ve been going to different local restaurants. There are about a hundred of us, so the organisers — a mix of English skydivers and local Portuguese skydivers — have usually been finding multiple restaurants each night and splitting the group up. It’s then common that we’ll have a set menu or we will pre-order food, which we’re fine with as the group sizes are large and it makes everything quicker. It’s worked well all week, until this night.

The organisers announce that we’re all going to a single Italian restaurant who are booking out the entire restaurant for us; they refused to accept a pre-order and are offering the full menu. This is very strange, but the organisers confirm repeatedly, in both English and Portuguese, and they assure them that it’s fine. To be safe, the organisers give out menus beforehand anyway, so we can place orders quickly on arrival.

We arrive ten minutes early for our seven pm reservation and there are still people eating with no group tables set up, so we stand around awkwardly until they leave, ten minutes after our reservation time.

The staff then rearrange the entire restaurant while a hundred people try to stay out of their way. At this point, they realise that they don’t have enough chairs for everyone, so some end up sitting at the bar, boxes are pulled out, and a couple of us smaller women share seats to squeeze in. It’s ridiculous, but it’s clearly a small, family-owned place and we’re a large group, all in good moods after a fun day, so we’re nice about it.

Then, we begin the ordering. It takes forever to place orders, even with most of us having looked at menus earlier, and while we wait, the wait staff don’t seem very organised and there’s lots of reconfirming, indecision about whether we order drinks at the bar or table, etc. Finally, the starters and main ordering is done, and we begin our wait.

Over the next hour and a half, we start off being nice about the wait for something as simple as bruschetta, ordering drinks and chatting. As it gets longer, the manager apologises and gives out some free bottles of wine. Still, the wait gets longer and some people are getting drunk and antsy; we had plans to go to local bars after dinner for karaoke and comedy nights, which are looking less likely. It’s now nine pm and our starters begin to come out. We’re starving, most haven’t eaten since breakfast due to the busy day, and the simple starters get finished quickly. We think the delay must have been getting the mains ready, too, so we anticipate they won’t be much longer, but how wrong we are!

Over the next forty-five minutes, the waiting gets more frustrated and a couple of people even leave to go on for the night, paying at the bar for their starters. We then get our main course. Many are cold and looking congealed but we eat because we’re hungry. At this point, it’s about half past ten and the majority decide to leave, again paying at the bar as they go. The rest of us hang around to get dessert, which we think cannot possibly be too long as it’s mostly chilled tiramisu and cheesecakes. Again, how wrong we are!

It’s half eleven before we actually get desserts, and in that time, all but two of us apologise to the wait staff and leave. A friend and I are committed at this point, so we wait for our desserts. Ours come out along with a third that was a spare

Waitress: “Whose is this one?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe one of the people who left?”

Waitress: “Who left?!”

Me: “Everyone? They all spoke to your coworker before they left to cancel their orders. I mean… it has been four and a half hours”

Waitress: “Good food takes time!”

Me: “I’m sure, but… Okay, shall I just have the spare dessert? We can split it.”

Waitress: “Ugh, fine!”

She puts it down so heavily that it splatters slightly, and she storms off to the back.

The desserts are okay, so we’re reasonably happy, figuring we got a good story out of it, at least. Now we only need to pay… And so we wait, and wait. We call out to the kitchen but get no reply, and it’s another fifteen minutes before anyone emerges. We are so tempted to skip out because no one is coming back, but we can’t bring ourselves to do it.

Finally, someone comes, huffily realises we need a card reader, takes their time to get it, and then comes back.

Waitress: “That’s €760.”

Me: “What?”

Friend: “It’s about €30 each?”

Me: “Maybe €35 with the extra dessert?”

Waitress: *Rolling her eyes* “No, you have your drinks to pay for, too.”

Me: “I don’t drink. I’ve had a soda, which I paid for already.”

Luckily, I have mobile banking and can show the payment.

Friend: “I had a couple of beers, but I paid for them already, too.”

Waitress: “Your friends, then; they all skipped on the bill!”

Me: “They all spoke to you before they left, as far as I saw. Are you sure the bill is right? The drinks were mostly going on the bar, not the group tab.”

Waitress: “Of course, it’s right! You just try to cheat us!”

Me: “Look, I’ll pay for me and she’ll pay for her, and then I’ll go to the bar they went to and speak to them, but I’m not paying hundreds of euros when I haven’t eaten that much or drunk anything, and I’m sure they paid already.”

Waitress: “You can’t do that!”

She marches past us and locks the restaurant door. I’ve had some past trauma and I’m not okay with that in the slightest.

Me: “No. No. No. Open the door. Open the door! Now! I’ll send the organisers back to speak to you but I’m not paying for food and drink I didn’t have, especially when I saw everyone come up and pay already. Open the door!”

Waitress: “Fine, but no one from [Skydiving Centre] is ever allowed back here again, and the owner will call tomorrow and make you pay.”

Me: “Fine. Let us out.”

We paid for the items we’d actually eaten and quickly left. I found the organisers, but by the time they went back, the restaurant was dark and locked up. The next day, the owner did call, but only to apologise for the poor organisation and long waits, though not for locking us in the restaurant. After speaking to the owner, the company we were with made a note to only take very small groups there in future, but personally, after being locked in, I’m never going to go back!

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Does Kevin’s Mom Know Her Son’s A Jerk?

, , , , , | Healthy | September 13, 2020

I work in an assisted living facility. Due to the health crisis, we’ve had to stop visits to the elderly. After some work, we created a space where people could see their families through a glass, similar to those in ticket booths. In order to visit the elderly through there, families need to make an appointment.

Today, I got a call from a man wanting to visit his mum on the weekend. I told him everything was booked. He said, in a very aggravated tone, that he hadn’t seen his mum in two months. I said I understood, and he immediately cut me off, saying I didn’t understand a thing, that it was a simple request, and that I should be able to do something so basic.

After a bit of back and forth, I told him he could either book for the weekend after or see his mum through one of the gates this weekend. He said he was no dog to be left out on the street.

I couldn’t help but think, “If you wanted to see your mum so bad, wouldn’t you take what you could get?”

After being called incompetent for the seventh time, I couldn’t take it anymore and told him, “Well, sir, since you insist on coming this weekend but refuse to see your mother through the gates, unless you drop from a parachute onto the roof in order to see her, I can’t help you.”

He said, in a very high and mighty tone, that he was going to call my boss and tell him my answers. I called my boss to warn him about the headache heading his way and he laughed at the parachute comment.

It turns out that the guy is known for being impossible to talk to.

What do you call a male Karen? A Gareth? A Kevin? Either way, I had one of those. And I’m not looking forward to completing the set.

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He’s A Veteran Complainer

, , , , , | Right | June 11, 2020

A couple of friends and I go to the Oceanarium and we are in line to purchase our tickets. Ahead of us in the queue is an American family with their son. 

Customer: “Three tickets.”

Employee: “All right. Is your son over twelve years old?”

Customer: “No. And I am a veteran.”

Employee: “Okay, so one child and two adult tickets; that will be [price].”

Customer: “That’s too expensive. Did you apply a discount for me being a veteran?”

Employee: “There is no such discount. Children, senior, and family discounts are all we have, and a family discount requires you to have two children under the age of twelve.”

Customer: “That’s completely unacceptable. I have served in the Marines and I deserve a discount.”

Employee: “As I already told you, there is no discount for that. You might have served in the military, but that was not in Portugal, so it makes no sense for you to get a discount here. And even if you had served in Portugal, we have no discounts for people in the military.”

Customer: “I want to speak to your manager.”

The employee calls the manager.

Employee: “He is unavailable at this time; he’ll need at least thirty minutes before he can come here.”

Customer: “Is that the service you give customers in Europe? I demand to speak to a manager immediately.”

Employee: “As I have told you, he’s unavailable for the next thirty minutes. Right now, you have three options: you pay [price]; you step aside and I can give you our complaints book so you can make a written complaint; or you leave the queue.”

Customer: “I think I will just wait here for the manager.”

Employee: “That is not a possibility, I’m afraid. You are holding up other customers, and that is not okay. You’ll have to choose, now, one of the three options I have just presented to you; otherwise, I will call security and they will choose for you.”

Customer: “Fine! Back in the States, we can see better fish, anyway!”

And at that, he and his family turned around and left, but not before throwing all the Oceanarium maps and pamphlets on the ground.

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That Plan Croaked

, , , , , | Legal | October 11, 2019

We live in a somewhat big plot of land inside a village. It’s not big enough to be a farm, but big enough to allow us to have our small vegetable garden and chicken coop, while still being surrounded by neighbours with smaller plots. 

Our back neighbor would only be there for vacations and the occasional weekend, and would blast bad music on his speakers while the sun was up. 

One day, my father decided to make a pond in the back of our plot. Being so close to nature, it almost immediately filled with frogs that would croak almost non stop. 

A week after excavating the pond, my neighbor demanded that my father dredge it, because the frogs were making too much noise and his family could not sleep. My father refused, and the neighbor said he would contact the police. 

A month or so after, we received a visit from an environmental protection agency about “burning used car oils.” After we showed that there was no oil burning in our home, the agents went away. Next month, another agency visited us, this time about “steel scraps lying around,” and again, nothing came out of it. This went on for nearly a year, involving every single environmental protection agency and committee that exists, and a bunch of different reasons, none of which were enough to give a fine. They were, however, annoying, because every agent could find something that needed to be done, or there could have been a fine. 

The final visit was because of a complaint that my father was dumping detergents into the pond. The policeman explained the complaint, and apologized saying, “I am sorry, but we have to follow up on every complaint, even if they are ridiculous.” He went into the back, took a couple of pictures, and came up front beaming, but did not tell my father why. 

The next week, my father heard our neighbour screaming at his lawyer, stating, “I was the one making the complaint; why am I the one getting a fine?”

The lawyer simply said, “Next time you are complaining that someone is dumping detergents into a pond, it’s a good idea not to wash your car right next to it!”

The lawyer then advised my neighbor to stop the complaints, because we had enough false complaints against us that we could sue for libel and harassment and easily win. My father never did sue, but it still warms my heart to know how karma was so promptly served.

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