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This Is Keeping Us Awake So Now We’re Doing The Same To You

, , , | Right | July 23, 2021

I’m working in the drive-thru in a popular burger restaurant. A lady orders one of our signature burger combos and everything seems fine with paying and her order until I ask:

Me: “Would you like some ketchup?”

Customer: “No, dear, I own a color TV.”

And then she drives away.

That was a couple of years ago. I have spent a few sleepless nights since trying to figure that out!

Her Brain Is Offline

, , , , , | Right | February 11, 2020

(I’ve been selling phones for about four years at this point and have never had an experience like this before. Don’t get me wrong; when you work retail you will eventually have dim customers, but this is a gem to me. This also happens a little before Black Friday so we are starting to get really busy.)

Customer: “Do you guys sell phones outright?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. You’ll have to go to [Electronics Retail] or buy them online.”

Customer: “On what?”

Me: “Online.”

Customer: “On what?”

Me: “Online.”

Customer: “Clothesline?”

(I mentally take five seconds to breathe.)

Me: “On the Internet.”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have that.” *walks off*

(My coworkers and even the customers they are helping start laughing. I then glance at my manager, who’s covering his mouth trying not to laugh.)

Manager: “Yeah, go eat. I got you covered.”

Closed Off From Literally Understanding

, , , , | Right | February 4, 2020

(I clean washroom buildings in a campground. While cleaning the buildings, we put out signs so people don’t come in while we’re cleaning. The signs stand upright on the ground; they’re about half as wide as the doorway and about waist-height. The text of these signs, verbatim, reads, “This bathroom is closed for cleaning. Sorry for the inconvenience,” which then repeats in French. One day, I’m cleaning one such building when a pair of women approaches the door, and I overhear this:)

Woman #1: “See, here’s a washroom.”

Woman #2: “Mom, this one’s closed. Look at the sign.”

Woman #1: “No, that doesn’t literally mean it’s closed.”

([Woman #1] steps around the sign and opens the door. I’m standing right in the middle of the half-soaking-wet floor with a mop and bucket.)

Woman #1: *seeing me* “Oh, is this bathroom closed?”

Me: “Yes, it is. I’m almost done; it should be just a few more minutes.”

Woman #2: *as they both leave* “I told you, Mom!”

Woman #1: “Well, how was I supposed to know?”

(Did she think the sign was a piece of performance art or something?)

Grandma Is Transitioning From Angry To Lonely

, , , , , , | Related | August 19, 2019

(We are visiting my dad’s mother on a vacation. My little sister and I go with my dad. It was only a couple years ago that she came out to us as MTF and started her beautiful transition. Now, mind you, my grandmother used to favor her when we were young when she was a boy. This is because she is quite sexist and believes that a woman’s job is to stay home, cook and clean, and look pretty. But her views have changed for the worse. I am now 22, and she is 19.)

Grandma: *confiding in me* “You know, I don’t know what to get [Sister] anymore for gifts.”

Me: “Well, I dunno. Maybe [Sister] would like gift cards to her stores, or some makeup?”

Grandma: “No! No! He isn’t a [gay slur]! He’s going to be the man of the house and it is going to stay that way!”

Me: “Well, I don’t know. But clearly, she’s been sitting on this part of herself for a while. Just get her some lipstick.” *already getting aggravated*

Grandma: “No! She needs a toolbox! A girlfriend, even! Who is going to take over the family when your father is gone?!”

Me: “Well, there’s me, [Younger Sister], [Older Sister], so it shouldn’t be too hard.”

Grandma: “Are you kidding?! Ladies like you and [Older Sister] are not meant to deal with finances like a house. You’ll be finding husbands soon, anyway; maybe one of them can take over the family.”

Me: “What? Are you f****** kidding me?”

Grandma: “Ah! Don’t use that language with me! None of this would be a problem if [Sister] didn’t decide to be a [trans slur]!”

(As if on cue, my sister and my dad come into the room, hearing the tirade his mother is spewing again. Poor [Sister] looks pale and mortified from the comment.)

Dad: *firmly* “Mom, don’t use that kind of language, please. [Sister] is right here and I don’t like her dealing with that.”

Grandma: “Don’t you butt into our conversation! It’s none of your business!”

Dad: “Well, it is my business if it has anything to do with any of my beautiful daughters. I think you need to go cool off.”

(She’s known for being quite crazy when she gets mad like this, so the next steps are very necessary when she doesn’t comply.)

Dad: “Okay, so, we are going to pack up early and leave.”

Me: “Okay? Did she finally stop running her mouth?”

Dad: “No, and that’s why we’re leaving. I’m not subjecting [Sister] to this for an entire week. We can go hang out with [Other Family we know around here].”

(After that, we left and didn’t have to deal with her again for the rest of the trip!)

A Soft Answer Turneth Away Wrath; So Does Crying

, , , , , | Hopeless | June 26, 2019

I’m from Nova Scotia but moved to Prince Edward Island several years ago. All of my family is still in Nova Scotia. A little over a week before Christmas, my grandmother passes away. My work kindly gives me time off to go home for the funeral in Nova Scotia. Those from the area know that there are two ways off of PEI: a bridge to a neighboring province, or a ferry directly to Nova Scotia. Taking the ferry shortens the trip considerably, but it stops running a few days before Christmas on the 21st. I plan to leave on the 20th so I can get home in time to help my mother with both the funeral preparations and the preparations for a very sad Christmas.

Here, my string of bad luck begins: my departure is delayed by a blizzard, and I have to book my ferry crossing for the 21st, the last day that the ferry runs. I leave early as the roads are still snowy, and I am two-thirds of the way through an hour-long drive and deep in rural PEI when my car starts to swerve even on the clear patches of the road. I pull over and get out to look; I have a flat tire, and although I have the car’s rubber donut spare, I don’t actually know how to put it on.

But I do have roadside assistance. I call them, and then the place that services my car. They have one appointment open for three-thirty in the afternoon. I take it, even though it means that not only will I miss the ferry crossing I booked a spot on, but also the following one, which is the very last one of the season. I’ll have to take the bridge. After a cold wait for assistance, I’m making the trip back to the city where I live, with the suitcases and travel paraphernalia stuffed in the car because the bad tire is now consuming the bulk of my car’s small trunk.

I go to my service center early in hopes that they can squeeze me in early. As I park, I discover that the cooler stuffed in the front passenger seat has slid partially onto its side and leaked. Grabbing some paper towels and water, I scramble to repair damages — my car is new! — and in my hurry, I don’t realize that my door is now lightly touching the car next to mine. I find out almost immediately, though, as the owner runs up to me and starts yelling.

I’m stammering apologies and trying to sop up the last few drops of what I think is egg nog without having the door touch his car again; we’ve both looked and I didn’t even smudge the salt on the side of his car, let alone leave a scratch, but he’s not having any of my apologies and keeps yelling. I close the door and, feeling what little cool I have left evaporating, try to tell him it’s okay and it won’t happen again, and instead, I burst into tears because it’s just too much on top of everything else.

I don’t remember what exactly I said anymore; I remember sobbing that I am trying to go home for my grandmother’s funeral, and I’ve had a flat tire and missed my ferry, and now this. He gets really quiet after that, apologizing and saying he was just scared, because his car is a lease. He asks when the funeral is, and when my appointment time is. We go in together and he asks the lady at the service desk if they can swap our appointments, since he only needs his car by the end of the day and I have to travel as soon as possible. I thank him and sit down to wait.

They hurry, and I have a brand-new tire on my car half an hour later at no charge! And thanks to the appointment switch, I am able to catch the very last ferry crossing of the season, saving me hours of driving.

I never knew the man’s name, but thanks to him, I got home in time, and even early enough to help and support my mom through saying goodbye to hers. So, to the stranger who let go of his anger in favor of kindness, and the people at the service center who helped make things work out: thank you. You made a hard day and a hard Christmas a lot easier, for both me and my family.