Many People Are Blind To What Jerks They Are

, , , , | Friendly | November 16, 2020

I’m on my way to take the subway, and I see a blind young man playing the violin in the station. He’s pretty good, so I stop to listen. Every now and then, he will stop — sometimes even in the middle of a piece — and attempts to speak to his audience.

Me: “That was nice!”

Violinist: *Turning eagerly to me* “Did you like it?”

Me: “Yes, I love Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.”

Violinist: “I learned it all myself! I can’t go for lessons, so I taught myself. Did you like it?”

I realise that he’s eager for someone who will appreciate his playing, as though to reassure himself that he’s good enough despite not having taken formal lessons. I give him a few encouraging words, and he is so excited he starts talking for several minutes about how hard he’s worked and the difficulties of learning the violin when he couldn’t see.

We’re suddenly interrupted by a woman who’s been standing nearby for about half the time.

Woman: “Are you going to talk to him all day? I want to hear him playing.”

I stare at her, speechless. She stares back.

Woman: “Well, are you going to talk to him all day? Let him play. I want to hear something.”

I don’t want to say anything while the violinist can hear, but I am so mad at her attitude. The violinist declares that he will play something else and launches into another piece. The woman stands listening for the next ten minutes. After her personal concert is over, she walks off without a word to the violinist and without even giving him a single cent.

Violinist: “Is she gone?”

Me: “Yes, she is.”

Violinist: “You see? They don’t think of me as a person because I’m blind. They just want me to play music for them.” 

He was so grateful to me for stopping to just talk to him. I gave him a few dollars and stayed to listen until the nearby mall was closing and he couldn’t stay. I helped him to hold his violin and fold up the chair he was sitting on, carried them to the bus terminal, and helped him on board when the bus came. After that, whenever I saw him at the subway station, I would stop to talk to him.


This story is part of our Best Of November 2020 roundup!

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Spiderbat!

, , , , | Friendly | November 1, 2020

It’s the day after Hallowe’en. I’m pushing my baby in her stroller down the wheelchair ramp to the train station’s entrance when the door opens. Out comes a woman with a two- or three-year-old child in a Spiderman costume.

The woman takes a step to the side, enough to clear the route through, and gets out her phone. Mini-Spiderman looks around, spots the stroller coming down, crams himself tight against the wall, and then starts vigorously waving the woman away.

Mini-Spiderman: “MOM, WATCH OUT! WATCH OUT, MOM! MOM, WATCH OUT!”

The woman looks at him, then up the ramp at the baby and me, and then smiles and steps even farther to the side.

Me: “Thank you, Spiderman!”

Mini-Spiderman: *Cheerfully* “No, actually, I’m Batman.”

I guess even Batman gets to dress up for Hallowe’en!

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No Pay, No Way

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: cptdarkseraph | October 26, 2020

I work for a company that is often visited by journalists. As I am the spokesperson for the company it’s my job to show them around, explain things, organize media conferences, etc.

There are sometimes weeks with no visits at all and then days with three journalists wanting to visit, meaning long days for me. I am fine with that but this also means that I use my car quite a lot. No worries, I like driving my car and I get a certain amount of money per driven kilometre that more or less covers the cost of the gas I use.

Since the company desperately needs to save money they decide:

Boss: “No more money for car trips inside the country; use public transport. We’ll pay for the yearly bus ticket.”

Me: “I probably won’t be able to make as many appointments. Also, if you count the cost of the bus ticket plus the additional time for travel it’s bad maths for you.”

Boss: “I don’t care.”

Fine with me. I cancel the contract for my parking spot which I had to pay for myself anyway, so I can save some money.

The new rule comes into effect, I have my bus ticket and start coming to work by bus. On the second day I do this one of the project managers I am organizing a media conference for walks in.

Project Manager: “I changed plans for tomorrow. You need to pick up a few things before the press conference.”

Me: “Sure thing. Since the conference is quite early can you send our intern with me to pick it up?”

Project Manager: “Why? It’s not that much to pick up.”

Me: “I know but it’s too much to carry by myself. Since I’ll have to change buses at least once it’d be a lot more efficient, and the conference is too early to make the trip twice.”

Project Manager: “Just use your car.”

Me: “Since you won’t pay for gas anymore I will not do that. Plus I cancelled my parking spot here already.”

Project Manager: “Do you really have to start your green experiments in a month like this?”

Me: “Go talk to the boss. It’s his decision, not mine, I told him this would happen.”

Two days later we are back to getting money for gas, but the project manager had to use his own car to go get those additional things. Since my parking space was already rented out to another person I still came to work by bus and if there were a lot of appointments I just had them pay for the daily parking as well!

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When Conspiracy Theorists Take Coach

, , , | Right | October 25, 2020

I’m on a coach travelling between cities. There happens to be less traffic than expected so we arrive at a certain stop fifteen minutes early. Five minutes later, two old women sitting next to each other start complaining.

Passenger #1: “Why have we not left yet?”

Passenger #2: “The driver must be slacking on the job! They’re all useless!”

Passenger #1: “And we’re paying them for that! Now we’ll be late!”

An old man sitting behind them decides to explain the situation.

Passenger #3: “Listen, the coach has to leave here at five and arrived fifteen minutes early. If it leaves on time, you won’t be late. Also, people who want to travel from here would miss it if it left before five and would have to wait an hour for the next one.”

Passenger #1: “They’re paying you to say that!”

The old man gave up.

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A Senseless Act, Just The Wrong Sense

, , , | Right | October 17, 2020

I am a bus driver. My ticket machine and card reader are not functional today and everyone is getting a free ride. Even so, due to traffic, I am still running late. I pull up to the bus station and let everyone on. 

Me: *To every passenger* “It’s free; just jump on!”

Everyone thanks me and goes to sit down. I am repeating the phrase the whole time as people are getting on. But then, one kid and his mum get on and the kid just keeps trying to tap his card. 

Me: “It’s free; just jump on.”

Me: “It’s not working.”

Me: “The machine is not on.”

Me: “It’s not on.”

Me: “IT’S NOT ON!”

Mother: “Well, that was rude!”

Me: “What was rude was me saying it four times before having to raise my voice to get through.”

Mother: “I’m vision impaired.”

Me: “That doesn’t affect your hearing.”

Mother: “I’m going to complain.”

Me: “No worries. Enjoy.”

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