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We All Need A Brain Reboot Occasionally

, , , , , , , | Working | June 30, 2022

In Australia, we are required to take our own bags grocery shopping or purchase bags there. Supermarkets are not allowed to provide single-use plastic bags free of charge. Like many others, I use one insulated “fridge” bag as a carrier and put the rest of my bags inside it.

I was shopping recently and put my bags up before my groceries so they could be packed directly instead of piling up on the counter. The young lad serving me couldn’t have been more than fourteen, and upon receiving the bags on the register belt, he proceeded to pull all of them out of the main bag and leave them strewn across the bagging area. He then scanned every item of my shopping and somehow managed to balance it all on the end of his till.

He then seemed to realise they needed to be put in the bags, so he grabbed a handful of items and stared at the mess he’d made of the bags. I’m not sure if his brain stopped working or the choices were just overwhelming because he stood for a good ten seconds while I was paying, just staring at the bags.

I finished paying and reached over, opened a bag, and held it out to him. This seemed to reboot his brain because he then successfully packed all my groceries into the bags, leaving about six bags empty at the end. A truly bizarre encounter.

You Keep Using That Word…

, , , , , , , , | Right | March 23, 2022

My three-year-old car has decided that it needs a new engine block, something not covered by warranty.

Mechanic: “We have found a secondhand engine for $6,328.00. We just need a deposit put down in order for us to order it in.”

Me: “Oh, okay, sure. How much are we talking for a deposit?”

Mechanic: “We need a deposit of $4,500.00.”

Me: “Um, that’s not a deposit; that’s basically paying the whole lot up front. A deposit for something is usually 10% to 20% of the cost of the item. Are you sure you know what ‘deposit’ means?”

Mechanic: “I know what ‘deposit’ means. This is our policy.”

Me: “I really think you need to look at the definition of a deposit.”

You Can Only Push People So Far

, , , , , | Working | February 22, 2022

I worked in an extremely busy restaurant in a very popular tourist town. We were so busy that we would often have people start, not be able to handle the workload, and quit before finishing their first shift.

I was the sous chef and hadn’t had a day off since I started, over eighteen months before this point. My head chef had worked for over three years without a day off. I loved my job and my head chef, and the money was really good, so I stuck it out.

This was the final straw.

My head chef and I would work from 6:00 am until around 2:30 pm and then from 5:00 pm until whenever we closed. The owners — a husband and wife, both qualified chefs — would cover our break but refused to work any more hours.

Three months previous, I had requested (and been approved) to take time off from the break on Friday until Monday morning to attend my best friend’s wedding four hours away. 

Me: “Great, see you Monday.”

Owner #1: “Haha, very funny. See you tonight.”

Me: “I’m off for the weekend. I’ll be back Monday morning.”

Owner #1: “No, we need you here. We don’t have anyone to cover you.”

Me: “That’s your problem, not mine. I asked for this months ago.”

Owner #1: “It’s not like you’re the one getting married. You need to be here, working, not partying and being a slut. Be back here at five or kiss your job goodbye.”

Me: “Are you serious? I’ve worked every single day for over eighteen months, and now you’re telling me I can’t take a weekend off to be the maid of honor at my best friend’s wedding?”

Owner #1: *Smugly* “Yep. See you tonight.”

Without another word, I turned around, went out the back, and got my personal belongings from the back. As I was walking through the kitchen, my head chef was finishing up before his break and could see I was pissed off.

Head Chef: “[My Name], you okay?”

Me: “Sorry, but I quit. I’ve had enough.”

I walked up to [Owner #2].

Me: “I’ve worked my a*** off for you and this restaurant, but I’ve finally had enough. I quit.”

I started walking out and [Owner #2] ran after me.

Owner #2: “What’s wrong? You can’t quit. We need you.”

Me: “I’ve worked every single day since I started, sometimes up to eighteen hours a day, without complaint. I want two and a half days off for my best friend’s wedding, and your wife tells me I have to work and not party and be a slut. So I quit. Good luck finding someone that’s willing to work as hard as I have. Tell your wife she can go f*** herself.”

I walked out, still shaking I was so angry. I had just made it home when my head chef, who’s also my neighbour, came by.

Head Chef: “You’ve got to be kidding me. I knew [Owner #1] was a b****, but f****** h***. After you left, she had the hide to say that you didn’t deserve the time off and she’d make sure you didn’t get another job in town, so I told her to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine and quit, too. I think most of the crew are doing the same thing.”

I went to my friend’s wedding and ended up extending my holiday. When I returned, I found out that my quitting had caused a chain reaction; not only had the head chef quit, but 90% of all the staff quit over the rest of the day. The restaurant had to shut for over a week as there wasn’t enough staff, and it permanently closed within six months.

This story is part of our Halfway-Through-2022 roundup!

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Can You Feel It? (It’s Handcuffs)

, , , , , , | Related | February 10, 2022

My brother managed to pick up work at a racehorse training farm in New Zealand through a mate. This is his first visit back home, so Mum, Dad, and I all jump in Dad’s car and head over to the international airport to pick him up.

Mum and I are waiting inside the terminal while Dad does laps outside since parking fees are absolutely insane here if you’re not booking the car park for multiple days.

This is during the G20 Leaders’ Summit, so international airports are on higher alert than usual across the globe due to increased risk of terrorism threats. Even in Australia, where terrorism threats aren’t exactly the norm, the major airports aren’t messing around with their security protocols. We pass through the security checkpoints and go through the expected rigmarole of tests and questions without issue, find some seats, and settle in to wait for my brother’s flight to land.

Mum has found a new song she is into and starts bopping in her seat and humming the tune quietly, despite the song not actually playing from any of the speakers. I give her a strange side-eye, recognising the song as “Geronimo” by Sheppard. You know the one. “So say geronimo! Say geronimo! Say geronimo!” (You’re welcome.)

Then, she gets to the part where the chorus repeats, “Bombs away,” and she is no longer humming.

I’m now openly ogling her with a “WTF are you doing?!” look plastered across my face just as a security guard approaches doing his rounds. As he comes into hearing range, Mum switches over to, “Say geronimo!” and sings more softly. She watches the security guard as he passes, singing softly all the while, and once he’s past and out of range again, she picks up the volume and switches back to “bomb’s away”.

Me: “Mum! What are you doing?! You’re going to get us arrested!”

Mum: “[My Name], you do realise they probably have microphones all over the place, right? It’s the international airport, and the G20 is on; if it was an issue, we would already be detained.”

I open and close my mouth like a fish out of water for a few moments, trying to grasp the absurdity of this statement.

Me: “You realise that doesn’t make it any better, right?! If anything, it’s even more inappropriate!”

Mum: “Nah, I’m sure they know the difference between a serious discussion about an act of terrorism and a joke. Besides, it’s a good song.”

She then started singing again.

We didn’t get detained, my brother arrived on time, and we were able to leave without even so much as a suspicious glance from security staff. But seriously, time and place, Mum!

The Terrible Tuesdays

, , , , , | Right | January 13, 2022

Our chicken shop runs a sweet half-price deal on Tuesdays every week. Every day of the week, without fail, this happens.

Customer: “Hi, can I get the Tuesday special?”

Me: “Sorry, it’s Wednesday.”

Customer: “Just press the button so I can have it.”

Me: “Sorry, the button is only on the register on Tuesdays.”

Customer: “What’s the difference? It’s just a day!”

Me: “Yeah, sorry, Tuesday’s the day for the special — only Tuesday. Not Wednesday.”

Customer: “Well, I got it last week!”

Me: “On Tuesday?”

Customer: “Yes, so why can’t I have it today?”


Every, single, day!