Open Mics, Open Ears, Open Hearts

, , , , , | Working | April 9, 2021

I go to a long-running open mic night where one of the bar staff is intellectually challenged. His job is to collect glasses and keep the place tidy. He’s a lovely bloke, but people ridicule him a bit behind his back, which is a bit unfair, but there you go — that’s what people do.

Every week, he gets up to sing and utterly slaughters one of the standards; he really is not very good, can’t remember the words, and can’t even read them very well off the piece of paper he’s holding up to read them from. But no worries, it’s what he wants to do, and we don’t discriminate against anyone on grounds of talent or lack thereof.

Then, one day, he sits in front of the piano and starts playing random chords, just plonking his hands down wherever he wants to on the keyboard, and — get this — it actually sounds really good. It’s sort of bluesy and wistful and completely consonantally harmonic. He does this for a few minutes while beaming happily.

And he gets up and gets rapturous applause, high-fives, fist-bumps, the lot, as you’d expect.

His mum works with my wife, and I pick her up and take them both in to work in the morning. She’s going on about her useless son this, useless son that.

Me: “Actually, in the circles I move in, he’s highly respected.”

Mum: “How on earth?!”

Me: “Oh, yeah, he’s really good on the piano. Yeah, you know he’s friends with [Respected Rock Star who runs the club]?”

She went all silent, and now she looks upon him in a different light.

He happily admitted to me that he hasn’t a clue what he’s doing on that piano, and he’s just mucking about and having fun. It doesn’t matter to us; it sounds good enough that we have him back to play on it any time.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

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All Together Now, “Nooooooooooo!”

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 17, 2020

One day in the office my two coworkers:

Me: “We’re going to be alone with no managers today. I have an idea for how to celebrate!”

We would put on an eight-hour loop of the cantina music from Star Wars to see how long it will take for one of us to crack. We pause the music only when one of us has to answer a phone call.

At one point, I receive a phone call. After pausing the music and answering, I realise very quickly that this is a scammer. Usually, I just hang up; however, this time I have a devious thought. I put my phone up to the speakers and blast the cantina music at them. They quickly hang up.

Oh, and we lasted five hours before one of my coworkers cracked and begged for the music to be turned off.

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It’s Not Just The French Sticks That Are Sliding

, , , , , , | Working | November 16, 2020

It’s the first time since lockdown started that we’ve been able to get a delivery slot for our groceries. We know when the delivery is going to happen, and from my working-at-home office, I’m able to see and hear the arrival of the delivery van.

I’m waiting near the front door for him to come, and I can see him as he trundles his trolley with the crates on it up the path. As he does so, I see a French stick go sliding out of its wrapper to land on the ground. The delivery person picks it up, stuffs it back into the wrapper, and then turns up at the front door as if nothing happened.

Me: “We won’t be accepting the French stick, thanks. I saw what happened.”

Delivery Person: “Oh, yeah, heh. I suppose not. Fair enough.”

He scans the French stick to remove it from the receipt.

Me: “Mind, it’s good to see that everything’s in bags again.”

For several months before lockdown, due to environmental concerns, the groceries were delivered loose in the crates, not conveniently bagged up into grocery bags, making the task of carting everything from front door to pantry irritating and onerous. And now here they are again, all neatly bagged up for us.

Delivery Person: “Oh, yeah, hadn’t you noticed? We went back to using bags ages ago. Have you not had a delivery from us for that long?”

Me: “Well, no, since lockdown started it’s been impossible to get a slot because everyone’s been booking slots, and we understand that some people have been booking extra slots for some reason, just in case, so we haven’t actually had a home delivery since March. We’ve had to go out and physically do the shopping the old fashioned way.”

It’s now the end of July.

Delivery Person: “But you’re regulars, aren’t you? We’ve been delivering here for years. Why didn’t you just ring us up and ask for your regular Thursday afternoon delivery slot?”

Me: “We weren’t told that was an option. We shop online, and if there are no slots available we can’t place the order.”

Delivery Person: “But you should have rung us, like it said on the email we sent out.”

Me: “We got no email. Never had any such email or text.”

Delivery Person: “Oh, well, you know now. You’ll be able to ring us up next time and book a slot.”

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