A Gift Card For Life!

, , , , | Right | April 20, 2020

I am helping a customer who is talking to me about how he just got back from a funeral for his grandmother and how he is glad to be back. I finish ringing him up and he uses a gift card worth $100.

Me: “All right! That’s a pretty nice gift card!” 

Guy: “Yeah, it’s my dead father’s.”

Me: *Pause* “I hope that wasn’t your inheritance.”

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Keeping Dad Close To Your Heart

, , , , , , | Working | April 10, 2020

(My father is cremated following his death. A few days later, I decide to purchase a piece of “cremation jewelry,” which is a small urn that can hold a bit of cremation ashes. It is worn as a necklace on a chain. I order it to be engraved with my father’s name and the date of his death. Unfortunately, within a week of placing the order, I start to notice that I don’t have any mail in my mailbox for several days in a row. I go to the post office and it is discovered that there has been a mistake made by a postal worker. All my mail is either being held indefinitely at a main facility hours away or being returned to the sender as undeliverable. I am beside myself with grief at the time and I’m very angry with the post office. I am missing out on sympathy cards and the cremation jewelry, not to mention all my other mail. The post office reverses the error within a few days. I wait another week or so for the cremation jewelry before I call the company and explain what happened with the post office. I ask if they have received my package back.)

Worker: “I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you. No, we haven’t received your order back.”

Me: “Okay, thanks for checking. I guess I’ll just continue to wait.”

Worker: “Well, let’s do this. We will send you out another jewelry piece at no charge.”

Me: “But it’s engraved. Even if the original mailing gets back to you, there is nothing you can do with it.”

Worker: “That’s okay. You shouldn’t have to have this on your mind at a time like this.”

Me: *crying* “Thank you so much!”

(Five years later, following my mother’s death, I wanted to include her ashes in the same piece of jewelry. I had misplaced the teeny screwdriver they’d sent with the piece that opens it to put the ashes in. I called to ask if I could purchase one from them. They sent it to me… free of charge! Thank you, awesome company and awesome workers!)

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Seriously Stupid Administration

, , , , , , | Working | March 30, 2020

I was 21 when my Grandma died. I’d watched her slowly decline over the preceding two years, so I was not “grieving” publicly, which allowed me to keep my head.

My grandma, being the stubborn woman she was, had to die at 11:00 pm on a Friday. She wanted to be cremated, and this was about four or five days from the end of the month. By the time the cremation was done and we finally had the death certificate, her last Social Security payment had gone through.

Before her mind had gone too much, I’d had her put me on her bank account, as she lived with me and my dad and uncle, her two oldest sons. This made it easier if we needed something from the store with her card. On the first available day after we got the death certificate, I went to close out her account.

I was told that they were waiting for the SSA to pull the money, and I had to take them the death certificate, as it wasn’t our money.

I spent three months driving between my house, her bank, and the SSA across town before they pulled the money and I could get the last five dollars out of her account to close it.

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Could Be Worse; You Could Be Bronze

, , , , , | Related | March 22, 2020

(I’m on the phone with my nana, and we are discussing a cat that I recently lost to renal failure.)

Me: “She was my soulmate, my gold star.”

Nana: “Huh.” 

Me: “Don’t worry; you’re my silver star.”

Nana: “Oh, thanks. I fall behind a cat.” 

Me: *laughs*

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I Yam Dead

, , , , , , , | Related | March 2, 2020

(My dear grandfather has died quietly in his sleep of old age. We are hosting a wake for a whole week in my grandparents’ home, hosted by my grandmother. Local custom states that we have an open casket in the living room, which was a bit unnerving at first, but we get used to it. Despite protests from family members, my grandmother insists on being an impeccable host, cooking and serving drinks and snacks to my many, MANY aunts, uncles, cousins, and over a dozen great-grandchildren. I have just been served a homemade local dessert — Ube Roll — as I am chatting with my cousins.)

Me: *takes a bite* “Hmm. I think something is off with this roll.”

Cousin #1: “Yeah, it’s hard as a rock!”

Cousin #2: “I think she might have left it out too long and it’s gone stale.”

Cousin #3: “And it’s really heavy! Did she actually make it with rocks?”

Me: “I can’t eat this.”

(The dessert really is bad; it is basically a paperweight.)

Cousin #1: “Me, neither.”

(We all look around at the many relatives struggling with their “rock cakes.” A few have discretely tried to leave the room with their dessert to “eat it outside,” but Grandmother is keeping a vigil on everyone. Disposal is going to be tricky.)

Cousin #1: “Poor [Grandmother]. She’s been through enough without spending the next few weeks finding half-eaten stale ube roll wedged behind cupboards and hidden in drawers all around the house.”

Cousin #2: “Wait a minute. [Grandmother] served all the great-grandkids first, and they all had empty plates when they ran outside to play. They couldn’t have eaten them, could they? They must have stashed them.”

Me: “But where? I can’t see where.”

(We look around for a while to see if we can find any cleverly-hidden half-eaten cakes but to no avail.)

Cousin #1: “Where could the little idiots have put them? There’s no way they ate them!”

Cousin #3: “Unless…”

(All of us look over towards the open coffin.)

Me: “Oh, no…”

(We slowly approach Grandfather with trepidation. Being the closest, I am silently volunteered to “pay my respects” one more time. I bend down and check the lower half of the coffin, which is closed. I turn back towards my cousins.)

Me: “Well, let’s just say that if Grandfather is accidentally buried alive, he won’t go hungry for a while…”

Cousin #1: “You mean those little b*****ds stuffed their cakes into poor Grandfather’s coffin?!”

Cousin #2: “No wonder all the kids wanted to pay their respects to Grandfather for so long! I was surprised that kids that young would be so thoughtful!”

(Luckily, we were able to remove the evidence without Grandmother noticing. One of us took her upstairs to “reminisce” while the rest of us collected the alarmingly heavy cakes from all the relatives and threw them out without her noticing. Wouldn’t have wanted to see what would have happened had the stash been discovered later on by poor Grandmother!)

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