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This Becoming The Norm Is Worse. You Do Get How That’s Worse, Right?

, , , , , , | Right Working | May 24, 2022

CONTENT WARNING: Sexual Harassment


I’m working at a big box store, wandering the aisles to adjust product placements and see what items need to be restocked. I turn the corner into one aisle and see two people: a young woman, in her late teens or early twenties, browsing, and a middle-aged man who is very obviously leering at her while rubbing his hand against his crotch through his jeans. The woman is not aware of the man’s presence.

Me: *Practically shouting* “Dude, that’s disgusting!”

The man laughs and disappears around the corner of the aisle.

Me: *To the young woman* “I’m sorry about that, miss.”

Woman: “What happened?”

Me: “Well… to be blunt, he was watching you and touching himself.”

Woman: *Rolling her eyes* “Gee, what else is new. Thanks for stopping him.”

Me: “You’re welcome. I’ll try to get him banned from the store, but I have to go through my manager for that. Anyway, enjoy your shopping. If you need any help, please ask me or any other employee.”

I headed straight to my manager to alert him of the creepy guy, but he claimed that since the guy never harassed the woman “directly” — basically, since he never did anything to get the woman’s attention — there was nothing he or the store could do about it.

As a middle-aged man myself, who was raised to respect women, this was the first time I realized just how prevalent this sort of casual harassment is. I expected the young woman to get upset or be embarrassed or something, but to see her pretty much blow the whole thing off as just another part of life was honestly kind of heartbreaking.

Creepers Of The Corn

, , , | Right | May 19, 2022

I’m a born and raised city girl. The bank branch I’m working at is in the middle of the country. One day, a customer walks in with two buckets, drops them on our floor, and announces:

Customer #1: “FREE CORN!”

My supervisor and coworker come running out and start picking these GIANT ears of corn out of one of the buckets. I stare at both in confusion.

Customer #1: *Gestures to me* “Are you new?”

Me: “I just transferred out here from [City].”

Customer #1: “Oh! Then you don’t know. During harvest season, I usually have extra sweet corn. I like to bring it to some of the businesses around town. You’d better grab some before these two take it all.”

My supervisor laughs.

Boss: “Guilty! Seriously, [My Name], it’s good. You’d better take some.”

I pick out a few ears, take them home, and eat them with my dinner. They are REALLY good — no missing kernels, no bugs. A few days later, [Customer #1] is in the branch, making a deposit. [Customer #2] walks in.

Customer #1: “So, what did you ladies think of the corn?”

Me: “It was fantastic.”

Coworker: “Great as always!”

Customer #1: “Glad to hear it! If I have any more extras, I’ll bring them over.”

[Customer #2] comes to my desk. He’s a regular and a little creepy.

Customer #2: “You like sweet corn?”

Coworker: “Sure! We love it.”

Customer #2: “My nephew grows it, too, and I’m sure he’d be happy to send some to a pretty girl.”

He’s still staring at me.

Me: “I’m sure we’d all enjoy it.”

Coworker: “That’s right, we would.”

Customer #2: “I’ll bring it over later.”

He does just that. It’s not as pretty as [Customer #1]’s, but we still take some to be polite. I take it home and start shucking it. Out pop several large and LIVE winged bugs. I shriek and launch it into the trash. I douse the area in cleaner, double-bag the garbage bag, and take the bag outside. The next day, [Customer #2] returns.

Customer #2: “So, what did you think of my nephew’s corn?”

Coworker: “I haven’t tried it yet.”

I pretend to be very engrossed in my computer. Unfortunately…

Customer #2: “And what did you think, [My Name]?”

Me: “Uh… well, I had to throw it out. There were large bugs in mine.”

Customer #2: “Oh, that’s normal. Little extra protein. My nephew doesn’t use pesticides. That’s organic corn. I thought you prissy city girls liked that kind of stuff.”

Me: “City girls don’t like large winged bugs flying out of their food.”

[Customer #2] huffs and walks out.

Coworker: “…live bugs?”

Me: “Yep.”

Coworker: “I’m not eating that.”

Welcome To Retail, Part 6

, , , , | Right | May 18, 2022

I am a new worker at a very large clothing store, being taught by a floor manager how the men’s changing rooms work. One coworker comes over to us, looking annoyed.

Coworker: “Code brown in changing room four.”

Floor Manager: “Does it need attention right now or is it going to start bothering other customers even if it’s closed off?”

Coworker: “Let’s just say the situation is… fluid.”

Floor Manager: “Typical. Okay, I’ll go over and deal with it. Please finish onboarding [My Name].”

The floor manager angrily stalks off. I can’t wait any more and have to ask:

Me: “Code brown is—”

Coworker: “—someone taking a dump in the changing room, yes.”

Me: “That happens often enough it needs its own code?”

Coworker: “Oh, my sweet summer child. That’s just one code. Code yellow is pee. Code green is vomit. Code white is… well, something that you only deal with in the men’s changing rooms.”

Me: *Eyes wide* “Oh…”

Coworker: “Oh, that’s nothing. The poor girls in the women’s changing room are always getting code reds!”

Welcome To Retail, Part 5
Welcome To Retail, Part 4
Welcome To Retail, Part 3
Welcome To Retail, Part 2

It’s Not Baldur’s Fault He Has No Thumbs!

, , , , , , | Learning | May 17, 2022

I’m half of a therapy dog team, and one of our regular gigs is a reading program at the local library. It’s to get kids ages six to twelve to come to the library where they sign up for sessions to read to a dog, and it’s a pretty popular activity. My German shepherd partner, Baldur, adores kids and is very affectionate; we call him the Kissing Bandit at home. It’s a habit I try gently but firmly to discourage.

After a little girl finishes her book, she lies down on the mat next to Baldur and begins talking to him, and of course, he is licking her face all the time. Note that one of the guidelines for therapy dog handlers is that unless it’s absolutely necessary, we shouldn’t physically correct the dogs when we’re with clients.

Me: “You know, it’s perfectly okay to let him lick your ear or your hand, but you don’t want to let him lick your face.”

Girl: “It’s fine! I like it. I let our dog at home give me kisses all the time!”

Behind her back, her mother is grimacing.

Me: “Yes, but remember that a dog uses his tongue to wash himself. EVERYWHERE.”

The girl thinks about this for a few seconds, and then:

Girl: “Eeeeew!”

Her mother silently mouthed “thank you” to me.

Sorry, Mom, That Snot Happening

, , , , , , , | Right | May 16, 2022

Every year, my dad volunteers at our church’s annual summer camp for kids. On the last day of camp, they always have a big party with snow cones. Dad always volunteers to run the snow cone table.

One of the kids’ mothers is also a volunteer, and a real Helicopter Mom. Her young daughter is a little bit hyperactive and excitable. Since Helicopter Mom seems to get most of her medical advice from blogs instead of pediatricians, she’s decided that certain food additives and sweeteners are the cause of her daughter’s high energy. All camp, she’s been bringing in special snacks for her daughter, which isn’t a problem at all. Before the traditional snow cone party, Helicopter Mom announces that she is going to bring in a special syrup for her daughter since all of the snow cone flavors have artificial colors in them.

On the day of the party, Helicopter Mom shows up with a milk jug half-full of some weird homemade concoction made of corn syrup, water, and some combination of “all-natural” flavors. It’s viscous and thick, with chalky streaks of light yellow and green. Gross, but, no problem, thinks Dad; he can keep the kid’s special syrup in a little squirt bottle and set it off to the side.

Nope! Helicopter Mom doesn’t want her daughter’s special snow cone flavor in a separate bottle lest she feel singled out and discriminated! She instead takes a nearly-full jug of root beer flavor and dumps it all down the sink. She fills the pump jug with her homemade syrup and gives it to Dad. 

Later, during the party, the kids are lining up for their snow cones and telling the Dad what flavors they want. Dad’s been struggling about what to call the Mystery Syrup until he gets an inspiration:

Kid: “What flavors do you have?”

Dad: “Well, we have cherry, grape, blue raspberry…”

Kid: *Pointing at the homemade syrup* “What’s that one?”

Dad: “Uh… that’s… um… ELEPHANT SNOT!”


Dad then pumps an amount onto his gloved hand. It shoots a big, gooey glop out with a coughing sound. He squeezes it out of his fingers, and it drips out in long, sticky strings. The kids are delighted!


Multiple Kids: *Laughing and shrieking* “EWWWWWWW!”

Kid: “I want elephant snot!”

Dad gleefully pumps the homemade syrup onto the snow cone. The syrup spreads over the top and oozes over the ice.

Dad: “Here you go! One elephant snot snow cone!”

All The Kids: “EWWWWWWW!”

Dad had a hit! About every tenth kid asked for the elephant snot flavor, and each time, he cried out, “Elephant snot?! Ewwwwwww!” as he pumped it out. The kids who ordered it were loving all the attention they were getting from their grossed-out friends as they gleefully ate their “elephant snot” snow cones.

Everything was going great until Helicopter Mom’s group showed up with her daughter in tow. She was FURIOUS when she heard Dad call her homemade syrup “Elephant Snot.” She stormed off to complain to the pastor as dad served the kids (including a snow cone for the daughter) but Dad didn’t hear the conversation. Later, the pastor pulled Dad aside. Luckily, he had a great sense of humor about the whole debacle, but he respectfully asked Dad not to refer to the syrup as the mucus of a large mammal. Dad laughingly agreed.

Later, the Helicopter Mom was able to get her daughter some medical treatment for her daughter’s undiagnosed ADHD and loosened up quite a bit about her daughter’s snacks. We’ve not had a summer camp at the church since, but I’m wondering if elephant snot will be offered at the next snow cone party!