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This Transaction Has Hit The Rocks

, , , , , , , | Right | November 18, 2022

I work as a night supervisor at a grocery store. It’s early afternoon when I oversee one of our newer cashiers having issues with a customer.

The man is maybe in his forties and almost definitely not sober. He is buying a single can of beer, which runs just over two dollars. The cashier gives him his total, and he hands her two dollar bills.

Cashier: “Do you have any change? I need a little more.”

The man digs around in his pocket for a moment and pulls out a handful of rocks, putting them down on the counter. The cashier is startled, but the man just makes a noise and digs around in his pocket some more, pulling out… more rocks, and like four coins mixed in. He sets this down on the counter, too. The cashier hesitantly digs through the rocks for a quarter and hands the man his change and his beer. He swipes at the rocks, getting most of them, shoves them back in his pocket, and leaves, leaving a small pile of rocks behind.

A few hours later, a customer comes in and asks for a supervisor. The other supervisor on shift comes over, as I am about to cover the cashier’s break, although I can still hear the conversation.

Customer: “Yeah, there’s a man in your parking lot yelling some really obscene things. I wanted you to be aware. It’s your call whether you do something about it, though.”

My coworker goes outside to check and then comes in and reports a man standing on the sidewalk — public property. He is yelling mostly nonsense, maybe some rude things mixed in. My coworker phones the non-emergency police line and gives a basic description of the issue.

Eventually, they send someone down to shoo the man away, or he leaves on his own.

Later, around 7:30, a man comes in and asks to use the phone. It takes me a few minutes to recognize him as the man with the rocks from earlier. He is still definitely not sober, and it’s a bit difficult to understand him. He is also, inexplicably, carrying a stack of signs from a drugstore across the street — the long, thin, almost laminate things that get attached to the shelves.

I eventually get that he wants to call a detox/rehab service for some reason, but he doesn’t know their number or their name, just vaguely where they are. I pull out my phone to look it up as he keeps rambling.

Me: “Is it [Detox Company]? Does that sound familiar?”

Rock Man: “I don’t know. I guess.”

Me: “Okay, here’s the number. You can use the phone right here.”

I point to the customer service desk.

Rock Man: “Well, it won’t do any good to call them; I still got my cigarettes. They won’t let me in with my cigarettes. Can I call my mom, instead?”

Me: “Er, sure. You can use the phone and call whoever you need.”

I leave him to his calls and come back a few minutes later to check on him.

Rock Man: “My mom didn’t answer… Wait, what day is it?”

Me: “It’s Sunday, sir.”

Rock Man: “D***, she’s probably at church.”

It is almost 8:00 pm at this point.

Rock Man: “What time do you guys close?”

Me: “Not until 10:00.”

The man dithers around a bit more, mumbling.

Me: “Let me know if you need anything else, okay? Feel free to use the phone again.”

I leave and find my other supervisor.

Supervisor: “You know, that’s the guy who I had to call the police on earlier. He seemed much nicer inside.”

Me: “I didn’t know that, actually. I did, however, know that that’s the dude who paid us with rocks earlier, so that’s cool.”

The man left a few minutes later without further incident. Hopefully, he got where he needed to be.

I did find the stack of signs for the drugstore left outside on a patio table when I did my check at closing.

Airports Aren’t Normally Known For Being Chill Places, But…

, , , , , , , | Working | November 11, 2022

A few years ago, I was flying home for Christmas. I was at the airport, getting ready to go through security. I had extra stuff because I needed to work while I was gone, so I had my work laptop and needed equipment on top of my personal electronics. Getting unpacked took me a bit. Finally, I got everything onto the belts including my shoes and jacket.

I moved into line to go through the X-ray, and suddenly, lights started flashing and a fire alarm went off. It didn’t seem to be going through the whole airport, and no one was running or screaming, including the TSA agents. They did, however, stop letting people through the X-ray. The agent running it kept apologizing and saying they’d get us through ASAP. All of a sudden, this manager or supervisor or something came running up to this X-ray. (This was the only one that had this incident/issue; there were at least four other lines that got moving within about a minute.)

Manager: “Okay, people, we’re going to give this a minute, but you likely are going to need to go outside and wait while we clear things.”

The other passengers standing around and I kind of looked at each other in surprise. I glanced at the manager.

Me: “But what about our stuff?”

Manager: “You’ll have to leave it here and come back through security when we let you back in.”

I pointedly glanced down at my bare feet and held up my arms in my short-sleeve T-shirt.

Me: “Um, but what about this? It’s currently snowing, and I don’t know about them, but I don’t want to stand out in the cold with no shoes and no jacket. Plus, no offense, but if any of my stuff ends up missing or stolen because you made me leave it unattended, I’m going to come looking for it.”

The agent running the X-ray kind of started side-eyeing the manager, and he met our eyes and kind of shook his head no. I’m not sure if he was trying to stop me from getting into it with her or if he was trying to tell us they’d do what they could to not send us outside unprotected.

Manager: *Slightly huffy* “If you have to go outside, you’ll need to come back for it.”

Before I could point out the likely health hazards of forcing us outside like this, the alarm shut off. The manager just glanced up and then walked away, and we were allowed to go through the X-ray. I start putting everything away and getting everything back on.

As I was finishing up, I noticed the manager kind of half-hovering nearby and glaring in my general direction. She didn’t actually do anything, but I wonder if she was staring because we were holding things up (which was her fault in the first place, but let’s not talk about that) or if she was hoping for me to give her a reason to detain me. 

Luckily, I’d gotten there early enough that, even with the delay, I was able to take my time getting to the gate. The rest of my Christmas was just lovely, but I do wonder about that manager every so often.

Bullet (And Litigation) Dodged

, , , , , , | Legal Romantic | July 7, 2022

One of my friends had a girlfriend who was, to put it lightly, difficult to handle. To put it less lightly, she was vain, controlling, belittling, and the kind of narcissist who honestly believed that the world would simply change because she wanted it to.

My friend finally decided that he was going to break up with her. I saw him the day after and asked him how it went.

Friend: “Well, about as well as I could expect.”

Me: “That bad?”

Friend: “She said she’s going to sue me for abusing her by making decisions like this without her consent.”

Because of course, she was the kind of girl who’d expect you to get her permission before you could break up with her.

However, the best part was when my friend got a letter in the mail a couple of weeks later. The return address had the name “US Court System” but actually had his ex’s address below that, and inside was a plain printed letter that said, in short, that “court proceeds” were started against him, but they could be halted if he reversed his “ellipsis of judgment,” among several other completely wrong word choices.

He considered writing back with something like “Nice try,” but ultimately, he just shredded the letter and moved on. It has been three months now, and he hasn’t heard anything else about any “court proceeds.”

Failing To Understand The Situation

, , , , , , | Learning | February 4, 2022

I work as a test proctor at my college in between classes. Finals are upon us, and the testing center is completely swamped. We have a high volume of students taking the final for a general education class that uses a third-party software.

A student taking one of these tests gets up from the computer and approaches my coworker.

Coworker: “Do you have a question, sir?”

Student: “I need to retake it.”

My coworker thinks something may have gone wrong with the software.

Coworker: “What happened to your test?”

Student: “I failed. I need to retake it.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but retakes can only be approved by your instructor, and even then, only for emergencies.”

Student: “But I failed. I need to retake it.”

Coworker: “We are truly unable to schedule another appointment for you.”

The student picks up his bag and marches out of the testing room. He heads straight for me at the front desk.

Me: “Finished with your test, sir?”

Student: “I need to retake it.”

His face is emotionless. His voice is completely monotone.

Me: “Hmm, it looks like you were in here to take the [class] final. We cannot schedule retakes for that test, but—”

Student: “But I failed. I need to retake it.”

Me: “But your instructor is the one who handles retakes. You must get in contact with them. However, they aren’t likely to issue a retake unless—”

Student: “I failed.”

Me: “Unless you missed the test due to an emergency.”

He just stands there, completely still, face unreadable.

Me: “Do you have any other questions?”

As mechanically as a robot, he picked up his bag and stiffly walked away. 

Poor guy.

Aunty Is Unable To See The Meat Of The Matter

, , , , , , , , | Right | January 28, 2021

My family and I are visiting a well-known custom burger place. They have a large selection of toppings you can choose to put on your burger, and they even have the option to make a vegetarian burger. None of my family members are vegetarians.

We all start ordering our burgers. Then, my aunt orders a vegetarian burger. A few of us are surprised, but we say nothing about it. We get our peanuts and sit down to wait.

Once our order is called, we go get our food and dig in. At this point, the aunt speaks up, asking where the meat in her burger is. We point out that she asked specifically for a vegetarian burger and that it wouldn’t have meat for that very reason. After an argument with us, she gets up to demand that the staff remake the burger for her and include the meat she didn’t get.

They made her another burger. We made sure to go back the next day and apologize, and we never let her come with us again.