The Age-Old Question

, , , , , | Working | November 7, 2017

(I am a 25-year-old married woman, but most of the time I get mistaken for much younger, and by this point it’s extremely irritating for me. Even though people dress casually at my office, I always try to dress a little more professionally, in the hopes that people will take me more seriously as an adult. However, it has been unusually cold this winter, so I’ve been wearing my super-puffy, bright purple winter jacket over my professional clothes, with some interesting results. These conversations happen with two different taxi drivers on two consecutive days.)

Me: *getting into the car* “Good morning. Thanks for coming to pick me up.”

Driver #1: *looking awkward* “Oh, um, before we get going… Are you 18? I can’t drive you if you’re under 18.”

Me: *out loud* “Actually I’m 25.” *thinking to myself* “Okay, I guess he was just trying to follow the rules. I really hope he just apologizes and talks about something else before this gets even more awkward.”

Driver #1: “Wow, sorry.”

Me: *thinking to myself* “Yes, finally a person who doesn’t put their foot in their mouth about my age!”

Driver #1: “It’s just that you look sooooooooo young!”

Me: *thinking to myself* “Really? Come on, guy. It’s not too late to save it!”

Driver #1: “I mean, I really thought you were 16 or something. Recently this Lyft driver got in big trouble for driving two 16-year-olds and getting into an accident, and the insurance wouldn’t pay because they were underage, so I just thought, you know, I should be careful…”

Me: *thinking to myself* “Why did you think telling me this would make things better? You just made me feel really uncomfortable about my age, and about the fact that you are apparently worried we might crash.” *out loud* “Well, we are going for a pretty short drive today, so hopefully everything will be nice and safe!”

(Fortunately we arrive at my destination safely. Then, the next day, with a different driver…)

Driver #2: *making small-talk* “So, I hear that [Town in the mountains] is really nice this time of year.”

Me: “Yeah, definitely! My husband and I are planning to visit there next month with some friends—”

Driver #2: “Wait, you have a husband!? But you’re so young! How old are you?”

Me: *burning with embarrassment* “I’m 25, and I’ve been married for three years.”

Driver #2: “Oh, wow. I definitely assumed you were in high school. I can’t believe it! You’re married! Haha!”

Me: *wondering to myself* “What happened to the rule about not driving anyone under 18?” *out loud* “Well, I guess it’s just best not to make assumptions.”

(While these conversations were kind of funny in retrospect, the bottom line is this: unless your job requires you to make sure customers are of a certain age, please don’t comment on how old they look. It’s just as uncomfortable as being judged for other aspects of your appearance.)

Nothing Civil About This War

, , , , , , , | Working | November 6, 2017

(My partner and I have been waiting for months to see “Captain America: Civil War,” and going to the movies is a very special occasion for us due to finances. We decide on a theater located on the top floor of a rather nice mall that is surrounded by a food court, since prices are fair and the location is close. We pay and take our seats in the front, and not too long after the previews start someone sits directly behind us and begins noisily eating out of a paper bag. My partner turns and informs me they are eating a burger out of a paper bag and I figure they will be done soon. Except, they have an entire large backpack FULL of burgers, and they proceed to eat them as noisily as possible all the way through the credits and half an hour into the movie itself! My partner confirms that they are eating burger after burger like their backpack is a dispenser, and the paper on each burger is crinkled so loudly and purposely that I cannot hear most of the dialogue. I’m talking continuous and endless loud crinkling, like an Internet troll decided to come to the movies. Fed up, I decide to do what I never do and complain. This theater is two stories, and to get to the desk I have to go down an escalator and across the lobby. When I get to the concessions desk, a very nice guy calls a manager when I explain the problem, and whispers quickly that he had the same issue a week ago and not to expect any real help. A female manager arrives and I explain to her my issue. She looks incredibly bored.)

Manager: “What do you want me to do about it?”

Me: “You have a no outside food and drink policy.”

Manager: “Yeah, but it’s not like we can enforce it; we’re right next to the food court.”

Me: “So, what am I supposed to do? I can’t hear, and have missed a big part of the movie.”

Manager: *sighs* “I can come up behind you and talk to them, but that is really it.”

Me: “That’s fine.”

(I went back upstairs and into my theater, where the guy was STILL eating noisy, paper-wrapped burgers and continued to do so for an additional twenty minutes. I could hear everything behind me and looked back several times, and the manager never came into the theater, at all. When we left after the credits, we counted over a dozen burger wrappers thrown all over the aisle behind us. I was upset that nothing was done and that the manager lied and never came to check, so I decided to write a formal online complaint on the company website. Apparently those complaints go directly to the managers, and the manager I talked to decided to answer and state that I was making too big of a deal out of this. Then she lied and said she did come to the theater, and that their was no evidence after the show of outside food or drink. Then she offered me free passes to shut me up! I was pretty upset that my complaint got brushed aside twice by the same awful manager, who apparently just liked to lie. I decided to not push it further, as I had clearly hit a wall, and refused the passes. Who wants to go to a movie they can’t hear? I went back about eight months later and didn’t see her, so hopefully she works somewhere else now.)

What A Gift Of A Complaint

, , , , , | Right | November 1, 2017

(We have a customer leave us the following comment card:)

Comment: “I would appreciate it if you would lower the water level in your commode. As someone who is gifted with an unusually long sexual organ, it’s quite uncomfortable for it to dip into the water.”

One More Word And You’re Done!

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | October 31, 2017

(My story involves a party game called “Bag of Nouns.” Everyone puts five nouns on five strips of paper and all the papers go into a bag. Teams are optional. The game has three rounds: the first round, you say whatever you can to get your group to guess the noun you drew from the bag and get through as many nouns as you can in a minute. At the end of each turn, all the strips of paper go back into the bag, so very quickly certain nouns become familiar through repetition. The second round is same idea, except you get ONE WORD to describe what’s on the paper, so you’d better hope the nouns you draw on your turn are familiar ones, or that someone in your group will figure out one of their nouns that hasn’t been drawn yet. If you screw up and say, “um,” then you’ve used your one word for that noun, and you’d better hope your team can guess from nothing. The third round is charades. We are on the second round, and a friend’s guest gets to go first.)

Friend: *to guest in question* “Okay, second round. You get just one word per noun that you draw. You can say that word over and over, but you cannot say any other words, not even ‘uh’ or ‘um.'”

Guest: “Okay.” *draws from bag, looks at it* “Right, so, this is a thing where—”

Friend: “—no. One word.” *everyone agrees to give her another shot, since she clearly missed something* “Okay, so if the noun you drew was, say, ‘car,’ you could say, ‘drive,’ or maybe, ‘traffic,’ but nothing else. If the noun you drew came up a lot in the previous round, try to pick a word from those turns to describe it that your team would recognize. Okay?”

Guest: “Yeah, got it.”

Friend: “Great. Draw again.”

Guest: *draws, looks* “Um, so, these are given when—”

Friend: “—no. Stop. Okay. So, for example, the one you drew that time was ‘Finals.’ You could say, ‘test,’ or, ‘college,’ and when that word came up in the first round, ‘stress’ was focused on a lot, so you could use ‘stress’ or something. But no other words. No sentences. No descriptions. One word for the noun you drew, and then your team has to guess based on that one word.”

Guest: *pauses* “Sure.” *draws again, looks at paper* “This is something that—”

Friend: “—yeah, okay, your turn’s over. Next person!”

(She never seemed to really understand the rule, but she also never seemed to understand that she was missing anything.)

Things Are Dirty In The Sock Exchange

, , , , , , | Right | October 27, 2017

(I work in the hosiery department at a department store with a lenient return policy. A customer comes up to the counter and dumps out the contents of her small bag, dropping two pairs of “holiday” socks on the counter, a couple days after that holiday, both twisted and half inside-out. There is no tag, and she has no receipt.)

Me: “Have they been worn?”

Customer: “OF COURSE NOT! GEEZ!”

(The customer got offended when I picked up her worn, dirty socks with a piece of tissue paper.)

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