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They Gave You Fair Warning

, , , , , , | Right | December 5, 2022

I’m volunteering as security at one of the bigger music festivals in my state. This fair has been happening every year for the last forty-seven years, with the only notable exception being the last two years (2020 and 2021) for obvious reasons. It takes place in a small community that’s about forty miles from the largest city in the state, and over the course of the weekend, thousands of people will come from that city and overwhelm our very limited parking capacity.

We have implemented a LOT of policies to make everything work, one of which is that the parking around the playground in the park where this festival takes place is all reserved and disability-accessible parking. Part of my job is to help enforce that policy.

It is Saturday of the festival weekend. There have been signs and promotional materials all over town for a whole week. The local radio station has been broadcasting our mainstage all day, and the traffic reports are all about how the closest highway is backed up for miles.

It is the middle of the afternoon when a shiny black SUV pulls into the lot and barely stops fast enough to avoid hitting me as I walk up to speak to the driver.

Me: “Hi there! Happy fair! How can I help you today?”

Driver: “What the h*** is going on here? I just wanted to bring my kids down to the playground, and it’s a d*** madhouse!”

Me: “Yeah, it gets like that during the fair. Unfortunately, there’s no parking here by the playground. If you want, you can park up at the day lodge and take the shuttle down.”

The day lodge is about a mile and a quarter up the road, and it’s the only free parking in town except for the accessible parking in my location.

Driver: “Why the f*** would I drive all the way up there? I live just across the bridge. I just want to go to the playground.”

At this point, he starts to roll up his window.

Me: *Speaking quickly* “Sir, you’re not going to be able to park here! This is accessible only during the fair!”

Driver: “What fair?! I’ve been here for years, and this is the first I’m hearing of this! You guys should have asked before throwing your little party in our town!”

Me: “Sir, I know we missed a couple of years, but this fair has been going on for a long time. Now, I need you to turn around and head back up the road.”

Driver: “F*** you! And f*** your [Nearby City] party! This town doesn’t want you here!”

As he speeds off, one of the other security team volunteers, who grew up at the fair and has lived in town his whole life, starts laughing and shaking his head.

Volunteer: “Yeah, he just moved here from California at the end of summer 2019. We tried to make friends, but… he’s just not that pleasant to talk to. So, probably no one warned him what was coming.”

And Now It’s George, Charlotte, and Louis’s Favorite Bedtime Story

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: rebekahster | December 1, 2022

About twenty or so years ago, my sister had just finished high school. Before deciding on uni or whatever, she took a year off to do what is known as a gap year. She was traveling around the UK, doing various temping jobs, when she landed herself a gig doing security for a celebrity golf tournament in an old university city called Saint Andrews.

She was a poor backpacker, and she had discovered that many of the local supermarkets would mark down a lot of their fresh foods near closing.

After a particularly long shift, she was cutting it close to closing time at the local supermarket, so she was frantically rushing around trying to put together a decent meal from their specials. My carb-loving sister had a hankering for fresh pasta, but she couldn’t find it anywhere!

Luckily, out of the corner of her eye, she saw movement, and given that the store was nearly empty, she just assumed it was a worker coming to hurry her out.

As she turned, she blurted:

Sister: “I’m sorry, can you tell me where the cheap fresh pasta is?”

To her horror, it was not a worker.

It was Prince William.

His mates rounded the corner to enter the aisle just in time to hear the encounter and make it heartily awkward for my now mortified sister, who beat a hasty exit.

You may think it ends like this. Oh, no. To my sister’s embarrassment, it got worse.

The next day, she was on shift manning the VIP tent at work, and who should come along but Prince William and his entourage? There was no hope that they wouldn’t recognise her; her friend at the tent entrance made sure to radio her.

Friend: “Stupid [Supermarket] pasta chick! VIP incoming!”

Of course, on hearing that, they all knew her immediately! And so resulted another embarrassing moment for my sister — and a hilarious story for all of us!

Don’t Give Them An Opening

, , , , , , | Right | December 1, 2022

I work in a small store in a mall that requires minimal setup. Therefore, when my manager and I open the store, we usually only need to show up a few minutes before opening time.

Customer: “I came in yesterday, and you opened ten minutes late!”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am. The mall had a security alarm yesterday around opening time, so no one could enter the mall until security cleared the area.”

Customer: “Stop making excuses! If I was able to be out front of your store before you opened, you should have been, too!”

Me: “Wait, if you were outside our store before it opened, then you were in the mall before it opened, too.”

Customer: “The front doors were locked, so I used a side entrance. Very inconvenient!”

I think I know why the security alarm went off…

Customer To The Rescue

, , , , , , | Right | November 28, 2022

I am waiting in line to make a return. My mother asked me to go as a favor on a Sunday, it is stupid busy, and this store is the last place I want to be. The place is swamped and understaffed, and tensions are high because people are waiting forever to get to a register.

There is a married couple in front of me with their baby in the shopping cart. The wife is doing the “I’m still shopping even though I’m on the returns line” dance.

The husband gets up to the cashier and wants to return something for which he has no receipt, demanding that the refund be put back on his credit card. Anyone who’s ever worked in retail (including me) knows that this is not how things work. The cashier, who looks to be about sixteen, is trying her best to politely explain to him the return policy, offering alternatives, etc. He wants nothing of it.

He then begins to berate her. He’s insulting her, calling her fat, stupid, and sloppy, and professing that she is insignificant because she is just a cashier girl. The poor thing starts to cry, and I snap. I roar behind him.

Me: “What the f*** is your problem?!”

He spins around and we have words. I don’t think he is used to anyone, let alone a stranger, calling him out for his behavior, but I let him have it. He is being a rude and inconsiderate jacka**; someone has to put him in his place.

He is so shocked he can’t even reply. Now management decides to step in (not their fault it took them this long; as I stated before, the place is swamped on the weekends), and they pull him to the side to do whatever it is they do.

I bring my stupid wicker chair to the same cashier, present my receipt, and ask for my return politely. As she’s typing, she glances up at me and whispers:

Cashier: “That was awesome! Thank you.”

Me: *Smiling* “I’ve been in your position and I would have wanted the same thing.”

I finish my transaction and start heading for the door. Now, security pulls up.

Security: “Hey, we’re supposed to escort you to the parking lot.”

Me: “No worries. I was already leaving.”

Now they’re trailing behind me.

Me: “What’s the problem, exactly?”

Security: “We’re told you threatened some customers, and we have to ask you not to come back.”

I could see that they were visibly disgusted with what they had to say to me. Pretty much everyone in the front of the store heard and/or saw what happened, but the wife said I threatened her husband/baby/pride… whatever. Anyway, I just laughed and went on home. Figured that was enough Karma for a few months.

Laziness Disguised As Excess Caution

, , , , , , , | Working | November 27, 2022

This happened in the early 1970s when the wonderful world of walkie-talkies had not quite reached the peak of popularity and common usage. Keep in mind that this was long ago, so the conversations are approximated.

I was an apprentice, assisting the electrical engineer who was servicing the elevators of a building. The place was high enough society that they had security guards. The electrical engineer sent me out of the building to get a couple of boxes of bolts for control covers for the lift controls.

My mistake: the work was pretty hot, so I had taken off my jacket while working; unfortunately, my jacket had my ID badge in it. The elevator electronics were huge and filthy with oils, so I fully admit I looked like a complete mess. We had been doing battle with the great metal beast that had decided to hemorrhage fluids everywhere and make horrendous metallic noises like a dying UFO. Also, unfortunately, the security guards changed shifts whilst I was out of the building, so they hadn’t seen me previously going in or going out. So now, with no ID badge, the security guards wouldn’t let me in.

Me: “Look, I get it. You have a job to do and I can’t come in without my badge. Could one of you please tell [Electrical Engineer] at the elevator to bring it? You can get confirmation from him and from my ID that I have business here.”

Guard #1: *Pompously* “Nah, I don’t think so.”

Me: “Sorry? Why not?”

Guard #1: “Because you’re some random, snot-nosed kid in filthy clothes. I’m not going to bother a professional.”

Me: “I’m his apprentice.”

Guard #2: “Sure you are, kid. Tell you what, I’ll make you a deal: if you walk out that door in the next ten seconds, I won’t box your ear and throw you out myself.”

I took a deep breath, let it out, walked out to the truck, and leaned against it. Now, we’d been working on this thing all day, and the box of bolts I had been sent out to get was supposed to be one of the last things we did.

Due to me being told to get out, [Electrical Engineer] went over his allowed working hours. I saw him come down to the lobby, looking inquisitive. This is his conversation with the guards, as told to me when he came out.

Electrical Engineer: “Have you seen my apprentice? I sent him out to get some supplies.”

Guard #1: “Eh, some filthy brat tried getting in here, but no ID, no entry.”

Electrical Engineer: “His ID was with me. You could have come to ask.”

Guard #2: *Grunting and lazily scratching his belly* “Yeah, we could have. So, anyway, is the elevator fixed yet?”

Electrical Engineer: “Thanks to you two idiots? No.”

Guard #1: “What?!”

Electrical Engineer: “I called you both idiots. Due to my work hours being up, due to you morons not letting my apprentice back into the building, and due to him not being able to bring me the supplies I needed, the elevator will remain unusable until sometime tomorrow.”

Beaming broadly, [Electrical Engineer] went in and came back down with my stuff as well as his own and we left. We laughed all the way back to our offices as the guards sputtered and protested, only to be ignored. 

There was a very interesting phone call later, where [Electrical Engineer] gave his side of the story to the building manager. Apparently, two guards meant that one was indeed expected to check in such instances, and the building manager was not happy to note that the guards had failed to follow protocol and had just caused a delay in getting the lift fixed. Many building residents were going to have a lot to say when they found out that they would have to walk up or down flights upon flights of stairs if they wanted to go anywhere.

The next day, we arrived early, at a pretty premium rate, and the morning shift guards were VERY pleasant and professional to us the whole time we were there.