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Hi, It’s A Caller, And Yes They’re The Problem

, , , , , , , , | Right | November 20, 2023

Me: “Thank you for calling. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Can you hum the tune to that Taylor Swift song?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Caller: “That Taylor Swift song! She says ‘hi’ and then how she’s a problem.”

Me: “You want me to sing that song?”

Caller: “No! Hum it. I forgot how it goes.”

Me: “Ma’am, you are calling [Bank].”

Caller: “Yes, but I need that tune! It’s bank-related, I swear.”

Against my better judgment, and quietly enough so that I don’t get strange looks from my coworkers, I hum the chorus tune to Taylor Swift’s song “Anti-Hero.”

Caller: *Singing along* “Five… it’s three, nine the problem, it’s three… Got it! Thanks!” *Click*

Did she just remember her PIN using a Taylor Swift song? And say it out loud to me? Looks like someone is going to get a forced PIN change in the mail…

Sounds Like A Net Positive!

, , , , , , | Related | November 19, 2023

My husband and I work for different companies, but both are overly motivating and overly praising. Whenever someone does something, it gets met with praise. While I know a lot of people appreciate getting some sort of recognition, my husband and I are tired of getting praised as if we’ve solved world hunger after handing in an assignment or bringing a cup of coffee. I know a lot of companies don’t care for their employees, so I know I sound like a spoiled person. 

This has resulted in us playfully mocking each other whenever one of us does something small. We have the same type of humor, so neither is offended by it. 

One day, we visit my mother-in-law. Her husband is working in the garden. Everything goes calmly, and my husband decides to get up and get a cup of tea. As a force of habit, I blurt out:

Me: “I believe in you! Go for it! I’m proud of you!”

I do say this kind of deadpan, and my mother-in-law looks up with a serious expression. 

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, you say this often?”

Me: “Oh, eh, sorry, force of habit.”

I think she is joking or even reprimanding me. 

Mother-In-Law: “Do they do this at your home, as well? Do your parents support each other so much?”

Me: “My parents? Nah, it’s just something between us.”

Mother-In-Law: “I can’t remember when my husband praised me… nor when I praised him!”

I realize my mother-in-law is serious. She gets up and walks out to her husband. 

Mother-In-Law: “I just wanted to say you did a great job in the garden. I’m proud of you!”

Father-In-Law: “Eh… thanks?”

My father-in-law looks at my mother-in-law, bewildered, and my mother-in-law sits down again. 

Mother-In-Law: “I should do that more often.”

Glad to be of service?

Something Fishy About What They’re Up To

, , , , , , , , | Right | November 15, 2023

I work in a card and gift store. Some customers can make their own customised cards on a machine we keep in the corner of the store if they need something truly specific or niche.

I notice a customer designing a celebration card with a picture of a goldfish on the front, with the words:


Curiosity gets the better of me.

Me: “Excuse me, I have to ask, but what’s the occasion for that card?”

Customer: “Oh? This? I’m looking after a coworker’s goldfish while she’s on holiday. Apparently, the bloody thing was pregnant, and now I am looking after one goldfish and a whole bunch of eggs! I spent all day looking into how to keep the bloody things alive, and now I want to throw a little fish baby shower.”

Me: “Oh… wow.”

Customer: “Yeah, my coworker has had a really rough year, and she’s needed this vacation. I wanted her to come back to the office tomorrow and see something fun and know that we’ve kept on top of the… uh… situation.”

Me: “That’s so sweet!”

Customer: *Smiling* “Thanks. Maybe talk to your boss about getting some fish baby shower cards in here for the future, so I don’t have to do this again!” 

Me: “I’ll… pass that on up!”

When A Picnic Becomes A Thrill Ride

, , , , , , , | Related | November 13, 2023

I’m at a potluck picnic with my friends. One is the mother of a four-year-old girl and a toddler, while the other was made the godfather of the aforementioned children. We are all prone to some good-natured teasing of each other, and the below clearly was intended as our normal ribbing of each other.

Godfather: “[Mother] and [Her Husband] were so clearly first-time parents. I couldn’t play with [Daughter] at all before one of them would freak out worrying she would get hurt somehow.

Mother: “Yeah, [Her Husband] was super protective.”

Godfather: “He may have been a little worse, but you were pretty bad yourself.”

Mother: “No, I wasn’t!”

Godfather: “I seem to recall you freaking out just because I happened to be dangling your toddler upside down by her heels. I still had two hands on her and everything! I never get to do the fun stuff with the munchkins.”

Mother: “You were just throwing [Daughter] on the couch yesterday.”

Godfather: “Bah, that wasn’t a proper throw! I had both hands on her guiding her down the whole way. That’s more like putting a kid down for a nap a little faster than normal. Any other kid who didn’t have paranoid parents would have gotten a real throw!”

Me: “So, when you say you wouldn’t trust a kid as far as you could throw them, you know exactly how far that is, then?”

Godfather: “Of course. I’m terrific at toddler tossing!”

Me: “What an amazing alliterative answer.”

Mother: “As if you could toss [Daughter] with those geeky non-muscles of yours.”

Godfather: “Is that permission to try?”

Mother: “As long as the kids are having fun and aren’t hurt, and [Her Husband] isn’t around to see it, have fun.”

Here, [Godfather] got a downright evil grin on his face.

Godfather: “Oh, really? So, I can play with [Daughter] the way I want right now and you won’t freak out?”

Mother: “As long as you don’t hurt her.”

Godfather: “Great. Hey, [Daughter], want to spin extra fast?”

Daughter: “Yeah!”

Godfather: “Are you sure? it will be a lot faster than I usually spin you.”

Daughter: “Spin me!”

Godfather: “Okay. Then lie down on your back with your feet in the air. If it’s too much for you, or anyone in the peanut gallery, just tell me and I’ll stop, okay? Ready?”

He grabs her legs and starts spinning her like he is doing the hammer throw at the Olympics. As he speeds up, he has to lean further and further back to counteract the centrifugal force until he’s almost at a forty-five-degree angle.

Godfather: “Are you okay? Want to do more?”

I hear her respond but can’t make out her words. Presumably, it’s a yes since he now starts to raise and lower his arms while continuing to spin, so that [Daughter] lifts up to his head level and then lowers back down to waist level once or twice per rotation.

Godfather: “Want to do more?”

Another presumed yes; now he starts to rotate his wrists back and forth so her whole body rotates from looking to the left to right and back again, while still continuing to spin in circles and lift up and down. I’ve seen amusement park rides that didn’t manage to fit in that much complexity.

Godfather: “Think we should do even more?”

A third apparent yes from the girl.

Godfather: “What do you think, Mom? Should we do more?”

Mother: “No, no, that’s enough! Please just put her down!”

Godfather: “Spoilsport!”

I’m not sure how he will manage to stop spinning without dropping or hurting her, but he manages a controlled stop that looks well-practiced. As soon as [Daughter] stops, she jumps up and starts begging to do it all over again.

Godfather: “You sure you want to do it again? Why don’t you first show me you’re not too dizzy by trying to walk a straight line to Mom?”

She tries, and she gets about four steps into an extremely drunken walk before falling on her butt. This doesn’t stop her from asking a few times that day to be spun by her feet again, not that her mom will let her.

Out of curiosity, I ask [Godfather] about it later.

Me: “So, when you were spinning [Daughter], what would you have done next if [Mother] hadn’t chickened out?”

Godfather: “No clue. I’ve never done more than that with other kids I spun. Good thing [Mother] broke first without calling my bluff.”

Signs Of Influence, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | November 8, 2023

Reading this story reminded me of when the owner of our store helped us out using a similar method. I work in a small-ish convenience store owned by a guy who has been in retail a long time — long enough to have heard it all and to have had some fun putting some random fun signs up near the cashier stations.

Me: “Hmm, this item doesn’t seem to be scanning. I’ll need to type it in manually.”

Customer: “Ha! If it doesn’t scan, does that mean it’s free?”

I stare with cold, emotionless eyes at the customer as I point to a sign literally above my head.

Sign: “In this store, ‘It must be free’ is a request for ritualistic combat to the death.”

Me: “Would you prefer swords, axes, or a spiked mace as your weapon of choice, sir?”

Customer: “I… guess you hear that a lot, huh?”

Not everyone shared the owner’s sense of humor, but all agreed if there was a sign dedicated to it then it must happen… a lot.

Signs Of Influence