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Time To Put This Lady On Ice

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: litcandle87 | December 3, 2020

My dad used to own an ice rink where we lived. The ice rink had a bar in a big lobby that was really long — think about thirty feet or ten meters. I was allowed to since my dad owned the rink. I would get lemonade, and occasionally, I’d get some for my friends, too, without charging them.

One day, I am behind the bar just getting some lemonade like I normally do. While my back is turned to the bar, I hear somebody sort of clearing their throat, as if to get my attention. I don’t pay any mind to it, assuming they are trying to get the actual bartender’s attention. After I finish filling up my lemonade, I turn around and see this lady. She looks unhappy, and I immediately get nervous. I have social anxiety, and I tend to clam up around adults I don’t know.

Woman: “Excuse me, but I have been trying to order drinks and you have been ignoring me.”

Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t know you were talking to me. I don’t work here; I’m only behind the bar because—”

Woman: *Cutting me off* “I need two lemonades, a Sprite, a Budweiser, and a Coors Light.”

Me: “Ma’am, for the last time, I don’t work here. I’m fourteen. Please go see the actual bartender, [Bartender], and order your drinks.”

Woman: *Starting to get mad* “Then why are you behind the bar? Are you trying to steal drinks?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’ve been trying to tell you, my dad—”

Woman: *Screeching* “Get me whoever is in charge right now! You are behaving absolutely unacceptably and not getting me my drinks!”

I am on the verge of tears. Fortunately, my dad happens to be in his little office near the bar, and I can go get him. I tell him what happened in a few brief words, and he actually knows who I am talking about. Apparently, he kicked out the same lady a few weeks ago for abusing [Bartender].

My dad stands up and walks over to this woman. He’s about 6’5” and weighs 210 pounds, so he is pretty intimidating. This lady can’t be more than 5’2” and maybe 130 pounds. So, when my dad walks over to this lady, I could see a little bit of apprehension on her face. She is still trying to maintain her bluster, but I can also tell she doesn’t want to be anywhere near my dad.

Dad: “Hello, is there a problem?”

Woman: “Yes! Are you the manager here? This bartender is absolutely awful and refusing to serve me drinks!”

Dad: “Ma’am, I am the owner of this building and that is my daughter. She is fourteen and is not a bartender.”

There happens to be a framed newspaper clipping with my dad on it for buying the ice rink right where we are standing, which the woman sees. The color immediately drains out of her face, but for whatever reason, she still tries to throw a fit.

Woman: “Well, she should have still served me drinks! I didn’t know she was fourteen! You should give me free skating passes for my trouble!”

How this woman didn’t know I wasn’t a bartender is a mystery to me. I am a little bit tall for my age, around 5’6”, but the oldest you could mistake me for is maybe sixteen. I have freaking braces, for crying out loud.

My dad is getting pretty angry right now, and he is tired of dealing with this lady.

Dad: “Actually, aren’t you the lady who got thrown out a few weeks ago for being rude to the actual bartender? Because you have been abusing the staff here, you need to leave now, and you are banned from the building, as well.”

Woman: “But I didn’t know! You can’t ban me! You have no right!”

Dad: “Actually, I do. Now, either get out before I have to remove you myself, or leave before I call the police to file a report for harassment.”

The woman realized he wasn’t actually kidding and thankfully left. My dad made sure I was okay, and I got some more lemonade.

Skating Past The Facts

, , , | Right | November 18, 2020

Every year, the ice rink undergoes maintenance for about six weeks; general cleaning, some paint touchups, and various other tasks need to be done. The ice needs to be replaced yearly, so there is no ice currently on the floor.

The ice rink website clearly states that we’re closed to the public for several weeks. One day, I see a van pull up and park out front at around 11:30 am. Two women get out with four small children in tow. Each child has a helmet and their own skates in hand.

They wander in and don’t seem to understand that we aren’t open, so I go to meet them in the front lobby.

Woman #1: “We, uh, came to skate.”

Me: “I can see that, but unfortunately, we’re closed for maintenance for the next few weeks.”

Woman #1: “Oh, you’re kidding me.”

I gesture toward the iceless concrete floor.

Me: “I sure hope not; we already took the ice out.”

Woman #1: “We drove over an hour to get here. You guys really should have this kind of thing on your website.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but it is on our website, miss. I’ve checked for myself multiple times.”

Woman #1: “No, it wasn’t. This is unbelievable. Is there anyone else we can talk to about this?”

Me: “Yes, it was, and still is. But anyone that will get you skating? Here? Today? No. They’re going to tell you the same thing I did, but there should be someone in the front office if you’d like to ask anyway.”

Child: “Does this mean we’re not skating today?”

Woman #2: “I guess not. They’re closed. Is there anything you can do?”

Me: “Uh, no. There’s no ice. Nowhere to skate. I can’t just lay down more.”

Woman #1: “You guys really need to be clearer about when you’re open on the website.”

Me: “It’s on the website, miss. The schedule says ‘closed’ for the next month. Even if it didn’t, I’m not in charge of the website. You’d need to speak to someone else.”

Woman #1: *Clearly annoyed* “This is ridiculous. I’m going to speak to someone about this.”

Me: “Okay, check the front office. Come again — when we’re open, that is. For future reference, if we weren’t closed for maintenance, public skate wouldn’t start for about another four hours, anyway. It’s from 4:00 to 8:00. This, of course, is also on the website. Wouldn’t want you guys to waste another trip.”

I gave them a cheeky smile and left before they could snap at me. I heard angry muttering as they departed.

When A Date Leaves You Cold

, , , , | Healthy | May 18, 2020

Back in January of this year, I went on a date with a guy I had met on a popular dating app — the one where the girl has to make the first move. 

We met up for dinner and drinks and things were going very well! He was nice and funny and I was enjoying his company. He was an EMT; this is important later in the story. 

After dinner, he suggested we go to an ice rink to go ice skating. I was skeptical, as I’m a very clumsy person and can barely stand up on my own two feet on solid ground, and I knew I was going to thoroughly embarrass myself at the rink. But I said yes anyway. 

For the first hour, things went well. We were both hobbling along the side of the wall and making fun of each other’s form, but I got cocky, pushed away from the wall, and ate it. I landed on my butt and tried to catch myself with my arm. I landed so hard my ears were ringing and I was woozy. 

My date had to help me off the ice and he immediately went into EMT mode, rolling up my sleeve and feeling around my arm to see if he could feel any breaks. 

Besides the numbness in my arm, we both agreed that it probably wasn’t broken, and I turned down his offer to take me to the emergency room. 

We spent the next six hours on a cliff overlooking the beach, with me flinching at the slightest touch to my arm.

When I woke up the next day, I was in tears. My entire arm was black and blue and swollen beyond belief; I couldn’t even put a shirt on without crying out in pain. I had to have my brother take me to Urgent Care. 

While at Urgent Care, the doctor on call told me that not only was my elbow broken, but that I had fractured my wrist, as well, when I tried to stop myself from falling. The impact of me landing on my wrist fractured it and broke my elbow almost immediately, but the massive swelling that immediately took place is what made my date unable to tell that my arm was broken. 

There was so much fluid in my arm that it felt like a normal arm. 

I was immediately taken off work for the next four months, as I am a barista while finishing school, and I teased my date about my arm all the time. We dated for a month but decided we were better off as friends.

We’re still friends to this day, and I still give him crap about my elbow.

It still hurts when the weather gets cold, too, even after having it out of a sling for six weeks.

Ah, Yes, The Old “Ignore It And Hope It Goes Away” Strategy

, , , , , , , | Working | May 4, 2020

I am fourteen years old and not very assertive. I go to a rollerskating rink with a friend who’s a year younger than me. My friend spots a few friends of hers and goes off briefly to skate with them, but while she’s gone, I trip on the skating rink and end up hurting my elbow. My friend comes up, and I tell her that I think I’ll be okay. I sit at a booth on the edge of the rink, but the pain doesn’t fade and feels pretty bad.

I approach the concession stand. Half a dozen employees are there, and they all pause to look at me.

Employee: “Hi. What can we get you?”

Me: “I fell on the rink and hurt my elbow…”

The employees immediately scattered and started doing other things. I stood there for an instant, hoping they would come back to me, but they didn’t.

I left and sat back down, unsure what to do. I eventually got back up, went back to the stand, and specifically asked for some ice. They gave me some in a cup. I sat back down and waited for my friend’s mom to pick us up.

When I told my dad about it later, he suggested that the employees didn’t want to be liable for my accident, so that’s why they ignored me. I wonder why the employees would expect a fourteen-year-old girl to sue them.

Sizing Up The New Coworker

, , , , , | Working | March 5, 2020

(I’m here to rat myself out on this one. I have a job at a roller skating rink. Workers don’t tend to stay very long here, because the customers are horrible and management is finicky. So, despite having only been there for about a month, I’m expected to train my new coworker. I lead this new coworker into the back, where we keep the rental skates.) 

Me: *waving one way* “So, this side is the quad skates, and people need to have a blue stamp to get them.” *waving the other way* “The in-lines are over there, and people need a red stamp. This section here is speed skates, which also require a red stamp. That back wall is technically a special type of skate, but the manager literally hates them and wants them gone, so you can give them to anybody who asks for them… which nobody is going to do, because almost none of the customers know they exist.”

New Coworker: *a little wide-eyed at the info dump, but following along just fine* “Got it.”

Me: “Cool.” *takes the coworker back out of the room to a nearby counter* “By the way, the baby skates are down over here, starting at size six, which is…” *pulls out a skate that’s like, three inches long* “…super tiny! Which reminds me; skates are all in men’s sizes.”

New Coworker: “Yep. They are!”

Me: “And that means that they’re usually about a size too big for women.”

New Coworker: “Mhm.”

Me: “So, when women tell you their size, you should let them know and ask if they’d rather start a size down from that.”

New Coworker: “Yeah, I know.”

(I pause and look at my new coworker. SHE is wearing her derby skates, which she obviously had to have ordered at some point and presumably knows the size of. One might even assume she knows her own shoe size, and that one is a smaller number than the other!)

Me: *feeling absolutely idiotic* “Right. Sorry. It was news to me when I started.”

(I’m not sure it was mansplaining, because I said exactly the same thing to new male coworkers — who were understandably much more surprised by it. But I still feel kind of dumb, because it really should’ve been obvious that a girl skater would know how skates fit girls. Thankfully, she laughed it off, and we got along okay for the rest of the time we both worked there — for the whole, like, two months that it was.)