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Not So SmartWatch

, , , | Right | September 21, 2021

I work for a national phone company, receiving call from clients with various requests: overcharging, Internet problems, product upgrades, etc.

Client: “I want to change the day you charge me the bill.”

Me: “Sure! You can choose between the sixth, the twelfth, the eighteenth, the twenty-fourth, and the thirtieth.”

Client: “Mmm, can’t you charge me on the first or second? By the sixth, I will have spent all my money and the bank will reject it.”

I mentally ask myself how changing the date will solve what, apparently, is a problem of income, but I continue.

Me: “I’m sorry, but those are the only dates that are available.”

Client: “Can’t you do something? I don’t want to be overcharged.”

After some minutes of discussion and him remarking his inability to pay after the first days of the month, he finally accepts the situation and desists on changing anything. I actually feel sorry for him.

Me: “I am sorry, sir. I would change it if I could.”

Client: “Nah, it’s okay. By the way, there’s something else I want.”

Me: “Of course! What is it?”

Client: “I want to buy [Smartwatch from a very expensive tech company] in instalments.”

Me: “Well, um… I can’t sell those. I will transfer you to the sales department.”

Client: “Okay, thank you!”

After the transfer, I stood at my desk, completely shocked. I had met low-budget clients spending too much before, but how on earth can you ask for credit for a smartwatch right after explaining how bad your finances are?

Home Is Where The Handmade Is

, , , , | Right | August 28, 2021

I work as a Christmas seasonal worker at a well-known bath products chain. Their slogan is “Handmade Cosmetics,” and it’s in big white letters under the shop’s name. I hear a coworker trying to explain something to a tourist and having some problems speaking to them. I go to her aid. The tourist is angry and talking super-fast, so I first ask my coworker if they need help.

Me: *In Spanish* “Do you need help? I can speak to her if you want.”

Coworker: *In Spanish* “Yeah! I don’t get what she means at all; it makes no sense.”

I find this weird because this coworker is pretty fluent in English, as most of us are. Our shop is in a pretty popular tourist hotspot, so it is always full of foreign customers. In any case, I turn to the tourist, who is getting impatient.

Me: “Hello! What were you looking for? I’ll help as best as I can.”

Tourist: “Well, I want to know if you sell glycerin and essential oils for soap making.”

Now I understand why my coworker was confused. We only sell finished products.

Me: “I am very sorry, but we do not sell that.”

Tourist: “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Coworker: “Our products are handmade, though; they are all-natural and ethically sourced.”

Tourist: “But do you do it at home?”

Me: “No, we have a few factories in Europe which send us the finished products.”

Tourist: “Then you are lying! Outside says it’s homemade. If you make it in a factory, it’s not homemade. You should not lie about that!”

Me: “Ma’am, nowhere does it say that. Our goods are handmade, though.”

Tourist: “No, no, home-made. You should not say it’s homemade if it’s not. Do you know where I can buy glycerin and essential oils?”

Coworker: “Um, no?”

Tourist: “Then goodbye. And do not lie to your customers anymore; it is not homemade and you should be ashamed of yourselves for lying!”

After the tourist leaves, my coworker and I just look at each other and say, in Spanish:

Us: “What the h*** was that?”

That’s No Excuse, But It Is, At Least, A Reason

, , , , | Friendly | August 17, 2021

I’m both black and foreign, and I’m living in Spain. I went to a bus stop where a woman was sitting, and I casually sat down in the seat next to her. She immediately bounced up and walked several paces away from me, yelling, “Can I not have two seconds without some [racial insult] trying to get at me? What is wrong with you people?”

Here we go again, nothing new here. I pulled out my phone and pretended to be more interested in it than her ranting.

Woman: “Why are you even here, anyway? Did someone invite you? How would you like it if everyone in my country went and flooded your country and took up all your jobs and got your women pregnant and made a bunch of mixed kids, and none of us speak your language?”

I kept ignoring her.

She continued this rant for a good five minutes before suddenly growing quiet. She stayed quiet briefly before reaching into a shopping bag she had, removing a juice bottle, and trying to remove the cap. After twisting futilely, she got a look of defeat on her face. She slowly handed the bottle to me.

Woman: “Can you open my bottle, please? I’m feeling really dizzy.”

I gave her an ice-cold look at first, but then I decided to be the bigger person. I opened the bottle and silently handed it back.

Woman: “Thank you.”

She sat down and then spoke again after a few moments of silence.

Woman: “I’m sorry. I lost my job because of the health crisis, and I found out they gave my position to a Japanese girl who wasn’t even there for six months. I’m just so mad.”

Me: “Sorry to hear that. But blaming me for your problem isn’t going to solve anything.”

Woman: “I’m sorry.”

My bus eventually rolled up, and as I boarded and rolled away, I couldn’t help but notice the woman burying her face in her lap. It was interesting to hear from the other side of racism and bigotry, and to see one of the many pieces of the puzzle — this instance being misplaced anger.

The First Tip Is Just The Tip

, , , , , , | Right | June 16, 2021

We were about halfway through our self-catering holiday and we found a fantastic café; the food was good, the prices were very cheap, and the staff was lovely!

Tipping isn’t customary in the UK, and not knowing what the locals do, I tipped around 15-20% on our meal.

We ended up coming back several times, and we tipped every time, as the service was faultless. We reckon we saved as much as we were tipping going to the bigger restaurant, so everyone was happy.

On our last day, we couldn’t think of anywhere we would rather eat but our favourite little cafe. The bill came and the waitress told us, in broken English, that our bill had been discounted by the manager.

It was a generous discount. Unfortunately, as we had quite a lot of small euro bills to use up, I ended up emptying what I had left; it paid for the bill in full and another tip.

The waitress seemed very confused, probably about the strange English family who didn’t understand a discount.

Spaced Out On Spatial Reasoning

, , , | Working | May 26, 2021

I work in a lab, and part of my job is to process biohazard residue to be safely discarded. I am at my workstation when a coworker comes by.

Coworker: “Could you please come and take one of the residue bins? It does not have a lid, so I cannot close it.”

We tell the cleaning staff not to touch those bins unless they are absolutely clean and with the lid properly snapped shut, so I follow my coworker.

Me: “How come you do not have lids to close the bin? Are there none left?”

Coworker: “Yes, there are some, but the bin I am talking about is square-shaped.”

That is odd, because the room that is assigned the square bins is one floor above us. Thinking that maybe the cleaning staff made a mistake, I say nothing else. When we arrive at the lab, my coworker points to a lidless bin… that is round-shaped.

Me: “Uh… That is not a square bin.”

Coworker: “No, but none of the round lids fit it.”

I take a random round lid, put it on the bin, and press down. It snaps shut immediately. I look at my coworker.

Me: “You do see that I just closed it, right?”

She stares at me with a blank look.

Coworker: “Yeah… but that is not its lid.”

Me: “Lids are interchangeable. All the round lids fit all the round bins.”

Coworker: “Yeah, I know. But that is not its lid.”

She keeps staring at me as if that is the most logical explanation possible. I simply take the bin and go for the door.

Coworker: “But that is not its lid! Thank you!”

Hey, at least she said, “Thank you!”