Shut Up And Take My Coupon!

, , , , , | Friendly | April 4, 2020

During one of my grocery shopping runs, I spend enough to qualify for a “get $10 off on your next visit if you spend $50 or more” coupon. Unfortunately, I forget all about it until it has almost expired. I’ve already done my grocery shopping for the week, so I decide to visit the store and give the coupon to someone. I talk to the first person I see.

Me: “Excuse me. Would you like–” 

Person #1: “Not interested!” 

He scurries away. Hmm, I guess he thought I was a panhandler. Okay, skip the chitchat; get straight to the point. I try again with the next person I see.

Me: “Hi. I’ve got a coupon for $10 off that I can’t use. Would you like it?”

Person #2: “No, thanks.”

Really? You don’t want to save ten bucks? Maybe she thought I was a scammer. I try yet again to offer the coupon to the next person, a woman who’s with her husband.

Me: “Hi. I’ve got a coupon for $10 off if you spend $50. I can’t use it; would you like to have it?”

Person #3: “We won’t be spending that much, but thanks, anyway.”

Person #3’s Husband: “We won’t?”

Person #3: *Firmly* “No.”

Me: “Okay!

As I walk away, I hear the husband say:

Person #3’s Husband: “Are you nuts? We’ll definitely be spending at least $50! Why didn’t you take the coupon?”

I was finally able to give the coupon to the next person: a harassed, tired-looking young woman who was thrilled to get it. Phew!

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New King Of The “Jerk” Tag

, , , , , , , | Related | April 2, 2020

This happened in my early teens. My house phone was being called dozens of times at every hour for a fortnight. The caller was some poor old lady who spoke only Chinese and was trying to get a hold of her son. She didn’t stop calling, pleading day and night to speak to her son.

My mother tried to explain to her that she had the wrong number, and that she had dementia and needed help, but she could never remember the conversation and would be back to calling and pleading five minutes later. We really wanted to help her, we really did. My mom was slowly piecing together details about her and was going to call for help once she learned who that lady was.

Unfortunately, my dad had other ideas. From the start, he dismissed this poor old lady as some sort of scammer and warned us never to talk to her. After a fortnight, he lost his patience with the whole affair and decided to fix it. He had learned from my mom that the old lady was in her nineties, and thus had probably survived World War Two.

So, one day, after she called yet again, my dad picked up the phone and went to me. He told me to yell a bunch of Japanese swear words into the phone, to someone he assured me was a friend of his and was interested in me learning a third language.

I was self-teaching myself Japanese — mostly from anime, which my dad hates and calls a waste of time — so I was very pleased that he wanted me to demonstrate my skills. I proudly yelled a couple of insults in Japanese into the phone, got a pat on the head and an extra hour of leisure time to watch more anime, and never thought about it for almost a decade.

It was only way later that I found it suspicious that the old lady stopped calling after that. My mom eventually told me what my dad had done, which he quite proudly told her after three days without a call. I’m not saying that it led to their divorce later in the year, but in the immediate aftermath, my mom did start sleeping in a different bedroom. I’m not completely sure he even thinks he did anything wrong, even now. He never understood why my mom cared for a stranger and why she was angry at him.

I really can’t forgive myself for doing that now. I really hope that I did not rekindle that poor old lady’s trauma from the war.

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And Then He Vowed To Never Help Anyone Again

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 2, 2020

I’m in my socially-awkward early twenties and I’m visiting a small local theater to see a movie. Before the movie starts, I go to use the restroom. As I’m washing my hands, a young boy around seven comes up to the sink next to me and starts hopping while grabbing at the sink handle. Thinking he can’t reach, I turn it on for him

Kid: “No, not that. I’m trying to reach those.”

He points at the liquid soap dispensers above the sink. I squirt a large amount onto the palm of my hand and lower it to him.

Me: “Here.”

Kid: “Thanks!”

He scoops soap out my hand. I wash off my hands, turn off the water for him, and leave to go see my movie. Later, as everyone is leaving the theater:

Kid: “Hey! Thanks for before!”

I turn to see the kid waving at me with one hand while holding onto a woman with the other. The kid tugs on his mom’s hand and points at me. 

Kid: “Mom, that guy was cool. He helped me use the restroom earlier.”

My eyes went wide as I realized how bad that could sound out of context. I made eye contact with the mom who was looking at me with concern. I wordlessly spun on my heel and started speed-walking to my car. I really hope that kid explained the story better.

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At Least His Sense Of Humor Isn’t Dead, Too

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 1, 2020

We had a relatively new phone number, and once every few weeks, we’d get a call from someone speaking Spanish. My Spanish is “muy malo” (very bad), but I could tell he was looking for José. I’d ask, “Habla Inglés?” but he obviously did not, so I’d hang up.  

Every few weeks, he’d call back looking for José. I suspected we had José’s old phone number and it was on this guy’s speed dial, but he never got around to changing it.

Again, he called, asking for José. In desperation, I faked a cry and said, “José es muerto! José es muerto!”

He let out a loud belly laugh and hung up, and we never heard from him again. I assume this prompted him to update his speed dial.

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What A Pain In The Buns

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 31, 2020

Last night, at the local grocery, I accidentally grabbed the wrong hamburger buns. I waited roughly three feet from a self-check machine to clear an exchange with the attendant.

The woman checking out on that machine looked back at me a few times. When she finished, she deliberately took a huge step backward, coming very close to my cart. She shot me a disgusted look, grabbed her kids, and snottily said, “Come on! Some people are too close!”

I was briefly stunned, but I’m not the kind of person who lets things like that go. If she wants to publicly shame, she will be publicly shamed. I raised my voice so she would hear, “You can’t step into someone three feet away and then complain they’re too close.”

The couple at the next scanner said, “What?” So, I explained what she had done. They rolled their eyes and loudly said, “Some people!”

The offender left hurriedly, very red-faced.

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