Should Have Just Thrown In The Towel

, , , | Friendly | December 29, 2017

(I am 24 and a student not living with my parents. It is Christmas time and my mother asks me to go to the laundry shop to a pick a Christmas tablecloth she had dropped there the week before. I have always looked younger than my age.)

Me: “I’m here to pick up this.” *gives the ticket*

Worker: “Hmm. I can’t find it. Maybe the paper fell. You don’t know what the tablecloth looks like, do you?”

Me: “No. It was my mother that dropped it off last week; she just gave me the paper.”

Another Customer: “This youth nowadays! What a lack of respect! What are you? Fourteen? You should know what you have at home! You’re only mooching from your parents! Only want to have fun!”

Me: *with a deadpan face* “I’m actually 24, and I don’t live with my parents. My mother asked me a favour and I did it for her.”

(By then the worker had found the tablecloth with the missing paper, giving it to me and muttering an apology, so I walked out while the other customer stared with an open-mouth. The fun fact: my mother also didn’t remember which tablecloth it was when I told the story. The worker also apologized to my mother when she went there again.)

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Stressing Out Over Nothing Is Even Worse For You

, , , , | Friendly | December 28, 2017

(I am a teenager when this event occurs. I am in a grocery store to buy a gift card for a Secret Santa exchange one of my high school classes is doing. I get into line at the register behind a couple in their early thirties. While standing in line, a pair of fellow high school students walk up and blatantly step in line in front of the couple.)

Man: “Hey! What do you think you’re doing?! You can’t just cut in front of us!”

Student #1: *unapologetic* “Oh, right, sorry. I guess we didn’t see you standing there or something.”

(The two students wander off to another checkout line:)

Man: “Teenagers these days! They’re so rude and have absolutely no manners!”

(He continues to rant to the woman next to him about the deficiency of teens today, all the while making it obvious that he is talking loud enough for me to hear and blatantly side-eyeing me as if he expects me to try and cut them as well. I spend the next couple minutes awkwardly ignoring him until I get close enough to place my gift card down on the counter. Note: The gift card is for a well-known chain sandwich place.)

Man: *turning and addressing me directly in a very condescending tone* “You know that [Sandwich Place] is actually very bad for you.”

Me: *calmly, after a couple seconds of surprise* Anything is bad for you if you don’t eat it in moderation. Given a lot of the other food options, I think I made a good choice.”

(The man turned back to finish paying for his groceries before storming off, apparently pissed that he couldn’t get a reaction from me and prove to the world that all teenagers are entitled and rude.)

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They’ll Huff, And They’ll Puff, And They’ll Moan Their Way In

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 26, 2017

(During a multiple-day family reunion, we go to the swimming pool. A few days earlier I seriously sprained my ankle, and the day before I was on crutches, and I still have a large brace on my ankle. I am also menstruating and have a tampon in. Luckily, the water makes me able to walk easily in the pool without the brace. We get out and go to change our clothes. Because I’ll need to put a new tampon in, and because I’ll need to put on a bulky ankle brace, I use one of the family/handicapped changing rooms rather than a stall, but there are five empty family rooms, so there are enough for everyone. The rooms are numbered. I am starting to do the intricate straps on my brace when I hear someone trying to open the locked door.)

Me: “In a minute!”

(They continue to attempt to open the door and pound on it.)

Me: “I’m almost done. Hold on!”

Woman: “I need this room.”

Me: “I’m almost finished.”

Woman: “I need it!”

Me: “I’m just putting my shoes on!”

Woman: “You don’t understand! He’s very particular about numbers!”

Me: “Sorry! I’ll be out in a second.”

(My ankle is swollen and the brace is bulky, so I have some trouble getting my shoe on. All the while, this woman is legitimately trying to break down the door. I finally finish, and open the door. The woman looks at me, looking up and down my body.)

Woman: “You don’t even have a kid with you.”

Me: “No, I don’t.”

(I figured that she probably had a child with her who was autistic or similar, and I understand that sometimes there’s no reasoning with a developmentally disabled child in meltdown. But I don’t know what she expected me to do, or how breaking down the door was the solution.)

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Doesn’t Realize How Numbers Work

, , , , | Friendly | December 22, 2017

(I’m at the DMV to get my driver’s license renewed. It’s fairly crowded, being a city DMV, but not ridiculously so, and they’re having us take numbers and wait. A youngish man in a tailored shirt and fancy shades sits beside me. He can’t sit still, keeps shifting, getting up and sitting down, etc. I’m right out of college and a little bit of a radical, but also pretty shy.)

Man: “Do you think their number system’s messed up? They haven’t called my number yet. I think something’s wrong with their computer.”

Me: “They seem to be calling the numbers in order as far as I can tell.”

Man: “I really think something’s wrong with their computer. They should have called my number by now.”

Me: *kind of shocked that I actually said this* “You’re not used to waiting, are you?”

(He shrugs and stops engaging me in conversation. A couple minutes later my number is called and I stand up to go.)

Man: *holding out money* “Hey! Hey, I’ll give you twenty bucks to switch numbers!”

(I walked away without a word.)

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Fishing For Controversy

, , , , , | Friendly | December 21, 2017

(I’m a research student in a lab that uses zebrafish. Since my work is in zebrafish juvenile development up to three months and all of my lab-mates are doing projects with fish that are only a few days old, I do most of the fish care for the lab, including raising the babies to adults to add to our research population. I frequently joke about the fish being my babies, and my nickname in the lab is ‘Mother of Zebrafish.’ One weekend I want to go hunting with my family, so I send around an email to my lab-mates to see if anyone else can care for the juveniles and adults for a few days while I’m gone. One of my lab-mates agrees, and after I get back, we go out for drinks just to catch up and discuss our work. It’s relevant for the story that I’m a white girl, and my lab-mate is a Hispanic man, with a noticeable accent.)

Me: “I hope they weren’t too much trouble while I was gone?”

Lab-Mate: “Nah, they were great, and I had to be in anyway to get the results for the immuno-staining. It was no trouble.”

Me: “Much appreciated! Thanks for taking care of my babies so I could go hunting!”

Stranger: “EXCUSE ME?!”

(Surprised, both of us turn around to see a woman glaring at us.)

Stranger: “You left your kids alone all weekend so you could go HUNTING?! What kind of a negligent mother are you?! And you!” *turns to lab-mate* “Is she at least paying you, or is she just buying you beer? She’s just paying for your beer, isn’t she? You deserve a better job; I know a good landscaping company.”

Lab-Mate: “What the h***? Piss off, lady. We’re talking about fish, not literal children!”

Stranger: “What?”

Me: “We work in a lab; he was taking care of the fish over the weekend! Oh, and for the record…he’s a neurobiology grad student with a grant from the NIH. You can stuff your landscaping job!”

(She turns red, and stalks out in a huff.)

Lab-Mate: “Wonder what she’d do if we told her our thesis advisor grew up in Mexico City…”

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