The English Are Everywhere!

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2021

I am in a lift — ahem, elevator — with an English colleague. His parents are from Hong Kong and speak no English, but he grew up in a town on the Sussex coast so his accent is pure home counties; think Hugh Grant but without the London twang. The third person in the lift is a stranger.

Me: “Where should we go for dinner tonight?”

Colleague: “Maybe that hamburger place on Washington Square [Colleague #2] suggested?”

Stranger: *Pointing* “You shouldn’t have that accent!”

She immediately clapped her hand over her mouth and looked embarrassed, apologising. He laughed it off because he got it. Asian accent, sure. Asian with an American accent, sure. Asian with a British accent, shocking!

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Let’s Hash This Out

, , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2021

I am shopping at a local grocery store and I’m in the canned food aisle grabbing a couple of cans of corned beef hash. A woman who appears to be in her mid-seventies stops and stares at me as I put the cans in my basket.

Woman: “Ugh. How can you eat that stuff?”

I look her right in the eye.

Me: “Usually with a fork, but if all my forks are in the dishwasher, a spoon works just fine.”

She goes from disgusted to offended in a split second and starts to sputter out something, but I interrupt her.

Me: “Ask a stupid question, get a smarta** answer.”

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This Woman Really Understands Book Lovers

, , , , | Friendly | February 25, 2021

I’m at the library, carrying a lot of books.

Random Woman: “Wow! That’s a lot of books! You must want to escape life a lot!”

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Another Case Of Wifitis, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | February 24, 2021

I have to go out of town for a week and decided to travel by bus. I spend a few extra dollars to get a seat with a table on the lower level so that I can get some work done on the ride. An older woman sits down across from me, and for the first thirty minutes or so, we have some pleasant conversation. She asks me if I’ve ever had any trouble with this bus company before, to which I say no. She also shares some dried fruit snacks with me while we talk, which I happily accept. After the conversation comes to a natural stop, I pull out my laptop to write some emails using the bus’s onboard Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi, however, appears to not be working.

Me: *Out loud* “Huh, that’s odd. The Wi-Fi on this bus doesn’t seem to be working.”

Woman:What?! That’s ridiculous. It’s supposed to work! What’s even the point…”

I look at her kind of blankly, surprised by the outburst. It should be noted that she doesn’t appear to have any need for Wi-Fi since all she has with her is her phone — which she hasn’t touched once — her purse, and a book that she’s been reading.

Me: “Well, it’s not a huge issue. I have other stuff I can work on that doesn’t require Wi—”

Woman: *Cutting me off* “This is outrageous. I’m going to talk to the driver.”

She gets up and walks past the line on the ground where you’re not supposed to walk and starts talking to the driver. I don’t hear much except her frustrated tone of voice. She returns, sits back down across from me, and proceeds to call customer service for [Bus Company].

Woman: “I’m on the [time] bus from [Location #1] to [Location #2], and the Wi-Fi isn’t working and the driver won’t do anything about it. This is outrageous! I paid [price] for this ticket and I expect all of the amenities to be functional.” *Slowly and quietly into the receiver* “You. Are. A. Terrible. Company.”

She hangs up, looking frustrated. I’ve been working on my laptop during this exchange, feeling rather uncomfortable, and trying to ignore her. She then returns to her book and pulls out the dried fruit again.

Woman: “Do you want a piece?”

Me: “No, thanks. I’m not hungry.”

Why this woman decided to make a big stink about a service she wasn’t even using, I will never know.

Related:
Another Case Of Wifitis

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Some People Are A Real Mystery

, , , , | Right | February 23, 2021

I am browsing the mystery section of a used bookstore and I pick up a book by an author I really like. The lady browsing beside me takes notice of the book I’ve picked up: a cozy mystery about a member of a knitting club being accused of murder. I should point out that I am twenty-two years old. I am also barely five feet tall and have what I call “baby cheeks,” making me appear younger.

The lady speaks to me as though speaking to a small child.

Lady: “Oh, sweetie, you don’t want that book. That book’s for big girls.”

I look around for a little girl, see no one else in that section, and realize that she is talking to me.

Me: “Uh, excuse me?”

Lady: “That book you’re holding. I know it has cute little kitties on the cover, but it’s a grown-up book. I’ve read it, and it’s full of mean people and scary things.”

I am completely dumbfounded. I have often been mistaken for a teenager, but a little kid? That’s a new one. It really doesn’t help that I am wearing a low-cut top and have rather large breasts. I don’t know how she could have missed that.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m twenty-two. Besides, I’ve read the other books in the series, and—”

Lady: “Do you want me to take you to the children’s section? You’ll find lots of great books there!”

The worst part is that I can tell that this lady is sincere; she seems to genuinely believe that I am a small child. I’m so confused that I don’t even react when she takes the book out of my hands, puts it back on the shelf, and takes a few steps away, trying to get me to follow her. I finally snap out of it, still wondering if I’ve somehow entered the Twilight Zone, and grab the book again.

The lady smiles like I’m an adorable toddler.

Lady: “Ah, sweetie—”

I had meant to look around some more, but at this point, I just want to get my book and get out. I fast-walk to the checkout, the lady following me the whole way, chastising me even as I pay! I don’t know what my face looks like, but it must be enough for the cashier to have some idea of what is going on. I should also mention that the cashier is a pretty big guy.

Cashier: *Leaning in and whispering* “Want me to block the door?”

Me: *Relieved* “Thank you.”

I slipped a few dollars in the tip jar and bolted the moment he gave me my book and receipt. I got in my car as fast as I could. I saw the cashier watching me, the crazy lady still trying to get past him. He didn’t move until my car left the parking lot. Thank you, cashier, for saving me from whatever that was. I did enjoy the book, by the way.

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