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You Will Need To Sit Down For This One

, , , , , | Friendly | August 10, 2017

(I’m on spring break with my family in Chicago, visiting my favorite museum. We decide to eat lunch at nice cafeteria-style restaurant inside the museum. My dad grabs food for both himself and my mom so my mom can find us a table in the banquet-style seating, which is moderately busy. She places shopping bags and purses in 4 seats and puts out silverware and napkins for each of us. I’m the first one back at the table and I see an older gentleman starting to sit down at one of the places my mom laid out.)

Me: “Oh, excuse me, sir. I’m sorry, but my family and I are sitting here.”

Older Man: “No one is sitting here so I’m going to sit here.”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, but we had already planned to sit here and that’s why there are napkins and silverware out in these spots.”

Older Man: “I need to sit here.”

(We are at the middle of a banquet style table that has at least eight other seats open on either end.)

Me: “Sir, there are seats just down there that you can sit at. As you can see, my family is already sitting here.”

Older Man: “I need six seats! I have to sit here! You don’t get to tell me I can’t sit here when I sat down first. No one was sitting here when I sat down.”

(At this point he is alone, there is no one with him.)

Me: “Sir, there are six open seats right down there at the end of the table.”

(He moves over one seat, which is still one of the ones we were sitting at. At this point, a lot of people are looking at us because he is quite loud and me and my family are standing there, waiting.)

Me: “No, you need to move down at least one more.” *I’m losing my patience at this point* “Those are still our seats.”

Older Man: “You told me to move so I moved, god-d****t! I moved!”

Me: “We need these four seats here.” *motioning* “There are four of us.” *pointing to me and my family*

Older Man: “You said I could sit here!”

Me: “No, I said you could move down to those empty seats that no one is currently sitting in.”

(He grumbles insults at me for another minute while he finally moves. My family and I sit down and start to eat. I watch the people he was with finally show up and they make him get up and move to the other side of the table where they were already sitting. After a few minutes of him making a scene with them as well, they end up picking up and leaving him there alone. Then, a few minutes later, one of the museum associates approaches our table.)

Associate: *to my dad* “Excuse me, sir, could I see your receipt?”

(My dad hands it over and the associate walks away. We’re left wondering what’s going on, thinking we were maybe mis-charged for the wine my parents purchased at the bar or something. We were long past worrying about the old guy and his family at this point. The associate comes back after a few minutes and hands my dad his receipt back plus another receipt.)

Associate: “Here you are, sir. Have a good day.”

(He walked away before we had a chance to say anything. My dad looked at the new receipt and said he was refunded for the glasses of wine my parents bought, as well as for one of our meals. We tried to ask the associate why he did it, but he wouldn’t give us a full answer, other than thanking us for visiting, and we were left to assume that he had witnessed the exchange between me and the old man and it was a way for the museum to apologize for the difficulty. Still my favorite museum!)

Attending To Her Misdeeds

, , , , | Friendly | August 4, 2017

(I am filling my car up at a local petrol station. This station is completely self service, and uses the card payments only. I see another car pull up. It’s quite an expensive make and model. A woman gets out and stares at the machine for the entire time I fill up. She then turns and walks over to me.)

Woman: “Are you the attendant?”

Me: “No, just a customer.”

Woman: “Fill my car. I also need it washed and valeted.”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “EXCUSE ME!?”

Me: “I said no. I don’t work here.”

Woman: “I don’t care. There is always an attendant present, and since you’re present, then it is your duty to fulfil that responsibility.”

Me: “The answer is still no.”

(She pouts at and turns for a moment. When she turns back she has readjusted her top to show considerably more cleavage.)

Woman: “Won’t you reconsider? I’ll let you play with these.”

Me: “Not even if I was straight.”

(I took my receipt and got in my car. I heard her scream homophobic slurs before stomping back to the machine. I drove away and saw her start kicking the entire pump. I went back a week later, and it was out of order, with the card reader and display heavily vandalised.)

Panting For Breath

, , , , | Friendly | July 27, 2017

(My 14-month-old daughter has a thing about pants and shorts: she doesn’t like them and will take them off every time I put them on her. I am in the grocery store picking up some last minute groceries after picking up her up from her grandmother’s. Once again, she refuses to wear the shorts I had on her originally. Knowing that the errand will be relatively quick, I don’t fight it and take her in the grocery store with just her shirt and her diaper on. The heat index at this time is close to 110 F (43.33 C), so most people are getting sweaty just walking from their cars into the store, us being no exception. I’m patiently waiting in line when an elderly woman joins behind me, followed by her teenage grandson playing on his phone. I’m getting ready to pay when I hear this gem.)

Woman: “You should seriously put some pants on that child. It’s rather indecent of you to allow her to go out in public like that.”

Me: “Are you seriously offended by the fact that my daughter’s diaper is exposed?”

(She’s about to reply when her grandson interjects, not breaking his gaze from the phone.)

Grandson: “Nana, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s stupid hot outside. If I didn’t have to wear pants in this weather, I certainly wouldn’t. Let the baby live it up while she still can.”

(The cashier and I chuckled while the woman just turned red and kept quiet the rest of the transaction.)

You Darn Millennials And Your Historically-Varied Taste In Music!

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 19, 2017

On a beautiful sunny day, as I drive into the parking lot at my local supermarket, one of my all-time favourite pieces of music starts to play on the radio and so I, like most of you, crank that sucker up so that I can really enjoy it. Well, I drive around a bit, find a parking space and pull in, wait till the piece finishes then turn off my car, close the windows (handy feature of my motor; for about a minute after the engine is off the windows still work), and climb out. This is where things become fun. As I exit the car a little old lady (proper, feisty, granny mark3, iron-gray bun and all) marches up to me and proceeds to give me a proper old-fashioned haranguing. I’m talking a proper “you kids and your rock music, get orf moi lawn” raging while her inevitable companion (a noticeably more wrinkled granny with a walker) lurks behind her and smirks.

Now, anyone that knows me knows that I am, in many ways, an awful person and usually I’d have cut the old biddy off with some form of scathing comment, but I can’t. First, because it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen such a professionally delivered haranguing that I just couldn’t make myself break in; second, because both of these old ladies are clearly having such a great time railing at me that even a colossal ar*e-hole like myself can’t bear to spoil their fun, but mainly because of the huge, glaring elephant in the room…

You see, I hadn’t been blaring out Disturbed or Maiden or even a little Alestorm. The track that was playing when I rolled into that parking lot was Prokofiev’s Montagues and the Capulets, one of the most iconic and recognisable pieces of music ever danced to. Given that the piece was composed more than a century ago, ie. before either of these aged ladies HAD BEEN BORN, I was totally gobsmacked to be told off for playing my “modern rock tunes” too loudly.

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When Jobs Are Looking For You

, , , | Friendly | July 6, 2017

(I have a job interview in a town about 200 miles from home. Because my interview is early in the morning, the night before I stay in a hotel much closer to the school. As I am walking out of the hotel lobby after checking out, another man walks past me into the lobby. When I get out to my car, I hear a tap on my window. The same man is standing there, so I roll down my window in case I had forgotten something inside or anything.)

Man: *friendly and smiling* “Hey, are you looking for a job?”

Me: “Kind of, but I’m really only looking for teaching jobs right now.”

Man: “Well, my company is always hiring, so if you want my business card, you can give me a call and we can set something up.”

Me: “What kind of work is it?”

Man: “Supplemental insurance sales.”

Me: *handing his business card back to him* “Thanks, but I think I’ll pass.”

(At this point, the man starts to turn aggressive, leaning into the window and practically shouting in my ear.)

Man: “What, you think you’re too good to sell insurance? Or are you just so d*** stupid that the only job you can find is at a hotel?”

Me: “Like I said, I’m looking for a TEACHING job, so I’m not really interested in anything else right now, unless it has something to do with working in schools or working with kids.”

Man: *reaching past me and pointing at the piece of paper on the passenger seat* “Then why did you pick up an application in there?”

Me: “That’s my RECEIPT.”

Man: *actually grabbing my tie* “Okay, but who the f*** wears a suit and tie into a hotel lobby this early in the morning unless they’re looking for a job?”

Me: *shoving the guy back out of my car* “I was CHECKING OUT, and I have a job interview at a school in half an hour.”

(I drove off at that point, but watched the guy in my rear-view mirror as he got in his pick-up truck and raced to catch up to me. I got my phone ready in case he still had road rage, but he ended up turning the other direction out of the parking lot and speeding away. I was still pretty shaken up when I got to the school for my interview, and had to take some extra time fussing over my clothes in the parking lot just so I could calm down before I walked inside. On the plus side, I still ended up giving a good enough interview that I was offered the job!)