It Wasn’t The Summer Of Punctuality

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 10, 2017

(Mendocino County, California, is where all the hippies moved after the Summer of Love, and it is a very laid-back place. I am sitting in a restaurant and hear the woman in the next booth talking on her cell phone:)

Woman: “Okay, so I’ll see you there in an hour. Is that standard time or Mendocino time? Mendocino time? Okay, an hour and twenty minutes.”

Arcade Dire

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 8, 2017

(I spend quite a bit of time at the video game arcade playing one of those two-person fighting games. There, I meet another player that frequents the place as much as I do. We often choose random characters when playing against each other, just for fun. One day, as we are playing, a young man comes in and puts his token on the machine to indicate he wants to be the next person to play. My arcade friend beats me and I let the new guy take my place as the next challenger. He goes on to beat my friend with some nice moves.)

Friend: “That was pretty good.”

Stranger: “Yeah, well, I come from [Major City] and there, if you aren’t good, they throw you out of the arcade.”

(Next it is my turn. I beat him, after he only gets in one hit.)

Friend: *in a deadpan voice* “Well, that’s how we play around here.”

(The young man did not stick around for a repeat performance.)

Interview Technique Is Lacking An Interview

, , , , , , , | Working | November 8, 2017

(I have just finished an interview, so I am wearing a suit and nice shoes as well as carrying a laptop. I decide to stop in a well-known coffee shop to get a tea and a bagel. I sit down at an empty table to eat and play a game on my phone, with only a handful of customers in the store. A well-dressed woman walks up to me.)

Woman: “Hi.”

Me: “Hello?”

Woman: “Do you need a phone charger?”

Me: *confused* “No, thanks… Do you?”

(The woman shakes her head but doesn’t move. After a moment…)

Woman: “Could you move over there?” *points to a different table*

Me: *now really confused* “Uh, no? I’m fine right here.”

Woman: “You know, you aren’t making a very good first impression.”

Me: “Neither are you.”

Woman: *with a rude tone, points to clipboard in hand* “I’m marking this down, I hope you know.”

Me: “For what?”

(With a shocked expression, the woman turned around and disappeared into the back room. I figured that someone had an interview scheduled that day and the woman assumed I was the candidate. If that’s the case, it was pretty rude to not even introduce herself or ask me if I was there for the interview.)

The Age-Old Question

, , , , , | Working | November 7, 2017

(I am a 25-year-old married woman, but most of the time I get mistaken for much younger, and by this point it’s extremely irritating for me. Even though people dress casually at my office, I always try to dress a little more professionally, in the hopes that people will take me more seriously as an adult. However, it has been unusually cold this winter, so I’ve been wearing my super-puffy, bright purple winter jacket over my professional clothes, with some interesting results. These conversations happen with two different taxi drivers on two consecutive days.)

Me: *getting into the car* “Good morning. Thanks for coming to pick me up.”

Driver #1: *looking awkward* “Oh, um, before we get going… Are you 18? I can’t drive you if you’re under 18.”

Me: *out loud* “Actually I’m 25.” *thinking to myself* “Okay, I guess he was just trying to follow the rules. I really hope he just apologizes and talks about something else before this gets even more awkward.”

Driver #1: “Wow, sorry.”

Me: *thinking to myself* “Yes, finally a person who doesn’t put their foot in their mouth about my age!”

Driver #1: “It’s just that you look sooooooooo young!”

Me: *thinking to myself* “Really? Come on, guy. It’s not too late to save it!”

Driver #1: “I mean, I really thought you were 16 or something. Recently this Lyft driver got in big trouble for driving two 16-year-olds and getting into an accident, and the insurance wouldn’t pay because they were underage, so I just thought, you know, I should be careful…”

Me: *thinking to myself* “Why did you think telling me this would make things better? You just made me feel really uncomfortable about my age, and about the fact that you are apparently worried we might crash.” *out loud* “Well, we are going for a pretty short drive today, so hopefully everything will be nice and safe!”

(Fortunately we arrive at my destination safely. Then, the next day, with a different driver…)

Driver #2: *making small-talk* “So, I hear that [Town in the mountains] is really nice this time of year.”

Me: “Yeah, definitely! My husband and I are planning to visit there next month with some friends—”

Driver #2: “Wait, you have a husband!? But you’re so young! How old are you?”

Me: *burning with embarrassment* “I’m 25, and I’ve been married for three years.”

Driver #2: “Oh, wow. I definitely assumed you were in high school. I can’t believe it! You’re married! Haha!”

Me: *wondering to myself* “What happened to the rule about not driving anyone under 18?” *out loud* “Well, I guess it’s just best not to make assumptions.”

(While these conversations were kind of funny in retrospect, the bottom line is this: unless your job requires you to make sure customers are of a certain age, please don’t comment on how old they look. It’s just as uncomfortable as being judged for other aspects of your appearance.)

Getting An Edge About The Hedge

, , , , | Friendly | November 6, 2017

(Back when I was a kid, we moved into a fairly nice neighborhood. There wasn’t an actual home owner’s association, but several of the neighbors liked to act like there was, and tried to tell the other residents to change things about their homes and lawns. My mom is not the kind of person to put up with that sort of thing.)

Lady: *knocks on our front door*

Mom: *opens the door* “Hello?”

Lady: “Hi! I just wanted to come by and see how you were doing. I noticed that your bushes were getting rowdy, and I was worried you’d gone and moved out on us.”

Mom: *glances at the bushes, which aren’t perfectly trimmed, but aren’t super scraggly* “Oh, well, they look fine to me.”

Lady: “Yes, well… we just want to make sure our neighborhood looks its best.”

Mom: “Yes… Well, goodbye.” *goes to shut the door*

Lady: *sticks her foot in the door and actually pushes it open* “Ah, ah, so you will be trimming those bushes, right? And maybe invest in an edger to tidy up your lawn?”

(Mom didn’t say a word, just pulled the door open all the way, then started to swing it closed, hard. The lady jumped back as the door slammed in her face, then stood making faces on the porch for a minute or so while we kids watched from the window. Eventually, she huffed off down the front path. Unfortunately, she and the others kept coming back. The door continued to be slammed in their faces.)

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