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Hobbits Never Have These Problems

, , , , , , | Right | August 19, 2021

I’m shopping in a store. I’m fairly tall for a woman — 5′9″. A much shorter woman approaches me.

Woman #1: “Excuse me. I know you don’t work here, but would you mind getting that box off the top shelf for me?”

I hand it to her, she thanks me, and I take one step when another woman comes out of nowhere and starts yelling at me.

Woman #2: “I NEED HELP! GET ME A BLENDER FROM THE BACK! I KNOW YOU HAVE MORE! I WANT IT NOW! MOVE!”

I stare at her for about two seconds, tell her, “I don’t work here”, turn my back, and start to walk away. She grabs my arm and spins me around.

Woman #2: “DON’T YOU LIE TO ME! GET ME THE BLENDER OR I’LL HAVE YOU FIRED!”

I’m wearing a band T-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops — not even close to the store uniform. The short lady I helped hits her hand away from my arm. With more volume than I thought that tiny woman could produce, she yells right back.

Woman #1: “SHE DOESN’T WORK HERE! SHE HELPED ME BECAUSE I ASKED HER POLITELY!”

Dropping to normal volume, she starts to lead me away.

Woman #1: “Come on, dear. Ignore that b****.”

The crazy woman starts screaming she’s going to get me fired and follows us, so I walk to the customer service counter. The crazy woman is still screaming at me.

I make eye contact with the guy behind the counter.

Me: “Manager, please.”

As he picks up his radio, the crazy lady screams:

Woman #2:  “I WANT YOUR NAME”

And she tried to take my purse off my shoulder. I shoved her off and a manager, another employee, and the nice lady I helped all jumped in to pull her away from me. They called the cops and had her escorted from the store with a permanent ban. I declined pressing charges.

I bought lunch for the short lady and we ended up becoming great friends!

​​When A Wong Makes A White

, , , , | Right | August 18, 2021

I am writing out two distinct forms for two different families looking to borrow vehicles for road trips. As it is the start of the summer, many families tend to come in on one day. The two vehicles in question are very similar in color and make, so it becomes difficult to tell them apart. I have just spent a few minutes with the heads of said families at the desk as I work out who is borrowing which vehicle, complete with mixing up the keys.

Me: *Addressing [Customer #1]* “So, the one you wanted is the [1986 Make], not the [1988 Make]?”

Customer #1: *Laughing in relief* “Yes, that’s the right one!”

Me: “Finally! Well, I hope you are both sorted. I just have to record that the [1986 Make] is the right one!”

Both [Customer #1] and [Customer #2] walk off in different directions. As I write their surnames onto pictures of the particular vehicles, [Customer #3] comes up.

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Customer #3: *In a calm voice* “How dare you?”

Me: *Confused* “How dare I… what?”

Customer #3: “You know very well, you racist b****!”

He snatches up the photographs and the documentation paperclipped to them as I try to stop him. He approaches [Customer #2]. I start to worry that he might have personal information, so I get up out of my seat to follow him.

Customer #3: *To [Customer #2]* “I am sorry about what this woman has written here.”

Customer #2: *Trying to work out the problem* “What has she written?”

Customer #3: “That racist taunt at the top of the paper! See?”

He almost shoves it in the other customer’s face. I suddenly realize what conclusion [Customer #3] has jumped to. [Customer #1] and his family were a white family with the surname “White,” and [Customer #2] and his family are Chinese and have the surname “Wong.”

Me: “I—”

Customer #3: “No, listen to me! You can not call your customers that! I heard you when you told that other family you’d give them the ‘right’ car!” *To [Customer #2]* “I am very sorry for this woman and if you want me to do so, I will get the manager on your behalf.”

Customer #2: “My name is Wong. [Customer #2] Wong. And my family is waiting outside.”

[Customer #3] went very red. He shoved the papers back at me and stormed out of the building.

I’m Paid By The Hour, Lady

, , , , , | Right | August 17, 2021

I’m the only front desk worker at my doctor’s office, and I usually lock the front door so patients won’t come in while I’m out. However, this time, our IT guy is working on my computer, which is in the office right beside the front door, and one of the nurses is going in and out, so the front door is unlocked.

I’m only out for twenty minutes, so I figure no one will have shown up yet.

Nope.

A patient has shown up thirty minutes early and is standing at the dark office window, grumbling. Luckily, my office door is right beside the window, so I try to move around her to get into my office, but she instantly moves in my way and glares at me.

Patient: “I was here first. Wait your turn.”

When I try to explain that I need to get into my office, she interrupts me multiple times, so I finally sit down to go through my phone and check a few emails. After she’s stood there almost ten minutes, she complains.

Patient: “Are they ever going to check me in?”

I look up from my phone and give her a pointed look.

Me: “I can’t. I’m not at my desk.”

She gets the point and sits down, allowing me to get to my desk. I take my time with clocking in before I ask her to approach the desk.

Patient: “You could have told me who you were.”

Me: “I tried, and you interrupted me.”

I’m definitely making sure the others know to lock the front door when I’m not here.

The Only Thing We’re Out Of Is Patience

, , , | Right | July 26, 2021

I’m at a small, hole-in-the-wall barbecue place; it’s not anything to look at, but the food is excellent. The owner, who’s run the place for decades after inheriting it from his father, cooks only so much meat every day. He then opens up at 10:30, sells until he runs out, and then shuts down for the day, usually by 1:00 p.m.

On this particular day, there’s a substantial line waiting to order. Just after noon, the phone rings. The owner pauses from serving to answer the phone, and we just hear his side of the conversation.

Owner: “Hello?” *Pauses* “Where?” *Pauses* “No, sorry, we’re almost out.” *Pauses* “No, sorry.” 

And he hangs up. Those of us in line are a little worried. He’s almost sold out of food?

Owner: *To us* “Don’t worry, folks. I’ve got plenty left. That guy was all the way over by [Local Mall twenty minutes away]. He’s got lots of places he can eat over there.”

One Wild Ride

, , , , , | Healthy | July 26, 2021

The summer before my brother starts college, we go to an amusement park. He drags me on a bunch of terrible rides and a fun time is had by all. A few days later, however…

Brother: “My stomach hurts.”

Mom: “Where? How bad is it?”

Brother: “It’s not bad, just kind of sore right here.”

He gestures vaguely to the middle of his stomach, so my mom dismisses his appendix.

Mom: “It’s probably bruised from the bars on the [ride]. It’s what you get for dragging your sister on it and flipping it over.”

Over the course of a week, the pain doesn’t subside, but my brother hasn’t mentioned it getting worse or anything like that. My mom lets it go for the moment but decides to take him to the doctor if it doesn’t get better by next week. Come the weekend, I find him lying down on the floor of his room.

Me: “[Brother], are you okay?”

Brother: “No, my stomach really hurts. I just took another Hydrocodone, and it still hurts.”

The Hydrocodone was for his oral surgery he’d had earlier in the year. That surgery bothered him so little he never ended up taking the pills and just left them in the medicine cabinet.

Me: “Don’t worry. I’ll get Mom and we’ll take you to the doctor, okay?”

I got to my mom’s room.

Me: “Mom, we need to take [Brother] to the doctor. His stomach hurts and he took another Hydrocodone.”

Mom: “He did what?”

She rushed out, collected my brother, and drove us to the emergency room. It turns out it was his appendix. It had actually ruptured partially, though thankfully his body had walled it off. He had to go in for emergency surgery. My parents were pissed he let himself suffer so much before getting help. He recovered fine and was more upset that he had a weight limit for his first two weeks at college.