, , , , | Friendly | August 10, 2019

(When my boyfriend goes to a party for one of his old college friends, another college friend tells him that her cat is pregnant and almost due to give birth. My boyfriend and I have been thinking about getting a kitten for some time now, so my boyfriend thinks this is the perfect opportunity to get one. He immediately expresses interest in adopting a kitten once they are born, and the college friend agrees to let us have one and keep us posted. Three weeks later…)

Boyfriend: “I haven’t heard from [Friend] yet about that pregnant cat. Let me text her.”

(He gets a text back saying that the cat gave birth two weeks ago.)

Me: “I thought she would keep us posted?”

Boyfriend: “Maybe she forgot. Let me make an appointment, so we can choose which kitten we want before we can take it home.” 

(Kittens need to stay with their mother for at least eight weeks.)

Boyfriend: “All right, I made an appointment to go see the kittens in two weeks. She couldn’t make time earlier than that.”

Me: “Sounds reasonable. I’m so excited!”

(It’s five days before the appointment and we get a text from that friend.)

Friend: “I hope you don’t mind, but I gave every kitten away except one. Is that a problem?”

Us: “What?! Of course, that is a problem! We wanted to choose our own kitten! We wanted a calico cat and now all you have left is a grey-white!” 

(There were four calico kittens and one grey-white.)

Friend: “Oh, I didn’t know you wanted to choose.”

Us: “Why else do you think we made that appointment?! We made that specifically so that we could choose our own kitten!”

Friend: “So, do you still want that kitten?”

Us: “Actually, no. We are not going to be treated like this. You failed to inform us in the first place that the kittens had been born, you scheduled an appointment with us quite late because you couldn’t sooner, and now you’re taking away our choice?! What do you think they are? Stuffed animals? We were really looking forward to a kitten, but we are now going to search for another litter of kittens. Thanks for nothing!”

(We never heard from her again about this matter. [Friend], please take into consideration that with real animals, there are real human emotions attached to the choosing process. I really hope you won’t disappoint future cat adopters if your cat is pregnant again.)


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Their Reaction Was Gold(fish)

, , , , , | Working | August 2, 2019

(I work in the office of a multinational company that has a pet goldfish. Whenever coworkers clean the tank, I just walk away, because I am honestly horrified by how they treat that poor fish. They are the kind of people that are convinced they know what they are doing but are horrible at it. Going to a manager is useless, because they think I am overreacting. Besides, it is “just a fish.”)

Coworker #1: “Hey, I’m tired of cleaning that tank.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, it’s always such a hassle, grabbing that fish.”

(Yes, they grab him with their hands and then toss him in a bucket with water.)

Coworker #1: “Not to mention all that cleaning of the pebbles with dishwasher soap… How about we flush that thing?”

(I am terrible at reading people when it comes to joking. I can be fooled easily and believe whatever people tell me. Yes, I know I am pretty gullible; I do my best, but I’m in my mid-30s and still have this issue. I also often take things literally.)

Me: *thinking they are joking* “Ha! That fish is so big, he would clog up the sewer!”

Coworker #1: “You know, you’re right. Let’s toss him into the canal.”

Coworker #2: “How about the office garden? I saw a heron yesterday; I bet he’d love a goldfish for lunch!”

Me: *realizing they are not joking* “Oh, well, if you are serious about this, I could take him in?”

(I am not looking for a pet, but I don’t want this fish to die, especially not because of these two. I used to have an aquarium as a kid and I still have everything from back then.)

Coworker #2: “Oh, you can’t! It’s not our fish!”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, he was bought especially for [CEO]. We promised we would take care of him.”

Coworker #2: “But, if he says it’s okay…”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, you can always ask him!”

(They walk away, giggling. Adult women, giggling like teenagers. However, I don’t catch their actual motive: setting me up to fail and get upset about that “poor little fish” — which was huge, by the way. All I hear is that I just have to ask the CEO. The CEO is the one who has appeared on TV, has expensive clothes, cars, etc., and is spoken to with the utmost respect by everyone. You do not just barge into his office. You cannot reach him without an appointment through the secretary of his secretary — well, that last part is an exaggeration — unless you are me, apparently. I just open my business email, open the address book, look up his name, and send him an email.)

Me: “Hello, Mr. [CEO]. I work at [Department] and we are taking care of the fish that once belonged to you. My coworkers no longer wish to take care of him and I wonder if I could adopt him. I am awaiting your reply.”

(About half an hour later:)

CEO: “Hello, [My Name]. Sure, you can have him. To be honest, I thought he was already long gone. Take good care of him!”

(When I tell my coworkers, blissfully unaware of their scheme, their jaws drop and they can’t believe I actually emailed the CEO! Within the day, I am known as the girl who “just emailed the CEO about a fish.” They then joke that he will probably die very soon, as goldfish only live a few years and he is probably already three or four years old. However, when my mom picks me and my new pet up — I needed safe transportation last-minute — she says:)

Mom: “That’s the fish?! Sweetie, that type of goldfish can live up to 20! Those coworkers of yours have no idea what they were talking about!”

(So, that’s how I got my goldfish and now, about ten years later, I still have him. I even got him a bigger tank this year and my husband adores him!)

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They Have Bigger Combos To Fry

, , , , , | Working | July 31, 2019

(I’m late for a meeting around dinner time and decide to grab a quick bite to eat from a fast food joint. There’s a decent crowd at the counter but it’s not too busy. I place my order — just a burger and a small drink — hoping the easy order will be done fast. The cashier is foreign and hard to understand, using a mixture of English and Dutch with a very heavy accent.)

Cashier: “We out of regular burger. You want XL burger, instead?”

Me: “Yeah, no problem.”

(She gives me my total, which is for a normal burger and the drink. I pay and she then goes to make a drink, which she places in front of me along with a receipt with a number. I grab the drink and receipt and stand back, waiting for my number to be called for my burger. The cashier sees me standing, then impatiently beckons me over.)

Cashier: “This not yours! This other order!”

(She snatches the receipt and drink out of my hands.)

Me: “My apologies! Since you placed them right in front of me, I figured this was my order.”

(She disappears to the back, leaving me without a receipt with an order number. I don’t want to make a fuss so I just stand back again, keeping a close eye on all the outgoing orders to see if mine is there. After a while, the cashier comes back with a tray with what seems to be my order, as she also makes eye contact and beckons me over.)

Cashier: “One [burger] combo.”

Me: “Hold on, I didn’t order the combo. Just the burger and a small drink. You can keep the fries.”

(She snatches the tray out of my hands and places it on the counter behind her, out of my reach. I’m in a real hurry now and just want my food. I try to get her attention but she is now busy helping others. After two other customers she turns to me again.)

Cashier: *impatiently* “What?”

Me: “I said, you can keep the fries. I still want my burger.”

Cashier: *raised eyebrow silence*

Me: “Can I have the tray back?”

(She grabs the tray again and gives it to me.)

Cashier: *rudely* “I thought you didn’t want the combo? Now you suddenly want combo?”

(I grab the tray, take off the fries, and place them on the counter.)

Me: “Here. Problem solved. Stick those fries anywhere you want for all I care.”

(I walk out hurriedly to catch my meeting and start eating while walking. The burger was so cold that the cheese on it was stiff.)

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Swipe Left On Family

, , , , , , , | Right | July 24, 2019

Some grandparents wanted to celebrate their 60th wedding day and they invited their children and grandchildren to our restaurant for a family dinner. They made the reservations well ahead and all in all, there would be thirty persons attending the dinner.

We could see that the grandparents really were excited and looking forward to a nice dinner with their loved ones.

On the night of the event, everyone showed up as expected. Everyone sat down and was talking to each other in friendly conversation while I took their orders.

Sadly, that didn’t last long. 

Not even ten minutes had passed and everyone was busy on their phone. I looked at the grandparents and they motioned me to come over. They were visibly upset and asked me if they could cancel all the orders.

I told our boss what happened and if it was possible to cancel the orders. My boss looked at the table. The grandparents sat there surrounded by the family who were all texting and swiping on their phones. “Sure,” he said. “Cancel all orders. But prepare a table for two.”

He went to the table, had a word with the grandparents, and escorted them to another part of our restaurant where they would have a private dinner. Nobody of the entire party noticed what was happening. 

After having the couple seated, my boss returned to the group and made an announcement:

“I’m sorry to have to tell you that your grandparents cancelled the dinner. They wanted me to tell you this: they expected to have a nice evening with their family in a restaurant. Instead, they ended up with strangers acting like smartphone-zombies. They are not going to buy food for strangers, so they have left this table to have a meal on their own.”

The guests looked very embarrassed and left in a hurry. We tried to make this evening a bit better for the grandparents by treating them like royalty, and my boss didn’t want them to pay for their dinner. But it was still sad that this whole group of people was more interested in their phones than in their grandparents. 

My boss had placed signs in the restaurant asking people to act like it’s 1950 when there were no smartphones. But a lot of people felt offended by them. He even inquired for a phone-jammer, but it seems that these are illegal to have or to use.

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With You, The Netherlands So Does Not!

, , , | Working | July 23, 2019

(Twice a week, I am an unpaid volunteer at a youth’s sports club. I help around for two hours a day and more than once stay late. I love working there. In the Netherlands, once a year, we have this special event called “The Netherlands Does,” where people are encouraged to do volunteer work for a day. Important people use this to show off, and even the royal family helps around, like baking pancakes for homeless people or painting sheds at youth centers. This conversation happens two weeks before another “The Netherlands Does” — TND for short.)

Coworker: “So, TND is around the corner. Have we all decided what we’re doing to do?”

(Several coworkers share their ideas. Most people help around the clubs of their kids.)

Coworker: “How about you, [My Name]? What will you do for TND?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t do anything else that day.”

Coworker: “What?! But it’s TND! What is so important that you can’t spend a few hours helping out others?”

Me: “Well… I’m teaching that day. At [Youth Sports Club].”

Coworker: “Can’t you skip that for a day?”

Me: “No, I can’t. If I don’t go and no replacement is found, the kids can’t do sports. I have two groups of kids that day. I don’t want to send them home.”

Coworker: “They have two more weeks! Come on, you have to do something for TND; everybody does something! If the king can make it, you can make it!”

Me: “[Coworker], I’m a volunteer there. Unpaid.”

Coworker: “Yeah, but you do that every week. That doesn’t count!”

Me: “I’m a volunteer there for about 40 weeks a year. I think I can skip TND.”

Coworker: “Ugh, you’re being so selfish! I don’t want to talk to you about this again!”

(She then went through the office telling everyone about her great project and that “some people should think about others for a change!’” just a little bit louder and looking my way.)

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