Don’t You Know Who I Am? A Philosophical Quandary

, , , | Right | July 18, 2019

(In the Netherlands, the “customer is always right” policy isn’t as strongly abided by as in the USA, and as a result, an employee can occasionally be rather frank toward customers. Essentially, employees aren’t about going above and beyond for every customer, but rather are encouraged to keep a shop running smoothly. Employees may occasionally bend the rules to be nice if you’re being nice to them, but if you’re mean, they are encouraged to stonewall you or simply refuse service, to keep the atmosphere of the store as a whole as positive as possible. I am working in the kitchen of a restaurant, just bringing some cleaned glasses to the counter, when I see a small line of people at the counter. About third in line is a visibly annoyed American woman who sees me and calls me over.)

Customer: “You! This service here is terrible. Come here!”

(I walk over.)

Customer: “Yes, I’ll have a—” *starts giving her order, but I just stand there listening to her, which seems to set her off more* “Well? What are you waiting for?!”

Me: “Well, I work in the kitchen, not at the counter. While it is nice to know what you’ll be ordering, it really isn’t something I can help you with. But no worries; you’re almost at the front and my colleagues will be happy to help you when it’s your turn.”

Customer: “Well, I have never been treated this poorly by any establishment! Do you know who I am?”

Me: “Not a clue. Do you know who I am?”

Customer: “I… What?”

Me: “Well, maybe we know each other and I just forgot. How do we know each other?”

Customer: “I have no clue who you are, but that—”

Me: “Well, then I guess we’re even! My colleagues will help you as soon as it’s your turn. Enjoy your meal!”

(And with that, I walked back to the kitchen. When the woman complained about me at the counter, my colleagues simply said that I was right, and audibly remarked among each other that people who attempt to skip the line are rude and annoying to deal with, while never really accusing her. My manager did tell me to hold back on the cheekiness a little, though.)

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She’ll Get A Hold On You; Believe It 

, , , , | Romantic | July 14, 2019

(I go to see Phil Collins’ “Still Not Dead Yet” show in mid-July and have a blast with my wife. Two days later, I’m in a restaurant kitchen unloading their delivery when “Easy Lover” comes on the radio.)

Me: “Oh, man, this was such a great song live, the way he performed with the background singer.”

(A female chef looks up with what I can only describe as a look of envy.)

Chef: “I wanted to go, too, but my boyfriend was going to buy the tickets, and he said they were sold out.”

Me: “Uh, my wife said there were a few thousand tickets still open.” 

(Goffertpark has a capacity of 50,000. I literally see the chef’s face going from envy and sadness to pure rage.)

Chef: “That motherf*****, not again!”

(She storms out of the kitchen.)

Head Chef: “Yeah, that’s the second time her boyfriend pulled that stunt when she really wanted to go and he didn’t.”

(I haven’t been back yet, so I don’t know if the boyfriend woke up with a chef’s blade in his gut or not.)

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Banishing The Birthday Blues

, , , , | Hopeless | July 13, 2019

(Birthdays have always been a struggle for me. No matter how many people I invite, only the usual close relatives show up, and sometimes my best friend who I’ve known for 23 years. Besides that, I never had many friends. Somehow my “BFF” has managed to excuse herself out of it for five years now. So, my birthday goes by with just my mom, my brother, his girlfriend, my grandma, and my uncle coming in the afternoon. My friend calls to say that her car broke down and she can’t make it… again. Surprise. In the evening, I expect two of my bandmates — whom I have known for less than a year — and they don’t exactly live nearby. They have been traveling by train for two and a half hours to get to me, so I invite them to stay the night. They arrive, congratulate me, shove two bottles of wine and a homemade cake in my hands, and look around.)

Bandmate #1: “Where are all the guests? I brought my guitar and everything. I thought there was a party?”

Bandmate #2: “Yeah, we were excited to meet all your friends! Where are they?”

Me: “Well… it’s just us three now. Some family came this afternoon, but they went already. And my one friend cancelled… again.”

Bandmate #1: “Well, that’s not fair!”

Bandmate #2: “Your best friend cancelled… and your other friends?”

Me: “I don’t really have any… Not nearby at least.”

Bandmate #1: “Well, that’s just stupid! We don’t live nearby, either, and yet we are here. What trouble is it to just come over?”

Bandmate #2: “Don’t worry. We’ll get you wasted enough to not be sad about the bad turn up!”

(And they did. They conjured up another bottle of rum from their bags and we drank — I never even drink, but screw it just this once — sang songs, played games, laughed, and chatted until 4:00 am, and I can’t recall having a happier birthday ever!)

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Her Vision Is Electric

, , | Right | July 9, 2019

(I’m answering the phone at work. After the introductions:)

Client: “I would like to postpone my appointment.”

Me: “Let’s see what we can do for you. Did you have an appointment with our carpenter, our plumber, or our electrician?”

Client: *without missing a beat* “The optician!”

(A moment of silence followed and before I could ask again, the customer realized her slip-up. She meant the electrician.)

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You Pay It Best When You Pay Nothing At All

, , | Working | July 9, 2019

(The phone rings and I see it’s a private number. I’m not yet on the do-not-call register, so I’m fairly certain it’s going to be an unsolicited call.)

Me: “Hello, [My Name] speaking.”

Telemarketer: “Hello, [My Name], I’m calling you from [Company] to talk about your mortgage.”

Me: “That’s not necessary—“

Telemarketer: *interrupting me* “Oh, but it is. We can take on your mortgage at a much lower cost! Isn’t that great?!”

Me: “I don’t see how you are going to do that.”

Telemarketer: “Oh, but we certainly can. Your mortgage payments are way too high right now.”

Me: “How do you know that?”

Telemarketer: “You are on the register.”

Me: “Sorry, but I can’t be. You see, you started this conversation completely wrong. You should’ve asked if I owned the apartment I’m in right now. And I would’ve told you that it’s a rented apartment. So, unless you are going to give me free money each month, I don’t think you can do better than the mortgage payments I am currently making, which is nothing at all.”

Telemarketer: “Goodbye!” *click*

(To this day, I still have no idea if there is a “register” for mortgage payments or if it was a lie.)

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