Well, He Did Say “Just One”

, , , , | Related | June 7, 2018

(I have an uncle on my father’s side of the family who is fairly self-important, demanding, and bashful. I tend to just ignore it, but my mother has some trouble dealing with him and can get annoyed by his persona. We are sitting in the living room, the phone rings, and my mother picks up.)

Mom: “Hi, this is [Mother].”

Uncle: “Hi, [Mother]. Listen, I have just one question.”

Mom: “Okay, what is it?”

Uncle: “Is [Dad] there?”

Mom: “Yep.”

(And with that, my mother hangs up on him. We later heard that he was furious about it, but his wife, my aunt, was rolling on the floor laughing about it!)

In Receipt Of A Bad Attitude

, , | Right | June 5, 2018

(I live in a small town that’s right next to a larger city where I work. It’s only 15 minutes from my home to work on my bicycle. A posh-looking couple comes in and the man walks towards the counter with book.)

Customer: “I got this as a present, but I already have it.”

Me: “That’s no problem. You can either pick out another book or receive a gift card from our store if you can’t find anything right now.”

Customer: “I want a gift card.”

Me: “Okay, may I have the receipt?”

Customer: “I don’t have that; I got this as a present!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I need to have the receipt to be able to proceed. Without it, I’m not allowed to do any return actions.”

Customer: “That is ridiculous! No other store ever demands something like that. If I go to [Other Bookshop nearby], they just hand me another book, no questions asked!”

(I find that very hard to believe, but leave my sarcasm in my head and just keep on smiling.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s our store policy.” *points at the sign next to me that has our policy printed on* “Maybe you could ask the person who gave you the book for the receipt and come back with it later.”

Customer: “Then I have to go all the way to [Town] to get it. Do you know how far that is to go all the way up there?!”

Me: “Yes, I live there.”

Customer: “I just want a new book right now! I’m in my right to get a new book! I have a real job and don’t have time to go get a stupid receipt!”

Me: *trying my hardest to keep my frustration out of my voice and stay polite* “Sir, I’m sorry, but I need it as proof that the book was bought here, and the barcode on it to trigger my register for a return action.”

Customer’s Wife: “Honey, let’s go before you start making a fuss.”

Customer: *yelling* “I’m not making a fuss; I’m defending my rights!”

(The wife drags him away after some more yelling from the man. The next day they return, the man looking smug. He passes me the book with the receipt on top of it.)

Customer: “There, happy now? I went all the way to [Town] to get this piece of paper for you.”

(He sounds as if it was a trip that took hours to get there, and he clearly wants me to say something about it. I just stay neutral and make him a gift card for the price of the book. The man keeps on complaining how he had to travel all the way to get the receipt while I make him the card. Fifteen minutes later, he is back at the counter with a new book and pays with the gift card instead of just exchanging for that in the first place. After they leave, I turn to my coworker who lives in the same town and witnessed both encounters.)

Me: “I really, really, wanted to say to him, ‘Bravo, we do that everyday.'”

Doesn’t Understand The Pressing Nature Of The Situation

, , , | | Right | June 4, 2018

(The main exit looks like an automatic door, but it doesn’t open when you approach it; you need to press a button. This confuses a lot of people, despite the fact that the button is giant, right next to the door, with red and white stripes and a large “PUSH TO OPEN DOOR” sign.)

Visitor: *walks up to the door and stands there, silent, confused*

Me: “There’s a button, ma’am.”

Visitor: “This one?” *presses the tiny light switch two steps away from the door*

Me: “It’s the big button, right next to the door.”

Visitor: “Oh, here it is.” *places her hand on the button, looks expectantly at the door, nothing happens*

Me: “That’s the one. You just, um, need to press it now.”

Visitor: “Oh, you have to actually press it?” *finally presses the button*

(Not sure what else buttons are for, if not pressing them.)

I Love The Smell Of Ineptitude In The Morning

, , , , , | Working | June 3, 2018

The office where I work processes mail for several big corporations, by opening the envelopes and entering the data into the digital systems. Since these companies are quite big, there is, of course, the occasional angry ex-customer who tries to get back at the company by sending them nonsensical stuff — nude pictures, etc. — as if that would do anything to the company. However, in some cases, a joker goes much further by sending an envelope filled with powder, in order to create an anthrax hoax. Procedure is to put such an envelope down and warn everybody, after which no one who enters the room is supposed to leave.

One day, a coworker who works in a different room — and is known to be not very smart or hard-working — finds such an envelope. Instead of following procedure, he throws the thing into a garbage bin and takes the bin downstairs where he shows it to our manager in order to ask what to do with it. Afterwards, the coworker is berated by the senior emergency response officer (ERO) for not following procedure.

A few days later, I overhear the coworker talking with a few of his colleagues. As always, he is moaning and complaining about how he is treated. “Yes, there is a guideline, but you can’t expect me to read it every day.” The other coworkers seem to support him, with one of them even claiming she will go outside if it ever happens again — which you never should do. All of them speak demeaningly about the ERO, claiming he just wants to be important. I know the man as a very calm and friendly guy.

Several months go by. I am sent to the warehouse with one of my coworkers. The ERO is in charge of the task we are supposed to do, so he walks along to show us. On our way, we see the whiny coworker, who is working through the mail of another client of ours. He is doing this wearing gloves, which he always does; he’s the only person in the company who does this. The other coworker makes some small talk, asking what the guy is doing.

“With gloves on?” she asks.

His answer: “Yes, that’s necessary. You never know what’s in these letters.”

I couldn’t help but whisper to the ERO, “And if he finds something, he will walk through half the building with it.”

A few months later, I find an anthrax hoax myself in my department. We sere complimented on how well we handle it. At least the coworker’s blunder had some good use.

It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Sinterklaas

, , , , , , | Related | May 30, 2018

This takes place about ten years or so ago. It’s the fifth of December. It’s a holiday called Sinterklaas, originally a children’s holiday where they get presents, but at this point of time I still celebrate it with my parents for the fun, even though I’m already a teenager.

We have this big bag of presents, with most presents bought by my parents, a few by me, and also some by my grandmother. Since I was little, my grandmother has handed Sinterklaas presents to all her children to put in the bag for them and their children.

We haven’t realised it yet, but most likely at this point my grandmother is already suffering slightly from dementia and the first few quirky things have started to show up. One of them is the gifting of odd presents that don’t seem to fit.

That is also what happens this Sinterklaas. My dad opens a present that was clearly from my grandmother — we can clearly see it from the wrapping paper; my parents and I used the same stash of wrapping paper, but my grandmother had her own to use, of course. The gift is a can of deodorant spray. Now, my mother has been pushing my dad to use deodorant for years, but he has always refused. He’s always been that smelly man you meet on a hot day. My mother and I give each other an awkward look because we both realise that is not the best gift my dad could have gotten, and my dad puts it down and forces out a, “Thank you, Sinterklaas.” After the unwrapping, we talk about it, and we conclude my grandmother has forgotten my dad doesn’t use deodorant.

My dad, however, is not one to waste gifts, so he says he’ll use it only on special occasions or very hot days. At first, he does this. We expect him to stop when the can is done. Indeed, the first few months after the can is finished, there is no other, but all of a sudden another one pops up from a different brand.

Now, quite a few years onward, my dad is using deodorant every day. My mother and I talked about it recently and we realised that with my grandmother’s most likely dementia-induced, misguided gift… she actually got my dad to see the use of deodorant. We can’t tell her this, because now her dementia has gotten quite bad and she doesn’t take in any new information anymore, but my mother and I certainly are very grateful for this.

Page 5/23First...34567...Last
« Previous
Next »