Should Have Retired That Argument When You Did

, , , , | Right | November 20, 2018

(I am working the cloakroom at a huge theatre where one of Wagner’s operas is playing. Since Wagner was Hitler’s favourite musician and was kind of antisemitic himself, these performances tend to bring out a lot of racists. I am working the cloakroom with the second-in-command supervisor, who is very obviously not Caucasian and speaks German quite well, though with an accent. It is summer, so there aren’t many coats, and my supervisor has gone dealing with a customer elsewhere when a 75-year-old lady in a fur coat arrives and checks it in with me. A few minutes later she comes back while I am serving another customer and wants to check her vest, as well.)

Me: *to my colleague* “It’s [number]; just put it with the fur coat.”

Colleague: “Could I please just check the number to make sure?”

Customer: *handing her the number* “Well, you can trust your colleague. Even though our country is getting more stupid every day due to immigration.”

(She leaves. We look at each other in a “What’s her problem?” manner and shrug it off. At the end of the performance, the woman is one of the last ones to pick up her coat, so I am already clearing the area, when I see her arguing with my colleague.)

Customer: “You should really be more friendly to Austrian people!”

Colleague: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “You get to stay and eat here, while we each pay hundreds of Euros in taxes every month for you to get everything here for free!

Colleague: “I pay taxes here, too.”

Customer: *continues her rant* “…and all you people just come here and take everything, and there is nothing left for us!”

(I step in, because even though my colleague speaks German very well, she just can’t defend herself against a rant in a deep Viennese dialect.)

Me: “Madam, she works over two hundred hours a month, and she pays taxes. Please don’t assume—”

Customer: “Now you just shut up! You have no idea what I’m talking about! These foreigners just keep coming here, and they live off of our taxes while we have to work and pay for everything!”

(I’m fuming by now, and I’m not holding back, because the first-in-command is my colleague’s best friend, so I’m not really worried about consequences.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you are clearly retired, so if anything, you are living off of her taxes. Now, please leave, and if you have a problem with me now, you can take it up with my Albanian supervisor, the Columbian theatre supervisor, or the French Head of the House!”

(She left grumbling. Over the next two weeks she came to three more Wagner performances. At the next one, I saw her look at me and walk over to the other cloakroom just to come back and check her coat with me ,anyway; the other cloakroom was worked by two Egyptians. As the person who almost yelled at her for being racist, I still was the most desirable option as the most Aryan-looking of all of the cloakroom people. By the third performance, she just left her coat at home.)

Unfiltered Story #122209

, , | Unfiltered | September 29, 2018

(I am reaching the end of a transaction with a customer over the phone and just need to take payment.)

Me: Did you want to make payment on a card today?

Customer: Yes. My Mastercard. You should have the details from last time.

Me: Sorry but we are unable to store that sort of information for Data Protection purposes so I’ll need to take the details over the phone.

Customer: That’s ridiculous! I’m going to have to go and find my card now. Do you realise how inconvenient this is?

Me: Yes sir, I understand how inconvenient it is that we don’t store your credit card details on our system that anybody can access.

Customer: Oh, well when you put it like that…

Swan Lake It Isn’t…

, , , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2018

(I am fifteen. A friend’s dad gets free tickets to a ballet, and offers them to my friend and me. It is a production about Merlin, so we decide to dress up and go. We get handed programs, sit down, read them, and wait for the show to start. It starts with dancing and leaping and so many other amazing moves that I cannot begin to do justice to with words. According to that part of the program, the story goes that a beautiful woman comes to a clearing and dances with glee, then is accosted by a demon, is chased, and becomes pregnant with Merlin. We get to a point where Merlin’s mother is lying on the ground, while the demon keeps walking back and forth above her. I’m wondering if this is some kind of metaphorical thing, because he is stepping over her body the whole time, and lean over to my friend and whisper to ask her opinion.)

Me: “Do you think he’s already—”

(Right as I say this, the “demon” gets down on all fours, lies on top of her, and arches his back.)

Me: *pause* “Never mind.”

Stalls To The Walls Uncomfortable

, , , | Friendly | September 16, 2018

(I am working at a theater, which at one point was a different theater. Due to the owner refusing to put any money into the theater for twenty years, it closed down as soon as it was no longer the only theater in the town. Among other problems, there were recurring issues with the plumbing in the women’s restroom. It is now the grand opening of the current theater. The women’s bathroom has been redone, with new toilets, tiling, etc. We have over 300 people at the opening party, and while we have tested all of the women’s toilets, we have not tested them to that level of use. The ones on one side of the restroom, all sharing one pipe, are fine. The ones on the other side, sharing a different pipe, begin overflowing. ALL of them. In addition, water begins to come up through the drain in the floor. We end up calling an emergency plumber, and I spend an hour and a half mopping dirty water off of the floor before the plumber gets there, so that it doesn’t soak into the floor tiles and cause issues later. Because we are a small theater, we only have the one set of bathrooms. We end up rotating who is allowed into the men’s restroom, two guys and then two girls. This causes some minor grumbling, but for the most part people are very understanding… except for this guy:)

Upset Guy: “I just don’t understand why they can’t send the girls into the stalls and let us use the urinals!”

Coworker: “Some women are uncomfortable with that.”

Upset Guy: “That’s ridiculous! Why would they be so uncomfortable with that? They’re in the stalls; we’re at the walls! That should be fine! Come on, [Friend]! Tell them I’m right!”

Friend: *quietly but firmly* “If it was my daughter, I’d be uncomfortable with it, too.”

(The guy spluttered and protested a bit more, before either getting his turn, or giving up — I was still in the ladies’ room, so I didn’t see which. It made a night of mopping dirty bathroom water a little less monotonous, I guess, but I would rather have not had to listen to that guy.)

Reconstruction Of Your Sanity

, , , | Right | September 13, 2018

(We’re having some minor construction done in the box office, so the ticketing area is moved into the lobby. We have signs on every door stating, “THE BOX OFFICE IS TEMPORARILY IN THE LOBBY. DUE TO CONSTRUCTION, THE THEATRE IS CLOSED. THANK YOU.” But this keeps happening.)

Customer #1: “Oh, hi! Can we look in the theatre?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t currently give any tours due to the construction.”

Customer #2: “Can I walk around the lobby?”

Me: “Sure thing! I only ask that you not go past these doors.”

Customer #1: “If people can’t go into the theatre, why are you still open?”

Me: “We’re still selling tickets for the upcoming events. The box office is always open during business hours; they just moved me over so customers wouldn’t have to walk through a construction zone to buy tickets.”

Customer #2: *stands right at the doors and leans as far out as she can* “Can I just peek in real quick?”

Me: “I’m sorry, with the construction–“

Customer #2: “I don’t see anyone. I’ll just run through real fast.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t allow that. It’s not safe right now. Would you like to buy any–“

Customer #1: “There’s a bathroom through here, right?” *begins to walk through the door*

Me: “Actually, there’s one right here, just past the bar.”

Customer #2: “I’ve always wanted to see this theatre, and we’re just visiting the city. I’ll be quick–“

Customer #1: “No harm, right?”

Me: “I can’t allow that. Now, please, is there anything I can help you with?”

(They leave eventually, and my manager comes back to find me banging my head on my temporary desk.)

Manager: “Again?”

Me: “Apparently being able to see me from the street means, ‘just walk right on in and wander around.’”

Manager: “You’d think the signs–“

New Customer: “Hi! Can I go into the theatre?”

Manager: “Sorry, we have construction going on right now–“

New Customer: “I’ll be quick!”

(I really hope the construction is over soon. I’m starting to dent my desk.)

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