I Am Number Four

, , , , , | Working | April 8, 2018

(I am a senior in college, working four jobs, because due to several incidents I have been traumatized by roommates and need to pay for a place of my own. My parents insist it be in a “safe” area, which means it will be expensive. Also, I can’t find single full-time job that works around my school schedule. This happens at my job at the university box office a few weeks before finals, when I am working an average of about 70 hours per week. The box office job is my “easy” job, where I’m allowed to do homework. I just came from three days of doubles at my other jobs, and stayed up late the night before working on a project. I’m alone in the office and dozing when the phone rings, waking me.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Drugstore] on [Street], [Drugstore slogan]. How may I help you today?”

Caller: *silence*

Me: *realizing* “Um, I mean, thank you for calling [Sporting Goods Store] at [Local Mall]. Which department were you hoping to speak to?!”

Caller: “I don’t think that one is right, either, sweetie.”

Me: *now slightly panicking* “Right! I meant, welcome to the [Non-Profit that I both volunteer and work for]! No, wait. That’s not right, either.”

(At his point, the caller is laughing hysterically, and the fog clears from my head long enough to realize it’s the woman who works in the office that oversees the box office.)

Me: *laughing, too* “I’ve got it this time! Thank you for calling [University] box office. How can I help you today?”

Caller: *no response, only laughter*

Speedaway From This Conversation

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 4, 2018

(I’m at rehearsals for an upcoming play with my local players’ society. I’ve gone into the kitchen in the village hall where a group of teens, who are also part of the play, are talking.)

Teen #1: Hey, [My Name], what team do you support?”

Me: “The Poole Pirates.”

Teen #1: “Who?!”

Me: “The Poole Pirates! Best speedway team ever.”

Teen #2: “We were on about football.”

Me: “Well, you should have said.”

Teen #1: “Why do you even support them? You’re not even from Dorset!”

Me: “What football team do you support?”

Teen #1: “Chelsea.”

Me: “You’re not from the Chelsea area, so why do you support them?”

Teen #1: “Whatever.”

(They all went back to talking about football and just ignored me.)

Scenarios Worth Acting Out

, , | Right | March 29, 2018

(I work at a theatre next to a public parking lot that we all use. The lot has a machine to pay for parking before you leave your car. It has fairly straightforward instructions, but for some reason people still have a lot of trouble with it.)

Actor #1: “I think [Crew Member] will be a little late. He was stuck behind a really slow lady at the parking machine.”

Crew Member: *coming in* “Sorry, this lady kept complaining the machine didn’t work, so they had to get the ramp manager to come out. It turned out she was wearing tinted sunglasses and couldn’t see the letters on the screen.”

(A few days later:)

Stage Manager: “Has anyone seen [Actor #2]?”

Actor #2: *coming in* “Sorry, I got stuck at the parking machine. This little old man in front of me put his credit card in the cash slot.”

Chuck A Toupee On A Whale And Call Him President

, , , , , | Friendly | February 25, 2018

(We’re electing the president of our theater-based teen group. Members are writing their votes on papers and dropping them in the advisor’s hat. As one girl drops her vote in:)

Advisor: “You’re voting for a whale?”

Girl #1: “No! The person I’m voting for is on the other side. I just drew a whale on the other side because… I was bored.”

Me: “I mean, I’d vote for a whale for president.”

Girl #2: “Yeah, a whale would be a fantastic president. We could even promote our group that way. ‘Funds go to support the whales!’”

Me: “The only question is: what kind of whale? Beluga or humpback?”

Girl #2: “Beluga. Obviously. Geez, a humpback whale as president? What were you thinking?”

Me: “Good point. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

(The whale didn’t win.)

The Comedy Becomes A Tragedy

, , , , , | Working | February 8, 2018

(I work in the box office of a dinner theatre. When I was first hired, I was told that one of the perks of the job was getting two free tickets for each new show. They then took this perk away, which meant that if I wanted to see the show, I had to pay full price. Since the tickets are expensive and I am a poor student, I rarely do this.)

Customer: *on the phone* “I’d like to ask you some questions about [Show].”

(They ask me some basic questions, such as, “who’s in it,” “how long is it,” “what’s the plot,” etc. I answer all the questions based on the information I’ve been given by my boss.)

Customer: “Is it funny?”

Me: “Oh, yes. It’s a comedy.”

Customer: “Do you think it’s funny?”

Me: “I haven’t actually seen it yet, sir, so I can’t answer that.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, who can?”

Me: “I’m afraid I’m on my own tonight, so there’s no one else to ask. I could get one of my colleagues to call you tomorrow, if you like.”

Customer: “Never mind. Is there swearing?”

Me: “There is a profanity warning, yes.”

Customer: “What kind of swearing? The ‘s’ word? The ‘f’ word?”

Me: “I’m sorry; since I haven’t seen it, I don’t know for sure.”

Customer: “Fine.” *hangs up*

(I didn’t think any more about that call until a few days later. I came in for my shift and found a letter hanging from our bulletin board. It was a furious rant from that customer, saying how incompetent I was, how little help I’d been, and how he would never come to any of our shows if that was the kind of idiot they’d hire for their box office. The only upside was that he hadn’t gotten my name, and he didn’t specify the date on which he’d called. Good thing, too, because my boss went on a tirade about that letter, vowing to fire the person responsible. I quit shortly after that.)

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