All Sugar And No Sweetness

, , , , , , | Right | June 7, 2017

(I work for a large chain retail store as a cashier. A customer and her daughter come to my line and unload their groceries. A bag of sugar is in the middle of her items. I get to the sugar.)

Customer: Oh, no, don’t scan that yet! There’s a hole in the top of the bag!

Me: *inspects the bag carefully for a while until I finally find perhaps the tiniest hole I’ve ever seen* “Okay, I see what you mean. I’m sorry about this; would you like to go and get a new bag while I scan the rest of your items?”

Customer: “H*** no! You have to get me a new bag yourself! It’s your d*** job!”

(A Customer Service Manager, or CSM, has to be the one to go back and replace the item. However, it’s an extremely busy day and half of them are already on the registers, so it takes a bit for one to show up. During this time, the daughter repeatedly offers to go get the new bag, but the mother refuses.)

CSM: *finally shows up* “Ma’am, are you sure you wouldn’t like your daughter to go get the bag?”


(The CSM leaves to get the sugar, while I continue to scan the rest of the items. The customer refuses to let me scan the bag of sugar, stating she won’t pay for the ‘tainted’ bag even if she gets a ‘fresh’ one. The code is the same for the sugar anyway, which I try to explain, but she won’t have any of it. Eventually the CSM comes back and I finish the transaction. A couple hours later, the daughter comes through my line again.)

Customer’s Daughter: “Hi, I wanted to apologize for my mom’s behavior before. She knew about the hole the entire time and she just wanted to make a scene. She said, and I quote, ‘I wanted to show them what a white ghetto b**** is.’”

They’re All Banding Together

, , , , | Learning | June 7, 2017

(It’s the last week of school, senior year, and I’ve brought my violin to school because I’ve never been able to properly play it for my friends. Our school is so small our marching and concert bands are combined, meaning anyone who wants to be in band needs to pick brass, woodwinds, or percussion. The only other option is the jazz band, which is restricted only to people who are in the regular school band. Therefore, I never applied to either.)

Me: *fiddling, with my friends clapping along*

Band Director: *butts into the middle of the circle* “Stop! Stop!” *we do, fearing we’re in trouble* “[My Name], since when do you play the violin?”

Me: “Since I was… eight or nine? Why?”

Band Director: “Why didn’t you ever apply for band?!”

Me: “I didn’t want to play the trumpet or sax.”

Band Director: *annoyed now* “No, I meant jazz band. You should have applied, you know.”

My Friend: *who’s in band* “You specifically tell people not to bother applying for jazz band unless they’re already in band.”

Me: “You also laughed me out of the room when I asked you what to do if I wanted to play an instrument that’s not in the marching band.”

Band Director: *turns red* “W-well, you should have persisted! Or gotten someone to vouch for you! Well, there’s nothing you can do to fix this now.” *he walks off, muttering to himself about me being a ‘waste of talent’*

(Even if I did want to join the band, I think I dodged a bullet with him.)

You Can’t Teach An Old Grandma New Tricks

, , , | Friendly Related | June 6, 2017

(My friend has brought his Catahoula Leopard Dog to a pet friendly store in his hometown. A young girl approached him.)

Girl: “Can I please pet your dog?”

Friend: “Sure! He’s very friendly!”

Woman With Girl: “Don’t touch that dog! It’s a pit bull!”

(Catahoula Leopard Dogs come in a variety of colors. This one happens to be blue merle ‘leopard pattern.’)

Friend: “No, ma’am, he’s a Catahoula Leopard Dog.” *to Girl* “But your grandmother is right; you should never pet a dog you don’t know without asking first.”

Woman With Girl: “I’m her MOTHER!”

Friend: “Oh, I’m sorry; I guess we were both mistaken today.”

(The mom and kid walked away after that, the mom in an angry huff.)

Computer Buddies For Life!

, , , | Hopeless | June 6, 2017

In high school, I sign up for a program called Computer Buddies, where anyone in the community with a question about their computer or the Internet can come in and a student will help them solve it.

It’s my first time doing it, and I’m a little nervous, when I get paired with an absolutely lovely, elderly, Vietnamese lady who came in with her laptop. One of her brothers is in Vietnam, one is in Hawaii, and her kids are scattered across most of the mainland US, so she wants to learn how to do things that will let her see her family — email, Skype, and booking plane tickets, especially. One of her sons gave her the laptop, but none of her kids have had time to teach her how to use it, so we get it plugged in, and I show her how to set up an email account. Before I know it, the hour’s gone, and we’ve barely covered half of what she wants to know… so we make arrangements to meet at the local library, and I’ll keep helping her out.

While she openly admits to being nervous, she’s clearly a bright woman, and despite her protests that she’s never touched a computer before, she picks it up pretty quickly. She’s also pretty fascinating; while in the US, she worked as a teacher and social worker, and before moving here, she lived in Vietnam, Cambodia, France, and Germany, and speaks at least half a dozen languages.

Ten years later, we still see each other every other month or so, but these days it’s mostly for coffee or lunch. She now has a smartphone and can email, Skype, and web-surf like a pro, and though she still occasionally asks for my help changing her security settings or troubleshooting a problem, she’s one tech-savvy grandma. She’s also just a genuinely lovely person.

I’ve met most of her family and she’s met most of mine; when we see each other, we often bring each other a small gift like a bar of scented soap or an interesting bit of jewelry or a plate of cookies. My boyfriend and my parents quite adore her, and when we go out to eat, we always end up happily arguing about who gets to treat the other! She’s become an adoptive aunt/grandma, and one of my favorite people.

I’m glad she swallowed her nerves and came into my high school ten years ago!

At Death’s (Garage) Door

, , , | Right | June 6, 2017

(I am the idiot here. I am currently working in the intensive care unit of the hospital, so we often have the sad duty of taking care of patients until death. When death happens, we call professionals who handle approaching family to ask about donating organs. I’m responsible for this tonight. We’re pretty informal with each other’s departments.)

Me: “Hey, this is [My Name] from [Hospital]. An 88-year-old man died a few minutes ago. Ready for his info?”

Employee: “You… what?! What happened?”

Me: “Uh, it was his time? He was quite old.”

Employee: “Wait, why are you calling?”

Me: “This isn’t the organ procurement department… is it?”

Employee: “They have that? Jesus, no. This is the help line for [Garage Door Company]. I thought one of our doors had crushed someone!”

Me: *checking what I’d dialed* “Oh, shoot, I switched the last two digits around when I dialed. Sorry for the heart attack I just gave you!”

(Seriously, I’m sorry. And the man’s family did decide to donate! )

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