Has Patience The Size Of A Peanut

, , , , | Right | October 26, 2019

(I am an associate at a pet supply store, and I’m a little hard of hearing. A man comes into the store and walks up to me.)

Customer: “Hi. I’ve got some stellar jays that—” *mumble mumble*

Me: *craning my ear to the customer* “Sorry, come again?”

Customer: *loudly* “I’ve got some stellar jays that I give peanuts to. Do you have any peanuts?”

Me: “I’m not sure if we have anything that’s just peanuts, but let’s see what’s on the shelf.”

(I lead him to the birdseed section and we don’t have any peanuts. Without saying anything, I motion to a bag of mixed nuts, which includes peanuts.)

Customer: “No, I need shelled peanuts.” *frames his mouth with his hands to amplify his voice, even though I’m standing right next to him, and SCREAMS* “SHELLED! SHELLED! IN THE SHELL!”

(For the record, in common parlance, “shelled” nuts are ones that have been removed from their shells; he is actually looking for “in-shell” peanuts.)

Customer: “You know what, never mind. Maybe someone else can…”

(He trailed off and turned around, leaving me stunned. He asked my coworker for peanuts; she lead him back to the birdseed and again found no peanuts. She offered to call another store, but the customer snapped, “Forget it!” and stormed out of the store. Later, we got a call from head office saying this customer complained about “the blonde bimbo [me] who doesn’t know what a peanut is.” Considering that I didn’t even get to say three sentences to the guy, I have no idea how he got that impression of me!)

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When The Script Is All

, , , , | Working | October 21, 2019

(Our car is going to be out of commission during a very busy week for us, so we decide to rent a car at a place near our home. However, they have one of those things where you get routed to a centralized phone service that is not local. I am a woman.)

Me: “We would like to rent a midsize car at [Location] for five days, starting this afternoon.”

Operator: “What state is that in?”

Me: “It is in Vancouver, Canada.”

Operator: “I see seven locations in Vancouver.”

Me: “Yes, I’d like the location on [Street].”

(The name of the location and the name of the street are the same, and not similar to any others in Vancouver.)

Operator: “The address is [Number and Street]?

Me: “Yes.”

Operator: “What time is your flight coming in?”

Me: “We are local, just renting a car while ours is in the shop.”

Operator: “Is this an insurance claim?”

Me: “No, we’re paying for it ourselves.”

Operator: “And when do you want to pick it up?”

Me: “Today between five and six.”

Operator: “And drop-off?”

Me: “Wednesday at five.”

Operator: “And what size of car would you like?”

Me: “Any four-door midsize car.”

Operator: “And what is your name?”

Me: “I’ll give you my partner’s name, as she is the one who will be picking it up and driving.” *gives obviously female name*

Operator: “And what time will your husband be there?”

Me: “My wife will be there between five and six.”

Operator: “So, he’ll be there at four?”

Me: “No, she will be there after five.”

Operator: “Okay, will he be using a major credit card?”

Me: “Yes, she will be using a Visa card.”

Operator: “Is it a major credit card?”

Me: “Yes, it is a Visa card.”

Operator: “But is it a major card?”

Me: “Yes.”

Operator: “…”

Me: “…”

Operator: “Um… okay. And what time is your flight leaving?”

Me: “We are not flying. We are local.”

Operator: “Is this an insurance claim?”

Me: “No. We are paying ourselves.”

Operator: “And would your husband like a navigation system for an extra $10 a day? It gives directions, and restaurant and event recommendations.”

Me: “No, thank you, we know our way around.”

Operator: “Oh! Is this an insurance claim?”

Me: “No. It is not insurance. We are not flying. We just need a car for a few days. My wife is a woman, and she will be there between five and six to pick up. She will be using a Visa card, which is a major credit card in Canada. We will drop it off at five on Wednesday.”

Operator: “And what time does your flight leave?”

Me: *giving up* “Eight pm on Wednesday. What time do you suggest we drop it off?”

Operator: “Around five.”

Me: *briskly, in an effort to bring the Hell to an end* “Excellent. Thank you so much; please send me an email confirmation.”

(Amazingly enough, the car was waiting for us at our local branch.)

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You Cannot Defy The Grand Tragus

, , , , , , | Related | October 21, 2019

(My older sister has what I consider a fairly modest number of piercings: two in each lobe, one tragus, and one industrial. On her wedding day, the following happens as she, our mother, our aunt, her other bridesmaid, and I — the maid of honour — are getting ready.)

Mother: “Okay, so, you’re taking out your extra piercings now, right?”

Sister: “Uh… no?”

Mother: “But you have to take them out!”

Sister: “What? Why?”

Mother: “You can’t get married with them in!”

Sister: “What on earth are you talking about? Of course I can.”

Mother: “What about the pictures? You can’t have those ugly things in your ears in the pictures! With your gorgeous dress and everything, it won’t look right!”

Sister: “They’re not ugly. I got them done because I like the way they look, and they’re staying in.”

Mother: “IT WON’T LOOK RIGHT. Take them out right now!”

(She starts reaching for my sister’s ears, which is brave, considering Sis is naturally a good six inches taller than her, and even more so with her high heels on. I quickly step between them.)

Me: “Mom, calm down. [Sister] and [Brother-in-Law] will look so happy and so great in the photos you won’t even think about what anybody’s wearing.”

(To my surprise, Mom bursts into tears.)

Mother: “I don’t want to have to look at those pictures with my beautiful baby’s face all messed up!”

Aunt: “[Sister], just take them out. Can’t you make your mother happy for one day?”

Sister: “Um, hello?! It’s my wedding! Can’t she relax for one day and worry about making me happy?!”

Aunt: “Well, I mean, it is a formal occasion.”

Me: “[Cousin] has nipple piercings and she got married in a Catholic church; I don’t see why [Sister]’s tragus is such a big deal.”

(This statement is apparently enough to stun both my mother and my aunt into brief silence, so I gently collect them both by the arms.)

Me: “Why don’t you two go downstairs and see if anyone’s arrived yet?”

(I basically shoved the two of them out the door before Mom could start crying again.)

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Just Shout “WRONG” To The Lefties And Hope It Sticks  

, , , , , , , | Working | October 18, 2019

(One of our designers brings his daughter in as an “intern” over spring break as she is studying art and he wants her to get some real-world experience. Ugh, right? But no, she is great and, even though she was foisted on me, we have a great time. One day, we are making some signs from start to finish: design, print, mount, cut. We are on the last step when I notice the resident mansplainer watching us. After a few minutes, he comes over and takes the straight edge from her.)

Mansplainer: “Here. You should put it this way.”

(He puts the ruler on the line she was cutting and moves back for her to cut it with the knife she had. The intern looks at me and I shrug, with a look on my face saying, “This is totally normal. Why don’t you humour him for both of our entertainment?” She steps in, holding the ruler, then crossing her cutting arm to the far side of it in a ridiculous position.)

Mansplainer: “No, no, no. Not that way.”

(He takes the knife from her and deftly cuts the line.)

Me: “Why don’t you try it her way? Then, you can understand what she’s doing wrong better.”

Mansplainer: “Yeah.”

(I nod encouragingly at her to line up the ruler.)

Mansplainer: “Not like that. That’s wrong.”

Me: “Wait. Wait. Just try it.”

Mansplainer: “No. That’s the wrong way. You women always do it the wrong way.”

Me: “You mean lefties.”

Mansplainer: “What?”

Me: “We’re not doing it the ‘women’s way,’ we’re doing it left-handed.”

(I wasn’t training her that way; she happens to be a lefty, too.)

Mansplainer: “You always do it wrong. You’ve done it wrong since you got here.”

Me: “Wrong for you.”


Me: “Okay, then. But we’re just going to keep doing this way because it works for us.”

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Welcome To Entitlement Street

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 26, 2019

My husband and I were moving from a distant suburb into the city centre, almost 60 km away. Our new neighbourhood is known for being full of well-to-do, entitled people. On moving day, there was no parking available in front of the new house, so the movers parked the truck in the lane which separated our back yard from the back yard of the neighbour on the next street over. 

Our new neighbour promptly came out and complained to us that the movers would damage the roses along her back fence and they needed to park elsewhere. We politely explained that there was no parking available in front of the house. She replied that we should have blocked off space in front of the house ahead of time. I replied, “We just arrived here from another city. How were we supposed to be here to block off the road?” 

She stared at us blankly and then went back to her yard. We never spoke to her again.

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