Tea Is The Warmest Color

, , , , , , | Hopeless | April 14, 2019

(I’ve loved books from a very early age, so when I was growing up it was only natural that whenever I went to a new school, I would very quickly become quite acquainted with the school librarians and their assistants. My high school librarian, an elderly woman, has a reputation for being quite strict, but has been nothing but lovely to me since the first day of school when I eagerly sought out the library to scope out the fiction section. In the second semester of my sophomore year — my 11th year of schooling for the non-Americans — I end up with a free period at the end of the day, which I choose to make into a teaching assistant period for the librarian. One day, I come in during flu season feeling a bit under the weather and I start to check in newly-returned books like I do every day.)

Me: *grimacing as I sniffle a bit but continuing work*

Librarian: “[My Name], are you feeling all right?”

Me: “Hm? Oh… I’m feeling a little sick, yeah. I’m okay, though.”

Librarian: “Oh, well, if you’re feeling sick do you want to just sit in the back today?”

(She’s told me this before on another occasion a month or so ago, but both times I felt guilty about the idea of sitting out when there’s work to be done and I’m not really feeling TERRIBLE, per se… but I have been having a pretty annoying day.)

Me: “Uh… yeah, actually. I think that’d be good.”

Librarian: “Yeah, you can sit and read in the back!”

Librarian’s Assistant: *a woman in her 40s* “Oh, yes, take it easy.”

(I grab a graphic novel off the shelf that I’d been eyeing and head to the back room. [Librarian] follows me soon after, placing a box of tissues on the back desk.)

Librarian: *opening the cupboard* “Would you like a cup of tea?”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, uh… Yes, please!”

Librarian: “Well, we have green tea, some strawberry lemonade, earl grey… What would you like dear?”

Me: *still astonished* “Earl grey is black tea, right? That sounds good.”

Librarian: “All right, then!”

(She put a mugful of water in the microwave to heat up, then gave me the tea box and made sure I knew where the honey and stirring sticks were before going back to her duties. After a few minutes, I was sipping my tea — warm as my heart was by this point — and reading the graphic novel, and I thought about all the mean things my classmates had said about [Librarian] that they would never even dare to suggest if they knew how sweet and grandmotherly she was once you really got to know her. Not only did she and [Librarian’s Assistant] care about me and my well being, but [Librarian] always thanked me for my work when I walked out the door, despite the fact that I was obligated by the school rules to show up and do all tasks asked of me! I’m pretty busy this year, but I still stop by the library to say hi to those ladies, and whenever I hear someone saying something snippy about [Librarian] in passing, I scoff to myself and think about that cup of tea.)

Not Just Grandma Is A Hack

, , , , | Related | April 12, 2019

(I am about 13 in this story. My family and I are at a family reunion. My grandparents, who recently moved to Oregon, will also be there. I went to a cybersecurity week camp a month ago.)

Step-Grandma: “So, what did you do this summer, [My Name]?”

Me: “Mostly stayed at home, but I did go to a cybersecurity week camp a month ago.”

Step-Grandma: “What did you do at the camp?”

Me: “We coded a site, went to the aquarium, and learned about cyber-principles, some basics of hacking, and how to do it legally.”

Step-Grandma: “Good! Now you can hack the Russians back!”

Me: “…”

Calling America: Where Immigration Never Happened

, , , , , | Right | April 10, 2019

(My employer is contracted with a very popular cell phone company; we take calls and treat every caller just like a normal customer. They take great pride that they are one of the few remaining companies that don’t outsource to other countries. One day a man calls in. Note: my local accent is pretty much neutral American.)

Customer: “I thought you guys were supposed to only be in America.”

Me: “We are, sir.”

Customer: “Then how did I get someone with a very thick Asian accent the last time I called?”

Me: “I have no control over other employees’ accents, sir.”

(It clearly never occurred to the man that immigration is still a thing.)

Ptizza

, , , , , , | Right | April 9, 2019

(This happened several years ago at the call center for a local pizza chain. We stop taking orders at 11:00 pm but most activity dies down at 10:00, so most of the employees have gone home. I’m alone, aside from the manager, and bored at 10:55 pm when I get a call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pizza Chain]. My name is [My Name]. What can I get for you today?”

Customer: “Hi, [My Name]. So, we have a bet going.”

Me: “Um, okay.”

Customer: “Can you spell ‘pterodactyl’?”

Me: “Yes? P-T-E-R-O—“

Customer: “Thanks.” *yelling* “She got it! I knew [Pizza Chain] could spell.” *to me* “Thanks again.”

Me: *laughing* “You’re welcome. Have a great night.”

Total Eclipse Of The Brain

, , , , , | Right | April 9, 2019

(I work at a science museum, and we have nearly 5,000 people come through the doors for the eclipse on August 21, 2017. We are vastly underprepared for this many people, and have provided 800 pairs of free eclipse glasses which sell out in fifteen minutes. A lot of guests are upset and take this out on the staff:)

Coworker: *working at the front gate* “We’re very sorry, but we do need to let everyone know that we have unfortunately run out of eclipse glasses—“

Guest #1: “This is unbelievable! You’re telling me I f****** stood in line for almost an hour and there are no more glasses? You’re a f****** piece of s***!”

Coworker: “I know it’s inconvenient and I do apologize, but if you head on in, there are plenty of staff who will be more than happy to share eclipse glasses and pinhole projectors—“

(The guest swears profusely at my coworker for several more minutes, then storms away, but not before grabbing the stanchions and flinging them angrily to the ground, just like an angry child.)

Next Guest In Line: “Wow, dude, way to act like an adult.”

Guest #2: *angrily* “Why didn’t you have enough glasses?! Doesn’t [Museum] care that all these people are going to go blind from looking at the eclipse without them?”

Me: *thinking* “Yes, because we are physically forcing you to stare directly at the sun.”

Guest #3: *while standing outside, in the sun, in the courtyard with 4000 other people* “Excuse me. Where can I go to see the eclipse?”

Me: “Um… anywhere you can see the sun, ma’am.”

(I personally answered this question about six times in two hours; my coworkers all reported the same.)

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