Face The Cold Reality Of The Non-Purchaser  

, , , , | Right | August 21, 2019

(There is a town festival event where lots of local vendors set up stalls for charity. There are fairground rides and a local celebrity is due to arrive at six pm — after our store is closed. It is winter and about -4 degrees Celsius, so customers have started crowding around the front of our store where our heating blasts out, blocking the entryway and not buying anything. We make almost no money because of the crowd huddled in our entryway to take advantage of our heating but not coming inside. Closing time comes around.)

Me: “Sorry, guys! You need to move forward so I can close the door. We’re closing for the night.”

Random Man: “But the celebrity is due any minute!”

Me: “Sir, you need to move outside of the store so I can close the door.”

Random Man: “Can’t you just keep them open? It’s so cold outside. I don’t want to buy anything; I just want to stay warm.”

(Convincing as his argument was, I wasn’t going to stay open for a customer that deliberately told me he wasn’t going to buy anything.)

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Air Conditioned To Think That All Her Life

, , , , | Related | August 17, 2019

(I’m visiting my grandparents at the end of finals week in the spring of 2006. It’s a hot late-spring day and my grandparents have windows open and multiple fans going. My grandmother is fanning herself and remarking on how hot it’s getting as the season progresses. My dad has told me stories about growing up, so I know a few things about his childhood home from the 60s. They moved to their current house a few years ago after it was built.)

Me: “You guys had this house built; why didn’t you have them put in an air conditioning system?”

Grandmother: “We had one of those in the house in Arizona and I didn’t like it because it smelled funny.”

Me: “Grandma… you moved out of Arizona… forty-two years ago. Don’t you think that ACs might have changed a bit?”

Grandmother: “I don’t know, I just didn’t want one.” *as she walks down the hall*

(I remember something else my dad told me about his house and call out to her while grinning.)

Me: “You didn’t have an air conditioner! You had an old swamp cooler. Of course, it smelled funny; it was full of old stagnant water!”

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Seize The Day, And The Planet!

, , , , , | Healthy | July 26, 2019

(I am in a hospital being treated for epilepsy. We have a button to push if we think we’ve had a seizure.)

Nurse: *to me* “You pushed the button, sir?”

Me: “Yeah, it felt like I had a tonic-clonic seizure, only I was awake and fully conscious when I was shaking so that shouldn’t be possible.”

Nurse: “You felt that shaking, too?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Nurse: “You didn’t have a seizure. I think there was an earthquake.”

(Note that earthquakes are very uncommon both where I live and where the hospital is, and this is the first time I have ever experienced one.)

Me: “Oh, okay. I wonder how many other people in this ward thought what I did?”

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Some People Would Still Prefer Broken Glass To Pineapple

, , , , , , | Working | July 22, 2019

When I am sixteen, I work in a pizza place in the midwest, where tornadoes tend to happen. It’s mid-morning and the initial rush has petered out. We just have one customer and he’s waiting for a pizza he ordered.

A freak storm blows up. It starts to rain, and quickly moves to rain and hail. The winds start going crazy outside, and the rain is pouring down along with some quarter-size hail. We’re basically looking at weather that goes to funnel clouds very easily. It happens very quickly; it is starting to rain when our customer walked in the door, we build his pizza from scratch, and it’s in the oven. It’s been less than fifteen minutes.

One of my delivery drivers is in the back and he calls to me, with the phone pressed to his face, to say our other pizza driver has been forced to take shelter. He tells us it looked like a funnel cloud was forming and it had blown past them and was heading in our direction. I go back to thank the driver for the info, and to tell the driver to stay safe and come back when he can and not to rush.

As this is being relayed back and forth, there’s a massive crash and the sound of breaking glass. Our general manager comes running out of her office yelling and cursing, thinking someone in the store just destroyed something.

I come running out of the back because the whole building shook and I realize, “Oh, my God, there was a customer out there!”

Our marquee has been ripped off the building and chucked through our front window like a battering ram. It snapped in half so that half of it is in the lobby; the other half cleared the counter and came into the area where we cook and prepare food. If I hadn’t gone back to talk to my delivery driver, there was a real chance I would have been hit by the thing.

The poor customer in the lobby had hit the floor and covered his head with his hands. He comes up slowly, shedding pieces of glass, and turns around to stare at this huge metal thing that missed him by about a foot. The customer is okay; none of the glass has actually cut him.

Our general manager yells at him — over howling wind, rain, and bouncing golf-ball-sized hail that’s now playing pinball in our lobby — to get behind the counter with the rest of us, and rushes us all to the walk-in cooler. We wait in the cooler for about 30 minutes for the noise to drop before coming out.

Our power is dead, but we make our customer a new pizza with fresh ingredients — the one in the oven, plus the ingredients we’d had out in the prepping station, are scrapped on the off-chance that they have gotten glass in them — free of charge and give him directions for cooking it at home.

Our general manager runs off to call corporate to let them know the store is closed due to our sign sitting in the front lobby. Corporate wants to know why we can’t just sweep up the lobby and continue business. Our general manager tells them that we have no power and it is a safety issue to allow customers to climb through a shattered storefront for food that we can’t cook anyway.

In the end, only the threat of possible customer injury makes corporate — begrudgingly — agree that closing the store is the best option.

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Falling Into The Upside Down

, , , , , | Friendly | July 19, 2019

(My friends and I have gotten together for the weekend and my friend whose house we’re staying at can’t find her corkscrew. Since her parents live in the same complex, we go over to get their corkscrew. While we’re there, the weather starts getting nasty and raining hard, so the topic comes up about how we’d weather the storm if there was a tornado since the houses don’t have basements.)

Friend’s Mom: “I’d go hide in the crawl space.”

Friend #1: “We’d be safe in the bathtubs.”

Friend #2: “When it came up at school, I told my students I’d jump out the window and hope I didn’t crash through the grate below.”

Me: *mishearing* “What’s the Great Below?”

Friend #2: *laughing* “You know, grate? Like a piece of metal?”

Me: *laughing* “Yay for homonyms!”

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