Those Who Fling Won’t Go Far

, , , , , , , | | Right | July 16, 2019

(It is the mid-1990s, and I’m working at a fast food restaurant with an order-by-number value menu. Towards the tail end of an unusually busy lunch rush, a woman comes into the lobby. She waits very impatiently in line for the two people in front of her, and when she finally gets to the front of the line, she says:)

Customer: “Two. Coke. Hurry.”

(I press the buttons on the touchscreen till to order her a #2 meal with a Coke, but before I have a chance to say anything to her, she pulls a credit card out of her purse and flings it at me. The card misses me, flies past me, and lands in the tray of the shake dispenser, slipping into the thin metal grate and down into the mess of milky, sugary muck below. I stare at it for a moment before slowly turning back to the customer.)

Me: “That’ll be $3.21. Would you like that for here or to go?”

(I notice that she’s still staring at the spot where her card disappeared.)

Me: “Ma’am? For here or to go?”

Customer: *still staring*

Me: *a bit louder* “Ma’am!”

Customer: *finally looks back at me* “Um… to go.”

(I push the To-Go button, which finishes sending the order back to the kitchen.)

Me: “That’ll be $3.21.”

(She reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5 bill, and very carefully sets it on the counter in front of me. I hand her the $1.79 in change along with the cup for her drink. Since there are no customers waiting, I step away from the till to get ready to assemble her order. When I hand her the bag a minute or so later, she is still staring at the shake machine’s drip tray.)

Me: *handing her the bag* “Have a nice day.”

A Very Testing Drive

, , , , , , | | Legal | July 15, 2019

(As a “genius” for a luxury German car company, part of my job is to book and take people out on test drives. A man comes in with a foreign driving license, but as it is within 18 months of citizenship, it is technically valid under UK law at the time. I take all of his details and nothing flags on the system. The next day, the man comes in and it’s apparent that he doesn’t speak great English. He has a three-week old baby in a car seat and wants to take her on the test drive. I check with my manager; it’s not typical but we allow it and we get going. Part of the test drive is on the local motorway so that people can test the cars at a higher speed. Suddenly, the man takes off like a bat out of Hell. Even though we are test driving a sports car, we still have to obey the law. I inform the man that he has to slow down. At this point, he’s going 120 mph in a 70-mph zone.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir. You need to slow down.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “You’re breaking the law. If you cannot slow down to the speed limit, we’ll have to stop the car and I’ll drive us back to the dealership.”

Customer: “My car now.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “This is my car now. No dealership.”

Me: “Sir, this is a test drive. We need to go back to the dealership and you need to slow down.”

Customer: “I signed papers. This is my car now.”

Me: “But you didn’t pay for the car. You need to take the next exit.”

Customer: “My car now.”

(I started to freak out. It was becoming fairly clear that I was being kidnapped whilst this man tried to steal a car during a test drive. I was in a car with someone that didn’t seem to speak my language well but also didn’t seem to care that he was going 120 mph with a fairly newborn baby in the back seat. I pressed the panic button to alert the police and waited as he sped down the motorway. Soon, there were blue and red lights, and a car chase followed. Luckily, the man pulled over very quickly. He tried to run away down the hard shoulder of the motorway, leaving his infant daughter behind. I don’t know if he honestly thought he’d bought the car, or even thought about why I was in the car with him. He was arrested and charged with kidnapping and endangering a minor, and for the attempted theft of the very expensive vehicle. I still don’t understand why someone would try to steal a car during a test drive, when we had all their details! Insane.)

Reaching New Heights Of Friendship

, , , , | | Friendly | July 13, 2019

(My freshman year of college, my roommate is an aviation major. During the fall semester, when she’s not allowed to fly, I’m helping her memorize all the checklists. She finds out that I’ve never flown in an airplane before and vows to fix that. Sure enough, in the spring semester, she starts flying and will not relent in her quest to get me to go with her. I eventually agree to go with her to get her to stop begging me. One Saturday morning, we get up early and get ready. She tells me that it’s a very good day to fly because there’s not a lot of wind. We catch the bus to the airport, and she’s excited that I’m going to get to see her in action. At the airport, I meet her flight instructor, I sign the paperwork, and we go out to the tarmac. I’m extremely nervous the whole time. Eventually, we’re all buckled in and take off. It should be noted that I have a fear of heights. Every single time she makes a turn, I feel the g-force on my body and I whimper. I am not enjoying myself at all. Then this happens.)

Instructor: “Okay, [Roommate], pick a crash field.”

Roommate: “Okay… I got one.”

Instructor: “All right, now stall the engine.”

Me: “Huh?”

Roommate: “You got it.”

(She then proceeds to point the nose of the plane up until the engine stalls out and goes silent. The aircraft starts to fall. A few seconds later, when it’s level again, the engine starts back up and we are bounced around for a little bit.)

Instructor: “Not bad. What did you think, [My Name]?”

(I have flung my arms and legs out to try and grab anything to hold onto. It takes me a moment to realize it’s safe to move. I slowly curl up into a ball.)

Me: “I… Don’t…”

Instructor: “I don’t think we should do any more stalls today.”

Roommate: *disappointed* “Oh, fine.”

(I am too freaked out still to talk. I end up looking at the bar that’s attached to the wheel the rest of the trip, not saying a word, and still whimpering at the slightest movement. Until I’m back on the ground, I pray to God to let us safely land very soon. Eventually, we do land, and I bolt out of the thing. I wait for my roommate and her instructor to finish up their post-flight checklists. When they do, my roommate comes over to me.)

Roommate: “So, my lesson isn’t over yet. We’re about to go up again. Want to go again? We aren’t going to stall the engine again. It’s probably just going to be taking off and landing over and over again.”

Me: “No!”

Roommate: “But–”

Me: “No! No, no, no! I’m never getting in that thing again!”

Roommate: *slightly hurt that I don’t love flying* “Okay, I guess. You’ll have to wait in the lounge, then. There’s no one here now since it’s Saturday. You’ll be all alone. And we’ll be at least an hour.”

Me: “Is there Wi-Fi?”

Roommate: “Yes?”

Me: “I’ll be fine.”

(I had my laptop with me since I was going to meet up with some friends to study for a test right after. I sat in the lounge and studied while also messaging my mom and telling her how my roommate tried to kill me.)

Artfully Setting Himself Up For Failure

, , , , , | | Romantic | July 12, 2019

(I work in an art supply shop. We sell canvas, paints, and the like. Because we are right next to a really prominent art college, we get lots of customers as we are cheaper than their on-campus shop. We have a lot of regulars and tend to know many by name. One regular, a good-looking man, never says a word to me except to ask the occasional question. He has come in every Sunday for almost a year.)

Me: “Did you find everything you needed? We’ve got a special on charcoal at the moment: two packs for £5.”

Regular: “No, that’s all right. I do have a question, though.”

Me: “Sure, go ahead.”

Regular: “Will you go out with me?”

Me: *awkward* “I’m so sorry. I’ve got a boyfriend.”

Regular: “OH, FOR F***’S SAKE!”

Me: “Excuse me?!”

Regular: “I’ve been coming to this stupid shop for almost a year, buying all this crap, and you can’t even go on a date with me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I have a boyfriend. You have to pay for this stuff, and then you have to leave.”

Regular: “I spent so much money on you! I don’t even do ‘art’! I just wanted to be close to you!”

Me: “…”

Regular: “You owe me! I love you!”

(The man proceeded to jump on top of the expensive canvas he was buying, snapping it in half. He also threw the paints he was buying on the floor. One of them burst. His tantrum got louder until my manager finally escorted him out and told me to take my break. The man never came back.)

Not What You Expected Skinny Noodles To Be

, , , , , , | | Working | July 8, 2019

(I am at a mall and decide to get lunch at the food court. I’m not up for fries and don’t feel like eating meat, so I take some fried noodles with veggies at a place with the usual westernized Asian fare. I get a plate and pay, then start to eat. After a couple of bites, I feel something in my mouth and pull a very long, thick, black hair from my mouth. I’m not the most squeamish person, but my appetite is gone. I decide to tell the lady who served me and is currently turning over the mountain of noodles they keep on their flat stove. She is not wearing a hat or hairnet, and has, well, quite a long, thick, black ponytail.)

Me: “Hi. I ordered these noodles and found a hair in them…”

(Almost before I can finish my sentence the lady barks back at me.)

Server: “That is not my hair. That is your hair. You put it in the food to get more free food!”

(I have a braid, but my hair is brownish-blond at the outgrown roots and a faded red in the lengths. It’s obviously not mine. The black hair is so thick, you can see it coiled on top of the yellowish noodles without having to look too close.)

Me: “Well, I can’t tell you whose it is, but it’s not mine. And I don’t want…”

(“…any free food; I just wanted to let you know!” is what I intend to say, but she again loudly speaks over me.)

Server: “No! You fat Germans always just want more food! Eat half and more, complain, and get another plate free!”

(She then TOOK THE PLATE from the counter between us and CHUCKED THE REST OF THE NOODLES at me! I instinctively stepped back but got some on my shoes nonetheless. I moved awkwardly and slipped on the saucy mess, falling rather unlucky on my hand. It hurt. A lot. I started crying and felt very shaken. A couple from a nearby table came over and some others got up, as well. Somebody told me to get up and sat me on a chair. Meanwhile, the server was shouting stuff in a language I didn’t understand. A guy in a suit from mall management came over and asked if I needed an ambulance. The man from the couple helping me talked to me, told me he was some sort of sports coach, and asked to see my wrist. He gently prodded it and moved it, proclaiming that it was probably not broken but I should get it checked anyway. I declined the ambulance; the suit-guy got me an ice pack from somewhere. They stayed with me until my boyfriend could pick me up, as I was still quite queasy, to drive me to the emergency room near our home. In the end, nothing was broken. The owner of the Asian shop contacted me through the mall and apologised a lot. He said his sister was going through some rough personal stuff and just snapped. I was almost sorry for her. But I will never enjoy Asian noodles without a bad feeling in my bones.)

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