Sick Of This Pettiness

, , , , , | Learning | February 9, 2020

I am a teacher. One day, some years ago, I woke up with the flu: delirious from a spiking fever and only able to croak a few words. I was in no shape to teach, so I called in sick.

Half an hour later, a substitute teacher called me for instructions. I told her that I could barely speak but it was also apparent that I had no voice. I was probably rambling a little due to the fever but managed to tell her the lesson plans.

I then hung up and dozed off in feverish dreams. Twenty minutes later, she called again. She had lost her notes, and could I possibly repeat them? I croaked the lesson plans, hung up, and dozed off.

Fifteen minutes later, she called again. She had lost her notes. Could I repeat the lesson plans?

Wheezing and croaking, I went through the lessons for a third time, told her that if she lost her notes again she would have to improvise as I had the flu and couldn’t talk. Just leave me alone.

Five minutes later, the principal called and wondered why I refused to give out the lesson plan to the sub.

He didn’t sound entirely convinced when I told him that I had. Three times in less than an hour.

The sub then called me again screaming that she’d lost the lesson plans and I’d better come to work and instruct her. I had a coughing fit into the receiver and hung up on her.

I was fuming, partly from the fever but also because the sub was trying to set me up. Her daughter was in my class, and a few weeks prior, I hadn’t fussed enough when her daughter was sick. I spoke to the teacher she had for the class after mine so that she would get home quicker, but that wasn’t good enough, and the sub had harassed me for quite a while.

However… My desk was opposite one of the school’s most senior teachers. This was a fabulous teacher who wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion on difficult matters. She was also the next-door neighbour of the sub, and the two hated each other. As the sub was in a foul mood, she fairly quickly began screaming at the other teacher, who in turn screamed back. The sub then began throwing stuff at them!

As they weren’t alone in the room, the sub couldn’t deny that she had begun the attacks, and she was banned from ever working at my school again.

During the screaming match, the sub bragged about how she had harassed me that day and in the previous weeks, so I didn’t end up in any trouble despite her scheming.

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Bullied His Way Out Of The Neighborhood

, , , , , , , | Legal | February 1, 2020

(Back in the 90s, when I am a little kid, my dad’s house is at the end of a cul-de-sac. This means that most kids end up playing near my dad’s house to avoid traffic. My dad has no problem with this, and he even nicely set up a walking path through some nearby woods behind our house so the kids can safely explore nature. There is one boy, however, who is a complete neighborhood terrorist. He uproots the stepping stones from the nature path, and he steals from other kids. My dad, one of the most patient men in the world, ends up hating this boy because of it all. One day, I am riding my bike in loops down the street and back. The bully is playing with my basketball and my full-size basketball hoop right next to the house. I want to avoid him but I can’t, since he’s standing in my dad’s driveway to play. He sees me coming and tries to throw the basketball at me but fails to make me fall off my bike. In a rage, he runs over and shoves me off the bike and takes off with it. I grab the basketball and, despite my complete lack of sports prowess, manage to throw it right into the front wheel of the bike, which causes the bully to topple over the bars and smack his face on the road. My dad, who saw the whole thing from the backyard, catches up and grabs my bike and basketball.)

Dad: *to the bully, sternly* “Did you learn anything?”

(He had been sitting there dazed, but as soon as he gets an adult’s attention he starts sobbing dramatically without tears.)

Bully: “SHE HURT ME!”

Dad: “She wouldn’t have hurt you if you hadn’t hurt her first and tried to steal the bike. So, did you learn anything?”

(The bully keeps intentionally scream-sobbing for attention, even occasionally stopping to glance around to see if anyone else is coming.)

Dad: *sigh of frustration* “Shut up and go home. Now. You got what you asked for.”

(The bully sprints home. My dad does some yard work and I relax in our swing-bench. A short time later, the bully’s mom, reeking of alcohol and cigarettes, stomps down the street in a thigh-length leopard-print silk bathrobe.) 

Bully’s Mom: *snaps fingers at my dad* “HEY! You need to deal with your f****** b****!”

Dad: *sets down the tools and turns to face her* “What did you call my daughter?”

Bully’s Mom: “I called her a f****** b****. The little whore hurt my kid and I want money to take him to see a doctor.”

Dad: *shrugs* “Only on one condition.”

Bully’s Mom: “And what is it?”

Dad: “You and your son have to replace everything he’s stolen or broken from the other kids around here. I know this includes one electric toy car, two model planes, several sports balls, a baseball bat, some action figures, and a telescope. Additionally, I want payment for the hours I’ve spent fixing the walking path after he’s torn it up. If I can get that, then we can talk about seeing a doctor for the singular scrape I saw on his chin.”

Bully’s Mom: *enraged* “HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE MY SON–”

Dad: *calmly* “It’s not an accusation until I take the security camera footage to the cops. I have, on video, everything that happens on the walking path and in front of my house. I can do that if you’d like.”

(The mom raises her hand like she’s thinking of hitting him, but she stops herself and storms off. To no one’s great surprise, a police car comes and parks outside our house. The officer knocks on our door.) 

Dad: *while opening the door* “Hi, officer. I’d like to see about getting help returning some stolen items currently in the possession of the [Bully]’s household.”

Officer: “We can talk about that, but first I know your daughter hurt a boy today–”

(I am about half of the bully’s height and maybe a quarter of his weight.) 

Officer: *looking at me* “–but there must be some mistake about that. Moving on, then.”

(My dad gave a copy of the security footage of the thefts and destruction of property to the officer. The next day, several cops were at the bully’s house; they took the bully and his mom to the station. I never had to deal with the bully again, because he ended up being sent to live with his aunt in another city. It was discovered that the bully was stealing higher value toys and collectibles at his mother’s demand to fund her drug addiction. I was mad at the time that he never got punished, but today I just hope that the better environment made him learn how to be a good person. I’ve never managed to dunk the basketball or hit any other target intentionally before or after this singular stroke of karma.)

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We Don’t Have To Wonder Why They’re Not Getting Married

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2020

(I work at a small bridal boutique in a very scenic town. We get a lot of foot traffic and people wandering in “just to look” because our shop is airy and open, with beautiful window displays that are very obviously bridal. While we are happy to have people walk in to see what we have to offer, we require an appointment to actually try on dresses, especially on the weekends when we are typically fully booked. We take care to staff enough to have a consultant in every appointment as well as a third person to “float,” answering the phone, tidying up, and greeting guests who walk in. Our gowns are all on racks around the boutique because we like to let brides see and touch them to gauge their tastes. Most guests are very respectful of the fact that they are $1000+ sample dresses and handle them with at least a little care, but there are always exceptions. One of our consultants greets a pair of women who walk in one busy Saturday. Our dressing rooms and seating areas are fully in use by parties who have booked appointments in advance and the fitting rooms are booked until the end of the day.)

Consultant: “Is there anything that I can help you find?”

Guests: “No, thanks, we’re just looking!”

Consultant: “Absolutely! Feel free to look around and let me know if you have any questions or are interested in booking an appointment to try on dresses!”

(She is asked to go in the back and pour champagne for one of the appointments and excuses herself. A few minutes later, she returns to the sales floor to find both of the guests standing in the middle of the store, pulling dresses off the racks, and putting them on over their clothes. They are dragging the dresses on the ground and stepping all over the skirts and trains. They even walk into a seating area to look at themselves in the mirror while one of our brides is changing in the fitting room, but her guests are still seated in the chairs.)

Consultant: “Excuse me! We ask that you book an appointment to try on dresses so one of our team can assist you with the gowns.”

Guests: “We’re not getting married; we just want to try on some dresses!”

(The consultant is trying to remain polite, but they are stomping on $4500 ball gowns and aren’t even shopping for a wedding.)

Consultant: “We only allow gowns to be tried on with an appointment so we can be sure to have a fitting room and consultant available.”

(They stepped out of the dresses and allowed her to hang them back up, but continued looking around. It was a busy day, so she was called away by other requests and lost track of them. After a short time, she heard giggling coming from a staff area and found the two guests! They had managed to bring sample gowns into the back and were still trying them on over their clothes! They were laughing and taking selfies while wearing our dresses, with more tossed on the floor. This time the consultant was less than polite and asked them to leave the boutique. They left the dresses on the floor and walked out. We’re just lucky they didn’t decide to open the hanging gown bags and try on one of our bride’s dresses that hadn’t been picked up yet!)

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Wishing You Many Bad Returns  

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2020

(One evening, shortly after Black Friday, I am called to the customer service desk to speak with a customer. I am a woman, 5’6″ and barely 115 pounds. This man is over six feet tall and easily 200 pounds. We make eye contact and I smile at him. He glares.)

Me: “Hello, sir. You—”

Customer: “You the boss?”

Me: “Yes, sir, I am. How can I—”

Customer: “I’ve been waiting half a f****** hour for you.”

Me: *knowing he’s been standing there for maybe five minutes* “I apologize for the inconvenience. How can—”

Customer: “This lady over here disrespected me.” *points to our customer service rep*

Me: “Would you like to tell me what happened?”

Customer: “She disrespectful.”

Me: “Was it something she said or did or was—”

Customer: “She told me I can’t get my money back, said I did it too many times!”

Me: “Oh, I see. When a customer does three non-receipt returns within a rolling six months—”

Customer: “I don’t give a flying f*** what your system says. I want my money back.”

Me: *getting very annoyed* “Sir, I am trying to help you. I can overri—”

Customer: “No, you’re telling me why she’s right! Don’t talk to me like a [disabled slur].”

Me: “The system blocks returns when you do too many in a—”

Customer: “Nah, I didn’t—”

Me: “Six-month period. Now, I can—”

Customer: “Don’t talk over me! You interrupting and I’m trying to talk to you!” *steps in, a few inches from me, and jabs his finger in my chest* “You’re all disrespectful—”

Me: “Actually, I was talking first, so you were interrupting me. Now. I can override the system and force it to do a return.”

Customer: *suddenly a gentleman, stepping back* “Oh. I apologize, ma’am. Please forgive me for—”

Me: “However, you will not be doing anymore returns.” *smiles and gestures toward the exit* “Please leave.”

Customer: “F*** you, b****! What are you gonna do?”

Me: “I’m going to call the police in five seconds. You’ve been rude, tried to intimidate me, and sexually assaulted me when you poked me in the chest.”

Customer: “You don’t—”

Me: “One…”

Customer: “Don’t act like—”

Me: “Two…”

Customer: “F****** c*** can’t tell me s***!”

Me: “Three…” *I pull out my phone*

Customer: “Bulls***.”

Me: “Four…” *I put my phone to my ear*

Customer: “Man, f*** you and your p****-a** store!”

(He stormed out of the store. The customer service associate told me he wanted to return a blender that didn’t work anymore. If he hadn’t been so rude, I would have gladly helped him out.)

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An Ocean Of Grievances

, , , , , , | Right | January 22, 2020

I was skippering a large charter boat off the west coast of South Africa in the 1990s. We took a group of passengers up the coast and stopped off at an island overnight, where we fed them freshly-caught crayfish, BBQ, and all sorts of rich food. The party went on well into the night and many bottles of booze were consumed against the advice of me and my crew.

In the morning, the wind had changed direction and was picking up strongly. The sailing got rougher and rougher, and as captain, I decided to ask the passengers to stay below deck.

Suddenly, one of the passengers ran on to the deck to be ill and, understandably, given how ill he was feeling, had a little breakdown and started screaming abuse and demanding to be taken to shore. I explained that, as we were more than 30 miles from the nearest harbour, nothing could be done.

That’s when he crossed over to the dark side and threatened to kill us before trying to jump overboard to swim for shore. I caught him before he was over the railings and managed to pin him to the deck while he was screaming, trying to bite and punch me, and generally behaving like a crazy person. As I was holding him down, his girlfriend leapt onto my back, also screaming like a banshee, and started hitting me in the head with a shoe.

That’s when I decided I’d had enough and released my inner Captain Bligh, muscling both of them into the aft lazarette, a small stowage area on the boat, and locking them in the tiny enclosed space for the eight hours it took me to get them to shore. Their friends tried to protest and were informed that if they didn’t like it they were welcome to join them and so we sailed in solemn, bitter silence until we hit the wharf.

I released the wayward couple there and watched as they staggered to shore, covered in vomit, and stalked down the pier without a backward glance, never to be seen again.

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