Meh… Still The Same Queen

, , , , , , | Related | October 14, 2019

(When I am about eight years old — around 1972 — my class has an essay contest. The topic is “Why I’m Proud To Be Canadian.” I am a pretty decent writer for an eight-year-old, and my essay contains a lot of stuff about the beauty of our country, the freedom we enjoy, and so on. When the time comes to announce the winner of the contest, I am thrilled to hear my name called. I don’t remember what the prize was – a candy bar, I think – but I am just happy to have won. I can’t wait to get home and tell my parents.)

Me: “Mum, Dad, guess what? I won an essay contest at school!”

Mum: “Wow! That’s great! What was the topic?”

Me: “‘Why I’m Proud To Be Canadian’!”

Mum & Dad: *bursts into laughter*

Me: *smile slips off my face* “What’s so funny?”

Mum: *still laughing* “You’re not Canadian, dear. You’re British.”

Me: “But… I mean, I know that I was born in England, but I’m here now.”

Dad: “You’re not a Canadian citizen, though.”

Me: “What?”

Dad: “You have to go through a bunch of paperwork and stuff to be a citizen, and we haven’t done that for you yet. So, you’re not Canadian.”

(He and Mum went to make dinner, still laughing. I’ve never forgotten how let down I felt about their reaction. Plus, I felt like I’d won that contest under false pretenses. I became a Canadian citizen a few years later, at least.)

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When Romance Becomes Horror

, , , , , , , | Related | October 7, 2019

(When I am 19 or so, my taste in books is a bit, well, trashy. I read “bodice-rippers” pretty much exclusively. My mother hates this and nags me constantly to “stop reading that garbage and read something good, instead.” I tell her to leave me alone; I enjoy those books and I am not harming anyone. One day, my dad approaches me:)

Dad: “My coworker is in the hospital, and she phoned yesterday to say that she could really use something to read. Do you think you could lend her some of your books?”

Me: “Really? Sure! What do you think she’d like?”

Dad: “How about those?” *points to my pile of romance novels* “I bet she’d like them.”

Me: “Well, I don’t mind, so long as she knows they’re just on loan.”

Dad: “Don’t worry about it. She’ll return them once she’s done.”

(I pack up all my trashy novels and give them to Dad. Weeks later:)

Me: “Dad, is your coworker done with my books yet?”

Dad: “Hmm? Oh. No, not yet.”

Me: “Really? It’s been ages. Surely she’s not still in the hospital?”

Dad: “No, she’s out now, but she’s still reading them.”

Me: “She does know that I want them back, right?”

Dad: “Yes, of course.”

Me: “Well, okay.”

(A few weeks later…)

Me: “Dad, can I have your coworker’s phone number?”

Dad: “What on earth for?”

Me: “I’d like to ask for my books back.”

Dad: *getting angry* “For Pete’s sake! I told you she’ll return them when she’s done.”

Me: “But–”

Dad: *loses temper* “ENOUGH!”

(This went on for months. I’d ask Dad to bug his coworker for my books, he’d make some excuse, I’d persist, he’d lose his temper and yell at me, and the cycle would repeat. I finally gave up when it had been more than a year. In hindsight, I can’t believe I was so naïve; there was obviously no coworker. This was a scheme cooked up by my parents to rid me of that “garbage” for once and for all. Joke’s on them, though; I now read Stephen King constantly, which disgusts my mother even more. Oh, well. I’m 55 now, and I’ll read whatever I darned well please.)

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Not Red-dy For You

, , , , | Right | October 2, 2019

(I work at the order desk for a company that supplies drugstores with all of their merchandise – pharmaceuticals, candy, cigarettes, you name it. Drugstore employees call me and give me their orders, which I enter on my computer. I work in the office area, and all of the items are stored in a separate warehouse. I can depend on having a conversation like this at least once a week:)

Customer: “I want some cigarettes.”

Me: “Sure. What kind?”

Customer: “Uh… I don’t know the name. You know, the ones in the red box.”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t know which ones those are.”

Customer: “The red box.”

Me: “I’ll need a name, sir, plus a quantity.”

Customer: “Tell you what, honey. You run over to wherever you store those things, find alllllll the ones in red boxes, write down the names, and then come tell me what they are.”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that, sir–”

Customer: “Let me guess; too much work?”

Me: “No. I mean that the cigarettes are stored in a warehouse, and I don’t have access to it.”

Customer: “Yeah, right. Wait— You’re new, aren’t you?”

Me: “No, sir. I’ve worked here for six months.”

Customer: “Then you should know which cigarettes come in red boxes!”

Me: *sigh*

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That Tip Is Going Swimmingly

, , , , , , | Right | September 16, 2019

(My young children take swimming lessons at the local YMCA. The lessons are held from 7:00 to 8:00, and I always take them out for a quick meal beforehand at a diner. My kids finish their dinners before me, so while I polish off the rest of my food, my younger daughter amuses herself by asking me for pennies and dropping them into her half-full water glass. I don’t mind, because it is keeping her quiet, and I have every intention of removing the pennies from the glass before we leave, since I don’t want to leave them for the server to deal with. Then, I realise to my dismay that it is getting late.)

Me: “Oh, dear! We’d better get going, girls.”

(I stuff the last bite into my mouth, grab a $5 bill, and leave it on the table for a tip. We dash out to the car…)

Daughter: “Mummy, here, you forgot this.” *hands me the $5 bill*

Me: “Oh, no, honey, that was meant for our server. Quick, let’s run back into the restaurant and give it to her.”

(As we re-entered the diner, I realized two things. One, I’d forgotten to remove the pennies from my daughter’s water glass. Two, our poor server was looking at the pennies in dismay, thinking that they were her tip, and wondering what on earth she’d done to deserve that! I apologized profusely for the pennies and gave her the $5.)

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Berate For Running Late

, , , , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(Part of my husband’s responsibility is unlocking the office in the morning. This means that he has to do his best to be there before anyone else shows up. Normally, this isn’t a problem, because he is very conscientious. One day, however, our little girl decides to throw a tantrum as we are trying to get her ready for daycare, and this delays our departure by about twenty minutes. As I drive us to work, his cell phone starts ringing.)

Husband: “Hello?”

Coworker #1: “Where are you? I’m waiting outside for you to unlock the door!”

Husband: “I’m really sorry. My daughter didn’t want to get ready this morning, so I’m running late. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Coworker #1: “Well, hurry, okay?” *hangs up*

(His phone starts ringing again.)

Coworker #2: “Why aren’t you here yet?”

Husband: “Didn’t [Coworker #1] tell you? I’m running late.”

Coworker #2: “Running late? How long are we going to have to wait?”

Husband: “I’ll be there as soon as possible.” *hangs up*

(His phone starts ringing again.)

Supervisor: “I hear that no one has been able to start work yet because of your tardiness.”

Husband: “I’m hurrying! Traffic is bad. I’ll be there as fast as I can!”

Supervisor: “Well, see that you are.”

(His phone rings again several more times as we are driving, each time from another coworker berating him for being late. By the time he gets to work, he is practically in tears from frustration and misery that he’d inconvenienced everyone.)

Coworkers: “SURPRISE!”

Husband: “What?”

Supervisor: *with a broad grin* “We all waited here and took turns calling you! It was hilarious! *sees my husband’s face* “Um… it was supposed to be hilarious.”

Husband: *unlocks the door and goes to his desk without saying a word*

(His supervisor apologized to him afterward and bought him a coffee. She’d honestly thought that the prank would be funny and felt terrible that they’d upset him.)

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