Ended With Military Precision

, , , , | Working | September 11, 2018

(It is the early 2000s. During this time, at the border crossing all you need is your driver’s license. My parents recently moved to a seaside town in Mexico for their semi-retirement. My siblings and I are visiting my parents over the Christmas holiday. I am still in college, while my siblings graduated, but they are able to come celebrate Christmas with us. My father and we three siblings have last-minute Christmas shopping, so we decide to cross the bolder. My father and brother have the fast pass to bypass the traffic, but my sister and I don’t, so we have to walk across the border. I am wearing a typical college student outfit: my university hoodie and jeans. My siblings and I are half-Japanese, half-Caucasian-American, but I look more Caucasian than Asian. My father is Japanese, so I have an extremely popular Japanese last name. After waiting for about forty minutes to get to the front of the line, my sister and I arrive. We wait for the border control guard to gesture for us to come over one at a time. My sister, being older, insists that I go first. I show the border control guard my driver’s license.)

Border Control Guard: *looks at my license and, without looking at me, asks* “Why are you coming to the US?”

Me: “I still have to do Christmas shopping, and I’m visiting my parents in Mexico.”

(He looks up at me, then looks down again, and at me again. He smirks.)

Border Control Guard: “[Asian Last Name]?”

Me: *answering the same question from people I had all my life* “Yes. My father is Asian, and my mother is Caucasian-American.”

Border Control Guard: *tilts his head, confused* “How?”

(My initial response is to be sarcastic and say, “Sex,” but I don’t want to get into trouble.)

Me: “Well, my parents fell in love, and then they got married, and then had me, and my siblings. My sister is over there.”

(I wave to my sister, and she waves back, concerned as I am taking a long time. The guard looks at my sister, who does have more Asian features than I, but the guard shakes his head and looks at me.)

Border Control Guard: “Um… But how?”

(I’m getting a bit annoyed, but trying my best not to show it.)

Me: “My parents first had my brother, then my sister, and then eventually me.”

(The border control guard starts to tap my driver’s license like he is holding it hostage. He snaps his fingers and asks:)

Border Control Guard: “What is your nationality?”

Me: “American and Japanese.”

Border Control Guard: “How?”

Me: “My mother is Caucasian-American, and my father is Japanese.”

(The border control guard leans back and rubs his chin and continues to tap. He’s trying to figure me out, or trying to catch me in a lie.)

Border Control Guard: “Where were you born?”

Me: “Tokyo, Japan.”

Border Control Guard: “What?! How is that possible?”

Me: *thinking it’s not his business* “My parents met and got married in the states, but my father had to transfer to Japan for business. So, my parents packed up and moved to Japan, and a few years later they had me.”

Border Control Guard: “But how?!”

(The border control guard leans back again, tapping my license — I am worried that it might get damaged — trying to figure out how to answer his “But how?”s without getting my family, or me, into trouble. At this point I notice even the other guards looking at him, wondering why it is taking so long. I glance at my sister, who looks worried. I am also worried about my dad and brother, who have already crossed at this point, waiting for us, wondering what has happened to us.)

Border Control Guard: *leans forward with a smirk* “Was your mother in the military?”

(Neither of my parents is in the military. My grandfather on my maternal side was in the Navy, so what I say next is technically not a lie, and I just want to go.)

Me: “Yes. Exactly. We are a military family. May I go?”

Border Control Guard: *beams, hands my license over, and nods* “Yes. You may go!”

(I waited for my sister to cross. She crossed without any additional questions, and we went to the waiting spot where my father and brother were. In the car ride, I told them the story. The family in-joke became that we were in the military, since that is the only way interracial couples can meet and have kids.)

Don’t Bring Jesus Into The Bedroom

, , , , | Working | September 11, 2018

(My husband and I recently ordered some toys for the bedroom online because we figured we might give it a try. Fast forward to the day of arrival. We get woken up by loud bangs on the door, which I find odd since we have a loud and functioning doorbell, but since I’m fairly confident it must be for a good reason, I go and sleepily open the door. I am greeted by the angry face of a delivery driver in his mid-40s.)

Driver: “You are a disgrace to Jesus.”

Me: *trying to not fall asleep where I stand* “Wha…?”

Driver: “I am not giving you this.”

(This is where I notice the large package in his hands. It’s ripped open and barely taped together on one side. I also start to understand what’s going on.)

Me: “I don’t need your opinion on my purchases, thank you very much.”

Driver: “I am not giving you this. I can’t have you insult Jesus!”

Me: “Give. Me. My. Package.”

Driver: “NO!” *stomps off*

Me: *baffled*

They’re Airborne Now

, , , , | Working | September 11, 2018

(It’s around the year 2000. My mother has brought one of our computers in to have some issues checked out, as they’re bad enough to interfere with the computer’s functionality.)

Tech: “Okay, I took a look, and it seems you’ve got a couple viruses that need to be taken care of.”

Mom: “Viruses?”

Tech: “Yeah. You need to be careful what sort of websites you visit; some may download things to your computer without you noticing.”

Mom: “Uh-huh… That’s an interesting problem for a computer that’s never been connected to the Internet.”

(We did get the computer fixed, somewhere else.)

Do You Understand The Coupons Coming Out Of My Mouth?

, , , , , | Working | September 10, 2018

(I have an app to get deals at [Store]. I always read all of the fine print and exclusions, but about half of the time, the register won’t accept the coupon. The cashier will always adjust the price accordingly or get a supervisor who can, so I’m not missing out on any deals, but it’s still an annoyance. Even though I never blame, fuss, or raise my voice, I’m still sometimes treated with attitude. On my most recent visit, the cashier informed me that I could scan the items into my phone to find out if the coupon applies. Now armed with this new information, I scan all of my items with my phone and sure enough, two of them won’t go through. Aiming to find out WHY this keeps happening, I forgo the regular checkout and go straight to customer service.)

Me: “Hi. I have these two products that should be eligible for [App] deals, but they’re not scanning into my phone, so I know they won’t scan into the register. This happens pretty often. It’s very frustrating, so I’d just like to know if there’s something I’m missing, and how I can avoid this issue in the future.”

Customer Service: “I need to see the coupons.”

Me: “Of course. Here, see? This is for [Brand] mac and cheese. Excluding gluten-free.” *hands off the phone, and pick up the product* “And see, this is [Same Brand] mac and cheese, and it’s not gluten free.”

(She hands back my phone and begins ringing up the mac and cheese and applying the discount. At no point did I ask her to do this.)

Me: “And here’s a coupon for [Brand] undergarments, excluding clearance. This is [Same Brand] undergarment, and it’s not on clearance.”

(Again she looks at my phone and starts ringing up my other item at the discounted price.)

Customer Service: “Okay, I gave you the discount.”

Me: “That’s fine for this time, but I’m really interested in why this keeps happening and how to prevent it in the future.”

Customer Service: “Did you have any other items?”

Me: “Yes, just these things.” *as I’m handing her my few other things* “I just try to plan my shopping ahead of time, and I keep running into this issue. I was really hoping to figure out what’s going on with the app and how to prevent this in the future.”

Customer Service: “Cash or credit?”

Me: “Oh, credit.” *as I’m running my card through* “It’s just been very frustrating, you know? Do you know who I could talk to about this issue?”

Customer Service: *handing me my receipt, completely deadpan* “Have a nice day.”

(I stood there, dumbfounded, for a second before wandering off to my car in a daze. I know she doesn’t have any authority over the app and I totally understand it if you don’t know the answer to my question, but could you at least acknowledge that I’m talking? I had to call my husband to make sure my voice was still audible!)

You Get The Body Of The Story

, , , , , | Working | September 10, 2018

(I go to get my son a bean bag chair. The smallish store has one attendant, an already creepy young man. He offers to take the bean chair out to my nondescript car. I open the trunk and he says:)

Attendant: “Wow, that’s a big trunk; you could fit a couple of bodies in there.”

Me: “Um. Gee, thanks? And bye!

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