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    Real People With Real Problems

    | VA, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Health & Body, Top

    (One of my best friends on campus has cerebral palsy, and is confined to a wheelchair. Between the CP and a strong accent, she sometimes has trouble making herself clearly understood to strangers. She is having a strong allergic skin reaction to something; her aid has gone for the night, so I go with her to the hospital. The nurse is crouched down in the waiting room beside my friend’s chair.)

    Nurse: “And how old is she?”

    My Friend: “20.”

    (Instead of responding to my friend, the nurse looks at me.)

    Nurse: “Is that correct?”

    Me: “I would assume. She can speak for herself. I’m only here as a friend.”

    Nurse. “And for how long have you had these symptoms?”

    My Friend: “I noticed them this morning, but they’ve gotten very bad.”

    (Again, the nurse looks at me instead of my friend; I say nothing. She continues doing this for several moments, asking questions and then looking at me, until my friend finally snaps.)

    My Friend: “You talk to me, not her! She’s my friend; she doesn’t know anything about my medical stuff.”

    (The nurse stands up and storms away. I follow, more than a little angry on my friend’s behalf.)

    Nurse: *to me* “You may think it’s nice to let her pretend to be a real person, but some of us are trying to run a hospital.”

    Me: “Excuse me?! She’s in a wheelchair; she’s not stupid! She IS a real person.”

    Nurse: “Well if you want to pretend that’s true, that’s on you.”

    (I am struck completely silent in rage and shock. A doctor, who I haven’t seen until he SLAMS paperwork down on the desk, interjects.)

    Doctor: “Nurse. Supervisor. Now.”

    (The three of them go back into an office where the nurse comes out in tears; she was suspended for her behavior.)

    An Extra Flirt Of Lemon

    | Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink, Love/Romance

    Boyfriend: “Hi, I would like two lemonades and a bag of kettle corn.”

    Food Stand Attendant: “$17.50.”

    (My boyfriend pays. While they are getting our lemonades ready, he runs to the restroom. I have been standing there holding the lemonades for a while at this point.)

    Me: “Excuse me; can I please get my kettle corn?”

    Food Stand Attendant: “That’ll be $6.”

    Me: “Oh no, I am sorry; my boyfriend just paid for it. He’s in the restroom; we just never got it.”

    Food Stand Attendant: “Whatever, that’ll be $6.”

    Me: “But I just paid for it; you never gave it to me!”

    Food Stand Attendant: “No you didn’t; you bought the lemonades. That was it.”

    Me: “Two lemonades for $17.50?”

    (At this point my boyfriend has returned, wondering what the hold up is. The food stand attendant gives him a flirty smile.)

    Food Stand Attendant: “You forgot your kettle corn; so glad you came back!”

    (As we are walking away, I realize she has written her phone number on the bag. That’s why she didn’t want to hand it to me.)

    Trying To Mold The Worker Into Shape

    | Reading, England, UK | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I want to buy some par-baked bread rolls, but the three packages on the shelf all have blue mold on the inside. I pick up a can of drink, and take the rolls up to the desk.)

    Me: “Do you have any more of these rolls?”

    Cashier: “No.”

    Me: “Shame. Well, these are mouldy, so I’ll just leave them with you, and take this drink.”

    Cashier: “What?”

    Me: “These. Are. Mouldy. I’ll leave them with you so you can throw them out.”

    Cashier: *shrugs*

    (I swing by the shop the next day. The mouldy rolls are back on the shelf.)

    Their Signature Problem

    | Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Technology

    (The cashier has just given me my total for my purchases. I swipe my credit card and sign the electronic screen. She looks at the signature on the screen and informs me that she needs to see my card and identification since the signature is not clear. She asks me to sign it again and as I hand her my driver’s license, I sign the screen a second time.)

    Cashier: “I cannot make out your signature. You need to sign it again.”

    Me: “Why? You have my ID in your hand. The names match and the picture is definitely me.”

    Cashier: “Well, I cannot read your signature. It doesn’t really match.”

    Me: *joking with her* “Those crazy machines never allow anyone to properly write their signature on them. Can I have my receipt and cards back please?”

    Cashier: *dead serious* “Not until your signature matches your ID.”

    Me: “Are you kidding me? You have my ID that proves who I am. What more do you need?”

    Cashier: *looking at my ID again* “You do realize that your signature isn’t very legible on your ID either, don’t you?”

    Me: “Yes, I know. I do that on purpose because it’s harder to forge a messy signature. My husband was in the military and was told to always write a signature messy since it’s easier to forge a neat signature.”

    Cashier: “You really should get your ID redone with a neater signature.”

    Me: “Um… that is my signature. It’s how I write. Just give me my stuff now, please.”

    Cashier: “I can’t until I get a proper signature. You aren’t worth my job.”

    Me: “Can I see your manager? I have signed it twice and you have my ID.”

    Cashier: *rolling her eyes* “Fine.” *calls manager*

    Manager: “What’s the problem?”

    Cashier: “This customer has signed the thing twice. The signature doesn’t match the card or the ID, and she won’t sign it again.”

    Manager: “But you have her ID; it matches the name on the card, and the picture is her. That should be the end of it. Those machines never allow someone to write it clearly. Just give her the cards back and her purchase.”

    Cashier: “Well, it’s not worth losing my job over.”

    Manager: *raising voice a little* “There is no problem here. Just give her the stuff and complete the transaction!”

    Cashier: *rolling her eyes again* “Fine! But I better not be fired if it comes up as ID theft!”

    Manager: *grabbing the receipt, cards, and bag from the cashier and handing them to me* “I’m sorry, miss. Have a nice day.”

    Me: “Thank you. Hopefully, I won’t have this problem next time.”

    Manager: “I assure you that you won’t.”

    Doing Irreparable Damage

    | ON, Canada | Employees, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology, Top

    (My cell phone’s ear piece has stopped working. I take it to a kiosk for the company, where they proclaim it broken, and tell me the free way to exchange it. Later, I get a $100 warranty charge on my bill.)

    Me: “Hi, I’m calling about the $100 charge on my bill? I was told there was no charge if I returned the phone.”

    Representative: “Well, our records indicate that we never got the phone.”

    Me: “Really? Because I used the packaging and shipping label you sent me, and shipped it back within the week.”

    Representative: “Oh, wait, the warehouse did get it. But there was no damage, so we charged you.”

    Me: “The ear piece was broken. I couldn’t use it as a phone! And a rep at one of your kiosks told me it was broken!”

    Representative: “Oh, wait, there was damage. And that’s why we charged you.”

    Me: “Wait, so the kiosk lied? I was told that as long as I returned the phone, there was no fee. They told me about the exchange, and that my phone was qualified for it. And if the exchange doesn’t work for phones with damage, and it doesn’t work for phones without damage, how do you qualify!?”

    Representative: “…a $100 credit will be applied to your account.”

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