(In my third year of law school I spend my mornings in class and then get one of the campus shuttles downtown to the District Attorney’s office (where criminal prosecutors work), where I have an internship. At this time of day there’s often no one else on the bus. As I get on one day:)
Bus Driver: “So, where are you going today?
Me: “To the DA’s office. I’m in law school and I’m working there.
Bus Driver: “Oh, really? So what do you think about abortion?”
Bus Driver: “If you’re going to be a DA, then it matters. Did you know that in some places, you can still get an abortion even when the baby is old enough to live outside the uterus?”
Bus Driver: “I might be voting for you one day. You need to tell me what your views on abortion are.”
Me: “I’m sorry, I’m not comfortable talking about that.”
(I went and sat down in the big, empty bus and looked at my phone to avoid eye contact for the rest of the trip. Sorry, Mr. Bus Driver, but 1) while THE District Attorney for each county is elected, the dozens or hundreds of attorneys who prosecute cases are not; 2) DAs, like the police, just enforce the laws that already exist and have nothing to do with making the laws; and 3) my views on abortion are none of your d*** business!)
(Way back when video stores were actually a thing, I went in looking for a specific movie. This interaction made me weep for our education system.)
Clerk: “How can I help you?” *in tone that implies he’d rather not*
Me: “Yes, I’m looking for a movie called The Devil’s Arithmetic? It stars Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy?”
Clerk: “The Devil’s WHAT?”
Me: “The Devil’s Arithmetic?”
Clerk: *incredibly sarcastic tone* “The Devil’s Uh-thuh-thuh-thuh?”
Me: “Um. No. A-rith-me-tic. You know, like, math?”
Clerk: “Whatever. We don’t have anything like that.”
(I am with my friend, who is an Assistance Dog trainer. She trains Seeing Eye Dogs, but also Autism Assistance Dogs. On this occasion she has one of her dogs with her, fully kitted out in its harness and vest – clearly a working dog. We enter a restaurant.)
Waitress: “Oh, no. No, no. No dogs. You cannot bring a dog in here.”
Friend: “This is a service dog. It is permitted.”
Waitress: “No way. You’re clearly not blind.”
(Our mouths both dropped as it is utterly illegal to turn away someone with an Assistance Dog in our state, even if it is only in training. We stared in silence until she begrudgingly let us in. Not all Assistance Dogs are for blind people, but ALL Assistance Dogs are permitted in restaurants!)
(I’m with a small group of friends at a family-friendly neighborhood chain restaurant on a Sunday during football season. Each TV in the bar area is labeled with and playing a different game. We request to be seated near the TV playing the game that we want to watch and the hostess obliges. However, as soon as we are seated a waitress changes the channel to a different game, the local game that is already displayed on the big screen. The hostess talks to the bartender and the other tables and is luckily able to change the TV at our table to the game that we want to watch because none of the patrons are watching the labeled game. We think it’s no big deal, until…)
Angry Male Waiter: *yelling as he leaves the kitchen* “Hey! Who turned off my game!”
Angry Male Waiter: “I need to watch that game! Why did they change it?!”
Angry Male Waiter: *loudly, to the bartender and manager* “Who likes [Our Team] anyway?! Why’d we have to turn off my game for them?!”
Angry Male Waiter: “They’d better be leaving soon! I need to know the score! That’s my team!”
(The waiter was so loud and obnoxious that he made us so uncomfortable that we left for fear of him doing something to our food. Obviously the manager didn’t care because he was standing by the bar listening to him complain. We ended up taking a corporate survey and leaving negative feedback, but since he wasn’t our waiter it was difficult. Seriously, it sucks that we turned off “your” game, but you’re supposed to be doing a job, not watching TV.)
Due to his military duties, my husband and I are living in different states for awhile. He is using my address as his billing address, as all he has at training is a PO box.
I open all the mail that arrives here addressed to him, since it will be months before he is home.
When his credit card is due to expire, his bank sends him a new one to my address, with a note that his old card will deactivate by a certain date, now seven days away. I know this is his only credit card, so I immediately stick it all in a new envelope to mail to his PO box. I pause before writing “please do not bend” on the envelope; I think, would this perhaps anger a postal employee and cause him or her to deliberately mistreat the parcel? No! Quit being so paranoid. These are professionals! I wrote “please do not bend” so they would know to please treat it extra carefully.
Thankfully my husband receives the card exactly one week later, on the deactivation date and calls to tell me. His first words are, “Sweetie, not only did they bend it, they cracked the credit card clean in half.”
This does not happen in the course of normal mail; someone deliberately destroyed it. I wish I could call someone and complain, but it’s impossible! It’s the perfect crime. Luckily, my husband called his bank and they over-nighted him a new card to his temporary housing. But I have learned a valuable lesson in writing polite warnings on my parcels. So much for their being professionals!