A Non-Working Lunch

| NY, USA | Awesome, Popular, Strangers

(I’m picking up a pizza at a local pizzeria for my workmates. I’m wearing a polo with my company’s logo on it, and sitting at one of the tables waiting for my food. I’m kind of out of it because the morning’s work was labor intensive, so I’m staring idly at the drink cooler. An older gentleman walks in smiling, he greets me, and walks up to the counter behind me to look at a menu.)

Customer: “You know, I think I’ll get a meatball sandwich.” *he’s clearly talking to me since the owner has gone to the back to get my food*

(The customer seems very nice, and is obviously waiting for a reply.)

Me: “Oh, okay. The food’s good here, right?”

Customer: “Yep! I love it!”

(There’s a bit of a pause.)

Customer: “Do you have time to make it now?”

(It dawns on me he thinks I work here.)

Me: “Oh! I’m sorry. I don’t work here. I’m just waiting for my lunch.”

Customer: “Oh! Sorry! I thought you were watching TV.”

(I notice there’s a monitor above the drink cooler.)

Me: “Nope! Just watching the drinks cool.”

(He gives me a confused look, which I understand because my joke wasn’t that funny. Another minute goes by.)

Customer: “I know it’s your lunch break, but would you mind finding someone else to take my order? I’m sorry to bother you.”

(I wonder if he didn’t hear me the first time, but he’s so nice I don’t want to make him feel bad.)

Me: “I don’t think they would like me to go behind the counter since I don’t work here. I work for [Company], and I’m just picking up lunch. Hopefully the owner will be back in a second to take your order.”

Customer: “No problem! Sorry about that!”

Me: “No worries.”

(After another moment the owner comes back. He takes the man’s order and chats with him as another worker makes the sandwich. The customer then turns to point at me.)

Customer: “Let me just say you have just a nice employee! This girl is so kind and polite, and was very patient with me!”

Owner: “Oh, she doesn’t work for me. She’s a customer just like you.”

(The other worker hands me my food and I can see light finally dawning on the older gentleman.)

Customer: “I’m so very sorry!”

Me: “What are you apologizing for? You were complimenting me. It was nice meeting you!”

(We shook hands and I left with my food, in a better mood than when I came.)


A Cautionary Tale

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Popular, Transportation

(In my group of friends, I am the most cautious. Despite being able to see the entire lot, entrances and all, I look both ways before crossing from the gas pumps to the store. My friend is going in to get some snacks, and rolls his eyes when I stop to look both ways. We’re both in our early 20s at the time.)

Friend: “I can’t believe how paranoid you are all the time. You can see everything here! It’s safe.”

(As he starts to cross, I throw my arm in front of him.)

Friend: “Don’t give me that. It’s sa—”

(Just as he was saying that, a car sped into the lot, right in front of us, and screeches into a spot across from the gas pump on the other side.)

Friend: “How the h*** did you know a car was coming from that way? It’s all woods back there!”

Me: “It’s called ‘listening’ and knowing the only way out from that way is either here or the street that crosses. 50/50 chance, but I like to think everyone in a two-ton vehicle is an idiot and trust none.”

(My friends never bothered saying anything about my caution after that.)


Oppressive Obsessive

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular, Strangers

(I am on a train in the afternoon, not quite rush hour, but busy enough for no seats to be open in my car. I stand holding onto the pole in the center of the doorway. To the right side of the door, a black male is reading a book. To the left railing, a white female is standing. At one stop, an Asian female, grabs the railing to the left, behind the white female. At which the following occurs…)

White Female: *condescendingly and rudely* “Can you not stand so close to me?! You’re invading my bubble!”

(I raise an eyebrow at the situation, but move to the right of the central pole to make room for the Asian female. At this point, the black male speaks up.)

Black Male: “You didn’t need to be so rude to the young lady.”

White Female: *absolutely livid at this point* “How dare you threaten ME, a female! You are oppressing me because I am a female, and you are a man!” *continues ranting along those lines, repeating about being oppressed and threatened by a man*

(At this point, everyone is just in shock and the car is very still. The crazy lady then uses the intercom which happens to be on her side to call the conductor.)

White Female: “Help! This black man is oppressing me!”

(At this point, a few people including myself had gotten over our shock and were protesting into the intercom. One male freed his seat to give it to the hysterical lady, and he explained to the concerned conductor the situation over the intercom. I had to get off a couple stops later, but throughout the trip, the lady was still protesting about being a female threatened by a black man. I still don’t know if she was just extremely racist or there was something psychologically wrong with her…)


Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 8

| FL, USA | Games, Pokemon, Popular

(I’m at a bar with my husband that we go to a few times a month. I’m casually playing Pokémon GO on my cellphone, which is something both of us enjoy doing together from time to time. I’m 32. An older man I’ve never seen before comes up.)

Man: *sits down at a stool beside me and notices what I’m doing* “Oh, my GOD. Are you playing that stupid Pokémon thing?”

Me: “Yep, sure am.”

Man: *snorts and rolls his eyes condescendingly* “HOW old are you?”

Me: *not looking up* “Old enough not to give a f*** about what some rude random thinks I should be doing in my spare time.”

(Both my husband and the bartender burst out laughing, and the man looked flustered and angry but scooted down a stool away from me and didn’t say anything else. The bartender even gave me my next round on the house.)

Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 7
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 6
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 5


Your Friend Is Way Out Of Disorder

| Swindon, Wales, UK | Backhanded Compliments, Health & Body, Popular

(I’m in recovery from a very serious eating disorder where I’ve not eaten more than 100 calories a day for months. Because I’m still curvy, people regularly don’t believe there was anything wrong with me. My friends, however, all know what I’m been going through. This is my first time out at an eating establishment since recovery.)

Me: “I’m kinda nervous about this. I mean, what if I forgot how to drink coffee?”

Friend: “You never forget. It’s just like falling off a log.”

Me: *reaches for a sugar cube to put in the coffee*

Friend: “Um, I thought you didn’t want to be fat? Skip the sugar.”

(Yeah, thanks. Two months of therapy down the plughole.)