People Divulge Their Ultimate 'Flex' From When They Were A Kid
What's impressive to us as kids and what's impressive to us as adults are two wildly different things. The "flexes" that we did on other kids typically revolved around impressing other students at school with various weird things. Here are some of the best ones, as the people of Reddit look back at childhood.
u/Tempest_OW_ asked: What was your ultimate flex when you were a child?
Zoomin' past the haters.
I had an electric scooter, must have been flexin hard since some parents would harass me for riding it on school property.
After school, I had one lady who was so jealous that she would follow me on my way home and scream "you need a license for that thing I checked with the police". Meanwhile I'm 13 years old riding a toy designed for kids.
The most powerful super soaker to ever hit the market.
Some idiot of a person threw it in the trash as they thought it was just old. I miss it a lot as nothing compares to being physically exhausted trying to get those final charges in to pump it up to full power. When you maxed it out, you knew you were about to do a 'lotta damage!
Don't know what that means but I'm happy for you.
I got a Holographic Blastoise in my first pack of Pokemon cards.
My very first pack had a foil Poliwrath.
I'd be jealous too.
Bringing McDonald's to school during lunch time.
As for personal talents, absolutely NADA. I was as talentless as they came.
My dad worked with Steve Irwin and we often had dinners etc with his family.
That's not a childhood flex, that's a lifetime flex right there.
Now that's talent.
I can touch my nose with my tongue and I can pop my jaw, my dad has stated that whenever he hears me pop my jaw he's scared that my jaw is just going to unhinge like a snake.
I can do that and I used to purposely annoy my high school boyfriend by doing it while making creepy eye contact. The sound freaked him out. It was a fun way to win stupid fights.
How did they get them?
I had all these fake mobile phones they used for displays in stores. I used to sell them.
First to discover Minecraft in my school and spread the word around.
You got to flex over that? I was the first to discover Minecraft in my middle school, but everyone just called me gay for playing it instead of Call of Duty. It finally got big when it came out for Xbox, but nobody would have it when I tried to pull an I-told-you-so.
Bonus: My terrible username I still use to this day is the name I came up with, in a sudden moment of inspiration in the P.E. locker room in 6th grade, to use for a Minecraft let's play. I could say I'm "more epic than you" in every episode.
At the time I legitimately thought it was the best idea I'd ever had in my life. I even made this Reddit account to ask a question in a Notch AMA.
Always look on the bright side.
Me and my friends would compare how many cuts and bruises we had on our legs. I was always the winner. I have atopic dermatitis.
Way to turn a bad into a good.
Reddit user ITSSAMMYG asked: 'What was your worst ever holiday destination?'
Traveling for most people is a wonderful adventure, full of new experiences, sights, and memories.
But even for the best travelers, there are bound to be some flop destinations along the way.
Redditor ITSSAMMYG asked:
"What was your worst ever holiday destination?"
"Canberra. Not a bad holiday overall, there just wasn't much to do. It's such a weird place."
"If you're a nerd like me, then you never get tired of visiting Canberra. All the national institutions, museums, galleries, libraries, courts, parliaments new and old, decent food and beer, and beautiful walks around the lake. Not a touristy place at all for most people, but I love it."
"Absolutely agree. Canberra should theoretically be a great city… but it’s just a bit... off?"
"Las Vegas. The Douchebag Capital of America. When all our kids were in summer camps, my wife wanted to go on a lark. I've been to multiple conventions here, so it's old hat to me."
"The weather was actually unusually mild for late June, so no complaints there. But, having been to LV on both business and pleasure now, every visit follows the same pattern."
"Day One: Oh, cool. Neon! Wayne Newton! Weird architecture! Naked excess!"
"Day Two: Okay. Yeah, seen that and done that. And no, I don't want to deal with a gauntlet of guys handing me t*tty flyers as I walk down the street. F**k, I just want to have a drink in peace without somebody's rowdy bachelor party going on two tables over."
"And I really am bothered watching that 80-something woman feed quarters into a slot machine for fourteen consecutive hours. She was there this morning, she was there when I went back to my room, and now she's there at 10 tonight. Like she's grown a taproot or something. That woman's the real Las Vegas, not what you see in the ads. This place is like a really f**king hot Gatlinburg with slot machines."
"Day Three: Get me out of this place. Red Rocks. The Hoover Dam. Any place but this soul-sucking, tacky-a**ed, gimcrack s**thole. Short of Gary, Indiana, or a Calcutta slum, this has to be the most depressing place on the planet."
"The perfect way to do Vegas is to fly in early on a Saturday, do all the pool stuff, or golf, or see some of the sights. Have a nice lunch, and maybe play some games. Eat a really nice dinner, gamble and drink all night, and fly out before noon the next day. One night, in and out."
"Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee."
"I went a few times in the 90s and it was great. Nice hiking, beautiful views, and a secluded cabin. Just nice and relaxing."
"I went again in 2018 and you couldn’t pay me enough to ever go anywhere near there again. Traffic is a nightmare, tourist trap, s**tty food, crowded hiking trails, the views are littered with McMansion-style 'cabins.'"
"And our 'secluded cabin with mountain views' we went down in a valley with 10 other cabins. Our Mountain View was out of one window on the top floor if you looked up at the right angle. Worst vacation ever, I couldn’t wait to leave."
"Just constant harassment from locals who assume you're rich and my Black mate would be called Eddie Murphy or Micheal Jordan (which he thought was kinda funny as he's a short a**)."
"Such a dirty overcrowded s**t hole."
"Liechtenstein. It wasn't bad, just not very interesting."
"Also, both my friends and I got horrific food poisoning in a café before heading to the airport to fly home. We all had the s**ts, and I even ended up vomiting into the X-ray tray when going through security, causing me to miss my flight. Not my finest holiday."
"I went to a destination wedding at a resort in the Dominican Republic. I paid full price for a room that wasn’t as nice as advertised (jungle view is actually a vista of more damn buildings) and they wouldn’t stop pestering us to attend timeshare sales meetings."
"It wasn’t safe to venture off the resort. Never going back."
"In Dominican Republic, my friend's parents paid for a guided tour, and at the end of the trip, the guide took all of their money and valuables."
"He was meant to have been really funny and charismatic, they thought he was joking at first."
"My Jordan experience was sexist."
"I have to say everywhere I've been to has been great, but, speaking for my ex-wife, I'd have to say Jordan."
"She surprised me for my 30th Birthday with a trip to Jordan. She also wanted to prove that the scene in Indian Jones (the third one, I think?) in Petra is real."
"The hotel staff was very condescending to my wife, looking at me to 'take over' and handle it. Kept asking me questions while she was standing right in front of them. At one point, she went down to get money off the credit card and they refused her. I took HER, not my, credit card and they gave me money without batting an eye."
"Tour guides were very unresponsive to her questions, and conversation, and engaged me as a tour guide would."
"We decided to head out a day early, not much to do after ruins and Petra. She called the airlines, and they refused to change the tickets, informing her there was no room. She went into Karen mode to no avail. Frustrated, she hung up the phone after probably 30 minutes."
"Something told me I should call them. I called right after her, and they were more than happy to put us on an earlier flight."
"We got... extra security... when we left. We were used to random questions, passport checks. That comes with traveling the world."
"First, an armed guard did the passport checks, asking us all sorts of questions about WHY caps on purpose, we went here, and WHY we went there. Very aggressive. Consulted with another armed guard and let us go. Then, while sitting down, a uniformed military person say down next to us and started questioning us."
"I would definitely go again, but I would advise my significant other about the experience."
"Albania 2022. It was full of trash, scammers, and s**t quality everything. All the cities are so worn down and everything is concrete grey. No beautiful old towns like Croatia, Spain, and Italy."
"Every beach we visited was full of jetski jerks, waterbikes, and garbage. All the restaurants/bars/beach clubs were competing to play the loudest music. The only thing tolerable to enjoy was some scenic nature when driving far away from everything, but still, you would walk around in garbage if you stepped out of the car."
"And that rental car was moldy and s**t to drive. We had booked a newer model car, but that was stuck on a truck in France (sure thing) but we would get a 100 euro refund and get a very nice car instead. It looked like a bear had attacked the car. We're still waiting for that refund. Hate it!"
"Branson, Missouri. I will never go again until I'm a senior citizen."
"I’ve said that for years. It’s only fun if you’re under 12 or over 70."
"I had a great time at Silver Dollar City a couple of times as a kid. Then I went in my mid-20s and thought I would die of boredom."
"Now, in my 40s, I’d enjoy more of the rural-type things near there, like fishing, boating, kayaking, hiking, etc. But you would not get me anywhere near that awful Branson main drag."
"Venice in mid-June eight or nine years ago. The city itself is impressive and the architecture is marvelous, but it was terribly crowded, full of tourists and street scammers/ suspicious ambulant vendors, also everything was at least twice as expensive as other lovely but more low profile places we saw in Italy."
"I went to Southern Illinois at Christmas time. First time I'd been there. Flat, desolate, brown, and f**king cold. It's like being on a s**t version of the moon where everything f**king sucks. Awful."
"I went there in spring once though, it was lovely."
"Delhi. Unfortunately stayed in the worst part and almost lost my leg the first night we were there."
"I was in a tuk-tuk crash and had I not been a tourist and looking around, I wouldn’t have seen it a moment before it happened and my leg would have been crushed between the tuk-tuk and the road barrier. The whole side of it crumpled in and needed lifting back onto the road. Very frightening."
"Jamaica. Upon leaving the resort it was immediately obvious that the place was unsafe for tourists. The resort itself was adequate and we didn't mind staying within the bubble, someone with plans to explore the island was sure to be disappointed or dead or both."
"My wife and I went to pick Ocho Rios for our honeymoon. Our room was a 'jungle view,' meaning it was in the part of the property across the road from the main hotel and restaurants. They had golf carts that you called to bring you back and forth. We were warned not to cross on our own, as once we left the gate, we were subject to police harassment or getting assaulted by local criminals."
"Sihanoukville, Cambodia. We left after one night despite having booked for longer. Empty, abandoned concrete skyscraper shells and loads of Chinese who are Triads. Horrible experience."
While traveling is an important and enriching experience for a person to learn more about someone else's culture and beliefs, it's clear that there are some experiences that will be had that are better off not being repeated.
While we can all dream that there is the perfect person out there for everyone, we can also agree that each person is not perfect for everyone else. There are absolutely dealbreakers that would apply to one person and not someone else.
But most of us can agree that there are certain things that you absolutely do not say on a first date.
Redditor TacticalBabushka asked:
"What is the worst thing to say on a first date?"
No Fat-Shaming Allowed
"Once I went on a date with a guy, and afterward I messaged something like, 'So what did you think?'"
"And he answered, 'You carry your weight well.'"
"I was surprised, because it’s a subject that had never come up before at any point, and this was back before filters existed, so he knew exactly how I looked before we met, it wasn’t due to any surprises."
"He also wasn’t into 'overweight women,' per his own admission, so this wasn’t said with enthusiasm."
Sweet Ulterior Motives
"My husband actually said to me on our first date, 'I’m really glad you’re not skinny.'"
"I think he meant it as a compliment. 12 years later, I realize it’s because he assumed (correctly) I could cook."
"He likes to eat."
"I am 5’7 and at the time we met, I weighed 190ish. I’m pretty solid built, and yeah, I have some meat on me, but it’s not sloppy. I’ve always worn a size 12/14 and I’m busty."
"He weighed 260 at 5’9 and was into bodybuilding, his chest measured 52 inches (no man boobs). He also worked in a steel mill at the time and probably needed to consume 5k calories a day just to maintain. We are not small people, lol (laughing out loud)."
"And yes, I can cook very well. Good food is very important to him. We currently weigh 160 (me) and 250."
"He likes to eat so much he put his own foot in his mouth!"
Too Much Too Fast
"I love you."
"So, this reminds me of something that happened to me (TL;DR: the man was already making plans for marriage and the rest of our lives not even five minutes after meeting each other):"
"A Tinder date said, 'I saw in your profile that you’re in environmental science as well as soil science. How about we take some time to negotiate where we should move in the future when we are married based on where you want to study.'"
"I chuckled at him and thought he was just being cheeky and flirty, but then he got this very confused and serious expression and said, 'Why are you laughing? You don’t see yourself marrying me?'"
"And it was after we JUST said hi to each other, bruh!"
The Ex Talk
"Anything about your ex that was unprompted."
"Oh yes. I went on a first date where my date started talking about his exes for some reason. Then it continued to how he was still friends with most of them. And the finale was, 'I may not be a good boyfriend, but I'm a great ex.'"
"The appetizers weren't even served yet... I really didn't know what to do with that information. We didn't meet again (for that and other reasons)."
"I met up with a girl on Tinder in the middle of quarantine and just blabbered on about my last couple of girlfriends for like an hour in her car and then left. It felt so good to talk to someone in person that wasn’t my parents."
"Then she texted me as soon I I drove off like, 'Maybe next time you meet up with someone, you should let them speak and not talk about all of your ex-girlfriends, dude.'"
"It was pretty f**king embarrassing honestly, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Bro was looking for a therapy session."
A Way to Be Introduced
"I saw your sister when I was going through all your Facebook pics. She's hot. Is she seeing anyone?"
"From a girl to me: 'I am so fertile, you can get me pregnant just by looking at me.' She was in her mid 20's, with three kids, all from different fathers."
"I did not go back for a second date."
"'You remind me of my mom.'"
"This happened to me… I eventually met her and realized i don’t want to ever become them."
"Or 'you remind me of my ex.'"
Acing the Test
"You have passed the preliminaries and are definitely in the running. Good job."
"Not me, but my wife and I were having lunch near a college campus. We ordered and found a spot. There were two college kids sitting behind me. There weren't a lot of patrons so it wasn't as loud as it could be."
"With that being said, from the conversation they were having, we gathered it was a first date."
"Our food arrived and we started eating, and midway through, I looked at my wife and told her I was glad we were past all that awkwardness of figuring each other out."
"Another five minutes hadn't even passed, and I heard the guy telling his date that, 'At night I have to play really sad music because I can only go to sleep if I cry...'"
"When I tell you my wife and I stopped mid-chew and wide-eyed stared at each other... I started to turn around to save him from digging deeper, but my wife grabbed my arm and shook her head no."
"Then my wife said she (the date) had this. What she saw that I didn't, was the young man's date was in the process of grabbing her purse and leaving."
"He sat there for about five minutes after that and left. I looked at my wife and said, 'He's probably going to sleep early tonight.'"
All the Red Flags
"I’ve heard a lot of crazy and bad stuff on first dates."
"One told me her boyfriend was in jail and she will be with him when he gets out and she doesn’t want him to know that she’s dating other people. But that wasn’t the worst."
"Neither was the date that had six beers while we talked for a few hours and said it helped her anxiety (an alcoholic red flag)."
"The worst was someone that spent almost an entire hour telling me how unhappy she was with her life. I mean her family made her unhappy, her job made her unhappy, her body made her unhappy, her baggage made her unhappy and even her car made her unhappy. She was looking for someone that would sign up to help her make it all better."
"I told her good luck and thank you for the time. It was the best learning experience I had on a first date."
When No is a Complete Sentence
"In my twenties, early twenties, I walked in, sat down at the table, and the girl simply said, 'No.'"
"I got up, walked back out, and drove home. I say that sucked quite a bit, you know."
Awkward or Fun?
"'You have the same name as my dog.'"
"I’m laughing now, but if a guy ever told me that, I’d be confused and then would bond with his dog so hard. The stories that I could tell that would sound weird as if I were talking about myself would be amazing."
"'You know the earth's flat, right?'"
The Second-Hand Embarrassment
"One time on a date, the girl wanted to pick me up. Weird but sure. So we saw a movie and then we grabbed coffee, and she was just driving me around."
"She mentioned work was so boring that day that she wanted to pull her hair out."
"Like an id**t, out of my mouth come the words, 'Don’t do that. Nobody likes a bald girl.'"
"She went quiet for a second and then said, 'I guess this is a good time to tell you that I have cancer and this is a wig.'"
"I still crawl inside myself with I think about that."
We've all made mistakes in our lives and likely have said some things we didn't mean or that we wish we could have phrased better. But when we're trying to make a good first impression on a first date, there's a special sting to those mistakes that we make.
Look, let’s just face it: Sometimes we really do need to speak to a manager. We’ll just be going about our errands or enjoying our meals, when all of a sudden we’re hit with the worst customer service we’ve ever experienced. Still, our most infuriating encounter with bad service has nothing on the ridiculous—and sometimes surprising—antics these Redditors had to deal with.
1. Cooking Up A Stormbread with sunny side-up egg served on white ceramic platePhoto by Ben Kolde on Unsplash
One day the Breakfast House had a new waiter. This kid was a space cadet, and hid most of the time. He showed me to my table, and then vanished. It was only the waiter and cook working that day. The cook came out and took my order, brought me my drink, brought me my food, refilled my drink, and kept checking on me. The cook was also taking care of the other two tables, and he was cooking everything.
He really looked exhausted. Plus, this cook looked to be about 60-70 years old! When I went to pay, suddenly the waiter popped up out of nowhere...all smiles and asking me how everything was. I charged the meal on my card. I then took out a $5 bill and handed it to my waiter, saying: "I want you to hand this to him" and pointed at the cook who was standing a few feet behind the waiter.
The waiter did so with a confused look. The cook took the $5 and laughed at the waiter. Ever since then, when I go there, the cook throws some extra goodies on my plate.
2. Older Than I Lookgrayscale photo of person holding bottlePhoto by Nathan Walker on Unsplash
So it's finally happened. As a retail manager, I'm usually on the other end of the spectrum, but the most bizarre thing happened to me this morning. The guy I'm seeing stayed over last night, and I went out to get breakfast sandwiches and orange juice this morning. There's a liquor store next to the convenience store, so I decided to get a bottle of Prosecco to make mimosas. Here's where it gets weird.
I've been in this store many times, it's the store I mainly go to for drinks. I don't usually go in the morning though, so there was a lady working who I had never seen before. I went inside, said good morning, and picked up the bottle of Prosecco from the refrigerator. I set it on the counter and she was giving me a shifty look. She asked for my ID, which is fine.
I'm 35, maybe look a bit younger, but I get that store employees can't be too careful. I gave her my ID, and she studied it for a minute. Kind of weird, people usually just glance at the date and ring me out. She'll be C for cashier, I'll be me. C (studying my ID): How old are you? Me: 35. C: You look young. Me: Thanks. At this point, the cashier goes to a stack of papers and starts looking through them.
I noticed that she hadn't actually rang anything up, and I started to get uncomfortable. I was just standing at the counter with my credit card in my hand. She came back to the counter and resumed looking between me and my ID. I was kind of worried that she would confiscate my ID or something. Finally, I cut to the chase. Me: Do you not think it's me?
C: It doesn't look like you. Me: I mean, I'm not wearing makeup now and the picture is about 10 years old. I proceed to tell her my full name, address, birthday, height, eye color, all the information on my license. The height alone should have convinced her, I'm almost 6' tall. C: I'm sorry. Me: So you're not going to sell to me? C: I'm sorry.
At this point, she gave me my license back and I said something like “Wow...Ok,” put my license and credit card away, and left. Thinking about it now, I'm not really mad at her. I understand that they'll get in a lot of trouble for selling to minors. But it was just so bizarre. I'm 35 and you saw my ID. This has never happened to me, even when I was 21. Just weird.
3. Simple Mathmeat on platePhoto by Payam Tahery on Unsplash
I’m at a big box store. I go up to the deli counter and asked for a half-pound of pepperoni. It’s 6.99/lb. The lady at the counter says they already have some sliced in front of the deli. Cool! I must have missed it. I know they sometimes will have markdowns, and she walks around to show me where it is. I’m about ready to fall over in shock at actually getting good customer service.
Yeah, that’s not what happened. The lady shows me some prepackaged pepperoni in 4 oz packages. It’s 4.99. I tell her thanks, but I’d prefer the deli sliced as it’s cheaper. She looks at me like I’ve grown two heads. “This IS cheaper. It’s 4.99” “It’s not cheaper. It’s nearly four times the cost.” “4.99 is less than 6.99.” I stare at her. “Just slice me half a pound.”
She walks off saying, “Crazy lady, can’t do math.” And this, my friends, is why you need to understand unit rates from math class.
4. Make Good Choiceswhite and red labeled pack on white shelfPhoto by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash
During the Great Recession, my mom found herself struggling for work, and eventually landed a job on the night shift. She was a cashier at a slightly nicer supermarket chain. She had a regular customer. He came in at 3 am every morning, five days a week. We'll call him Rick. Rick was a nice guy, and always greeted everyone with a nice smile.
One of those people who just loves other humans. Every morning at 3 am on the dot, he would buy a bag of chips. Not just a small one either, but a family-sized bag of potato chips. Every night. One night, my mom decided to ask Rick about his habit. He explained that he had to drive from the Twin Cities to his work, which is an hour away.
To keep himself from falling asleep, he had to buy something to munch on. Since the gas station was always closed, he came here. The next night he came in at 3 am as always, and my mom decided to try to change his habit. When he went to purchase his giant bag of chips, my mom took it from him and gave him a bag of carrots instead. The exchange went something like this.
Rick: Maaaan, you took my chips! Mom: Take the carrots. Rick: I can't believe you took my chips! He wasn't angry, but he was a little stunned. Mom: Take the carrots, your wife will thank me. Rick: Alright, fine. I'll take the freaking carrots. So he left with a fairly large bag of carrots. When he came in the next day, he got carrots as well. Pretty soon he was buying apples, orange juice, celery, and other healthy food.
About two weeks later, Rick came up to my mom. In a quiet and begrudging tone, he said, “My wife said to thank you.”
5. A Game Of Chickenpizza with berriesPhoto by Ivan Torres on Unsplash
My fiancé and I wanted to order some pizza on Saturday and I felt bad because I was craving wings, but wings are totally awful in the cost/benefit ratio for most places. My fiancé instead suggested we get a second pizza and ask for Buffalo sauce and chicken on it, best of both worlds. So we ordered two large stuffed-crust pizzas, one of them being in effect a hot-wing pizza, from our local establishment.
When I picked up the pizzas and took them home, I realized that in addition to what I ordered, the cook had taken the liberty of tossing the chicken pieces in buffalo sauce prior to spreading it over my pizza, giving me hot-wing tasting chicken pieces on my pizza. Thank you, mystery pizza cook, for 100% understanding what I was actually craving, and going above and beyond to help satisfy it.
I wish I had known you did this, I would have asked to tip you specifically.
6. Working Hard At Failingred padded sofa and tables inside buildingPhoto by Spencer Davis on Unsplash
I went to a 24-hour diner after work with some co-workers because it was the only place open. Our server was not happy to see us. I ordered a milkshake and he goes, "Well I just took apart the machine." I felt awkward and ordered it anyway because it's not like this place closes soon…it’s 24 hours. He takes forever with our food and forgets some of our co-worker’s stuff, but he never came back so we couldn't say anything.
He finally comes back 30 minutes after we got our food with the bill and says, “I'm busy here’s the check for when you're ready." He charged us for the stuff we didn’t get and we knew he wasn’t gonna come back. Thank goodness we all had cash so we crossed off the stuff we never got, wrote a note, and added the new total, and gave him that in cash so when it came to voiding it he still wouldn't have gotten a tip.
I felt bad but thing is, this place was empty. It was 2 am and he just acted like our entire presence was an annoyance and literally did nothing except to take our orders and still did that wrong. If he gave us even just normal service he would have gotten over a 20% tip.
7. Craving A Discountperson holding black remote controlPhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
First, you must understand that my father is the ultimate weasel when it comes to his bills. Especially his phone/TV/internet bill. He often calls up the company and complains about this or that and demands something for free. He's a long-standing customer with them, and has managed to secure a lower monthly bill than anyone I know. It's actually ridiculous.
Anyway, my father was going over his monthly bill and started freaking out. It was $20 more than it usually is, so he started scanning the charges until he settled his attention on Crave. He had ordered Crave so that he could watch Game of Thrones. Not just the new season, but all of it. So he called up the company a few months before the new season was out, and said he wanted Crave but that he didn't want to pay for it.
He used all his tricks and stated many times that he was their best customer and blah blah blah (I really hate when he gets cheap about things). Somehow he managed to get it for free for six months AND lower his overall monthly bill to the point where when they did start charging for Crave, his bill would still be lower than it was. He was happy.
Fast forward to now. He sees his first $20 charge for Crave and immediately calls the company. He starts berating the poor employee and accusing them of adding something to his account without his knowledge or permission. Then he really outdid himself. He said he didn't know what Crave was, didn't know what Game of Thrones was, and requested a FULL REFUND of his entire bill for the last THREE months for the "inconvenience."
Instead of caving to his demands, like the company usually does, the employee played the original call transcript back to him. He was forced to sit there listening to his original call where he requested Crave, talked about how excited he was to watch Game of Thrones, rambled on, flirted, and finally weaseled his way into a lower bill yet again.
He was finally called out on his stuff, and I couldn't be happier. So thank you to that employee who held their ground. My father is a jerk and is so used to getting his way. You're the first to stand up to him, and he's still sulking nearly 24 hours later. You did good. He tells every employee that they deserve a raise as part of his sweet-talking, but you actually deserve one.
Note: He did cancel Crave, but they gave him no money back.
8. Every Dog Has Its Dayblack and tan doberman pinscherPhoto by Jorge Rosales on Unsplash
This happened about six months ago. To make a long story short, I had adopted a Doberman dog after having two in the past. I adopted him out of a situation where he was kept in a very small apartment and wasn't let out a lot. I knew this, and I was prepared to take the steps necessary to help him adjust and cope with such a huge life change. Jack (the dog) is a sweetie and is super lovable, but he had some behaviors that I wanted to work on, so I decided to get a trainer.
With my current financial situation, I was able to afford a dog trainer who does home visits and does one-on-one training. This woman, let’s call her Becca, would come to our home three times, do one training session at the local dog park, and three at her business with other dogs she trained. She did show dog training as well and had an agility course that she said we could use during one of the training sessions.
It would cost about $500, which I was okay with. I was going to pay a premium, with the expectations I would receive premium service. In other words—we had specific instances with Jack that we needed help with. He had been trained before and he retained most of it, but because of his previous owner's neglect, he struggles with being overstimulated or with specific issues such as suckling.
If this was just a “sit, stay, go” training that was needed I would have gone to a way cheaper trainer. Becca made it seem as if she was this pro who dealt with dogs who came from difficult situations. I was willing to pay that extra bit for her expertise. Becca also had great reviews online, claimed to be trained by some big people, and it all looked well.
There was a $75 charge beforehand in case I canceled my session, as it was non-refundable. I say this so I can make it 100% clear that my name was on the paperwork. My debit card, with my very feminine name, was charged. It was clear that Becca would be working with a woman. The day of our session comes up and I have my dad home with me just in case any shady stuff went on.
Just for my own comfort and all. Becca shows up, and she's an older white lady in her 60s or so. Okay, whatever. I don't judge on age. She comes in, and instantly it goes downhill. She starts asking my dad questions and ignoring me. Super awkward. I let my dad answer and she begins her spiel about what we're going to do the first day— according to her, just basic command stuff in case he didn't know them already, even though we showed her that he does know the specific ones she wanted to review.
She then pulls out these laminated sheets and it's literally...the most basic stuff you have EVER seen. They were screenshots of a PowerPoint. One card read: “Sit: to command your dog to sit down on his hind legs.” Um.. what? First off, why do we need a definition of what sit means? Second, this woman is showing us screenshots of a PowerPoint.
I swallowed down my complaints, though, and she went on to show us two other screenshotted “slides” which were for lay down and call/come. She had a bunch of others but never showed us or addressed them. When we came onto the call/come command, I tried to engage her with a question. It went from mildly uncomfortable to totally off the rails within seconds.
Me: Jack's previous owners didn't take him out much because of their own obligations, so when we do go out he gets overstimulated. Even just going into the backyard makes him act a little wild. Sometimes it's to a point where he won't come in when I command and just won't budge. He listens to me when he isn't so distracted, so what should I do in this specific situation to calm him down?
Becca: *Turns from my dad, to me. Slow blinks, turns back to my dad* So, how about we take Jack for a walk out front so I can show you how to keep him under control? She continues to do this two more times. Just straight up ignores me. My dad sort of shrugs it off and I think he was doing his best to just take in what she's saying because if she's not willing to teach me, at least she can help him out.
Whatever. So, she takes my dad and Jack and heads out on this walk. I follow, but the entire time I'm ignored. We get back to my house and she stops outside of her car. Mind you, the sessions are 1 hour and 30 minutes. We're 35 minutes in. She opens the back of her van and starts to show us some dog food. She claimed it was “best for his breed and had all the nutrients he needed.”
It was $50 for a small bag that would last him maybe half a week. For a larger bag, it was $150. What the HECK? I shot her down instantly. Me: No thank you, we have good food. Our vet recommended it and we trust her decision. Becca: You mean that bag I saw on your counter? No, no—that's just full of chemicals and it's really no good. If you're going to have a purebred you're going to have to shell out more for the expensive food to keep him healthy.
She drops it after realizing I won't budge because guess what! I'm the one paying for this so-called “session,” so of course I'm the one who would be paying for any of her other stuff. Then she starts pulling out these collars and leashes when we have a perfectly good, high-quality body harness and leash. She starts trying to sell us another $60 worth of walking gear.
At this point even my dad is angry. We're not even halfway through the session and this chick is trying to sell us some overpriced stuff and NOT train my dog. We did what we had to do. My dad pretends to take a phone call and makes up a fake family emergency to get her to leave. She does, but she has the NERVE to call us the next day and tell me that I need to send a $500 check to continue on with the session.
So, now she'll talk to me? When she wants me to pay for her time so she can ignore me some more? I told her to shove it. We were willing to pay for a premium service, yet she comes in and ignores the paying customer and instead spends the majority of the session talking only to my dad and low-key flirting with him, honestly. Plus all of her other antics.
She sputtered some stuff about how I need to at least pay $150 for the first session and how I would regret it if I didn't. I stood my ground and told her it wouldn't happen and if she wanted to go to court, I'd be willing to. After all, her “premium dog training” consisted of three screenshots and walking four houses down and back. Becca never called back after that.
I didn't get anything in the mail. I rechecked online and she still has handfuls of raving reviews, so I left my negative one so no one falls for her ploy. I'm guessing that maybe it was because I'm a young woman she didn't take me seriously. Maybe all the positive reviews were also cranky boomers who bonded with her over her business, who knows. I seriously sat there for a week after what happened, angry as heck.
9. Nice Guys Finish Firstsnow covered groundPhoto by Igor Dernovoy on Unsplash
I would usually never go out on Christmas Eve. I hate being the reason people have to be open, but having just gotten out of a double shift at my own restaurant and with my family plans being canceled last minute, I had no food at home and was too tired to cook. I found a certain chain Italian place was still open near me, so I called and ordered some take out.
They said, “It’ll be a while” but I already assumed they’d be busy so I didn’t mind. I walk in, and boy is it busy. I go up to the takeout area and I have to wait a bit. The girl handling it is clearly very overwhelmed, but I told her to take her time. She’s handing off a very large order to this lady with a sour look on her face, and apparently forgot something simple (breadsticks, which were not quite done yet) and the lady was very irritated.
Takeout girl walks away and sour lady looks at me. Sour lady: “You know, we’ve been here a half an hour.” Me:”....Okay?” Sour lady: “It’s insane, you should just cancel your order.” Me: “Well, I’m just glad they’re open. I just got out of my own restaurant job so I get how crazy the holidays are. They can take as long as they want with my order.”
Sour lady huffs and looks away. Takeout girl comes back, has trouble finding my name and order, no big deal we just made a new order and I pay and give her a $20 for a $13 dollar check. So about a 50% tip, because it looks like she ain’t getting anything from the other grouches. I go sit and wait for my order, playing on my phone but still listening to what’s going on.
This old man starts yelling at the takeout girl about how long his order is taking, and blah blah blah. She looks ready to faint and just tells him there’s nothing she can do about the kitchen, because he seems to think there is. He comes over and sits next to me. Me: “You know, you should be grateful they’re even open at all.” Old man: “Why, because otherwise I’d have to cook myself?”
Me: “Well yes, and they would be home with their families if we weren’t all here. It’s the holidays, so of course they’re busy. There’s no need to be mean to them, it isn’t going to help.” Old man: “Well it’s ridiculous how long I’ve been waiting, I’ll do what I want. Just you wait and see how long you have to wait!” Me: “I’m fine with that, sir, Merry Christmas.”
The takeout girl and I make eye contact and she smiles. I tried, you know? About five minutes later, I hear my name called. My order is done. Magically before the angry old man. I don’t know if that was on purpose or my food was easier to make, but I can tell you it felt like karma. Just be nice to people on the holidays, nothing is going to come from being rude.
10. What A Painassorted medication tables and capsulesPhoto by freestocks on Unsplash
I have rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that causes severe chronic pain. I take a narcotic pain medication as part of pain management, but yesterday, my doctor decided to increase the dose. That’s when it all went wrong. My pharmacy did not stock the medication in this dose, and neither did any other local pharmacies, so my doctor called around, and found this boutique-like compound pharmacy in an upscale neighborhood that had it.
He called the pharmacist, explained the situation, and sent me over there. The moment I walked through the door, I was greeted with hostility. The pharmacist angrily asked what I was doing there because he had not seen me before, and when I told him that my doctor had called him, he said he did not remember. When I showed him my prescription, he rolled his eyes and said, “Oh you like narcotics. Give me your ID and insurance card.”
This irritated me, but I complied. When he pulled up my patient profile, he ran a background check and asked why I was trying to fill this prescription when I had gotten one two weeks ago. I explained that I had been given that medication, and my doctor was giving me another prescription to increase the dose. His response? “Well, I’ll see to it that you won’t see this prescription until you bring the old one back. You’re probably selling these pills to your little friends.”
I was frustrated, but I told him that was no problem, and that I’d have to go back home to get the old prescription and that I would return in a day or two. But he wasn’t finished. As I was walking out, I heard him mutter, “She probably has to get those pills back from her crackhead friends.” This was a day ago, but I’m still very hurt and angry. I never fill CII prescriptions early, never misuse them, and I was nothing but polite to that man.
11. Your Lucky Daywoman in black sleeveless dress leans on wallPhoto by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash
I'm feeling both happy and guilty about this. I've been at the mall all day searching for a black dress. Found a few I liked, but nothing that felt right. That is until I went into one store. I found a cute little black dress, with a tag of $44. Tried it on and liked it. It was a little big, so I asked the girl to grab me a size down to try. She brings me the dress, I try it on, perfect fit.
That's when I notice the tag on this dress has a $15 sticker. I think, "Hm, this wasn't in the sale section," and bring it to cash. The girl scans it. Sure enough, $44. I tell her that's fine because I knew it had to be a mistake. She says no, and insists on honoring that price since it wasn't fair to me. I feel kind of bad since the dress came to a little over $16 and is gorgeous, but I'm very thankful to that girl.
12. Try, Try Againwoman wearing eyeglasses with black framePhoto by Susan Duran on Unsplash
So I stepped on my glasses and bent one of the arms at a crazy odd angle, making them unwearable. Still, they are repairable. I know because I’ve done this before. So I headed over to my usual cheap glasses chain (two pairs for about a hundred bucks) in search of my usual technician who has saved my glasses multiple times. This particular woman is pure gold at twisting then back in shape.
But my usual woman isn’t at the store when I get there. No worries, I figure the technicians are all trained and can probably help me. So I show the glasses to the guy at the main desk to see if he can help. He takes the glasses and starts trying to bend the arm back in place. I give a little yelp and say, “Wait dude shouldn’t you heat them first??”
He was like “Huh?” So I take the glasses back because clearly he will end up breaking them and I ask if I could see the technician. He said, “I am the technician!” And then says he will show them to the optometrist. He heads off and comes back like two seconds later and says, “These glasses are unfixable and you will need to buy new frames.” He clearly didn’t show them to anyone.
He went through a door and came back out. He just wants to sell me new glasses. So I just say ok thanks and leave the store. Next, I head to a little independent shop that repairs glasses and ask if my frames are fixable and if so what would the cost be. The guy there said, “Oh yeah these can be repaired but the cost will be $60” I said, “Ok, well they are cheap frames and that’s about what they cost me new,” so I thanked him and left.
I decided to give it one more shot and head to a big chain store in the same strip mall. I show the lady at the desk my frames and asked if they could fix them. She said maybe but in doing so they might break the frames. I said give it a shot. So she took them back to the optometrist to give it a try. Five minutes later she walks back smiling and hands me my repaired glasses.
Wow!! I asked the cost and pulled out my wallet. She said no charge! Have a great day! Persistence pays off!
13. Service With A Snarlcars parked in front of store during daytimePhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
I'm a rather tall and heavy-set Black guy who lives in the ultra-liberal capitol of WI. My city has a large social justice warrior base and a minuscule conservative base; if so much of a whisper is heard supporting our governor our streets are flooded with rallies. This means that the conservative folk who need to live relatively near are pushed to smaller ancillary towns miles outside the metropolitan area limits.
Despite my liberal sanctuary where most people are pleasant, the surrounding area isn't. Context set, moving on. I had a job where I needed to travel daily all over the southern part of the state. I don't have a car, so I would check out our branded company vehicle to get where I'm assigned. I had to wear red scrub tops and black scrub bottoms and my badge on display at all times from the time I picked up and dropped off the vehicle.
So I swing by a gas station that's very popular in one of these small towns. Decked out in my gear that usually garners very positive community support. Except for today. Today was much different. I walk in. Look around. I'm starving and they have these amazing-smelling donuts that just came in. I grab a couple and a NOS Energy Drink, it's gonna be a busy day.
I stand in line patiently and when it's my turn, I hear the cashier scoff. Cashier: eyes my food, then me Are you sure you need this? Me: I'm sorry, come again? Cashier: Don't you think that's a bit...much for the morning? I assume she's talking about my energy drink. Me: Hahah, no, I just don't like coffee. Cashier, with a visibly annoyed face: I meant the donuts.
She rings me up as I fake smile. It's not the first nor last time someone will make that comment. I'm used to it, but I'm hungry and I don't care. Carrots won't do it. I dig through my wallet and don't see any cash, that's cool, I'll just use my card. Me: Just checking, you take cards, right? She gives me the most disgusted look. Then she says the most disgusting thing. Cashier: I'm sorry, but we don't take EBT.
Me, with a brief pause: What? Cashier: We. Don't. Take. Food. Stamps. I slowly pull out my card. Me: I meant Visa... Cashier, easing off on the attitude: Well, why didn't you say so, I knew you all weren't poor [referencing my badge] I give her my card and she swipes it on the register. Me: Debit please. Cashier, motioning to the PIN pad: Go ahead and put in your PIN.
I was a bit flustered, so I accidentally missed a number and the card was declined. Cashier: Maybe you are. Figures. At that point, I just put my stuff down and walked away. I wasn't hungry anymore. While I was walking out, I saw some of the customers behind me (I didn't realize I was holding people up) put down their things and walk out as well. I got to my car and just sat there for a second.
I'm trying to look on my phone for any other places nearby that I can find food and that's when I hear a knock on my window. Apparently one of the customers complained to the shift supervisor, and she came out to apologize. She told me to take the stuff for free and that she didn't mean for any of that to happen. I thanked her, and she thanked me for being so positive about the situation.
I drove away after she thanked me one more time. When I got to my location, I ate my food and slammed my Nos. It got me through the day that wasn't as busy as I thought it would be. Nameless shift supervisor, if you're reading this, thanks for making a bad situation pretty pleasant in the end.
14. Try Something Newsushi on white ceramic platePhoto by Derek Duran on Unsplash
I went to my usual sushi place to pick up a takeout order, and it wasn’t ready yet so I grabbed a drink while waiting, and overheard this conversation. Some lady comes up to the bar to place a sushi to-go order for her and some friends, and she’s clearly never eaten sushi before. She asks a million questions about every roll (which is fully described on the menu).
Her questions start not that bad, like, “Well how much cream cheese is in the roll?” and “What is panko?” This is mildly annoying, but completely fair. Then things go downhill. She takes a break to call her friends and asks similar questions to them. “Well, which one will I like more?” It’s about a 15-minute phone call about what sounds good, and what sounds “disgusting” loud enough for everyone to hear.
Eventually, it sounds like she has an order in mind. Then she says, “I’m allergic to shellfish, so I can’t have anything with shellfish touch my stuff.” Again fair, but sort of annoying at a sushi place. And she starts to place the order. After placing an order of about 10 different rolls, she ends with the banger. C for customer, S for server.
C: “Oh wait, does that last roll have any rice in it?”
C: “Oh boy, a lot of us don’t eat rice.”
S: blank, defeated stare.
C: “Can you make that roll without rice?”
S: “I guess we could, but it won’t hold together well. And just so you’re aware, every roll has rice.”
C: “REALLY? Every sushi has rice?!”
S: “Yes, that is what the rolls are rolled around with. We can try and make them with no rice, but it will just be seaweed wrapped about the filling, which may not hold together well.”
C: “There is seaweed on the rolls?!”
The menu only specifies what the fillings are, it doesn’t explicitly say that rice and seaweed are included. I left after that, and gave the server a big tip. I’m all for people trying new foods, but please understand what you’re ordering.
15. Fake It Till You Make Itcars on gas stationPhoto by Jay Skyler on Unsplash
A few weeks ago, I stopped to get a pack of smokes at the gas station closest to my house, which I frequent pretty often. I'm on a first-name basis with most everyone who works there, but this guy was new and I had never seen him before. It was late, and he was working by himself, and had a pretty significant line forming. Apparently his computer had frozen and he had to do a whole system reboot of it, and it was going very slowly.
No problem, I wasn't in a big hurry, but some other people waiting didn't have my patience. It finally gets to be my turn, and he asks for my ID. No problem, I'm 31 but I look really young and this guy didn't know me yet. My regular, state ID is expired right now and I haven't been able to get it renewed just yet, but I have a Passport card that's still valid that I've been using in the meantime.
It's different than the standard passport book. It's an actual card and not valid for international flights. It's mostly for cruises, which is why I got it in the first place. It's was cheaper than the book and I only needed it for the cruise so figured I'd save myself a few bucks and could just upgrade it one day for a discount if I needed to. I've definitely had cashiers and such before look at it weirdly since they'd never seen one before, but once I explain what it is, it usually just ends in us having a conversation about cruises, ha.
So he asks for my ID, and I show him the card. He stares at it for a minute, which is not unusual at this point. I tell him my birthday is in the middle of the card, since sometimes people will have trouble finding it. I try to point to it on the card, and he snatches his arm back and tells me not to grab it back from him. Ummm ok. Whatever man. He stares at it for what felt like an incredibly long time, and tried to scan it on his computer.
It didn't take it, since those machines are only set up to scan state IDs, then he tells me he can't accept this, since it's not a valid ID. Not only that, but he's going to have to keep it as it's clearly fake. Umm excuse me, what?? No. No to both. It's a valid ID and not at all fake. I try to explain to him that it's a passport card, issued by the government, and actually it's more of an ID than a state-issued ID.
And he's not keeping it. He just keeps shaking his head and saying, "Well I've never seen one like this before." OK so that makes it fake??? Well, I’ve just never seen one before. Customers behind me have heard this all go down and start taking my side, explaining to him that it’s a passport card and totally legit. One guy pulled up the info page for passport cards off the official website and showed him the picture and kept telling him it’s legit.
He's still sticking to his story. Keeps saying he's never seen one, so he can't accept it, and is refusing to give me back my ID. I figure at this point, screw it. I'll just go somewhere else to get my smokes, but this dude is NOT keeping my passport. He kept insisting he has to keep it, since they destroy all fake IDs. No sir, you're not keeping my passport that isn't at all fake.
I told him look, you can deny the sale all you want, I don't care at this point, but he has to give it back to me, or I'm calling the authorities, who will not only make him give it back to me, but will prove that it is, in fact, real. He digs his heels in for a minute, thinking I was bluffing, but when I took out my phone to start dialing the non-emergency number, he said fine, I could take it, but I "Better not come back up in this store trying to pass off a bad fake ID."
Oh really? That's how you wanna play it? OK then. So I leave and go somewhere else to get my smokes, and they have no issue with my passport card. The next day, I go back in that gas station, and since, again, I go there just about every day, I know most all of the employees, including the manager. The manager happened to be working, so I asked him about the new guy, and tell him what happened.
He apologized profusely for what happened and promised me he would take care of it. Apparently, the dude had to retake a bunch of tests about proper forms of ID, and it turns out he had already taken all of those quizzes before he was allowed to even work the register, so he had definitely seen pictures and been told what a passport card was and that it is valid.
I saw him again a few nights later working, and he wouldn't even look me in the eye. He didn't ID me though.
16. You Againwhite cruise ship on sea during daytimePhoto by Adam Gonzales on Unsplash
Me and my family would go on 3-5 day Thanksgiving cruises for vacation. You have the same waiter each night at dinner and they ask your name for a more personal experience. We had this awesome waiter, I can’t remember his name unfortunately, but I do remember his awesome useless skill he taught us. He showed us how to push a plastic straw all the way through an apple.
He then gave us 10 straws each and a few apples while our food was getting prepared. We were always excited to go to dinner each night and this made it much easier for my parents to deal with us as kids. Fast forward three years and we do the same Thanksgiving cruise on the same boat as last time. We sit down at dinner and are looking and the menu when we hear an upbeat but cautious, “Mr. Mike??” (My dad).
We all look up to see our waiter. We got the same waiter again and he remembered my dad’s name!!! He even proved it by doing the apple trick for us! It was so crazy and made the experience that much better.
17. Over The EdgeFile:Super Dollar Tree Northwood.JPG - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
My wife and I went to a Dollar Store one evening a few years back because she needed a bar of deodorant. She asks me to come in with her and I say no you're just getting deodorant no need for us both to go in. This was one of my life's greatest regrets. Next thing I know, she comes out of the store with no deodorant. I ask where's your stuff? She replies we'll need to go somewhere else for it and she isn't allowed back to that store anymore.
I'm immediately curious and very confused, as my wife is truly one of the sweetest people I know. She lets me in on all the details that happened in the store. She entered the store to a cashier screaming at a few young kids playing around. They had knocked a couple items off of the shelves and she was berating them to pick it up. Well, as my wife was grabbing a stick of deodorant from the shelf, a couple fell on the floor as the shelf was overstuffed.
Apparently the cashier snapped her head around and screams at my wife, "You better pick that up!!” My wife, taken aback by her talking to another adult this way, let alone a customer, says, "Excuse me?" To which the cashier replied, "You heard me...pick it up NOW!" As I said, my wife is an incredibly sweet woman and normally doesn't get angry or act petty. But something snapped in her.
What she said happened next was very out of character for her. According to her, after the woman snapped at her twice to pick them up, and after my wife hearing her scream and cuss at a few kids for playing around, she just calmly put her entire arm into the shelf stuffed full of deodorants and just ran her arm across the entire shelf, spilling dozens of deodorant bars all over the floor.
The cashier loses her mind and starts screaming, "You're cleaning this up, I'm not doing it!” My wife just says, "Make me," and walks out of the store. In hindsight it was a jerk move on her part and she knows it, but had the cashier not been such a monumental dick about it, it would've gone very differently. Anyway that's my wife's most gangster moment story...
18. Ice Coldbrown wooden table and chairsPhoto by Cristian Ceoroiu on Unsplash
My mom taught me one thing, and that was to NEVER send back food when you go out to a restaurant. So this one time, I take my mom to a very upmarket fish restaurant. She was so excited. Even though it was part of a chain, the food has always been very good. I also heard they got a new chef so that’s why I took my mom because she loved fresh fish.
So her catch of the day arrived and first it was fried when my mom ordered grilled, but she didn’t say anything. Then after the third bite, she realized it was frozen. Eventually, she calls the server and asks about the type of fish since it is advertised as being caught that day. The poor girl was mortified and called the manager. My mom was trying her best not to escalate the situation but the manager comes to the table.
My mom is now APOLOGIZING for not wanting to eat the frozen fish while the manager is shocked at the fact that the catch of the day is fried frozen fish. Turns out the chef was buying frozen fish and pocketing the difference! He wanted to comp our meal, but my mom left the price of the meal as a tip for the server.
19. Sweet Then Sourmulticolored lollipopsPhoto by Iwona Castiello d'Antonio on Unsplash
My husband and I were downtown last night just doing some window shopping after dinner. We came across this little candy shop and ended up going inside. I ended up picking out a couple things and going to the counter to pay. I ran my card then it came up with a prompt to tip. I declined because the girl behind the counter only ran my purchases through the register.
As I’m grabbing my stuff, the girl shoves a tip jar in my face. I’m sure I had a “what the heck” look on my face because she immediately gets snarky and says, “Uh you didn’t tip.” I just say, “Nope,” grab my stuff and leave. I completely have no problem tipping in situations that warrant it, but does just manning the cash register warrant it now?
I mean I’d get it if maybe they were serving ice cream or if it was like bulk candy that they had to package up for you. Am I the one in the wrong here? I just don’t get why you’d get a tip in that situation.
20. An Unhappy Endingclear glass bottle on brown wooden tablePhoto by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash
I am so angry. Earlier today, my boyfriend asked me to schedule him a cupping appointment at this place I go to because the woman who does it is amazing. He was by me when I was making the call. About an hour later, I get a call from the place. I answer. LM = manager. LM: Hi, you booked an appointment and asked for a “gift” at the end. Me: Uh, what?
LM: You called and booked an appointment for your boyfriend and paid for it and asked if he could get a “gift” at the end. We don’t do that. Me: What?! No...I booked a cupping appointment for him, LM: It says here you booked a relaxing massage. Who is the appointment with? I say who. LM: She isn’t in today. Me: The appointment is on Sunday.
LM: looks it up Umm yeah. And you already paid for it. Me: No I didn’t. At this point I should have just said cancel it. LM: Oh well, it wasn’t you! Haha yeah, the receptionist said someone asked for a “gift” at the end and we are trying to nip that in the bud! Laughing I then call my boyfriend and tell him the story and he goes, “Well I’m afraid to go now! It’s going to be awkward!”
I had been sitting thinking about it and how she automatically said it was me and didn’t even look up any information about the appointment! And I have been to that place at least five times so my information is in their system.
21. Nothing Comes For Freewoman in brown sweater covering her face with her handPhoto by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash
So back in 2008, I went into early labor with my son. I was hospitalized for three weeks and eventually gave birth to my first child, who weighed a bit more than 1 lb. He was hospitalized for three days until the doctors told me he would be blind, deaf, and unable to walk, but that he would likely pass before that. I was going to end life support for him so he could pass in peace and not be in pain.
Obviously, I'm a wreck the whole time, so when the nurses ask what I want him dressed in, I had no idea. They were trying to make it special since it will be the first/last time I hold him without tubes coming out of him. They said we had a few hours if I wanted to dress him in something nice. He's was too small for baby clothes so I had to find doll clothes, so I hit the closest store.
I happened to work in the same store but a different location. They would mark stuff down for sale and then if it didn't sell, it would go to clearance which is half off the sale price. I went there first knowing the medical bills were adding up and hoped to find something. I found something I liked and headed to pay. I'll use easy math numbers for ease of explaining what the cashier thought.
She rung up the item and it came up as normally $20 and on sale for $10. I then reminded her of the clearance price. It went like this. Me: Oh, it's also on clearance so it's half that price. Her: No, that would make it free. It's not free! Me: Oh, I don't want it for free, I just want the clearance price. Her: Sorry girl, you gotta pay what it scans as! Me (getting annoyed but too sad to be angry) Can I just talk to the supervisor please?
Her: NO. I am not wasting her time because you want something for free. Just pay. Me: grabs paper out of my purse I don't want it free. Look, if this paper was $20 and it goes on sale rips paper in half then this is $10 right? But then it goes on clearance rips half into half again then you’re left with this for $5. Get it? Her answer was mind-blowingly stupid. Her: No, it's different with numbers.
Me:........bursts into tears because grief is weird like that. Another employee is walking by while I'm trying to compose myself and she asks what happened. I tell her in-between sobs. She rolls her eyes at the cashier and cancels the transaction and rings me up herself. The whole time the cashier is eyeing me like I'm a thief.
22. We’re All In This TogetherFile:Southampton Castle Way Taco Bell restaurant.jpg - Wikimedia ...commons.wikimedia.org
Someone walked into our local Taco Bell yesterday, only to discover that it was hotter inside than outside—and the outside thermometer was over 100 degrees. That guy asked the employees why it was so hot, and they told him the air conditioning had been broken for a month and the owner wouldn't fix it. The customer took his tacos to go so he could eat in the comfort of his air-conditioned office, but while he was doing so he posted the issue along with the owner's name and phone number to Nextdoor, a social media app oriented around neighborhoods and towns.
Someone else added the phone number and website for the corporate office, and OSHA was mentioned. Lots of people started replying that they'd called or texted the owner. The person at corporate was appalled that the owner was making people work in that heat and said she'd deal with it immediately. Business hours were almost over, but she was prioritizing this case.
In the meantime, people pointed out all the other great places around here to grab Mexican food. No need to patronize that place and give money to the awful owner. Someone finally posted that the owner said he had called the HVAC company and had it scheduled for the first available day—a week from now—so we should give him a break. That got a clear “heck no!” reply.
He's had four weeks to deal with this and didn't, so he needs to pay whatever the emergency charge is to get someone out there right away instead. Apparently everyone took that to heart and kept calling, because today someone saw a crane working by the A/C unit at the restaurant. I'm looking forward hearing that the workers have reasonable conditions again, thanks to customers and the community rallying on their behalf.
Customers can help correct the imbalance of power between wage workers and management on occasion, and it's awesome.
23. The Hero Of The Nightwhite kitchen towel on tablePhoto by Jodie Morgan on Unsplash
Location: A local Italian restaurant, tiny venue, tiny kitchen staff, obnoxiously busy. Need a reservation. Dinners here usually take between 2-3 hours. I'm here with my mom, cousin, and a few others. The door to the waiting room/entrance is about three feet behind my seat, and the register is three feet to my right. Like I said, tiny venue. So I'm eating my starter salad when I hear a stressed-out waitress behind the register.
She's talking to an older lady of about 50-60 years old (from here on, "Mother"). The Mother asks to see the manager. Surprise, there is no manager. Mother wants to see the owner. "No, she's cooking. We won't be able to seat you if she stops cooking, because no one will be able to finish their dinner." (Excellent comeback, waitress!) Mother wants to stick tables together. Can't do that.
This goes on for a while. My attention is piqued. Then...Waitress: I'm sorry ma'am but I have to go help my tables, they're waiting for me. [starts to leave] Mother: [mocking voice] ooooOOOOHHHhhhHHH, heeeerrreee you go [implying that waitress is making excuses]. I just couldn’t stop myself from causing a scene. Me: [turns around] What is WRONG with you?
It was loud in the restaurant and I got no reaction, so I assumed she didn't hear me. But five minutes later...Mother: Excuse me, I really don't appreciate the way you talked to me back then. Me: Well, I don't appreciate the way you were talking to that waitress. Mother: We've been waiting here an entire hour and we haven't been seated, and we have reservations.
Me: And I'm very sorry for that, but you don't need to treat the waitress poorly. The restaurant is very busy, obviously. There's nothing she can do until someone finishes. Mother: Well, you need to understand that my daughter is six months pregnant. Me: That's great. Mother: And she's very tired and needs to sit. Me: There's chairs outside, she can sit there. Mother: She has been, for over an hour. Me: [sarcastically] Well, maybe she needs to lie down in a bed.
Mother: YES, maybe she DOES. Me: Oh! Then maybe you should go home with her so she can lie down. Mother: She's six months pregnant and we've been waiting an hour. Me: I know, and I'm sorry. But you don't need to be rude to the waitress about it. My 16-year-old brother has a better attitude than you! Mother: [huffing] WELL I'm feeling very sorry for my daughter right now.
Me: I feel sorry for her too, because she has you for a mother. At which point someone at my table audibly says "ooohhhhh" and my mom starts stifling a laugh. The Mother widens her eyes and stares in horror from me to my mom. My mom quickly waves me back to my dinner. The Mother eventually leaves to the waiting room without saying anything back.
The waitress comes back to the register and I apologize for the Mother. Waitress thanks me for sticking up for her. Anyway, the Mother and her family come in, finally ready to be seated. Then it got sticky fast. Her son comes up to me with Mother in tow. Son: Did I hear you were talking back to my mom? Me: Yes, because she was being rude to the waitress.
The entire family (six people) start to loudly shame me as they walk to their table, just five feet away from ours. They're all saying different things. Highlights: Son: I think I know my mom better than you. This restaurant is a JOKE. Me: Then leave. Mother: [to my mother] You better not have been taking pictures of me. My Mom: What?! Why would I take pictures of you, I don't want pictures of you!
Lady 1 (Daughter?): [shakes her head, staring me down as she walks by] Shame on you. Me: You're having SIX PEOPLE gang up on one person and you're saying shame on ME?! Lady 2: You need to stay out of other people's business. You don't know anything about what's goin—Cousin: YOU WEREN'T EVEN IN THE ROOM! The waitress runs between us and tells us to chill.
She sneaks in a, "But thank you, I really appreciate it" to me. My table gets back to our dinner. I'm shaking and feel like throwing up, but I try my best to get it together. For the next hour or two, both the waitress and another waitress came up to our tables to thank us multiple times. One called me the "hero of the night." They comped our two plates of garlic fingers, which was nice of them.
It was a bit hush-hush, but if the other family tried, they could definitely hear the waitresses doing all of this. I hope they did. We ate lots of food, laughed a ton, and had a great time. Meanwhile, random family members would turn and glare at me, especially whenever I was laughing. Maybe they thought I was laughing at them? Anyway, we get up to leave, and the ENTIRE family is blatantly staring at us.
Then my dad stands up. He's a real tall, big guy who's done physical labor his whole life. And he looked back at them. They stopped staring after that. We walk out and have yet another laugh at their expense. The best part is that I have more of those comped garlic fingers to eat tomorrow.
24. Not A Dry Eye In The Houseyellow and white van on road during daytimePhoto by Ian Taylor on Unsplash
Years ago, my father was taken in by ambulance to the ER and immediately put into an induced coma (that would last nearly four weeks) due to a very severe case of swine flu with double-sided pneumonia, septic shock, and organ failure. He was hooked up on 100% oxygen as he could not oxygenate himself. There was about a 20-30% chance he would make it.
Since the situation was so severe, the close family were there almost every day. The thing with intensive care is that the air is so dry (probably to keep humidity down to prevent bacterial growth or spread between patients), and as someone who wears contact lenses, it’s awful to spend hours in that sort of air. It took me ages to realize why I kept getting dry eyes—and with dry eyes, my vision starts getting blurry.
This was of some concern to me because I had to drive quite a long way home and didn’t want to risk my vision being poor. So I asked my aunt if she had some sort of lens solution, but she didn’t, so I mostly voiced my stress about driving home. Just a minute later, this sweet nurse plops her head in and hands me some of those one-use saline solution packets so I could use them as eye drops.
I was so taken aback by the kind treatment of all of the staff. Not only did they take impeccable care of my father, they made sure that all of us were as comfortable and informed as possible. Dad made it, not in small thanks to the incredible care he received. One of my life’s most memorable months, no doubt.
25. Made To Orderbaked dessertsPhoto by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash
I went to a prestigious boarding school in a major city around four hours from my hometown, and after I graduated I didn't get to see my school friends as often as I would have liked. A few years after school, one of my closest friends had a birthday party, canapes and drinks at this lovely venue, where many of the girls I knew from school attended.
It was a pretty big deal for me to see all these friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in years, and we were all dressed up and having a great night. I have social anxiety, so basically in situations like this I can't eat. The thought of food makes me nauseated and so I generally find polite ways to avoid it. The servers were coming around constantly with plates full of delicious-looking food, which I politely declined.
"No thank you," "Oh, I'm not hungry, but that looks great!" and "Oh sorry, I had a huge lunch!" can only be thrown around so many times. After a while, the servers were looking at me with increased confusion as I continued to decline, and was evidently the only person not eating the amazing food that they were offering. Next thing I know, I'm sitting chatting with a friend and a young waiter, beaming with pride, comes up to me with a small platter of food.
He kindly informs me that he had the chef make a vegan platter just for me as they had noticed I wasn't eating the other food. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I wasn't vegan, and graciously accepted the platter, which I actually managed to eat some of, and yes, it was amazing. It made a funny story to tell, but honestly the kindness of the servers and chef, going out of their way to try and accommodate me and make me feel comfortable and welcome was amazing!
26. Drive Me Crazya red car parked on a roadPhoto by Ivan Lom on Unsplash
When I was about 16, I had a red 2006 Ford Mustang and was having some car troubles, which ultimately led to finding out I needed my catalytic converter replaced. Keep in mind that this is a very expensive repair. Me and my dad took it to an auto shop to get it fixed along with a tire rotation and an oil change among other work. I can't remember the exact price, but it was somewhere around $1.5k-$2k.
When the car was repaired and ready to pick up, my dad came with me, as he knew stories of auto-shops "stretching" the truth. As we paid and got the keys (the repairman seemed nice enough, very outgoing and helpful) he looks me in the eye with my dad right there and asks me, "Do you drive this car a lot, or do you drive mainly to work? Joyrides?” Obviously being 16, yes, I loved driving my red mustang around.
"Well son, the entire steering/braking system is about to go out. The days of joyriding are OVER. You're going to need everything replaced, you're going to be driving one day soon down the highway and the steering is going to snap or you won't be able to brake and you don't want that to happen going 65 mph." My alarm bells started ringing.
The guy probably saw a 16-year-old with a nice mustang with daddy there to pay for everything. Little did he know, I saved up and paid for the car completely by myself, and I took great pride in that. Ultimately after doing some research, the parts he said were about to go out generally are never in bad enough shape to need replacing. For the next six years, every day I drove by that car shop and honked to let him know I still lasted another day.
I basically lived in that car. I sold it to a Ford dealership with no problems in the inspection. To this day, I still laugh at how much he tried to scare me. "Son, the days of joyriding are OVER.” What a joke.
27. Too Cool For Schoolburger with lettuce and tomatoPhoto by Food Photographer on Unsplash
I was waiting in line behind some annoying high school kids at this burger joint. When they put in their order, the employee (who had an accent) repeated it back, but the "alpha" of the group starts making fun of his pronunciation, like, "No, I want to order four cheeseburgers not four 'cheeseboogers.' That sounds gross. Also, what are 'prench pries'? Are you trying to say French fries?"
He'd glance back at his buddies and they'd all giggle like some little gossiping schoolgirls, which pressed the alpha to make the cashier repeat their order several times, correcting every perceived mispronunciation. The cashier seems pretty frustrated, so I step in and attempt to translate for the idiots by repeating the order all nice and slow, loud and dramatic to them as they were doing to the cashier.
They fall silent and kind of stared at me, obviously surprised to see someone else getting involved. I tell them, "Doesn't feel good when someone talks to you that way, does it?" They almost looked ashamed. They paid for the order then shuffled off to the side to wait. I can hear them talking about me, as if I care. I recognize the cashier's accent because my mother is Filipino so I speak to him in Tagalog for a minute so the idiots can't understand what we are saying, but we keep glancing over at them and laughing.
I apologize to the cashier for our education system and lament how many Americans their age rarely learn to speak another language and tend to not travel anywhere unless it’s to get wasted, get laid, etc. then explain that not all of us are like that. When I put in my order, the cashier refuses payment, so I got a comped meal because some idiots were being rude.
28. A Little Too Zestyyellow lemon fruit on waterPhoto by Sama Hosseini on Unsplash
I have a citrus allergy, and because it's a weird thing to be allergic to, I always explain it as best as I can when I'm ordering food—it's not just citrus fruits, it's the actual citric acid. This happened a few years ago. I was on a school trip, and one night we had dinner at a local pub. When it was my turn to order, I did my usual speech of what I'm allergic to, and the waitress took it all down.
I get my food (a chicken and bacon burger), but it has this white sauce all over it and the side of chips. Since I don't really want to die, I ask my friend to taste it first, and she says it tastes very tangy and it probably has lemon. Ok, pain in the butt, but it's still early, I can get a new one made. I take it back over to the counter and tell the waitress what's wrong.
She apologizes a lot, and goes get the chef. Chef: "What's wrong with the food?" Me: "I'm allergic to citrus, and I don't think I can eat this." Chef: "There's nothin' in it." Me: (taking no risks, and I'm surprised how confident my 15-year-old self was) "Can you please list the ingredients in the sauce?"
Chef: sigh "Fine...Eggs, garlic, lemon..." Me: "Lemon is citrus." Chef: .... Me: "I can't eat this, I'll be sick." Chef: "Are you sure?" Me: "....Yes...lemon is citrus...I'm allergic." He takes back my food and remakes it with tomato sauce like he should have done in the first place. That is the story of how I had to explain to a qualified head chef that lemon is citrus.
29. Hardly WorkingFile:Manhattan CVS pharmacy.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
So I'm from the UK, and I was in NYC for a week. I'd forgotten to pack my earplugs, and since it's tough for me to sleep without them, I figured I'd use the errand as an excuse to check out the local area. I head into a nearby chain pharmacy, and after a brief unsuccessful search I ask employee #1 if they have any earplugs. He told me he would “go check” for me, and walked into the back.
It was pretty clear from his dismissive tone and body language that he wasn't actually going to check anything, but whatever, maybe he's just tired. I just shrugged and asked someone else, employee #2, who walked me to the display immediately. So I'm standing in front of the display trying to figure out which ones I want, taking my time since the brands are all unfamiliar.
Five minutes goes by, and employee #1 emerges from the back. It's a fairly small store so we make eye contact, and he approaches me. "Sorry sir, we don't carry earplugs." "They're right here mate." I gesture to the display in front of us. "Oh." He's taken by surprise and a little embarrassed, and isn't sure how to respond. "I'm sure you tried your best though, when you were in the back. Thanks for all the hard work."
"Go screw yourself." Now it was my turn to be surprised. I was giving the guy a hard time, sure, but it wasn't malicious. I actually just thought the situation was funny and was simply pushing his buttons to mess with him. I could have been a lot more of a jerk considering he deliberately wasted my time. After this, though, things got way out of hand.
Employee #2 pokes his head around the corner. Turns out he is not just employee, but is also the manager on duty. He hadn't gone very far since showing me to the display, and had heard everything that just happened. "What did you just say to that customer Daniel??" Cue an argument between them so loud and intense that it almost ended in a fistfight.
Hooooly. I guess Daniel had a lot of pent-up frustration. Finally, he throws his scanner to the ground, spits at me, swipes a whole row of shampoo off the shelves, and stamps out. The entire store was frozen with everyone looking at us, and I'm just standing there with a dumb look on my face not sure how to react. I got free earplugs out of it though, so that was pretty cool.
30. Wrong And Strongselective focus photography of orange and white cat on brown tablePhoto by Amber Kipp on Unsplash
I recently moved from city X to city Y, and they're about an eight-hour drive apart. I also recently got a text from the vet in city X that they had scheduled my cats' annual checkup and vaccines in October as usual, and to respond to the text if I had to reschedule. I never ask for these appointments, they just book me in every October and send a text.
I responded that I have moved and would like to cancel. An hour later, I get a multi-paragraph email that I honestly hope was a standard spiel they send everyone, otherwise they’ve got wayyy too much time on their hands. Basically it talked about all the benefits of vaccines and said they had kept my appointment for now and to actually cancel I could text YES to a number. I do this.
Soon after, I get another text message outlining how horrible the cat flu and how it's wrong not to vaccinate. It ended with, "See you and [cats] at your annual checkup on October 7th." So I email the vet that I have moved to city Y, and I will no longer need a vet in city X. Two hours go by, I get another email not to worry, because they have taken the liberty to book an appointment for me at their sister clinic in city Y.
At this point, I'm just baffled at the audacity. I never asked for this appointment to be made! Anyway, after another couple emails, I finally managed to fully cancel and book an appointment at their competitor in city Y. Their final email was quite cross and claimed I shouldn't have animals if I wouldn't give them proper care. The funny thing is, I was happy with them so far and would have probably used their clinic in city Y if I wasn't given this glaring reason not to.
31. Double Troubleclear drinking glasses on brown wooden tablePhoto by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash
I was at a bar with a friend. I only had a cider but opened a tab just in case I wanted to order another. Never did, so my tab was around 5-6 bucks. We still hung out for a while so it was over an hour before I closed the tab out. Well, it came time to skedaddle so I went to close out my tab. Handed the bartender my credit card and waited, and he handed me back an over $40 tab.
The last name was very similar, just a few letters off, so I knew it was an honest mistake. I flagged the bartender down and told him this was not my bill. I only ordered a single cider. Then came the twist. Turns out my tab had already been closed out by this mystery person with a similar last name. So said person racked up an over $40 tab, got a bill for $6, and what? Didn't notice? Yeah sure...
So they charged him $6 and then me $6, costing the bar over $30. People suck.
32. Thinking Outside The Bunburger with vegetablePhoto by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
A couple of months ago, I was visiting my grandmother. We were out doing errands and we both got hungry. She suffers from diverticulitis, which basically means she can’t eat any kind of small seeds or nuts. This often causes problems when we go out to eat. Well, when deciding what to eat, we thought of a popular burger joint, because I figured a burger wouldn’t have seeds in it.
I order my burger but notice that the buns do have seeds on them. I ask the manager if there are any seedless buns and he informs me that no, they only have seeded buns. So my grandma orders a grilled cheese, assuming it would just be on some white bread. We receive our food and we see that they also make the grilled cheeses with the hamburger buns.
I go to the manager to ask if there’s anything that can be done and provide some more information on her condition. He informs me that the only bread they have has sesame seeds and he apologizes. I sit down to quickly eat my burger so that I can take my grandma somewhere else to eat. The manager comes to our table as I’m getting close to finishing my food.
He looks at us with a smile saying, “I figured it out.” We unwrap the food he brought us and it was a grilled cheese with two flattened hot dog buns on either side. No sesame seeds. The fact that this manager continued to think of a way to help us and was considerate of a condition my grandma had was heartwarming. Most places write her off as someone who just doesn’t like sesame seeds or who doesn’t like whatever the thing is that she can’t eat, but he actually attempted to take care of us.
33. Be Afraid, Be Very Afraidpeople in white shirt holding clear drinking glassesPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
This is a rollercoaster. I got a pimple on my nostril, simple right? So I left it alone because it was in a tender spot. In a day, it swelled up and popped. Well, I thought life would be grand after that despite this horrible ugly blemish on my face. I was so, so wrong. I woke up around 3 am that night in incredible pain, and the entire lower half and left side of my face was completely swollen.
I go to the ER. I was there for quite a while and was told that my swollen face wasn't a big deal and given a mild antibiotic. I was reluctant at their lack of care but left anyway with my pill. The next day it's even worse. I'm even more swollen, running a fever, and vomiting. My aunt rushed me to the ER. I am again faced with the same doctors as before. They say I'm fine and decide to give me Percocet.
I tell them I'm in a great deal of pain and the doctor tells me, "Well you actually have to let the medicine I give you work for a while for you to notice a difference." There was a difference, it was WORSE. A nurse talks to the doctor about her concern for me, and she badgers him to take a sample of my leaky nose blemish. He is visibly annoyed but agrees, and they take a sample.
The doctor is short and cold to my concerns and pain. While this is going down, my aunt is calling around for an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist in town. She gets in contact at a local clinic with a doctor’s assistant. My aunt gives me the phone and I explain what's happening to me. The assistant says she can’t get me in that day but she thinks the doctor might come in the next day on his day off for me.
Upon talking to her, he immediately wants to see me and agrees to see me on his day off. My mom is freaked out about my health at this point and is on her way to see me from a few states away. She arrives just in time to take me to this doctor the next day. He walks in the room and simply glances at my swollen face. My eyes were basically swollen shut at this point.
"You need surgery, now" is the first thing he says to me and my mother. And then he cut open my nose and drained 2.5 cups of pus and disgusting fluid from my face. He asked me what the hospital did to treat me, and he was angry when I told him they basically did nothing. I was guided out of the room. Thenhe pulled my mom aside and told her the horrific truth.
He told her I'd have been a goner two days from now if I hadn't come to him. The infection was in the "triangle of death,” a highly fatal area that goes straight into your bloodstream via your brain and heart. I would have had a massive stroke, no way I'd have made it. It's fairly common; my grandma had a classmate who passed from this very same thing.
A month later, the hospital calls and tells me that what they sampled was a combination of staph and other infectious garbage. A MONTH LATER. I refuse to go back to that hospital because they treated me like I was a nuisance and wrote off my condition.
34. You Can Lead A Horse To Water…man in green jacket and black pants standing in front of brown building during daytimePhoto by Wynand van Poortvliet on Unsplash
This event just happened yesterday. I was at a certain shipping company's store going to mail out a few packages. I walk in to see two workers begging, pleading, and attempting to persuade an elderly customer to not send a package. According to their conversation, the customer received a phone call or something from someone saying that they were going to give him a brand new Mercedes-Benz and he just needed to pay the "taxes" on it; around $9,000 in taxes to be precise.
The exchange went on for about five or so minutes, with the workers pointing to signs on the walls warning against this kind of thing, saying that they see stuff like this happen all the time, and even offering to call their supervisors to tell him the exact same thing. The old man started to get annoyed by saying things along the lines of, "Just mail the darn package; that's your job and I'm paying for it."
However, the workers refused, saying that if he wants to mail it, he'll have to go to the store downtown; "I'm not gonna be a part of it.” The old man left, probably to do as they said. When I made my purchase, I filled out a small online survey at the bottom saying how the clerks did an excellent job.
35. Read The Roomman holding fish dish on platePhoto by Petr Sevcovic on Unsplash
I decided to stop eating at one of my regular workday lunch spots because of a new employee they hired. I’d been coming in once or twice a week for lunch for years, usually by myself. I knew the daytime staff and we would have a friendly chat when I came in, just like the staff did with all their regular customers. I got busy and didn’t come in for a couple of months.
When I finally made it back in, the restaurant had hired a new assistant manager/head waiter. This was a completely new employee who I had never met before, and I was seated in his section at a table for one. Immediately upon seeing me, he freaked me right out. He grabbed my hand and started gushing about how much he’d missed me. Then he stopped talking and just stared into my eyes like we were long-lost lovers.
Every time he passed by my table, he would stop and hold out his hand for me to take it, then stare longingly into my eyes and talk about how much he’d missed me, but we were together now. It was annoying as heck. I reiterate, I never met this guy before. The lunch staff was always the same small crew. If we’d met before because he was filling in or something, it would have only been one time.
Whatever the case, his fake romantic stuff was unwanted and very annoying. I looked around to see if there were any other lone female diners that he was carrying on with, but there weren’t any. I think his idea was that since I was a lone female I would be starving for romantic attention and his flattery would lead to a larger tip. Nope. This was not the first time I’ve had a server put on this overly-familiar act and probably won’t be the last.
If you are a server, please don’t engage in this behavior! Nobody likes it!
36. Nothing To See Herepeople sitting on chairs inside roomPhoto by Robinson Greig on Unsplash
I was shopping at one of my favorite thrift stores today. They were having a 50% off all tag colors, except blue. So I was looking for mostly non-blue tags, and found one item that didn't have a tag on it. I had planned to ask an employee when I saw one. I went around an aisle and saw a female employee texting on her phone. She looked up and saw me and said, "You did NOT just see that."
As an aside, I don't care if an employee is on her phone. Doesn't matter to me at all. But I guess some customers might have snitched on her. I said in reply, "I didn't see anything, I don't know what you're talking about." She smiled and said okay, then started walking away to continue her work. But I said, "Wait a minute, I have something here that doesn't have a price on it."
She came back and looked at it and said, "Since you did not see anything, you can have it for $2.99." And I said, "Cool!" It probably would have been at least twice that, maybe with a blue tag or not. I didn't know or care. A little while later I saw her and said, "Just to let you know, the only thing I saw was an employee doing her job." And she said, "Thanks."
37. Secret Menu ItemDunkin Coffee shop during daytimePhoto by Joan Oger on Unsplash
So, my husband loves decaf iced lattes from a very popular coffee and donut store in New England. He has one at least 3-4 times a week. Today I go to the drive-thru as normal. E = Employee at drive-thru. Me: Can I get a medium iced decaf latte please? E: We don’t have decaf lattes. Me: I got one here yesterday? E: Nah, we don’t have decaf lattes, only decaf coffee.
Me: It’s on the menu... E: Listen, I’ve worked here over a year and I’ve never heard of a decaf latte, we don’t do those. Me: Okay... I’m gonna go somewhere else. At this point, I drive off because I didn’t want to argue. I drove five minutes to a different store in the same chain (we have them every couple miles here) and got the latte without any issue.
How does that lack of knowledge happen? How do you work somewhere for year and not know something on the menu?
38. Chris Is CrossFile:Applebee's night view.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
BOY do I have the story for you. It was my best friend’s 20th birthday, so we and our third best friend decided to go to our local chain restaurant. They don’t take reservations on the weekend, so we understandably waited a good amount of time to get seated. However, our waiter made sure to take extra time before he took our orders. He was a middle-aged guy, drenched in sweat and undeniably unhappy.
But I get it, I work food/retail, as do my friends, so we are probably more understanding than most. We waited about 20 minutes, watching him buzz by us and serve all the tables around us. At one point, a couple was sat down across from us about 10 minutes after us, and he took their orders first. By then we had politely told him we were ready to order.
My friends ordered their food, and I ordered their Cubano sandwich, specifically asking for French fries with my side of ranch. He looked at me funny, and said, “Cubano? Who orders it like that? Literally no one.” I nervously laughed, mainly because I didn’t know what the heck to say. So he took our orders and went. About 45 minutes go by. No food, which isn’t a big deal.
We’re having a good time. And then our food comes. My friends get theirs, and I get my sandwich…and no fries. He says they’re taking extra time. No worries man, I can wait. And I do. I wait 25 minutes. I decide to go to the bathroom, which had a ginormous line, and think, “Surely they’ll be there when I get back.” About 15 minutes goes by, and I head back to the table and they aren’t there.
So I decide it’s time, and head over to talk to a manager. I really hate going there, but I really just wanted my fries. The manager greets me, and I explain the situation. His response to me is, “Oh Chris? Yeah he’s been having a few rough nights! Doesn’t surprise me.” I had absolutely no clue what to say to that, so we walk back to the table where my fries are still not waiting for me yet.
The manager says he’s going to get them right away! As he stepped away, my friends tell me the strangest story. They say that the waiter actually stopped by our table (without fries) demanding where I went. They felt super uncomfortable and told him the bathroom. He responded by laughing and saying, “That better be where she is.”
The manager returns with my fries, and we let him know the comments made. He kind of shrugs and walks away. By now, my food is cold and the waiter comes back. My friends dashed to the bathroom as they saw him approaching and I pretended to take a phone call to avoid him. Instead of taking the hint, he literally stood at the corner of our table and just side-eyed me the whole time.
I didn’t even know what to do, so I pretended to hang up, asked him for the check and a box after he wouldn’t leave! My friends came back as did he with the check. Two of them put their meals on a card, and I put down a $20 towards the bill towards my meal. When “Chris” came by to collect our bill, I told him personally, “Cash first then card” and my friends also said, “Please do cash first then the card.”
He then repeated it back to us. Great! The bill was around $60. He came back, set down the checkbook, and walked off. My friend went to look at the bill and said, “Uh I think he charged the full amount on my card.” She checked her bank account and he had indeed charged the full amount on her card. At this point, my friends called “Chris” over and we asked him about the $20.
He responds with “What $20 bill?” I swear to god, smoke came out of my ears, and I was ready for revenge. So I went to find the manager again. When I explained the situation, the manager seemed really unaffected, which surprised me. The only thing he said to me was, “Well, that’s his third strike! Thanks to you, he’ll probably be out of a job tonight.”
The manager adjusted our bill to show my $20, and we left. Let me tell you, it felt like I was in a different universe.
39. A Bright Ideachef making pasta inside kitchenPhoto by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash
I am in between teaching classes and I ran out to my favorite noodle spot to eat. It’s a tiny place with only a few tables and it’s not that busy this time of day. There was only one occupied table when I arrived. A woman with a shrieking baby in a tiny room. Oh no. I don’t have enough time between classes to find somewhere else to eat. I’ll just deal with it.
I don’t love to listen to a screaming baby while I eat but I’m not someone who gets especially upset about it. As I’m settling in, I hear her asking the staff for a to-go container so she can get out of there. I feel bad for her as her bowl of noodles is pretty full. She obviously didn’t get a chance to eat much before the kid started up. I am grateful that she has the consideration to think of getting her fussy baby out of the restaurant.
Just then, the staff got an idea. Suddenly, the pop music that normally plays in this restaurant stops. A few moments of silence. I don’t exactly know how to describe the music that plays next but you all know it. It’s that classic “baby music” style. Like a xylophone or a music box. It’s gentle, not obnoxious like a lot of kid music. I recognize the melody as “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King.
The next song to play is “Baby Mine” from Dumbo which, if you don’t know it, is both soothing as heck and an absolute tearjerker. I’m sitting here sipping a pint and enjoying my noodles while the mother is able to stay and finish up with her baby softly snoozing away beside her. As a service industry veteran, I usually bristle at the notion of a restaurant altering its atmosphere to suit the needs of one guest.
In this case, it’s just a great example of staff thinking on their feet and showing somebody some compassion. If they weren’t already my favorite, they would be now.
40. What A Drainwoman in white bathtub holding clear drinking glassPhoto by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
I moved my family into a new house, and the first night there I tried to take a bath. My boys came running to the bathroom to tell me my bathwater was draining into the kitchen. After getting out and doing some investigating, I discovered the overflow drain was not attached to any pipe. When I took the plate off, I could see the light defuser over the kitchen light from the hole in the tub.
The landlord was a nice man from my church who was giving me an awesome deal on the rent and I didn't want to rock the boat. So no baths for me. I replaced the useless drain cover and then taped plastic over it and we just took showers. Then a few months later, the tub drain clogged so we had to ask the landlord to call a plumber. In comes this guy. He’s an older guy.
Turns out, a small child of the previous tenants had let a plastic necklace go down the drain and it collected enough to stop the water. At this point, I got an earful I never want to hear again. The guy lectured me about not letting my kids have toys in the tub. I explained that I had boys and this was a little girl’s toy and not ours. He just shook his head and smiled.
Then when I asked him if he could fix the overflow drain, he took off the plate himself. The pipe was clearly not attached and you could see down into the kitchen. He said it was fine and replaced the cover. I watched him. He didn't attach anything and this guy, I kid you not, gave me that same stupid smile and told me, "You're a woman. You just don't understand how plumbing works."
So I asked him, completely incredulous, "So the tub is supposed to drain into the kitchen?" He refused to believe me. I called the landlord after the guy left and told him what happened. The landlord fired that guy and a new guy came the next week and actually fixed the drain. I may be a woman, but I understood plumbing better than that guy sure did.
41. This Isn’t A Gamered and black lighted wall decorPhoto by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
I used to visit the local games store a lot. Mostly, I went in to pay off pre-orders for my then fiancé, now husband, and I, but I also spent a period tracking down old games for my husband that he thought were impossible to find. One of these days, I decided to check out the PC games while I waited to see if the manager was out back or not, since the manager was the one helping me find the games.
Well, the PC games are in the back corner, next to the storeroom door. The door swings outward and nearly hits some free-standing shelves. Because of this, the only way to get to the games was on the other side of the shelves, leaving you right in the corner. While looking, I bend down a little to see the games at the bottom when I noticed a pair of legs right behind me.
Straightening up, I turn to see a new employee standing there, looking me up and down. I've had zero interactions with him before but have seen him in the store once or twice. This guy was over 6 feet to my 5 feet 3 inches, and he was heavy. His hair was a mess and greasy, and the uniform for the store was half tucked in, half not. He didn't have a neckbeard and I didn't know the label back then but yeah, neckbeard.
His bulk blocked the only exit unless I closed the storeroom door. The door was heavy-looking but I was definitely thinking about it when I noticed him staring at...not my face. "I see you here a lot. I noticed cause pretty girls like you don't normally play games," he informed my chest. Lies, since two girls he worked with were very pretty, but they had smaller chests so maybe that was his way of measuring beauty.
I muttered something like "Okay...I'm going to go back to looking now." "Why are you looking at PC games? No one plays PC games anymore. If you want to be a real gamer girl you need an Xbox!" "My fiancé and I have an Xbox, I just also like PC games. "PC games can be cool, I guess." Steps in closer, literally cornering me, and giving me what I think he thought was a seductive gaze.
"I can pick you out some good ones." "I'm good. I have more shopping to do. Can you let me out?" "Nah, seriously, I can even get a copy and we can talk about it next time you’re in. Come on, it'll be fun. Or we could play together." He tries to put his hand on my shoulder or touch my hand, but I hit it away. The whole time he has been looming over me and leering at me.
The shelves with the PC games are digging into my back as I try to put space between us, but he just keeps edging forward. "No." I'm about a minute away from having a PTSD panic attack at this point and probably look like a caged animal. My breathing is heavy and my voice has gone up a pitch or two. Everything about me says I am uncomfortable and terrified.
"Leave me alone. I don't want your help." His "seductive" vomit-inducing gaze turned annoyed. "Why are you being rude? You flirt with the manager all the time but when someone flirts back you turn into a witch Are you just trying to get a discount off him?” "I don't flirt with him, I just chat to him about games FOR MY FIANCE!" My breathing has become erratic by this point and I've started clawing at my throat and arms, a sign of my PTSD being triggered.
I had just started trying to work out what would be easier, ramming into this buffoon's stomach and making him fall over or pulling the standing shelves onto him (both would have been difficult) when the storeroom door moved. The storeroom is fairly big, I knew from the times I had stood at the entrance to talk to the manager, but apparently in my panic I had used my normal speaking voice, which is actually quite loud, allowing the manager to hear and come forward to eavesdrop.
The moment the manager closed the door enough for me to get through, I bolted out of the corner. The manager opened the door again hard enough to wedge it against the shelves before moving around the shelves to corner the employee like he had to me. "That game isn't in yet," he shot over his shoulder, sounding angry. "It'll be at least a couple of weeks.”
I bolt, run to the closest bathroom, and lock myself in a stall to have a breakdown. A few days later when my fiancé and I went to the shops together, I wouldn't cross the threshold of the store and started freaking out. I couldn't see the employee but I didn't want to risk it. About three weeks later, I braved the store after looking around for the new employee.
Only the manager and one of the female workers were in sight but I still kept close to the door. When the manager saw me he looked relieved and very clearly moved behind the counter to greet me. "Hey, your game was actually in the last time you were here. I made sure it was held though." Store policy is to only hold unpaid orders for one week.
"I'm sorry about that employee. I heard what he was saying to you, and saw the way he was standing over you. I sent him home after you left and called my regional manager. He has given a couple of other girls the creeps but until he trapped you in the store I had nothing to really fire him over. I told my regional that he basically intimidated you and they agreed to the firing."
According to the female workers, they had all wanted him gone but they can't fire people easily.
42. Three’s A Crowdfried chicken wings with a half of a grapefruit on a slate boardPhoto by Moonyang Lin on Unsplash
This happened on Valentine’s Day back in 2019. I had just got off work and stopped at a very well-known chicken place that’s famous for its wings and chicken strips and a special sauce they have in the south. I typically stop at this location every Saturday night, but this particular night I thought I’d treat myself. I get my usual order and sit down. Now it was, of course, busy due to it being Valentine’s Day.
I sit myself at a corner booth and get on my phone. Also, I was the only single individual in the entire restaurant eating alone. Everyone else was on a date, this is important. I’m sitting, browsing on my phone when I notice two young adults (maybe 19-20 years old) who appear and stand right next to me with trays of food in their hands. M = Me, MD = Male Date, FD = Female Date.
M: Can I....help you? FD: Yes, could you get up please? Or soon at least? We need a place to sit down. I’m a bit appalled by this, and look around to notice that there are no more available tables. M: I’m still eating my dinner. I’m sorry but maybe If you two wait a little longer another table will soon get up. MD: She told you to get up, and soon at that. Since it’s obvious you don’t have a date why don’t you be respectful and let a couple like us enjoy their date?
I had considered getting up and asking for a to-go box if another table didn’t get up beforehand, but after that snarky remark, I wasn’t going anywhere. M: I have no idea what your issue is, but any thought I had about getting up just went away after you turned your tone up a few notches. FD: Let’s go babe, since this jerk doesn’t want to get up since it’s just him.
I’m just staring at these two, not sure what to make of this interaction. MD: I hope you learn respect, because you severely lack it, have a great day. They go up, ask for a to-go box, speak a few minutes with the cashier, who happens to be the manager on duty, and with that they both leave. I finish and get up to leave, and me and the manager make eye contact and we both let out a chuckle.
The entitlement in others never ceases to amaze me.
43. Mr. Moneybagsbrown wooden table with chairsPhoto by piotr szulawski on Unsplash
When I was younger, like 12-17, my mom always gave me $40 if I was going to eat with friends. For some reason, I thought the tip had to equal or be above the price of my check. I did this for years, until one day my dad asked for the change to get gas. I said “What change? I used it to tip the waitress.” He wanted the receipt, and sure enough, I had tipped 115% on an order of chicken fingers and fries.
He asked me why I tipped so much and I said, “Because the tip has to match the total of the bill and then you tip more to add the percent in.” He laughed so hard he cried. Then he had to explain to me, a 17-year-old, how tipping works. Well, I’m in my late 20s now, and I have a firm rule of tipping at least 30%. I hope the tips I gave as a teenager made a lot of waiters and waitresses happy.
44. Put A Ring On Ittwo hugging womenPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
Last year, my then-girlfriend-now-fiancée and I (lesbians) traveled to Chicago and picked out our engagement rings together. The company was going to send my custom ring a few months later through the mail carriers with three letters and brown coloring as a package that had to be signed for. The jeweler had done this thousands of times before with no issues. So of course it all went to hell in a handbasket with me.
Well, the day rolls around it’s supposed to be delivered and it’s not. It’s also right around the holidays so we leave to travel home, assuming that they will hold onto the ring until they can get a signature for it. We tried to contact them to confirm this and they were impossible to get a hold of. Long story short, my girlfriend gets a notification the package was delivered while we were away.
There’s even a picture of her signature on it! Funny, considering we were in another state when it was delivered. Because the delivery man didn’t want to deal with coming back, he forged her signature and left the package in the communal walk-in area of the apartment complex on the ground. The only good part of this was the amazing customer service we received from the jeweler, who opened an investigation with the delivery company.
All in all, I got my ring safely, but darn that was stressful!
45. No Judgmentthree round red and gold colored accessoriesPhoto by NajlaCam on Unsplash
In the food court in our shopping center, there’s a donut place and I just realized today that the last three times I’ve been to this place I’ve been served by this teenage boy and it’s always been really bad times for me. The first time I almost fainted. I’m pregnant and my iron and blood pressure was low at the time. I felt fine waiting in line, but when I got to the counter to order I started to fade and felt my blood draining from my face.
Hands flat on the counter, head hanging down, low mumbled voice while ordering. After I got my donut, I sat at the closest table and put my head down for a few minutes. Recovered and ate my donut like nothing happened. The second time while ordering, I had just gotten some bad news and it was clear I’d been crying. Ordered an ice coffee through sniffles, stared off into the distance while waiting, then went on my way.
And last time I was having a panic attack. I was super out of it, crying a little, and hyperventilating while basically clawing my arm and looking around frantically. Got my stuff and shuffled away, hiding behind my husband with my face pressed into his back. So I guess thank you teenage boy for always smiling while serving me and never making me feel awkward during our encounters.
Also I swear I’m not a weirdo, I just have very unfortunate timing for wanting donuts.
46. Going GreenFree Images : omelet, dish, cuisine, ingredient, meal, produce ...pxhere.com
I asked the waitress if they had spinach. She said they do. So I ordered a spinach and cheese omelet. She comes back, right about when I'd expect the food to be ready, to apologize that they don't, in fact, have spinach. No problem, I'll take broccoli instead. She goes to the window and tells the cook, "She'll have a side of broccoli." So I call over, "No, I want broccoli in the omelet."
"But he already made the omelet." "Then please remake it, with all the ingredients." Brains were in short supply this day.
47. One For The Moneyman on front of vending machines at nighttimePhoto by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash
There was a vending machine at my high school that gave $1 coins for some unknown reason, so I sometimes carried dollar coins with me. No big deal, right? WRONG. I went in this store downtown one day with some friends and ended up finding some cute gloves on sale for a few dollars so I grabbed them. Thinking I had a great opportunity to rid my purse of clanking, I handed the woman a $5 bill and my coins.
She asked me what the coins were and I replied that they were $1 coins. She asked if they were American and I said yes. She responded by paging her manager. At first I was confused, but I very quickly realized that she thought the coins were fake. As in, she thought I had invented a whole new currency. At this point (several years ago) I was a very anxious and shy high school student.
Today I would probably have said something, but back then all I could do was stand in shock as her manager approached. The cashier triumphantly held out the coins to her manager who was, thankfully, dumbstruck. I was able to complete my purchase and I imagine the cashier was given a lecture on different types of coins in circulation. C’mon, lady.
48. Tell The TruthSephora buildingPhoto by Deva Darshan on Unsplash
I was in a chain beauty store that has a hair salon in the back. I was looking at a display that happened to be right next to the salon, and I overheard the woman in the chair finishing up with the stylist. I was there for a few minutes, so I heard a decent portion of their conversation. A little while later, I got in line to pay and recognized the woman in front of me as the woman from the salon.
There was only one cashier working, and she was currently helping someone else. When they finished and the cashier called her over, the woman dropped her items on the counter and handed the cashier a coupon. Cashier (C): “I’m sorry ma’am, but this coupon can’t be applied to the items you’re purchasing.” Salon Lady (SL): “What do you mean?”
C: “There are some restrictions to what this coupon can be used towards. They’re listed down at the bottom of the coupon here,” and she attempted to show her. SL: “That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve used coupons on these items before. I buy them all the time.” C: “I’m sorry ma’am. The previous coupons you used may have had different restrictions, however, this one specifically states that it cannot be used on these items. The coupon actually mentions this brand by name in the restrictions.”
SL then began screaming at the cashier about her horrible customer service and the fact that last month they wouldn’t give her a free birthday gift even though she’s been a rewards member for over 10 years just because she tried to redeem it two months after her birthday. She demanded the number for corporate and the cashier’s name. The cashier started to write down the number.
SL: “No, tell it to me right now. I’m going to call them right now to make sure you aren’t lying to me!” She pulled out her phone and the cashier told her the number and her name. SL proceeded to dial and stand at the register. C: “Ma’am, if you could just step to the side so I can ring up the other customers...” SL: “NO! YOU WILL FINISH MY TRANSACTION! I AM GOING TO TELL CORPORATE HOW HORRIBLY YOU’RE TREATING ME AND THEY WILL COMmAND YOU TO HONOR MY COUPON AND GIVE ME MY BIRTHDAY GIFT!”
The cashier attempted to flag down another employee and drew even more screams from SL for “attempting to leave.” By this time, the manager had overheard the yelling and come over, but SL refused to speak to her, refused to let the cashier open another register, and refused to move from where she was standing. She stood at the register fake crying to the rep on the phone.
It was total lies, all about how she came in to get a haircut and it turned out horribly and the stylist refused to fix it and how her mother was dying in the hospital and she just wanted to see her one last time and now she looks awful and the employees in the store were treating her horribly and she couldn’t believe how such a loyal customer was being mistreated and publicly humiliated “all over a free birthday gift.”
The manager, having no other option, opened up another register to try to move through the massive line that had backed up and called me over. At the end of my transaction, I said, “Thank you. I would also like the number to corporate, your name, and that employee’s name, so that I can tell them how calmly and politely you attempted to deal with this completely irrational woman. I was here for the whole thing, including when she told the stylist she liked her hair and her mother had been released from the hospital last week. Hopefully I can counteract whatever damage she may be doing.”
The manager thanked me and gave me the number and their names. I got in my car and called, telling the rep who answered the entire story and insisting that the cashier and manager did nothing wrong and that the woman was lying to get what she wanted. She thanked me and said she would make sure that my message got to where it needed to go. I sure hope it did.
49. Wake Up Callplants on housePhoto by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Last Friday night I stayed at an inn. I made my reservation at 4 pm and checked in at about 9:45 pm. I get to my room and do the usual. Order a pizza, shower, watch TV. At midnight, two women in their 50s open my door. They both apologize and immediately walk out. I had a little chuckle about it and let it slide. I figured the doors didn't automatically lock for whatever reason so I flip it and go back to watching TV.
At 12:15 am I get a knock on my door. It was a different front desk attendant than earlier. Female, 50s. Employee: "I'm going to need you to come downstairs." Me: "Why?" The answer sent a chill down my spine. Employee: "Because I don't know who you are, why you're in this room, or how you got in here." I get dressed and head down, more than a little agitated.
I give her my ID and she says the guy earlier checked me into Room A but had me to go to Room B. She says she's going to go ahead and let me stay in Room B since I'm already there. Gee thanks. So I walk back up to my room, undress, and hop into bed because I'm ready for it. At 12:30 am the room phone rings. It's the front desk attendant again.
She tells me she needs me downstairs again because she can't find my payment info. So once again I get dressed, trudge downstairs, and hand her my card. She doesn't do anything with the card except read the numbers and check her screen. She had the information, she just wanted to verify it, it seems. So I go back up and crash. The next morning I go to check out and it's a different attendant at the desk. Female, 20s.
Employee: "How was your stay?" Me: "There isn't anything in the computer about what happened?" Employee: "Ahh yes. I am deeply sorry for everything and I can give you $10 off of your stay." Me: "$10? I would think having two women walk into your room and then getting called down to the front desk twice all after midnight would be worth more than a $10 compensation."
Employee: "She had you come down here? She didn't tell me that part." I explain the whole story. Employee: "Oh my God. I am so sorry, I apologize. That never should have happened. I can knock it down to $75 but anything more than that I have to get approval from the GM who isn't here this weekend." So I accepted that with a smile. Not the girl's fault. I'll definitely be writing corporate this afternoon though.
50. Need For Speedparked vehiclesPhoto by Obi - @pixel7propix on Unsplash
My friend was visiting a northerly city for a job interview, and he got a rental car from a typical car rental chain. He was waiting in line for 5+ minutes while the lone worker at the desk deals with someone on the phone. He’s only really hearing one side of the conversation, but basically, the guy on the other end is demanding that they have a BMW M7 available and that they will have it waiting for him.
The guy is also nickel-and-diming the worker the whole way through, haggling the price and asking for upgrades and perks for no better reason than that he was demanding them. Doing it all with a threatening tone and numerous profanities. The worker finally cuts the conversation short with, “Look, sir, if the car is here you can have it but I have other customers waiting!” and hangs up abruptly.
Wishing to break the tension, my friend steps to the desk and playfully says, “What was that? Some people can be jerks!” The worker agrees and they make small talk for a minute to lighten the mood. The worker regains his cool and they proceed with the car rental as per usual. Halfway through the transaction, the worker just stops typing and looks up at my friend with this mischievous smile. He had the most incredible idea.
W: Hey man, can I interest you in an upgrade? We’ve still got a few luxury cars on the lot, and you qualify if you’re interested. F: Oh, I can’t. I’m kind of on a budget for this trip. Thanks though. W: Oh, it’s not expensive. Actually (looks down and starts furiously typing)…it looks like I just got you a free upgrade. F: Uh…ok thanks.
W: Alright, so we have upgraded you from a compact to a luxury rental, and it looks like we will be putting you in a BMW M7. F: ...(confused) W: There’s only one M7 left on the lot, and I’m giving it to you. So now when the jerk on the phone comes to get it, I get to see the look on his face when I tell him it just got rented. So my friend got to cruise around the city all weekend in a borderline supercar for $24/day, all because the worker at a car rental desk wanted to spite some entitled jerk. Beautiful.
If Groucho was the witty Marx Brother, Harpo was without a doubt the wild one. His persona of the silent lunatic who runs around wreaking havoc is one of the most instantly recognizable characters in movie history. But just who was the man behind the character? The answer to that is much different than people realize.
1. He Had A Horrible Childhood
As a child, Harpo lived through a nightmare. Although his enormous family—including his brothers Groucho and Chico—were loving, they were also dirt poor in turn-of-the-century New York. Indeed, his domineering mother Minnie forced them to start scraping together pennies from almost the moment they could talk. The thing is, she did this in a VERY strange way.
2. His Mother Shoved Him Into Performing
While we now know that child stardom is a curse, Minnie Marx sure didn’t think so. She organized a singing quartet act with the rest of her sons...but they were missing their fourth singer. Desperate, Minnie recruited the young Harpo to come up on stage at the eleventh hour, pushing the shy boy into the spotlight. This went more horribly than anyone could have predicted.
3. He Had A Haunting Embarrassing MomentFile:Monkey Business lobby card 1931.JPG - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
When Harpo hit the stage that day, he immediately realized he had made a mortifying mistake. Still unused to performing, he was so nervous that, in front of his family and the entire crowd, he wet his pants in the middle of the performance. Unfortunately, Harpo soon discovered that this was only the beginning of his ordeals.
4. He Was Bullied Horribly
Harpo’s school life was somehow worse than his stage debut. When he was in the second grade, he faced relentless bullying due to his Jewish ethnicity—and things took a dangerous turn. According to Harpo, his tormentors loved throwing him out the window of their second-story classroom whenever their teacher left. This would have devastating consequences.
5. He Had A Second-Grade Education
When his classroom woes became more and more frequent, Harpo eventually had enough. After yet another time where his enemies threw him out the window, the young boy simply walked home rather than returning to class. In fact, he never returned, and Harpo had no formal education whatsoever past the second grade. Yeah, this wasn’t a good thing.
6. He Was A Mobster
After quitting school, Marx began a harrowing chapter in his life. He became a juvenile delinquent, roaming the streets of New York for hours a day, swiping whatever odds and ends he could get his hands on, and making both friends and enemies with members of various street gangs. He even played piano in a brothel during this time. But one way or another, destiny came for him.
7. The Marx Brothers Have A Strange Origin Story
Around this time, the Marx Brothers’ act started to evolve into what we know it as today—but few people know its strange origins. See, they never actually set out to be a comedy act. Their mother, Minnie, was still obsessed with making them a vaudeville singing group, and whenever the brothers started kidding around in the act, she chastised them and insisted that they stuck strictly to music.
Of course, this only helped create the prankish anarchy the comedy group became famous for...and they were about to become very, very famous.
8. He Had A Film FirstFile:Early marx brothers with parents.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
In the early 1910s, the Marx Brothers began developing their stage act in earnest, and this led to their first collaborative film, 1929’s The Cocoanuts, which starred the brothers Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo Marx in all their glory and various stage names. Not only was The Cocoanuts a newfangled talkie, but it was also one of the first films to have an overhead perspective shot. But even then, something was missing.
9. He Was Eerily Silent
Early on, Harpo developed one distinguishing feature in the sibling act: He never talked. For the most part, his film career relied on sight gags, especially Harpo pulling extremely unlikely objects from his nearly ever-present overcoat. As we’ll see, there was a particular reason for his silence, but it sure worked. Within a few years, the Marx Brothers were the talk of Hollywood...and Harpo took full advantage.
10. He Was An Infamous Bachelor
With the Marx Brothers’ comedy routine taking off, Harpo became one of the most notorious bachelors in 1930s Hollywood. One story from this time is legendary: He ended up busting into a costume party at Marion Davies’ house, while the starlet was still the mistress of tycoon William Randolph Hearst. And before long, Harpo’s reputation went from naughty to infamous.
11. He Gate-Crashed A Star's Party
For whatever reason, when he got ready for the party Harpo decided to dress up as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the former German Emperor and one of the most hated villains of WWI. Somehow, though, Harpo outdid even the Kaiser. Apparently bereft of any real friends at the bash, Harpo had to hitchhike home, and after taking a wrong turn, the authorities detained him for vagrancy, breaking and entering, and supposedly even impersonating Kaiser Wilhelm.
Harpo was definitely acting out, but there was a disturbing reason for this.
12. He Had A Long-Lost LoveFile:Harpo Marx 1948.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Even today, few people know that Harpo remained single for so long in Hollywood because of one incredibly heartbreaking and traumatic experience in his youth. Shortly after arriving in Tinseltown, Harpo started dating a woman he came to deeply care for, and he even planned on proposing to her. But before he could do anything, tragedy struck.
13. He Suffered An Unbelievable Tragedy
The very day before Harpo was going to ask for the woman’s hand, he received devastating news. His lover had lost her life in a plane crash, and he would never see her again. The loss affected him for years to come, keeping him at arm's length from any serious relationships for a good while after. But as for the not-so-serious ones, all bets were off.
14. He Used Women Shamelessly
Not even Harpo’s famous silence on screen could stop him from charming the skirts off of women. At one point, he was even dating fellow comedian Fanny Brice, the woman who inspired Funny Girl, “because he felt she would be entertaining, and he loved to be entertained.” Plus, you know, he didn’t want to think about his dead girlfriend. Yet like every Hollywood hotshot, Harpo had a wandering eye.
15. He Had A Fateful Dinner Party
One evening, Harpo was attending a classic Hollywood party at producer Samuel Goldwyn’s house, with Fanny Brice on his arm. Little did he know, his life was about to change. His other seatmate was the starlet Susan Fleming, a former saucy Ziegfield girl and a currently reluctant actress who hated making films. Fleming had her eye on Harpo—and more than that, she had a secret weapon.
16. He Had A Not-So-Secret AdmirerFile:Susan Fleming sl931.jpg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
In an eerie turn of events, Susan Fleming shared the same last name as Harpo’s long lost love who had perished in a plane crash. This probably got her foot in the door with Harpo, but if it didn't her face certainly would; she was pale with dark hair, and absolutely stunning by any measurement. More than that, Fleming was absolutely obsessed with Harpo...and she wasn’t shy about showing it.
17. He Loved To Be Worshipped
Fleming felt she could see through Harpo’s somewhat joking demeanor and into his sensual interior. She recalled that from the moment she met him, she found Harpo "a warm, fun, darling man to talk to" and that she was fascinated with his persona and career.
Harpo, for his part, wasn’t going to say no to a face like Fleming’s, and he threw off Brice that very night to take up with the actress. In the blink of an eye, it went from casual to cringeworthy.
18. He Had A Clingy Girlfriend
Susan Fleming didn’t just have a crush on Harpo, she had a whole obsession. After all, Fleming had no use for her film career, and she spent the next four years chasing after Harpo with an intensity and single-mindedness that would probably make anyone take a step back, let alone a man still on the rebound from his corpse bride.
But even though Harpo could have no doubt of Fleming’s affections, she still made a shocking grand gesture.
19. He Rejected His Lover
Fleming was so certain Harpo Marx was the man for her, she was actually the one to propose to him, an action that polite society considered near unthinkable for a woman at the time. But she was in for a cruel surprise. Although Harpo still wanted to keep up his relationship with her, the wounded man turned Fleming down. Did this let-down stop her? Not at all. She just turned the dial up to 11.
20. His Girlfriend Pushed Him Down The AisleFile:Susan Fleming CM333.jpg - Wikipediaen.m.wikipedia.org
When Harpo turned down Fleming’s offer of marriage the first time, the actress really proved her mettle...uh, if that’s what you want to call it. Undeterred, Fleming got down on one knee again some time later, and received yet another brutal rebuff. Finally, she asked him an incredible third time and, perhaps worn down at last, Harpo finally accepted. Only, Fleming may not have known what she was getting into.
21. He Had A Secret Wedding
Maybe Harpo was still a little uncertain about Fleming, because he married her in complete secret. Sure, this might have been because the pair were notoriously camera shy—except for just one glaring thing. Harpo didn’t even tell his brothers it was happening until after the fact. Ouch. And when the truth did come out, it was scandalous.
22. The President Ratted Him Out
As it happened, people found out about Harpo’s top-secret nuptials almost right after they happened, and they found out from a shocking source. None other than President Franklin Roosevelt heard about the event from a mutual friend, and inadvertently leaked the secret by publicly sending Marx a congratulatory telegram. What a dummy, right?
23. His Wife Was His Subordinate
The beginnings of Harpo’s marriage to Fleming seemed idyllic. She quit acting in films like she had wanted to all along, and they began raising a brood of adopted children. Then again, their dynamic would still make a lot of us squirm; Fleming was Harpo’s self-appointed “valet” during the union, basically acting as his assistant when they were at home or abroad. Ew.
24. He Was Actually BaldFile:Debbie Reynolds Auction - Harpo Marx signature historic ...commons.wikimedia.org
When you picture Harpo, you probably aren’t picturing the real Harpo. Few people know or remember it, but for most of his films with the Marx Brothers, Harpo was wearing a blonde or red wig. Meanwhile, underneath that wig, the comedian was actually entirely bald, a fact that helped him go undetected in public whenever he felt like it, because people never recognized him.
25. He Went On A High-Profile Mission
In 1933, Harpo’s old friend Franklin Roosevelt made him one of the first “goodwill ambassadors” to Soviet Russia. It was even more harrowing than it sounds. On his way to Moscow, he passed through Hamburg and witnessed the early stages of Nazi Germany, and ended up literally vomiting at the harsh realities he witnessed first-hand to his Jewish people. When he reached Stalin’s Russia, however, it nearly turned deadly.
26. Stalin Spied On Him
Ever suspicious, Stalin assigned a government spy to accompany Harpo at all times during his stay, monitoring all of his phone calls and mail and making sure he didn’t get out of line or carry any important information back to the United States with him for the President’s eyes. It sounds like paranoia, but the truth is the Soviets DID need to worry about Harpo.
27. He Was A Secret Agent
Harpo had one unsupervised moment in the Soviet Union: His visit to the American embassy. Behind its closed doors, Marx kept a huge secret. While there, a government official asked him to smuggle a document back to the States. Though he never found out what the document was, Marx taped the envelope to his leg and successfully brought it with him on his way out of the country.
Yes, you read that right. This silly Marx Brother was an actual secret agent who carried out a real-life international spy mission.
28. He Got A Big Dramatic BreakFile:Fay Wray Argentinean Magazine AD.jpg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
Harpo was a bit of a strange husband, but he wasn’t always a good friend, either. One year, one of his good friends, the screenwriter and playwright Alexander Woollcott, asked Harpo to star in his dramatic production Yellow Jacket alongside King Kong star Fay Wray. It should have been a golden opportunity, but Marx turned it into a betrayal.
29. He Was A Terrible Friend
When Harpo read Woollcott’s script, he simply didn’t understand the vision or emotional core that his friend was going for. Of course, Woollcott also refused to explain it to him. Perhaps a tad tetchy with his buddy, Harpo reacted by not taking the performance seriously at all, and instead turned it into a comedy bit, infuriating Woollcott and nearly ruining their friendship in the process.
30. He Could Out-Weird Anyone
Harpo was infamous for some eccentric habits during his single life, especially picking up semi-vagrant artists. He actually spent over a year living with piano virtuoso and severe insomniac Oscar Levant, one of old Hollywood’s most bizarre characters and least stable people, who you may know from the film An American in Paris. Yet, as always, Harpo managed to give Levant a run for his money.
See, when Levant showed up on Harpo’s doorstep and never left, Harpo simply...accepted it. The comedian befriended the troubled musician until Levant finally left on a whim 13 months later. But when it comes to Harpo’s neighborly antics, that’s the least of them.
31. He Lived Next To A Famous Composer
For a long time, Marx lived next to the legendary classical composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. His reaction to this was surprising. As a fellow music lover, you’d think that Harpo would feel lucky to get to listen to Rachmaninoff hone his craft, but nope. Rather than just be happy, Harpo got annoyed at the noise day in and day out...so he came up with a perfect revenge.
32. He Drove A Genius MadFile:Sergei Rachmaninoff LOC 33969u.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
In classic Harpo fashion, Marx took this as an opportunity for an epic prank worthy of one of his films. He began repeatedly blasting one of Rachmaninoff's own compositions out the window as loud as he possibly could. Best of all, it worked. It got to the point where the poor composer could no longer stand it, and he moved to a new house just to get away from the comedian. Mission accomplished.
33. He Finally Spoke
Marx spent his entire career going to great lengths to never speak in public. But one night, all that changed. It was the evening he publicly announced his retirement during a 1963 live show. When the audience learned they were witnessing a legend’s final appearance, the entire mood of the room altered. Then, for the first time in his adult life, Harpo agreed to give a public speech...but, uh, maybe he shouldn’t have.
34. He Gave An Awkward Goodbye
In the end, Harpo spent several minutes reflecting on his career and his feelings about moving on, while the stunned crowd took in every word. The host Allan Sherman reportedly burst into tears when Marx confirmed that he truly was calling it quits, but Harpo didn’t stop there, interrupting Sherman when he tried to speak and generally just yammering on a bit.
As comedian Steve Allen joked about the speech: “Harpo wouldn’t shut up!” But hey, he earned it.
35. He Made A Famous Face
One of Harpo’s most famous comedic faces was something called “The Gookie,” and its backstory is perfectly “Harpo.” The face came about from his habit of imitating the mannerisms of a cigar store clerk from his childhood named Gookie. As Harpo remembered, when Gookie started rolling cigars, he got “so absorbed that he had no idea what a comic face he was making. His tongue lolled out in a fat roll, his cheeks puffed out and his eyes popped out and crossed themselves.”
Harpo would do an impression of this face on a regular basis as a youngster, just to get under the poor guy’s skin. Later, he incorporated it into every one of his screen performances.
36. He Launched A Mega StarFile:Marilyn Monroe photo pose Seven Year Itch.jpg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
When the Marx Brothers made their final film, Love Happy, they ended up despising the result and almost never talked about it afterward. Predictably, it was a flop, but this very last film has a very big claim to fame. It launched the career of the one and only Marilyn Monroe. The then-unknown starlet had a brief cameo in the film, her first big on-screen appearance. The rest, as they say, is history.
37. He Clashed With Authority
Harpo was always a troublemaker. When theater tycoon E.F. Albee hired the Marx Brothers, he expected them to bow down to him and be loyal. Harpo’s response made the man’s blood boil. Stirring the pot, the comedian "innocently" appeared in a friend’s show at a small rival theater, and when Albee found out he dragged Harpo into his office so he could stare him down and intimidate him.
38. He Froze Looking At A Woman's Body
In his later life, Marx took up painting and became surprisingly good at it. Still, he did get one super awkward anecdote out of the process. Like many an amateur artist before him, Marx started learning how to draw by hiring a body model. But the moment the beautiful woman took her clothes off, Harpo froze and couldn’t continue. Which is exactly when the situation took a strange turn.
39. A Model Taught Him To Paint
As it happened, the woman Harpo had hired was actually something of an accomplished artist herself, not to mention cool as a cucumber on top of that. So when she saw Harpo’s distress, she actually got up and gave him a lesson about where to begin, calming his nerves in the process. Obviously, it ended up working out for both of them. I hope Harpo tipped well.
40. He Had Another TalentFile:Harpo Marx playing the harp (cropped).jpeg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Harpo might be famous as a comedian, but he had another big talent: Playing the harp. Only, because this is Harpo Marx, he had to do even this with a twist. He only took up playing the instrument on a whim, and began learning to hold and play it by copying what an angel was doing in a picture he got from a corner store. Yes, this was the completely wrong way to do it, but that wasn’t all that Harpo got wrong.
41. He Messed Up Big Time
Harpo didn’t know anyone who could play the harp, so he had to learn everything by himself, top to bottom, including tuning it. Three years later, he discovered that he’d actually tuned it wrong, and had done practically every else wrong, too. He did try to correct this and eventually took professional lessons, but his instructors would often simply marvel at his unorthodox yet brilliant technique rather than teaching him.
42. Harpo Isn't His Real Name
Harpo’s real name, as many people could have guessed, wasn’t actually Harpo—it was Adolph. For reasons (surprisingly) having nothing to do with WWII, Marx actually changed it from Adolph to “Arthur” as a young adult, which obviously ended up being a good call once Hitler actually did come to power. But how exactly did he get the name “Harpo”?
43. Even His Nickname Has A Backstory
The simplest explanation is often the right one, and the same is true for Harpo and his nickname. Although some of the details are a little fuzzy, he almost certainly got the moniker at a card game from his friend Art Fisher, who referred to him as “Harpo” because...he played the harp. For what it’s worth, Fisher also gave all the Marx Brothers their stage names, minus “Zeppo.”
44. He Cheated His Music TeacherFile:Harpo and Chico Marx General Electric Theater 1959.JPG ...commons.wikimedia.org
Back when he could only dream of someday learning the harp, Harpo's family had a piano, but they could only afford lessons for one child. Somewhat insultingly, they chose Chico, not Harpo, for this privilege. But Harpo didn’t let that stop him. Practically everything Harpo learned about music, he got from secretly listening in on his brother’s piano lessons. Naughty boy.
45. He Was Obsessed With One Game
Marx became obsessed with croquet—to the point where he couldn’t live without the summer game, even in the winter. In one of his most ridiculous real-life antics, Marx bribed the landlords of a Manhattan parking garage to let him turn their roof into a makeshift croquet field. They initially obliged, but then quickly found out they had made an enormous error…
46. He Snubbed A Very Important Man
Marx and his crew placed such a high priority on their croquet hobby that they once intentionally kept New York Governor and future Presidential candidate Al Smith waiting on the phone for a whopping 20 minutes, just so that they could watch as one of the club’s members attempted a difficult shot. To the landlords’ relief, the fire department promptly put an end to the croquet arrangement as soon as they found out about it.
47. He Had A Fatal Flaw
Being the silent guy in the act can be fun, but Harpo once got cheated out of a huge deal. Because his character did not speak, NBC snubbed Harpo when they gave the Marx Brothers their own radio sitcom in 1932. In the midst of the Great Depression, Groucho and Chico each got paid more than $3,000 a week for just half an hour’s work, all while poor old Harpo could not participate.
48. He Created A Popular ExpressionFile:WilliamRandolphHearst.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
If you’ve ever used the expression “in the hot seat,” you might be surprised to learn that Harpo Marx originally coined it. During his social escapades, he attended parties at the famous mansion of William Randolph Hearst and noticed that whenever someone became less welcome, Hearst would seat them at the far end of the table near the fireplace. Being seated in the “hot seat” usually meant that you would soon stop receiving invitations.
49. He Almost Played A Whole Different Character
Today, it's extremely hard to associate Harpo Marx with anything other than his silent, clown-like, curly-haired character—but this almost wasn’t the case. Initially, the brothers had considered having Harpo’s character be a stereotypical, freckled Irishman named Patsy Brannigan, accent and all. I think most of us are pretty happy they didn’t stick with this idea.
50. He Had A Weird Obsession
Harpo was a strange man, and he had one weird quirk that he often took to extremes: An obsession with black jelly beans. Ever since his impoverished childhood, the candy had been a symbol of success in his mind, and as an adult he once purchased 30 dollars’ worth of jelly beans to snack on at the movies. Only, his grand excess didn't exactly go as planned.
The bag exploded and caused a huge mess for the theater staff—not to mention a fair amount of confusion.
51. You Can Hear What He Really Sounded Like
Although no known recordings exist of Marx speaking in public, it is actually possible for people today to hear what he sounded like. Someone found a copy of a home voice recording the comedian made while working on his autobiography where he recalls some of the crazy experiences of his youth. The recording confirms some surprising things.
First, Harpo sounds a lot like his brother Groucho; and second, he has a thick New York accent.
52. He Could Switch GearsFile:Harpo Marx Silent Panic DuPont Show 1960.JPG - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Despite spending his whole life as a comedian, Marx eventually got the chance to play a serious dramatic role. In a 1960 Christmas-themed television play called A Silent Panic, he portrayed a deaf-mute character who inadvertently witnesses a murder and struggles to decide how to react. The performance is available on YouTube, and is actually pretty darn impressive.
53. He Made One Sound On Film
Although he never had a spoken line in a Marx Brothers film, some believe Harpo did once let his voice slip in one of them. In 1939’s At The Circus, Harpo’s character releases an exaggerated sneeze by shouting “Ah-choo!” in a clear voice, though he could have been mouthing someone else’s voice. Even so, there is another instance people cling to.
54. He "Talked" On A Technicality
Sure, he never talked in his performances, but Harpo did actually have a line in a movie early on in his career—there’s just one problem. It was a silent movie, so the clip doesn’t get us any closer to hearing what he sounded like in a professional capacity. The clip consists of the silent Marx Brother soundlessly mouthing the words, “You sure you can’t move?”
55. His Marriage Miraculously Lasted
Despite being a Hollywood marriage, Marx and Susan Fleming shared a long, happy life together. More than that, he and Fleming adored raising their large family. Harpo once quipped that when it came to children, he wanted, "So many that whenever we go out, there can be one in every window, waving to us." So when Harpo did finally pass, he went out in an incredibly fitting way.
56. He Had Impeccable TimingFájl:Marx Brothers 1948.jpg – Wikipédiahu.m.wikipedia.org
On September 28, 1964, Harpo passed at the ripe old age of 75, leaving behind his wife Susan Fleming, his four children, and his beloved Marx Brothers. However, there was something special about this day. Always good with timing, comedic or otherwise, Harpo actually died on the very day of his 28th wedding anniversary with Fleming, which must have been a bittersweet event for the widow. But when his funeral came around, it was a full-on tearjerker.
57. He Ruined His Brother
As one of the elder Marx brothers, Harpo was also one of the first of his siblings to go, and the news particularly devastated his brother Groucho. Later on, Groucho’s son Arthur Marx recalled that Harpo’s funeral was one of the first and only times he had ever seen his father cry. Then again, that was good old Harpo; he’d make you laugh until you cried.
58. He Didn't Talk For A Reason
Harpo is best-known as the Marx Brother who never talks, but few people know the reason why. According to some, it’s because when they were first starting out in Vaudeville, the brothers had a stomach-dropping realization: Harpo had intense difficulty memorizing lines. Rather than trying to fix this shortcoming, they decided to simply make his character mute and have his comedy focus on pantomime. However, there may be a much different explanation.
59. He Was Insecure
Another story suggests that Harpo may have lapsed into silence in his film career not so much out of a canny choice, but rather because of a scathing review that he took to heart. After seeing him in one performance playing his usual foolish character, one critic noted that Harpo only achieved the effect he was going for “until he spoke.” The comedian fell silent from then on.