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36. Laughing when you’re not supposed to

When someone trips and falls, it is O.K. to laugh. I mean it is a bit rude and everything but c’mon, at least there is a reason behind it. Imagine laughing when you’re really not supposed to. Like at a funeral, or when the person falling down on the sidewalk is an old lady!

I have a friend that likes to talk. She likes making friends, and is pretty good at it as well. One of the things that people like about her is that she laughs at other people’s “funny” stories when everyone else refuses to laugh. However, she was caught in a super awkward moment not long ago:

We were introduced to someone new while hanging out with one of our mutual friends. The new guy was cool, and had a thick accent that made me ask him to repeat himself over and over up until the point when he would say “never mind” and it still took me two tries to understand that he meant “never mind”. Yeah, it was bad. I got better at it the more I heard him speak, but my friend didn’t.

He was a German guy. He sounded a bit mean when he was telling us a story about his dog, and how he rescued the puppy from a construction site but I figured sounding angry was just a German thing. The story continued, until he finally said:

“Then he died in his sleep” with a surprised expression and the palms of his hands aimed toward his face in front of him.

He stopped talking, and looked around. And my friend, thinking it was some type of joke started to laugh. I can understand why she would think it was some type of joke just by looking at his expression, but it wasn’t a funny story.

“He died!” the guy repeated, quietly.

And she started to laugh once again. Me and the guy just looked at each other and tried to talk about something else. Later on, as a good friend would do, I sent her a text under the table asking “Did you understand his story?” (wondering if maybe there was something that I missed) and she replied with “No, what did he say? lol”.



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35. Angry customers

People started complaining to me when the person they wanted to see was not in the office. I didn’t know what to say, the man was out and had not taken his cell phone with him. What was I supposed to do? I calmly let them know and they kept on yelling. Ah, receptionist work.. oh well.

Sometimes customers get a little carried away when they don’t get what they’re looking for. I’ve witnessed the fury of angry customers, and its not pretty. Angry parents are probably one of the bad experiences I’ve had.

For our welcoming passive programs (posters on the wall), I teamed up with another Resident Advisor in the dorms to place a large informational poster on the wall about sex education. Parents, helping the students move into their dormitories, decided that this was promoting sex and that they were not happy. They complained to the other RAs, to the coordinator, to other parents. In the end, the poster got torn down. By a parent.

But I’ve seen worse. Way worse. A woman yelled at a McDonald’s employee after receiving a wrong order in a restaurant by my home. Angry over a cheeseburger that wasn’t plain.

Getting yelled at by angry customers is very awkward. In one hand, the customer is “always right” and in the other hand, the customer, well, is wrong (for getting all mad). That itself is awkward. Now imagine adding on all of that other stuff like how an angry person is typically very irrational, says things they don’t mean, are over dramatic, spit while they talk, make unusual hand motions, and embarrass themselves and whoever is there with them. Uh, yeah, awkward.

What is a person supposed to do when faced with an angry customer?

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34. Getting locked out of your home

I lived in the dorms in my early college years. That’s where I gained a ton of friends and got to know many students. I spent two years and one summer living in a 250-resident building, sharing five toilets and 4 showers with 45 other students.

Yeah, it sounds cool but its not as awesome as what I was able to manage throughout those seven quarters (not semesters) living on campus: I managed to only get locked out of my room once. 

My story isn’t as interesting as the one I read on Sandi’s ahhsome blog. Actually, mine isn’t interesting at all… hmm. Oh I know, I’ll tell you someone else’s locked-out experience instead:

I was a Resident Advisor in the dorms for an academic year and a summer, so I learned to really dislike it when people got locked out of their rooms. And they would always get locked out at very inappropriate times; in the middle of the night, early morning, while I was in the shower, you name it. One of these times, I was hanging out with one of my friends who didn’t live in the dorms. He was thinking about moving in. He asked,

“Does anything interesting ever happen around here?”

“Not really. . .” I responded

“Any girl stories?”

Just as he said that, I heard a loud knocking on my door and a girl yelling out my name. I ran to the door, and opened it. A girl from down the hall, named Marie, ran inside, and closed the door behind her and just stood there looking at me. I was looking back at her in surprise. She was extremely embarrassed. This young woman was wearing nothing but a towel and had wet hair dripping down her face.

I turned to look at my friend, sitting on my futon. He was nodding his head and trying to hold in his laughter at the same time.

“I’m locked out of my room and I’m late for class!” she said to me.

“How did it happen?” I asked back. You see, as RA’s we’re supposed to hassle students in order to keep them from locking themselves out again.

“It wasn’t my fault.” she said.

Yeah, it is never their fault. Almost every student has a very good excuse to get locked out, and its usually never their faults. Did they leave their keys inside? Yes. But it’s still not their fault. I decided to save her the trouble, I mean poor girl, she was late and in a towel. But how can it not be her fault? She forgot and forgetting is not her problem? Then who is there to blame? I let her in her room after fetching the master key, and she never looked at me in the eye since then, I guess she felt too awkward.

Ahh.. memories. I remember the only time I got locked out.. it wasn’t that embarrassing. Someone was throwing blank CDs like Frisbee’s in the hall and I stepped out to see who it was when the wind decided to shut my door.

It wasn’t my fault.

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