entries friends calendar user info flickr Previous Previous
Add to Memories
Just wondering what days people's periods are usually heaviest on? Mine's typically the second and on the third it will calm down slightly but still cover a pad. Is this the norm?
Add to Memories
Hi. 6 weeks ago I started w extreme internal vaginal itching. I tried Monistat 3 which didn't work. Saw a gynecologist the following week. He did culture that came back positive for Candida albicans. Was given terazol 7. No relief. In the meantime began having severe pelvic and bladder pain and frequent urination. I changed gynecologist as he said cream should have worked (treated me like an ass). New practice's nurse practitioner gave me diflucan for every other day and gynazole 1. Had bad period w weird stringy chunky discharge. No relief. After period another culture was done and no candida, bacteria, strep, or stds. Hubby and I haven't had sex in months. Started doing diflucan daily. Itching isn't as severe but the bladder and pelvic issues are severe. Went to ER they did ultrasound showed nothing and some tests. On to next gynecologist I have white blood cells in urine. I can't tolerate antibiotics so waiting on culture. I am losing my mind and can't function. In bed all day w heating pad. Did gentian violet tampon which helped itching a bit. Been doing boric acid suppositories and drinking coconut kefir and taking probiotics. Period started again and weird stringy chunky speckle discharge again. Could I have a rare form of yeast not showing up on culture or do all yeasts show up in culture? Some bacteria they are missing? I have had digestive issues for 4 months lost a ton of weight lots of diarrhea. Living on Imodium and bentyl. Could these cause issues? I'm 44 and wonder if hormones play a part. Also, drinking cranberry tea.
Add to Memories


Look, I'm not saying I've inadvertently created a legion of gutter-minded wrecky minions - I'm NOT.

However, a lot of you keep sending me one particular design of Easter cake, claiming there's something a bit "off" about it.

At first I didn't see it.

"Aw, what's wrong with this one?"


But over time...

"Actually, this DOES seem a little... huh."


[head tilt]
"Well, maaaaybe..."




Actual conversation between me and John:

John: See what?
Me: C'mon. You don't see it? Not even with that last one?
John: No.
Me: So you don't feel that bunny is, say, rising to the occasion? Bursting forth with glorious song? Losing his head?

[hopeful pause]

John: You're a sick, sick woman.


So for my confused, innocent, mind-like-driven-snow readers (and husband) who still don't see a problem: allow me to tell you the tale of Wee Willy Winkie And His Stripey Easter Sock:

He had one.



Thanks to Kim A., Bonnie S., Jessica R., Fiona H., Ashley W., & Anna C. for reminding us that the Fatal Attraction bunny is still worse.

No, no that one. THIS ONE:



Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Add to Memories
Add to Memories


“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
—    Anais Nin

 photo doebay6_zpsa36e8375.jpg

 photo doebay24_zps0bfb8079.jpg

Well, hell. I guess it’s time to write a post.

There’re 3,400 miles between where I’m sitting right now and where I spent the bulk of last week. That’s a lot of space, and I’m swimming in it—treading water somewhere between a living room on Orcas Island where I shared an incredible experience with 36 people, and the living room of my own home where two kids are currently being pushed in a laundry basket, their laughter a different kind of music than what accompanied us last week.

Write Doe Bay was an experience. I don’t think anyone really knew what to expect walking in, even though we wrote our intentions on that first day—intentions like “find my voice” and “remove my creative block”—but I do know I personally didn’t expect to be so stirred by the weekend and the people who shared it with us.

 photo doebay15_zps896e5e55.jpg

 photo doebay2_zps6b3d0d47.jpg

 photo MichenerWDBS49-L_zps11d32ad4.jpg
Photo Credit: Jesse Michener

I’ve tried to put my finger on what it was exactly that has left so many of us in this “Wow” haze. I mean, I dropped Nella off at preschool yesterday, noticed Dash was asleep in the back seat, and I drove. For an hour. To nowhere in particular--north four miles, east three more--listening to music, honoring the space of peaceful thought in my head.

Of all the memorable elements of Doe Bay—the landscape, the vulnerability, the stories, the meals, the music, the deep discussions on art and sharing and the creative process, the notebooks that opened blank and closed full of stories—I keep coming back to connection. We want to connect. We want to see and be seen.

 photo doebay9_zpse88662c3.jpg

 photo doebay8_zps249bd4f4.jpg

 photo doebay3_zps5298034c.jpg

Detached from the noise of the outside world, surrounded by cliffs and ocean, bonded by music and shared meals, confined to cabin space that held both hilarious stories and secret insecurities, we connected last week. And that felt really good. When we missed our kids, when we questioned what we wore, when we evaluated what we write and why we write it, when we took a different look at the life we left at home to travel far, when we scanned the room and searched for shreds of "you're just like me", when we asked questions, searching for answers that would line up our differences, when we felt out of place and uncomfortable, those connections we made felt good. Assuring, forgiving, uplifting, honest, relatable, insightful, hopeful--all of the things I want my writing to be.

 photo MichenerWDBS76-L_zps4733f015.jpg
Photo Credit: Jesse Michener 

 photo doebay21_zps577a2576.jpg

Connection is where writing begins. Maybe not writing, but story-telling.  Anyone can write—study great sentence structure, learn about perspective and tense and details, say something interesting—but story-telling begins with connection and telling one's truth. If we can do that in our writing—connect to a person, an experience, an emotion, a new perspective— we possess the ability to affect someone else's story. Writing connects people.

We shared stories last week.
Words and music.
Pain and mundane.
Sorrow and celebration.
All of it was important.

 photo MichenerWDBS46-L_zpscdbc6731.jpg
Photo Credit: Jesse Michener

 photo doebay12_zps9e17214f.jpg

 photo MichenerWDBS61-L_zpsd537220a.jpg
Photo Credit: Jesse Michener
  photo doebay10_zpsa4179ca5.jpg

 photo doebay11_zpsbd5e4c1e.jpg
Thank you so much to my friends at Blue Q who stand by this whole "what I really want to say..." bit. They sent socks for every Write Doe Bay participant, so that whenever we feel creatively blocked, our feet can speak for us.

 photo doebay4_zps94495645.jpg
More on Daniel Blue tomorrow. I learned so much from this artist and song writer.

 photo doebay7_zps406fdbc7.jpg

Realizing I was hanging on to some memories from the weekend that heightened this idea of our experience as "another world", I remembered my skydiving experience from my twenties today. Surprisingly, I was one of the only dive rookies on the plane, surrounded by die-hard free fallers.

Sky diving was their life—waking up every morning, checking the weather, calling friends to confirm that flights were still a go, packing chutes for the two hundred forty-seventh time.  They lived to dive and dived to live. Some of them even worked the food stand outside the skydive center in exchange for free flights. The thing is, they found something in that experience—something they didn’t find in real life—or at least not to the extreme they felt while skydiving. Combined—the sense of family created between friends, the thrill of overcoming fear, the freedom of sky and space and a limitless view of the world beneath them, the clarity that came in those clouds, the wind prevailing over all the confusing noise of the world—it was so good, they decided this is what they wanted to do in life. Dive out of planes every day to feel brave and free and aware of their place in the world. After my dive—the one I was terrified to make in the first place—it all made sense. The freedom I felt was addicting, and for a split second I thought that maybe I too could take a year off and work the food stand. Become friends with Ace and T.J. and all the other dive guys who ditched their real names when they traded a career and family for the repeated experience of free fall every day.

I felt that a little bit coming home. I wanted to dive again. Head back to Doe Bay with my family. Return to the security of those walls, that island, that space--the perfect subculture of vulnerability and exhilaration, freedom and friendship. But real life is here, and everything we experienced fully concentrated and at our finger tips on Doe Bay can also be found right where we are. We just have to be willing to see it. So we bring our truth, our voice, our vulnerability and our trust to the people around us. I'm looking forward to weaving everything I learned last week into new experiences right here.

 photo doebay18_zps4ac309e5.jpg

 photo doebay17_zpsbac8a270.jpg

 photo doebay13_zpse4ceb869.jpg

 photo MichenerWDBS52-L_zps9d764fea.jpg
Photo Credit: Jesse Michener

Fifteen minutes before our plane landed back in Naples (after a red-eye, 8-hour, 2-flight experience), I told Heidi, "We never wrote intentions for how we're going to go home--what we learned. Quick--get a piece of paper." Grabbing pencils, we both dug through our purses for paper scraps. On the back of my boarding pass, I wrote the following intentions:

I intend to be more present with my family and make conscious efforts to say "no" to noise.

I intend to confidently stand by my work, my beliefs and who I am.

I intend to stretch beyond my stereotypes of others, who I think they are and work hard to understand their underlining story. I intend to recognize that when I perceive people are very different from me, it's often based on my own insecurities.

I intend to make more time for my own free writing. No excuses: "Bitches get shit done," as a lovely participant put it.

I intend to find more ways to implement what I love to do--the specific gifts and talents God gave me--into my life and work.

I intend to create more opportunities to quietly and attentively focus on my own needs for creative space.

I intend to fully accept myself and my own story; when we truly do that, the less we need love and the more we can efficiently give love.

What does this have to do with writing and creating? For me, everything.

 photo doebay22_zps5a71609f.jpg

Of course, I give myself room to be human. But it felt good to write them down.

 photo doebay20_zpsbda26a1b.jpg

Hats off to every story-teller who showed up to Doe Bay last week. You traveled far, you showed up, you listened, you shared, you trusted, you each brought something different, something needed to the experience. I'm still unwrapping the gifts your stories brought--your serious, your funny, your kindness, your strength, your questions, your quiet--you've all left your mark. Every one of you.

 photo MichenerWDBS62-L_zps3be99656.jpg
Photo Credit: Jesse Michener

We write, we create, we tell stories to leave a mark.
What will your mark be?


Last week's contributions about leaving my kids for this trip:

Quieting the Things to Do List over at BabyZone


Leaving Kids Without Guilt over at eHow

Add to Memories
I'm expecting #3 in late December, is there a community for December yet? I didn't see one listed on the info page.
Add to Memories


Today's Theming Thursday is all about Mother's Day (for the U.S. at least, as I know the U.K. just had theirs recently!). I have quite a few DIY Mother's Day gift ideas so I'm going to break it up between today and next Thursday. Therefore, if you are looking for anything specific, let me know and I will try and find something to share next week!!

Use these for your own moms, or pass them along to your children or significant other to do for YOU!

Kinzie's Kreations offers some free printables to put on a bag of M and M's. This is a sweet, simple gift for any mom. She even links to another blog that offers a free printable to have a little fun with the M and M's.

Above is one of the printables you can find from the link Kinzie's Kreations links too. This blog, Over the Moon, offers a cute Q and A card with the M and M's to have a mom and their child bond a bit. Put both of these blogs' printables together and what a fun present! This would be fun for a younger child to give to their mom.

Service coupons for Mom from Ambrosia Girl. Just print these out and your child can fill the coupons out with what they are willing to help you with - take out the trash, do the laundry, wash the dishes, etc. Easy to do and great for a slightly older child!

Free printable bookmarks from Living Locurto. I like that there are a few options, from the two above, to World's Best Mom and Grandma. They even offer black and white options for your child to color in!

This is how the Craftibilities blog set up their gift, but they offer free printables that you can use in your own way. Put them all in a tote, or a cute basket, etc! The tags include "Happy Mother's Day", "You're an EXTRA special woman and Mom! Love you!", and more. Obviously you grab items that fit the capitalized word, so EXTRA would be a flavor of Extra gum. This would be a fun project for teens or even for dad to do with the kids!

That's it for this week. Remember, I'll have more DIY Mother's Day gifts for next Thursday so if you have something you want me to help find, leave your thoughts in the comments!
Add to Memories



Obi, the African Lion. Photo by Angela Reynolds

Obi, the African Lion. Photo by Angela Reynolds

I’m changing Summer Reading this year. When I was in Chicago for ALA last summer I saw their Summer of Learning and was duly impressed. I am going to try something similar this summer, using STREAM – Science, Technology, Reading, Experience, Arts, and Math. The Common Core is not a Thing here in Canada (yet) but I love the idea of experience-based Summer Reading Program. Yes, Reading is still a big part of it, the main focus even, but I wanted to offer some experiences rather than Pieces of Plastic as incentives. So I contacted the local zoo. Oaklawn Farm Zoo is small and owned by a couple that are known in our area as generous and kind folks. I had a meeting in their farm house to talk about offering 2 Library Days this summer– 18 and under get in free if they show their library card (and can earn a badge if we get that part figured out).  We sat at the table over tea, muffins, and homemade jam to discuss the details. They liked the idea as much as we did– we’ll be offering storytime and needle felting demos (using zoo-animal fur collected by the keepers). We’ll also take our portable StoryWalk and our Bookmobile for a total library/zoo day! Fun!

So, we have at least one great experience to offer for our Summer STREAM. And for me, the experience was even more amazing because when we first arrived, we heard ,”Oh, here comes the lion. Put your boots on top of the fridge.” Yes, that’s right. LION. For the winter, a lion cub lived in their house. Obi, the 6-month old African lion strolled in, rolled over on the floor, and allowed us to pet his belly. Library Days at the Zoo — YEAH! Plus, I got to pet a lion. I love my job.

Add to Memories



  • bookcon Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.So what’s the talk of the town these days?  Well the relative brouhaha came about at the end of last week when ReedPOP announced a panel of “the world’s biggest children’s authors” in the field.  That the luminaries in question were all white and male struck a raw nerve with a whole slew of folks.  Since that moment there’s been some fancy footwork and a promise to add some additional folks.   The solution is ludicrously simple, of course.  If the gist of the grouping is to have the top selling authors of books for kids then just grab Rachel Renee Russell and ask her to join.  The fact that she isn’t tapped for more panels has always struck me as odd.
  • I am not immune to professional jealousy.  Wish that I was.  Fortunately, most of the time I am able to convert the green eyed monster into genuine fascination and interest (much, I’m sure, to the discomfort of the people I’m suddenly obsessed with).  Take this week’s example: One Margaret H. Willison.  I was listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour, a podcast I like quite a lot in spite of the fact that they can’t tell YA fiction from MG.  Anywho, they have a children’s librarian that they love very very much.  Ms. Willison has been a longstanding fan of theirs and Stephen Thompson mentioned that she was on track to be the next Nancy Pearl of children’s books.  Oh aye!  So I checked her out and she did a NPR piece called 3 Bedtime Picture Books That Won’t Put Parents to Sleep.  Excellent choices one and all.  She’s one to watch then.
  • This news made me inordinately happy recently.  The Multnomah County Library System and the Seattle Public Library went head to head in an all out reference battle.  The question?  Who could answer the most book recommendation queries via Twitter?  And I am happy to report that Portland (where the Multnomah system lives) won all the way!!  Way to go, you literary denizens you.  Thanks to AL Direct for the link.
  • Recently a new library opened up at NYU.  Called the Georgiou Library and Resource Center for Children and Literature the site will do a lot of outreach to the community as well as operate as a research facility.  Its librarian is the multi-talented Kendra Tyson and the collection, “contains several categories of children’s literature, including counting books, fairy tales, poetry, biography, and holiday books. It also houses Mother Goose books geared for African, Chinese and Russian audiences, bi-lingual counting books, and the Metropolitan Museum’s of Art’s Museum ABC (Little Brown, 2002), which portrays a range of world cultures through its collections.”  I was lucky enough to attend a small event for the library recently and in the course realized that there are other similar collections out there that I just don’t know well enough.  Like the Cotsen Children’s Library, for example.  Some of you will nod sagely and murmur “of course” when I mention it but to me I was ashamed to discover that not only are they the Princeton children’s library but they maintain these FABULOUS blogs!  The Cotsen Children’s Library blog is updated quite regularly and the Pop Goes the Page is maybe the best arts & crafts for library programs blog I’ve witnessed in a very long time.  They’ve also archived a variety of different interviews with children’s authors called The Bibliofiles that are well worth finding too.  Man.  That would be the life working at either of these libraries, am I right?
  • Good old, ShelfTalker.  I love it when they list a whole slew of their favorite first lines of 2014.  And in the process I discovered at least one book that I hadn’t even heard of until I read its line.  Bonus!
  • You know what?  Fair play to Mackenzie Kruvant.  There she is at Buzzfeed, slaving away with such pieces as “Which Sex And The City Guy Is Your Soulmate?” but often she’ll come up with a really good children’s literature piece.  Example: 15 Adorable Children’s Books For Your Little Architect .  Perhaps she got some help from a librarian somewhere to write it, but if she didn’t then it’s a pretty darn good encapsulation of what’s out there.  Well played, madam.

bigbadbubble Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.NYPL likes it when I blog on their site from time to time, so I’ll tend to do pieces I wouldn’t normally do here.  Case in point, recently I did the post Make ‘Em Laugh: Gut-Busting Picture Books That’ll Have ‘Em Rolling in the Aisles.  I really try to give attention to funny picture books when they come out.  And though I didn’t mention them in the piece (I only included stuff you could currently check out of the collection) if I were to put that post here I’d be sure to include the 2014 titles Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (without a doubt their best work to date) and Monkey Goes Bananas by C. P. Bloom and Peter Raymundo.  Both books are danged funny.  If I make a funny picture book prize this year, they will both be up for serious contention.

A friend on mine on Facebook mentioned that he had a 12-year-old in his branch who was interested in Socialism and did we have any books to recommend?  Naturally my thoughts turned to Little Rebels, but that’s a lot of picture books (many of which are out of print).  Fortunately marxists.org (!) has a booklist of its own.  Say they, “This is the start of an ongoing broad bibliography of children’s literature for MIA with title first, divided by age range and fiction/non-fiction. Some of these books were written to be expressly radical, and others need a stretch to find political implications. Compiled by Sally Ryan.”  Cool.

  • Hey, remember when I mentioned that I’d interviewed Deborah Underwood about her amazing Bad Bye, Good Bye?  I got a little confused about when it was going to post but now, happily, it is up up up!  If you ever wanted to know the ins and outs of writing a rhyming picture book, you are indeed lucky.
  • Got a little confused with the headline on this one, but as it happens it has absolutely nothing to do with the bookstore Books of Wonder here in NYC.  No, this little article is instead about a cool new collection within the Toronto Public Library.  Its full name is “The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities”.  Say they: “As its official name indicates, this collection comes from IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People. The IBBY collection features more than 3000 multilingual books in sign language, Braille, Blissymbolics, as well as cloth and tactile books and other formats — all for and about children and teens with disabilities.”  I’m downright envious again.  Thanks to Deb Pearson for the link.
  • In the world of book awards we’ve two to consider today.  The Eisner Award nominations came out and I see a lot of familiar faces in the youth category.  Meanwhile the Minnesota Book Awards were announced and you might be surprised to discover some of the winners.
  • Whenever someone asks adult authors to name the children’s books that inspired them there is a danger of the books being the same old, same old.  That’s part of the reason I like this post from World Literature Today.  Yes, there are some rote choices, but there are also some really obscure titles. The Summerfolk by Doris Burn? The Three Fat Men by Yuri Olesha? Tim and the Hidden People by Sheila K. McKullagh?!?  Wowza.  Thanks to Mom for the link.
  • Daily Image:

Good news, poppins.  Today you have a chance to buy cool things and be a good person in the process.  And just in time for my incipient birthday too!  The site Out of Print has been killing it in the library-chic neighborhood.  Observe the cool things that there are to buy:

librarytshirt1 498x500 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

librarybag 497x500 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

libraryiphone 500x500 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

Mom, Kate, I will happily take that iPhone case.  Wouldn’t say no to any of those baby onesies, for that matter.

Now, how does buying this stuff make you a good person?  Well, it seems the site is THIS WEEK (it is National Library Week after all – my workplace got me a mug and everything) giving money to the following school if you buy stuff.  Voila:

P.S. 244 (The Active Learning Elementary School “TALES”) is an early childhood public school (Pre-K to 3rd grade) located in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York. The majority of students do not speak English at home and qualify for subsidized meal plans, yet at TALES they thrive. A model for public schools at both the national and state level, P.S. 244 has been recognized for its focus on health and nutrition and ranks among the healthiest schools in the country. In 2013, P.S. 244 also ranked 11th in the state for test scores and has been heralded for its innovative curriculum and extremely hard working staff.

With all of these strengths, they also have challenges. The school’s current library has no formal checkout system and relies on volunteer staff. The result? The space serves more like a reading room than a true library. Students aren’t able to check out and read these books at home, families miss out on sharing the joy of reading with their kids and the school is unable to implement a summer reading program to enhance student reading skills during off-school periods.

Help us to give this school and its students the library they deserve. During National Library Week (April 13-20), we are donating a portion of our sales to purchase and implement a scanning system for P.S. 244 and to train staff to manage it. We will post updates after the donation and share stories from students and teachers about the impact of this new system.

Many thanks to Ms. Marci for the links!

share save 171 16 Fusenews: Not seething with envy. Its more of a percolation process.

Add to Memories
In an amusing case of life imitating art, rodents of unusual size have appeared recently in Cornwall, Iran, Sweden, and Liverpool (with either bigger ones predicted). All this reminds me of Bansky's display at the Natural History Museum, which came with the slogan Our Time Will Come. "You can laugh now ... but one day they may be in charge.". Assisting the process for our new rodent overloards, dropped off an aging (almost 90 in rat years now) Lucky at the vet this morning to have a tumour removed.

In the actual rat-race (which notably and ironically, rats don't participate in), work has been exceedingly good this week. Following the well-received MPI training course, we've received a petition (no less!) from researchers who were sufficiently interested to want an additional workshop to further develop their code. This also follows on some expressions of interest from a radiotherapy group, an international campus in Vietnam, and some bushfire and geospatial people. I've had a paw in each of these activities, and it must be said I'm feeling more positive about the workplace than I have for many months - and this is despite some of the usual hiccups, such one researcher filling a storage disk with their data and bringing down the logins for others users. As imajica_lj put it, "science didn't happen today".

This Saturday, after the LUV meeting on GNOME3, the Isocracy network is holding a meeting at the New International Bookstore on Human Rights and International Relations with an eye-witness guest speaker who is doing his thesis on the effectiveness of various diplomatic maneuvers. In a substantially more democratic and civil version of politics that describes itself as socialist, went to a well-attended a meeting for Labor's Socialist Left on Sunday. There's a vacancy for their policy convenor (which I used to do for the Pledge group for several years) and I've offered my services. They should know that I'll do this job very well, but having some years of not being deeply involved may act against me.

This entry was originally posted at http://tcpip.dreamwidth.org/174155.html.

Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Westworld, Theatre of Hate

Add to Memories



Restaurant | Olympia, WA, USA

(I work in a restaurant and we have three kinds of shakes available: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.)

Me: “What can I get for you today?”

Customer: “I would like a large chocolate shake, but without the chocolate.”

Me: “You mean; you want a vanilla shake?”

Customer: “Did I say I wanted a f****** vanilla shake? I said I want a CHOCOLATE SHAKE WITHOUT THE CHOCOLATE! Are you new or something?”

Me: “No, I’ve been working here for six months. How do I make a chocolate shake without the chocolate?”

Customer: “Ah, so, you’re f****** stupid?! You weren’t trained at all. I WANT A CHOCOLATE SHAKE WITHOUT THE CHOCOLATE, YOU UNEDUCATED LITTLE S***! My three-year-old could do your job better!”

Me: “Okay, your total is $2.50.”

(Customer throws the money on the table.)

Customer: “That’s what I thought. I just have to repeat myself to you idiots.”

(I made her a vanilla shake and handed it to her. She drank it at the table and didn’t complain at all about it.)

Add to Memories



Retail | ME, USA

(I work in a photo lab as well as sales. We often get students from the local college picking up their film and photo paper from us since we give specialty bulk deals to students and teachers. One afternoon, I am working the lab on my own when I spot a customer wandering through the paper aisle. She looks confused and slightly annoyed, so I decide to try and help, as the other salespeople are busy.)

Me: “Hi, there! Is there anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “Where do you keep your organic black and white photo paper?”

Me: “… I’m sorry, organic photo paper?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “As in… black and white darkroom photo paper that is not chemically treated?”

(I’m confused by this, as photo paper is always chemically treated. Photos are developed in darkrooms through a chemical reaction process.)

Customer: “Yes. I would like to find some for my Photo 101 class I’m taking this fall. Should be a hoot! I’m vegan, which is why I ask.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “Right.”

Customer: “Also, where do you keep…” *checks list* “… darkroom developer and fixer?”

Me: “On your right, the big brown bottles. They’ll be labeled.”

(She walks over and finds them. When she reads the labels, she frowns.)

Customer: “Wait… These have chemicals. I asked for organic ones!”

Me: “You want organic photo developer and fixer?”

Customer: “Yes! Why is that so hard to understand?!”

Me: “Ma’am, I think you’re a bit ahead of the curve on that front. But if you can be the first to develop it, I’ll be the first in line to buy.”

Add to Memories



Retail | Madison, TN, USA

(A customer is looking around.)

Me: “Ma’am, can I help you look for something?”

Customer: “Yes. I’m looking for a green leather couch.”

Me: “At this time, we have sold all of our green leather couches, but we can order one for you.”

Customer: “I’m not stupid you know. The leather comes in green!”

Me: “Ma’am, rawhide color of leather is a tanned beige color. It has to be dyed a specific color then it is processed and installed on a frame.”

Customer: “Are you saying I’m stupid?”

Me: “No, ma’am. You’re just not gonna find a green cow anywhere!”

Add to Memories



Retail | Canada

(Our customer service areas double as our cashes, so it’s common to ring in one customer only to walk with the next customer to go pick out jeans or other items. One day an older woman comes to my station and looks disappointed.)

Me: *holding her items* “Hello there, ma’am. Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

Customer: “No. I wanted to find a coat for my husband but none of the styles here are right for him. He wants a fall jacket not a winter one.”

Me: “Oh, I see. You’re right, all the jackets that we have out now are made more for winter since it’s October and everyone is looking for winter clothes. But if you’d like, before I ring these in, you can look over at [New Clothing Brand] and see if they have anything? They feature more high-end looks and I’m pretty sure there are some lighter jackets mixed in there.”

Customer: “Hmm…”

Me: “Most of the items of that brand are on sale for 30% off right now. I’m not sure if the jackets are on sale but if you want you can see if there’s one you like and I can see if there are any discounts on it?”

Customer: “Oh, okay. Thank you! I’ll go have a look, thank you.”

(The customer goes over to the section I mention and looks around; a few moments later she comes back with a light jacket.)

Me: “Oh, it looks like you found one.”

Customer: “I did. It’s almost exactly what he wants. Thank you for mentioning it.”

(I take the coat to scan the barcode and notice the sticker on the tag. The sticker is our way of showing clearance items which have been marked down 40%.)

Me: “It looks like you found one of the clearance jackets, because it’s already been reduced 40%, I can’t take 30% off of it, but 40% is still better than 30%.”

Customer: “But you said everything was 30% off?”

Me: “I’m sorry. I mentioned that most things were 30% off, but your jacket is already 40% off, so it’s a better deal.”

Customer: “Well, now, that’s not what you told me. You said it would be 30% off!”

(The customer continues to argue this back and forth for a while, with me offering to look for one that wasn’t clearance (but more expensive), but the customer refuses and leaves the coat behind. I go on my break soon after, feeling bummed that I wasn’t able to find the woman a gift for her husband. When I come back my coworker pulls me aside.)

Coworker: “Your lady came back.”

Me: “The one who wanted the coat? Why?”

Coworker: “She came and demanded that she get the discount. She said that the signs said 30% off so she was getting it discounted.”

Me: “But it says ‘unless already reduced…’ and it was already 40% off.”

Coworker: “I know, but she put up such a fuss that the manager gave it to her. Then she said the manager was a big baby!”

Me: “So she got a high-end coat for 70% off?”

Coworker: “Yup.”

Me: “… Only six more hours to go.”

Add to Memories



Tech Support | OH, USA

(I work in an internal technical support where we have just recently change password systems that have strict requirements for new passwords. A customer is having trouble with creating a new password. It should be noted that this customer speaks perfect English.)

Customer: “It won’t accept any of the new passwords I make up.”

Me: “Well. keep in mind that the passwords have to be at least eight characters long, and have letters and numbers.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “It means that you have to have letters and number and all of the letters and numbers add up to eight. Like four letters and four numbers. Or six letters and two numbers. It can be more than eight characters too, so anything that adds up to eight or more.”

Customer: “No one can come up with that many letters… This is too hard.”

Me: “Um… Some people like to pick a word and then put some numbers at the end of the word. So long as you don’t use the word ‘password’ it will accept it.”

Customer: “A word? Like what? What words? Can’t you just make one up for me?”

Me: *feeling very uncomfortable and frustrated now but still wanting to help* “Well, what’s your favorite color?”

Customer: “Green! I love green.”

Me: “Okay… So, make your password ‘green’ and then add the year you were born to the end.”

Customer: “But… green isn’t a word.”

Me: “Wait… What?”

Customer: “You said pick a word.”

Me: “… Just type in ‘greenXXXX.”

Customer: “Oh that worked! Thank you! But you should be more clear with your directions next time.”

Me: “Yes, I’ll do that. I’m sorry for the confusion.”

Add to Memories



Retail | Singapore

Customer: “So this table leg, can it fit onto this table?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Customer: “And is it easy to fix it?”

Me: “Yup.”

Customer: “We just have to screw it ourselves yeah?”

Me: “Yes, just screw yourselves.” *suppressed laughter*

Add to Memories



Bookstore | USA

(A customer walks up to bookstore counter. Our bookstore isn’t very big, and it doesn’t have a lot of employees, but a lot of regulars.)

Me: “Are you having trouble finding any books?”

Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

Me: “I’m sorry. This is a bookstore. We don’t do fortune telling.”

Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

Me: “Again, we don’t do fortunes. But if you need to find a book, I can get someone to help you.”


(At this point I realize it’s easier to give the customer her fortune, real or not, than to try to explain that, no, this is not a fortune telling area.)

Me: “Okay, okay. Give me your hand.”

Customer: “What? Really? Oh, thank you. Thank you!”

(Customer eagerly gives me her hand, palm up. I stare intensely at it, tracing each line and muttering to myself.)

Me: *looks up* “Your future…”

Customer: “YES!?”

Me: “Your future is uncertain.”

Add to Memories



Retail | NY, USA

(I manage a furniture store. A regular customer is the wife of the owner of several car dealerships in our area. Over the years she has made many purchases, always custom orders from the factory, and not once had accepted the original piece. Sometimes chairs have been reordered multiple times before she would find one she found acceptable. I see her working with one of our designers. After the sale was written, I cringe when I see she has ordered a recliner in the most expensive leather we carry. I decide to develop a plan, as we would never be able to sell this chair if she returned it. On the day of delivery, I approach the drivers.)

Me: “Bring the chair to the showroom, please.”

Driver: “But we have this down for delivery.”

Me: “Please, just bring it in. You’ll see.”

(The drivers bring it in, and I take a hammer and smash the frame of the swivel base. I then hand the drivers a new swivel base.)

Me: “Please deliver the chair with the smashed base.”

(Of course, on delivery, the customer saw the damage and insisted on a new chair. My drivers took the chair to their truck, replaced the damaged base and brought the same chair back into the house. She accepted the chair. That was the first (of many) custom orders she never returned!)

Add to Memories



Bank | FL, USA

(I answer the phone at work.)

Customer: “Hi. My name is [Name] and I am with [Gentlemen's Club].  I am going to need to order some change.”

Me: “Okay. What will you need?”

Customer: “I need $1,400 in old ones.”

Me: “I believe I have $1,400 in ones, but I am not sure if they are all old.”

Customer: “Oh, I have to have old ‘ones’ because the new ones give the strippers paper cuts.”

Add to Memories



Gas Station | Colorado Springs, CO, USA

(My coworker and I are working at a gas station while our manager is working in the back room. A customer comes up to the register.)

Customer: “Can I get a wine (tobacco product)?”

(Because these products come in either wood tip or plastic tip, we always ask the customer which they would like if they don’t specify.)

Coworker: “Wood or plastic tip?”

Customer: “Wine.”

Coworker: “Yes. Wood or plastic?”

Customer: “WINE.”

Coworker: “WOOD or PLASTIC?”

(This continues on for another minute or two until they are near shouting at each other, despite my coworker acknowledging the request for wine-flavor. My manager comes around the corner with her phone out.)

Manager: “Sir, she’s asking you very clearly which kind of wine (tobacco product) you would like: one with a wood tip, or one with a plastic tip.”

(The customer has a dumbfounded look for a moment, and then slaps his hand to his forehead in embarrassment.)

Customer: “OH! Oh, my goodness. I’m SO sorry! Plastic tip, please!”

(We all start laughing as my coworker shakes her head and begins checking the man out. Before he leaves, he looks at my manager, who is still standing next to me, giggling.)

Customer: “Why did you come out with your phone out, anyways?”

Manager: “Oh, because it was just too perfect! I had to get it on video or no one would ever believe it really happened!”

(She had recorded the exchange, and has since showed it to some of my other coworkers who couldn’t believe that this even happened. The man still comes in and has since remembered to specify which kind of tip he would like on his product.)

because there's forty different shades of black
Name: because there's forty different shades of black
Website: flickr
Back February 2013
page summary