Category: Transportation


A Ringside Seat For The Battle Of The Seat

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am on the train traveling from California to Colorado. A few minutes after I get on, the conductor announces that the train will be completely filled due to the holidays. Slips of paper are hung over the seats to indicate they are occupied, so travelers can go to the dining car or observation car and not have their seat taken. A few stops after I get on, when the train is not completely full yet, an older woman boards. A conductor helps her with her luggage. She immediately hones in on the only empty window seat left, which is directly across the aisle from me.)

Conductor: “Ma’am, you cannot sit there. That seat is already occupied.”

Lady: “I don’t see anyone sitting here.

Conductor: “They aren’t here now, but that paper shows the seat is reserved. And their stuff is on the seat.” *a plastic bag is hanging from the armrest near the window*

Lady: “Well, since they aren’t here, I’m going to sit here.”

Conductor: “Ma’am, you can’t do that. Someone already claimed that seat. You have to sit somewhere else.”

Lady: “I don’t want to sit somewhere else.”

Conductor: “But you can’t sit there.”

Lady: “But I picked this seat.”

Conductor: “Someone else already picked that seat. You need to pick another one.”

Lady: “I’m sitting here. I’ll just move whenever they get back.”

Conductor: “Fine.”

(About a half hour later, the man returns to his seat and finds it occupied.)

Man: “Ma’am, you’re in my seat.”

Lady: “This is my seat.”

Man: “No, it’s not. Those are my things. This is my seat. You need to move.”

Lady: “You weren’t here, so I sat here. You can sit somewhere else.”

Man: “No. This is my seat. You need to move.”

Lady: “I don’t want to move.”

Man: “That’s too bad. You’re in my seat.”

(By this point, I am struggling to contain laughter, incredulous at the woman’s behavior. I didn’t speak up at first because the man was clearly not cowed by the crazy lady’s behavior, but I finally decide he needs some help.)

Me: “Ma’am, the conductor told you that was someone’s seat. You told him that you would move when the person returned.”

(The crazy lady gives me an evil glare and humphs.)

Lady: “Well, FINE, then.”

(She makes a big show of struggling to stand up, when she had been clearly mobile before. The train is nearly full at this point, and there is not an empty seat in sight.)

Man: “Ma’am, the seat next to mine is empty if you want to sit there.”

Lady: “FINE.” *she continues to grumble under her breath*

(Several hours later, the man got up again and left for a while. When I glanced over again, the crazy lady was back in his seat, clearly looking smug. I went to sleep before he returned and his stop was at 5 am, before I woke up, so I didn’t get to see if there was another confrontation, but for the rest of the trip the crazy lady finally officially had her window seat.)


Littered With Demands

| Orlando, FL, USA | Crazy Requests, Popular, Transportation

(I’m moving out of the country, and so am selling/giving away 95% of my stuff. I have a very expensive automatic kitty litter box that retails at $400 that I’ve posted on Craigslist for free, as I don’t feel like dealing with cleaning it and selling it in the next 48 hours before my plane leaves. The post stipulates that the interested party must pick it up. This is a phone conversation.)

Woman Caller: “Hello, I’m calling about the kitty litter machine. Can you deliver it to my house?”

Me: “No, you must come pick it up. I live in [Town]. It retails for $400 new. I’m just too rushed to sell it before my plane leaves.”

Woman Caller: “But that’s 2 hours from me… Can’t you deliver it to my house?”

Me: “No. I would charge a $300 delivery charge.”

Woman Caller: “That’s too much! Why is it so much?”

Me: “Because I don’t want my car to smell like a litter box and I don’t have time to do it before my plane leaves. You can come pick it up for free, though.”

Woman Caller: “I don’t want my car to smell, either! What can we do to work it out?”

Me: “I’ll just give it to someone who will want to come to my house. Bye.”

(30 minutes later, another interested party picked it up.)


Socks To Be Them

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Bizarre, Transportation

(I’m another customer in this story. I’m waiting for my tires to be changed when the other customer walks up to the desk.)

Attendant: “We’ve found out what was causing the banging noise. Your tires are so badly worn that the steel cords are showing and it seems that one of them hooked a sock.”

(By this point the attendant is trying hard not to laugh.)

Attendant: “And it seems that it was banging against the inside of your right front wheel well when you drove.”


Low-balling Your Standards

| USA | Money, Transportation

Customer: “[Coworker] hasn’t contacted me back yet. I left him a message an hour ago. I don’t understand why he hasn’t called me back.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am, but he’s been in and out of the front office most of the afternoon, working on a couple of estimates.”

(I don’t tell her that all of our adjusters have dozens of jobs to oversee and often have 10 or more messages waiting to be returned at any given point in the day.)

Me: “I can write down your information and let him know you’re waiting on a call back, if you’d like.”

Customer: “Yes, thank you. I’m [Customer], and he had called me about my car. I just can’t understand this at all… Why is the insurance low-balling me?”

Me: “Low-balling you?”

Customer: “Yes! They wrote me an estimate for my car for $2,000 and now [Coworker] is telling me they took the car apart and the estimate is now $4,000! How in the world can that be? I can’t deal with an insurance that will try to cheat me! I pay them good money for my policy, and I can’t understand why they would be so unfair to me!”

Me: “Ah, I think I understand what’s going on, ma’am. Did the insurance adjustor write the estimate just from looking at the car?”

Customer: “Yes. He walked around it and wrote an estimate and it’s way too different than yours!”

Me: “That happens a lot, actually, ma’am. The insurance adjustor could only see the outside of the car. He did his best, but he couldn’t see to know what got damaged behind the outside pieces and so he couldn’t include that in the first estimate. His paperwork was just to get the claim going. Once you brought us the car to take apart to fully inspect and start fixing, we were able to see the different parts inside of the car and tell what else had been broken by the wreck. So, we wrote up a new estimate for the new damages found, and we will work with the insurance to get that paid and fixed. [Coworker] was just letting you know what the new total was so you’d be up to date on everything.”

Customer: “But how can there possibly be that much more damage? I don’t understand why the insurance was low-balling me!”

Me: “Well, depending on where the damage is, there are lots of internal parts to your car. And, unfortunately, they add up quickly if they need to be repaired or replaced.”

Customer: “But I don’t understand!”

Me: “Let me get your contact number so [Coworker] can call you back…”


In An Odd Interstate Of Mind

| WV, USA | Geography, Popular, Transportation

(I work at a gas station on the side of the interstate. To get back on the interstate, one simply continues driving straight, guided by cones, signs, and post. An older man approaches the gas station; I have the employee door unlocked as I have just swept the office. The customer looks at “employees only” sign and walks in anyway.)

Me: “Sir, you’ll need to go to the front doors. This is the employee door.”

Customer: “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” *walks to front* “You see that car over there?”

(I look outside to the twelve cars sitting at pumps.)

Me: “Which one, sir?”

Customer: “That maroon one?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Customer: “I’d like $30 on that pump.”

(I ring up the transaction.)

Customer: “How do I get back on the interstate?

Me: “You just head straight. Follow the cones and posts and the sign that says ‘Exit Here.’”

Customer: “Okay! So, I go back that way?” *points the opposite direction*

Me: “No, sir, that way.” *points to the correct direction*

Customer: “Okay, I’m trying to get to West Virginia, you see.”

Me: “Sir, you are in West Virginia.”

Customer: “No, this is North Carolina!”

Me: “No, sir, this IS West Virginia.”

Customer: “How do you know?”

Me: “I live here?”

Customer: “You need to learn your geography.” *leaves*

Me: “What just… what just happened?”

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