Not On Fine Form Today

, , , | Legal | July 23, 2018

(Due to my income, age, and the fact that I’m studying full-time, I receive a small youth allowance from the government. As part of this, I also receive a concession card which, among other things, helps me receive cheaper train fares. I realise that this card is going to expire in only a couple of days, and I don’t want to be fined for travelling on the train with an expired card. I head down to the nearest office to sort this out. After queuing up for a while, I’m informed that I can renew my card online. I try this on the computers they have on hand, but for whatever reason, I am unable to access the form. No one seems to be able to work out why that is, so they offer to print one off for me to do manually. After waiting longer still, I finally receive the form.)

Staff Member #1: “Here you go. Quickly fill this out and hand it back in at the front desk and you should be good to go.”

(I begin filling it out, only to realise fast that there is no quickly filling this form in. It takes at least half an hour to fill in, plus requires me to attach various forms such as payslips and bank statements, none of which I have with me. As a result, I drive home again and spend the afternoon organising all of these things. I finally get it all together and, having now wasted far more of my afternoon than I had planned to, I return to the office and am made to wait again before I can see someone. After almost an hour of waiting, I’m called over and hand in my form.)

Staff Member #2: “This all looks in order. We’ll send it off to get verified.”

Me: “Do you have any idea how long this will take? It’s just that my card is going to expire in a couple of days. I left this a bit late.”

Staff Member #2: “No problem. I can organise a temporary one for you.”

(She opens up my file on her computer.)

Staff Member #2: “Oh, unfortunately I can’t do that until your current card expires.”

Me: “It expires the day after tomorrow. You can’t do anything?”

Staff Member #2: “Really? It says here that it expires in a year.”

Me: “Huh? That can’t be right.”

(I show her the expiry date on the card. Sure enough, it says it expires that week.)

Staff Member #2: “Well, it says January 2019 here. You must have already renewed it. Have you already filled out one of these forms recently?”

Me: “No, I only realised the card was expiring yesterday.”

Staff Member #2: “It must have automatically renewed. Your new card should arrive in the mail sometime soon. You can have this back ,too.”

(She handed back all the paperwork I’d spent the day organising. Turned out the reason that I couldn’t access the form online to begin with was that it had already been renewed, but rather than anyone realising that, I was made to waste my entire afternoon filling it out and finding the necessary forms to attach. When I finally got home, I checked the letterbox to see that my new card had arrived while I was out.)

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Vote Now For Fraud!

, , , , | Legal | July 22, 2018

(I am going door to door for a City Council candidate.)

Me: “Hello, I’m out today supporting [Candidate] for City Council. I was wondering if he could count on your support in the election?”

Voter: “You know it is illegal for you to ask me that. There is a reason they call it a secret ballot.”

(This isn’t true. It is completely legal to discuss who you are voting for with anyone as well as who they are voting for; you just can’t require someone in any way to disclose who they vote for.)

Me: “That’s all right. Just so you know, ballots need to be turned in by Tuesday. Make sure to turn yours in, and I hope [Candidate] has earned your vote.”

Voter: “Maybe he has; maybe he hasn’t. Would you be willing to give me $10? That might push me in [Candidate]’s direction.”

Me: “It literally is illegal for you to ask me that!

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Contracted A Bad Case Of Contract

, , , , | Legal | July 21, 2018

I run a small concrete-cutting business and I was looking for a new chief supervisor to look after the shop when I wasn’t there. I found a guy who looked good on paper, and after a fairly short interview process I hired him.

When I hired him, I told him that his employment was conditional on signing an employment agreement which my lawyer was in the process of preparing. Since he would have access to trade secrets and my client list, I especially needed to have him sign a non-competition agreement as part of the larger employment agreement.

A few weeks went by and he seemed to be performing adequately. So, I gave him the agreement to sign and he took it home to have a look at. That night I got a call from him saying he had issues with the agreement and he couldn’t sign it as-is.

The next day, he handed me the agreement with his notes, and I took it into my office to review. He had crossed out the “Duties and Responsibilities” section and the “Non-Competition” section. Not only that, but he had put in a much higher salary than we agreed, added a bunch of benefits on top of what he was already getting, and taken out the end date of the contract, making it indefinite.

After staring at the paper for a while, trying to get my temper back under control, I went out and found him and very calmly explained that if he wasn’t willing to sign the contract then I would take it as his resignation. I sent him home. I sent him a cheque for the five weeks he had worked and went back to looking for a new hire.

Here’s the kicker: He then decided to sue me for the “six weeks vacation pay” he believed he was entitled to. The judge laughed him out of the courtroom.

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The Monetary Cost Of An Apology

, , , | Legal | July 20, 2018

(I work at a civil division court office.)

Plaintiff: *explains backstory as to what brought him there* “I want to sue for an apology.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but you cannot sue for an apology. You can only sue for a monetary value.”

Plaintiff: “But I don’t want any money. I only want an apology!”

Me: “Again, sir, you cannot sue for an apology. You have to determine a dollar amount and sue for that.”

(We go back and forth I don’t know how many times, until finally:)

Plaintiff: “FINE! I will sue him for ONE DOLLAR.”

Me: “Okay, good. Now, if I can just get you–”

Plaintiff: “AND AN APOLOGY!”

Me: *headdesk*

(He did actually pay $25 to file a claim for $1. He and the defendant ended up settling out of court, but I was not privy to those proceedings so I’ve always wondered if the plaintiff did, in fact, get his apology.)

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A Stroll Among The Aisles

, , , , , | Legal | July 19, 2018

(Several weeks ago, security spotted a woman hiding items under her toddler’s stroller, then leaving the store. They were unable to catch up with her, but posted a picture of her as someone to watch out for. She has just entered the store with the stroller. Almost immediately she starts hiding items under it. Security starts carefully monitoring her on the cameras while someone shadows her. After a few minutes, she starts heading for the door.)

Security: “Excuse me, I’m going to have to ask you to step aside. We would like you to speak with the poli– Hey!”

(The woman takes off running through the second set of doors and across the parking lot. After a moment, the security guy talks over the walkie talkie.)

Security: “Uh, call police in. We have an issue. She left the stroller.”

Office: “So, you have the stolen goods?”

Security: “Yes, but… the baby is still in the stroller.”

(Police responded quickly, and the child was taken by a social worker. Five hours later, the thief showed back up with an older woman and sheepishly asked if we could give her her child back. Instead, she was arrested. The stolen goods were less than $100, so the theft charge was much less significant than the charge for abandoning her child.)

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