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They Gave You Fair Warning

, , , , , , | Right | December 5, 2022

I’m volunteering as security at one of the bigger music festivals in my state. This fair has been happening every year for the last forty-seven years, with the only notable exception being the last two years (2020 and 2021) for obvious reasons. It takes place in a small community that’s about forty miles from the largest city in the state, and over the course of the weekend, thousands of people will come from that city and overwhelm our very limited parking capacity.

We have implemented a LOT of policies to make everything work, one of which is that the parking around the playground in the park where this festival takes place is all reserved and disability-accessible parking. Part of my job is to help enforce that policy.

It is Saturday of the festival weekend. There have been signs and promotional materials all over town for a whole week. The local radio station has been broadcasting our mainstage all day, and the traffic reports are all about how the closest highway is backed up for miles.

It is the middle of the afternoon when a shiny black SUV pulls into the lot and barely stops fast enough to avoid hitting me as I walk up to speak to the driver.

Me: “Hi there! Happy fair! How can I help you today?”

Driver: “What the h*** is going on here? I just wanted to bring my kids down to the playground, and it’s a d*** madhouse!”

Me: “Yeah, it gets like that during the fair. Unfortunately, there’s no parking here by the playground. If you want, you can park up at the day lodge and take the shuttle down.”

The day lodge is about a mile and a quarter up the road, and it’s the only free parking in town except for the accessible parking in my location.

Driver: “Why the f*** would I drive all the way up there? I live just across the bridge. I just want to go to the playground.”

At this point, he starts to roll up his window.

Me: *Speaking quickly* “Sir, you’re not going to be able to park here! This is accessible only during the fair!”

Driver: “What fair?! I’ve been here for years, and this is the first I’m hearing of this! You guys should have asked before throwing your little party in our town!”

Me: “Sir, I know we missed a couple of years, but this fair has been going on for a long time. Now, I need you to turn around and head back up the road.”

Driver: “F*** you! And f*** your [Nearby City] party! This town doesn’t want you here!”

As he speeds off, one of the other security team volunteers, who grew up at the fair and has lived in town his whole life, starts laughing and shaking his head.

Volunteer: “Yeah, he just moved here from California at the end of summer 2019. We tried to make friends, but… he’s just not that pleasant to talk to. So, probably no one warned him what was coming.”

Exposing Your Ignorance (And Exposing Everyone Else)

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 20, 2022

During the worldwide health crisis, my city set up one of the largest emergency homeless shelters in the country. Over the eighteen months that it operated, the services offered expanded from basic shelter, hygiene, and meals to include navigation services to help our clients connect with service providers and employment and housing programs.

As a member of this navigation team, all my teammates and I were required to test for the infamous contagious illness every week. If we tested positive, we were not permitted to work for at least two weeks. This story happened a few months before we shut down.

On the day after our mandatory testing, [Coworker #1] came in coughing and complaining about being tired because she couldn’t get any sleep. Our manager told her that, since she was having symptoms, she could go home and rest. She refused.

Shortly after we opened the doors to the office, I heard this exchange between her and another coworker. [Coworker #1] had her mask down to her chin, and [Coworker #2]’s nose was sticking out of their mask.

Coworker #1: “It’s all bulls***, anyway. I took one of those at-home tests a few days ago, and it gave me a false positive. There’s no way I have the [slang for illness].”

Coworker #2: “Right, those tests are so inaccurate, always giving false results. I don’t know why anyone is still testing.”

Coworker #1: “Because they get a whole bunch of money from every test. I bet they get more from positives, too — which is f***ed because, of course, then the people they’re lying about have to miss work.”

Coworker #3: “Wait… Did you say you tested positive?”

Coworker #1: “It was a false positive! It was probably because my son sneezed on it while I was waiting for the results. He had it last week.”

Coworker #3: “Wait, your son had it?! And he’s not quarantined?!”

[Coworker #1] coughed directly into her hand.

Coworker #1: “Relax, he’s not even sick. It’s not like you can get it from someone who’s not even sick.”

At this point, [Coworker #3] joined me in the far back of the office, where we wiped down and sanitized everything and kept carefully away from everyone else for the rest of the day.

The next morning our manager — who missed that exchange due to never being in the office when we were actually open — told [Coworker #1] that she had tested positive and needed to stay home.

[Coworker #3] and I worked in the shelter as a whole for over a year, and in the navigation office for almost six months. Neither of us ever tested positive, despite almost certainly being exposed almost every day.

Some First-Time Bank Robbers Are So Dumb It’s Almost Cute

, , , , , , , , | Legal | November 3, 2022

This happened about a decade ago while I was still a university student. One day, on my drive home from campus, I passed by the bank my account is with as I did nearly every day. However, this time, I saw numerous police cars in the parking lot and figured something had gone down.

Sure enough, when I checked the news upon arriving home, I found that the bank had indeed been robbed. There was a silver lining, though; the culprit was arrested at his home only a short time later and all the money was recovered. And when I say, “a short time,” I mean it took police less than an hour to track the culprit back to his house, arrest him, and recover the stolen money.

How did they manage to track the criminal back to his house so quickly, you ask? Well, in this case, the bank robber was incredibly dumb. How dumb was he? Dumb enough to write the note to the teller on the back of one of his own personal checks — the ones containing his full name and home address. Not only that, but he only lived a short distance from the bank.


, , , , , , | Right | October 30, 2022

My parents own a vegetable farm. I help harvest and I go to the produce market to sell. A customer is browsing our vegetables, smoking a cigarette as we’re outside.

Customer: “Are these all organic?”

Me: “Yes, totally organic.”

Customer: *Dragging on their cigarette* “I only eat organic stuff ’cause pesticides are bad for you.”

Me: “We don’t use pesticides, just regular fertilizer only.”

Customer: *Stubbing out the cigarette on the ground and getting out a new one* “Hmm, are you sure? Some fertilizers have those chemicals in them.”

Me: “Just good old organic fertilizer.”

Customer: *Lighting new cigarette* “Hmm, I don’t know. These vegetables don’t look all that organic.”

Me: “I can guarantee that these vegetables are about as organic as it’s possible to get.”

Customer: *Dragging a third of the cigarette in a single breath* “Hmm, I’ll think about it. Just worried about all those chemicals.”

They wandered off to another part of the market and I could finally breathe again.

Does This Person Run The Other Salons That Shut Down, Too?

, , , , , , | Working | September 27, 2022

My son wants a haircut, but all three of the salons in town have closed for various reasons. A new salon opens up, so I call the number on their sign. I’m not surprised when they don’t answer. I AM surprised when the nice phone lady informs me that the voicemail isn’t set up.

I call again the next day. The phone rings once and then goes to voicemail, a pretty strong sign my call was declined. 

Several hours later, I receive a call from the salon’s number.

Me: “Hello?”

Employee: “Hello?”

Me: “Yes? Hello?”

Not the most useful response.

Employee: “I… I have a missed call… from this number?”

Me: “Are you the salon?”

Employee: “Oh! Yes… I thought you were a scam call. I don’t answer calls from out-of-town area codes.”

Now, this IS a small town, but it’s a very hot tourist destination, and a lot of Alaska’s population are recent migrants from other states, so my out-of-town area code is in no way unusual.

Thinking I am being helpful, I say:

Me: “I see. Well, I would have left a message, but your voicemail isn’t set up yet.”

Employee: “Oh… no… I don’t really do messages… on my phone.”

Me: “So… can I get an appointment?”

When I went to the appointment, nobody was there!