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He’s Here To See “The Hangover”

, , , , | Right | April 18, 2022

The theater has just opened. It’s a quarter to ten in the morning, and a very disheveled man staggers into the lobby. He is so drunk that it takes him almost a full minute to cross the lobby, maybe twenty feet. He nearly falls down twice, and once he reaches the concession counter, he only remains standing by leaning on the counter. I have to take a step back because the smell of alcohol is so strong.

Me: “How can I help you?”

Drunk: “Uhhh… what time does the bar open?”

Me: “Four o’clock.”

I do not point out that he would never be served in his condition. The drunk man stares at me for a good twenty seconds before replying.

Drunk: “Okay.”

He staggered away and collapsed on a bench where he remained for forty minutes until disappearing to go watch his movie.

The Cones Are The Least Of Their Worries

, , , , , , , , | Working | April 18, 2022

I work as a maintenance person at an office building and a while ago we had an incident involving a lot of flooding. The main road outside our building, our external parking lots, and our basement flooded.

Situated outside our building was a city project which required the redirection of traffic through the use of cones and upright mobile parking bollards similar to what we used in our own parking areas.

Prior to the flood, our building only had ten of these upright parking barriers and maybe twenty cones, but after it, we had more than thirty barriers and forty-five or so cones which had obviously washed in from the main road when our basement had consumed all of the water coming in. Of course, once we made this determination, I called the contractor responsible for the project outside.

Reception: “Hello? [Contract Company], how may I direct your call?”

Me: “Hi. I am looking for the person supervising the project over on [Roadway] and [Cross Street] about some company equipment that was pushed onto our property by the storms a few days ago.”

Reception: “Oh, no! We are so sorry about the inconvenience. Of course, we would like to retrieve anything that may have been sent your way. Let me connect you to [Foreman] so you can arrange that.”

There was a very clear line switch.

Foreman: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi. I am the facilities manager at [Business Center]. I just wanted to let you know that we have your cones and things that are missing.”

Foreman: “We aren’t missing any cones.”

Me: “Sorry, is this the project at [Roadway] and [Cross Street]?”

Foreman: “Yes.”

Me: “Then yes, we have your cones; they have your company name on them.”

Foreman: “We aren’t missing any cones.”

Me: “I… Maybe you haven’t noticed yet—”

Foreman: “Are you trying to tell me how to do my job?”

Me: “Uhh… no?”

Foreman: “We aren’t missing any cones, and we aren’t going to take responsibility for your trash.”

Me: “No, these are… these are obviously yours.”

Foreman: “We aren’t missing any cones.”

Me: “But you are, though.”

Foreman: “No, we aren’t.”

Me: “But you are. You’re probably missing a lot of them; we have almos—”

Foreman: “We. Aren’t. Missing. Any. Cones.”

Me: “Yes. You. Are.”

Foreman: “If you want to file a complaint, then file a complaint, but we aren’t going to take the blame for garbage near our sites.”

Me: “What is even happening right now?”

Foreman: “Sounds like you have a problem you are too lazy to solve yourself, so you’re blaming us for your lack of organization.”

Me: “And what assembly of words that I have said during this conversation brought you to that conclusion?”

Foreman: “We aren’t miss—”

I hung up the phone at this point and called the main office back.

Reception: “Hello?”

I filled the receptionist in on the conversation I had had with her foreman, and she was just as confused as I was. She decides to contact their safety guy and send him to the site, and she informed me that he would be at our building within the hour.

A short time later, I was watching the roads from our building and having a cup of coffee when I suddenly saw five or six police cars pulling up to the worksite. They appeared to talk to a number of people on the site and then led a man away from the worksite in handcuffs. Once the police were gone, a man separated himself from the construction site and started walking down our driveway.

I put my coffee down and took the building stairs two at a time on my way down to the lobby where security had already let the individual in.

Safety Man: “Are you [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Safety Man: “We gotta thank you for your call, man. Some serious s*** could have gone down if they hadn’t sent me over today.”

Me: “I saw the police cars. What happened?”

Safety Man: “He was drunk! Blew three times the legal limit to drive. The guys tell me he drove in sloshed and drank even more on site. We found open containers in the company truck and everything.”

Me: “Oh.”

Safety Man: “He threatened the crew; he told them he would file false reports against them if they called anyone.”

Me: “Oh, there are all kinds of problems here, huh?”

Safety Man: “You’re telling me. Now, what was your original call about?”

Me: “Oh, right, we have all of your missing cones.”

Safety Man: “We aren’t missing any cones.”

I found out that the cones had been replaced under the radar by another employee who thought he would be held responsible for not securing them. He didn’t tell his foreman about it because he was new and didn’t want to get into trouble. He got into considerably more trouble than he would have initially.

Welsh Accent + Alcohol + Anger = Disaster

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: ulfr | April 12, 2022

Many, many, many moons ago, I worked for a computer security company. I did the whole gamut, went from consumer to corporate support, and experienced a veritable rainbow of interactions with callers. The one that sticks out the most in my mind was when the UK got a snowstorm and we got tapped for their support calls. (Okay, you got me. It wasn’t an inch. I think it was three. I can’t remember the exact amount, but I do recall most of my team snorting when they were told. To us, that was a mild inconvenience.)

We were supposed to treat them like regular calls but relax our prohibition on profanity. With American callers, we were supposed to hang up once someone started cussing in any form. UK folks were allowed to cuss unless it was specifically directed at the person on the call, and they got a warning first.

It honestly didn’t seem like that big a deal, and for the most part, it wasn’t. The folks from across the pond were pictures of magnanimity and did their very best to go slow for me. Around 5:00, I thought this was just going to be some fun! I knew not the linguistic adventure that was waiting for me.

As it so happens, people from the UK are time travelers, so 5:00 pm for me is 10:00 pm for them. I took my next call, and the voice on the other end of the line was a man who was clearly very upset with a side of moderately drunk, and I was utterly incapable of deciphering anything this man was hurling at me other than the profanity. The profanity came in loud and clear; the other noises this man was making sounded like what happens when an American tries to use English pronunciation on something written in Polish — lots and lots and LOTS of consonants and vowels and no meaningful information communicated.

Me: “Sir, I can’t understand you. I need you to go slow for me, please, because this is getting us nowhere. I’m trying to help. Please stop shouting.”

As it so happens, [Customer #1] wasn’t shouting. His voice went all the way up to eleven. He toned it back down once he’d made it clear that he hadn’t been shouting previously.

Ah! A brainstorm. Since HE could understand me just fine, I asked:

Me: “Is there anyone else home I can talk to who isn’t as… Welsh?”

He nearly busted a gut laughing either at my idea or my description. I took that to mean he was home alone.

That was not going to work. I was almost tempted to go with one grunt for “yes” and two for “no” before I had a second and much better brainstorm. My last call was from a person who was perfectly comprehensible, and it had only been five minutes. That guy was super nice and I’d done a good job helping him fix his problem, so maybe he’d do me a solid in return. I wasn’t sure if that was a thing I could do, so I peeked my head up over the cubicle wall to get my supervisor’s attention. I guess he was listening to my call because his face had a look of existential horror with a side of headache pain; it brightened up considerably, though, when I floated my idea and I got the go-ahead.

In a tech support call center first, I actually called back my last customer. Happily enough, [Customer #2] picked up right away and asked what was up. I explained the situation with the Welshman on the other line and asked if he might be able to help me figure out what exactly he was trying to say. The man had trouble breathing afterward from laughing so hard.

Customer #2: “I’ve been to Cardiff a time or two, and I would be delighted to help my poorer relations across the pond!”

Perfect.

I conferenced the calls and all three of us were on the line. Irate Welsh noises greeted me once I made sure nobody had gotten dropped.

Customer #1: *Angry Welsh noises*

Customer #2: “Oh, good Lord. I see why you were in a spot of bother.”

Customer #1: *Jovial Welsh noises*

Customer #2: “Not happening, mate. She’s been dead for years. Now, what’s your issue?”

Customer #1: *Long burst of profanity-laden Welsh noises*

Eventually, we got his problem sorted with a minimum of fuss and bother. Ten minutes later, we were sorted and he had an email address to reach out to if he had further trouble. (He was on dialup and a thingummy in his software corrupted because 56k dropped packets like they were singles at a strip club. He also couldn’t fix the problem whilst on the phone because 56k.)

Me: “Okay, [Customer #1]. I’m not calling a translator again if I can’t read your email.”

I got a stream of Welsh sounds in return.

I knew something was up because I didn’t get an immediate translation. All the translator guy relayed from a much longer string of noise was:

Customer #2: “He says he’ll do his best.”

There was laughter over the phone from both UK folks.

Customer #2: “No, you can’t say that to a Yank. It’s different over there.”

More Welsh noises.

Customer #2: “You can insist as much as you like, but I’m not passing it on.”

There was a Welsh annoyed grunt and then a clicking sound.

[Customer #2] rushed through goodbye noises and accepted my thanks graciously. I’m pretty sure he rushed off the phone.

I did get a gold star (a positive remark on a performance review) for overcoming a language barrier in an inventive fashion. The Welshman never emailed a follow-up, and to this DAY I occasionally wonder what could’ve possibly been THAT offensive.

Disclaimer: This May Or May Not Be Legal Where You Live

, , , , , , , | Legal | April 5, 2022

I’m just a witness to the story, and I live in a pretty “out in the boondocks” area of Montana.

It’s a Friday night (years before the global issue) and I’ve just come back from the movies. That soda hit me pretty hard, so I make an emergency stop at a gas station to take care of business.

I come out, hear the beep of someone coming in the door, and then… clopping noises?

My eyes are probably the size of saucers as I peer around the shelves full of junk food, and sure enough, there’s a brown and white horse inside the gas station. But Flicka isn’t just out on a wander tonight; a guy wearing a T-shirt, blue jeans, and a tan cowboy hat is perched on the horse’s back, having ducked to get through the door.

I’m struggling to process why a guy just rode a horse INTO a convenience store when the convenience store clerk gets his wits together faster than I do.

Clerk: “Uh… Dude… Why are you riding a horse in the store?”

Man: *Slurring a little* “I needed more beer and I was too drunk to drive.”

Because that makes sense.

I was kind of trapped at this point because the horse was standing right in the doorway. I had NO desire to try squeezing past 1,000 pounds of animal that might or might not take exception to me being within kicking distance.

The clerk and the drunk guy start arguing with one another, as while those on horseback cannot be arrested for “driving under the influence,” he could not just ride the horse around inside the store. The drunk guy was arguing that he could not tie the horse up outside, so he just wanted the clerk to let him get his beers with the horse in tow. It went downhill as the clerk refused to sell more alcohol to a person who had already confessed to being drunk.

I ultimately just decided to stand and vibe as the two went back and forth. Then, a vehicle pulled up outside. A local officer got out and just stopped to stare at the giant horse butt in the doorway.

I was looking past the horse at the officer, and our eyes just kind of met. I slowly spread my hands in a shrug. The officer gave a slow facepalm as if to say, “This is going to be that kind of night.”

The officer then cleared his throat and coaxed the man (with horse) back outside, and the two started to have a long discussion. I was finally allowed to escape, so I don’t know how it ended, but I will say that someone drunk driving a horse into a gas station is one of the more interesting encounters I’ve had.

Is He Also Secretly An Old Man?

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 5, 2022

The golf club I work at is hosting a Year Eleven prom — a ball for school leavers aged fifteen to sixteen. Since it’s pretty common for people to try and sneak some alcohol into these events, we have security on the door performing searches and confiscating any contraband.

Partway through the event, I head into the manager’s office where the confiscated booze has been stashed. There are a handful of hip flasks, a couple of small bottles of vodka… and an entire 750-ml bottle of Bourbon.

I ask one of the bouncers how that particular item came to be confiscated, and he tells me that one of the guests simply had it tucked up the sleeve of his jacket and tried to claim that he had a prosthetic arm!