Anchorage, Alaska: A Thousand Thank-Yous

, , , , , , | Hopeless | December 14, 2018

Anchorage, Alaska experienced a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on the morning of November 30th, 2018. There was significant damage to infrastructure, roads, and buildings, but no collapses, and only a few older buildings have been deemed unsafe. No deaths reported! 72 hours after the major destruction of some of our main highways, they are back in commission, paved and striped. All the recovery efforts are simply amazing.

Stories have poured in thanking our amazing engineers and workers of the Alaska Department of Transportation getting our roads safe and fixed, the utility workers for going 24 hours a day to get us back on the grid and get us safe drinking water, and our first responders for a quick and calm emergency response.

But I’d like to take a minute to thank the gas station attendants who stayed at their jobs right after the quake to service the hundreds of panicked people filling up on gas before attempting the four- to five-hour trip home — a normal commute of 30 to 45 minutes — to Eagle River and the Mat-Su Valley. I would like to heartily thank the hundreds of grocery store clerks who stayed that day to keep the stores open, and who put in countless hours to clean up warehouses of glass and spills so that we could go in and get bread, water, and necessities — like deli sandwiches and any wine that survived the shake-up. And I want to thank the baristas who showed up at five am the day after, who held down the shaking syrup bottles through the many, many, many aftershocks and kept smiles on their faces. I just cannot even.

I would like to extend my enormous gratitude to the store clerks at our local True Value Hardware who swept most of the mess into a roped-off corner and opened early the next day because, “People are going to need to fix stuff up, and they need us open, not picture perfect.” At the same store, my husband witnessed a clerk scolding a fellow for trying to buy more than one set of water heater hoses saying, “Do you have multiple water heaters?” The fellow responded by shaking his head. The clerk asked, “Are you helping your neighbors?” The fellow sullenly shook his head in the negative again. The clerk said firmly, “Then I’ll only be selling you the one set; there are going to be a lot of people needing those today.”

To the cheerful diner waitress who kept our coffee topped up the day after this crazy event, to the artisans who forged ahead with a holiday craft show because people needed to have some cheer, to the musicians and actors who said that the show must go on… thank you a thousand times. THANK YOU.

Unfiltered Story #124472

, , , | Unfiltered | October 24, 2018

(I worked as an expediter at a famous chain restaurant. Guests can request fries to be salt-free if they have an allergy.)

Server: Hey I need you guys to make this pound of fries no-salt. She says she has allergies.

Me: Can you find out what her allergy is?

(Server leaves then returns smirking)

Server: She says the doctor disgnosed her with SEASONAL allergies. So no seasoning on any of her food.

Not Shielded From Your Sarcasm

, , , , , , | Learning | June 9, 2018

(I work at the largest university in Alaska, and we frequently have earthquake drills and, of course, the required fire drills. I am designated as one of our building safety personnel in charge of evacuating the building and getting people to the designated “safe” area away from the building, a large portion of which is floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows. The meeting area is located safely behind the cement parking garage, a good distance from our building. However, people get weirdly stubborn about moving to the correct area, even as I wave and point and usher them. I start becoming very creative in handling these recalcitrant evacuees.)

Me: *in official vest and over bullhorn* “Please step this way behind the parking garage, towards the designated meeting area!”

(A few people move.)

Me: “Folks, please be sure to thank those people over there—” *indicates the people still stubbornly standing right next to the giant glass building* “—who have bravely volunteered to be a human shield for you in the event of a fire or other disaster in which our building, made entirely of glass, could potentially explode outward.” *pause for effect* “Their sacrifice in protecting you from the explosive shrapnel will be much appreciated!”

(The human shields eschew the honor and glory, and move to relative safety behind the parking garage, glaring at me all the while.)

Me: *mentally shrugging; it’s part of my job and I can’t get fired over this* “Thank you for playing the ‘How to stay alive during a natural disaster’ game! Herb, tell them what they’ve won!”

(Most people were laughing pretty hard at this point. The few holdouts glowered at me the entire time.)

Unfiltered Story #113834

, , | | Unfiltered | June 3, 2018

Me: Anchorage jail booking.
Caller: Yeah, is my baby daddy there?
( It’s a slow night, so I decide to play ball)
Me: Whats the baby daddy’s name?
Caller: I’m not sure which one.
Me: How many are there?
Caller: A couple, I think it’s John.
Me: Last name?
Caller: I don’t know.
Me: What is the babys last name? Is it the same as yours? Or did you give the baby it’s dad’s last name?
Caller: Well yeah I gave her her dad’s last name! What kind of mom do you think I am!
(long silence)
Me: Well, whats the last name?
Caller: Hold on, I don’t remember, but I have her birth certificate somewhere…….
Hereit is! The last name is ____.
Me: We have no one by that name currently in jail.
Caller: Well maybe it’s the other one. Try Tony.
Me: Tony Who?
Caller: I don’t know
Me………….

Wishing For Her Hands To Be Bitten

, , , , , , | Right | April 19, 2018

When I was 16 years old, I worked in a children’s museum where I was in charge of the aquarium section. We had a “touch tank” where people could feel sea life. Because the animals are delicate, we had a strict policy that people could only touch animals I had put on trays at the edge of the tanks. Despite this policy, (and numerous prominent signs stating the policy) people would routinely stick their hands in the parts of the tank that were off limits.

One day, a woman came in and proceeded to repeatedly stick her hands into the tank, despite my requests. Finally, I forcefully said, “Ma’am, please don’t stick your hands into that part of the tank, as it distresses the animals.” She pulled her hands out, flicked water in my face, said, “You just need to chill,” and stomped off, cursing about “little s***s who think they know everything.”

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