A Towering Sense Of Entitlement

, , , , , | Right | April 7, 2020

(When the Towers went down in New York, they took with them a television antenna that broadcast all the way into our little slice of heaven in Connecticut. As a result, if you didn’t have cable, you were only able to watch a few local channels and those not very clearly. All the channels that came in out of New York were gone or so snowy as to be useless.

This happened on September 12, 2001, when I was working in a library, to a coworker who was absolutely flummoxed by the patron’s reaction. She’s generally a very sweet person who always tries to find a good reason why a patron is cranky and so is able to continue being kind to some of the meanest patrons by assuming they are just having a bad day. This caller, however, made history by pressing a few buttons too many.

The caller is an elderly woman and my coworker is trying to maintain patience by imagining that it is very hard to be elderly, a shut-in, and not able to access your television.)

Patron: *already in a bad mood* “Why can’t I see [Program only accessed through NY antenna on the towers]? I have been trying all day and there is nothing but snow! What’s wrong? Why can’t I see my shows?”

Coworker: *ever so gently and patiently* “Ma’am, yesterday the World Trade Towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack. The television broadcasting equipment on the towers was destroyed as well. No one is able to get that channel unless they have cable.”

Patron: “Cable is too expensive! When are they going to get this fixed? I need to see my shows!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, I’m the librarian at Branch]; I have no access to decisions that will have to be made later on. Right now, all I can tell you is that the firemen and police are trying to save people and hope they can find people alive. Then, the Towers would have to be rebuilt—”

Patron: “And when will they rebuild? I need to see my shows!

Coworker: “Ma’am, I understand it is frustrating, but they cannot rebuild the Towers overnight.” *trying to paint a picture and put it in perspective* “There’s nothing there but rubble and dead bodies and—”

Patron: “Well, who can I call to complain?! This is unacceptable! I have a right to watch my shows and I want to see them now.”

Coworker: “Ma’am, do you understand that something like 3,500 people were killed yesterday, vaporized, when those planes hit the building? The buildings are gone, the people who worked in them are gone, the broadcast channels are the least of the authorities’ concerns right now, and—”

Patron: “I don’t care about piddling stuff! My television is not working and no one cares or wants to help me.”

(And that is when my sweet, gentle, and sometimes annoyingly goodhearted coworker gives up and says:)

Coworker: “Well, ma’am, I don’t know their names, but I can think of thousands of people today who would love to have the great big problem you think you have and would gladly trade places with you.”

(And then she hung up.)

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Entitlement Isn’t Just For Young People

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 6, 2020

I am on the bus today heading home. Some seats are marked for disabled, elderly people, but everyone can sit there, especially if some are free. A mum and her daughter are sitting on these seats but there is one free just in front of me. An elderly lady enters and stands in front of the child.

I’m usually very polite with people, especially elders.

Elderly Lady: “I want this seat! Give it to me.”

Me: “You have a seat there, madam.

I point to the empty seat in front of me.

Elderly Lady: “No, I want this one!”

The kid stands up silently and the old lady literally pushes her to sit.

Mum: “Please, could you at least let my child move out of the way?”

Elderly Lady: “She should move faster!”

That makes me really mad.

Me: “You should be ashamed, madam. You know what you are? An old hag!

Elderly Lady: “…”

And you know what? She was getting off at the next stop one minute later!

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A Pain In The Head And An Itch In The You-Know-What

, , , , | Legal | April 6, 2020

The particular client has been a headache for her entire case, which is unfortunate, seeing as her auto accident settled before her worker’s comp case.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Law Firm]! This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Client: “I want to speak to my g**d*** attorney, right f****** now!”

Me: “I do apologize, but first, I will not permit you to verbally abuse me. Secondly, [Boss’s Partner] is out of the office today due to the recent outbreak and his wife being severely immunocompromised. I can schedule you for April 1st.”

Yes, the importance of that date escapes me.

Client: “I won’t accept that. I have two flat tires, my daughter has lice, schools are out, and I have an itchy f****** vagina! You a**holes are sitting on ten grand of my money and I want to drive down and get it now!

I’m stunned, and I automatically speak in a customer service voice.

Me: “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

Client: “I said, I have an itchy f****** vagina!

Me: “Right, so I can schedule that call to speak with [Boss’s Partner] on April 1st. Will 11:00 am work for you?”

Fortunately, after three days of her calling and being verbally abusive and inappropriate, my boss called her and got her some of her money!

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Fail To The Bus Driver, Part 3

, , , | Working | April 6, 2020

(I mostly travel by bus if I need to go somewhere downtown. The bus arrives late, and several others form a neat queue to get on. Having arrived late to the stop, and having had to yield to a passing cyclist, I’m right next to the bus, maybe three metres behind the last person in the queue. They get on, and I arrive at the door just as it starts closing, snagging my jacket, nearly trapping my arm in the door. I notice he’s not paying any attention to the passenger side of the bus, being busy checking for overtaking cars and traffic. I barely manage to untangle my jacket as the bus sets off, making me angrily knock the glass in the door. The driver slams the brakes, only then noticing me. He opens the door:)

Driver: “If you wanna get on the f****** bus, be at the f****** stop on time, you fat c***! I’m already late.”

Me: *now very angry* “The f*** did you just call me?!”

(While it’s true that I am fat, I don’t particularly appreciate a complete stranger being this rude to me.)

Me: “I was right next to the f****** bus!”

Driver: “The h*** you were! I didn’t see you!”

Me: “Since I’m such a fat c***, you couldn’t possible have failed to notice me, in full daylight, in my bright red T-shirt and green jacket, if you’d bothered to f****** check your g**d***ed mirror, but you were too f****** busy looking the other way! You almost trapped my f****** arm in the door!”

Driver: “Oh, boo-f******-hoo! Now sit the f*** down before I throw you off!”

(I was so pissed off, I forgot to swipe my bus pass, only remembering after the driver reminded me. A complaint was lodged!)

Fail To The Bus Driver
Fail To The Bus Driver, Part 2

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Scary His License Hasn’t Been Declined, Either

, , , , | Right | April 6, 2020

(I am working the overnight shift at a hotel. At shift change, my coworker warns me that a guy was in earlier today and was so drunk that he could barely stand. Lots happened, but eventually, the police were called and he was taken away. The cops said he would probably be back to pick up his things once he sobered up, probably about six hours later, which would put him squarely in my shift. My shift goes well to start, and then, around 1:30 am, a guy comes in.)

Me: “Good evening. What can I do for you tonight?”

Guest: “I need to check in.”

Me: “Okay, do you have a reservation?” 

(All of the reservations for the previous day are in, so I want to make sure he’s at the right hotel.)

Guest: “No, I need to make a reservation and check-in.”

Me: “No problem.”

(We go through the normal questions — how long are you staying, what type of room, etc. As I get his info, I realize that this is the same guest I was warned about, who technically still has a room but has not paid for his stay tonight. He has also smoked in his room, which means I can’t use his deposit to pay for tonight’s stay as it will be used to cover the smoking charge.)

Me: “Okay, it looks like your previous reservation was extended, but I do need payment for tonight still.”

Guest: “Oh, okay.” *pulls out his wallet and starts looking through it* “Oh, man, I’m going to have to pay with my card.”

Me: “That’s not a problem; we take credit cards here.”

(I’m thinking to myself, “Great, I’ll have a card and won’t have to worry about any other potential damages.”)

Guest: *spends a minute fumbling with his wallet* “Sorry about that. Here you go.” *hands me his driver’s license*

Me: “This is a driver’s license. I need a credit card.”

Guest: “Oh, this is my only card. Can I use my credit card?”

Me: “Yes, I can take a credit card.”

Guest: *hands me his driver’s license*

Me: “This is a driver’s license, not a credit card.”

Guest: “Oh, sorry. I’ll have to use my credit card to pay. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yes.”

Guest: *hands me his driver’s license again*

Me: “Sir, this is not a credit card. I can’t take this.”

Guest: “Can you try it?”

Me: “There’s no chip or mag stripe for me to run through the machine. It isn’t tied to any financial institution or bank account; there is no way for me to take payment from a driver’s license. If you left your card in your room I can escort you down to get it so you can pay.”

Guest: “That would be great! You’re a lifesaver.”

(I escort the guest down to his room and I wait just inside the room with the door open while he goes to look for his card. He spends about fifteen minutes looking and eventually, I have to return to the desk to help another guest. I tell the guy I’ll be back in thirty minutes to get payment or he will have to gather his belongings and leave. About ten minutes later, the guest returns to the desk.)

Guest: “Found it!”

Me: “Perfect! Let’s get you taken care of.”

(I go to run the card, and I realize it’s a Visa Debit, which I have to run differently than a regular credit card. I fix the mistake and pass the terminal to the guest.)

Guest: *starts typing in PIN*

Me: “Wait, you can’t do your PIN yet; you need to follow the prompts on screen.”

(The guest finished and, surprise, surprise, his card was declined. He went back to his room to transfer funds to his account. Hopefully, he comes back and his card works, because I dread having to call the cops on him again.)

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