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The Name’s The Thing

, , , , , | Learning | September 12, 2021

I was seven months into my first year in University and had to stay at the student dorm with around 500 other first-year students. My uncle kept pestering me whether I had met his friend’s daughter. I kept telling him that it was like looking for hay in a haystack. One day, his wife called when I was at the canteen with a friend and their roommate.

Friend: “Why did you sound annoyed at the end?”

Me: “My aunt and uncle are asking me the darndest thing.”

Friend: “What?”

Me: “They keep asking whether I have met their friend’s daughter. They don’t even know her name — the most important clue I need!”

Friend’s Roommate: “My dad, too! You might as well be looking for me and I’m looking for you.”

Me: “Might as well. What’s your dad’s name?”

Friend’s Roommate: “[Uncle’s Friend].”

Me: “That’s the same na—” *eyes going wide* “Wait! No!”

My friend’s roommate’s eyes went as wide as mine.

Friend’s Roommate: “You’re kidding?!”

Me: “Does he have a friend named [Uncle]?”

Friend’s Roommate: “Yes!”

Me: “With a son that looks like [Famous Chinese Actor]?”

Friend’s Roommate: “YES!”

Yep. She was my uncle’s friend’s daughter, and we had known each other for seven months at that time. We had just never mentioned my uncle’s or her dad’s names, and they kept forgetting our names.

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If You Can’t Control It, Own It

, , , , | Healthy | September 11, 2021

I am sensitive. By this, I mean that my skin is sensitive, my digestive system is sensitive, my sense of smell is sensitive, and my eyes are sensitive. A strong smell, bright lights, a change of weather, high winds, changing temperatures, pollen — all cause a reaction of some sort. It’s like hay fever, seasonal eczema, and something else all wrapped in one and antihistamines do nada.

I’ve only been working in this office for about a month and I’ve been fairly reaction-free. Then, a change in weather plus the construction site burning something acrid results in my eyes swelling and getting weepy and my skin peeling to the point of bleeding. I’m somewhat irritable due to being so uncomfortable.

Trainer: “You don’t have to tell me — it’s entirely your own business and it clearly doesn’t interfere with your working — but I’m nosy. What do you have that causes these reactions?”

Me: “LBS.”

Trainer: “What’s that?”

Me: “Little B**** Syndrome. My body just reacts to everything that isn’t basic as f***. Doctors don’t know why, so I’ve decided that my body is just an oversensitive little b****.”

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The Drama Is Piping Up!

, , , , , | Right | September 10, 2021

I work in a housing insurance office. I can hear a customer screaming outside while a car starts up and begins driving away quickly. One of our techs, who usually visit properties to assess claims, walks back in.

Tech: “Perfect timing. I couldn’t handle another minute with that guy.”

Me: “What’s going on?”

Tech: “The customer didn’t like what I had to say.”

Me: “Can you give me the claim number so we can get this on file?”

Tech: “Oh, sure. I almost forgot. It’s [number].”

Me: “Okay, so this is a leak in the ceiling of the dining room?”

Tech: “No, not at all. Look, this claim is gonna be denied, and I told the customer, like an idiot, and now I got nothing to show for it.”

Me: “Let’s start from the beginning.”

Tech: “So, there ain’t no leak. The customer lied to you guys to get the claim opened. When I showed up, he laughed about it like he was some kind of genius. Guy’s got a plumbing issue all right, but not like that.”

Me: “I’m listening.”

Tech: “Firstly, this house is in shambles. There’s a straight-up huge hole in this guy’s bathroom floor.”

Me: “Is it in the basement? Is that a drainage hole or something?”

Tech: “Nah, second-story. Bathroom is mostly tile. I say ‘mostly’ because he took something like a hammer to the tiles in that spot to rip them out but then started cutting with a mechanical saw, I guess.”

Me: “Why in the world would he do that to his own bathroom?”

Tech: “He said he was hearing a noise beneath the tiles and wanted to fix it.”

Me: “Is he hearing things? This guy sounds pretty crazy already.”

Tech: “Well, he was half right. I didn’t hear anything at first, but then he said to run the shower and I’d hear it. So, I turned it on and, yeah, I heard it. Whoever installed those pipes needs to lose their plumbing certification, or maybe they never had one in the first place. I’m leaning towards the latter. Pretty much those pipes were just sitting there in the floor. They’re supposed to be clipped or have some kind of support to them every couple of yards, but instead, they’re just sitting there. When you turn on the shower, they start dancing, and I can assure you that is only half the problem.”

Me: “What’s the other half?”

Tech: “They are gonna snap, and then he will have a leak in the dining room, the kitchen, and pretty much the entire first floor since it will be flooded.”

Me: “Any idea how to fix this?”

Tech: “I could install some clips as a temporary fix, but that line will need to be brought up to code, and that’s no small task.”

Me: “Can you give me a quote?”

Tech: “I don’t want the job in the first place. You couldn’t pay me to go back to that house.”

Me: “It’s just for the claim. I’m denying it, but I need a number or something.”

Tech: “So, $500 labor, another $200 in parts, and probably $100 for a second guy, and then you’d need to patch the floor and retile the bathroom. I don’t know what that would cost but it would be pretty steep.”

Me: “That’s enough for me. I’ll kill the claim.”

Tech: “Do you want to know the worst part, though?”

Me: “Go ahead.”

Tech: “He handed me an envelope when I got there for the SCF. It’s literally got $20 bucks in there. He said he’d pay me the rest after the call. I don’t think he had any intention of paying, though, since it might have been his plan to chase me off in the first place.”

Me: “You can bill for $55 for today without an auth number if that gets you the rest of the SCF.”

Tech: “Oh, it does, actually. Thanks for looking out.”

Me: “I’m gonna notate the claim so that he can’t try lying to customer service or something about you. You did this one right, don’t worry.”

Tech: “Have a good one.”

Me: “You, too.”

I tasked Customer Service to call the customer and inform them that this was not a covered claim; the pipes were not properly installed, causing failures, not to mention that moving pipes around is not normal!

The internal notes read, “Customer lied about failure to get tech to house, customer attempting to force coverage to make up for shoddy plumbing in home, customer chased tech off property.”

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Had The Gall To Share That With You

, , , , , | Right | September 9, 2021

I’m chatting with a strange but pleasant elderly lady customer.

Customer: “Look what I have in my purse!”

It contains some polished rocks, or shells, or pearls. Upon her offering, I take several out and look at them curiously.

Customer: “These are the gallstones they took out of me last week.”

I hope I didn’t toss them back into the purse too quickly.

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Voldemort Left A Message For You

, , , | Right | September 7, 2021

I’m covering the phones as everyone else is out; it’s a small office. The phone rings.

Me: “Hello, [Company].”

Caller: “Is [Owner] there?”

Me: “Sorry, they stepped out.”

Caller: “Okay, do you know when will they be back?”

Me: “No, sorry. But I can take a message.”

Caller: “Yes, please.”

Me: “Okay, who is calling, please?”

Caller: “Oh, I, err, probably shouldn’t say.”

Me: “A company name?”

Caller: “I, err, can’t really tell you.”

Me: “A subject? A reminder?”

Caller: “Well, you see, it’s all a bit hush.”

Me: “No problem. So far I have: someone, who cannot be named, from an unknown company, has left a message of information that I cannot pass on?”

Caller: *Laughing* “Oh, now you say it, it does sound silly. I will call back.”

Eventually, the owner came back and I relayed the “message.” I jokingly asked if he was planning to join MI6. He saw the funny side and eventually told me it was a business merger; he couldn’t tell me more due to insider trading and the like.

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