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When The Drinking Is On A Roll

, , , , , | Right | November 30, 2021

A popular local brewery has a deal with a nearby restaurant in which people who take the brewery tour can go to the restaurant after and receive a discount on their meal.

The tour includes beer samples, so by the time my group arrives at the restaurant, we are already buzzed, and we order another round of beers for the table. I am a bit tipsy when I order my burger.

Server: “What kind of roll would you like?”

Me: “I don’t need a roll.”

I am picturing a dinner roll on the side, like at Thanksgiving, and I figure the burger bun will be enough bread.

Server: “So, you really don’t want a roll?”

Me: *Insistent* “I don’t want one.”

Server: “Okaaaay…”

When my burger comes, it’s just the patty and fixings, and that is when I realize that when she said “roll” she was referring to the bun. I might have realized that if I had been sober.

I go to find my server, and before I say a word, she kindly asks:

Server: “Do you want a roll?”

Me: *Sheepish* “Yes, please.”

Given how many intoxicated patrons she surely served, I hope I was at least a funny one.

Don’t Worry, Someone Will Make It A Miniseries Eventually

, , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2021

I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, but I’ve always avoided those epic series that take up an entire shelf in the store. You know the ones — six, eight, ten books, all doorstops nearly 1,000 pages long. It’s just a personal preference; I don’t like waiting decades to see how the story ends.

I’m working in a bookstore, and a coworker whose taste I trust finally talks me into giving one of the more famous of these series a try. I enjoy the first two books well enough, but the third is a struggle; it’s downright boring, and after a week I’m barely halfway through. The next time I see my coworker, we talk about it.

Coworker: “How are you liking [Series]?”

Me: “I thought the first two were great, but I just cannot get into the third one. Tell me it gets better?”

Coworker: “Oh, yeah, the middle books really drag, but things pick up again in the sixth!”

Me: “So, just 3,000 more pages until the good stuff.”

I did not finish the series.

A Forty-Thousand-Dollar Whoopsie

, , , , , | Legal | November 13, 2021

I am a real estate attorney and I handle closings on home sales, estate sales — basically anything related to home sales. I have an acquaintance who also does the same thing, so we occasionally meet up at closings, etc. He related this story to me about ten years ago.

He is handling the estate of a man who passed away and left his house to his twenty-five-year-old son. After paying off the remaining mortgage, property, and estate taxes, the son is left with proceeds of about $40,000. My friend draws up a check and gives it to the son. The son is very polite during the whole process and thanks him for his assistance, which has taken several weeks to process. He leaves the office with the check. About a minute later, he comes back in.

Son: “Hey! I was just wondering, instead of this check, would you be able to do an electronic deposit of the proceeds to my checking account?”

Attorney: “Oh, sure, that’s no problem. Just fill out this form—” *pulls a form out of his drawer and hands it to the man* “—and fill out the banking information and all your details. After I enter it into my system, I can process the payment.”

Son: “Oh, great. How long will this take?”

Attorney: “Not long at all! Once you complete the form, I just type in the information into the system and submit the funds transfer. Then it takes twenty-four to forty-eight hours for the deposit to hit your account. Since today is Wednesday, most likely you’ll have the money by tomorrow, but no later than Friday.”

Son: “Perfect, let’s do that!”

They complete the process, which takes about fifteen or twenty minutes. After they’re done, the son thanks the attorney and goes on his way.

Jump ahead a little over a week, and my attorney friend starts getting a bunch of calls from people he’s written checks with during the past week to ten days.

Caller: “Hey, [Attorney], that check you wrote me bounced!”

Attorney: “What?! Are you serious?”

Caller: “Yes, for certain.”

Attorney: “I can’t understand. There’s plenty of money in my account. It must be a problem at the bank. I’ll call them and let you know what’s going on.”

He got almost a dozen calls just like this.

After calling his bank, he found out what had happened. That man who left with the check for only about a minute used the mobile banking app on his phone and made the deposit that way. Then, he came back in, got the electronic transfer money, and ended up with $80,000 instead of $40,000. He then immediately closed his account as soon as he had the money, got a bank check for the balance, and left for somewhere in Europe the next day. This all but wiped out my friend’s checking account. He had almost a dozen check payments that he had to reissue, which took him several weeks to do.

My attorney friend tried for weeks to get the money back, but they were unable to trace where the guy — or his money — had gone, other than that he’d fled the country to Europe, and how they found that out, he didn’t know. He filed a claim with his bank that the check had been fraudulently deposited, but as of the last time I spoke to him a few years ago, he still hadn’t got his money back; it was still being worked on.

He did change his procedures, though. He tells all clients now what their options are for receiving their money, but once they choose one and leave the building, their choice can’t be changed.

Lesson learned, and by me, too! I’ve never encountered this issue, but I follow the same process and am insanely careful about financial procedures in my office.

Surprise! I Pick Door Number Three!

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 11, 2021

A few years ago, I had a rental car reservation in Los Angeles. After I filled out the paperwork, the agent asked:

Agent #1: “Do you want the full insurance or just the basic?”

Communication is more than simply words; body language, tone of voice, and context actually give more information than the literal meaning. It was obvious he was presenting me a binary choice. I wasn’t having it.

Me: “I’ll take the ‘No Insurance’.”

I got the car without further upselling.

As it happened, I was in Boston a few weeks later, this time renting a car from a different company. When I got to the counter, the agent asked the same question, word-for-word, with the same implication that I HAD to take one or the other. Funny how the con magically migrated across the continent AND between companies.

This time, I was prepared.

Me: “Would you like me to complain to corporate or just your manager?”

The agent got a deer in the headlights look and stammered:

Agent #2: “I was just telling you that you have those options.”

Me: “I’m sure. Let me speak to your manager.”

The manager came out but brushed me off when I asked if this was a sales technique he condoned. I wrote to the corporate office but never got a reply. I can’t wait until I have to rent a car again.

Not Taking Anyone’s S*** Today

, , , , , , | Working | October 21, 2021

About fifteen years ago, I worked for an HMO (health maintenance organization) as their mail processing clerk. My job, in addition to sorting and delivering the mail within my building, was to drive around to their eight sites located in neighboring cities to pick up and deliver interoffice mail and packages, and bring mail to the post office, etc. 

One day, after returning from my rounds, I’m in the mail room placing postage on the outgoing mail when I hear a bustle going on out in the corridor. I stick my head out to see what’s going on. There are about a half a dozen employees milling about, talking sort of frantically about something. Everyone is discussing whose job it is to do a certain task; no one wants to do it, but someone’s got to take care of it.

Me: “What’s going on?”

Colleague #1: “Someone took a dump in the middle of the men’s room floor!”

The only people that can get into this area of the building are either employees or delivery staff; no patients can get onto this particular floor.

Colleague #1: “We’re trying to decide who’s responsible for cleaning it up.”

This baffles me; I figure the only answer would be the building janitors, who are employed by the HMO, not a cleaning company.

Me: “Why is there even a debate over this? Isn’t this obviously a janitor’s job?”

Colleague #1: “I thought so, but our janitor is off today, and the guy covering won’t do it.”

During all the back and forth discussion, I learn that the guy covering is from a temp agency; he was brought in to cover for our regular janitor, who is on vacation this particular week.

Me: “What? He’s a janitor! Gross as it is, it’s his job, isn’t it? I don’t get why this is such a big deal!”

Colleague #2: “Hey, guys, I just heard that [Senior Manager] asked [Temp Janitor] to clean up the mess and he refused.”

Colleague #1: “He refused? Like any of us would get away with that!”

Me: “Yeah, no kidding. What’s [Big Boss] going to say when she hears about this?”

Colleague #3: “I understand she went to him and told him it was part of his duties to clean it up and that he had to clean it up, and he supposedly told her, ‘It’s not my job to clean up some filthy dirtbag’s s*** off the floor.’” 

Just then, my boss’s manager calls me over.

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], come with me for a minute!”

She wanders off, indicating that she wants me to follow her. She heads to said men’s room.

Manager: “I hate to ask, but can you please clean this up?”

Me: “Sorry, no. My job is a mail clerk, not a janitor. The janitor should be doing this.”

Manager: “But as a mail clerk, your job has wide-ranging duties, which were explained to you.”

I point to the crap on the floor.

Me: “Yeah, but it did not ever include me cleaning up that or anything to do with janitorial duties.”

Manager: “But we’re in a spot here. I need your help. You just need to do it.”

Me: “No, this job is clearly the duty of the janitor. Sorry, you know I help out in a lot of things, and I’ve always been very cooperative with all of you here, but this crosses the line. I’m not cleaning someone else’s crap off the floor. You have a janitor on duty, and it’s clearly his job to clean this up, not mine.”

I turn and go back to work in my mail sorting room.

A few minutes later, my direct boss comes into the room to talk to me.

Boss: “[My Name], I know this is a really off-the-wall request, but someone’s got to clean that up and we need cooperation here.”

Me: “I appreciate that, but as I told [Manager], that is not even close to being part of my job. There’s a janitor here on duty. Why is no one telling him to do his job? Why is everyone on me about something that is very clearly not my job?”

Boss: “Well, he’s being difficult, I guess. His boss is the maintenance supervisor, and I guess no one can get in touch with him. Can’t you just do it? Refusing this is the kind of thing that can hold up raises, you know.”

Me: “What just a minute right there. I will not tolerate threats like this; cleaning up s*** in a bathroom is not my job. Excuse me.”

I left and immediately headed upstairs to tell the human resources manager what was going on, including the threat to withhold my next raise and whatnot. He looked at me, stunned, as if he couldn’t believe someone had actually done this. He assured me that I had nothing to fear.

I went back to work. The rest of the week was uneventful, but my boss was unusually kind with me all week. I took that to mean that the HR manager must’ve told him off or something. I never heard about the matter again. I still can’t believe they expected me, a mail clerk, to clean up someone’s s*** off the floor.

Incidentally, as far as I know, they never found out who did it.