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A Most Opportune Theft

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 6, 2022

My friend and I were exchanging crazy travel experiences we’ve had with scammers, thieves, etc.

My friend told me this story. He was traveling by subway, and while waiting for his train, he walked away to look at the train-line map. When he noticed his train had come, he quickly hopped on the train and sat down.

As the train was leaving, he realized he’d left his suitcase behind and started panicking about what to do next. Then, across from him sat this guy with his suitcase! He quickly confronted the guy, who denied stealing his bag. After some arguing and with the threat of getting the police involved, the thief eventually conceded the bag.

I then had to point out to my friend that if the would-be thief hadn’t grabbed his bag, giving him the opportunity to get it back, it certainly would have been long gone by the time he could have made it back. So, really, the thief did him a favor!

My friend didn’t appreciate my point of view. Ha!

Breaking Out The Big Guns. Sort Of.

, , , , | Legal | January 2, 2022

I have been getting an annoyingly frequent occurrence of spam calls claiming that if I don’t pay some kind of debt from a supposed lawsuit, I’ll be arrested. Of course, they only accept gift cards, and the only lawsuits I’ve been in ended with the other party owing me money.

I’ve tried everything; I told them I know they’re a scammer and asked nicely to be taken off the list. I’ve reported the phone numbers they’ve used. I’ve played the “world’s most annoying noise” audio at full blast. I’ve screamed incoherently. Nothing has worked to get them to leave me alone, and I am getting tired of being called five times a day.

Understandably, after a week, I am furious and underslept from the constant disruptions since they call any time between 5:00 am and 1:00 am. So, on a lark, I decided to use a meme for inspiration: the two Spider-men pointing at each other.

Scammer: “This is the State Office of Federal Bureau Consumer Affair Lawsuit Agency. There is a pending court case that demands your attention. If you fail to respond and pay the levy, there will be a warrant for your arrest…”

I put on a serious and authoritative voice.

Me: “Son, do you have any idea what number you just dialed?”

Scammer: “Huh? Yes, I’ve called you.”

Me: “This ain’t a personal phone. This phone is on a sergeant’s desk in [City].”

Scammer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “You do know that impersonating police is a federal crime, right?”

Scammer: *Genuinely shocked* “I called the police?! No, I didn’t!”

Me: “You were the one who called this line. So, where should I send the boys in blue to pick you up?”

The scammer hung up quickly.

They stopped calling! Just be careful not to actually say you are police, for obvious reasons.

Kindness Is The Best Snack

, , , , , | Right | January 1, 2022

I work in Los Angeles but live a couple of counties over as the result of a recent move. On the most direct route, my evening commute home averages about two hours. Sometimes I have to get off the highway partway through to find a restroom.

On this day, I’ve just gotten past a thirty-four-minute slowdown caused by a crash that involved a couple of semis, and I desperately need a restroom, so I stop by a certain popular chain coffee shop near the highway.

After finishing my business, I hop in line to make a purchase — I’ve worked both retail and customer service and know that a lot of places get cranky about people using their restrooms without buying anything — and get to chatting with a very friendly barista.

Me: “Yeah, I just wanted to make a purchase to justify using your bathroom.”

Barista: “Ah, you don’t need to worry about that!”

Me: “Thanks, I appreciate that. It’s just that I have a two-hour commute home—”

Barista: *Looks horrified* “Oh! So, you need a snack!”

Me: “Pretty much, yeah.”

We commiserated a bit about said commute as I purchased a brownie, and I left a decent tip since I had cash and he’d been very sweet and cheerful in serving me. He gave me the little paper bag with my brownie in it and I absently noticed as I walked off that it was a bit heavier than usual. Peeking inside, I discovered that the barista had given me a second brownie!

Thank you, kind sir, for such a sweet gesture to brighten up such an awful commute! I’m currently looking for a job closer to home, but I’ll never forget that awesome barista!

What’s In A Name? Oh, It’s Salad.

, , , , , , , | Working | December 31, 2021

I find a new vegetarian restaurant I want to try out, so I place an order online. As part of the process, of course, I have to type in my full name. It’s relevant that I have a slightly unusual name, but it’s still similar to a common name and most people have no trouble with it. Let’s say it’s something like “Kellyn Smythe” instead of the more expected “Ellen Smith.”

I place the order and the restaurant’s website tells me it will take forty-three minutes for my food to be ready, which seems like a suspiciously long time for a salad, but hey, it’s the lunch rush. I stop by the restaurant twenty-five minutes later just to check on the progress, content to wait if my order isn’t ready. I check the shelf for takeout bags and don’t see any with my name.

Worker: “What was your order?”

Me: “Oh, it was an Asian salad, but it’s not supposed to be ready yet, so I don’t mind waiting.”

Worker: “We have it! Look again!”

Me: “I don’t think—”

Worker: “It’s definitely that one! Take it already!”

The bag has a name that’s nothing at all close to mine and is spelled with odd extra letters! It’s like “Chharlinn Ssplrythe.”

Me: “I don’t want to take someone else’s lunch!”

Worker: “It will get bad if you don’t eat it now! Don’t you want it?”

Me: “I really don’t think this is right, but okay, if you insist!”

The food turned out to be exactly what I ordered, even with a customization, so I guess it really was mine all along? Still, I have so many questions! Why was my food ready so early, and yet no one told me about it? And how could they mess up my name so much when I literally TYPED IT IN for them? So much that it didn’t even look like a name you could pronounce anymore? And why was the worker mad at me? At least the meal was delicious!

Going, Going, Go Home!

, , , , , | Working | December 30, 2021

I booked a two-day stay in California, but I booked the return flight for 5:00 in the morning instead of the evening. I go to the airport at about 3:00 pm to get my flight out. I go through security and go down to the gate and there is no activity at the gate. I check the schedule board and realize the mistake I made.

I go back to the airline desk and tell the agent what happened.

Me: “I don’t care if you send me all over the place if I can just get back to my home tomorrow.”

Agent: *Looking up flights* “I have something for about $800.”

Me: “That is fine. I’ll take it.”

Agent: *Continues looking* “There is another flight that goes through [Airport] for about $300.”

Me: “That’s great. I’ll take it. You’ve already saved me $500!”

The agent continues typing on the computer and hands me a ticket at no charge.

Me: *Almost speechless* “Thank you so much! I can’t believe it.”

I wrote a letter to the airline thanking them for being so nice when I was the one who couldn’t manage to book my own flight correctly.