D*** You, Jean-François!

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2020

(I am female, living in a complex of three identical small apartment buildings. I’m going about my day when I notice that the Internet and phone lines are down. A few minutes pass, and someone knocks on the door. I’m stoked, since it’s a technician from my telecommunication company.)

Tech: “I’m here to hook up Jean-François.” *a typical French MALE name*

Me: “Sorry, no one by that name lives here.”

Tech: “You’re not Jean-François?!”

Me: *getting annoyed, since it’s clear that I’m neither a man nor am I actually moving in* “Nope, but can you check my connection? Everything’s down..”

Tech: “We can’t do that; we’ve disconnected this place since Jean-François has contacted us to say he was moving here, and that the old renters were gone.”

Me: “There’s been a mistake. I never contacted you to disconnect me, and no one has moved in.”

Tech: “Well, that’s the info we’ve got. You’ll need to give the company a call, and they’ll send a tech to reconnect you.”

(I tried insisting, but off he went. I had to go find a payphone — this happened a bit before cell phones were as generalized as they are now — and finally got through. Jean-François had moved into the same apartment number, but in the neighbouring building. I had to wait more than a week for them to come and connect me again. They never gave me any type of discount for the days for which I wasn’t connected, so I switched companies.)

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Long Story Short: Canada Is Big

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2020

(We move from Edmonton, Alberta — in western Canada — to Halifax, Nova Scotia — on the east coast. My husband is a lifelong fan of the Edmonton sports teams, but they are seldom on TV here; we tend to get games that eastern teams are playing in, instead. So, my husband buys a specialty sports streaming package that guarantees it will broadcast all the games he wants to see. When the first game is supposed to be on, he tries to stream it and gets a notice that it is blacked out for our area. Frustrated, my husband calls the service provider.)

Husband: “I specifically subscribed to this streaming service to watch Edmonton games, and I want to know why they are blacked out for our area.”

Call Centre Rep: “The teams are suffering from low turnout, so a certain number of games have been blacked out ‘in the local area’ to encourage more fans to attend the games in person.”

Husband: “But I am not ‘in the local area.’ We are 3700km away. There’s no way we can just pop in to watch a game.”

Call Centre Rep: “I’m sorry, sir, but Halifax is considered the local area for Edmonton games.”

Husband: “I want to speak to a supervisor.”

(The supervisor told him the same thing: we couldn’t access blacked-out “local” games to encourage us to buy tickets and go watch them live. My husband gave up and cancelled his subscription. The worst part? The call centre was in Montreal, which is directly between Edmonton and Halifax. When my husband asked them if THEY could just pop in to Edmonton to see a game, they told him no, Edmonton and Montreal were too far apart, but they couldn’t understand that Halifax and Edmonton are also too far apart, even though Halifax is even farther from Edmonton than Montreal is!)

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Slowly Disappear Into The Night  

, , , | Right | January 21, 2020

In the early 2000s, I worked at a donut and coffee shop to pay for college. It was an easy job with good management and coworkers. It was in a small town so I knew most of the patrons and it wasn’t really far from home. I worked the “night shift” from six to midnight all by myself — which, in retrospect, was not the safest work environment for a sixteen-or-so-year-old student but what do you know, I was naive and needed the money. I loved that shift because, after the dinner rush, it was basically dead for the rest of the night and I could do my homework in the back while getting paid. The owner was also pretty laid back and, as long as everything was clean and done, he could not care less about what we did with our time. Pretty sweet deal.

This particular night started like any other: slow and uneventful. I had already cleaned the bathroom and kitchen when, maybe an hour before closing, I had a small rush at the drive-thru. It was nothing I couldn’t manage and everything calmed down with enough time to finish my closing duties. So, off I went doing just that: emptying the garbage cans, throwing out the remaining donuts and coffee, cleaning the prep area, sweeping and mopping, and closing the lights in the bathroom.

I was almost done when I remembered I’d forgotten to get the garbage bag in the bathroom so I opened the door, held it open with one foot so I could see what I was doing because it was dark. Then, I got a phone call from my boyfriend. He had just finished work and was on his way home, not too far from my workplace. He asked me to spend the night and, not having anything to do except another shift at work the next night, I said yes. At the time, not many people had cell phones. My dad and I had those old flip-phones and we rarely used SMS because it was quite expensive. This time, I decided to send one to my dad to tell them I was staying at my boyfriend’s — not a problem for my parents as long as I warn them — since it was late and I didn’t want to wake them up with a regular phone call. I also decided to leave my work clothes in the back because I would not have time to wash them before my next shift.

Finally, I was done. I clocked out, locked the back door, turned off the remaining lights, set the alarm system, and locked the front door. I left, got to my boyfriend’s, watched the beginning of a movie, and went to sleep. 

I’d been asleep for only a few minutes when we heard the phone ringing in the house. My boyfriend’s mother came to tell me it was for me. Weird. It was my dad and he says he was relieved to see I was okay. I told him I’d left him a text to avoid waking him. He hadn’t thought of checking his phone, but he asked me to please call my boss right away. I started to panic a little, wondering what the heck had happened.

When I reached my boss, he really seemed happy to know I was okay and simply told me that we’d talk tomorrow when I came in. As you can imagine, I was not able to sleep that night, wondering what that was all about.

The next day, I came in and everyone laughed when they saw me. They put me in the office in front of the security cameras and told me to watch yesterday’s footage. I saw myself work, and then the rush, and myself leaving. I was perplexed. I didn’t understand what the problem is. My boss said, “Wait for it.” Another hour went by on the tape and we saw a frail old man exiting the bathroom. Yes… someone was still in the shop when I closed!

We could actually see him coming through the door during the rush hour, an hour before closing, and walking to the bathroom. Even during the closing, and after I turned off the lights in the bathroom, no sign of him. No sign when I went back for the garbage can, either! So, yeah, that guy stayed two hours in the bathroom, doing God knows what — everything was clean when we checked — in the dark. Then, we could see him exit the bathroom and sloooooowly walk in the direction of the front door. He was so slow, it was painful. We saw the alarm system being triggered and the lights flashing but the man did not seem to care. He finally got to the doors and tried opening them. They were closed. He shrugged. He then walked back — oh-so-slowly — to the counter, got behind it — without touching anything — and went to the door to the kitchen. We then followed him on the camera through the kitchen, then the back storeroom, and finally to the back door. He removed the metal bar blocking the door — how he managed to raise it with such ease is beyond me — and off he went, never to be seen again.

When the police got there, they found the back door open and my clothes still in the back, and they feared for me. Once they saw the footage, they were left with a lot of questions. We never heard from the guy, and nobody knew him. Maybe it was a ghost…

Since then, the employee book has mentioned, in bold letters, to check every stall in the bathroom before closing and the boss always takes the time to explain to every new employee why, laughing at me the whole time.

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It’s Time For Them To Make A Fire Exit From This Conversation

, , , , , | Friendly | January 21, 2020

(I live in a four-story apartment building in downtown Vancouver where the two exit stairwells are used regularly by residents to enter and exit the building. They act as a sort of communal back door that can be opened just as the front door can be. I often use the back door as it is the closest doorway to my apartment. One evening, I am leaving to take my dog for a walk and take the usual route down the stairs and to the back door. However, when I get to the exit and push on the door it won’t budge, so I push again harder this time and continue to try to push it open. When it still doesn’t move, I look out the little window and see a man just outside the door.)

Man: *muffled speaking as the door is closed* “There is a woman sitting in front of the door.”

(There is more muffled speaking between the woman and the man. I push on the door again thinking she must have moved, and I still feel resistance. When I push again, it finally moves as she has gotten on her feet and is moving away from the door.)

Me: “What are you two doing out here?”

Man: *says nothing*

Lady: *angry* “I was just trying to find a place to eat a sandwich and smoke a joint! I don’t see what the problem with that is?!”

(Smoking weed is legal in this province but is still subject to bylaws of smoking away from doorways.)

Me: “One: this is a doorway and you need to be like 15 feet away from it as there are private residences right above you. Two: you are blocking a fire exit!

(My dog is barking at them, and lucky for me, he has a big deep bark so he sounds much scarier than he actually is.)

Me: “You need to leave and find somewhere else to be.”

(The lady and man then left in an angry huff. The average age of the occupants in my building is probably 60+; I’m one of the only occupants in my 20s. Any one of my neighbors with walkers would definitely not have been able to exit safely in an emergency. It still makes me so angry to think about how thoughtless and dangerous this lady was being.)

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Drove Through That Loophole

, , , , , | Working | January 20, 2020

Me: “I’d like to rent a truck for four days, but the website will only let me book it for one day.”

Agent: “That’s because it’s a busy time, so we limit all the in-town rentals to 24 hours.”

Me: “There’s no way to get extra days?”

Agent: “Only if you were taking the truck on a one-way trip.”

Me: “Okay, in that case, I will pick it up in [My City] and return it to [City one hour away].”

Agent: “No problem! There we go… four days booked, and your total is [amount].”

Me: “Thanks.”

Agent: “By the way, there’s a 50% discount on a one-way rental if you return the truck to the same city you picked it up in.”

Me: “Ooookay, then, I… will return it to… [My City]?”

Agent: “All right, I’ve changed that, and your new total is [half amount]!”

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