They Think There Snow Problem

, , , , , , | Working | December 10, 2019

When I get up in the morning, I find that it has snowed heavily overnight. Snowplows are making the rounds everywhere, and only the main roads have been cleared, so I’m driving slowly and carefully over slippery streets.

It’s normal winter business until I pull up to an intersection and see two snowplows coming down the street towards me. They’re staggered a little, so the snow cascades from one scoop to the next plow and off to the side of the road.

This seems efficient, except that this is a two-lane road. To do this, one of the plows is driving down the wrong side of the street. 

Freaked out by the sight of a large snowplow driving full-speed down the road directly at me with no sign of slowing down, I decide to make a quick right turn to get out of the way. The snowplow cruises through the intersection and starts honking at the oncoming traffic. The traffic that is going the correct way down the street. Both oncoming traffic and the plow slow down, and the plow manages to squeeze over into the correct lane just before hitting another car, well past the intersection.

I am able to see this from the side of the road, where I ended up after my car fishtailed from turning fast onto a slippery road. It takes a few minutes and a kind bystander to get me back on the road.

Furious, I call city public works and tell them about how a snowplow was driving down the wrong side of the road at 8:00 am on a Monday and ran me off the road to avoid getting smashed into. The response I got?

“Well, ma’am, when the roads aren’t busy, we encourage our drivers to plow like that to save time clearing the roads. They just got a little behind today because the snowfall was so heavy; they usually stop driving like that around 7:00 am.”

That is how I learned that in my city, snowplow operators and the city government think that driving directly into other cars is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, and that they don’t take into account how snowfall affects the plowing schedule.

I’m not sure what bothers me more: that it is a complete non-issue to them that a plow nearly killed me, that they don’t think plows should adjust their behavior when it turns out there are cars… or that the plow never slowed down until it had driven past where I was.

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Lane Of Karma

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 10, 2019

A stretch of my local highway is undergoing construction, which means that the normal two lanes collapse down to one for about a half-mile. Naturally, this means that traffic ends up slowing way down as cars have to merge into the single lane. This then leads to plenty of impatient idiots who make things worse by ignoring all of the signs to merge over and speed up to the point where the construction cones start before they even think about trying to get over. And when they do, they will force their way in, which slows traffic even more as people have to stomp on their brakes to avoid them.

However, this last week I got to see a scapegoat for these impatient idiots get a bit of karma sent her way. A lady was driving a red convertible and came speeding up to the point where construction started. I was right behind a big eighteen-wheeler, which had just entered the construction zone, so there was no room to cut in front of it. The lady in question sped up alongside the truck before apparently realizing, “Oh, there are traffic cones right in front of me,” and, “Oh, there is a giant truck there that I can’t cut around.” I got to watch her fishtail a little as she tried to stop or figure out where to go before her car plowed into the cones and slid straight into the ditch where the road had been broken up and removed.

She seemed to be okay, no airbags deployed or anything, but her car certainly wasn’t going to go anywhere without help, and I’m guessing she’d have some nice big fines to pay. I admit, I laughed as I drove past, getting to see one of those impatient idiots get their comeuppance.

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There Is Only One Highway, And Only One Parking Lot

, , , | Right | November 29, 2019

(I am working at an information desk in a large shopping center when I answer a call from a customer.)

Me: “Hello. Welcome to [Shopping Center]. This is [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. I need directions to [Store].”

Me: “Okay, may I ask where you are so I can direct you there?”

Customer: “I’m in my car.”

Me: “All right, which car park are you in?”

Customer: “I’m not parked, I’m driving. I want directions to [Store]. Just tell me where to go.”

Me: “Okay, it is located on the upper level near [Store #2].”

Customer: “I don’t want to know where it is located. I want directions. Are you an idiot?”

Me: “Ma’am, there are many entrances to this shopping center. I cannot give you directions from where you are because you are currently driving, I do not know where you are, and I do not know which entrance you will be entering from. The directions will be different depending on where in the shopping center you are.”

Customer: “JUST GIVE ME THE D*** DIRECTIONS FROM WHERE I AM!”

Me: “Fine, if you park in [Car Park], you can walk through the bus interchange, go up the stairs, and walk straight through to the shopping center; [Store] will be on your left.”

Customer: “Was it that difficult?”

Me: “Yes.”

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Earning Your Grand Theft Auto Badge

, , , , , | Related | November 26, 2019

I am the idiot in this story. 

I had just finished leading a rather active Cub Scout meeting, and I was ready to go home and put my feet up. It was 8:30 at night and I was done for the day. I went out to the car, opened the driver’s side door, and tossed my Scout stuff into the passenger seat. When I pushed the start button, though, nothing happened. I got a “key disabled” message, and couldn’t get it to work at all. I called my older son to bring me another set of keys, figuring that the battery had run out in the key fob or something. 

I sat there in the car, reading stuff on my phone, idly noting that the car was even more of a mess than usual and that I was going to have to get on the kids about that. After ten minutes, my son pulled up in our second car and looked out the window at me with a puzzled look. I got out of the car to grab the keys from him when he spoke up: “Mom? That’s not your car…”

I turned around to find that I had, indeed, gotten into a random SUV that was in the space I usually parked in, that was approximately the same size as my car. It wasn’t even the same make of car, nor the same color. I have no idea why I thought that was my car, other than the fact that it opened when I tried the door. I quickly dashed over to my own car, profoundly grateful that the actual owner hadn’t come out, which would have been an awkward conversation.

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Going To Sue You For The Whole Penny You’ve Got!

, , , , | Friendly | November 19, 2019

(I am leaving the doctor’s office and waiting to exit the side road. The road ends on a downward incline toward the stop sign. There is one car waiting at the stop sign. As I’m waiting, my foot slips off the brake and I quickly put it back, but not before I accidentally tap the back bumper of the car in front of me. As I’m putting the car in reverse, I hear, “My back! My back!” in an unnaturally screeching voice. Horrified, I watch the driver get out, hands balled into fists. Although I know it’s my fault, I also barely touched the car and this guy’s reaction seems extreme.)

Old Man: “What the h*** are you doing? I’m calling the police and we’re going to sue you for every penny you’ve got! My wife just broke her back! You f****** idiot, you’re going to pay for this!”

Me: *stammering, rolling down the window* “I’m so sorry, sir, my foot slipped off the brake. I—”

Old Man: “Ah, typical f****** millennial, probably driving without a license! You kids these days, you’re the biggest idiots in human history. Look what you’ve done to my wife.”

Me: *getting out of the car in horror, bracing myself for the worst* “Sir, I’m so sorry, I—”

(The old man looks me up and down. I’m wearing the rattiest clothes you could imagine since I didn’t bother to dress up for my appointment. I see his wife leaning out of the driver’s side, definitely not in the agony you’d expect for a broken back. The woman gestures to her husband to come over and then whispers something into his ear. They look at me.)

Old Man: “Um, erm… So, I guess my wife is fine, actually. No need for trouble.” *laughs nervously* “Have a good day.”

(He got into the car and they sped off, nearly getting T-boned by another car. I guess they figured I wasn’t worth suing!)

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