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Under House Arrest

| Upper Marlboro, MD, USA | Bad Behavior, Home Improvement, Wild & Unruly

(I am an engineer who helps design water drainage for when a new house is built. I get a call from a county inspector that our design of the water flow on the new house we are helping build is going towards the neighbor’s house. We did not design it this way as it is supposed to be draining to the street. I drive out to the site to meet with our customer, the county inspector, and the neighbor. The neighbor and our client have been fighting over the building of this house for years. The house that is under construction, almost completed, is a very expensive, multi-million dollar house. It is too high end for the neighborhood as all of the other houses are only in the $200,000 range.)

Neighbor: “All that water from last week’s rain is going into my basement. I should sue you for damages.” *points to me* “I should also sue you for designing it.”

Me: “Sir, please calm down. I need to inspect the area.”

(We designed a one foot-high wall built with concrete to keep the water from flowing into his yard along with a ditch that is supposed to flow into the street. I get to the area. He has not built any ditch but also built a small six inch-high wooden wall. It is way too small for the water area, plus the wood he used is cheap plywood.)

Me: “Excuse me, [Client], why did you build this wall here? I proposed a concrete one.”

Client: “Oh, the house was costing too much to build so I found some wood in the alley to use.”

Neighbor: “So that explains what happened to my floor. You stole my wood you—”

(Right before he can finish, our client punches the neighbor in the face. It turns out the neighbor was rebuilding his bathroom floor and brought the wood to repair his floor. Our client then admits to stealing it and using it to make the water flow into the neighbor’s basement as punishment for stalling his project. The inspector holds down our client while I call the police. As he is being lead away from the police:)

Client: “This isn’t right. All I was trying to do was build a house!”

No Need To ‘Air’ Your Concerns

| Iron Mountain, MI, USA | Awesome Workers, Popular, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I’m the dumb customer in this story. I am an administrative assistant, and a good portion of my job involves searching for and booking flights for our managers. One of our managers was traveling when his connecting flight was cancelled, so I was told to call [Airline] and see about rebooking his flight.)

Me: *explains cancelled flight situation*

Airline Employee: “We can get him on this [Other Airline] flight leaving tomorrow morning.”

Me: “But I’m looking online now and there’s a [Airline] flight leaving at 6:00 am, can we get him on that one?”

Airline Employee: “… Ma’am, that’s the one that was cancelled.”

Me: “Oh. Let’s book him on the [Other Airline] one, then.”

Airline Employee: “Yeah, we already went ahead and did that. We try to be proactive when this happens.”

Me: “Oh. … I guess I just called to say hello.”

Shocked You Say No To Firing On His Say So

| AB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Transportation

(I am a safety person for a local road building company. A part of my job is to take complaint calls from the public and to sort out incidents. It should be noted that we have a fleet of roughly 200 pickup trucks for foremen and crews. The only thing these trucks all have in common is they are white and have the company logo on each side of the vehicle. They can each be identified by the plate number and the unit number marked on the side.)

Me: “Good afternoon, [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

(There is some unintelligible ranting on the other end, like the caller is talking to someone else.)

Me: “Hello? This is [My Name] in Safety here. Can I help you?”

Irate Caller: “Yeah! One of your f****** guys is driving like a f****** idiot! What kind of f****** morons do you losers hire?! You need to fire this f***** NOW!”

Me: “I’m very sorry you are experiencing problems with one of our crew members. If you can relay me some information so that I may identify the unit and the driver, I can investigate into this matter and have it dealt with. What exactly was he doing?”

Irate Caller: “It’s a f****** white truck on [Street]. He pulled up onto the f****** curb and parked on the f****** grass!”

(Being in road construction, this is actually quite common for when workers need to do surveying, take measurements, etc. on sites we have or will be working on, if there is no other safe place to stop or park in the area.)

Me: “Well, sir. That is actually a common practice.”

Irate Caller: “He cut me off! And flipped me off! And he’s tearing up the grass!”

Me: “All right, I’m sorry, sir. But I will need a bit more information than that it was a white truck, then. Do you have the plate number, or were you able to see the unit number? It would be visible on either side of the truck.”

Irate Caller: “You f****** losers don’t even know where your f****** guys are?! What the f*** is wrong with you?!”

Me: “Once again, sir, I am very sorry, but we currently have about 10 job sites open all over the city and about 200 white company vehicles in operation at this time. To identify the specific driver you are having problems with, I need more information.”

Irate Caller: “If I give you more info will you fire his a**?!”

Me: “I’m afraid disciplinary action is not within my responsibilities. I would be able to identify who is currently assigned this vehicle, track his trucks GPS to see how erratically he is driving and if he is supposed to be at the location you’ve identified, from there I can inform his supervisor and they will then determine what action should be taken. Whether it be a need for training, a suspension, or possibly termination.”

Irate Caller: “What the f***?! Just fire his a**!”

Me: “Again, sir. I’m afraid it doesn’t work quite that way. And even so, you have not provided me with any information to identify the driver.”

Irate Caller: “F*** you!! You’re all f****** losers! You’ll be out of business in a month!”

Me: “Well actually… Our season is slowing down for the year, and we will likely be closing operations within a month or two, weather depending… However, we are prepared to gear up for next season in full force! Lots of work to be done!”

Irate Caller: “F*** you!” *hangs up*

Perhaps This Isn’t Your Calling

| Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

(I’ve just started a new job as a secretary for a house construction company. The former secretary is training me.)

Former Secretary: “This job is a snap. Answering the phone is the easiest part. All they ever want is lot prices or house prices. Oh, the phone is ringing now; go ahead and answer it.”

Me: “Good morning. Thank you for calling [Company Name]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I need you to fix my hot tub.”

Me: “One moment please, sir.” *to the former secretary* “This guy wants us to fix his hot tub.”

Former Secretary: “What?”

(The former secretary takes phone, talks a little, and then hangs up.)

Former Secretary: “He had the wrong [Company Name]. He thought he was calling the head office of the hotel he’s staying at.  That was weird. Oh, the phone’s ringing again.”

Me: *answers phone*

Caller: “THEY’RE CUTTING DOWN MY TREES! MAKE THEM STOOOPPP!”

Me: “One moment please, sir.” *to former secretary* “Um, this guy says ‘they’ are cutting down his trees.”

Former Secretary: “Are you kidding?”

Me: “I thought answering the phones here was supposed to be easy?”

Former Secretary: “It usually IS!”

Toying With The Public

| AB, Canada | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

(I work for the municipal division of a road construction company. One part of my job is going out to sites, once the job has been completed, to take measurements for our quantities reports. To do this I use a measuring wheel tool. I am out measuring a sidewalk that has just been completed.)

Pedestrian: “Aren’t you a little old to be playing with children’s toys?”

Me: *confused* “Pardon?”

Pedestrian: *gestures at the wheel* “That’s a toy for toddlers! With those bright colours and all the noise it makes!”

(The wheel is fluorescent orange and black, and makes a ticking noise as the number of meters roll up.)

Me: “Well, first, I’d like to say that you are never too old to play with toys. Second, this is a measuring wheel, and I am using it to record my company’s final quantities on the city sidewalk program. It’s a tool, not a toy.”

Pedestrian: “What a horrible liar you are! Let’s see what your boss has to say about you playing with some kid’s toy on the job AND lying!”

(With that she storms off. I continue my work. When I return to the office later that day my safety manager calls me to her office, as she deals with complaints. She was crying from laughing so hard.)

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