A Lesson In Mismanagement

, , , , , | Learning | October 10, 2019

The city I live in recently decided to cut costs by closing one high school and merging the student population. We got a new school name and all moved to [Location #1] so they could renovate [Location #2]. 

The renovations were supposed to be completed before I graduated grade eight, so I was never going to attend classes at [Location #1]. Unfortunately, renovations took extra long and I spent my grade nine year at [Location #1]. 

Around May of this year, the school board said that we were three years overtime and 16 million dollars over budget — they wanted everything to look nice — so they decided to move us all early and let the construction crew work while we were in classes. The money they got from selling [Location #2] would, in theory, help the budget. 

This caused many issues. First of all, music classes were in an empty room that was supposed to be a French room. The music class during my French class had no idea how to play, so all of our lessons were to the tune of off-key trumpets and tubas. 

Secondly, the cafeteria was nowhere near ready to sell food. The local church sold $5 hotdogs in their parking lot — $2.50 if you attend their church! — but that meant most of the kids at my school ate a hotdog for lunch every day and had for weeks. 

On top of that, the power randomly went out during classes, fire alarms weren’t all wired right, and none of the science classrooms were fully unpacked — most of the test tubes were broken in the move, anyway — and many other problems. 

Today, we arrived at school to find the second-floor girls’ bathroom off-limits. When I asked my math teacher, he told me — dead serious, other teachers have confirmed — “Half the ceiling caved in.” But since they sold [Location #1], we are stuck at [Location #2].

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Seeing A Dangerous Pattern Emerging Here

, , , , | Working | September 30, 2019

(I’m an adult woman. My husband and I live in a home which is about 30 years old. The master bathroom upstairs has all original fixtures, so you can imagine they’re starting to look pretty shabby — and not in a “Shabby Chic” sort of way. We decide to remodel. The company we end up hiring to take care of the tub/shower and surround comes in and begins working. After a few hours…)

Me: “Hey, uh, I just looked at the shower liner you have there, and it’s not what we ordered.”

Construction Guy: “YOU SAID IT WAS THE RIGHT ONE!”

Me: “No, you asked me if mine were white, and I said yes. And then you brought in these. Ours are white, but they’re also [completely different pattern].”

Construction Guy: “No! This is not my fault! You said it was the right one!”

(He actually continues to argue with me over it for several minutes! I try explaining differently.)

Me: “Regardless of what you thought I said earlier, this is not what we ordered. Look here on my copy of the order form. See? It says four-inch by four-inch tiles.”

(Incredibly, the man still argues that it is MY fault! Exasperated, I switch tactics again.)

Me: “Okay, but I snapped a photo and texted it to my husband, and he said it’s not the right one!”

Construction Guy: *immediately calm* “Oh. Well, okay. We have to go back to the warehouse, then.”

(He calls his boss and admits over the phone that even though he had read our order form and saw the pattern and style name on our order, he STILL grabbed the flat white liner, anyway. Then, he tries to blame the problem on me AGAIN. While he is waiting for his coworker to go back to the warehouse to grab the right stuff…)

Construction Guy: “So, what do you do for a living?”

Me: “I’m self-employed. I do graphic design, web design, that sort of thing.”

Construction Guy: *condescendingly* “Oh. Well, I could do that, too, if I didn’t have to work in construction.”

Me: “Oh, yeah? Then why aren’t you?”

Construction Guy: “Well, I have to make money. You know. I can’t just stop working and do that.”

(He continues to belittle my line of work until I refuse to talk about it further. Finally, his coworker comes back, they finish the installation, and my husband arrives home in time to see the finished work.)

Husband: “So, why is the faucet leaking?”

Construction Guy: “Oh, that? It’s nothing. Here, I’ll fix it.”

(He dabbed some caulk over the point at which water was leaking. Later, we used the shower for the first time and water came pouring out of the downstairs walls below the shower! Turns out this guy half-a**ed the last of the work, and rather than fixing the leak, he just covered it up! THAT whole fiasco is a story for another day, but suffice to say we will not be using this particular bathroom remodel company ever again.)

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An Alarming Rate Of Alarming

, , , , , , | Learning | August 30, 2019

I am a resident assistant in a hall occupied almost entirely by freshmen; in essence, I am a poorly-paid babysitter. A few days into the fall semester, the fire alarm goes off at around 11:00 pm. I usher all the sleepy freshmen out of the building and across the street, and we wait for the firefighters to give us the all-clear.

Eventually, we are able to go back inside, but that’s not the end of it. We have to check the student ID of every. Single. Person. Mind you, 650 students live in this building, not counting overnight guests. It takes a long time, but it’s necessary to keep students safe and prevent strangers from entering the building. 

Finally, everyone is sorted and the RAs can go back to bed. I’ve just fallen into a blissful sleep when I am awakened again by the sound of a fire alarm. I look at my clock and see that it is 3:00 am. Grudgingly, I get out of bed and we do the same song and dance. It takes the firefighters less time to do this round, and we end up going to bed within the hour.

I am appalled when, just before dawn, the fire alarm goes off again. I notice that far fewer people are outside than the previous two alarms, which I later learn is because many students elected to just stay in bed and endure the ear-splitting alarm — and make it that much harder for the rest of us, since we can’t get the all-clear until everyone has left the building. Finally, finally, we get back inside and I get a couple more hours of sleep before my 9:00 am class.

Later, I’m talking to my boss and discover the reason we had so many alarms in one night. There is a dining hall on the first floor of the building, and it was being renovated all summer. They had finally finished construction that week, but somehow messed up the wiring such that it repeatedly triggered the fire alarm. After the third alarm, they finally fixed it.

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Unfiltered Story #160172

, , | Unfiltered | August 20, 2019

Me: Good afternoon, thank you for calling [Company], my name is [my name]. How can I help you?
Customer: “Who runs your company out of North Carolina?”
Me: “Hold on one moment while I check on that for you.”
(I put her on hold, so she can’t hear me talk to my supervisor.)
Me: “There’s a Mrs. [Customer] asking who runs the company out of North Carolina?”
Supervisor: “Mrs. [Customer]?”
Me: “Well, she didn’t identify herself, but it’s on the caller ID.”
Coworker: “Did you say Mrs. [Customer]? She owes us money.”
Me: “Uh. What do I tell her? Doesn’t [Manager] run that office?”
Supervisor: “We’ve already transferred her case to [Admin]. Tell her to talk to [Admin].”
Me: *taking her off hold* “Thank you for holding, Mrs. [Name]. Your case is being handled by [Admin]; I can give you her contact information–”
Customer: “I don’t want to talk to [Admin]. And I don’t want to talk to [Manager]. I want to talk to whoever runs your company out of North Carolina.”
Me: “Ma’am, all I can tell you is that your point of contact is [Admin]. Again, I can give you her contact information–”
Customer: “I already have that. I want to be put in contact with whoever runs the company out of North Carolina.”
Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, your case is being handled by–”
Customer: “My attorneys will be handling it.” *click*
(I opened her file to make a case note; it turns out she owes us over 8,000 dollars. Also? Our company is run out of Chicago.)

They’re Being The Bigger Headache

, , , , | Right | June 5, 2019

(I’m an apprentice with a construction company. During the final stages of a five-story building being put up, when the scaffolding is coming down — a rather treacherous process, as despite the best efforts of people involved, heavy boards, support framing, and tools WILL be dropped — I’m tasked with keeping onlookers from getting too close to the building site, in addition to my other, more construction-focused duties. Mind you, there are fences, barriers, caution tape, and warning signs ALL OVER THE PLACE in a 50- to 100-foot radius around the building, and somehow people still think it’s okay to just walk right up to the building; we get at LEAST one a day. This couple takes the cake for idiocy, though.)

Couple: *steps over the caution tape and walks up to the south side of the building*

Me: “Hey, folks, you can’t be here. This is an active construction site. I’m going to need you to get over to the other side of the tape there.” *gestures at the caution tape cordoning off the construction site*

Man: “Oh, okay. Sorry.” *they walk off*

(I get back to work, thinking that’s the end of it. Twenty minutes later, I happen to glance up and there’s that same couple on the EAST side of the building.)

Me: “Hey, sorry if I wasn’t clear before, but I really need you to stay behind the tape over there.“ *gestures AGAIN at the caution tape cordoning off the construction site* “You could get hurt.”

Man: “Sorry, sorry.” *they walk off again*

Me: *to myself* “Geez, must be a language barrier or something…”

(I go back to work. Not ten minutes later, I hear one of the guys on the scaffolding removal crew yell out, “HEADACHE!” For those not familiar, that means, “I dropped something heavy; look out below!” I look up to see a scaffolding board crash to earth mere FEET away from THE SAME D*** COUPLE who are BACK ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE BUILDING.)

Me: *racing over, now screaming at the top of my lungs* “CLEAR OUT! CLEAR THE F*** OUT! DO YOU HAVE A F****** DEATH WISH?!”

(They both went white as sheets, turned on their heels, and Usain Bolted right the h*** away from the building. It only occurred to me after the adrenaline wore off that I hadn’t bothered to put down my hammer when I was chasing them off, so it very likely looked like I was ready to bash their skulls in with it, especially if there WAS a language barrier. Sorry, random couple, but for the love o’ whoever or whatever you pray to, DON’T CROSS THE D*** CAUTION TAPE!)

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