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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It’s Going To Be A Long And Bumpy Road Fighting This One

, , , , , , | Legal | May 23, 2019

(One Friday, I come home in the late afternoon to find a flyer in my mailbox and several posted on the windshields of the parked cars. The flyer reads to the effect of:)

Flyer: “On Wednesday, [date five days from today], road work will be done on [My Street] between the hours of 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. Any cars parked curbside on [My Street] during this time will be ticketed and towed.”

(I shrug and think nothing of it. I work from home, my wife’s hours and commute means she’ll never encounter the workers, and we have our own parking spaces on our property, anyway. The worst this entails for us is that I’ll need to do the shopping on Tuesday or let her deal with it on the way home Wednesday. At roughly two o’clock Monday morning, our dog decides she needs to go out. I take her out in the front yard and sit on the porch like I always do. As I’m doing this, a car comes barreling down the road, stops in front of my house, and two people come running out of the car. One of them starts securing signs to the existing parking signs — the ones that outline the street sweeping schedule — while the other hastily pin flyers to the windshields of every parked car. No matter how many times I try to question them, they ignore me. Once they’re back in their car and have sped off down the road again, I go out and read what they broke the speed limit for.)

Signs and Flyers: “Starting Monday, [today’s date], road work will be done on [My Street] from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and will continue during these hours until Friday, [Friday’s date]. Any cars parked curbside on [My Street] during this time will be ticketed and towed.”

(Already seeing this is going to be a nightmare, I go back inside, grab my wife’s keys, and move our cars down to the intersection and onto the next road. And I most definitely did the right thing. A few hours later, the road is completely blocked off. No cars are getting in or out, and not just because of their decision to tie off the street from sidewalk to sidewalk. No, as if that wasn’t enough, the work they are doing also factors in. What is the work? Digging a gigantic hole in the exact middle of the street just shy of the intersecting roads. Yes, roads. They have decided to assign two crews, start at both ends of the street, and meet in the middle. Within the first hour, both holes are large enough to bury an elephant. I, of course, call City Hall. Once the complaints about our inability to drive are voiced, the conversation goes as follows:)

Secretary: “Well, the crew was supposed to post signs saying the road was going to be closed until the work was done.”

Me: “They posted signs saying we weren’t allowed to park on the road. They said nothing about driving. I have copies of both flyers if you’re interested.”

Secretary: “‘Both flyers’? What do you mean, ‘both flyers’?”

Me: “Well, there’s the one they posted Friday afternoon that only says they’re working on Wednesday, and the one they posted this morning around two that says they’re working the whole week. Both of them only talk about parking.”

Secretary: “‘This morning around two’?!”

Me: “That’s right.”

Secretary: “I… don’t know how to respond to that.”

Me: “Well, then, maybe you can answer this: if any of us on [My Street] need emergency services, how are the fire trucks and ambulances supposed to get to us?”

Secretary: “Well, I’m sure the cop there will help with that.”

Me: “What police officer would that be?”

Secretary: “Isn’t there a cop out there with them?”

Me: “The only people out here are the road workers.”

(Thankfully, she gets the message and sends an officer immediately. He arrives in five minutes, and I ask him the same thing.)

Police Officer: *shrugs* “I don’t know what City Hall wants me to do at this point. The hole’s too big to get around now. And they shouldn’t have started today in the first place. The forecast is saying nothing but rain all week. All their work will be undone with the first rainfall. Your whole street’s f***ed already. But these contractors don’t give a s*** as long as they get paid.”

(At present, I’m trying to band together what little of the neighborhood I can to prove we can, in fact, fight City Hall. Wish me luck.)

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Unfiltered Story #151746

, , , | Unfiltered | May 23, 2019

(I received a request for a laptop to be sent out to a new hire who was starting on July 6th – we had no laptops in stock at the time because our orders weren’t arriving on time, thanks to the company we purchase our laptops from. This woman put in the order on 7/3, a day no one at HQ works, and proceeded to call me on Monday)

Her: Hello, yes, is this IST?
(Note we’re actually called ITS)
Me: Yes, this is ITS.
Her: I ordered a laptop for [new hire] and it still hasn’t arrived, even though I asked for it to be overnighted AM!
Me: Can you give me the request item or task number for the order?
Her: (rattles off the RIT number) so…where is it?
Me: Ma’am… you ordered this laptop on the third, and he starts today.
Her: Yes? So?
Me: Ma’am, on the order page in red, bold print there is a message stating that all laptops would be on back order for at least a week, because our orders aren’t coming in on time from the supplier.
Her: Yes…but I figured you could make an exception!
Me: It also states that we ask you give us at least 15 days for a new hire laptop or desktop.
Her: Yes, but this was important! You have to ship this laptop out now so it can get here this evening!
Me: Ma’am, UPS doesn’t pick up shipments until 4:00 PM CST, and it won’t get there until at least tomorrow. We have no “same-day” shipping options.
Her: Well…that’s absurd, I’m calling HR about this!
Me: …Alright?
Her: (hangs up, never calls back again, and cancels the order for the new hire’s laptop)