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Not Closed Minded In A Very Big Way

, , , | Right | February 26, 2020

I’m a customer at a sandwich stand located just outside a shopping mall downtown. The mall is encircled by a solid metal construction fence as it is in the process of being rebuilt. The surrounding street is all dug up and closed for traffic. There’s dirt everywhere and no one is inside as the place is obviously temporarily out of business.

The mall’s renovation has been fairly big news in the city and was discussed in local newspapers, etc. An older lady with a few shopping bags in hand comes to the sandwich stand and starts talking to the cashier.

Customer:
“Oh, you’ll probably know, miss… How do I find the entrance to the mall over there?”

The cashier and I stare.

Cashier:
“Nowhere. It’s closed.”

Customer:
“What? Why?”

Cashier:
“Um… it’s… being… rebuilt?”

Customer:
“What?! How am I supposed to know that?! There are still signs and all!”

She’s pointing to company logos that are still hanging on the walls outside.

Customer:
“It’s ridiculous! They should post a sign somewhere saying there’s no entrance! Someone could be looking for it! And if you’re not from around here… They must have started all this just now, am I right?”

Cashier:
“Er… Not really; it’s been going on for about three months.”

Customer:
“This is just silly. They should definitely notify people about it!”

She walks away.

Cashier & Me:
“But… it’s been all over the newspapers…”

We just looked at each other perplexed for a moment while she carried on through piles of dirt and the closed street.

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Sound Obviously Travels Backward In Australia

, , , , | Learning | February 24, 2020

When I’m in ninth grade, my school is demolishing an old science building and building a better one in its place. Part of the school is blocked off and it’s very loud. It’s annoying but okay most of the time, except in my Japanese class. The classroom is right next to where the construction is taking place and it’s very frustrating during our lessons. The floor is vibrating from whatever they are doing ten metres away. The class is discussing it.

Sensei:
*Sarcastically* “It’s okay, though; the school said they would buy me another whiteboard so that the noise wouldn’t be so bad.”

Us: 
*Confused* “What? How would that help?”

Sensei:
“They said they would get me a new whiteboard for the opposite side of the room so that we could face the other way. Then, the noise wouldn’t be so bad because we would be facing the other way.”

Obviously, we all found this logic hilariously stupid. We decided to try it, facing the other way. Surprise, surprise, we could still hear the sound of construction just as loud when we turned around. I know they had good intentions, but seriously, you would think they would understand how sound works.

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Dry Wall Is Meant To Stay… Well… Dry?

, , , , , , | Working | January 13, 2020

(In a previous story submission, Seeing A Dangerous Pattern Emerging Here, I talked about a bathroom installation guy who blamed ME for his bringing the wrong shower liner to install in my master bathroom, but then relented after I changed tactics and told him my husband had actually noticed the issue. The install was so shoddy that afterward, water was pouring into the downstairs walls below my shower. This happens when we call the install company back.)

Husband: “Water is actually puddling on the floor downstairs, the drywall is soggy and crumbling, and the ceiling is saggy! You need to come and fix this now!

(They send a supervisor out to see what the issue is. I happen to be home for that.)

Me: “The guy who did the install was made aware of the fact that the faucet was leaking before he left. When my husband pointed it out, all your guy did was slap some sealant over the bottom of the faucet and say it was fixed!”

Supervisor: “He what? That part is supposed to stay open, because if the water has nowhere to drain to, it floods back into the walls! I’ll get him in here right away.”

(We schedule an appointment for 3:30 pm the following day. Five rolls around, and no one has called or shown up. My husband calls the number provided, and it’s the same guy who installed our shower in the first place!)

Husband: “You said you were going to be here at 3:30 pm. It’s 5:00 pm now. Where are you?

Construction Guy: “Oh. I’m running late. I’ll be there soon! Don’t worry!”

(We wait. And wait. And wait. 7:00 pm rolls around. My husband calls again.)

Husband: “What is going on? We’ve been waiting for you since 3:30 today. We have things we need to do and haven’t been able to because we’ve had to wait for you. We can’t just sit in the house and wait for you all night!”

Construction Guy: “Ohhh. Well, okay, I’ll be right over!”

Husband: “Right over? As in you’re heading over here right now? You’ll be here within fifteen minutes? Because this is crazy!”

Construction Guy: “Well… no. Not fifteen minutes, but maybe later.”

Husband: “‘Maybe later.’ You know what? I’m calling your boss and asking them to send someone else. Never mind coming here at all. Thanks, anyway.”

(He hangs up and calls the boss. But since it’s after hours, he leaves a voicemail. Apparently, the boss still hears it, because shortly after that we get a call from [Construction Guy].)

Construction Guy: “I can be at your house tomorrow. Maybe like in the evening or something.”

Husband: “So I have to wait all day long for you again? No. You need to make an appointment with me and then stick to it. Can you be here in the morning?”

Construction Guy: “Well… no.”

Husband: “Why not? What time can you be here?”

Construction Guy: “Well, I’m tired! And I had to drive all over the city today, and my boss makes me work too hard and I don’t even want to keep this job anymore!”

(He’s putting on the most pitiful, “poor me” voice he can muster. Bear in mind that when he screwed up the initial install, he did the same thing to me! He told me he was being laid off immediately after our bathroom was done and that he’d be unemployed, and asked if we would just take pity on him and not blame him for his screw-ups. My husband is having none of it.)

Husband: “Listen, your shoddy install job is causing water to leak downstairs and damage my house. Either you tell me what time you can be here tomorrow to fix this, or I’m going to have to call your boss again and let him know you’re refusing to come out. There is water pouring into my walls. This is not a minor issue!”

(I hate the “let me talk to your manager” threat, but this guy was being so ridiculous, I was at a loss for words. Lo and behold, the employee made the appointment, showed up on time, and fixed the issue… but then blamed us for “picking the wrong faucet” for the earlier install. When we asked him why he didn’t TELL us it was wrong for the job instead of just installing it, he had nothing to say. But he DID spend fifteen minutes telling my husband a completely different story about why he hadn’t come out the day before. We would have been perfectly fine rescheduling the appointment if the guy had just called and asked in the first place! So unprofessional.)

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Heels Angels

, , , , | Working | November 21, 2019

(I overheard this story from my dad. He’s a manager at a construction site, and they are EXTREMELY sexist. There’s a lady engineer whom they all look down upon because she’s female. They always find small ways to ignore her and show their displeasure at having to “take orders from a girl.” They usually have to do inspections of the building at varying stages during construction, which entails a lot of climbing. At one point, there’s only a rickety plank, at least 30 stories above ground level. The building is still under construction, with scaffolding and only some supports and stuff — I don’t know the technical terms — and it’s pretty dangerous. Even the most macho, most sexist of the men have been known to be daunted. Now, I’m not sure if the lady engineer actually needed to be present at the inspection, but she made sure she turned up, anyway!)

Lady Engineer: “Okay, so, now we proceed to [other point].” 

Construction Guy: “We will have to cross the plank.” *points to it in a silent challenge*

(The lady engineer proceeds to climb up in one easy movement, and walks quickly and unflinchingly across, in HEELS. The men are gawking, stunned out of their wits, in a cold sweat.)

Construction Guy: *quietly* “S***. Now we’ll have to do it, too.”

(The men took turns crossing with much swearing. They struggled not to flinch, either, but they were clumsier and not so good at it. The best part is, my dad later found out that there’s actually a less dangerous way of crossing, but they put the plank there to scare her off. Any one of them could have backed down and taken the easy way, but after seeing the lady seize the bull by the horns, not one of them dared to even suggest it!)

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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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