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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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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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Giving Yourself Other People’s Daddy Issues

, , , , | Working | February 14, 2019

(I work for my dad’s construction company. We have a new office manager at our warehouse who, so far, has shown herself to be very incompetent. She barely gets anything done around the office and is prone to screaming like a banshee over minor mistakes. She has taken a particular disliking towards me, leading up to this incident one day when I get a call from my dad about an important upcoming job.)

Manager:What are you doing?!”

Me: “I’m in the middle of an important phone call.”

Manager: “Put that cell phone down this instant! You are not allowed to use them in the office!”

(She is referring to our work cell phones, which we ARE allowed to use, even in the office or the warehouse, as long as they are used only for work-related purposes and nothing else.)

Me: “That is not true, ma’am. Besides, I’m getting important details about a job, and I cannot hear them with you yelling at me.”


(One of my coworkers appears and intervenes.)

Coworker: “With all due respect, [Manager], he’s right. This is a very big job, and he needs to be able to hear the details about it so we can order the materials.”

Manager: *to my coworker* “YOU SHUT UP!” *to me* “I’VE HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH YOUR BULLS***, YOU F****** BRAT!”

(She storms off. I continue my conversation on the phone with my dad, and tell him what happened. He is understandably disgusted, and after he finishes relaying the job information to me, he tells me to stay on the line. Just then, the manager comes back, a formal write-up in hand, and slams it on my desk.)

Manager: “SIGN IT! NOW!”

Me: “No.” *puts the phone on speaker* “I’m not signing it.”


Me: “No, you won’t. My dad wants a word with you, by the way.”


(I hold up my work phone to the manager’s face.)

Dad: *via speaker* “Because A: I’m your boss, and B: this is the third time this month I’ve had to talk to you about your behavior around my son. I’ll be arriving back at the warehouse in about ten minutes. I expect to see you in my office when I arrive, so we can discuss this in more detail.”

(My dad returned in time to give the manager a thorough scolding and demand an apology from her. She refused to admit any wrongdoing and tried to place the blame on me, which instead got her suspended two weeks without pay, and put on final notice. Apparently, she did not take her punishment to heart; the moment she came back from suspension, the first thing she did was try to fire me on the spot for framing her. Needless to say, my dad was not amused and fired her instead for retaliation. Incredibly, she had the gall to try and sue us afterward for wrongful termination, but her case quickly fell apart when we showed the judge her history of write-ups, security footage of her yelling at me and other employees, and the nail in the coffin: the recordings of the phone conversation between me and my dad, in which the now ex-manager could be clearly heard screaming at me in the background.)

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