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Thirty-Two Ounces Of Stupid Trouble

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: hypnos1214 | September 14, 2021

I used to be a cashier at a warehouse store — one of those members-only places. We had this policy — which a lot of cashiers hated — stating that everything had to be transferred from one cart/flatbed to another when customers checked out. I didn’t mind as I was able to lift and move things with ease. A lot of the cashiers, including myself, didn’t fully understand the policy — that is, until this fateful day.

It was a day just like any other, filled with constant mundane, “Did you find everything okay?” and, “Thank you, have a nice day.” It was coming to the end of my shift and I’d had it with doing the correct thing.

A member — it was a sin to call them customers — came up with a flatbed. He had a few small items and one box of thirty-two-ounce Styrofoam cups. I saw this and thought, “If it were something heavier, I wouldn’t transfer it.” I put all of his little items on the belt and then got a flatbed, as we only kept an empty cart at our registers.

When I came back, I grabbed the box of cups, and as soon as I lifted it, the bottom fell out and two computers were left on the cart while I was holding this big empty box. I looked at the member, and I was about to say something along the lines of an apology and that someone else must have done this. (We were trained not to directly accuse members of such behavior). Before I could say a word, he was gone. He ran out the door and almost plowed over the older lady who checks receipts.

Here’s what makes this funny. All he had to do was play stupid and pay for the other things and he’d have been in the clear.

At the beginning of interactions, we take the members’ membership cards and hand them back with the receipt, so his membership card was sitting on my register. Since he scared the elderly employee and left the cups from the box all over the aisle, my manager decided to call the police. Now, I know this isn’t theft, but there is a crime in my state called “concealment of goods”. It’s basically a way to catch shoplifters before they legally shoplift. So, the police came and all the member’s info was in the system. I had to verify that the member did indeed match the picture. They looked at security cameras and the police left to get a warrant for his arrest.

This is only a misdemeanor, but still, all he had to do was stay put and nothing would have happened to him.

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You Break It, You… Don’t Write A Letter About It, Dummy

, , , , , | Related | September 11, 2021

My uncle has a large plot of land that is mostly left wild because he struggles to keep it maintained. I go over a few times a year to help out.

Me: “That fence in the corner is broken again.”

Uncle: “Well, you did only bodge it back together.”

Me: “No, remember, I was going to do a temporary fix. But then I found some more wood so I did it properly.”

Uncle: “Weird. Could you fix it again and see if you can reinforce it somehow?”

Me: “I can have a look, but you should really consider planting those thorny plants I suggested.”

Uncle: “I doubt anyone is breaking it on purpose; there’s nothing there. It’s a dead end. Just some bad luck.”

Me: “Okay, but buy some plants anyway.”

I fix the fence and I do a good job of it. No way can anyone accidentally break it this time. My uncle buys the plants and, to be fair to him, he actually gets some large mature ones. 

I don’t plant them right near the fence, in case someone were to cut them back. Instead, I put them just out of sight. Even with gloves and a thick jacket, I’m covered in scratches.

It takes me all day, but I get it done. I finish the day by nailing a no entry/no public access sign to the fence and call it quits.

It’s a few months until I go back, and my uncle is standing there with a smile on his face.

Uncle: “You will never guess what happened.”

Me: “What?”

Uncle: “The fence is broken again; someone must have taken a sledgehammer to it.”

Me: “Why are you smiling, then?”

Uncle: “Because they are trying to sue me for it!”

Me: “That still doesn’t explain the smile.”

He hands me the letter. In it, they admit to damaging the fence all three times, and they make note of the sign and not asking for access. They incorrectly ramble on about public access. The wording is frantic and seems to frame the writer as some sort of hero of the people. It ends with a threat of legal action and the name of a solicitor.

Uncle: “[Solicitor] already called me, and I have another phone call this afternoon. I can’t wait to go over the details with him.”

The phone call went ahead. It didn’t take long for the solicitor to understand that their client had not only broken the law but had admitted it, too. Eventually — and after several legal threats — they had to pay for all the damages, my time, and the plants for the fence. We didn’t get any more break-ins after that.

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That’s One Heck Of A Deal

, , , , | Legal | September 4, 2021

Shortly after I move into my first flat, the two young men who share the flat immediately below me pay me a visit. I’ve already found out they are drug dealers. Since I don’t indulge in any drugs myself, I’m not particularly pleased they have visited me.

Dealer #1: “We have come to tell you the rules if you are going to live here.”

I remain silent but a bit curious.

Dealer #2: “We don’t sell drugs to any of the residents of this block, and we don’t allow anyone else to sell here, either.”

Dealer #1: “And we don’t allow anyone in the block to use drugs.”

At this point, I’m a bit mystified and not sure what they are telling me. I’m puzzled and trying to think coherently.

Me: “So, you are dealers, but you don’t sell in this block, don’t allow anyone else to sell in this block, and don’t allow anyone in this block to use drugs?”

Dealer #1: “Exactly! And you don’t ever mention it to anyone.”

I’m not really interested, and mainly, I just want them to go away, but my curiosity won’t let me get rid of them while I’m so bewildered.

Me: “Do you mind if I ask why, if you are so involved with the drug scene, you are making those rules? It seems that you are just throwing away customers.”

Dealer #2: “Well, you see, if there’s no drug activity at all in this block, it won’t attract the attention of the Drug Squad and we can run our business in peace.”

As they made their way down the stairs, I had to admire their business sense and reasoning, even though I thoroughly deplored their actual business.

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, , , , | Legal | September 2, 2021

Once upon a time, I got a letter from a copyright troll “threatening” me — it was carefully worded NOT to meet the legal definition of a threat, but yeah, it was a threat — with a lawsuit for copyright infringement I hadn’t committed. I even checked the provided IP address against my own logs and found that it didn’t match with any of the IPs I’d had with the ISP I had been with since before the time of the alleged infringement.

I contacted them, and they told me they were absolutely certain I was guilty and that I should pay up the €800 they were demanding as compensation. I told them I was not going to pay compensation for something I didn’t do. I posted my story on social media, instead. The troll contacted me again about being aware of my social media posts on the matter, hinting at taking separate legal action because of it, I just laughed because it’s not libel if it’s true.

I filed a formal request with my ISP for a complete record of the IP addresses I had had in my time with them so that if the copyright troll tried to take me to court, I’d have documentation to prove my innocence.

The law regarding this sort of request defines, in detail, the manner in which the request must be done — which I complied with to the letter — and what the options for the personal information registry owner are; either the ISP provides the requested information free of charge, or they reply with a written letter detailing their reasons for not complying with the request. I got neither. Instead, I got an email telling me they “didn’t consider” my IP address history to be the kind of information they are required by law to hand over free of charge, but that they were happy to provide the information I had requested for a price of something like €50 per hour of work compiling the information, a minimum charge of half an hour.

I called them and the representative I talked to said the email was correct. When I mentioned how the consumer protection ombudsman had stated that it actually WAS the kind of information an ISP must hand over free of charge.

Representative #1: “Well, that’s just an opinion.

No, it really isn’t. The closest it is to an “opinion” is in the sense that a supreme court ruling is “an opinion.”

Me: “Are you saying you refuse to hand over the information as required by law?”

Representative #1: “No, nothing like that. We are more than happy to provide the information, for a price.”

I hung up and went on social media, telling about my experience with their illegal behavior and tagging the ISP in the post. A week later, I received an email from high up in the ISP’s food chain.

Representative #2: “We have changed our policy regarding your kind of information request. If you still want this information, we can have it mailed to you in a few days.”

Naturally, I said yes and got something like fifty pages of IP logs in the mail. As I already knew, none of the addresses matched with what the copyright troll had claimed had been my IP address at the time of the alleged infringement.

However, the copyright troll never bothered me again after I got a government-paid attorney to write a letter to them on my behalf.

I am with another ISP now. My only regret is that, while the reps I dealt with on the matter above broke the law, for the most part, their customer service was better than my current ISP’s. Then again, my current ISP is well-known for defying market court rulings requiring them to hand over names and addresses of their customers to copyright holders, meaning even if I did do that sort of thing, for the foreseeable future the copyright trolls will never get my personal information again.

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Forging A Compromise Of Sorts

, , , , , | Legal | August 31, 2021

The health crisis has been going on for a year already and most companies have geared up to provide online training. Not all their departments have gotten the memo, apparently. 

The law demands that one of our workers attend safety training provided by the client company. The training department of the client company is okay with the worker viewing the course and answering the proficiency quiz online, BUT their concierge will not even consider processing the access request until they have received the course attendance form signed by the worker, who’s a thousand miles from our office and actually closer to the client site but does not have access to a printer, scanner, or fax. It’s a stall.

Coworker: “Wait, who’s the guy who needs to sign the form?”

Me: “Our [Worker].”

Coworker: “Oh, print the form and hand it here. My father’s name is [Name Similar To Worker’s] and I could forge his signature in middle school. How hard can this be?”

The forged signature was perfect, and the concierge accepted the faxed form. The work went smoothly after that.

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