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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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This Fiesta Came To A Crashing Halt

, , , , , , | Legal | August 29, 2021

I’m shopping in this family-run record store. The sweet old guy who normally runs it is in hospital. While the service sucks now, I still try to make the effort to go there first before shopping online.

No sooner do I step in the store than I get barged forcefully to one side by a guy running with armfuls of CDs. I turn to see him get into a waiting car and crash his way out of the car park.

I’m pretty shocked to see the member of staff on duty not even looking up.

Me: “That guy just hit me and ran out the store. I’m guessing he stole all those CDs.”

The worker stares at me blankly.

Me: “You’re not going to call the police or ask me for his licence plate?”

Worker: “They don’t pay me to care.”

Me: “Wow. Well, I doubt the owner of that Fiesta shares your sentiment.”

Worker: “What?!”

He ran outside — just short of pushing me out of the way, too! The thief had hit the corner of his car. It looked pretty bad; the wheel was bent at a weird angle. The worker wouldn’t be driving that car any time soon.

Suddenly, he wanted to hear what I had to say, and as tempted as I was to tell him that he didn’t pay me to care, I told him to call the police and figure out what was missing (several times) if he wanted me to make a statement.

The old guy who runs the shop got out of hospital and made a full recovery. The worker was his nephew, and he nearly ran the place into the ground. The store slowly got back to where it had been before when people heard the old guy was back running the store.

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For Dessert We’ll Have Some Cinnamon Plot Twists

, , , , , | Right | August 26, 2021

I’ve recently moved to a busy college town and I’m out to dinner in a small restaurant with one of my roommates. We’ve just run into my law professor and her husband and had a quick chat with him before sitting down to separate tables. Halfway through our meal, a group of rowdy young adults jumps up from their table and rushes out the door, apparently to dine and dash.

Me: “Oh, my God! I think they just ran out on the bill!”

Roommate: “And the waitress has just realized it, too.”

The waitress walks over to their table, sees that the check hasn’t been paid, and gets visibly upset.

Me: “You don’t think they’ll take that out of her paycheck, do you?”

Waitress: *Overhearing* “They do, unfortunately. They left over $200 worth of food.”

She walks sadly back to clear the table. We finish our meal and ask for the bill and the same waitress drops it over.

Me: “If she has to pay their bill, I think it’d be nice to leave her a bigger tip so she doesn’t have to lose her whole paycheck.”

Roommate: “I was thinking the same thing.”

We leave a very generous tip. We stop by our lecturer’s table to say goodbye and find out they’re doing the exact same thing.

A few weeks later, my roommate and I go to the same restaurant and again, we meet our professor and her husband. We have a quick laugh about the coincidence and head to our separate tables.

Roommate: “I’ve got a bad feeling about that table over there.”

I turn around and see a large group of rowdy young adults, but I can’t make out if they’re the same people as last time. We notice that they start to get up quickly as though they’re going to run out on the check. Quick as a flash, my professor’s husband jumps up and tackles one of them as they’re about to head out the door.

Husband: “You guys thinking about running out on the bill again?”

The dasher starts to squirm and try to get away. The same waitress as last time runs over, looking very worried.

Waitress: “It’s okay, sir, you can let him go! I don’t want anyone getting hurt!”

Husband: “That’s okay, miss. I’m well used to it.”

My lecturer’s husband pulls out a badge and the waitress goes white. An older man that we assume is the manager comes running over.

Dasher: “Let me go. I’ve already paid [Waitress]!”

Manager: “Then why were you running out the door, young man?”

Both the dasher and the waitress look at each other, but the dasher quickly spills the beans first.

Dasher: “We pay [Waitress] before we eat. We only pretend to run out so she gets bigger tips.”

Manager: “[Waitress], go wait for me in the office. Young man, get out, and you and your friends are not welcome here again.” *Turns to the husband* “Thank you for stopping him.”

The waitress covered her face with her hands and ran into the back. We came back a few weeks later and — surprise, surprise — we didn’t see that waitress again. My professor does like to tell that story in class from time to time, though.

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Stealing Pork And Telling Porkies

, , , | Right | CREDIT: auridas330 | August 23, 2021

I work in a retailer that is in most of Europe. We have no guards or security, so it’s our job to keep track of shoplifters. One day, I had a late start, so after cleaning the shop floor of loose cardboard, I started working the stock of meat.

While working it, I noticed a guy taking off his backpack and talking to a girl. The girl came in with an old-lady buggy — very popular here — and putting her shopping in there, mostly bagged veggies and fruit. I finished putting out the meat, put all the empty meat trays on a pallet, and started to head back to the warehouse. Just as I started to turn the corner, I saw the guy pick up a piece of pork fillet and walk to the girl, backpack still in his hand. He was also sort of watching me, too. Instantly, I took note of this as I’ve seen this trick dozens of times.

I left the pallet with empty trays and made a quick lap around the aisle. I wanted to see if the meat had “disappeared”. After turning the corner, I saw the couple. The backpack was again on the guy’s back and the girl’s buggy did not have the meat in it. “Great!” I thought.

I called out on the radio to all the staff that there might be a potential shoplifting couple and gave a brief description of how they looked. I followed them around to see if they would try to take anything else, but they didn’t; they just walked to the tills to start unloading what they were going to buy.

I called out to the cashier on the radio.

Me: “Did the couple at your register unload a pork fillet onto the belt?”

Cashier: “No, there wasn’t one here.”

I quickly positioned myself at the exit and waited for them. They almost instantly clocked me. The dude stared at me. They gave each other a quick glance and said something, and the guy quickly started walking back to the shop floor. I quickly walked to the aisle to see what he’s doing. The guy took off his bag, unzipped it, and threw the meat to the back of the shelf, and then he started looping around the store.

While this was happening, the girl’s shopping was already scanned and she was paying. I turned to her.

Me: *Bluntly* “After paying, you and your friend are not welcome back here again.”

Her eyes popped out and she threw the coins that she was counting and started yelling.

Woman: “I did nothing wrong!”

Me: *Calmly* “Your friend tried to shoplift.”

While this was happening, the guy came back, heard my accusations, and was outraged. He started yelling and threatening me. After seeing my name badge:

Man: “Oh, [My Name], you should watch your back; you will get hurt.”

They both started hurling insults at me and my manager. At the end, the girl paid for her shopping, I checked the bag even though I knew he was not that dumb to leave anything in there, and they left, still hurling insults and saying they would call the cops.

A couple of hours passed, and I was on till covering my colleague’s break. All staff, including managers, were on till as there was a big rush going on. The person on break came on the radio to say that there was a situation in the canteen and a manager needed to come. My manager closed his till and went there, a minute passed, and I was called in also.

I closed my till and went to the canteen. What did I see but another one of my colleagues, the woman from earlier, and my manager? It turns out that the shoplifting couple were the son and daughter of one of my colleagues. Straightaway, I could see that this was gonna be good!

I sat down and the girl immediately started yelling at me.

Woman: “I did not shoplift! Even if my brother did, you had no right to come up to me! And if you didn’t know, I’m pregnant!”

Her mother, my colleague, cut in.

Colleague: “Stop yelling. Let [My Name] explain what happened.”

Me: “As I said at the tills, you are an accomplice to the deed, and while you—”

I was cut off.

Woman: “How dare you call me an accomplice! He put the meat back!”

Me: “After you both saw me standing at the exit looking at you.”

Colleague: “So, you admit it that they were not shoplifting, so you have no right to ban my son and daughter.”

Me: “This is a deterred attempt to shoplift at any point. Both of you and your brother were not just yelling and causing a scene, but also threatened my colleague and me with harm.”

Colleague: “Yes. For this we are sorry; there was no reason for those threats.”

The daughter never apologized for any of this.

Woman: “But he—” *Points at me* “—had no right to come up to me and accuse me of any of this! And I want an apology!”

I genuinely laughed.

Me: “No, that is not happening. You both know what you were trying to do. Not to mention—”

I got cut off again.

Woman: “Ohhh?! A big man, aren’t you?”

Their mom started playing devil’s advocate and saying that they were not shoplifting if they were not walking out with the stolen bits. She was almost demanding that I’d apologize. Again, I started to explain what I saw and again was cut off by the woman.

Me: “I see we are going in circles. My suggestion is to watch the security footage as a picture will say a thousand words more than I can.” *To my manager* “Can I go back to work?”

Manager: “Yeah, I think we are done here. I will let the store manager know what happened and what we talked about, and he will be the determining factor if you guys are banned or not.”

I left the canteen and all the staff were already waiting for me to tell the story of what happened in there, which of course, I did. It was far too funny.

Today, I talked with the store manager about what was going to happen next.

The “kids,” who are twenty-five and twenty-eight, are not banned at the moment and can come to shop, but we are allowed to check their bags for any reason, and if they kick off, they will be “citizen arrested” and the cops will be called.

I have called the non-emergency police line and spoken to one of the officers and filed a report regarding the brother’s threats. I gave them the guy’s name, which was easy to get, as their mom mentioned it several times. The officer did tell me that the guy is known for criminal behavior, so this won’t be just filed and left on the side.

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