A Welcome Method To Overstaying Your Welcome

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 7, 2017

(Living in a college apartment with five other girls can get interesting. One of the girls goes home for a month in the summer, and when she comes back, her sister comes with her. She asks each of us if we’d mind her sister staying for a week or two, just until she finds a place of her own. Since we’re all busy helping prepare for the wedding of another roommate — and helping her move to her married apartment, while another girl takes over her spot — we don’t mind, so long as it’s only for a week, two tops. She also asks to borrow my camp cot. Unfortunately, a month passes, and her sister’s still there. There are other issues as well, and I get designated to talk to the roommate, since she’s a friend of mine.)

Me: “Hey, [Roommate #1], can we talk? It’s about your sister.”

Roommate #1: *resigned sigh* “Sorry, but you know how it is. It can be hard to find an apartment, especially when you’re new to a town.”

Me: “That’s just it. I was talking with her last night, and she hasn’t even started looking! She tried to foist me off by saying she’d start this weekend, and then immediately called [Friend] to make plans for the entire weekend.”

Roommate #1: “Ugh. I’ll talk to her.”  

Me: “If that was it, that would be one thing, but… the cot’s destroyed, and it wasn’t cheap; I don’t know how she managed to damage it so badly. She’s also been eating everyone else’s food, and when we’ve asked her to stop, she refuses and says she’ll just replace it. But she hasn’t. I’m out over $100 in food already, and some of the others are out more. We really can’t afford to feed your sister; we’ve budgeted carefully to get through the semester. It’s one thing if she asked, or if we offered. But just taking our food off the shelves is theft, and a couple of the girls are getting really upset; they want to call the landlord and get him to sort it out. I’ve talked them out of it, because his solution would probably be to cancel your contract, and none of us want you punished. It’s not your fault.”

Roommate #1: *bursts into tears* “I’m so sorry! I’m trying to get her to start looking for a job and a place of her own. I really am!”

Me: “Oh, hon! I know. It’s not your fault. It’s harder when it’s family. I get that. What can I do to help?”

Roommate #1: “I don’t know. I’m trying to motivate her, but… she just doesn’t seem to care.”

Me: “All right. She’s your little sister, and you feel like you have to protect her. I’ve been there. Do you want me to step in? I’m not her sister. I can be the designated b**** in this situation; it doesn’t matter to me if she hates me.”

Roommate #1: “Would you? Could you? But what… I mean, do you have an idea?”

Me: “I do, if you want me to. In fact, I can almost guarantee it will work. But I’ll need you to stand firm with us.”

Roommate #1: “I can do that. What’s the plan?”

(I tell her, and then we wait for her sister to come home, which doesn’t happen until very late. I’m waiting for her on the front porch.)

Me: “[Sister], we need to talk.”

Sister: “Can it wait until tomorrow? I’m bushed!”

Me: “No, it can’t wait. We have a problem.”

Sister: “Well, talk to [Roommate] about it. I’m going to bed!”

Me: “That’s just it. No, you’re not.”

Sister: “What?”

Me: “You don’t live here. We agreed to let you stay for a week, two at most. As of today, it’s been a month. If you want to stay another night, you need to start paying your share of rent. That’s [amount], by the way.”

Sister: “I can’t afford that!”

Me: “Not my problem. Although any apartment around here is going to run more than one seventh of this place, just so you know.”

Sister: “Seriously, can we talk about this tomorrow? I’m going to bed.”

Me: “You’re still not getting it, are you? You aren’t crossing this threshold again.”  

Sister: *it finally clicks that I’m serious* “You can’t do that!”

Me: “Actually, I can. I live here. You don’t.”

Sister: “Yes, I do!”

Me: “No, you don’t. Your name is not on the contract, you’re not paying rent, and you’re stealing everyone’s food. And if you step through that door again, I’m calling the cops and having you arrested.”

Sister: “For what?”

Me: “Theft and trespassing, for starters. And since the door’s locked, it would also be breaking and entering.”

Sister: “You can’t do this!”

Me: “Yes, I can.”

Sister: “But what about my stuff?”

Me: “Your sister and I can bring you out anything you need, and we’ll both be glad to help you haul everything to your new apartment, just as soon as you’ve found one.”

Sister: “But where am I supposed to sleep?”

Me: “The landlord took the old love seat out of the living room last week; it’s on the patio out back. My sleeping bag is already waiting for you. I’ll need it back in the morning.”

Sister: “You can’t just leave me out here! I’ll start looking tomorrow, but you can’t just leave me outside!”

Me: “Oh, just stop whining for one second in your life! It’s still summer; you’ll be lucky if it gets down to 70. You’re not going to freeze. It’s no worse than camping — better, really, since you have the love seat — and I know you’ve gone camping plenty of times.”

Sister: “But… I… You… But…!”

Me: “Your sister and I visited the housing office after class today. We have a print-out of available places you can start looking at first thing in the morning. Give me a call if it gets colder than the forecast said; I’ll bring you out a spare blanket. Good night.”

(I let myself in, and then lock the door behind me.)

Sister: *starts pounding on the door and ringing the bell* “Let me in! You can’t do this!”

(Hearing the noise, everyone starts coming into the living room to see what’s going on.)

Me: “[Roommate #1]’s sister will be sleeping on the love seat out back tonight, after which she’ll be finding an apartment of her own. Don’t worry; I’ve loaned her a sleeping bag.”

Roommate #2: *starts laughing* “Oh, that’s genius! She’s not going to freeze though, is she?”

Me: “We’ve all been sleeping with our windows open, trying to catch a breeze. It’s hot out; she’s more likely to sweat to death than freeze. In fact, she’ll probably have more pleasant temperatures than any of us.”

Roommate #2: “Oh, good. Night, then!”

(Everyone else goes back to bed as well, and the sister soon gives up yelling, ringing, and knocking. She then tries to sneak in the back door, but finds it locked tight. Then she tries calling her sister repeatedly.)

Roommate #1: *looking at her phone* “What do I do?”

(I hold out my hand, and she gives me the phone. I answer:)

Me: “[Roommate #1]’s phone, [My Name] speaking.”

Sister: “Let me in, you [insult]!”

Me: “Nope. Not happening. Have a nice night.”

Sister: *screams and hangs up, finally going around back and flinging herself on the loveseat*

(The next morning, I handed her the sheaf of papers with apartment listings. She had a place of her own within an hour. Go figure.)

 

The Magic Flute

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2017

In the early 90s, my mom’s car was broken into while she was at a music festival. The thief made off with all of her instruments, including the flute her father gave her over twenty years earlier when she was first learning. Naturally, she was devastated. She did manage to replace her instruments, and more or less put the experience behind her.

Ten years later, Mom was giving lessons at a music store. One day, she forgot her flute at home, and asked the owner if he could loan her a flute for the day so she could do her lesson. As luck would have it, someone had come in earlier that day and sold him a flute they’d found in a closet of the house they’d just bought. He reached behind the counter, and took out a case with a unicorn sticker on it. Mom immediately recognized the sticker, as she had that exact same one on her case. Excited, she took out the mouthpiece to check for the serial numbers her father had engraved in it. Unfortunately, they weren’t there. It wasn’t her flute.

Disappointed, she took the flute to her lesson room. As she was fitting the pieces together, she saw, on the middle section, a set of numbers. It was indeed her flute, and she’d simply mis-remembered which section had the numbers on it! As soon as her lesson was over, she went back to the owner, asked how much he’d paid for it, and told him she wanted to buy it.

Fifty dollars later, she was finally reunited with her flute. Since her father had died a year earlier, it was especially magical for her. Ironically, when he had engraved those numbers, she’d been upset since there was a sizable area where the silver had been stripped. But thanks to those numbers, the thief was not able to sell it, and simply left it behind when they moved, allowing it to make its way back to her.

The Kind Of Guy Who Puts Their Mug Shot On A Mug

, , , , , | Right | November 3, 2017

(I’ve been a cashier at a grocery store chain for about six months. I’m one of the few cashiers who isn’t a minor and works nights on the weekends. It’s Saturday at around 10:30 pm when two young men walk up, reeking of weed. I greet them and ring up their order, and I scan some sort of cough syrup, which is an age-restricted item. Policy says we have to ID anyone who is under 40.)

Me: “Can I please see your ID?”

Customer #2: “What the h*** do you need his ID for?”

Me: “Oh.” *holds up cough syrup* “You have to be 18 to buy this.”

Customer #1: “Chill, man. She’s just doing her job.”

(He then searches his pockets and pulls out his phone.)

Customer #1: “I don’t got my ID on me, but I got my mugshot.”

(The customer shows me his phone, where the county sheriff’s department page and, indeed, his mugshot, are on screen.)

Me: “Um, sir, that’s not a valid state-issued ID.”

Customer #1: “It’s not?”

Me: “No, it’s… it’s just a mug-shot. Do you maybe have a license or a military ID?”

Customer #1: “No.”

(Legally, I couldn’t let them purchase the item. While they were mostly polite, the story was just too good to not share.)

Needs A Break From Your Illegal Activities

, , , , , , , | Working | November 3, 2017

When working for an employment agency, I was asked to work in a certain bar one evening. When arriving there, all seemed right and, to be honest, the work was okay. However, after a few hours work, I asked how everything worked with breaks. The other workers reacted a bit surprised. Break? Oh, well, in fact they didn’t do those, because there was no time… despite the law making it very clear that the employer is obliged to allow it and the employee is obliged to take it. “We don’t do that. The employment agency should have told you. I’ll talk to them about this, because this is really important.”

A bit later they had the chef de cuisine make me a croquette sandwich. Since I was quite hungry, I was very happy about this and thanked the cook, despite the fact that he shouted at me and bullied a coworker earlier in the night. I ate it quickly and went back to work immediately.

After an evening of hard work in a very busy bar, I had to leave at midnight. One of the floor managers took me to the office to find the form for temporary workers. The office turned out to be a mess and she was unable to find the form, although she was clearly as annoyed by the mess as I was. In the end, the lady improvised and made me write down my name, employment agency, and hours on a blank note. I worked for seven hours, so that’s what I wrote down.

The next day, I commented to my contact at the employment agency about the break problem, stating clearly that I wanted to be fully informed, and that I thought it was weird that the place didn’t do breaks, despite this being illegal. My contact reacted somewhat defensively, although they called the incomplete briefing “a learning point for us.”

Despite this, I was assured that it was very common in hospitality work that you’re supposed to have eaten before 5:00 pm, and I was asked to have “some flexibility.” I didn’t answer, since I was clearly not winning this, although some Internet research and a phone call to the union made it clear to me that I was totally right.

Later, when I downloaded my payslip, it turned out that the place only paid me for six-and-a-half hours, anyway, while eating the sandwich took me about five minutes. I emailed my contact, asking exactly what the bar’s general manager submitted, pointing out that I didn’t take half-an-hour break and, therefore, worked for much longer.

No response ever came. Much later, I asked the financial person of the employment agency what was submitted. According to her, [Bar] indeed claimed I worked six-and-a-half hours with a half-an-hour break. Once again, the employment agency didn’t take any action, but since then, the bar was on my personal blacklist, which I made very clear to my contact.

Thievery Requires Classy Caffeination

, , , , , , , | Related | November 3, 2017

(I am making a cup of tea for myself when Mum yells through the house to make her a cup of coffee, as well. I see there are two options: [Extremely Expensive Brand] and [Extremely Cheap Brand]. Both are open, but the cheap brand is further forward and seems to be more used. In fact, the expensive brand is practically hidden away, as it’s in the tea section of the cupboard, on its side, and behind the tea itself. Since I know Mum adores her expensive brand, I ask, yelling across the house.)

Me: “[Cheap Brand] or [Expensive Brand]?”

Mum: “Oh, just use the [Cheap Brand], because—” *incoherent as the kettle is boiling at that moment*

(I walk through to her.)

Me: “What were you saying? I only heard about using [Cheap Brand]. Also, why do you have two brands open?”

Mum: “Oh, I don’t. [Cheap Brand] jar contains [Expensive Brand].”

Me: “Why?”

Mum: “Because [Expensive Brand] is too big to fit in the coffee cupboard, so I fill the [Cheap Brand] jar with it so I can get it in there.”

Me: “Oh.” *pauses, then adds jokingly* “You know, Mum, you’re supposed to put the cheap stuff in the expensive container, so you seem classier, not make yourself look poorer.”

Mum: “But if someone robbed the place, they’d go, ‘Oh, they drink [Cheap Brand]; they must not have any money, so there’s no point robbing them,’ and then we’d be fine.”

Me: “Why would a burglar be in our coffee cupboard?”

Mum: “Burglars need a cuppa every now and then, too, you know!”

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