Good Thing You’re Alive, Because I’m Going To Kill You

, , , , , | Friendly | March 24, 2021

As a student, my wife used to live in an apartment block that was built specifically for students. The insulation of the building was extremely poor. When someone walked through the corridor on the same level, it was clearly audible in her studio apartment. During winter, it was next to impossible to warm it up, while during summer, the heat was intense because the architect apparently thought a black building would look nice. And obviously, she could hear every sound her next-door neighbours made. Luckily, her best friend was one of them and she, like my wife, couldn’t stand loud noises.

One day, my wife woke up to the “lovely” sound of her other neighbour’s radio, which was playing quite loud. Since she spent most of the day at home, this made the day quite tense. Several times she walked over and rang the door in the hope that he would turn down the music. He never answered, apparently since the music was so loud.

By night, my wife was obviously fed up. She wanted to go to sleep, which the loud music made impossible for her due to her light sleeping. After some final attempts to get his attention, she decided enough was enough and called the police.

When the police arrived, they couldn’t get him to respond, either. My wife, however, had also mentioned to them that she had tried to talk to her neighbour the whole day, but that he never answered the door, while the music kept playing. She had noticed that it was now taking strangely long for him to reply and suggested that something could have happened to the neighbour. This was enough reason for the police to try and force the door open. They didn’t manage. Another student, who walked by, ironically did. (No, he was no burglar. He just had experience with accidentally locking himself out.)

Now, what on earth had happened to the neighbour? Was he dead? Or just completely stoned? No, nothing of the sort. Turns out, he wasn’t even home that day. And that he had forgotten to turn off the alarm of his clock radio.

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Who’d Want Them Regularly?

, , , , , | Right | February 8, 2021

I live in halls at university. Student diets being what they are, my friend group of six orders a takeaway at weekends with a rotation of who picks the place, always paid for collectively.

My girlfriend and I favour a Chinese place, and over time, as we become known as regulars, the service becomes faster, the quality gets better, and it eventually gets to the point that we even get extra little items thrown in as a thank-you. Stamped proudly on the receipts is the word “regular,” and we are more than happy to keep ordering.

Another member of the friend group favours a more generic takeaway that does a bit of everything, so when it is her turn to pick, she always goes for that one.

A couple of months roll by, and one evening, her receipt arrives with “regular” on it. Rather than be happy to be a valued customer, she has a minor freak-out and proceeds to never order from them again the entire three years our courses run for, instead ordering almost at random from whatever takeaway she’s seen a menu for last.

It blows my mind that she would be unhappy about being a regular; how can you get upset at being valued?

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Not The Key To Student-Staff Relations

, , , , | Learning | December 1, 2020

I’ve just returned from a trip out of state to my apartment-style dorm complex. The building has six floors and I’m at the very top, so I direct my ride to drop me off at that entrance. They pull away, and as I go to enter the building, I realize my key card is not working at all. I give the resident desk a call.

Me: “Hi. I’m up on the sixth floor and the door isn’t working for some reason.”

Staff: “Oh, have you gotten your card reprogrammed?”

Me: “I don’t think so? It worked just a couple of weeks ago.”

Staff: “Oh, come on down and we’ll reprogram your card. We decommission all the resident cards once a year. For safety!”

Me: “Uh… sure, but I’ve been dropped off here with all my luggage and there’s no elevator access.”

Staff: “We can’t go up there. You should’ve thought of that.”

So, down I walk with my luggage, circling around through the entire car park since it has no stairs or elevators, around to the front of the building, where they reprogram my card and send me on my way. At least I can take the elevator up.

When I get inside my apartment with my now working key card, I realize my bedroom door is locked from the inside. This is the one door that requires a key instead of a card. Frustrated, I call the staff again.

Me: “Hi again. My bedroom door is locked for some reason, also?”

Staff: “Oh, are you locked out? Why not use your key?”

Me: “The key… was in my room. My roommates and I are all friends and we don’t lock our bedroom doors.”

Staff: “Oh, so you locked yourself out?”

Me: *Sigh* “No, I did not lock it before I left. But now it is locked.”

Staff: “Yeah, we did room checks and locked all the rooms afterward. To keep them safe. If you come downstairs, we can process the lockout charge and then let you in.”

Me: *Incredulous pause* “Excuse me. You want to charge me for locking me out of my room? And you can’t come upstairs?”

Staff: “Well, it’s really your responsibility to not get locked out. You’re adults now. And no, you have to request and pay in person at the desk down here.”

Me: *Another pause* “It is four am. I have dragged my luggage down six floors because you deprogrammed my card and sent no notice about it. Now you’re telling me you did a full room check, also with no notice, and locked me out, and you are trying to get me to go back down six floors to pay you for locking me out? I refuse and, honestly, I’m about to explode just talking to you about it.”

Staff: “Um… Well, I can waive the fee just this once. But you need to be more careful! You’re adults now! It’s your responsibility to keep your key on you and be responsible. It’s standard policy to lock rooms and deprogram cards every once in a while.”

Me: “I’ve lived here for two years and you’ve never done this before, but fine. I guess I’ll keep my key on me in case you guys decide to lock me out again.”

She came upstairs and finally let me in where I could blissfully sleep after my red-eye flight. Weird how there was never another instance of this apparently “standard policy.” I’m still not sure how mass deprogramming every single student card with no notice was supposed to be for safety.

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It’s A Big, Scary Ocean Out There

, , , , , , | Learning | September 18, 2020

I live in a small house on campus. It is a dorm, but we only have about a dozen rooms. I become good friends with two of the other girls, [Friend #1] and [Friend #2].

My second year, at the “get to know you” meeting, the three of us decide to take one of the freshmen under our wings. Our chosen freshman, who we call “Little Fish” — freshmen are often referred to as fish around here — is a very small girl, not even 100 pounds soaking wet, maybe five-foot-nothing. She is a sweet little thing, she was homeschooled, and while she knows how to do housework and is very well-prepared academically, she is very naive and believes nothing bad could ever happen to her.

One day, we find out she has been walking home alone from her night classes. Being the concerned big sisters we are, we have to stage an intervention. We sit her down in the lobby one day.

Friend #1: “Okay, Little Fish, it has come to our attention that you are walking home at night alone and unarmed.”

Little Fish: “Um, I guess.”

Me: “And are you aware just how dangerous this is?”

Little Fish: “Um, no. I mean, you guys walk around alone all the time. I don’t see why I shouldn’t if you do.”

[Friend #1] and I are both over 100 pounds and at least half a foot taller than Little Fish. [Friend #2] weighs more than all of us combined and is a weightlifter.

Friend #2: “Fish, you are small and portable.”

Little Fish: “No, I’m not.”

Me: “Yes, you are.”

Little Fish: “I’m not.”

[Friend #2] stands up, grabs Little Fish, throws her over her shoulder, sprints down the hall, touches the back door, and then sprints back and drops Little Fish back on the couch.

Friend #2: “See, portable.”

Little Fish: “That’s not fair! I wasn’t prepared for any of you to try and kidnap me. I’d be prepared for a stranger on the street.”

Me: *Standing up slowly* “Okay, Little Fish, I’m going to pick you up now.”

I proceed to grab her by the waist and carry her a few feet while she flails her hands about wildly. She manages to make contact with my face a few times but I don’t even have a bruise the next day. After I set her down again:

Little Fish: “But [Friend #2] could carry both of you off just as easy.”

Friend #1: “Honey, I carry a full-sized umbrella everywhere no matter the weather. It’s not just a style choice; that thing is a weapon and I can use it.”

Me: “And I have pepper spray on my key chain and have been learning aikido for years.”

Friend #2: “Heck, I carry pepper spray and I’m the least likely person in this room to ever need to use it.”

Little Fish: “Oh, but why would anyone want to kidnap me?”

Friend #1: “Because the world is a dark and scary place full of bad people.”

Little Fish: “It is?!”

I started dragging Little Fish to my aikido classes. We also found a friend of a friend who was taking the same night class and got him to walk with her, since his boyfriend’s dorm was in the building next door to ours.

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Air-Dry Obsessed And Airheaded

, , , , , , , | Working | August 6, 2020

This takes place while I am in college, living in an apartment affiliated with the university. This means it’s not run by the university like a dorm but only students can live on this property. This also means we have a real apartment, with a kitchen, washer, and dryer, our own bedrooms, etc.

When we move in, however, our dryer starts smoking like crazy the first time we use it. We discover it is jam-packed with dryer lint as if the previous tenants had never cleaned the filter, and it is clogging the entire line. We get maintenance to replace the smoky dryer easily, but they’ve forgotten to flush the line. There’s no airflow and our clothes aren’t drying.

I have a chat with maintenance about this.

Me: “The new dryer seems to be working great; we just need all the lint flushed out.”

Maintenance: “This is a brand new dryer we just gave you! It can’t be broken.”

Me: “Oh. It isn’t. It heats up totally fine; we just need the rest of the vent flushed out.”

Maintenance: *Condescendingly* “You know you have to actually turn it on, right? Your clothes won’t dry unless you turn it off of ‘air-dry only’.”

I look at the dryer, currently NOT set to air-dry.

Me: “Yeah, I know how to do laundry. Again, it works great and is heating up, but nothing will dry properly because it seems like it’s blocked.”

Maintenance: “Look. This is the air-dry setting. You don’t want it on this. Watch. To dry clothes, we set them to this setting or this setting and turn the knob. Then we…”

The maintenance man continued to explain how to operate the dryer to me patronizingly and ignored me when I kept trying to explain the issue. He probably spent fifteen minutes giving me a demonstration! He marked the ticket as fixed and didn’t do anything further.

After I complained to the front office, they finally sent someone to do what we’d asked for in the first place. 

Surprise! The dryer worked perfectly after that.

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