Like Busses In The Night

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 22, 2020

I am coming home from work on what might be one of the worst days since the start of the health crisis. We were understaffed, ran out of stock, and had a line for the entirety of my five-hour shift. While I am walking home, a bus stops beside me and the driver pops the door.

Bus Driver: “You heading to West Edmonton Mall?”

Me: “Just a bit further.”

I’m preparing to explain how I forgot my wallet and don’t have the fare. 

Bus Driver: “Get on.”

Me: “But—”

Bus Driver: “No, nope. I just had to call 9-1-1 on someone who overdosed. I could use the company.”

So, I got on the bus and we talked. She was running late cause she had stayed with the man until the ambulance showed up, and she was understandably a little shaken up. I talked about how I had been at work all day and nothing seemed to have gone right. 

She was really kind and understanding, and she was just what I needed to feel a little better. 

I don’t actually believe in fate, but I do think she was one of those passing ships that you meet in life. Thank you, random bus lady, and I hope I was able to make your day a little better, too.

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There’s No Patching This One Up

, , , , , , | Working | September 10, 2020

On a major roadway, I drive over something in the middle of the lane that looks like a piece of ribbon at first, but I feel a bump when I go over it. A couple of kilometers later, other drivers start yelling out their windows that I’m leaking gas, so I pull into the next gas station.

I call my roadside assistance company and they tow me to one of their recommended mechanics. They’re closed when we arrive, so my sister drives me home and I phone first thing the next morning.

Me: “Hi there. Something punctured my gas tank so my truck was leaking gas everywhere last night. My truck is on your lot; I was wondering if you could take a look and tell me how much you think it will cost to fix.”

They agree but I don’t hear anything, so I phone again the next day.

Me: “Hi. I called yesterday about the red truck?”

Representative: “Oh, yeah! That one! Yeah, it’s the fuel tank. It’s punctured.”

Me: “Yeah, I know. How much will it cost to fix?”

Representative: “Well, I’ll have to look into it and get back to you.”

I wait for a few hours and call again that afternoon.

Me: “Hi. I’m looking for a quote on my truck.”

Representative: “Well, I told you. You need a new fuel tank.”

Me: “Okay, but do you know how much it will cost?”

Representative: “Let me take a look here and see how much that part would cost… plus labour… You’re looking at about $600 for a new tank with a one-year warranty.”

I take a few hours to talk to people close to me who know more about this stuff than I do and call them to tell them to go ahead with the new tank. Two or three days later, they leave a message on my phone late in the afternoon.

Message: “We’re calling to tell you that the tank we ordered arrived but it is the wrong tank for your truck and we can’t find one that fits, so our next step is to use a special material to patch the hole in your fuel tank.”

It’s too late to phone them when I hear this message, so I plan to phone them the next day after talking to the same people as before. This is a rough week, because I lose my phone that evening. After two days of searching with no luck and being advised by my boss and dad that the patch job will be too temporary to be worth it, I ask my mom to phone the mechanic to tell them to forget about it. To our horror, they inform her they’ve patched it up and are waiting for me to come get it.

Mom: “Well, how much are you going to charge?”

Representative: “We agreed on $600.”

Mom: “The $600 was for a new tank. Why did you go ahead with the work? We never consented.”

Representative: “It doesn’t matter; we’ve done the work so now you need to pay.”

Mom: “But you didn’t have a work order! She agreed to a new tank.”

Representative: “How about we do $500?”

Mom: “That’s too much money for a patch job! We never would have agreed to that and you didn’t have a work order!”

Representative: “Listen, the truck costs us money every day it’s up on the hoist. We can rip the patch off and you come get the truck, but it’s still gonna cost you a few hundred dollars.”

Mom: “Why didn’t you just put it back on the lot? We’re not paying $500 for a patch.”

Eventually, we managed to negotiate that they would fix a vandalized keyhole which I had been working around for months, and I would pay them $500 total. When I signed the paperwork, we learned that the patch job only had a six-month warranty instead of the original twelve months. 

Seven months later, the patch started falling off and I tried to submit a complaint about the mechanic to my roadside assistance company, as I was reminded of the terrible service and as frustrated as ever. They reached out to the mechanic, who claimed that they had never even heard of me or my little red truck.

We decided to pick our battles and just sold the truck for parts and bought a different one.

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Would Have Been Better Off Claiming An Invisible Disability

, , , , , | Right | August 24, 2020

I work at an open-air museum set up like a small townsite with a few houses surrounding it, which we call the farmsteads. The area is quite big so we provide scooters at reception for anyone who has difficulties walking.

Despite reception being located just in front of the townsite, most visitors end up going around the building and straight into the townsite.

A young and fit-looking woman returns from the townsite and arrives at reception.

Customer: “How come I keep seeing all these people on scooters? No one gave me a scooter when I came in!”

Receptionist: “We only provide scooters to anyone with a disability or trouble walking.”

Customer: “But I’m seven months pregnant! I want to see the manager!”

She does not appear to be more than two months pregnant, if at all.

Receptionist: “I’m sorry. If I had known, or if you had told me, I would have set one up for you once you came to reception before entering the site.”

Customer: “I didn’t come here when I arrived. I just walked around.”

Receptionist: “…”

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Hurry Up And Wait

, , , , , , | Working | August 20, 2020

After clearing security at the airport, my family decides to stop at a sandwich shop on the way to our gate. My brother orders first and then goes to stand outside while the rest of us place our orders. While my mom is paying, my brother comes running back in.

Brother: “Guys, they’re calling us!”

Confused, we double-check our boarding passes and confirm that boarding isn’t even scheduled to start for another fifteen minutes. Figuring it must just be a message they need to give us, we keep waiting for our sandwiches. As they come up, we hear this.

Announcement: “[Our Last Name], party of five, please come to [gate] immediately for boarding.”

We grab our food and run through the terminal like something out of a movie, telling each other to hurry up, tripping on our luggage, barely holding on to our pillows, headphones, and other accessories. We’re almost there when we hear this.

Announcement: “[Our Last Name], party of five, this is your last call for boarding at [gate].”

Everything to this point has taken place over less than five minutes of time. As we board the flight, we notice a few fellow passengers glaring at us as if we had held up the entire plane, but as the plane is taxiing away, a flight attendant announces this.

Flight Attendant: “Okay, we want to thank everyone for boarding so quickly. Now we are able to leave fifteen minutes ahead of schedule!”

Upon landing in the next city, we sat on the tarmac for half an hour. The pilot informed us that this was because there were no available gates and we had to wait for our scheduled turn.

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Let Me Walk You Through How This Works

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2020

The bookstore I work in has a rather large kids’ section stocked with toys as well as books. We often have events for the kids in that area, but one day, I show up to work to see an event happening out front, near the entrance. A guy in a mascot suit is there to promote an upcoming kids’ movie and the accompanying picture book. He’s got two ladies with him, inviting children to take pictures with the mascot and colour pictures and stuff. The ladies are wearing T-shirts with the movie’s logo on it and jeans, which are not the bookstore’s limited dress code.

A little way into my shift, a woman approaches me.

Customer: “Can you show me where your humour books are?”

Me: “Sure! They’re towards the back, so I’ll take you there.” *Starts walking*

Customer: “Please don’t walk so fast! I fractured my pelvis.”

Me: “Oh, dear! I’m sorry.” *Slows down*

Customer: “I didn’t bring a walker, because I took the bus, and they’re always judging you, the people on the bus, for taking up too much space with your walker.”

I am also a bus person, but I have never had a problem with walkers.

Me: “I see.”

Customer: “I didn’t take any pain killers, either, because—”

She mumbles something that I can’t make out.

Me: “The humour books are over here. Is there a particular author or title you were looking for?”

Customer: “No, I’m just going to browse. Do you have a chair? I want to sit down.”

Me: “Absolutely! We have some… somewhere. I’ll go find one for you and bring it over.”

I find a chair at the other end of the store and carry it back.

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’ll leave the chair right here for you. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “No, I’m just going to look for a bit.”

Me: “Okay!”

I head off to do other things. A few minutes later, the same woman approaches me at the front of the store.

Customer: “Could you help me find the British design magazine?”

She doesn’t have the title; she just knows that it is a British interior design magazine. We have zero control over our magazine stock. Someone in another part of the country decides what titles we’ll get and how many. We can’t even look them up in the computer to see if we have stock, or if other stores have a certain title.

Me: “Sure, let’s go over and take a look.”

I lead the customer past where the mascot and his attendants are working.

Customer: *Snottily* “I asked those girls, but they didn’t know.”

Me: “Well, they don’t work here.”

Customer: “That’s what they said! They shouldn’t be here!”

Me: “They’re here with [Mascot].”

Customer: “Oh.”

No, we did not have the magazine she was looking for.

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