Hey, Mister, Where You Headed? Are You In A Hurry?

, , , , , , | Working | August 13, 2020

Years ago, I used to make a regular run between two cities for the company I worked for. Frequently, I picked up hitchhikers. 

Hitchhiker: “Where are you headed?”

Me: “[City].”

Hitchhiker: “Great! The [Bus Company] driver knows me and he was being an a**hole and stranded me here. When do you expect to get to [City]?”

Me: “[Time].”

Hitchhiker: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I know my route pretty well.”

Hitchhiker: *Laughing* “We’ll beat the bus back. I’ll go talk to the station master when we arrive and I’ll tell him what the jerk did. The proof will be my luggage on the bus.”

I used to drive like a bat out of h***, so I beat the bus by about an hour. My return trip was 225 miles and we passed the bus on the highway before reaching the town. I don’t know how it turned out, as I dropped him off at the depot when we got in.

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Next, They’ll Be Out Of Water And Electricity, Too

, , , , | Working | August 13, 2020

My parents and I are on a road trip to Florida from Kentucky and stop for the night in Georgia. We book a room with one actual bed and a pullout couch. There are only two pillows on the bed and no more in the closet or anywhere else in the room, and there are no sheets for the pullout bed, either.

My mom calls the front desk.

Employee: “How may I help you?”

Mom: “Hi. We were wondering if it’s possible to get a pillow sent to our room?”

Employee: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we’re not allowed to give extra pillows because we’re running low on linens.”

Mom: “Oh, well, it’s not really extra. There are two pillows and three of us. We just need one more.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we’re out of pillows.”

Mom: “Um, so, what do you recommend we do?”

Employee: “Go buy one?”

My mom is flabbergasted, especially considering it’s nearly midnight and anywhere that would sell pillows is closed.

Mom: “I don’t think we can do that. Can you just bring the sheets and blanket for the pullout bed and maybe an extra blanket for her to use as a pillow?”

Employee: “No, ma’am, we don’t have sheets or blankets left, either.”

Mom: “So… what are we supposed to do? The bed won’t fit all three of us and there’s no sheets or anything for the pullout bed.”

Employee: “Again, I would recommend going out and buying what you need.”

Mom: “Can you just move us to a room with two beds, instead?”

Employee: “All of our rooms are booked.”

Mom: “The website says there’s availability tonight.”

Employee: “Yes, for tonight, not tomorrow.”

Mom: “Well, perfect, we’re only staying tonight.”

Employee: “Sorry, it’s against policy to move you at this time of night.” *Hangs up*

We just sat there stunned and unsure of what to do. Luckily, when we called back an hour later, we managed to get a manager to move our room.

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At Least It’s Easier To Clean Than A Mask

, , , , , , , | Working | August 13, 2020

After a few months of wearing masks, my workplace switched to “face shields” — plastic shields covering the face, strapped onto a band or nose clip — to reduce stress on our part while still fulfilling company (and other) rules.

Since temperatures started to rise again, a coworker of mine brought fresh ice cream on cones from a shop directly next to ours for us to enjoy. 

Remember the face shields? I surely forgot, only reminded after I licked the inside of the screen and squished the ice cream on the other side of it.

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Time Is Of The Essence… Of Stupidity

, , , , , | Working | August 12, 2020

I am at the airport waiting for my flight, which is set to leave in an hour, let’s say 10:00 am. The flight takes an hour and a half, so I will be getting to my destination around 11:30 am.

All of us waiting for said flight are disappointed to hear an announcement that the flight has been cancelled. We all need to rebook on other flights.

I find a young attendant who is very excited to help me. 

“Oh, miss, I am sorry to tell you, but the next flight for that state isn’t until 4:00 pm, and it will take an hour and a half.”

“So, 5:30 pm,” I say. “That’s okay.”

I am one of those people who actually doesn’t mind a lot of downtime as it gives me an excuse to read, doodle, and write. Besides, this also gives me an excuse to splurge on a nice lunch at one of the fussier restaurants on the concourse that I have never tried because I am usually on a tight schedule.

Then, he says, “Oh, wait! I have a flight in forty-five minutes. Then you won’t have to wait and you can get to your destination sooner.”

Well, okay, if it gets me there sooner.

He proceeds to explain that the flight is actually going first to State B, where I will catch a different plane for State C, where there will be a lengthy layover, and finally, we will go to State A, my destination.

“And it will get you there at 7:00 pm!” he finishes with a big happy smile.

My stomach is twisted in knots.

“No,” I say, “that’s not for me. I’ll take the later flight.”

He looks like he might cry. “But you won’t have to wait here for almost five hours! You can leave now!

“And I will be in the air for almost seven hours, up and down, if I leave now. Thank you, but I would prefer to relax, wait for the later flight, and maybe have a nice meal. Please book me for the later flight.”

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An Honest Miss-stake

, , , | Working | August 12, 2020

My parents raised me to always be polite and address people by “sir” and “ma’am,” if not “Mister” or “Miss”, and this has stuck with me into adulthood. This generally works out in my favor, as I live in an area with a lot of seniors who appreciate the respectful address. Sometimes, though, the strength of habit becomes clear. I am on the phone with a lovely older woman when this happens:

Me: “All right, I’ve gotten that all taken care of for you. Was there anything else I could help you with, ma’am?”

Customer: “Oh, no, [My Name], you’ve been great! And you can just call me [First Name].”

Me: “Yes, ma’—”

I bite my tongue and the customer catches it because I can hear the playful smirk in her voice.

Customer: “You can’t do it, can you?”

Me: *Gritted out* “No, ma’am.”

We shared a laugh and ended the call. Some people have gotten mad at me when I’ve struggled to address them by their first name; it’s nice to have someone who understands!

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