D*** You, Jean-François!

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2020

(I am female, living in a complex of three identical small apartment buildings. I’m going about my day when I notice that the Internet and phone lines are down. A few minutes pass, and someone knocks on the door. I’m stoked, since it’s a technician from my telecommunication company.)

Tech: “I’m here to hook up Jean-François.” *a typical French MALE name*

Me: “Sorry, no one by that name lives here.”

Tech: “You’re not Jean-François?!”

Me: *getting annoyed, since it’s clear that I’m neither a man nor am I actually moving in* “Nope, but can you check my connection? Everything’s down..”

Tech: “We can’t do that; we’ve disconnected this place since Jean-François has contacted us to say he was moving here, and that the old renters were gone.”

Me: “There’s been a mistake. I never contacted you to disconnect me, and no one has moved in.”

Tech: “Well, that’s the info we’ve got. You’ll need to give the company a call, and they’ll send a tech to reconnect you.”

(I tried insisting, but off he went. I had to go find a payphone — this happened a bit before cell phones were as generalized as they are now — and finally got through. Jean-François had moved into the same apartment number, but in the neighbouring building. I had to wait more than a week for them to come and connect me again. They never gave me any type of discount for the days for which I wasn’t connected, so I switched companies.)

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Friendliness And Rudeness Come In Similar Packaging

, , , | Working | January 22, 2020

(I am extremely socially anxious, as well as autistic. I also live on benefits due to not being able to work, and money is something I’m constantly stressed about. I’m sending a package out and I’m certain it’s the day I get paid and I have money on my bank account. However, my card gets declined.)

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry! Can you hold it for, like, five minutes? My partner is around here nearby, so I can ask for her to come to pay.”

(I’m really embarrassed, but I still try to be as polite as possible.)

Clerk #1: “Sure!”

(I step out of the line and go a little way away, calling my partner. I expect her to come there, but she transfers money to my bank account, instead, so I’m good to go in a couple of minutes. I take a number from the machine for the line and wait. [Clerk #1] is now in another area and doesn’t see me, while [Clerk #2] is in serving desk.)

Clerk #2: *to [Clerk #1]* “What is this transaction?” *looking at the computer*

Clerk #1: “Oh, the customer didn’t have enough money for the package; they’re coming back.”

Clerk #2: “Do you know if they’re paying in cash or card?”

Clerk #1: “No.”

Clerk #2: *sighing and rolling her eyes, looking visibly pissed off*

(I am only a few meters away, waiting for her to call my number, and I feel absolutely humiliated. I find myself constantly low on funds, even when I try to save and not use much of it. This feels like a dagger to my heart. I decide to step up.)

Me: “Excuse me?”

Clerk #2: *looking up* “Yes?”

Me: “That’s actually mine.”

Clerk #2: “The—”

Me: “The package. I came here to pay for it.” *smiles friendly*

(A look of absolute alarm and embarrassment crossed [Clerk #2]’s face. She realized I must’ve heard everything. She didn’t say anything, however, and she was professional the whole time. I was friendly to her, even though I still felt mortified.)

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Their Inventory System Is Crap  

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2020

(We have to evacuate our summer cabin because of a forest fire. When we return, we find that the cabin is fine, but the disused outhouse has burned to cinders. When the insurance adjuster comes to evaluate the damage for our claim, I have to explain to him what happened.)

Me: “The fire burned our jakes! It’s a total loss, I’m afraid.”

Insurance Guy: “What’s a jakes?”

Me: “Our outhouse. Just don’t ask me to inventory the contents.”

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Long Story Short: Canada Is Big

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2020

(We move from Edmonton, Alberta — in western Canada — to Halifax, Nova Scotia — on the east coast. My husband is a lifelong fan of the Edmonton sports teams, but they are seldom on TV here; we tend to get games that eastern teams are playing in, instead. So, my husband buys a specialty sports streaming package that guarantees it will broadcast all the games he wants to see. When the first game is supposed to be on, he tries to stream it and gets a notice that it is blacked out for our area. Frustrated, my husband calls the service provider.)

Husband: “I specifically subscribed to this streaming service to watch Edmonton games, and I want to know why they are blacked out for our area.”

Call Centre Rep: “The teams are suffering from low turnout, so a certain number of games have been blacked out ‘in the local area’ to encourage more fans to attend the games in person.”

Husband: “But I am not ‘in the local area.’ We are 3700km away. There’s no way we can just pop in to watch a game.”

Call Centre Rep: “I’m sorry, sir, but Halifax is considered the local area for Edmonton games.”

Husband: “I want to speak to a supervisor.”

(The supervisor told him the same thing: we couldn’t access blacked-out “local” games to encourage us to buy tickets and go watch them live. My husband gave up and cancelled his subscription. The worst part? The call centre was in Montreal, which is directly between Edmonton and Halifax. When my husband asked them if THEY could just pop in to Edmonton to see a game, they told him no, Edmonton and Montreal were too far apart, but they couldn’t understand that Halifax and Edmonton are also too far apart, even though Halifax is even farther from Edmonton than Montreal is!)

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Engineered Himself Out Of A Bad Situation

, , , , , | Working | January 21, 2020

(This is one of my dad’s many stories. In the late 80s and early 90s, he was a very highly skilled network engineer, which at the time was just an emerging field. As a result, he jetted around a lot to help clients with installs and training on the new technology. In this case, he was sent to Argentina. My understanding is that it has cleaned up a lot in the last 30 or 40 years, but back then, it was not a great place. While at the hotel, his primary client contact insists that he should go to the club district while he is in town. My dad, not knowing any better, agrees, and picks a bar at random. The entrance to the bar is a steep set of metal stairs, which will be relevant later. He sits at the bar and orders a drink, but he starts getting a bad feeling about the place pretty quickly and decides he should go elsewhere, so he asks for the tab shortly after.)

Bartender: “Four hundred dollar.”

Dad: “What?”

Bartender: “Your bill. Four hundred dollar.”

(Bad feeling confirmed. My dad takes out all the money he has — a little over $100 — and places it on the counter, backing away slowly.)

Dad: “Look, this is all I’ve got. You can have it. I’m just going to leave.”

Bartender: “Four. Hundred. Dollar.”

Dad: “I don’t ha—”

(He is cut off by a blow to the front of his head from the billy club the bartender produced out of nowhere. Due to sheer bull-headed stubbornness — okay, and probably some adrenaline — he doesn’t black out, but manages to stumble towards the exit. Just as he gets there, he feels one of the bartender’s friends grab him by the shoulder. He very quickly decides on a course of action, and grabs the guy’s arm and yanks him down the stairs with him, doing his best to make sure that the other guy hits as many of the metal steps as possible on the way down. At the bottom, my dad gets up; the other guy does not. This is apparently enough to make my dad “not worth it” and he stumbles out onto the street. He tries to flag down a passing Policia, but the guy seems to develop a curious case of blindness at the bleeding American crossing his path. In the end, a hotel concierge manages to catch him before he stumbles deliriously into an even worse part of town, and after refusing a ride in an ambulance — 80s Argentinian hospital = NO — the gash in his head is super-glued shut and he is sent on his way. He actually finishes the job, with a huge knot on his forehead, and when he gets home to his workplace…)

Boss: “Whoa. What happened to you?”

Dad: “I got mugged.”

Boss: “…”

Dad: “In Argentina.”

Boss: “…”

Dad: “After the guy you sent me to work with told me to visit the club district.”

Boss: “Huh. Well, that sucks. Did the job get done?”

Dad: “Yes.”

Boss: “Great! Anyway, next month we have another trip lined up for you…”

(Yeah, my dad didn’t stay with that company too much longer.)

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