The World’s Strangest Parking Lot Attendant

, , , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Internal_Use8954 | May 15, 2021

I’m a woman, and I was twenty-four when this happened about two years ago. I was working as a construction and design engineer for hospitals doing plumbing and air conditioning. I worked for a company that was hired by the hospital, not for the hospital itself.

My company had been hired to do an ER renovation on an old hospital, and the plans for the existing building were really old or damaged or just didn’t exist anymore. As low man on the totem pole, I got the fun job of going out to the hospital to document and investigate the existing building — lots of going up on ladders and looking above the ceiling to track down pipes and ducts and such. Because this was an ER and therefore working twenty-four hours a day, we had to time our investigation for non-busy times — namely three to seven am in the middle of the week. I was also working my normal office hours because I needed the overtime pay, so for all of these interactions, I was exhausted and just didn’t care anymore.

I had to park in the hospital parking garage, on the top floor, to be out of the way of patients and visitors. I had finished early because an emergency had come into the ER and I had to get out of the way. I had some extra time, so I decided to close my eyes for a bit before driving to the office.

I was woken up by a tapping on my window. A man was peering in the window. I waved at him, thinking he was just making sure I was all right; I was sleeping in a hospital parking lot, after all. The man gestured for me to roll down my window, so I cracked it to hear him better.

Man: *Gruffly* “Employees are to park in the back lot, or on the street if that’s full. Next time, I’ll have you towed.”

He then turned and marched back to his golf cart, which he had blocked me in with.

Me: “I don’t work here!”

He left. Then I left and went to work thinking it was a one-time deal. Little did I know…

Over the next few visits, I came back to my car to find increasingly angry “parking tickets” about parking in employee parking from now on! They were printed on standard printer paper and were very obviously homemade, with a blurry hospital logo and word art “Parking Enforcement” across the top. The notes threatened booting and towing and had demands for my supervisor’s name so I could be reported. My coworkers and I had quite a laugh over them. I even left a note on my dash saying I wasn’t an employee, and the next “ticket” had a rant about lying and a threat: “You will be written up for lying once I get your supervisor’s name!”

Then, one morning I came out to find the guy waiting for me. He had blocked my car with his golf cart and was grinning at me like a cat who got the cream.

Man: “Employees have to park in the back lot! You are in so much trouble. I demand to speak to your manager! Give me their name and number and the department you work for! I won’t let you leave until you give me your manager’s name!”

He did have my car blocked in. I tried to explain that I wasn’t an employee. I pointed out my outfit — work boots, jeans, safety glasses, and a toolbelt with flashlights, tape measures, lasers, and a clipboard with my drawn plans — and told him that this is where hospital admin had told us to park. But he insisted that my disguise wasn’t going to trick him and demanded to speak to my manager. I was so exhausted and wasn’t really up to arguing, so I just pulled out my business card and my boss’s card and handed them over. I had told my boss about this, and he just told me to ignore it, as he had confirmed with the hospital that that was where I was supposed to park.

This dude pulled out his phone and called my boss and reported me. My boss — an older gentleman, president of the company — told the guy that he had to let me leave or he was calling the police. When the dude hung up, he told me:

Man: “I’m letting you leave this time, but next time you park here, I’ll boot your car and find your real manager’s number and report you! Some trick with your friend won’t work!”

He got in his golf cart and zoomed away. Luckily, my boss found this whole thing hilarious.

It was about a week before I went back and I was almost done with my task. I had finished for the day once again and headed out to my car to find that the man had — sort of — done what he had threatened.

There was a thick chain looped through the handle of my driver’s side rear door and around a cinderblock, all tied together with a large padlock. I knew this guy was a bit nutty, but I also had figured out that he didn’t have any real authority, so to find this half-clever, half-poorly-thought-out ball and chain attached to my car was a bit of a surprise.

I got into engineering because I like solving problems and this wasn’t a particularly complex problem. I simply rolled my back window down, lifted the cinderblock and excess chain into my car, and then drove away. I passed the man on my way out. To say he was shocked was an understatement, and I gave him a jaunty wave as I drove by. It was a cold drive back to my office with the window open, but it was worth the look on his face.

When I got to the office, I had to go in and sign out the bolt cutters, and I was followed out by a parade of my coworkers to see it for themselves.

I had to go back one more time. I was eager to see what the man might do after his last plan failed. I came out to find that he had tried the chain and cinderblock bit again. This time, he had wrapped the chain around the bottom of the wheel a few times and had the cinderblock tied pretty close to the wheel and the chain through the handle again. It was definitely chained in a way that would take a lot more ingenuity to get out of… or a pair of bolt cutters that I hadn’t returned to the office — you know, just in case.

I cut through the chain, unchained the car, and then loaded the whole lot into my trunk. The man must have been harassing some other person, because he only pulled up as I was backing out of the spot. He blocked my car — again! — with his cart and jumped out. He came to my window and I did roll it down just to see what he had to say.

Man: “Hey, hey! Where are the chains?! How did you get loose?! This is stealing! I will have your job for this!”

I never did hear the rest of the rant, as I yelled during a pause for breath:

Me: “Magic, and I’m not an employee!”

And I drove around his cart and away. It was the most dramatic exit of my life and will probably never be topped.

It was my last day there for now, and I’ve since gotten a new car, so I’m not sure if I’ll run into that man again. I’d like to think he is still puzzled over how I managed to unchain my car. My boss did lodge a complaint, but I don’t think anything came of it.

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CAT Scans In The Twilight Zone

, , , , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2021

I arrive early for my CAT scan and sit in the waiting room. [Tech #1] comes out of the back.

Tech #1: “Is [Man] here? [Man]? [Man]?”

Receptionist: “Who’s [Man]?”

Tech #1: “His wife is back there and too dizzy to walk. I’m looking for her husband.” *Louder* “[MAN]! [MAN]?!”

[Tech #1] disappears for a few minutes and then he’s back.

Tech #1: “[Man]? [MAN]?! [Receptionist], would you page him?”

Receptionist: “What’s his last name?”

Tech #1: “Just page [Man].”

Receptionist: “I can’t do that! There are lots of [Man]s!”

Tech #1: “I don’t know his last name. Just page him!”

[Tech #1] disappears again. [Tech #2] comes out of the back pushing a woman in a wheelchair.

Tech #2: “Someone’s supposed to transport this woman to the lobby.”

Receptionist: “Park her over there until they come.”

[Tech #2] parks the woman and goes into the back.

Tech #1: “[Man]? [Man]?”

Transport Nurse: “Where’s the woman in the wheelchair?”

Receptionist: *Waving vaguely* “Over there.”

Transport Nurse: “I see the wheelchair, but it’s empty.”

Receptionist: “That’s odd.”

The transport nurse leaves.

Receptionist: “[My Name], we’ll get to you in just a few more minutes.”

Me: “That’s just fine. You’ve lost two people in the ten minutes I’ve been here, so I’m really overwhelmed with confidence at the moment.”

Someone else behind the reception desk calls out:

Employee: “Don’t ask me! I’m on lunch!”

Tech #1: “[Man]?”

They did eventually find [Man]. They never found the missing lady. And my CAT scan went on without further incident — whew!

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Trying Wheely Hard To Be Sensitive

, , , , , , | Working | May 14, 2021

My boyfriend uses a wheelchair. We’re at the pharmacy for his appointment to get the second dose of a two-course vaccine in 2021.

They have a table set up for check-ins. The employee checks him in and gestures us to an area a few feet away to wait. A minute or two later, another woman signs in. The employee gestures to our area.

Employee: “Please wait on the circle behind the gentleman in the…”

There is a very long, very obvious, very conspicuous pause. He finally says:

Employee: “…black T-shirt.”

I wanted to tell him it was okay and he didn’t need to worry, but I didn’t in case that would’ve made things more awkward. I know he only wanted to be considerate.

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We’d Like To Refer You To Common Sense

, , , , , , | Working | May 14, 2021

I overhear a fast food worker on their phone when they should be working.

Worker: “Do you have to put in two weeks notice if you’ve only been there for a week? I’m done here, but I want to use them as a reference, so I want to make sure I do it right.”

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As If Moving Wasn’t Stressful Enough

, , , , , | Working | May 13, 2021

Several years before we moved in together and got married, my girlfriend had to leave her student flat and moved into a small apartment. The young couple moving out didn’t seem to be the most organised people; however…

When moving into a new place, it isn’t a miracle to still receive mail for the previous tenant, so my girlfriend contacted them and had them pick it up. However, my girlfriend immediately had the feeling something was off. When the girl arrived to pick up the mail, my girlfriend asked whether they had already registered their new address with the municipality, to which the girl more or less replied, “Registering our address? What’s that?” This did not bode well.

How true her feeling was. Although they apparently did change their address in the municipal registration after this, they never did so on almost every account they seemed to had, so mail from insurance, banking, and everything else kept being sent to her address instead of theirs.

Most of it seemed to change after quite some time, except for one. A very famous company, which provides insurance for roadside assistance and traveling, kept sending in letters reminding the guy that he still hadn’t paid his fee. At some point, my girlfriend got worried about the idea of debt collectors showing up at her door, so she decided to call the company and explain that they needed to contact the guy in some other way. 

Obviously, the system of such an organisation is not made to change the contact details of a customer based on the complaint of a third party. What happened afterward, however, was really incredible. Some weeks later, my girlfriend received a phone call from the company, who wanted to speak to the guy about his outstanding fee. Taken by surprise, she stammered, “What? N… No, he doesn’t live here.”

Only after hanging up, did she realise that she had been called on her mobile phone. The only way they could have gotten the number was from her own call. That’s right. She used her mobile phone to call the company and tell them he had moved out of the address and she had moved in, so somebody thought it made sense to put in her phone number as his.

How someone thought this would make sense is beyond me, especially since the rules of the company should actually prevent this from happening. Some random people being messy with contact details is bad enough. Professionals doing it is unacceptable.

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