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A Load Of Hoagie Hokum

, , , , , | Working | May 31, 2023

This was my worst experience at a local takeout/eat-in grille. It’s the kind of place parents take their kids to get ice cream or where kids might go after soccer practice. I’ve been there before and had excellent service.

They’re not super busy this time, but there is a line of people waiting to place their orders. I order a chicken hoagie with basic toppings — nothing complicated — get my receipt, take a seat in the eat-in area, and wait for my order. All the while, I’m watching the line of people making their way to the counter, and I overhear people ordering ice cream, a burger, a hoagie, and so on.

I keep waiting for my order, and my number isn’t getting called. I wait for maybe fifteen minutes or so, and still nothing. I go back up to the register with my receipt.

Me: “How is my order doing?”

Cashier #1: “We’re still working on it. It’ll be a few more minutes.”

So, I sit back down. I’m a patient guy, and I understand that it’s a little busy, so it may take a while. I might be here for a bit. I get it.

After waiting for a while, I start to notice that people that ordered way after me are getting their orders called, so I’m starting to get a little bit annoyed. But I decide, “Hey, it’s cool. Maybe something happened. I’m sure it’ll get resolved. I don’t mind waiting. It’s all good.”

Forty-five more minutes go by, and I decide I’m done waiting. I go back up to the counter and talk to the cashier who took my order.

Me: “So… how’s my order doing?”

She takes my receipt and turns to her coworker.

Cashier #1: “Do you know anything about this order?”

Cashier #2: “No, I don’t.

[Cashier #1] gestures to someone in the kitchen to come over and asks him about my order.

Cook: “Nope, I don’t know about that.”

[Cashier #1] froze for a second, and I could see her mouth the words, “Oh, s***.” She took the cook and ran back into the kitchen for a minute, and then she came back out, obviously frantic, saying my order would be ready in a minute.

I waited right at the register until it came out. I got my hoagie five minutes later.

I never asked what happened. When my bag came out, the cashier never said anything, and neither did I, but the look she had gave it away. They forgot my order, completely. Maybe it was her, or maybe it was the cook. I don’t know, and honestly, I didn’t care. What did it for me was no one ever said, “I’m sorry for the wait,” or, “We apologize for the mix-up” — not even an excuse. I just got handed the bag.

The real kicker of the story is that the hoagie wasn’t even that good.

Karma On Tap

, , , , , , | Working | May 31, 2023

I work for a tankless water heater company. I talk to plumbers all day long. I get a lot of calls from people who have hooked up the very clearly marked COLD water pipe to the HOT connection on the unit and the HOT pipe to the COLD connection. This causes the heater to not work.

I am suggesting this to a plumber.

Plumber: “I’ve been doing this for over twenty years, and you don’t know s***!

Me: *Calmly* “The problem must be with the unit. I would advise you to shut off the cold water valve going to the unit—” *thus no water pressure to the unit* “—and remove the part to inspect it.”

I then heard the plumber drop his phone in a garbled mess of water spraying him and everything around him, something that could only happen if he had mixed up the pipes. I then giggled and waited for him to pick back up, make an excuse instead of admitting that he was wrong, and hang up.

An Unexpectedly Taxing Part Of Tax Prep

, , , , , , , , , | Working | May 30, 2023

I worked for a tax preparation office. [Owner] owned four offices. I was typically located in the smallest office, but occasionally, I was placed in a bigger office when they were short-handed.

One such short-handing was rather unusual in nature. [Manager] ran the largest of [Owner]’s offices.

One day, he requested me — or rather he requested “all of our first-years who look good in a suit”, and that included me. Why? To pretend to be lawyers.

One of his senior workers had made a very serious error in a tax return. Somehow, not only was the money directed to the wrong bank, but when the IRS sent the money, the wrong bank kept the money and put it into the account of an unrelated third party.

This created an enormous legal mess. The IRS is NOT supposed to put money in an account without your name on it. There’s a lot that went wrong here.

This turned into meetings of clusters of lawyers — lawyers for the client, for the bank that actually got the money, for the bank that was supposed to get the money, and for the US government.

[Manager] felt… underrepresented. So, he had all of the first-years who looked good in suits dress up like lawyers and hold empty briefcases. There were three of us that he selected: two men and one woman. We were told to stand next to him and keep our mouths shut.

In truth, we didn’t have to do anything. [Manager] had almost no part to play in the event, simply answering about five questions while everyone else argued.

But that was the time I had to be a fake lawyer for my employer.

The Bizarrest Butcher

, , , , , , | Working | May 29, 2023

CONTENT WARNING: Animals Butchered For Meat


I bought a pig from a local meat market for a spit roast. I have never had an angrier man sell me anything. On the first call for a quote:

Butcher: “It’s [price] per pound. I can’t deal with this!”

And he hung up on me. I made a second call to reserve the pig, and the man abruptly cut me off.

Butcher: “Why didn’t you reserve it the last time you called?!”

Me: “Because you hung up on me.”

He hung up on me again. Now, I was just working with this guy to have another story at the pig roast.

I called back on the day of delivery to confirm when I was going to pick up the pig. This went fine. He even sounded pleasant. Then, I got to the market. The dude had a sign on the door that said, “I fought in the war, and that gives me the right to be this ornery.” I don’t know which war, but okay.

I walked in, and a tiny man who had obviously just butchered an animal yelled:

Butcher: “Who the h*** are you?!”

I let him know and asked for my pig. He walked into the back room, came back with a trash bag filled with a carcass, and literally chucked it at me. Having a fifty-pound dead pig thrown at you is not a normal experience.

I had my two-year-old daughter with me, and a sweet little old lady came out and offered my daughter a Tootsie Pop. We don’t often give my daughter candy except on special occasions. I was about to protest when the old man yelled:

Butcher: “You let my wife give your daughter a sucker!”

I paid, and we walked outside. The butcher followed me. The man looked at my jeep — as I still had the pig slung over my shoulder — sneered, “Don’t go anywhere,” went inside, and brought out a dollar in quarters. He handed them to me.

Butcher: “Go next door and air up your tires. I’ll be watching.”

I drove next door and aired up my tires — which were low, but not outrageously low — all the while being leered at by a butcher covered in blood.

The Key Is To Find Another Way In

, , , , , , | Working | May 29, 2023

As my father got into his eighties, he needed more and more help with things, and one day, he called me with an odd one. His bank wouldn’t let him into his safe deposit box. He had opened this box decades previously at a smaller bank for free. Sometime later, they sent him a letter saying that they had been bought out and that his box was now at a larger bank. He didn’t think much about it. But after several more years, when we went to the new bank to get into his box, he said they wouldn’t let him in.

So, I went into the bank and found a customer service person.

Me: “Hi. I have my father’s power of attorney, and he said that he’s having trouble getting into his safe deposit box.”

The representative took my father’s information and typed for a while.

Representative: “Hmm. Your father doesn’t have a safe deposit box with us. I’m sorry. He’s mistaken. Sometimes older people forget where their boxes are. It happens all the time.”

I went back to my dad.

Me: “Dad, I’m sorry, but you’ve got the wrong bank. They don’t have your box. They looked it up. Maybe you closed it? Maybe it’s at another bank?”

Dad: “No! Here’s the key! Here’s the letter I received. They have my box.”

I went back to the bank.

Me: “My dad is sure he has a box here. Here’s the key, and here’s a letter showing the box is at your bank.”

The representative typed for a while again, getting conspicuously annoyed.

Representative: “I don’t know what to tell you, but your father is mistaken. We do not have his box. If we did, it would show on the computer. Here’s all your father’s account information. There is no box.”

Me: “Can we try the key, please?”

Representative: “No. I can’t let you go into someone else’s box just because you have a key to it. Your father is mistaken. We don’t have his box. Please go.”

And there it sat.

Then, one day, I was at another of my father’s banks. (He believed in keeping a little money in multiple places in case of a bank failure.) I was griping to the woman there, and she wrote down a name and number on a piece of paper and said, “Call this woman.” And I did. She turned out to be the operations manager for that first bank branch.

Me: “Hi. My father thinks he has a safety deposit box at your bank, but the customer service reps say no. Is there any way you can help us?”

I heard a bunch of typing.

Operations Manager: “Your father does not have a box with us. What’s the number on the key?”

Me: “[Number].”

There was more typing.

Operations Manager: “Hmm. That’s a mystery box. We have no name attached to it, it’s not assigned to anyone, and we’re not allowed to assign it to anyone in the system. How about you come in and we try the key?”

Walking into the bank, meeting the operations manager, and going into the boxes, under the eyes of the original customer service representative… Not gonna lie. I enjoyed that. The key worked, my dad’s stuff was all there, and we grabbed it fast. The operations manager told us later that they had had computer problems migrating everything from the original bank, so that’s why it wasn’t in the computer.

Lesson: computers don’t eliminate mistakes; they just allow people to be more confident in their errors. And sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right person to help you.