How Thieves Get Trained

, , , , , | Legal | December 9, 2018

(I work as a driver for a mid-sized haulage company. Our depot backs onto some train tracks, and as a result, we have a higher than average number of people breaking onto the site trying to steal cargo off the back of trailers parked in the yard. This is in spite of better fences, more cameras, changing and even hiring a full-time night guard with a pair of German shepherds to keep an eye on things. We still have people breaking in two to three times a week. I return to the yard about two am, to find four of the mechanics gathered around a refrigerated trailer.)

Me: “What’s going on?”

Mechanic #1: “We’re training.”

Me: “Training to stand near a trailer in the dark?”

Mechanic #2: “No, we’re training tonight’s wannabe thieves. [Night Guard] and the dogs rounded a pair of them up earlier.”

(At this point I become aware of muffled shouting and banging coming from the trailer.)

Me: “So, you caught them and threw them in there?”

Mechanic #3: “Yeah, [Mechanic #1] was getting tired of repairing cuts in the fences every other night, so we’re seeing if we can train them to not come back, instead.”

Me: “How cold is it in there?”

Mechanic #1: “-30 C, cold as it can go.”

Me: “You have entertained the possibility they might freeze to death, haven’t you?”

Mechanic #1: “Still banging, aren’t they? [Night Guard] called the police about ten minutes ago; they’re sending someone to pick them up. We did tell them not to rush, though.”

(At this point, the police did, in fact, show up and retrieve the fairly frosty pair of thieves, whilst also cautioning the mechanics to not take the law into their own hands again. Since they hadn’t actually stolen anything, the thieves could only be charged with trespassing, so the actual police punishment was very minor. The mechanics’ unusual method did seem to work, because following this incident and a couple of further ones involving people being tossed into room-temperature trailers for several hours, our break-ins almost completely stopped.)

Pay It Forward By Giving It Back

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 7, 2018

I’m on my way home and decide to stop at a supermarket near my train station to get some cash from the ATM, so I can grab takeaway on the walk home. That is when I realise that I can’t find my purse. I know I had it when I got on the train and realise that I must have left it on the seat while either taking my book out or putting it back in. I start to walk home, intending to call my bank when it get there, since I don’t want to call my bank in the middle of the supermarket car park.

I haven’t walked more than a few meters when my phone rings with an unknown number. It’s the support line for a youth organisation I volunteer with. I immediately start to panic, thinking something bad has happened, and wondering what else could go wrong today. But to my surprise, she asks if I’ve lost my purse, and when I tell her I have she says that someone has found it, found my ID card for the youth organisation in it, and called them. She then used my membership number to find my record and get my mobile number.

She gives me the phone number of the person who found my purse and I thank her. I call the number. The man had been sitting opposite me on the train and seen me leave my purse, but couldn’t get it back to me before the train doors closed. He apologises for going through my purse and cards to find a phone number. I arrange to meet him in one of the main city train stations, and he hands it to me over the ticket barrier. I have my purse back within an hour of realising I’d lost it.

The whole thing really restored my faith in people, not only that someone wouldn’t just automatically keep my purse but also would go to the trouble of finding a way to return it to me directly rather than just hand it into the station. Thanks to that man, and to the woman on our organisation’s phone that night, I’ve put a business card in there now, so at least next time someone can call me directly — I’d like to say that leaving something like this was a one off, but it really wasn’t!

Flushing His Job Down The Drain

, , , , , , | Working | December 6, 2018

(I’m a housing officer for the council, and part of my role includes checking bed and breakfast accommodation provided as a temporary measure to homeless families to make sure the hotels are up to standard. Normally, this is more a formality than anything, and the couple of hotels we use regularly all know me and let me get on with it. On this occasion, I go to reception and ask them to contact the people we have placed so I can then go and do the room checks; instead, the manager says he will take me up to each room and let me in if there is no answer. The first two rooms get checked with no problem. At the third, no one answers, so after knocking, the manager enters the room.)

Me: “Oh, it looks like there’s a leak in the bathroom; the carpet around the door is soaked!”

(We knock and then open the bathroom door. The toilet seat and lid is down, but water is clearly flowing down the outside of the toilet bowl onto the floor, and the floor is covered in a layer of water.)

Hotel Manager: *stepping into the puddle in his normal work shoes* “I’ll fix that!”

(He then proceeded to flush the already overflowing toilet without even opening the lid to see what might be causing the problem or what might come out. His look of consternation and slight panic as the flush predictably caused a small tidal wave to cross the floor and splash God knows what up his legs was the highlight of my day. Not sure we’ll be using them again!)

The Key To Getting Your Lost Property Back

, , , , , | Right | December 4, 2018

(I’m the idiot in this story. My husband and I have had a rare night out drinking, and we are making our way home in a private hire taxi we called and booked in advance. My husband decides to stop the taxi early, so we can get out and buy supper at a fish-and-chips shop before walking the last 250 yards to our house. It has stopped raining, thankfully, so it is quite a nice walk — aka “slight stagger.” I decide I don’t want supper, so I walk down the road on my own in order to get the fire going, put the kettle on, and so forth. I reach our front door, only to realise I’ve lost my house keys. I check my pockets and my bag — even emptying both onto the floor — but no keys. I am getting stressed by now — my husband has left his keys at home. I call the taxi office.)

Me: “Hello! My name is Mrs. [My Name] and I just got out of the taxi at [Street]. I dropped my keys in the cab! Could you ask him to look for them, please? I’m so sorry; I know you’re busy.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, one moment.”

(I hear the dispatcher radioing my taxi driver, and several moments later I hear the reply.)

Dispatcher: “Sorry, Mrs. [My Name], but the driver said there are no keys in the cab at all.”

Me: *explodes* “They must be! I’ve just got out of the cab, not five minutes ago!”

Dispatcher: “Mrs. [My Name], please, he’s a very honest driver! Only this afternoon, he handed in a wallet that—”

Me:I don’t care about a wallet! My keys are in his cab! There’s nowhere else they can be! I had them in my hand, and now I don’t have them! I bet he didn’t even look, did he?”

Dispatcher: “Mrs. [My Name], he’s back at the office, and he’s had another look. Another driver helped, and there’s nothing there—”

(My husband walks up to the door, eating his supper. I quickly and angrily explain what happened.)

Me: “Are you calling me a liar? Do you realise we are standing here in the rain, at nearly midnight, outside our locked door because your driver won’t search his car properly?”

(I fumble for my automatic umbrella, pressing the button to open it, and raise it above our heads. And hear a slight “tinkle” noise as my keys hit the concrete floor.)

Me: *speechless*

Husband: *laughing hysterically*

Dispatcher: “Mrs. [My Name]? Are you still there?”

Me: *calmer now* “Yes. I’m… um… still here. I found my keys, and I’m so, so very sorry. I somehow dropped them into my umbrella. I am so, so very sorry. Please apologise to the driver for me. Oh, God, I am so embarrassed. Oh, my word.”

Husband: *still laughing*

Dispatcher: *trying to answer me without obviously laughing* “It’s… ahem… okay, Mrs. [My Name].” *cough* “No, really, I’ll explain to the driver. You have a good sleep now, eh?”

(I apologised a lot more, and then let the poor man go and do his job. I vowed to — and did — pop into the taxi office the next day to leave a £20 tip for that driver, to try to apologise for practically calling him lazy and a thief. For the next six or so months, however, it was my husband who booked the taxis for us, and each time, I heard him say, “Yes, of course I’ll take my keys. I won’t let her be in charge of them. Yes, I promise. Thanks, bye!” He got a lot of mileage out of that one, with family and friends.)

Dying To Get Out Of Detention

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 2, 2018

(I’m a school receptionist. When students sign in late, they come to me.)

Students: “Miss, we’re sorry we’re late. [Road] was closed because someone died.”

(They give pretty specific details to the death, which I track down, but I put them on detention. They come back at break time.)

Students: “Why do we have detention?”

Me: “I looked into that accident and the road, and found out the closure was yesterday, not today.”

Students: “That’s not true!”

Me: “I pulled news sites and looked; they all give [date], which was yesterday. Now go to detention before I give you one after school!”

(I tell their head of year afterwards.)

Me: “I had half the mind to give them detention for that, too. It’s low.”

Head Of Year: “Keep it in your back pocket, and tell the parents when they come in for a meeting.”

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