The Train Tracks Are Long And Bend Towards Justice

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 19, 2018

(The ticket machine at Winchfield train station is super crappy, and constantly has issues accepting cash payment. There are also no buildings anywhere near the train station. I am heading into Basingstoke for a Christmas work do at about nine pm. It is wet and icy, so it’s horrible. There’s a young girl, probably about 11 or 12, at the ticket machine. She has her cash in hand, so I know it won’t be a long wait, and I start fishing for my card.)

Girl: “Erm… Y-you can go ahead of me.”

(I look up, and she’s stepped to the side and pulled out her phone.)

Me: “Oh, thanks.”

(I go to the machine and the girl walks a fair bit away. The ticket machine isn’t accepting cash, and it takes a moment for me to click that the girl can’t get her ticket. She hasn’t cleared all her information from the machine, and I see her station is not one where she can get off without a ticket, so I buy hers and mine with my card. I head over to her after.)

Girl: *on the phone* “Please, Mum. It’s really cold and the ticket office is closed. Can you really not be here sooner? There’s nowhere I can wait! Mum, please?” *she starts crying*

Me: *tapping the girl’s shoulder* “Your ticket.”

(She turns round, and I hand the ticket over.)

Girl: *hesitantly taking it* “What?”

Me: “I bought your ticket. Get home safe, okay?”

(I head into the station platforms and start crossing the bridge.)

Girl: “Hey! The money for the ticket!”

(I look round. She’s trying to hand me a tenner, and I have no change on me.)

Me: “It was a few quid; it’s fine.”

Girl: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Positive. Good deed for the day and all that jazz.”

Backing Up Your Phone Is More Reliable

, , , , , | Related | April 19, 2018

(My sister has recently worked up the courage to kick out her abusive husband. The only problem is that he needs help moving his stuff to his new flat, but he doesn’t have a car. Being the nice person that I am, I offer to drive him there, and my teenage niece tags along so I can drop her off in town later. After a long, uncomfortably silent journey, we get to the flat. The husband basically bullies me into helping carry his stuff inside, but my niece manages to convince him to let her stay in the car. She’s on her phone. I grab some stuff and go up to the flat, feeling unsettled by the husband’s sullen silence.)

Husband: “Put that box just in there.”

(I do, and turn just in time to see him close the door. Although he has always been friendly toward me, I’ve heard what he’s capable of, and am understandably nervous. He insists on showing me around before I leave. I agree, but soon come to regret my decision.)

Husband: “…and here’s the bedroom.” *he gestures toward the far wall* “There are two old biddies next door, who like each other very much. I used to turn the TV up at night, but now I just sit and listen to them. It’s quite funny.” *he starts to imitate moaning noises and squeaking*

Me: *freaked out* “Right… Well, I’ve got to go now. [Niece] is waiting in the car.”

(He just stares at me.)

Me: “I’ll just let myself out.”

(I practically flee the building, and scramble into my car, creeped out. My niece looks up from her phone for the first time all day, looking at me with mild interest.)

Niece: “I can’t believe you went with him. The number one rule of staying alive as a young woman: Never go into a flat with a strange man, especially without backup.”

Me: *laughing nervously* “Oh, I was kind of hoping you’d be my backup. Just out of interest… How long would you have left it before coming after me?”

Niece: “I’d like to say ten minutes…”

Me: “But?”

Niece: “Realistically? Probably when my phone ran out of battery.”

(Needless to say, I was not impressed.)

Doesn’t Even Sound Good On Paper

, , , , , , , | Working | April 18, 2018

I work in a small, open-plan office in a fairly small company. The husband-and-wife owners of the company don’t seem to want to update anything or invest any money in the company; the windows don’t fully close unless someone pushes on them from the outside, the blinds are damaged so you can always see in, and the computer system is over some early version of Windows with limited processing speed, which crashes on a weekly basis.

One day my boss gets an email — they can’t work out group emails — to say the wife has decided we are using too much stationary, she refuses to buy any more, and she wants us to be a paperless office. This is all despite us lacking the resources to be paperless, and the husband’s insistence that we keep a physical paper trail of every order, invoice, or query the customers have.

We make do as best we can, but eventually I bite the bullet and buy a pack of paper, pens, and a few nice post-its, etc. It’s not much, but when you are earning minimum wage and buying resources which work should be providing, it’s more than I want to spend.

I put all my stationary in my desk the next morning. I come back from lunch to find all of it gone, including a monogrammed pen my mum bought for my birthday. I eventually track it down to the female owner’s office, where she is happily using them. When I confront her about it, she repeats, “Paperless office,” like she is a parrot who has learnt a new phrase. I bite my lip and ask how we are meant to be paperless when we are also expected to keep written notes and print records of all our work. She eventually relents that she might, maybe look at a stationary order, “if it’s such a big deal.” I thank her, take my monogrammed pen from her hand, and walk out her office.

The next day, I replace the stationary and replace the lock on the desk, secure it before I go for lunch, and come back to find my coworkers giggling. Apparently, the female owner had heard I had more stationary and spent five minutes trying to pry open my desk before snatching the post-its from my desktop, screaming, “PAPERLESS OFFICE!”, and storming out.

POTC: Unmade Films Tell No Tales

, , , , , | Right | April 17, 2018

(It is around October in 2014.)

Customer: “Do you have the new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie?”

Me: *assuming he means the fourth film, which is the latest one* “Of course. It’s right over here.” *I pick up a copy of “On Stranger Tides”*

Customer: “Nah, I mean the new one. The fifth one.”

Me: “Oh, that’s not out yet.”

Customer: “When will you have it in?”

Me: “Well, I think I heard that they’re going to be filming it next year, and that it’s due to be released in 2017.”

Customer: “But when will you have it in?”

Me: “Um… In 2017, probably.”

Kicking Yourself For Saying It

, , , , , | Related | April 17, 2018

(We are in the middle of moving house. My mother and I — both quite small women — have been tasked with moving a heavy ottoman upstairs. We get stuck halfway up, out of strength and breath.)

Mum: “Holy s***, this is heavy.”

Me: *struggling to breathe, bearing all the weight* “I think we need help. Can we get [Brother] to help?”

(My brother is 16 years old, 6’1″, and built like a gorilla, but he’s severely autistic and epileptic. He’s recently had a seizure, and is sitting quietly in his room, unaware of what’s going on outside his little bubble. We don’t want to disturb him, but I am at serious risk of being crushed to death.)

Mum: *finally giving in* “[Brother]!”

(Obediently, my brother appears at the top of the stairs. We instruct him in what we need him to do. He grabs the other end of the ottoman and helps pull it the rest of the way, but he gets stuck at the top of the stairs. There’s a pile of my books right in front of my room, meaning he can’t go back any further without moving them.)

Brother: *looks at me expectantly*

Me: “It’s okay, [Brother]. Just kick them out the way or something.”

(Bearing in mind that I haven’t heard a word out of him all day, none of us could have predicted what happens next.)

Brother: “HIIIIIIIIIIIYYYYAAAAAAAAAAA!”

(And I kid you not, he spins around and BOOTS my books, all his weight behind the kick, sending them scattering. One book even flies into the opposite wall.)

Me & Mum: *staring*

(Then, my brother turns quietly back towards us, gives a little shrug as if nothing happened, and picks up the entire ottoman by himself as if it weighs nothing, and carries it into his room.)

Me: *still staring, in shock*

(A few seconds pass in silence.)

Mum: *quietly, to me* “Well, you did say he could kick it.”

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