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An exclusive selection of stories from the NAR forums.

So Not The Time To Be Social

, , , , , | Right | September 15, 2022

On a recent trip to Florida, my husband, mother-in-law, and I go for breakfast at a bakery that was recommended to us. It is one of those little places in a strip mall that sells bagels, eggs, and, because it’s Florida, fresh-squeezed orange juice. When I am a millionaire, I am getting a professional juicer for fresh orange juice every day!

As we park the car and prep our masks, a huge pickup truck dragging a small trailer hitch behind it parks diagonally across the six or seven spots next to us. Already we can tell this is a kind and conscientious person

Out steps a dude who’s maybe in his fifties. He hops out of his truck and struts toward the bakery. Despite the “masks required” sign on the door, inside the bakery, many customers and even one of the workers are much less compliant, including our friend with the truck. We line up and place our orders to go, and I wait outside with my mother-in-law while my husband bravely sacrifices himself to wait inside for our food

We wait outside for what feels like forever, and finally, my husband emerges from the bakery with all the bags of food and the buzzing energy of “let’s just get out of here and I’ll tell you the story later.”

In the car, he tells us what happened.

Husband: “While the few workers who were in there ran around, some poor guy showed up for his first day of work, and nobody knew about it or what to do with him. They had to make some phone calls to sort things out, and parts of orders were missing as a result of the chaos. Meanwhile, our parking champion friend was chatting up all the workers and distracting them. He even turned to the new worker and asked him what high school he went to. Like now is a good time to chit-chat about this poor guy’s personal history and resume! Why do you care? You haven’t been to high school in decades! And who elected you the mayor of this bakery? Can you please socialize with your friends instead of busy workers who are not paid enough to give you mediocre bagels?”

Pump The Brakes And Turn On The Light!

, , , , , | Right | September 14, 2022

As I was driving around on a Friday, my truck repeatedly warned me that my windshield washer fluid was low, so I decided I would top up the fluid as soon as I got home.

Now, the windshield washer fluid reservoir in this thing is huge. In the six years of driving this truck, I think we’ve had to add fluid about six times. So, cue me looking in the manual for how to open the flipping hood (the release is hidden on the bottom of the steering column), opening the hood, digging out the jug of washer fluid, and getting ready to add it — just as the garage opener light times out, making the garage a lot darker.

Undaunted, I spotted something that looked like a windshield washer reservoir, took off the cap, and poured the fluid in… only to have it splash over my hands. It was already full! Cue WTF moment, turning on the garage light switch, and looking at the truck manual once more.

I had just added windshield washer fluid to the brake fluid reservoir! Yikes!

Long story short, the auto club towed my truck to the garage, where the mechanic flushed the brake fluid completely. Fortunately, everyone had time in their schedules, so I was back on the road by the end of the day (at a price, of course).

Lesson learned. Don’t do a task like this when: 1) you haven’t done it in over a year; 2) you’re tired; 3) you’re hurrying (when there is no good reason to hurry); 4) you can’t actually see properly.

I was glad that I had a regular, trusted mechanic who I could call to check just how bad my mistake was. Otherwise, I might have risked driving the 20 km (at highway speeds) to the garage, which would have pumped the washer fluid through the brake lines.

Boozing And Boating Can Only Lead To Bad News

, , , , , , , , , | Healthy | September 14, 2022

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

 

My boyfriend and I offer sailing holidays. People book a berth in a cabin and live and sail with us for one week. This, of course, means that we actually live with our customers and spend A LOT of time with them in very limited space.

I used to work as a nurse until March 2017. During training, we theoretically learned first aid in a “wild” setting, but that’s very different from emergencies in hospitals where you have a big crew and the right equipment. Still, you know the basics, and you learn how to calmly analyse the situation before making decisions. One of the guests in this story was (is, probably) a gynecologist working in a delivery room, so the situation was pretty much the same for her.

This happened during the summer of 2017, in a marina in Italy.

We arrived at the marina at noon because of an incoming gale. The crew was a bit grumpy over the short day out, but safety first. Next to us was another boat that had stayed in all day, opting for drinking and enjoying the sun in the cockpit instead. They were already pretty drunk.

Our crew got out some bottles of wine and started drinking, too. They were all adults, so there was nothing wrong with that. (Our guests aren’t allowed to drink before or during sailing. Afterward, it’s up to them.) There was a decently-sized motor yacht on the other side. The owner was lonely and invited all of us over. Our crew (minus my boyfriend and I) and some of the neighbours went.

A few hours later, all but two of our guests came back, claiming it was just too much for them. Everyone was drinking very heavily. Those who stayed were the gynecologist and her friend.

In the evening, [Friend] came back; he needed to use the loo. He was angry because the yacht owner would only let him use the one on board if he took his shoes off. (Never, ever enter someone’s boat with shoes on; that’s a huge faux pas. The yacht owner was not asking for something unreasonable with his request.) [Friend] stomped back to our boat, but instead of using the toilet, he just peed on our gangway and started an argument. It was annoying and embarrassing.

We went to bed around midnight. [Gynecologist] and [Friend] were still partying. At four in the morning, [Friend] rushed into our cabin.

Friend: *Yelling* “Someone fell in the water! We need help!”

We rushed over, just in time to see people managing to drag one of the girls from the neighbouring boat back up onto the dock. [Gynecologist] acted correctly and put her in a recovery position, and the woman started to vomit water. The others told us that the girl was leaving the yacht and fell off the gangway, went under the dock, and resurfaced on the other side. Bad, bad, bad. Port and marina waters are notoriously dirty and nothing you want to swim in, even less inhale.

We ran over and my brain was in nurse mode, analysing and planning what to do. My boyfriend and I told the yacht owner to call for an ambulance. This is where [Gynecologist] started to forget her training. She was absolutely wasted and in no condition to be practicing medicine. 

Gynecologist: *Slurring loudly* “An ambulance isn’t necessary! She just needs to sleep it off!”

The woman was in and out of consciousness. My brain was remembering something from training about secondary drowning; she definitely needed an ambulance. As the yacht owner called for one, I rushed back on board my boat to get blankets and then went to guide the ambulance to the right place. After a few minutes, I could hear yelling from the dock and went back.

When I brought the blankets, it kick-started the medical training in [Gynecologist].

Gynecologist: *Screaming at my boyfriend* “You need to get infusions! I need to put in an IV line!”

Boyfriend: “What? No.”

Gynecologist: “You’re a murderer!”

Boyfriend: “One, we don’t have that stuff on board, and two, even if we had it, I would not let you near anyone with a needle in the shape that you’re in.”

More screaming followed.

When the EMTs finally arrived, [Gynecologist] refused to move over so that they could reach the woman. She was trying to explain to them in slurred, drunken German what had happened and was hovering over the woman. The Italian EMTs, of course, couldn’t understand a word that she was saying and were trying to get her out of the way.

Boyfriend: “Would you just move over and let the professionals do their job already?!”

During that time, I was knocking on the door of the neighbour’s boat, trying to wake them up. Someone would need to accompany the woman to the hospital and bring her papers. They were really annoyed at me banging at their boat in the middle of the night. When I told them what had happened, one man let out a loooooong, annoyed sigh and called her name. It sounded like it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened.

The next day, [Friend] apologized for his behavior the previous day; he was super embarrassed. [Gynecologist], not so much. She saw my boyfriend and screamed at him again.

Gynecologist: “I AM NEVER TALKING TO YOU AGAIN!”

And she stormed off. She kept her word until two days later. Then, she got wasted again and started crying. She felt so belittled because he had called the EMTs “professionals,” and she felt that he didn’t take her seriously as a doctor. She refused to accept that she had been drunk.

The woman who fell off the boat was admitted to the hospital. She was in the ICU for two weeks. She had severe pneumonia from aspirating the dirty marina water, and according to our neighbours, she was close to dying from secondary drowning.

I know that a lot of people associate boating with drinking, but it can turn dangerous so, so fast. The woman was lucky to survive.

Lining Up For A Frustrating Time

, , , , | Right | September 14, 2022

I am in line to pay at a retail chain. There is a cart in front of me with [Guy] and [Woman #1] standing next to it. There is a big space between the cart and the woman ahead of them in line, [Woman #2], and another customer is getting rung up. [Guy] takes off.

Me: *To [Woman #1]* “Is that your cart?”

Woman #1: “No.”

She takes off, too. Then, [Woman #2] pulls the cart forward.

A good five minutes pass after [Guy] and [Woman #1] leave. I am almost finished putting all my stuff on the conveyor belt.

All of a sudden, [Guy] shows up and gets in front of me!

Me: “You need to get in line.”

Guy: “I was in line.”

Me: “You got out of line. You can’t cut in line.”

Guy: “Well, I don’t have as much as you do.”

Me: “Too bad. You need to wait in line.”

Guy: “You’re really not going to let me in front of you?”

Me: “No. You need to get in line.”

Guy: “You’re a b****.”

Me: “Didn’t they teach you how to wait in lines in school?”

Guy: “I didn’t go to school.”

Me: “Yeah, I can tell.”

The cashier then told him to get in the self-checkout line. Then, [Woman #2] paid for [Guy]’s stuff along with hers! He left once again and gave me a nasty look while cussing at me again.

Maybe if he had explained that he was with someone and that person had corroborated his story, I might have let him through. Why didn’t that other customer speak up?

It’s all a mystery, but whatever the reasons are, it doesn’t matter because I don’t kowtow to rudeness and entitlement.

Don’t Be Such A Raccoon Butt

, , , , , | Right | September 13, 2022

I sell things on a website mainly devoted to selling homemade items and crafts. My best seller is the Raccoon Butt Magnet. I strive to have my products clearly labelled with all relevant information. So far, I’ve had no actual complaints… until now.

Someone bought a raccoon magnet. All seemed well until a few days ago. I received a message from the buyer.

Buyer: “I must say, I’m already disappointed in this order. When I ordered it, it appeared that it was ready to go. Today, I checked and you only have one more? I don’t know why it’s taking so long; I should have had it by now. I would prefer to just get my money. You keep the magnet. Very disappointed! August 26th to September something. You’re in the USA; it shouldn’t take a month to ship.”

I literally sat on my hands, chanting, “I will NOT respond immediately,” over and over for a long while. My kneejerk reaction to hissing is to hiss back, but I knew that would not end well for me.

My (eventual) response was:

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion. My magnets are made-to-order items with a two-week manufacturing window. I received your order a week and a half ago, on August 5th. The raccoon rear is currently enjoying its final clear-coat drying session and was slated to go out tomorrow. If you’d still prefer a refund, I’m happy to do that for you. Let me know for certain whether you’d like a refund or the magnet tonight, and I’ll get it done. Again, I’m sorry about the confusion between ready-made and made-to-order.”

Early the next morning, I received a reply. It was very short and to the point.

Buyer: “I will take the magnet.”

The sale was saved — yay! — and I managed to resist my first impulse to tell the customer that they were an idiot for not actually reading the clearly-stated product information before they bought a magnet.

I was surprised to get a message from the buyer this afternoon.

Buyer: “Received it today. Very nice. Since it is a gift, I appreciate the box and wrapping. I’m sorry about the misunderstanding. I can’t leave a review just yet, but I will.”

They APOLOGIZED! I’m in shock. That ended much better than I first thought it would. I sent a polite reply so they’d know I was taking the issue seriously.

Me: “I’m glad you like it; I’m taking steps to make sure this confusion doesn’t happen again.”

Now, on the advice of another friend who sells on that website, I’ll be adding an extra image to all my listings stating, “Made To Order; Takes Up To Two Weeks,” so this hopefully won’t happen again.

In the buyer’s slight defense, [Website] has taken to cutting off half the product description with a “Click To Read More” link. Still, if I want to buy something, I read the full details instead of relying on pictures and half-hidden words.