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Time To Get A Bunch More Cats!

, , , | Working | January 11, 2022

I’m living on my own and have no car, so when I get a great offer for kitty litter from a new online platform for pets in my email, I go to the online shop. Everything seems legit and shipping costs are reasonable, so I order six big bags of kitty litter, twenty-five litres a bag. Everything goes fine. I receive two big boxes with two bags of kitty litter in the first and second one but only one bag in the third.

I call customer service and they are very friendly.

Me: “I only got five bags of [kitty litter] instead of the six I ordered.”

Customer Service: “Oh! We’ll send you another bag free of charge.”

Only a few days later, a big box arrives on my doorstep. It has two more bags of kitty litter.

I call the shop again.

Me: “I needed one more bag of kitty litter and you sent two. Just bill me for the extra bag, since I’ll need it sooner or later.”

Customer Service: “Okay, we can do that.”

I think nothing of it, waiting for the new bill. Instead, a few days later, I get another box with, again, two bags of kitty litter and no bill.

I call again.

Me: “This is ridiculous. Now my flat, which is not too big, is now full of kitty litter!”

The five of six bags I ordered would have just fitted in the back of my closet and one would have gone in the box I had to use daily, but I had no idea where to put the extra bags.

Customer Service: “We’re sorry about that. Just keep the extra bags, no bill.”

I think, “Okay, fine. Now I will not need to buy more kitty litter for a long time. Well, I wanted some reserve, just not that much.”

A few days passed and another box came with another pair of bags with kitty litter. This time, I didn’t dare to call. For anyone keeping count, I had now received eleven bags of kitty litter. I had paid for six and only owned one cat! I packed the box aside and waited to see what would happen. 

A few months later, I looked at their online shop again and read that they were closed now.

Somehow, I’m not surprised. I also never got a bill for those extra bags of kitty litter.

Well, at least it was pretty good quality and I really got my money’s worth. On the bad side, my visitors stared at bags with kitty litter piled beside my sofa until I finally managed to use it up. Some made jokes about me being really afraid of floods in my own home and feeling the urge to build a bunker from kitty litter.

Germans Don’t Joke About Sports

, , , , , , | Working | January 10, 2022

I work for a small company in an “at-will” state, meaning you can be fired at any time and the person firing you doesn’t have to give a reason. The owner of the company is of German descent, though this isn’t publicly known; I know it because he grew up on the same block I did and our families are friends.

We’re all eating lunch together in the break room and watching a tennis tournament on the TV. A German player loses, and one of my coworkers speaks up.

Coworker: “That must be one sour Kraut.”

Owner: “[Coworker], you’re fired.”

Starting Drivers’ Ed A Little Early

, , , , , , | Related | January 10, 2022

When I was young, my mom picked me up at my preschool, but after taking me to the car, realized she needed to talk to the teachers about something. I didn’t want to go back in, so she told me I could stay in the car for a minute while she ran to ask my teachers a quick question so long as I promised not to leave the car.

Excited to be alone, I immediately headed up to the front seat and pretended to drive, as any young kid would do. I pushed all the buttons and pulled all the levers I could find, and one of those was the parking brake. Somehow, I successfully pulled it while playing, not realizing that it did something even when the car was parked. The next thing I knew, the car went rolling backward down the hill the parking lot was on.

It only rolled a little way before coming to a stop — we weren’t on that steep a hill — but I was still scared. Not wanting to be caught, I immediately crawled back into the back seat and buckled myself in, hoping no one would notice.

My mom seemed to take forever to come back out while I waited anxiously. In fact, she did come out almost immediately, but I’d rolled far enough back that she could no longer see the car behind the daycare building. She had run back in to ask for help when she thought the car and I were stolen before eventually coming far enough out to see where the car had rolled to.

She came and freaked out when she saw me nearly crying from worry. I tried to play it off as if the car had always been where it was and I didn’t know why she was concerned, not that she bought that for a second.

Luckily for me, she was so thankful I was okay that she didn’t care enough to punish me. And besides, I technically never did leave the car, as promised! However, it was quite a while before I was trusted to be alone in a car again.

Wisdom Beyond Her Years

, , , , | Related | January 9, 2022

When my sister was in kindergarten, she had a very… fun teacher. She came home one day with this.

Sister: “[Teacher] told us she’s 164 years old!”

Mom: “Oh, that’s not true. People can’t live that long. She’s just joking with you. “

Sister: “She’s a teacher. She knows a lot more than you.”

My mom really couldn’t argue with that one!

It’s Sure No Walk In The Park

, , , , , | Related | January 8, 2022

When my sister and I were still young — I think I was still in elementary school — my father had read something about part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal being opened up as a hiking path. He thought it would be good exercise and history for us to walk from a starting point into town, pick up dinner, and walk back to our car. He estimated it would only take a few hours based on how long it usually took him to walk that long a path.

Unfortunately for all of us, my father is not the best planner. His first mistake was confusing the length of the path from our starting point to town as being the full round-trip length, thus underestimating the full length by half. He also failed to account for how much slower tired kids walked compared to trained military men.

Thus, we got to the city later than he had anticipated the entire trip would take. It was already starting to get a little dark by the time we had found someplace to get dinner and we still had a long walk back ahead of us. My father had the bright idea of cutting through the woods to the nearby road to find a quicker way back to his car. I’m honestly not sure what he planned to do even if he did beat us back since cars couldn’t go on the walking path. Meanwhile, my sister and I were sent along the path with our mother.

Us kids got slower and slower as we grew increasingly tired and it grew darker, further delaying the walk back. Eventually, it was nearly pitch dark out. Despite the path being more than large enough for the three of us to walk abreast as it grew dark, my sister started to get afraid that she would fall into either the river on one side of the path or the now drained canal on the other side, so I let her take the middle spot, leaving me, her two-years-younger brother on the side near the canal and my mother to brave falling into the river. My sister also demanded frequent rest breaks as time went on, not that I minded these, as I was also pretty exhausted.

During one of these rest breaks, we suddenly noticed some moving lights. We eventually realized they were flashlights and called out to find a small group of two or three folks who had been hunting for us. They encouraged us to manage the last tiny bit of the walk to a small off-road car — which looked more like a golf cart — with emergency markings on it. 

It took us to a nearby parking lot where we found both an ambulance and a fire truck parked and waiting, lights still flashing.

Apparently, once my father got lost trying to take the shortcut to the car, he knocked on a door to ask for directions, only to find that the house belonged to a volunteer firefighter. Upon hearing my father’s explanation, he had called in the cavalry, despite my dad protesting that it would be overkill. We apparently had multiple search teams out looking for us across the canal.

We got to ride the ambulance back to our car, which little me found rather interesting, though hardly worth the torment of the evening for the experience. My legs and feet were sore for days after from the forced marching. From that day on, whenever my dad tried to plan anything at all, the family would remind him of the Canal and insist that my mother do the actual planning.