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Maybe It’s Like Isla De Muerta From The “Pirates” Movies

, , , , , , , | Working | February 3, 2023

I live in a somewhat rural area, but I’m just over a mile from a fairly large hospital. My street has single-family houses on one side and several condo and apartment complexes on the other. The complexes range in age from about twenty-five years old to one still under construction, and many are inhabited by people connected to the hospital.

One day, I get a voicemail from the local branch of a national shipping company about a problem delivering a package I’m expecting: they don’t have a valid address. I call.

Customer Service: “The address we have isn’t a valid address, so we just need the correct address.”

Me: “Oh, wow, no problem. My address is [street address] in [Town].”

Customer Service: “Yes, that’s the address we have, but we need the correct address.”

Me: *Pauses* “That is the correct address. What’s wrong with that address?”

Customer Service: “Ma’am, that street doesn’t exist.”

Me: “What?”

Customer Service: “It’s not a street in [Town].”

Me: *Pauses again* “Yes, it is?”

Customer Service: “Ma’am, we have looked up the street, and the drivers tried to find it. There’s no such street in [Town].”

Me: “This street has probably more than 300 people living on it, and I’ve been here for two years. I can assure you, this is a real street.”

Customer Service: *Starting to sound exasperated* “Ma’am, there is no [Street].”

I give directions — it’s off of a street that’s off the main state highway that runs through town, so perhaps not super easy to find — and include some landmarks.

Customer Service: “I’ll pass on this information and we’ll try again, but otherwise, you’ll have to make other arrangements to get your package.”

And miraculously, my package arrived the next day.

Where The Truck Are You?!

, , , , , , | Right | January 30, 2023

I come from a trucker family, so I understand many of the difficulties of being on the road for the long haul. What I don’t understand is someone who spends over a hundred hours a week on the road having no idea where they are.

At work one day, our warehouse received a call from a delivery driver who was having issues finding our location. We were located in a small complex of fewer than fifteen warehouses off of I-70 in Colorado. We were located between the city of Aurora and the town of Watkins, which isn’t exactly known for having much in the way of buildings. Between GPS and basic directions that all truck drivers receive with their loads, the driver on the phone should not have had an issue finding our general location.

I was asked to jump on the phone call after two people unsuccessfully tried to direct this driver.

Me: “Hey there. Can you give me your current location?”

Driver: “Uh, yeah. I’m on I-70 West. Can’t seem to find you guys.”

Me: “Can I have the nearest mile marker?”

Driver: “No idea.”

Me: “Exit?”

Driver: “Nope. Got nothing.”

Me: “Well, what do you see around you?”

Driver: “I passed by a dinky town a few minutes ago. There’s a bunch of trailers on my left that I’m passing now.”

Me: “Oh! I know exactly where you are. Okay, you’re going to drive past those mobile homes and go under an underpass. You’ll go about four miles, I think, before you come to [Exit] for [Street #1]. At the end of the ramp, take a right and follow that to the next light. You’ll take a right at that light onto [Street #1]. Follow that past the [Company #1] sign. You’ll cross a set of railroad tracks and then turn left at [Street #2]. You’ll see [Company #2] there on your left. Go down to the next warehouse, and that’s us. You’ll want to go to the stop sign and make a left. The truck entrance is near the other end of the building. You’ll pull into the parking lot and go around the building for unloading.”

Driver: “Right. Should be there in a few minutes, then. Thanks.”

Me: “No problem.”

Twenty minutes later, the phone rang again, and I was called to the desk to deal with a very irate truck driver.

Driver: “I followed your directions, and now I’m on my way to the airport! You gave me bad directions! You wasted my time, and now I’m behind schedule!”

Me: “You got off too soon and went onto E-470, which is a toll road. You need to turn around and follow my directions.”

From there, I gave him step-by-step directions like you would your senile grandmother who should have given up driving a decade ago. He argued with me almost every step of the way, especially getting back onto the toll road to go east again and when he realized he was passing the warehouse. I explained to him that he had to pass the warehouse to get to the frontage road on which we were located. He became very angry when he saw signs for companies I hadn’t mentioned before, which I was no longer having him pass because I had him coming in from a different road instead of the highway.

All told, I spent over an hour giving this trucker directions to a group of warehouses that were basically in the middle of nowhere, with clear directions on how to exit the highway. I gave him exit numbers, street names, which turns to take, and landmarks to look for. It really wasn’t a difficult place to get to. It certainly wasn’t like trying to navigate in Denver or another large city. You had only so many options to get to us.

I got a stern talking-to because I was now behind on my own work and because the truck driver was unsatisfied with my assistance. I told my boss that he could waste an hour of his time giving directions to someone who shouldn’t be driving an 80,000-pound-plus vehicle.

This Wallpaper: Oui Or Non?

, , , , | Right | January 4, 2023

I’m working in a hardware store in Germany. A lady approaches me and speaks with a French accent.

French Lady: “Excuse me. Could I ask you something?”

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

French Lady: “I was wondering if I could also use this wallpaper here to paper a French room?”

Me: “Excuse me, but what is a French room?”

French Lady: “Well, a room in France!”

She’s looking at me like I am the dumba** here.

I go silent for a second. I think about telling her that this wallpaper is a German one, so it is only applicable in Germany, but I discard this idea.

Me: “Yes, you can use it.” *Quickly walks away*

Let’s Stick All The Idiots On It Before It Floats Away

, , , , | Right | December 28, 2022

After I got out of the Navy, I moved to South Padre Island and began working on an offshore charter fishing boat. The island is a small barrier island off the coast of Texas, and we would get a fair share of visitors. Luckily, our boat had a guide that dealt with the visitors, as my tolerance for them was… not high.

Visitor: “This island…”

Me: “Yes?”

Visitor: “If they got rid of the bridge to the island, would it just float away?”

I just stared at him with a look of pure disgust, before the guide thankfully ushered him away to diplomatically answer his stupid questions.

Off-The-Roads Crazy

, , , , , , , | Working | December 19, 2022

The office building where I used to work was on a small and winding side road off of a major road. The small size of the road and a very long cycle time at the traffic light where it merged onto the main road meant that, at the end of each day, there would end up being a long line of traffic, all waiting to get out and head home.

However, if you headed in the other direction on the side road we were on, it eventually looped back around and connected to the main road a bit further south. And, since no one really headed in that direction, there was no line and it ended up being very quick.

I pointed this out to some of my coworkers, and while a couple did start to head down that direction like I did, most of them waved me off, insisting that it was still faster to wait rather than wind your way down and around the side road.

One of my coworkers, however, took it quite a bit further. You see, she spotted me turning down the road, and then, after she’d inched her way closer to the main road’s intersection, she spotted my distinctive green car driving through the intersection ahead of her, despite having left the parking lot after her.

The next day, she came up to me, accused me of “cheating,” and berated me about how I shouldn’t “cut in line” but should follow “traffic rules” properly. In her mind, driving legally in a way that avoids traffic is somehow illegal.

When I didn’t do much more than laugh, she went to complain to my boss about my “cheating”. Thankfully, my boss is not insane, so the only thing that she did was come down to check with me that she understood the complaint and then shared a laugh with me over the absurdity.