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Go To Bed Before Your Brain Blows

, , , , , , | Romantic | November 15, 2021

My husband and I have both been playing on our computers before bed. I go into his office to say goodnight. 

Me: “All right, babe, I’m heading on to bed because I’m falling asleep trying to read this webcomic. I love you! Goodnight!”

Husband: “I’m almost done here. Should be five minutes or so and I’ll join you.”

Me: “Awesome.”

As I walk out the door, I notice he still has a scented candle lit. As he often forgets such things, I begin to lean forward to blow the candle out. Before I can complete the motion, my husband speaks. 

Husband: “Kiss?”

I turn towards him, but instead of kissing him, I blow forcefully on his mouth!

Husband: “What. Wait. Why?!”

Me: *Laughing uproariously* “I was about to blow out the candle when you said, ‘Kiss?’ and so I just… blew in your face, instead! I’m so sorry! You are not a candle!”

Husband: “Yeah, you do definitely need to head on to bed! Don’t worry, babe. I’ve got the candle.”

He did not, in fact, remember to blow the candle out! Thankfully, nothing caught fire overnight, and his office did smell wonderful the next day.

Endive Dive Dive!

, , , , , , | Right | November 9, 2021

Customer: “Hey, do y’all have that… What’s the lettuce that sounds like a submarine?”

Employee #1: “Like a submarine? Uh… oh! There’s Bibb lettuce right here.”

Customer: “No, no, sorry… It’s not lettuce. It’s a kind of leafy green, but I just can’t get the name. It sounds like a submarine.”

Employee #2: “Right here. Arugula.”

Customer: “That’s what it’s called, thanks!”

Employee #1: *After the customer leaves* “Wow, I would never have gotten that. He said submarine and I was like…” *making a face like a fish and pretending to blow bubbles* “…bibb, bibb, bibb!”

Employee #2: “No, it’s…” *imitating a klaxon* “…ah-ROOOO-gula.”

Now Hiring: Supervisor Of Everything

, , , , | Right | November 9, 2021

I work with an agency that helps people get set up with Medicaid/Medicare, disability, etc. Since the world shut down, for the last year, I have been stationed at a reception desk in an empty office building, answering the phone and transferring callers to the department or employee requested — similar to a phone operator.

The phone rings.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How may I direct your call?”

Caller: “Supervisor.”

Me: “Supervisor of what department?”

Caller: “The supervisor of everything!”

Me: “Is this regarding Medicaid or disability? Or is it something else?”

Caller: *Exasperated* “Send me to the supervisor of Medicaid!”

Listening Is Not Their Calling

, , , , , | Right | November 8, 2021

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How may I direct your call?”


Me: “Hello? This is [My Company].”

Caller: “Hello? Who is this? Is this [Medical Billing Company]?”

Me: “No, sir. This is [My Company]. We are one number off from [Medical Billing Company]. Do you need their number?”

Nine times out of ten, the next response is, “Oh, yes, please.” Not this time.

Caller: “I received this bill. It says, ‘[Medical Billing Company] Billing Statement.’ I’ve paid it off, but you guys keep sending it to me. What’s going on?”

Me: “We are not affiliated with [Medical Billing Company]. [My Company] does not send out bills. You will need to call [Medical Billing Company]. Do you need their number?”

Caller: *Aggressively* “Well, it should be on the letter here, don’t you think? I’ve got it. That’s what I called.”

Me: “You have reached [My Company]. You want [Medical Billing Company]. Their number is [number]. We cannot help you with your bill; we are not affiliated with them.”

Caller: “That’s the same number I’ve got! I’m in the right place! Why are you guys still billing me?”

Me: “Sir, you have reached [My Company’s number, emphasis on incorrect digit]. You want [correct number, emphasis on correct digit]. That is [Medical Billing Company]. You will need to call [correct number]. I cannot help you.”


This Story Will Leave You Banging Your Head Against The Gates

, , , , , , , | Working | November 4, 2021

I live in a gated community managed by a homeowners association. The HOA contracts with a company that manages its finances along with several hundred other associations throughout the southeast. Residents use their website to pay HOA dues and each community is assigned a [Company] community manager, which is the only point of contact to get in touch with our HOA directly.

Shortly before the health crisis, someone drove directly into the community entrance gates and completely destroyed the mechanism that opens them. Due to shortages and insurance holdups, the gates were left in disrepair and open for well over a year.

Finally, in March 2021, we receive news after months of radio silence: the gates are finally being repaired! The community manager sends out a mass email saying that if you moved into the community while the gates were broken or simply want to order new remotes or RFID cards to open the gates, get your orders in now by sending a letter of request with an enclosed check to the local corporate office in Atlanta.

I jump to do so. I order a remote and some cards for my sister, mother, and other people who visit me frequently so they won’t have to call me at the gate callbox and can just let themselves in. I write a check and send it off. Two weeks later, I see in my bank account that the check is cashed. Great! That means my remote and cards are on the way.

Then, I wait, and wait, and wait some more. I think the delay is still because of the health crisis, so I don’t think much of it and assume they’ll be sending out the devices when the gates are finally ready to go back into full operation. Then, months later, the community manager sends a mass email out that the gates will be closed after July 4th and they aren’t going to wait for any more orders before closing the gates because, at this point, we’ve had several weeks to make orders. That’s strange, I think, because it’s been months since I put the order in, the check was cashed, and I am still empty-handed. So, I email her.

Me: “Hi. I ordered some remotes and cards back in March for [amount] and the check was cashed but I still don’t have them. Can you look into it?”

Community Manager: “There is no record on your account. I didn’t receive an email from you ordering the devices. I can add it to your HOA account and the charge can be drafted along with your regular HOA dues.”

Me: “You don’t understand. I mailed the order physically to you, which is what you told us to do. I already paid for the devices. Here is an image of the check being cashed from my bank. I’m asking where the devices are.”

Community Manager: “We cannot send devices without a charge being put on your account. Contact your bank.”

Fantastic. She is very dismissive throughout the exchange and doesn’t seem interested in looking into it further, but she is my only point of contact. I contact my bank and ask about the cashed check. They look into it, and less than five minutes later, the money is back in my account because the check was insufficiently endorsed. Huh, I guess the check really was stolen, then. That’s annoying, but at least I got my money back. But I’m left exactly where I started: without the devices for the gates.

The exchange with the community manager left a really bad taste in my mouth, though, so I decide to write another letter and check and drive down to Atlanta to deliver it in person at the office myself. When I get there, I am greeted with the unpleasant surprise that the office is closed due to the health crisis, which is not stated anywhere on their website or Google Maps, which both list the hours they are open. It says to place any payments in the dropbox nearby. I am about to do that when an employee actually walks up and unlocks the door to the office.

Employee: “You have a payment? I can take that for you. I’m emptying out the dropbox now.”

Me: “Great, thank you so much!”

I leave feeling relieved. I was able to hand the check directly to an employee, which means my order will finally be processed! Little did I know what a mistake this was.

I’m skittish over the previous check fraud, so I watch my bank account like a hawk waiting for the check to be cashed. It’s been over a week and it still hasn’t been processed, so I call the corporate customer service line to ask about its progress.

Me: “How long does it usually take for checks at the office to be processed?”

Representative: “Your community manager will be able to look into it further. I’ll refer your inquiry to her.”

This is exactly what I wanted to avoid, but it looks like I am forced to come back to her no matter what. A few days later, she emails me.

Community Manager: “The office is closed. I don’t know who you handed the check to. If you want the devices, a charge has to be added to your HOA account.”

Me: “He unlocked the door and was opening the dropbox. He must be an employee there. I went there at [date] and [time].”

Community Manager: “I don’t know who you handed the check to. You may want to check with your bank, put a stop payment on the check, and reissue.”

I am losing my mind at this point. I handed the check to an EMPLOYEE and she is making no attempt to find it. I am realizing what a terrible mistake I made by not just putting the letter in the dropbox. I thought it would be safer if an employee took it, and I didn’t even get his name. I’m starting to wonder if I imagined the whole scenario of handing the check to him. Maybe he was a scammer posing as an employee lying in wait to steal checks from people putting them in the dropbox.

Thinking history is repeating itself and my check is lost again, I follow her advice, contact my bank, and place a stop payment on the check, and my bank charges me $15 for the pleasure. Then, I suck it up and email the community manager back to please place the charge for the gate devices on my HOA account this week so I can finally complete the d*** order. One week later, she responds.

Community Manager: “Sorry, your email went to my junk. Placing the charge on your account now.”

Fine, whatever. I log into my HOA account to see the charge and am hit in the face with something else: a $35 insufficient fund fee for a stopped payment check, complete with a note containing the check number and order I dropped off.

What happened becomes clear. They had my check the whole time, and when I asked about it, all the community manager did was look up my HOA account ONLINE, not see a charge, and tell me she didn’t know where the PHYSICAL check was. Did she make an attempt to identify the employee? No. Did she send anyone to look for the physical check at the office? No. Instead, she told me to put a stop payment on it, which I did, and then the office, which in reality did have the check the whole time, finally got around to processing it and it bounced because of the stop payment, for which a $35 NSF fee was placed on my account due to the bounced check.

I am now out $50 and still have no devices to show for it. I am livid. With all the politeness I can muster, I email the community manager back.

Me: “Hello. I just checked my account and was charged a $35 NSF Fee for the check that I was advised to put a stop payment on by you. Please remove the fee from my account.”

Community Manager: “I said you MAY want to put a stop payment on it. The fee cannot be refunded.”

Me: “Why did you say you did not know who had the check when the office DID have the check?”

Community Manager: “Your account didn’t show it at the time.”

Me: “So, you are saying that after I asked about it, no one made any attempt to physically track down the check in question at the office itself?”

Community Manager: “This is going to be my last response on this topic. We cannot refund you the $35 for stopping payment on your check.”

Me: “Can I get the contact information of your supervisor?”

She CCs the Division Manager our email thread with a summary of events from her perspective. She seems very confident that I will not be getting a refund. Unfortunately, she’s right.

Division Manager: “Sorry, but we cannot waive the NSF fee. [Community Manager] is correct. The only way it can be waived is if the [HOA] Board agrees to do so. And that is not likely since, if they do, then the association has to incur that charge.”

I scream internally and respond.

Me: “I am very frustrated by this entire process. The fact of the matter is that I did indeed hand a check directly to an employee. With this fact in mind, I have several questions: why were there no attempts made to identify the employee? Why were there no attempts made to physically locate the check at the office? Why was a check that was handed directly to a [Company] employee so utterly lost in the system that multiple inquiries into its whereabouts were completely fruitless? I am out $50 of my own money because I trusted in your company’s processes, and when I asked people about them, I trusted their responses in good faith, which I expect any reasonable person would do.”

His response?

Division Manager: “Send [Community Manager] the check number, exact amount, the name on the check, and the date on the check. Our accounting team can look for it.”

He hasn’t even read the email chain. He thinks I am still looking for the check. I send one last email.

Me: “It is apparent that [Company] is not going to give me any answers to my questions.”

If it’s any consolation, I called the bank and they waived the $15 stop payment fee, so there’s that, I guess. The gates are still open.