Maybe You Should Belt It Out Louder

, , , , , , | Working | August 8, 2018

(The immigration office requires visitors to undergo a security screening of all bags and miscellaneous items like phones, wallets, etc., similar to an airport screening procedure. I enter the building first; my husband comes in to join me after having found a place to park.)

Security Worker #1: “Put your bags, keys, phone, wallet, and belt in the tray.”

Husband: *places his bag, keys, phone, and wallet in the tray*

Security Worker #1: “Make sure your belt is in the tray.”

Husband: “I don’t have a belt.”

Security Worker #1: “You need to put it in the tray.”

Husband: “There’s no belt.”

Security Worker #1: “No belt?”

Husband: “No belt.”

Security Worker #1: *confused, looks again in tray* “The belt needs to go in the tray.”

Husband: *lifting his sweater and displaying the drawstring* “I have this. I don’t need a belt.”

Security Worker #1: *stares* “No belt?”

Husband: “No belt.”

Security Worker #1: “Okay, go through.”

Husband: *continues to the metal detector, manned by [Security Worker #2]*

Security Worker #2: *looks in tray* “Did you make sure to take your belt off?”

Husband: “I have no belt.”

Security Worker #2: *somewhat incredulously* “No belt?”

Husband: “No belt.”

Security Worker #2: *to [Security Worker #1]* “No belt?”

Security Worker #1: “No belt.”

(As it turns out, we need some extra documents to process our request, so we go home to retrieve said documents. Upon our return, I have my husband wait outside and opt to leave almost everything with him in order to simplify the screening process. I enter the building carrying only my phone, wallet, and the requested paperwork. I place these three items in the tray.)

Security Worker #3: “Your keys, too, ma’am.”

Me: “I don’t have keys.”

Security Worker #3: “Your keys.”

Me: *thinking maybe I somehow misheard* “Did you say my keys, or…?”

Security Worker #3: “Your keys. Like your car keys? They need to go in the tray.”

Me: “I’m not carrying any keys.”

Security Worker #3: “No keys?”

Me: “I didn’t bring any with me today. I have no keys on me.” *patting down empty pockets for emphasis*


Security Worker #3: “No keys?”

Me: *sigh*

A Brain Blackout

, , , , , | | Working | May 23, 2018

(I’m the stupid coworker in this story. We review backgrounds in our office, and see a lot of criminal history — everything from DUIs to theft to murder. One of my coworkers is evaluating a case involving domestic battery. She is discussing the extent of the battery according to the person’s statement, and the arrest report, and how badly they differed. The coworker with the case, [Coworker #1], is of Asian descent, I am of European descent, and [Coworker #2], who is also listening in, is of African descent.)

Coworker #1: “These aren’t even close. He basically admits that he didn’t beat her that much.”

Coworker #2: “Can you list it as only half-beaten?”

Me: *totally not thinking this through* “Yeah, instead of beaten ‘black and blue,’ just list beaten ‘black.’”

(Thank God I have understanding coworkers who understood my lapse.)

Bling In The Bin

, , , , | Right | April 27, 2018

(I am working as a customer service person for a London Borough. We have a free bulk refuse pick-up service. One day I am rung up with the following complaint from a person who lives on a council housing estate — a communal block.)

Caller: “You took away my jewellery! How dare you?!”

Me: “We would only take away your jewellery if you asked us to.”

Caller: “I put it out on the landing in a black bag, and now it is gone.”

Me: “You put a bag of jewellery outside your flat on a communal landing?”

Caller: “Yes! Why did you take it away? I want you to pay for it!”

(I talk to my supervisor about it, and he says that another council service cleared rubbish from all public spaces on every council estate.)

Me: “So, you put a black plastic bag full of jewellery on a public landing?”

Caller: “Yes! And I want to be compensated for it!”

(I am wondering how stupid this woman is. If she is telling the truth, why on earth would anyone put their jewellery in a bin bag on a landing? If she is lying, why on earth would she think I’d believe her?)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I need to put you through to our insurance department.”

(So I did. Mind you, that was not the stupidest thing I ever heard working there. One person claimed to have put their oven onto the landing while spring cleaning, as if anyone would move an oven into a public space just to clean behind it, and it was gone by the time she went to bring it back in.)

Wait Until You Meet John Smith

, , , , | Right | April 10, 2018

(I’ve changed the name for the sake of privacy.)

Me: “[State Agency] Services, how may I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, my name is Terri Brown. I need to know who my worker is.”

(I proceed to look him up. It is a state-wide search so a few results under “Terri Brown,” and the longer version of his name, “Terrance Brown,” show up.)

Me: “Okay, there are a few Terri Browns on here. Can you please give me your date of birth?”

Caller: “TERRANCE Brown. T-E-R-R-A-N-C-E.”

Me: *as nice as possible* “I understand, sir. There are multiple entries in our state search. I need to make sure which one you are.”

Caller: “There are other Terrance Browns? Really?”

Me: “Yes. It is a state search. Can I have your birth date please?”

Caller: *gives birthdate* “I can’t believe it. Other people with my name. Crazy, right?”

Me: “…”

The Usual Line-Up

, , , , | Friendly | March 27, 2018

(My fiancé and I are at our local administration building to get a marriage license. We fill out the form on the computer, and everything is going smoothly. We get in line where two parties are also waiting. One is a very upper-class-looking woman, and the other is a mother and father with a kid who is about five or six years old.)

Woman: *just realizing* “Ugh! I got in the wrong line!” *approaches the mother and father ahead of her* “Can I go in front of you? I’ve been waiting in the wrong line.”

Mother: *somewhat confused* “Uh… No. It’s our turn.”

Woman: *huffy* “Well, that’s a wonderful example you’re setting for your child!”

(I repress the urge to point out that her whining is setting a worse example for this child, and just try to mind my own business. However, this woman seems desperate for sympathy.)

Woman: *to me and my fiancé* ”Can you believe her? What an example she’s setting!”

Me: *nervously* “Heh… Yeah…”

Woman: “Hmph! Some people…”

(A few seconds later, the woman got her turn, and thankfully left us alone. It’s one thing to be huffy about not being given charity. It’s another to rope strangers into it. Just wait your turn like everyone else.)

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