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That Could’ve Gone Way Worse — Or Do We Watch Too Much TV?

, , , , , , , , | Romantic | June 8, 2022

Back in 2014, my husband and I decided that we wanted to visit a shopping center a state away. We got the address from Google and headed off on the two-hour drive.

Everything was going fine until we got into the city for the shopping center. Our GPS had taken us to a different building. Where we’re from, it’s completely normal to ask other businesses about a location if lost.

My husband pulled into the first business he saw and got out to go in. What I noticed — but my husband didn’t — was the big sign right out front of the business: “Federal Bureau Of Investigation Field Office.”

I laughed as I watched my husband go up to a door and try to open it. It was locked. Not realizing where he was, he just knocked until another man walked up to the other side of the door. The man was confused but gave my husband directions to the shopping center which was right next door.

When my husband got back in the car, he seemed confused by the interaction and why they wouldn’t open the door until I pointed out the sign.

Now it’s become a regular joke in our family. If we’re lost, find the FBI field office; they know where we’re headed.

Uninformed About The Forms

, , , , , | Working | June 2, 2022

I recently got married and am changing my last name through the Social Security Administration. They’re not taking in-office appointments due to the health crisis, and I can’t get the local branch to ever answer their phone, so I’m purely going off their website instructions and the county website details for married name changes.

I locate the correct form on the SSA website, fill it out, and mail it overnight to the local branch with my original birth certificate, marriage license, etc. Before I send it, I triple-check the form, what I’m including, and their website instructions.

A few weeks go by, and I receive a packet in the mail with all of my original documents back — no other notifications, no original form, no SSA card, etc.

I ask my recently married friend about her experience, and she says the timelines line up; she received her original documents back, and then a few weeks later, her card came.

So, I wait a few more weeks. And then a few more. By now, I’m getting worried, so I try to call the office again, but the line goes through silence, hold music, and ringing, and then eventually cuts off every time.

I finally get through after nearly thirty minutes on hold, and I hear someone say, “Hello?” and then immediately hang up. The next time, I don’t even hear a voice, just the distinct sound of a receiver being picked up and then put back down, ending the call.

After ONE MORE try, I get a human on the phone! I give him my birth and married names and he finds my original form.

Agent: “Oh, yes, we received your form and documents, but we didn’t know what to do with them. We thought maybe it was for your taxes.”

Me: “You mean the official name change form that I printed off your website and mailed along with my birth certificate, passport, and marriage license per the instructions of the Social Security Administration?”

Agent: “Yes. So, what did you want to do with it?”

Me: “Change my last name?”

Agent: “To what?”

Me: “To the name on the form I filled out?”

I got my new SSA card in the mail two weeks later.

Customers Are Taxing

, , , , | Right | May 23, 2022

In the US, some entities are tax-exempt, like federal or state government locations. As such, for a long time, the company I worked for used to set up government accounts as tax-exempt without asking for documentation first.

Following a nightmare incident with some top-notch bureaucratic stupidity, my company made the change that all new customers would default to taxable, no exception, and would only be changed to tax-exempt after providing the necessary tax form/certificate/whatever. It was a mild annoyance for entities that weren’t used to giving us documentation up front, but usually, the government-related ones understood when we’d say, “We just need to have the paperwork on file.”

Customer: “You all charged tax on [invoice], even though we’re a state government facility, which I would figure was obvious enough to anyone with a brain, but I got an email saying you need our tax certificate before you’d refund it.”

Me: “Sure, if you have the proper documentation, I can take care of that for you and get that information on file.”

While pulling up the necessary documents and screens, he continues complaining.

Customer: “I don’t see why this is necessary. It says, ‘State of [State],’ right in the name. Or are you all too stupid to know that the government is tax-exempt?”

Me: *Trying the line that has worked countless times before* “I apologize for the inconvenience, but you know how it is when you just need the paperwork on file.”

Customer: “No, in fact, this is absolutely pointless. It should be fairly obvious to anyone with half a working brain, though it’s clear now that anyone who works here must not qualify for that.”

It’s early morning, this jerk has called me stupid several times for the sake of seventy-four cents on an invoice, and I’m running out of patience. I see the department he works for called out on the invoice, and say in my absolute sweetest voice:

Me: “Yes, I’m certain that when the state of [State] distributes unemployment benefits, you take their word on it and don’t require backup documentation?”

He gave me the fiercest glare I’d ever endured and gave one-word answers for the rest of the transaction. I am certain my supervisor overheard and, thankfully, just let it go. Would’ve been worth the write-up, though.

My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 7

, , , , | Right | May 19, 2022

I work for a municipality. I used to work full-time for [Department #1] for several years, but in the past year and a half, I switched to half of my time in [Department #1] and half of my time in [Department #2]. They needed the help after firing someone right before the health crisis closed everything down and a hiring freeze was put in effect.

There have been a few rifts between the two departments when I have worked in one department and done a small task for the other department, so now I’m trying to keep hard lines between the two.

On this day, Friday, I am in [Department #2] and am currently helping a customer of my own. The door opens and another resident barges in.

Resident: “Where do I pay my bill?”

Me: “You pay your bill across the hall in [Department #1].”

Resident: “She’s on the phone. Is there anyone else in there?”

Me: “I believe she is alone today.”

Resident: “I need to pay my bill! Can you help me?”

Me: “I’m with someone right now. I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait until she is off the phone.”

Resident: “Hrmph!”

She slams the door shut and stomps across the hall. About a minute later, she bursts through the door.

Resident: “Can someone else help me? She’s still on the phone!”

Me: “I’m sorry, she’s by herself, and I’m with someone right now. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait until she gets off the phone.”

Resident: “Can’t she just put them on hold? She has a customer waiting! Customers in person should be priority!”

Me: “It sounds like she was on the phone before you walked in. I’m sure she’ll help you as soon as she finishes with the phone call.”

Resident: “But I have a very important phone call to make! I can’t wait for her all day!”

Me: “I understand, but she’s on the phone. She shouldn’t be too long.”

Resident: “Gah!”

She slams the door shut and stomps off again.

I’ve finally finished with my customer. The resident comes barging in again.

Resident: “She’s not even looking at me!”

Me: “Maybe she doesn’t see you? There’s a glare on the window, and if she’s on the phone, she’s probably concentrating on helping the person on the other end of the line.”

Resident: “I don’t understand why she can’t call them back later! I have a very important phone call to make! I can’t stand around!”

Me: “You’re welcome to put the payment through the window or in the drop box.”

Resident: “No! I want a stamped receipt!”

Me: “Okay, then you’re going to have to wait.”

Resident: “I have to make a phone call!”

Me: “The bill isn’t due until Monday. Can you come back then? We are open [hours].”

Resident: “Monday? Fine.” 

She storms out of the building.

My manager emerges from her office at this point.

Manager: “Wow. How rude! Expecting her to put the other customer on hold?”

Me: “I know. I almost expected a ‘Do you know who I am?’ response.”

Manager: “I was going to tell you that you could go help since she was on the phone, but since she was so rude, I was glad you stood your ground.”

I do try to be nice and help people when I can, even if it’s not one of my duties, but I won’t go out of my way if you’re rude.

My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 6
My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 5
My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 4
My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 3
My, Aren’t We Feeling Entitled Today?, Part 2

A Major Mayor Problem

, , , , | Right | April 8, 2022

Once during winter, I was in our small town’s citizens’ advice bureau located in our townhall to renew my ID. I witnessed an entitled woman belittling a man for not cleaning up the mess she made in the foyer.

That ignorant woman had a temper tantrum like a toddler, demanding he get a mop and clean the slush she’d dragged in because she was too lazy to stomp her boots. She was screeching insults, asking how he dared to tell her to stamp the mud and slush off of her boots on the entrance like every decent being, and threatening to get him fired.

He alternated between trying to get a word in and just laughing in her face.

Meanwhile, her husband came in, took in the scene, and looked very embarrassed. With loud apologies to the man, he dragged her away, mumbling:

Husband: “Honey, are you nuts? He’s not the janitor; he’s the mayor!”

Admittedly, our mayor doesn’t really look the part — somehow, he always looks as if he’s about to sell you shoes — but it’s an extremely small town and he’s well known. He’s been voted into office again and again. There isn’t even an opponent. No one else wants the job.

That means that during his campaign the whole town is plastered with his face and his face only. Even I know who he is, and I don’t care much for politics. Mostly everyone knows him because he usually sells bratwurst during our yearly community pool fundraiser. I have no idea how that woman could get the idea he was the janitor!