It Pays To Look Out For Each Other

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(I have been receiving government benefits for a little while after leaving a violent relationship and being homeless. I finally get my own place and inform the agency responsible for the benefits; they tell me will send a rent certificate out so my landlord can sign it so I’ll receive assistance in paying rent. Fast forward a month: despite asking numerous times for it, it never arrives. I’m just managing to pay my rent but have very little left for food, bills, and essential medication. I go into an office to get one so my landlord can sign it before leaving the country for three months. I spend an hour and a half waiting for two pieces of paper, run and get my landlord to sign what he needs to, and then head back to the office. I wait another hour for a lady to take the papers.)

Lady #1: “It will be in your next pay.” *starts to walk off*

Me: “Excuse me, but I’ve waited for a month for the rent certificate. I really need the money. Shouldn’t I get back paid?”

Lady #1: “It will be with your next pay.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I was told it could be done immediately. I would also like to know how much the assistance will be.”

Lady #1: “Fine, take a seat and I’ll find out.”

(I wait another twenty minutes.)

Lady #1: “It will be [amount that’s $50 less than should be] and will be with your next pay. If you want money now, you have to get on the phone.” *walks away*

(I get on the phone to a department that is notorious for keeping people waiting and then not helping. I am extremely lucky to get a woman who goes above and beyond. She messages the lady I originally dealt with to actually upload the paperwork — which she hasn’t done — and gets the amount I am to receive corrected. Because the office I am in is closing, the lady I originally dealt with tells me I have to leave. The second lady promises to call me on my mobile once she has everything sorted out. Twenty minutes later, [Lady #2] calls me and verifies who I am.)

Lady #2: “I have some good news: [correct amount] will be in your account overnight. I’m sorry for what happened today at the office but I’ve had four people working on it and it has been escalated to a supervisor.”

Me: “Thank you so much. Everyone else I’ve dealt with didn’t care, but you’ve been amazing. I really appreciate it.”

Lady #2: “Not a problem; I’m glad I could help. Now you mentioned you need medication; is there anything else you need tonight? I won’t be able to give a lot right now as the money will be in your account tomorrow, but I can see what I can do.”

Me: “Just my meds, which will be about [amount], and something for dinner.”

Lady #2: “What about getting home? It’s too hot to be walking long distances.”

Me: “I have enough on [travel card] to get home. Thank you.”

Lady #2: “Okay, I’ve just put [amount] on your account, which means you’ll get [amount] tomorrow. Things will get better; keep your head up.”

Me: *now crying* “Thank you so much. You’ve been amazing. No one else I’ve talked to has cared. Thank you, have an amazing rest of your day.”

(This might not seem like a lot, but the second lady I spoke too really went above and beyond to get it sorted and make me feel better. So, to the lady, if you’re reading this, thank you; your kind words and going the extra mile to fix others’ mistakes for someone on the end of the phone really made a difference.)

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Government Plan Fails Hard: Shocking  

, , , , | Working | January 9, 2020

Our town has recently had some construction in the city centre, with some new roads added that lead away from the main high street and force cars to loop around an extra five miles just to leave the town centre.

For years, there has been a through road that people use to cut through. It’s located around the back entrance of some of the larger shops. It has two lanes with traffic lights on the end. It is a very popular road as it cuts the journey through town down by about ten minutes in traffic.

My store was located on the through road, and the delivery area where employees parked their cars led directly to the road.

After construction, there were new signs on all of the roads that stated a height restriction on vehicles because of “emissions.” This was the only sign located on the road.

After a week of work, I came home to seven envelopes with a £75 fine and a photo of my car leaving work. I was naturally livid, because there was no signage. I had full right to be there as I worked on the road and even had a parking pass fully displayed in all of the photos.

It all seemed like a mess, so I appealed the ticket and, luckily, did not have to pay.

I mentioned it to some friends and they had all been ticketed. They had appealed and gotten let off their tickets, too.

The next week, the local paper showed the road in question and explained how the local council had issued fines totalling almost one-million pounds over the first month of the restrictions. Said restrictions were not legally enforceable because there was no signage to state that cars couldn’t drive on the road. It also mentioned that the height restriction would mean that many of the businesses would have to go out of business because they couldn’t let lorries through with the new height restriction.

The council had to refund up to one million pounds worth of travel tickets and remove the restrictions.

No one knew if it was a bid to get more money from traffic tickets or to relieve congestion in the city centre, but whatever it was, it failed hard.

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No One Can Intersect Your Email

, , , , , , | Working | January 2, 2020

The drivers in my area are astonishingly bad at obeying road rules and it is becoming a serious threat to pedestrians. As a result, I emailed the local police department about it several times. The first time, they agreed to look into it and added a couple of people in their response to me. They changed the timing on the crosswalks and lights. Then, I witnessed an “Oh, my God, how did that not kill you?” moment of driver stupidity and reported it to try to get them a little more enthusiastic about dealing with the local drivers. They agreed to look into it and added a few more people to the list already CC’ed.

Today, months after the first complaint, I got harassed while crossing legally by a driver who was blocking the intersection while stopped behind another car who was one of several stopped in the crosswalk. I made yet another report, this time to the local mayor’s office, his assistants, and everybody from the original emails. Ten emails in total, when I’d only started with one and then added the mayor’s office.

My report bounced back from every one. Apparently, our mayor, his assistants, and everybody in charge at the police station are on holiday for the next month. I’m beginning to see why we have an enforcement issue.

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You Are Certified To Eat The Comfort Cookie

, , , , | Working | December 17, 2019

(It is time for my mom to renew her driver’s license and she decides to just go ahead and get a “Real ID” instead of a regular license. She has all the necessary paperwork, except she can’t find her marriage certificate to prove she changed her name. Figuring she can just get a copy at the DMV, she heads out. At the DMV, after waiting in line for two hours, she pays the fee to get the copy pulled up. They look, but they can’t find her marriage certificate. Mom guesses it’s because she and Dad got married in the dark ages — 1990 — before everything was digitized. The DMV tells her that she has to call the Virginia Vital Records department in Richmond. She gets home and calls them. She is on hold for over forty-five minutes before she gets to speak with someone. She explains her situation and the rep drops this:)

Customer Service Representative: “Oh, the reason the DMV told you to call us is so we can tell you we received the request. You should receive a copy of your marriage certificate within two weeks.”

(Mom was furious. Two hours at the DMV, forty-five minutes on hold, and one long scream later, Mom calmed herself by breaking her diet and eating a single cookie.)

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For A Government Line, It Could Have Been Much More Boring

, , , , | Right | December 10, 2019

(I’m standing in line at one of the local government offices when I hear a commotion at one of the other lines.)

Customer: “Well, I can’t go to the d*** doctor because I don’t have a d*** [medical] card.”

(The cashier tries to explain something and he continues to argue with her when I hear this.)

Cashier: “I understand, sir, but I don’t know who you are.”

Customer: “You don’t need to know me! I don’t want to know you! I just want to go to the doctor, but you ain’t gave me my d*** card!”

Woman: *in one of the other lines* “Oh, lord, y’all need some Jesus up in here!”

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