Karma Is Cat(ching)

, , , , | Friendly | August 15, 2017

My mom works as a city hall archivist, and as we live within walking distance of it, I frequently meet up with her at the end of her work day to help with shopping and the like.

I’m heading inside, and as I’m passing a few dumpsters, I’m greeted by a kitten — weaned and old enough to be on its own, but by no means an adult cat. Being a cat person, I obviously stop to talk to it. The kitten is friendly and healthy, though attention-seeking. My home town has had a serious problem with stray cats, but this one doesn’t seem to be that. It seems more lost and desperate. I spend a few minutes with it, and something about the situation just doesn’t seem right with me. There’s not much I can do, though, so I head inside and inform mom and her colleagues about the cat, even pointing it out to them.

The next day, mom comes home from work and tells me the cat was a pet, and they managed to track down the owner! Turns out, however, that this wasn’t just a case of a lost pet.

The woman who owns the cat lives in the neighbouring town, which is about ten kilometres away. She’d recently brought the cat home, but her boyfriend didn’t like it. Rather than dealing with this issue like a sensible adult, he takes the cat for a drive while his girlfriend is out of the house, and dumps it so far away it wouldn’t be able to find its way back. It’s his deservedly bad luck that I found it and figured out something was wrong. Also, in his haste to get rid of the cat, he neglected to remove the collar, which had the owner’s phone number.

In the end, the cat was reunited with a loving owner. As for the boyfriend, I have no idea what happened to him… though he certainly deserved getting dumped.

Verbal Oil Spill

, , , , | Right | August 9, 2017

(The group in the section next to mine monitors the notification line for reports of incidents and spills in the state. They take all sorts of complaints and information requests. On off hours, the line is transferred to a .wav file and sent in email for the next day. Here is one they received:)

Caller: “Yes, this is [Name]; telephone number is [number]. Highway [location] down from a… it’s, uh… I don’t know the location. You got oil and water look that’s, uh, running down the stream; the amount I don’t know. I took a sample. It’s in my car storage. You know, I’m about to lose my life… going up and down this highway. I called about that oil spill out there by the football stadium. You put that new green tank. You hadn’t said “thank you.” I work for [Oil Company]; still working for them. I got [Training Certification] in my wallet. I don’t carry it around. I’m just trying to get my respect back. I got two bad kids who think that I’m NOTHING. They get in my face and they talk about me worse than the kids do on the outside. My wife seems to think I’m stupid, too, but I’m not! All I want to do for you all is get my name cleared up, get my stuff, uh, and I’ve been told to get out the country and I’m gon’ get out the country. I want my passport and my visa and get my shots and stuff together, and I’m gon’ get out the country. Okay? I’m going to Great Britain. And goin’ get out the country. And you won’t have to worry about me NO MORE! Let’s make that happen. And tell [Name] with the [completely unrelated State Legal Agency] that I’m telling the truth. My glass has been broken, they broke my ankle, my arm been broken, and going to [General Hospital] they say “come back, come back, your family needs ya.” They were talking about that in Fort Worth, Texas. Make them boys tell the truth. I don’t think all of them bad but I need to get out of here. M’kay, I’ve been done my time and I’m ready to go.”

(They wrote it down as an oil spill…)

Needs An Express Delivery Of Compassion (non-dialogue)

, , , , , | Right | June 25, 2017

I was injured on my postal job, and have a broken foot. I’m on crutches, an important point. Since I can’t do my regular job, the postmaster puts me on the customer service window where people pick up their hold mail and things like that.

It’s late, things are slow, like they usually are at that time, and a guy hands me two slips to pick up certified mail. Our station covers six ZIP codes, so we have a LOT of mail. And I mean a LOT.

I take the slips and go look for them. He has one letter that came in the previous day, and another that came in a couple of days before that. We have one area where the previous day’s mail (usually) goes, and then another place where we keep the older mail. They’re in a rough order, by a number in the street address. I find the first one quickly. The other, I have to go through over 400 letters to find, and then I have to go through them again, because his letter has a forwarded mail sticker that got stuck to the letter ahead of it while leaving the old address exposed. I finally see the sticker and realized what had happened.

I go to the window, and the guy sneers, “You took four minutes to get my mail. That’s unacceptable. I want to talk to your postmaster.”

I don’t get mad. I don’t even drop my jaw at a guy getting upset about someone ON CRUTCHES being a little slow. I smile. Because I STILL HAVE HIS MAIL IN MY HAND. I tell him I’ll be glad to get the postmaster, shut the dutch door, and hobble away. Our station is pretty big, as a station with six zip codes would be. It takes me a while to find the postmaster.

I find him on the dock, and he says, almost in one breath, you look tired, what’s up, are you okay, you shouldn’t have come back to work the day after an injury like that, and I know you’re dying for a cigarette (this was back when I smoked), so have one and tell me what’s up.

So I tell him while I smoke the cigarette. Then we go back.

The postmaster opens the dutch door while I handle scanning the mail and getting the signature, off to the side, not saying anything. The guy is FUMING by this point. The postmaster lets him have it for timing someone who had broken her foot only the day before — I could have taken time off, but I am there, serving petty jerks like him, while I am in pain.

And then the guy makes the fatal mistake. He tells the postmaster that he has a bad attitude for a taxpayer paying his salary.

Hint to all of you Americans out there: NEVER — EVER — throw the scum taxpayer argument in a postal worker’s face. Don’t even hint at it, because your tax dollars DO NOT PAY for one fricking cent of a postal worker’s salary. That stamp or postage on the front pays our salaries. NOTHING ELSE. Bring it up, and you deserve to get your head torn off.

When that jerk resorted to the taxpayer argument, that’s when the postmaster went after the guy with both guns, informing him that he was all wrong, why, and finally that he had his mail. He could leave now.

The guy couldn’t believe the postmaster wasn’t firing me on the spot. “You’re not doing anything about how slow she is?”

“Why would I? I’m proud of her for needing so little time to find your mail, when she has a broken foot.” Then my boss turned to me with a grin, and said, “He’s all yours.”

This is his code: You can get your dig in; just don’t swear at him. I am kinda notorious for not taking crap off customers, and he wants to see what I’ll say. That’s probably why he stands in a place where the customers can’t see him. The window clerks take a few seconds from doing their end of day wrapping up to listen in, too.

I finally hand the guy his mail, smile, and say, “Isn’t it great that we live in America where we’re civilized and expect all workers to be treated with dignity and respect? Have a nice day!”

And I shut the door.

When Your Gender Draws Fire

, , , | Hopeless | June 16, 2017

(I always wanted to be a firefighter, though I am a female. I apply, but they just laugh at me. Later after that, I attend a meeting in a government building where the fire chief will be there to give a speech. To my surprise, she’s a female! After the speech, I sidle up to her.)

Fire Chief: “And how are you, young lady?”

Me: “I’m fine. I must say, it was an honest surprise that you would be speaking today.”

Fire Chief: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, I’ve always wanted to become a firefighter but when I applied, they just laughed. I think it was because I’m a woman.”

Fire Chief: “Well, that’s not very nice! Keep at your dreams. Look at me; I’m a female and I made it!” *walks away*

(The cynical side of me wanted to think that maybe she had connections or something like that. But her words gave me a bit of hope. Maybe someday…)

Taxing Faxing, Part 16

, | Canada | Working | May 3, 2017

(In my municipal work we request digital copies of plans from contractors and customers to update records and addresses if they’re outdated or in need of confirmation for permit applications. We then return a marked up confirmation package to the applicant. In this case I’ve done just that with an older contractor who’s informed me he doesn’t have an email address, so he faxes me a copy of his plans. This is 2016 and being in my late twenties, I don’t think I’ve sent a fax in at least 15-20 years, so I’ve got a bit of a re-learning curve. I make several attempts to fax back the final package over the course of a week, constantly receiving busy signals and having to make multiple phone calls to the contractor to check if he’s received it. Finally…)

Contractor: “I still haven’t received this package yet. Can you just email it to me?”

Me: “…yep.”

Related:
Taxing Faxing, Part 15
Taxing Faxing, Part 14
Taxing Faxing, Part 13

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