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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No Incentive To Do It Properly

, , , , | Working | December 5, 2019

(I’m trying to process an early hook-up incentive for required work going on in my county to switch homes from septic to the county sewer system. I call in to check on the required documents.)

Me: “I just need to know which documents I need to send in for the early incentive.”

County Employee: “You’ll need copies of the permits and your original paid-in-full invoice for the work you had done.”

Me: “Okay, great! My invoicing was all done electronically, so do I just print that?”

County Employee: “No. It has to be the original.”

Me: “I don’t think you understood me. My contractor deals exclusively in electronic invoicing. The original is electronic. No paper version exists.”

County Employee: “It has to be the original paper copy.”

Me: “Which doesn’t exist.”

County Employee: “I don’t know what to tell you. They’ll reject your incentive if it’s not the original.”

Me: “So, is there an email to forward you the original?”

County Employee: “No. It must be mailed in.”

Me: “I really don’t know how else to explain it.”

County Employee: “It must be the original.”

(I never could figure out what this employee didn’t understand about no paper copy existing. My contractor printed a color version and signed it for me. I felt bad making them go through the trouble when I later verified with a different county employee that the printed version would be fine.)

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Copy Error

, , , , , , | Right | November 8, 2019

This takes place in a government office where people often come to do research. There is one copy machine in the entire room for however many people are in there, usually 10 to 20. Everyone who is there regularly is careful not to take too much time on the machine out of respect for everyone else. 

On this particular day, an older gentleman decides to make some copies of pages in a book. He gets to the machine just before I do and stares at it for a good half minute. I offer to help him, tell him where to position the book, show him where to put the money in, tell him it’s 50 cents a page, and show him which button to push for copies. He makes one copy, waits until there is no more noise coming from the machine, looks around for the copy, takes it out, reads it carefully, then puts it down on the table next to him. He then reads the book some more, looking for the next page he wants to copy. Same routine: make one copy, read it carefully, put it down. Then, he needs more money. He digs in his pocket for his zippered pouch, which takes half a minute. He opens the zipper, digs around in it for a while, pulls out a plastic bag, digs around for a dollar bill, puts the rest of the money back in the bag, puts the bag back in the pouch, and then put the pouch back in his pocket. He looks for the next page he wants to copy, copies it, reads it carefully, etc. He runs out of money, digs the pouch out of his pocket again, takes at least two minutes extracting another dollar bill, puts everything away again, and slowly and carefully makes two more copies. He realizes he needs more money, takes the pouch out of his pocket again…

I finally suggest that he take the book off to the side to figure out which pages he wants to copy rather than stand there. 

It takes him a full twenty minutes to make seven copies. The three people in line behind me give up and find something else to do.

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