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Luckily, This Lieutenant Dan Has Legs

, , , , , , | Working | September 1, 2021

I’m in the Royal Canadian Navy. There is a young officer in my unit whom we shall call Lt. Dan. I’m a senior NCO, Petty Officer First Class — for American readers, this is NATO OR-7, not OR-6). I don’t work for Lt. Dan directly, but we cross paths pretty regularly during the day, so we know each other to talk to. He’s a bit on the loud and brash side, but I’ve certainly worked for and with worse.

Lt. Dan’s car is in the shop being worked on, and on Friday, he gets a call around stand-easy saying it’s ready, so out in the smoker, he asks me if I can give him a lift. I don’t have a problem with that since it’s more or less on the way home for me anyway. Traffic is always heavy when the dockyard lets out and even worse on Fridays, and I’m stuck behind someone who wants to turn left across a stream of oncoming traffic. This is when the fun starts.

Lt. Dan: “F*** me, what’s his a**hole’s problem? Give him a honk; get his a** moving.”

Me: “Gotta wait for a break in traffic.”

Lt. Dan: “Well, pull around him, then!”

There’s a bike lane but it’s certainly not car-wide. Besides… it’s a bike lane. With people riding bikes in it.

Me: “No can do, sir.”

Left-turn man gets his break in the traffic, and we move on.

Next, it’s the stop-and-go coming up to the bridge ramp, and Lt. Dan is unhappy because traffic is merging and that means taking turns. He thinks that I should just push through and not let anyone in. On the bridge, every other driver annoys him in some manner, including someone who signals and then changes lanes. I’m getting annoyed with Lt. Dan, and once we clear the toll booth on the far side, I pull over.

Me: “Get out, sir.”

Lt. Dan: “What? Why?”

Me: “You’ve done nothing but b**** about my driving and other drivers and I’ve had enough. We’re about three klicks from the shop; you can walk or take a taxi.”

Lt. Dan: “You can’t just kick me out here; that’s illegal!”

Me: “That’s bull, sir. I’m not a taxi service; I can kick you where I feel like it. I was ready to kick you out in the middle of the bridge, but that would’ve been illegal.”

Lt. Dan: “You want to be charged for insubordination?”

Me: “Not particularly, sir, but you do you. Meanwhile, are you getting out or do I get one of the bridge police to come over?”

He got out with very bad grace and further threats of disciplinary action. I left him there to make his way to his car and thought no more of it.

It turned out that he really was daft enough to pursue it, as I got called into the coxswain’s office on Monday. (For US readers, the coxswain of a Canadian ship is the most senior NCO onboard — what you would call the Command Master Chief.)

The coxswain was already dubious about the story as presented by Lt. Dan, and my side of things pretty much cemented the matter being dropped. Needless to say, Lt. Dan does not get rides from senior NCOs at this unit any longer. The lesson here is to never piss off the chiefs and POs.

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Canada: America’s Hat, Part 11

, , , , , | Right | May 26, 2020

This story takes place on the east coast of Canada, in a city with a large, busy harbour, often full of cruise ships. I work in a small store downtown. An American woman and her husband come up toward the register.

Me: “Hi there! I can ring you through right here, if you’re ready.”

Customer: “Thank you!”

They are very friendly, and they recount the tale of their trip up the coast as I ring up her purchases and give her the total, which is just over $15.

Customer: “Do you take American bills?”

Me: “I can take anything under a hundred dollar bill, yes.”

She hands me an American $20, and I return her a handful of coins. Her eyes light up.

Customer: “Oh! Look, honey! It’s Nova Scotian money!” 

Her husband leans over her shoulder curiously to look, taking a nickel out of her hand and turning it over in his fingers.

Husband: “Oh… But wait. Look. They all say Canada on them!”

They pause for a very brief moment, and the customer looks up at me with shock.

Customer: “Wait… Nova Scotia is in Canada?!”

It took all my strength to hold back my laughter until they left the store, and to this day, I worry about the safety of people who get on cruise ships having no idea where they are actually going.

Related:
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 10
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 9
Canada: America’s Hat, Part 8

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No One Should Be This Stressed Over Cake

, , , , , | Right | March 13, 2020

(I work in the bakery department at a large grocery store. I am a cake decorator, but I am cleaning up for the night, as the store closes in less than an hour. A customer approaches the counter with her young son.)

Customer: “Excuse me, can I ask you something?”

Me: “Sure, what’s up?”

Customer: “Yeah, if I come in tomorrow morning, will you have chocolate cakes?”

(I look up, confused, because I know that there are at least ten different types of chocolate cake on the shelf at that moment.)

Me: “That… Sorry? What kind of cake were you looking for, exactly?”

Customer: *agitated* “I just want to know if you’ll have chocolate in the morning or will you make some?!”

Me: “Well, I’m sure these cakes will still be here in the morning.”

Customer: “OH, MY GOD! That isn’t what I’m f****** asking! I want this double chocolate cake. I want to know if it will be here in the morning.”

Me: “Oh, you mean the chocolate lovers. Well, I doubt it will sell by the end of the night, so it should be here in the morning. But I can’t guarantee that, technically.”

Customer: *now yelling everything at me* “Okay, you need to listen to me! Jesus! Will it be here in the morning and will you make another one?!”

Me: “All of our decorators are gone home for the night. If these cakes sell, we’ll make more, but I don’t know exactly when. If you need one for a certain time tomorrow, you can place an order, and I can—”

Customer: “Are you being sarcastic with me right now? I’m not f****** slow!”

Me: *very confused* “No, I’m not. I’m saying that I can’t guarantee this cake will be here when you come in. But if you place an order, which is basically just giving me your name and number, I can promise it will!”

Customer: “THAT ISN’T WHAT I’M ASKING! WILL IT BE HERE TOMORROW OR NOT?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t—”

Customer: “Okay, I’ve had enough of this!”

(She storms off with her hands in the air. I’m still standing in the bakery entrance with a confused look on my face. My coworker, a lady older than me but brand new to the store, comments on the customer’s rudeness. The customer comes running back.)

Customer: “You are f****** rude. I am a customer! Are you really going to talk to me like this?!”

(I don’t know what else to do now, and I need to serve other customers, so I give up.)

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “You young brats are so rude! Oh, my God!”

(The customer screamed at my coworker, who she assumed must be my superior, about how I needed to be fired, as I served the other customers. The last thing I heard was the customer screaming in anger when she asked about the chocolate cakes, and my coworker had to turn to me for the answer!)

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Losername

, , , | Right | July 25, 2019

(One of my jobs is to help people log into their accounts, make sure their active directory and exchange accounts are working, and do remote tech support. A guy calls up and says the following:)

Caller: “Hi… Um, I have no idea what I’m doing. How do I log in?”

Me: “Okay, you type ctrl + alt + delete, and then the system will ask you to input your username and password.”

Caller: “What’s that?”

Me: “Oh, I can give you that. What’s your name?”

Caller: *gives his name and employee ID*

Me: “Okay, your username and password is your last name plus your first initials. Your temporary password is [password].”

Caller: “What’s a username?”

(At this point, I am starting to wonder if he is messing with me.)

Me: “Well, that’s your unique account ID that allows you to use the computer.”

Caller: “Oh, okay. So, how does it work?”

Me: “You input your username in the top box.”

Caller: “Okay.” *inputs username*

Me: “Then, you type your temporary password into the bottom box and hit Enter.”

Caller: *does this and then pauses* “Uh… It’s not working.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Caller: “It says, ‘Other login options or insert smart card.’”

Me: “Okay, that’s weird. Did you hit Enter after typing in your password?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, let’s try it again, then. Put in your username and your password, and then press Enter.”

Caller: “It did it again! Why doesn’t this stupid thing work?”

Me: “Did you press Enter?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Are you sure you pressed Enter?”

Caller: “YES!”

Me: “Did you click on anything with your mouse before you pressed Enter?”

Caller: “No… Well, yeah. I thought it was like the Facebook on my phone, so after I typed in my info, I clicked the big button underneath.”

Me: “Don’t click that. That leads you to other methods for logging in.”

Caller: “Oh… So, how do I log in?”

Me: “You type in your username. Don’t click anything, and then type the enter key.”

Caller: “It’s telling me my password is blank.”

Me: “Did you type your password in the password box?”

Caller: “No.”

Me: “Why not?”

Caller: “You told me not to click anything.”

Me: “Okay, listen carefully and do exactly what I tell you to do. Do not do anything unless you hear me say, ‘Do that.’”

Caller: “Okay.”

Me: “Click on the box that says, ‘Username,’ and type in your username.”

Caller: “What’s that?”

Me: “…”

(I explain again.)

Caller: *types in his username*

Me: “Okay, now click on the password box and type in your password. Do not click on anything else, and then press the big button on your keyboard the says Enter.”

Caller: “Okay. It’s telling me my password has expired.”

Me: “Okay, now you need to type in a new password — something that will be easy to remember. Make sure it’s a combination of eight or more number or letters.”

Caller: “Okay!” *types in new password* “It didn’t work!”

Me: “Okay, did you use a combination of eight numbers and letters or more?”

Caller: “Oh… I only used seven…”

Me: “Okay, type a new password. Make sure you have a combination of eight numbers and letters.”

(I finally managed to get the guy logged in, and he hung up and went along his merry way. About an hour later, one of my buddies shouted over his cubicle saying that one of my customers had just called and forgot his password and didn’t know what his username was.)


This story is part of our Password roundup!

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Read the Password roundup!

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Making A Double Boob Of Yourself

, , , , | Healthy | July 21, 2019

(I am in the co-op program at my high school, and I have a placement at a local university medical clinic. Since I am a high school student, there are a lot of things at the clinic that I am not qualified to do, so I am often tasked with calling patients to inform them of specialist appointments that they have been referred to.)

Me: “Hello, is this [Patient]?”

Patient: “Yes, it is.”

Me: *reading the referral sheet* “I’m calling from Dr. [Doctor]’s office to let you know about an upcoming mammogram appointment on [date] at [Location].”

(Pause.)

Patient: “Well, I just had a double mastectomy, so I don’t think I’ll be needing that appointment.”

Me: “Oh.”

(I was mortified and apologized profusely; thankfully, the patient laughed it off. I informed my supervisor and she, while shocked, commended me on how I handled the situation.)

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