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Driving Down One Cost Drives Up Another

, , , | Working | May 29, 2019

(My workplace offers, through a third party, transportation to and from work to any of the employees who can’t or don’t want to drive, provided that enough of them live fairly close to one another to justify the expense. Those who come by car get comped for travel expenses, as the law here requires, while those who opt to use the rides provided, naturally, do not. I do own a car, but it’s more convenient for me to use the ride. About once or twice a month, when I need to get somewhere other than home quickly after work, I drive to work, instead. One day, the HR manager catches me for a talk.)

HR: “I’ve noticed that on occasion you come to work in your car.”

Me: “That’s right, about twice a month.”

HR: “We need you to notify us in advance when you’re planning to do so.”

Me: “I always call the driver or one of the coworkers on the same ride to let them know not to wait for me.”

HR: “I mean notify us, so we can take you off the roster for the ride in advance.”

(It then occurs to me that what he’s trying to do is to save the little extra money that the company that provides the rides charges for each additional stop — a trivial amount, as all of us who share the ride live close to one another, so it’s not a detour of any sort.)

Me: “But you make these rosters each Wednesday for the following week; most of the times I drive here, it’s because of some urgent errands I couldn’t know about a week in advance!”

HR: *obviously pleased with himself that he found a way to save the company a few bucks* “Sorry, I cannot allow this to continue. It’s a waste of money.”

Me: “I see. So, I’ll at least be comped for my travel expenses, instead?”

HR: “What? Why? We’re providing you with transportation!”

Me: “Currently, you do. That’s why I never asked to be comped for the days I came by car until now — but isn’t the whole point of this conversation is that you wish to stop providing transportation on those days?”

HR: *blank stare*

Me: “So, on days you are not sending a ride to pick me up, you will be legally required to pay for my expenses.”

(It then dawns on him that it would cost the company much more than what they’ll save.)

HR: “Um… well… I don’t know if we can do that. I’ll get back to you after I check what we can do.”

(He never did, and the issue was dropped indefinitely.)

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Sounds Like They’re Playing A Gaming With You

, , , , | Working | May 28, 2019

(I enjoy occasional online gaming. During the course of a couple of weeks, my connection’s latency has steadily raised to the point that makes gaming impossible; other than that, though, the Internet works fine. After eliminating the possibility of hardware issues on my side, I call the ISP’s tech support. After a series of tests, the support rep says that there doesn’t seem to be an issue on their end, either. Then, he drops this gem:)

Support Rep: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more I can do. The only thing I can offer is to transfer you to our sales department, where they can upgrade you to a gaming plan.”

(This immediately raises a red flag for me. I tend to be VERY short-tempered when I get the feeling that I’m being screwed over; however, they are the best ISP we have, so I don’t want to switch to another. I start recording the call at this point.)

Me: “Hold up. A ‘gaming plan’? How long have you been offering this new ‘plan’?”

Support Rep: “About a month. You should really consider it; it should eliminate this latency issue you’re having, and it would only cost [amount that would significantly raise my Internet bill].”

Me: “Sounds awfully like extortion to me, you know. My Internet connection magically develops issues just as you start offering a new, expensive plan designed to remedy those exact issues? Do you think your customers are morons?”

Support Rep: “What?! Are you suggesting that we purposely slow you down?!”

Me: “I don’t know. Do you?”

Support Rep: “No! We’d never do that! I can assure you, sir, that we did not alter your connection in any way. All we did was to add plans with high-priority routing, for customers who need that.”

Me: “So, before those new plans came about, everyone simply had ‘normal’ priority routing, and now some of your customers have ‘high’ priority?”

Support Rep: *sounding relieved* “Yes, that’s it.”

Me: “But doesn’t this make the rest of your customers ‘low’ priority now?”

Support Rep: “Um…”

Me: “So, basically, you’ve downgraded my service, without my consent or even notifying me, while charging me the same price you used to. I’ll tell you what: clue in one of your supervisors — one who knows what a class-action lawsuit is — on this conversation. I’ll wait.”

(I get hold music for a while. Then I hear a different voice, who I assume to be a supervisor:)

Supervisor: “After reviewing the issues you were having, we’ve decided to offer you a free upgrade to a gaming plan.”

Me: “And a refund for the last two weeks, because I paid you for a service which you weren’t providing properly?”

Supervisor: *after a brief silence* “Yes.”

Me: “I thought so. Thank you and have a good day.”

(I didn’t have any issues for the rest of the years I was with them, until better ISPs emerged and I switched to one of those.)

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I Live At One America Street, America

, , , , , | Right | March 11, 2019

(I’m at the check-in desk at an airport in Israel.)

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “There is only one airport in the USA, right?”

Me: “Only one airport… in the entire USA?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Please listen to yourself. Are you serious?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Yes, only one airport. Thank you!”

Me: *face-palm*

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No, But There Is One In New York

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2019

(Our hotel has free unlimited international calls, but once a guest has called someone through the phone in their room, the number that is displayed on the receiving end is the hotel’s own number. Thus, it happens sometimes that people call our hotel after they have missed the initial call. One day, a man calls our hotel. I can tell that he is calling from a different country.)

Me: “[Hotel]; how may I help you?”

Caller: “Did you call me?”

Me: “Oh, no, sir. If one of our guests in the hotel calls you, you’ll see our number. Do you know of any friends or family that are visiting Jerusalem right now?”

Caller: “Jerusalem? No… Is that in Canada?”

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Stuck In A Bloody Cycle

, , , , , | Healthy | February 13, 2019

About twelve years ago I was riding my motorcycle when I got hit by a driver that didn’t look to see whether the road was clear while exiting her driveway. The impact and subsequent fall wrecked the bike pretty badly; the lights and the mirrors were shattered, the rear brake drum had cracked, the clutch got stuck on partially-disengaged, and the transmission got stuck on third. I was okay, aside from a nasty cut on my chin that got the front of my jacket covered in blood.

After checking myself for bodily injuries and concluding that I had sustained none aside from that cut, I exchanged the mandatory details with the woman that hit me, and told her I wanted to contact the police to have an accident report filled. The woman exclaimed that “she had no time for this,” and promptly drove off, leaving her front bumper, which had torn off in the collision, behind. I then found out that I had no battery remaining on my phone.

I just went to the police station to get that report, on that very bike which was somehow still driveable with all that damage. The officer I spoke to was horrified by the way I looked with all that blood, told me that the report could wait, and urged me to go to the ER to get myself examined. When he asked me whether I could get to the hospital myself, I absent-mindedly just nodded and pointed at the helmet I had in my hand. That seemed to satisfy him and I went on my way.

In retrospect, I don’t know what was worse: the fact that I rode a motorcycle in a condition that made it nowhere near legal to be ridden right up to the police station’s front door, or that the officer, who must have assumed that I was involved in a serious crash, was perfectly fine with me riding the motorcycle involved in that very same crash to the hospital.

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