Hats Off To Keeping Calm

, , , | Related | June 18, 2018

(It is the nineties and I am ten. It’s morning before school in winter. I’ve just gotten dressed and got all my things together. I walk to school by myself.)

Mom: “Come here, [My Name]. I bought you a new winter hat and want to try how it fits on you.”

Me: “Not now, Mom; I need to use the bathroom.”

Mom: “Never mind that. Just come here for a minute; I really want to see how it looks on you!”

Me: “But Mom!” *it is way too awkward, as well as hot inside, to go to the bathroom with a winter hat on*

Mom: “Oh, come on. It’s just one minute! You can go to the bathroom after we try it on. You can take the hat off right afterwards, I promise!”

(I give up and let her put it on my head. She fusses with it for several minutes, adjusting the hat and my hair this way and that way, before finally declaring she’s satisfied.)

Mom: “There! That looks so nice! I knew it was a good purchase! You’ll wear it to school today.”

(I then take the hat off to go to the bathroom.)

Mom: *immediately starts screeching like a banshee* “What the hell are you doing?? You ungrateful brat! How dare you take it off?!” *and on and on in this vein, with some cursing*

(I’m shocked and take a step back.)

Mom: *threateningly* “Don’t you dare go anywhere! Get back here right now! Why you! I’ll… I’ll…” *followed by all sorts of threats that really shouldn’t be aimed at a child*

(I can’t deal with this, so I just automatically head to the bathroom like I’d planned and like she’d previously told me I was allowed to. I do my business and come out, hoping the craziness will magically stop. No such luck.)

Mom: *very threateningly* “How dare you?! You b****! I’m telling you right now; if you dare take a step out of this apartment without that hat on your head, you had better plan on never coming back home again!”

(I think, “Wow! What a great suggestion, actually.” I collect my coat and backpack without a single word, without even making any sign I’ve heard anything she’s said.)

Mom: *shouting at my back as I turn away from her* “Better learn to feed yourself from now on! I’ll never want anything more to do with you again! You’ll be living on the street! You’d better never set foot in my house again, you hear me?! You ungrateful waste of…”

(She was clearly still expecting me to run back to her, snivelling and crying for forgiveness for my “transgression.” I calmly walked to the door, opened it, left, and slammed it shut behind me as hard as I could while she was still shouting. I went to school like normal, and came home after like usual. I was kind of wondering what would happen. The threats to kick me out on the street had been made before, numerous times, ever since they’d fetched me back from living with my grandparents when I was five. It would be done at the drop of a hat, for the most minor “misbehavior,” and always before this I caved in terror and begged for forgiveness. I guess I’d just finally had enough. When Mom came home, not a single word was said about anything that went on that morning. It was just never referred to in any way. I may be mistaken, but she might have been just the slightest bit relieved that I had, in fact, returned home. Threats or no threats, I was their only child. The hat was never mentioned again, and no similar scenes with any winter clothing were ever repeated.)

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No One Terrorizes Like Little Old Ladies

, , , , | Working | May 18, 2018

(I am in the screening line for an international flight, LONG before 9/11. A little old lady goes through a metal detector, and sets off fourteen different kinds of alarms. She walks on as if nothing happened. The security guard looks at her and shrugs, shakes his head, and waves me to go through the metal detector. I pass with no alarms, and quickly catch up with the little old lady.)

Little Old Lady: *with a big smile* “Humph! He didn’t think I could be a terrorist, did he?!”

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Should Diagnose Their Caller Script

, , | Working | May 14, 2018

(I come out of a shop and load the things I bought into my car, only to find out it won’t start. After doing some quick troubleshooting, it turns out that the battery’s voltage has dropped below the safe limit, and therefore the immobilizer prevents me from starting the engine to prevent any further damage to the car’s electronics. My car insurance company provides free roadside assistance and towing in such cases, so I give them a call. It’s pouring rain, and the car is in an open parking lot.)

Company Rep: “[Company]. How may I assist you?”

Me: *briefly explains problem and gives address*

Company Rep: “Sure, we can assist you. Just so you know, our protocol is to send you a technician first, and only if he fails to start your car, we’ll send out a tow truck.”

Me: “That would be a waste of time. It’s not simply a dead battery. Even if your guy charges it, the car’s computer still needs to be reset in order for the immobilizer to allow me to try and start it, and even if that works, the voltage may drop again before I can get to the repair shop. Also, have you noticed the weather we’re having? I can’t imagine any work, even diagnostics, being done in the open right now.”

Company Rep: “I still have to send the tech first. I’m sure it’s just a dead battery, and even if not, he’s equipped with all the means needed.”

(I had to wait almost three hours for the man to arrive, and when he did show up, all he had was a spare battery to charge mine — not even a laptop to connect to the car’s computer. By the time he concluded it was not helping, it was too late to have the car towed to the shop, as it was nearing its closing time. I had to ditch the car and walk home in the pouring rain.)

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Have You Tried Turning The Technician Off And On Again?

, , , | Working | May 4, 2018

(My job is sending lab tests to different labs, which is more typing out the tests than actually moving the samples around. I don’t usually turn on my computer until I get my first stack of tests, which can take a couple of hours depending on the day’s traffic, so I don’t really notice if my computer is working until I do. After getting my first stack of files for the day, I notice my computer isn’t working, and after trying to fix it, the whole electric circuit jumps. This means that other than the computer not working, we also have no fax or copy machine. I can’t work, which might cost me, since my boss isn’t exactly my biggest fan. A coworker of mine calls an electrician. The electrician checks everything, tries to turn the computer back on, and nothing happens, so they say it’s the computer and go. My first thought is that I’m going to need a new computer, but my coworker says she’ll call IT. They say it’ll take a while and end up sending someone about an hour later.)

IT: “What’s the problem?”

Me: “The whole circuit doesn’t work, and when I try to turn on my computer, there’s a red light and it beeps.”

IT: *taking his time going through everything* “What are you saying? What is that supposed to mean? Are you sure it’s not the circuit that’s problematic?”

Coworker: “We just had an electrician here, and everything is fine.”

Me: “It’s the computer. And the screen, and the copy machine.” *muttering to myself* “And now also my phone. Great.”

IT: *after twenty minutes of just poking around* “I’ll take your computer for a second and check. It might be the circuit.”

(The guy leaves for another ten minutes, and when he comes back, he lays this gem on me:)

IT: “I just tested your computer in another room and it works just fine, so it’s the circuit.”

(He then proceeds to plug the computer back in, which — yet again — jumps the whole circuit, and possibly the printer, too, which is rather far from my desk.)

Me: *to my coworkers* “Well, I guess I’m not working today! My computer is dead!”

(The IT guy then decided that I might need a new computer. And that’s a conclusion that took me two minutes to reach, originally.)

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There Isn’t A Support Script For Those Questions

, , | Right | May 3, 2018

(I’m doing the night shift for an online trading site. The shift is always full of oddballs. One chat is perfectly normal, right until the end.)

Customer: “Do you offer a demo account?”

Me: “Yes, we do. You will need to speak to an account manager about it once you have created a live account.”

Customer: “I see. Do you ever sometimes wonder what water thinks about?”

Me: “No, I don’t. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like to have a baby put a baby in me.”

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