Expectations Out Of Alignment With Results

, , , , , , | Working | August 5, 2020

Last year, I had a mild concern about some creaking from the back end of my car. I went to the dealership, and they said they’d look at my suspension, but my tires had wear that was a sign of poor alignment and I agreed to let them align them.

The report came back reporting that all four tires were vastly out of camber, which they felt would explain any creaking noises. The service associate said this was beyond their ability to deal with and recommended that I talk to my insurance company and take it to a body shop, because that kind of camber misalignment probably means a bent frame on my one-year-old car that’s never had a wreck or any incident worse than low-speed tire damage.

Later in the process, I realized that they believed I’d had a wreck and wasn’t telling them about it, trying to scam them into taking the blame for frame damage. This is absurd; a wreck bad enough to bend the frame would cause massive body-panel damage or crack a wheel, but why let that get in the way of avoiding responsibility?

What I should have done is immediately take it to an unaffiliated shop to get the alignment checked and make sure it was as bad as they said. Silly me, I believed the dealership and called my insurance, which started six months of arguments over whose problem it was to repair the problem while I drove around in a car with serious alignment problems. The body shop didn’t want to touch it with no visible damage; the insurance company agreed and — after a lot of dead air from their side — said they weren’t going to cover something that didn’t come from a wreck I had, and it was the dealer’s problem to fix.

And so, I end up back at the dealership, insisting that they either fix the problem or make it right. They agree to look at it and figure out what it is going to take, and we’ll talk more at that point. Eight hours later, I am getting a little antsy to either get my car back or get a rental so I can go to work the next day.

Me: “Hey, it’s [My Name]; I’m just calling to find out what’s going on with my car.”

Service Advisor: “Oh, we haven’t started on it yet. You’re next in line; we should have it in the garage in about forty-five minutes.”

Me: “You haven’t even started yet? Look, I have to go get a rental if I’m not going to get my car back today, and they close in an hour. When do you close?”

Service Advisor: “We’re open until 7:00 pm, but the mechanic goes home at 5:00.”

Me: “He goes home in thirty minutes?! How is he going to get my car in the garage in forty-five?”

Service Advisor: “Is it that late? Oh. Well… let me call you back in twenty minutes.”

I put on my coat and start walking towards the nearest car rental, which is about a half-hour walk. I barely get down the block when my phone rings again.

Service Advisor: “Hey, your car is ready for pickup. We put it on the alignment machine and it looks perfect.”

Me: *Pause* “What?”

Service Advisor: “Yep, no problems at all; it’s in the green on all four wheels.”

Me: “Do you have the alignment report from my last visit there on the computer?”

Service Advisor: “Er… yes.”

Me: “How can it go from red on all four tires to green on all four without any repairs?”

Service Advisor: “I don’t really know, but it’s fine, so you don’t need any repairs.”

Me: *Pause* “I’ll be there in twenty minutes to pick it up.”

Thankfully, they didn’t charge me, but I got in my car and went directly to an unaffiliated shop nearby that mostly does custom lift kits and such and had them check my alignment. The results were perfect on all four tires.

So, that’s six months of heartburn I didn’t need to have, and the only thing I can think is that they had some kid doing the alignment check the first time, and he screwed it up somehow!

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Calling Out And Taking Out The Trash

, , , | Working | August 4, 2020

I live at the top of a hill with houses on either side. It’s not very steep and rounds out across my large yard, but it is a noticeable incline.

One day, after the trash is collected, I notice that the can has been moved from one side of my property to the far side of my neighbor’s yard. Our trash cans are labeled with the house number, so I don’t think someone thought it belonged to them. I push my can back to where it was before, but the same thing happens the next week, this time going to the far side of my other neighbor’s yard. I move it back again, wondering if somebody is playing some bizarre prank on me.

The third week, I am home when trash is collected. I see a young man with a distinctive tattoo on his arm and another on his neck hop out of the truck idling in front of my neighbor’s house, pull my can to the truck, empty both cans, and get back in. The truck then drives by my house and stops at my other neighbor’s house to collect. I try to flag him down, but he either doesn’t see me or he doesn’t care.

I decide to call the sanitation department to see what is going on.

Receptionist: “Sanitation.”

There is silence… and then I realize that was the entire greeting.

Me: “Oh! Hi, um, someone keeps moving my trash can off of my property and—”

Receptionist: *Sigh* “You have to put your trash can beside your mailbox before collection. Otherwise, they won’t pick it up.”

Me: “Yes, I know. That’s what I’ve been doing, but one of the guys collecting is putting it in my neighbor’s yards.”

Receptionist: “Who is it?”

Me: “I didn’t see a name tag.”

I describe the man.

Receptionist: “Doesn’t sound familiar. Is it beside your mailbox?”

Me: “It is now.”

Receptionist: “Then they’ll pick it up.”

Me: “I’m asking why my can was moved off of my property.”

Receptionist: *Another sigh* “I don’t know.”

Me: “Then who does? Because it’s kind of annoying to have to haul it back to where it’s supposed to be.”

Receptionist: “I don’t know. Ask the team next time. Have a nice day.” *Hangs up*

So, I wait until the next trash collection day. When the truck comes down the road, I step outside to watch. The same man jumps down from the truck and begins dumping cans. When he gets to my neighbor’s house, I walk out and stand beside my trash can. He starts walking toward me, looks up, and pauses before turning around to get back in the truck. I wait for him to pull up to my house before saying anything. He gets out, looks me over, and pulls the can toward the truck.

Me: “Hi. Could you—”

He spits in my direction.

Man: “Yeah?”

Me: “Could you tell me why my trash can keeps ending up in my neighbor’s yards?”

Man: “It’s not.”

He puts the can back where it was.

Man: “See?”

I give a short, annoyed laugh.

Me: “I saw you move it over there last week.”

Man: “And?”

Me: “Please don’t do it anymore.”

Man: *Sarcastic tone* “Okay, then.”

Me: *Overly cheerful* “Great! Thank you!”

The next week, my can was left where it was supposed to be. I could understand if I lived at the end of a road or if there was some rule about it, but I don’t and there isn’t. I still have no idea why it kept getting moved but I’m glad it stopped.

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Just Call Him Hal

, , , , | Healthy | August 2, 2020

I’m a nurse on a busy med surge floor. Shift change has just occurred. My CNA calls me to let me know one of my patients’ blood pressure readings is high. I pull up the chart, check the newest results, and realize their drug test is positive for absolutely everything drug we test for and they also have a very high alcohol score. I go into the room to access my patient and as soon as I get in, I know they are starting to go through withdrawals.

I call the doctor immediately to get a drug and alcohol withdrawal medication bundle on. I end up getting a brand-new resident. I introduce myself and explain the issue.

Me: “…and I need a stat order on the drug and alcohol withdrawal med bundle. Thanks!”

Resident: “I’m new; I don’t know what that is.”

Me: “No problem.”

I list the meds I need, the dosages, frequency, etc.

Resident: “I can’t write those orders; those are controlled medications.”

Some of them are, but most are anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea meds.

Me: “You’re a doctor; you can write controlled meds. This is a standard medication bundle for this issue.”

Resident: “I don’t think I can write those.”

Me: “Is [Doctor] there? Can you put him on speaker, please?”

He does and I repeat the request.

Doctor: *To the resident* “Start typing what the nurse tells you.”

Resident: “But I can’t write those orders; they are controlled.”

Doctor: “I’m only going to tell you this once more. Put in all the orders the nice nurse tells you right now. We have a patient who is about to go into severe drug withdrawals. She is trying to avoid the massive projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures that are about to happen. Nurse [My Name], how long do you think we have?”

Me: “Thirty minutes, maybe less. They are already starting to sweat and look a bit green around the gills.”

The new resident was still arguing with the doctor that he couldn’t write those orders. The doc got fed up with him and told him that from then on he was to write every effing order I told him. I got my orders.

A few days later, the new resident was on the floor. I went up to get a med order and he started again with the “I don’t think I’m allowed to write that.” I smiled and let him know that I was nurse [My Name], and that he might remember that the doctor in charge of him told him not to argue with me about med orders. I did have to show him how to put them on, but it got done.

The other nurses asked how I managed to get orders out of him because he’d been pulling the same garbage with all of them. The doctor ended up giving him blanket orders that he was to listen to the nurses, and if he really wasn’t sure to call him or the pharmacist, but he was not allowed to utter “I don’t think I can write that” ever again.

We are wondering if he’ll last through the end of the month.

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That’s A Wrap On This Burrito Place

, , , , , , | Working | July 31, 2020

On my campus, we have a few places to eat. One of these places is a burrito place. It’s pretty good, but I’ve started becoming uncomfortable going because of a few incidents. 

The first incident: I walk up to the guy who’s making my burrito. 

Employee #1: “What would you like today?”

Me: “A burrito, please.”

Employee #1: “Do you want rice and beans on that?”

Me: “Yes, please.”

Employee #1: “Protein?”

Me: “Oh, uh, no protein, please.”

Employee #1: *In a snotty tone* “You know, you don’t have to say please so much.”

I am very self-conscious, so I promptly shut up and barely say anything else for the rest of the order except what I want. 

The second incident: I walk up to a different employee at a different time of day. 

Employee #2: “Hi, what can I get for you?”

Me: “A burrito, please.”

Everything goes perfectly fine while I order; the employee puts my order behind the glass divider within her reach but not within mine. I go to pay for my food with a different employee… and neither of them gives me my food.

Me: “Um… excuse me? Excuse me?”

For a solid minute, I try to get both of their attention so I can get my food, which has been paid for, while they socialize with a different customer. I finally get one’s attention.

Me: “Hi, sorry. Could I, um, actually have my food, please?”

I give a nervous laugh to show I’m joking.

The employee gives me a snotty look and slaps the box into my hand. Nothing spills, but the look she gives me makes me feel completely embarrassed for asking for food that I’ve actually purchased. 

The third incident: my roommate goes to go get a burrito. The — third and different — employee puts rice and beans, no meat, cheese, and lettuce, and begins to close the burrito. Only BEGINNING to close it; that is, she’s folded the wrap over the tiniest amount.

Roommate: “Oh, sorry, could I get sour cream and cilantro on that, please?”

The employee huffed loudly, slapped the burrito back open, flung cilantro on it, squirted too much sour cream on, and wrapped it up as aggressively as she could. I get that you’re tired and want to end the semester, too, but still…

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Skirting Around The Definition Of “Nice”

, , , | Right | July 31, 2020

I work at a retail chain. My location has a non-standard layout, and we have signs everywhere, but that doesn’t stop people from barging in and looking lost. I routinely ask, “Can I help you find anything today?” which covers all the bases, which is how it started with a lost-looking customer.

Customer: “Where did you move the nice skirts?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we get new clothing in all the time so the old stuff gets shuffled around. Do you remember what brand it was?”

Customer: “Just show me where the skirts are; I’ll be able to pick out the nice ones.”

Me: “Our store is sorted by brand, not by style of clothing. I can show you to a few brands that still have skirts if you would like.”

I lead her over to the closest brand.

Me: “Well, here is what [Brand] has for skirts right now; is this something like what you were looking for?”


Me: “Sorry, ‘nice’ means different things to different people. This one is actually my favorite one in stock. Can you be more specific? Is there a certain color, length, cut, style, or fabric you are looking for?”

She never gets any more specific about the “nice skirt.” I lead her around the store showing her what each brand is offering with no luck. She keeps repeating the nice skirt line, stressing the “NICE.”


Me: “Sorry, ma’am, that is all we have for our late summer and early fall styles. Feel free to browse clearance to see if any of our old skirts are what you had in mind. If that doesn’t work out, you can always get a gift card at the registers and she can come in to pick out an outfit.”


She began browsing through our bountiful clearance racks where we had stopped. I backed away slowly, never getting to know the “true” meaning of “nice.”

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