What A Doggone Fool

, , , , , | Legal | April 11, 2021

I am walking my family’s two dogs a little later than usual, when the streets are busier and more people and animals are around. One of the dogs spots people walking their dog and starts barking her little head off, so I do my best to pull her and our other dog away without causing issues for the other dog walkers. Just as we put more distance between the other dog and us:

Man: “HEY! LADY! EXCUSE ME!”

I turn around and there is an elderly man approaching me, spitting mad.

Man: “How dare you let your dogs go crazy like this?! If you cannot keep them controlled, you should keep them muzzled since they’re clearly aggressive!”

One of the dogs has been calmly sniffing trees around us and the other one is eyeing the man distrustfully and lightly growling since she dislikes raised voices.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t see the other dog as we were turning a corner, and I did my best to control the situation—”

Man: “I don’t care! Your dogs are a danger and you’re an awful dog owner! I’ll call the police on you!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry—”

Passerby: “Hey, man, leave the girl alone! It’s not a big deal, and you’re causing more chaos at this point.”

Man: “NO! She needs to be punished! I’ll call the police on her! She’s disturbing the peace!”

This goes on for a few minutes before I get fed up, apologise to him again, and turn away to continue walking the dogs, with him shouting after me about how he’ll call the police on me for having aggressive dogs, But I think nothing of it, because hey, what police officer would go out because a dog barked at another dog?

Later, as I go around the block and start heading home, I see a police car pull up behind me and two officers get out. Surprised, I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

Me: “Oh, don’t tell me he actually called the police on me!”

Police Officer #1: “We got a report about aggressive dogs in the area. Do you know anything about that?”

I recount the story as best as I can, starting to shake a bit from anxiety over this. While I’m telling the story, one of the dogs is gladly taking the chance to lay down and the other is making friends with the officers and getting petted by one of them.

Police Officer #2: “Well, clearly, this was a pointless call, as your dogs are clearly friendly and not aggressive at all.”

They gesture to the dog who’s basking in their colleague’s attention.

Police Officer #2: “Carry on, miss, and have a good day!”

Me: “Thank you! You, too, and I’m sorry for the trouble!”

Shaken, I returned home and told my mum about what happened. She was understandably upset, and my dad helped me walk the dogs the next few days, just in case the crazy old man came back again. The kicker? I remembered seeing the man before that day when I was retelling the story to my mum; he had come up to me to ask for directions a few weeks before and had even admired how well-behaved the dogs were, petting the very same dog he deemed “aggressive and dangerous”! Thankfully, I haven’t seen him since then, but I do hope he’s nicer now.

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“April Fools!” Is Rarely Music To Anyone’s Ears

, , , , , | Learning | April 1, 2021

I am eight years old. Our music teacher seems like a nice woman until, in one class, she tells us we are to memorise the lyrics for six songs by next week, word for word. As we’re eight, our class is afraid to protest. During the week, we are all terrified, and my parents agree that the teacher is requiring too much. However, it being a different time and place, merely a few years after my country has become independent from the Soviet Union, people simply are not used to challenging authority.

The dreaded day comes. The teacher hands out empty papers and assigns us to write the exact lyrics to one of the songs. We are all quietly panicking, but we start writing down the lyrics as well as we can. She tells us to hand the papers over and that she’ll return them after lunch. It is a long and scary lunch break, but finally, it ends. She enters the classroom with our tests.

During that horrible week, no one has paid attention to the date. The first of April. She has not corrected or graded anything, only written, “April Fools!” on every test.

Painfully, I see later that I actually managed to write down the exact lyrics, word for word. The fact that she did not even bother to give us all As for effort really bothers me.

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She Was Never At The Age For Games

, , , , | Right | January 18, 2018

(A customer with an eight-year-old child comes over and asks us to recommend a board game as a present for her husband. It’s immediately apparent she knows nothing about board games. I pull out our favourite gateway game and extol its many virtues: ease of learning, replayability, family-friendliness, etc. The customer seems happy, takes the box to look at, and fixates on game’s age rating, “8+.”)

Customer: “My husband is 36. This says eight.”

Me: “Ma’am, the age rating mostly informs about difficulty of rules. I know five-year-olds who play with family, and many adults who enjoy this game with friends.”

Customer: “But my husband is 36 years old. “

(I’m thinking, okay. Maybe the husband will play with his buddies and not with her. Something meatier, then. I take down a strategy/economy game and explain it, emphasizing required strategy, deep decision-making, and cutthroat player competition. She takes a look and sees a “12+” on the box.)

Customer: “It’s 12. He is 36.”

Me: “The age on the box is, roughly, when a player can understand the rules and play unassisted. An eight-year-old couldn’t play this alone; there’s too many things to keep track of. A 12-year-old could play, but not at a great level. An adult would be able to see and plan and use all the game has to offer. I promise it won’t be too easy or boring.”

(I go into this “teaching mode” for a few minutes, explaining and pointing out examples of how some of the most mind-bending, headache-inducing, multi-hour games only have “14+” age ratings and some of the greatest, most popular games worldwide are “8+” or “10+”. By the end, I can see in her eight-year-old son’s eyes that he understands. The customer is holding a box, thoughtfully looking at a picture of a game in progress. Then she raises her head.)

Customer: “But my husband is 36.”

(Eventually she picked out and bought an outdoor game of throwing wooden sticks at targets, presumably because it didn’t have an age listed anywhere on the box.)

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Showing Them Their Bad Form

, , , , , | Right | December 5, 2017

(I work in a chemical factory. I am talking over the phone finalizing shipment details with a client, who plans to ship produce to the United States.)

Me: “You also need to fill out [Form A]. If it isn’t present, your shipment will be stopped by customs and not allowed into the country.”

Customer: “Yeah, okay.”

Me: “Sir, [Form A] is important. Do not forget it.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah. [Form A]. Got it.”

(Fast forward two weeks: the customer is on the phone and livid.)

Customer: “MY THINGS ARE STUCK AT CUSTOMS AND IT’S YOUR FAULT. I DIDN’T KNOW THEY NEEDED [FORM A]!”

Manager: “Sir, I’m certain that my agent told you about it.”

Customer: “NO, HE DID NOT! I WOULD REMEMBER! I WAS NOT TOLD!”

Manager: “Sir, yes, you were. Our calls are all recorded. Would you like to listen to yours?”

Customer: “YES, I F****** WOULD! YOU DIDN’T TELL ME!”

Manager: “Please wait a second.”

([Manager] patches a recording into the phone call and customer is listening. [Form A] comes up and after two seconds the customer simply hangs up. [Manager] then calls the customer back.)

Manager: *in a sweet and polite voice* “I’m so sorry, but the line died unexpectedly. Would you like to listen to it again?”

Customer: *click*

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