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Must Be Here For The Secret Sales

, , , , , | Right | June 13, 2022

After college, I worked at a fabric store just outside of Washington, DC. One day, a member of the Secret Service came in and informed us that the wife of a foreign leader wanted to shop in our store. He needed to check out the layout and entrances to be sure there were no risks. He walked around and had us lock the loading dock door, but he said we could stay open for regular business while this VIP was shopping.

The lady showed up about an hour or so later with a couple more male agents. She spent a long time shopping (spending thousands of dollars) so a lot of customers came and went while she was there. A few of them asked why the Secret Service was there.

The lead agent came over to me at one point and said:

Agent: “Please don’t tell anyone we are with the Secret Service.”

Me: “Uh, sir, this is a fabric store and we don’t get many male customers in the first place. You are wearing earpieces and suits; it’s obvious who you are!”

The VIP had such a great time that she came back the next day to buy more fabric. This time, her security detail wore Hawaiian shirts. They didn’t look any less conspicuous!

Some Days You’re The Hammer, And Some Days You Need One

, , , , | Friendly | June 13, 2022

My tire had gone flat, so a friend and I were trying to replace it outside of the place I rented. We had removed all the nuts, but the tire refused to come off no matter how hard we tried to pull it, and we were both stumped on what to try next.

After another failed attempt to get the wheel off, I heard a man I hadn’t realized was behind us speak up.

Man: “Is the wheel stuck on?”

Me: “Yeah, it won’t budge.”

Man: “I have the same problem with my car. I have a hammer that’s supposed to help with that in my trunk if you want to borrow it.”

Me: “Oh, sure, if you don’t mind.”

Man: “No problem, but my car’s a little ways away so it may take me a few minutes to get it.”

With that, he turned around and jogged back toward another part of the rental complex. A little while later, he showed up with the hammer; we’d made no progress with the wheel in that time.

Man: “Here you go. Just tap it around the back a few times and it should come loose.”

The hammer was more like a small mallet, with a large head and a good bit of weight behind it, at least relative to its small size. As the man said, a few taps on the back worked wonders and the tire soon came off.

Me: “Here’s the hammer back. Thanks for lending it to us., I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise.”

Man: “Oh, yeah, I used to have to get the whole car towed somewhere just because I couldn’t get the stupid tire off; there’s a reason I started carrying this thing around. You start to feel silly being stranded on the side of the road because you can’t do something as basic as replacing a tire.”

Me: “Well, thanks again.”

Man: “No problem. I was just out walking to kill time and get exercise anyway. I can walk to my car and back to pick a hammer up just as well as walking anywhere else. Glad I could help.”

Thank you, random stranger, for solving my inability to change my tire.

Some People Just Want To Watch The World Heal

, , , | Healthy | June 12, 2022

I donate blood every few months; I know there’s a need for it, and my blood type is the universal donor.

Once, during a donation, a woman comes in and asks questions about everything. I figure it must be her first time. There’s nothing wrong with that; she just seems a little nervous. The phlebotomist hooks up her IV, and her bed is next to mine.

Woman: “So, who are you donating for?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Woman: “My husband is having an operation, so I’m giving blood in case he needs it.”

Me: “Oh, I see. No, I’m not donating for anyone in particular.”

Woman: “You’re not?”

Me: “Nope. Just… whoever needs it, I guess.”

The woman looks around the room, shocked. The other donors are now listening to the conversation.

Woman: “So, all of you are just donating, what, out of the goodness of your hearts?”

She started laughing and then quickly stopped. She didn’t intend for the comment to sound mean; it just genuinely had never occurred to her that blood banks are full of blood from people who donate just to help others.

Insuring That You Feel Even Sicker

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 6, 2022

I’m feeling under the weather, and I go and see my doctor. My complaint is a simple one and all I need is a three-dose run of medication. I go in to the local major chain pharmacy and drop off my prescription. 

Later, I get a call telling me that they can’t run my script as it was rejected by the insurance company. 

Dang it.

I go in and find out that, while my condition is severe enough that I really need three doses to clear it up, the insurance company will only allow the more common two-dose run. Three, apparently, is right out and is an offense to the Insurance Deities. 

Me: “Okay, what if we don’t involve insurance? How much would this be if I just paid out of pocket?”

Pharmacy Tech: “You can’t do that. The insurance company rejected it.”

Me: “I understand that. What if we don’t submit it to insurance and I just pay cash?”

Pharmacy Tech: “You cannot do that. The insurance company denied it.”

Me: “If I didn’t have insurance, what would you have done?”

Pharmacy Tech: “We’d have just charged you the cost of the medication.”

Me: “Okay, how abo—”

Pharmacy Tech: *Cutting me off* “We cannot do that. The insurance company denied it. You cannot get your medication.”

Me: “F*** the insurance company! I want to run this as an out-of-pocket! How. Much. Is. It?”

Pharmacy Tech: “Sir! I am going to have to ask you to leave.”

At this point, I had to reach down deep and find my inner Entitled Jerk. I demanded the manager. 

Basically, what happened next was pretty much the conversation above but with a manager backing the pharmacy tech up. Eventually, I asked for the script back and was told that since it was denied and had been stamped as denied, they could not give it to me.

I started to get really annoyed and was about to really flip out, but then the police officer they called while we were going around tapped me on the shoulder and explained that I was being trespassed off of the grounds. 

The officer was polite about it, listened to my side of the story, and agreed that it was unfair and that I should have been able to get my meds or at least get my script back.

Eventually, I called my doctor back, they issued another script, and I went to a locally-owned pharmacy. I told them that insurance was not going to cover it and that I wanted to just pay for the medication if it wasn’t too expensive. They told me, it was reasonable (very reasonable), I paid, and I got my meds. 

The kicker? Without coupons or pharmacy discounts, the medication was only $8.34 a pill. I got banned from my pharmacy over a lousy nine bucks.

Maybe More Kids Would Enjoy Math With More Teachers Like This

, , , , , , | Learning | June 3, 2022

As a little kid, I was such a geek that I actually enjoyed math, and since my parents were often doing math with my older sister, I picked up some things by listening in on them. One of those things I learned ahead of my class was the impressive feat of adding a whole three numbers at once!

But when it came time for the class to learn the same thing, they didn’t add the numbers right — at least that’s what young me thought. Our teacher taught us to add all numbers in the ones column, then the tens, etc. By contrast, I’d always added the numbers by adding the first two and then writing the third number under the sum of the first two and adding those. The way I had learned seemed less error-prone. I mean, adding three whole numbers in your head at once — who could possibly manage such a feat?! So, I chose to ignore the way our teacher was teaching it and keep doing things the way my father had taught me.

Then, one day, the teacher had multiple problems written on the board and she called four or five students up to solve their problems at the same time in front of the class. I was on the far end, away from the teacher, but I was worried that she would catch me doing things the “wrong” way, so I did things my way, put the answer, and then hastily erased my work so she wouldn’t see how I did things.

She wasn’t having any of that. When she got to me she agreed that the answer was right but insisted that I needed to show my work. So now, I got extra attention as she made me redo my work in front of the class with her watching me as I did my math “wrong”.

I was honestly expecting a scolding for not doing things the way she had taught us. Instead, she acted surprised and asked me to explain my “complex” logic for how I was doing the work to the class. She told me that was a good way of doing things and actually said she was fine with kids doing math however they wanted if they got the right results.

Come our next math test, we were asked to add numbers the way she had taught us, but the very next question asked us to add the same numbers “[My Name]’s way.” She continued to encourage kids to learn both ways, and I was proud to have a whole way of doing math named after me!

It’s only later as an adult that I can fully appreciate how refreshing it was to have a teacher willing to encourage kids to solve problems their own way rather than insisting we all stick to the officially taught way of doing things. Thanks for being flexible, Ms. [Teacher].