Location, Location… (You Can’t Have Three)

, , , , , | Working | August 31, 2020

I am working at a company that decides to shut down our office on the west coast of the USA and move anybody who wants to go to the Boston area. My wife and I are interested, so they make arrangements to fly us out to look for housing. They also get us in touch with a relocation agent that is supposed to help us find housing. The agent sends us a form, which we fill out, that indicates that we are looking for a HOUSE — not an apartment, condo, etc. Also, we note that we need at least three rooms.

This happens when we arrive in the Boston area and the agent picks us up to go look at housing.

Agent: “I’ve looked through all the information you sent me, and I have some great places lined up to go see. Let’s go find you a place to live!”

Wife & Me: “Great, we’re really excited!”

We arrive at the first place, and it’s a college dorm that has been converted to apartments. It’s probably the furthest thing away from a house that you could describe.

Me: “This is an apartment.”

Agent: “Yes.”

Me: “We filled out that we wanted to look at houses, not apartments.”

Agent: “I know, but I know this place is really great, and I thought I would show it to you just in case.”

She walks us around the place and shows us a couple of the super-small dorm-room-type apartments. Most are single rooms; some have two rooms. After looking around a short time:

Me: “I think we are done looking here; it’s not what we are looking for. Let’s go to the next place.”

Agent: “Okay. Are you sure? This place is very trendy!”

Wife: “We’re sure; plus, none of those are three bedrooms. We need three bedrooms.”

Agent: “Okay, let’s go to the next place.”

She brought us to four other apartment complexes, every time trying to sell us on the idea that we really wanted an apartment and not a house. Most were only one or two bedrooms; only one had three-bedroom units available.  

After a wasted day, the agent dropped us back at our hotel and handed us applications from the places we’d been to. I grabbed them, not looking at them then, and said thanks, and we left to go inside. My wife and I were very frustrated at that point. I started looking at the applications in my hand and I noticed something. All the complexes were run by the same management company. Clearly, she was trying to get us to rent from this company, probably because she got a kickback of some type.

In the end, we ended up not moving to Boston, though I did express to my manager what a frustrating experience it was with the relocation agent they had sent us to, and I told him what happened.

He later got back to me and said they had talked to several other people who were trying to move out also, and all of them said the same thing. She showed everyone the same five places, no matter what they said on their forms. He tried to get me and my wife to go out again and give it another go with a completely different agent, but by that time, we had decided not to relocate.

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“Rushed” Off Your Feet

, , , , , | Right | August 26, 2020

It is Cinco de Mayo at a “Mexican” fast food chain and we’re well past as busy as humanly possible while being understaffed by three people. Since our computer system is absolutely horrible, you can place an online order for pickup or third-party delivery within six minutes of “pickup” time. The system has no idea how to account for the twenty other orders scheduled for that time.

At this point in the night, we’re running ten minutes behind on online orders. I’m literally making orders, running them up front, and calling out a name, while ignoring the line of thirty people inside (handled by other crew). It’s truly one: make food, two: run down the line, three: call out a name within earshot of the horde of people waiting for online orders and pray that people are being honest, before lather, rinse, and repeat.

On my billionth run up to the angry, hungry, unsatisfiable customers, I manage to trip, not sure over what, but I go down hard! Two seconds later, I’m on my feet, calling out the name of whoever’s food was in the bag; a woman accepts her bag and no words are exchanged. As I turn to run back to make the next order I hear, faintly, “Do you have an order for [Customer]? I’ve been waiting!” 

I call out over my shoulder as I’m running with a busted knee, “I’M MAKING ORDERS IN THE ORDER THEY WERE RECEIVED!”

She is two orders out. Upon receiving her meal, she responds, “Hey! You’re doing great!”

Not a single customer who witnessed this bothered to ask if I was okay! Meanwhile, my ankle hurts and is swollen so bad I’m not sure I can work tomorrow.

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We Still Have Reservations About This Hotel

, , , , , | Working | August 25, 2020

An extended relative’s son gets married at a downtown Boston hotel. Since we live in a Boston suburb, I realize too late that I need to reserve several hotel rooms for my family, my brother’s family, and my parents, and I cannot get any rooms at the wedding venue, [Hotel #1].

Fortunately, the bride and groom have provided two other hotel options: [Hotel #2] and [Hotel #3]. My mother has long-term knee ailments, so she requires an accessible bathroom, and [Hotel #2] does not have any available accessible bathrooms, which leaves [Hotel #3] as our only option.

Knowing I cannot reserve the accessible bathroom online, I call [Hotel #3], hoping I can complete these reservations during my lunch break. Instead, it takes me three days.

Day 1:

Me: “Hello, my family is attending [Bride and Groom]’s wedding, and we would like to reserve four rooms from their wedding block.”

Representative #1: “Yes, we have rooms available. Which dates were you wanting?”

Since the wedding is taking place on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, the bride and groom have reserved a total of three dates: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Me: “We will need the rooms for Friday and Saturday. Also, one of the rooms needs to have an accessible bathroom.”

I explain my mother’s knee problems.

Representative #1: “Oh, an accessible bathroom?” *Sigh of irritation* “Um, okay… I’ve never made this type of reservation before. I will need to ask for assistance from a supervisor. Can I put you on hold?”

Me: “Sure.”

I then spend the next twenty-five minutes “on hold” as she repeatedly tries to get the supervisor’s assistance… while listening to her complain about her position! Finally, thirty minutes later, she completes the reservation. However, when I review the confirmation email, I notice that she only made it for one night, instead of the two I requested. No problem. I will resolve these reservations tomorrow… or so I think.

Day 2:

Me: “Hello, I made a set of reservations yesterday for [Bride and Groom]’s wedding under [My Name]. Here are my reservations numbers. I need to update them; they are only for Friday night and I also requested Saturday night.”

Representative #2: “Okay, let’s take a look.” *Typing noises* “Hm… Are you sure you made these reservations? I’m not seeing anything under your name.” 

Me: “Yes, I made the reservations last night. They should be under [My Name] and here are the reservation numbers.”

Representative #2: “No, I’m sorry. I still don’t see anything here under your name. You will need to call our reservations number and make these reservations again.” *Hangs up abruptly*

Me: “…”

Completely puzzled, I take a break and call the reservation number again.

Me: “I really hope you can help me figure out why my room reservations are not showing up in your system.”

I explain everything again, including my mom’s need for an accessible room.

Representative #3: “Okay. Does the name [Brother] sound familiar to you?”

Me: “Yes, he is my brother. Why?”

Representative #3: “Well, we have reservations under his name for those dates, but not your name. Did you know he was making these reservations?”

Since my brother was also trying to book rooms, he mentioned his reservations to me… but then he canceled them after hearing about my confirmed — and less expensive — reservations.

Me: “What?! I did know about my brother’s reservations… but he canceled them!”

Representative #3: “My apologies. You would need to ask your brother to resend his cancellation notices. I can go ahead and make a new reservation for you right now.”

Me: “Okay, let’s go ahead and start a new reservation.”

I give them all the information again.

Me: “Also, we will need one room to have an accessible bathroom for my mother.” 

Representative #3: “I can put this request in for you, but I can not guarantee it will be available right now… and you will need to call again in about two weeks.”

Me: “Two weeks?! But why? All your previous colleagues assured me you have an accessible bathroom available.”

Representative #3: “They were incorrect. You will need to call back in two weeks. I will now send you your new reservations numbers. Thank you.” *hangs up abruptly*

Me: *To myself* “What is going on here?! Okay, here we go again.”

I reach out to my brother and he reconfirms his cancellations. So, fourth time’s the charm, right?

I explain everything that has happened so far.

Me: “Can you please tell me why I need to call back in two weeks for the accessible bathroom?”

Representative #4: “You only need to call back about the accessible bathroom in two days, not two weeks. I will verify this information and leave a message on your voicemail later today.”

That evening, I do receive a message from her confirming the two-day time frame. Still wondering why they could not confirm the accessible bathroom immediately, and exhausted by my efforts, I call it a night.

Day 3:

Extremely frustrated, I explain everything YET AGAIN.

Me: “I am very confused about why you are not able to immediately confirm if one of my room reservations has an accessible bathroom! I only need one accessible bathroom. Does my reservation say I need more than one?”

Representative #5: “I am so sorry for your experience so far with these reservations. I am not sure why you were told you needed to wait even two days. Maybe my coworkers were quoting an old policy. Can I put you on hold for just a minute?”

Me: *Heavy sigh* “Yes.”

Ten minutes later…

Representative #5: “Thank you again for your patience. Your reservation now has a confirmed accessible bathroom in one of the rooms. You will receive your final reservation numbers very soon in your email. Please check them and contact us immediately if they are still incorrect. I hope you enjoy your upcoming stay at [Hotel #3].”

And yes, I did check my email message. This time, all the reservations were correct.


This story is part of our Labor Day roundup!

Read the next Labor Day roundup story!

Read the Labor Day roundup!

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Selfish Is As Selfish Does

, , , , , , , | Related | August 25, 2020

I have a compromised immune system due to an organ transplant, so leaving the house in the middle of a global health crisis isn’t ideal. Usually, my mother-in-law does the shopping for me, leaving the groceries on the front porch so I can get them after she leaves. My house is on the road between her house and the store, but I still leave at least $20 cash in a designated spot for her troubles, and she leaves my bank card in one of the bags.

This week, I asked for cold items, so she walks right into the house. I am surprised because she doesn’t even knock, but I take the cold items from her and begin wiping down each one before putting it away.

I wear a mask and gloves when I interact with anyone I don’t live with. It might be overkill, but I haven’t had so much as a sniffle since I adopted the practice post-transplant, so either I’m very lucky or it works. My mother-in-law, however, believes it’s all some kind of mind-control conspiracy from the government and refuses to “take it up the a** from the government d**ks.” 

She sees me wiping down a jug of milk, stops, and sighs.

Mother-In-Law: “This is a little ridiculous, don’t you think?”

I’m not interested in getting into this with her for the hundredth time. Neither of us is willing to budge and it only ends in anger.

Me: *Shrugs* “Did you get the cookies and cream ice cream? I don’t see it.”

Mother-In-Law: “No, that much sugar is bad for you.” *Quickly* “They were out.”

Me: “It’s bad for me and they were out?”

She waves me off and begins pulling things from the bags and putting them right in the cupboard.

Mother-In-Law: “The odds of dying are so low, it’s basically nonexistent.”

I grab what she put away and put it on the table.

Me: “Okay, well, thanks for going to the store. I’ll let you get your own groceries home. Is my card in one of these bags?”

Mother-In-Law: “It’s not really that bad. The flu kills—”

Me: “The flu kills people like me all the time. My card?”

She crosses her arms, my card in hand.

Mother-In-Law: “If you’re so scared, why are you making me do your shopping?”

Me: “I’m not making you do anything. [Husband] is away — on a job you convinced him to take because it’s more money now that I can’t work — and I’m here alone. For months. If you don’t want to shop for me anymore, I’ll find someone else.”

Mother-In-Law: *With a smug smile* “[Her Husband] tested positive two days ago and he feels just fine.”

Me:What?!

Mother-In-Law: “He’s in the car! He’s not even near you.”

Me: “Get out now!

She throws my bank card on the floor.

Mother-In-Law: “Don’t call me to do your shopping again!”

I called my husband, crying and angry. He told me he would call her, but I told him not to bother. I didn’t want to believe that she would be so stupid and selfish as to expose me to a direct risk like that, but she did. I called my doctor, too, and she told me to go to the nearest testing facility. That was only a few days ago, so I’m still waiting on my results.

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Unfiltered Story #205749

, , , | Unfiltered | August 21, 2020

A customer comes in one night and orders a grilled lobster for takeout. His order is prepared, packed up, all is well. About an hour later we receive a call.

Me: [restaurant], how can I be of service?
Customer: Hi, I ordered a grilled lobster for takeout…
Me: Oh, yes, yes.
Customer: … and the lobster was boiled, it wasn’t grilled. I was wondering if I could get a refund or a new lobster.
Me: Oh no, I’m sorry about that, there may have been a mix up in our kitchen. No problem, you can bring the lobster back and our manager will sort it out for you and get you a new one.

Customer: I can’t do that.
Me: I’m sorry?
Customer: I can’t do that. I ate it.
Me: You– ate the lobster?
Customer: Yes, I ate it all. Can I still get a new one?
Me: ……. one moment.

At this point, I just paged the manager over to sort things out for the man, all the while trying not to laugh that he was attempting to get a refund on a lobster he already ate.