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Sounds Like A Good Way To Lengthen That List

, , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2022

I was driving through a busy inner-city road in the early evening. There was plenty of traffic, but it was moving well. 

A billboard caught my eye. It was deliberately attention-grabbing; it had a big, teaser headline, “WILL YOU MAKE THIS YEAR’S LIST?”, and then some smaller writing underneath. I looked at it for a moment longer, dying to know (as they intended) what list I might be able to join.

When my attention returned to the road, I saw that the car in front of me had stopped, and I had to quickly apply the brakes. I was a heartbeat away from causing a collision.

So, what list was it? The “road toll” — the list the government keeps of all traffic fatalities. Yup, the government put up an eye-catching billboard in a busy area in some misguided attempt to improve road safety.

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 108

, , , , , , | Right | April 12, 2022

I’m at work overseeing the self-serve checkouts. Two young women scan through a few things on one of the machines, and then [Customer #1] pays with her card.

Customer #2: “I could have paid with your card. You told me your PIN number and bank details, remember?”

Customer #1: “That was for my old card. I had to get a new one.”

Customer #2: “Why’s that?”

Customer #1: “My old one got hacked. I have no idea how.”

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 107
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 106
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 105
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 104
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 103

Take The Money And Run

, , , , , , | Related | April 5, 2022

I am the author of this story about my mum.

Brother: “Mum, it’s not fair that you have my laptop. It’s mine. I need it.”

Mum: “I paid to fix it, so it’s mine now.”

This goes back and forth for some time.

Me: *To my mother* “So, I’m going to be moving out this month, and seeing as I paid to replace the oven when it broke, does that mean it’s my oven and I get to take it with me when I leave?”

The amount of steam blowing out of my mother’s ears is enough to power a small train. Accusations of filial impiety are hurled, nostrils are flared, and there is much shouting and yelling and stomping about. But when the dust finally settles, my brother does get his laptop back, and we think that’s the end of it.

Later that evening, my dad, my brother, my husband, and I are all sitting in the living room when my mum waltzes in.

Mum: “So, [My Name], you want your money back that bad? Here.”

She puts $1,000 cash on the coffee table.

Mum: “That’s what you paid for the oven, isn’t it? Have it all back. I won’t have you suggesting that I owe you either the money or the oven.”

Me: “Er, no, I never wanted the money back. I was just trying to make a point that you owed [Brother] his laptop back because, at the end of the day, it was still his laptop, even if you fixed it. Just like that oven is yours even though I paid to fix it!”

Mum: “No, you think I took your money and won’t give it back to you! So now I’m giving it back to you!”

Me: *Facepalm* “Oh, my God, this is ridiculous. You are ridiculous.”

Brother: *Barely suppressing his laughter* “Mum, you’re missing the point entirely.”

Dad: *Patiently* “[Mum], [My Name] was just trying to give you an example. She agrees that that money is your money; she was just trying to show that by the same logic, [Brother]’s laptop belongs to him. She was just making a point.”

Mum: *Snidely* “Oh, no, I understand her point completely. I’m giving the money back. Now you can no longer accuse me of anything. It’s finished.”

Everyone starts talking at the same time.

Brother: “Mum, you don’t get it—”

Husband: “You don’t understand; she wasn’t asking for any money—”

Dad: “It was just an analogy—”

Me: “I don’t want it! Take it back!”

My mum throws her hands in the air and walks out, leaving the cash on the table.

Dad speaks after her and trails off.

Dad: “It… was just… analogy…” *Looks at me* “She doesn’t understand what an analogy is, does she?”

Me: “Nope.”

All four of us stare at the money on the table.

Brother: *Clears throat* “Well, [My Name], what’s it gonna be? Your pride, or $1,000?”

Me: *Crossing my arms* “Obviously my pride.”

Dad: “You should just take the money. Might as well.”

Me: “Can’t. I’d lose my moral high ground.” *Smirks*

Brother: *Teasingly* “It’s calling to you… It’s saying, ‘[My Name]… pick me up…’”

Dad: *Sighs* “I’m going to bed. Good night.”

He leaves. My brother stretches and makes a show of getting up off the couch.

Brother: “Welllll, I mean, if nobody wants it…”

Husband: “F*** that.” *Swipes the cash off the table* “I don’t give a s*** about moral high ground. This is payback for that time she talked smack when my brother was in hospital.”

Brother: “There you go.”

We moved out the week after, and the money ended up going toward our first month’s rent.

Some People Get Hospitalized For Saying Things Like That

“Hey, Hun! I Want To Tell You About This Cool Business Opportunity!”

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 30, 2022

I have seen Multi-Level Marketing in action. Even without realising the pyramid underpinnings, I do not like their business practices. I instinctively guessed they would tell you to lie to your friends.

A school friend is studying at the same university as me, but we are in different faculties, so we only see each other a few times a year — usually at mutual friends’ parties or campus groups we are both a member of. This is before mobile phones, let alone social media, so calling someone requires some effort, as we both have to be home and no one else can be using the phone. A call from her is not shocking, but a little surprising.

Friend: “Blah, blah, business opportunity… Blah, blah, presentation at my house Wednesday… Blah, blah…”

Me: “It’s [MLM Company], isn’t it?”

Friend: “No, it’s not [MLM Company]. It’s an excellent opportunity you will be excited to be involved with.”

She continues with further entreaties and cajoling.

Me: “Okay, I’ll come. But if it turns out to be [MLM Company], I will immediately leave and never talk to you again.”

Friend: “It’s [MLM Company].”

Helping Them With Everything Except The Kitchen Sink

, , , , , , | Right | November 16, 2021

I’m shopping at a popular superstore that’s having a really good sale on kitchenware. I’m replacing some cooking utensils when a young couple approaches me.

Young Man: “Excuse me, but I was wondering if this would melt?”

He points to an all-plastic turner.

Me: “If you leave it in the pan, yes, but I’ve you’re just cooking, then no. If I can make a suggestion, I’d go for this one.”

I pick up one made of metal and plastic.

Me: “It’s better quality and only fifty cents more.”

Young Woman: “Thank you, we’ve just moved into our first place and don’t really know what we’re doing.”

Me: “You’re welcome. I have some time to spare. If you would like, I can help you out.”

Young Man: “Thank you, we’d really appreciate it.”

I spent the next hour helping them pretty much set up their whole kitchen. While some things were a little more expensive, I saved them money on others. I found out they were international students who had just moved out of the dorms into their first apartment together and neither had lived on their own before.

When we went our separate ways, the young woman hugged me and they both thanked me profusely.