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An Explosive Response

, , , , , , , | Working | November 29, 2022

I’m outdoors when I hear a horrible ringing and grinding noise. I decide to figure out where the noise is coming from. This isn’t hard: the noise is getting louder and seems to be approaching me.

To my shock, a City Of Minneapolis vehicle drives past with a propane tank hanging from a tube connected to a piece of machinery in the back. The propane tank is dragging on the ground, producing the horrible ringing noise.

I whip out my cell phone and get a picture of the plates, the Department Of Transportation number, and the phone number to call. I call the city and attempt to explain what’s happening. When I reach the part about the propane tank dragging on the ground…

Employee: “The tank is what?!

Me: “Dragging on the ground.”

Employee: “How is it dragging?”

Me: “It was connected to a tube that was connected to something in the vehicle.”

Employee: *Slightly hysterical* “So, you’re telling me that a live propane tank is dragging behind this vehicle?”

Me: “Yes.”

*Click*

Me: “Uh… hello?”

*Ring-ring*

Me: “Uh… Hi, this is [My Name].”

Employee: “Yeah, we were disconnected. I was so surprised by what you told me that I accidentally hung up on you without getting some important information. What were the license number and DOT number of the truck in question again?”

They promised me that they would get in touch with the driver and handle the problem, but I still think it’s both funny and horrifying that they hung up on me mid-call because they were so surprised about the propane tank.

We’re Just Glad She Isn’t Driving

, , , , , , , | Healthy | November 23, 2022

I work in customer service for a health insurance company that mainly administers benefits for Medicare and Medicaid populations. In my state, members who receive benefits through state Medicaid have access to medical transportation to and from medical appointments. Unless you have a certified disability or other specialized need, that medical transportation normally goes through regular cab companies.

A notable percentage of our Medicaid membership suffers from psychiatric illnesses and other behavioral health challenges, and because of this, getting cursed out and/or threatened is not uncommon. It’s the nature of the beast, and we’re all trained to understand that and not get frazzled or mirror their energies.

My specific job is to take escalated phone calls. This one happened recently.

Me: “Hello there, thank you for holding. How can I help you?”

Insert unhinged screaming, with no discernable words.

Me: “I can hear that you are clearly upset and that something is wrong, but I can’t understand what the exact issue is. Could you repeat yourself?”

There’s more unhinged screaming about seemingly nothing in particular, followed by:

Caller: “You dumb c***, I am former FBI, so GET AWAY FROM ME OR I’LL HAVE YOU ARRESTED!”

Me: “Ma’am, I work from home and can assure you that I am nowhere near you. Could you please fill me in on what the issue is?”

Caller: “I made a hurricane that destroyed the whole world! Do you really want me to do that again?!”

Me: “I certainly don’t, ma’am. I can help you, but I need to know what’s going on.”

Caller: “You’re parked outside my house!”

Me: “Again, ma’am, I am talking to you from home, and I am definitely not parked outside your house.”

Caller: “There’s a [Cab Company] car outside my house!”

Me: “Did you request a medical ride for today?”

There’s a pause before the caller responds in a surprised, chipper voice.

Caller: “Yes! I have to go to the pharmacy today!” *Click*

Yes, ma’am, you go get those meds.

Ants On Your Hand And A Bee In Your Bonnet

, , , , , , , | Working | November 17, 2022

I am shopping in an ethnic grocery store. I am very short-sighted, even with my glasses.

They have large cardboard boxes full of discount merchandise. The boxes are resting directly on the floor, not on shelves. I see a candy bar in one of the boxes listed for $.50. The candy bar consists of seeds and nuts bound together by what looks like caramel in a clear wrapper.

I grab the candy bar to inspect it closer. As I bring my hand to my face, I feel a tickling sensation. When I look closer, I see that the candy bar, the inside of the wrapper, the outside of the wrapper, and now my hand, are all crawling with tiny ants.

I scream and throw the candy bar. An employee comes running.

Employee: “What happened?”

Me: “ANTS!”

Employee: “Ants? Ants are not a good reason to scream. We live on earth. Ants happen.”

Me: “Ants on my hand!”

Employee: “Ants on your hand are a good reason to scream.”

An Unexpected Trip Around The World (Or At Least Minneapolis)

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2022

My group of friends and I are celebrating one friend’s twenty-first birthday. Most of us live on campus someplace — a frat house, an apartment, a house with roommates, etc. — in the Twin Cities, and the few that don’t will just be crashing at someone’s place after the birthday party.

We start our adventure at the Seven Corners area; we all drive and park at the twenty-four-hour parking ramp there. We venture to the bars, drink, and then start our trek back toward campus over the 10th Street bridge. We hit up a few more bars in the area, wander through Dinkytown, and hit a couple of other bars on our way to our final destination — a house party that’s on the west bank.

At the time of this story, I live in the Dinkytown area with my roommates, and I know my way around the east bank and even downtown Minneapolis very well, so the area is very familiar to me on a normal day.

After a lot of barhopping and walking, we finally end up at the house party. We party, drink, and have fun. My birthday friend is pretty drunk by the time things start to wind down at around 3:00 am, and he just wants to crash at the house we are in. I know we’re not too far from my place, and I really don’t feel like crashing at a random house party with half the people still up drinking and doing mean things to those that have passed out (drawing on their faces and such tricks). Another friend and I are pretty sloshed ourselves, but we decide to head out and walk back to my place. It should be a twenty- to twenty-five-minute walk, so it’s not bad; it’ll be enough time to let us sober up some.

We remember leaving the party and making it to University Avenue. After that, it is a bit of a blur. The next thing we remember is walking up to a gas station/convenience store. We’re tired and getting hungry and thirsty, so we decide to wander in. We grab some water and snacks and check out.

Employee: “You boys are back again, huh?”

Me: “Uhhh…”

I look over at my friend with a look of confusion. He just kind of looks back at me, just as confused.

Friend: “Yeahhhhh. We, um, just wanted to get some more snacks and get change for the payphone so we can phone a ride.”

Me: “Yeah, have to get change for the phone,”

This is before cell phones are a common thing; most people had pagers but not cell phones.

Employee: “Okay, you boys keep safe.”

We leave the gas station and walk outside to the payphone.

Me: “What the h***? We were here before?”

Friend: “I guess. I don’t remember coming here. And speaking of here… where the h*** are we?”

Looking around frantically, I spot a couple of street signs.

Me: “We’re on University Ave, but I don’t recognize the area. Call [Other Friend]’s place; he knows the area.”

Friend: “Yeah, I’ll call him and see if he can help us out.”

My friend chatted on the phone for a few minutes with our other friend. Come to find out, my friend and I, in our inebriated condition, turned the wrong direction down University Avenue after we left the house party and ended up walking half an hour in the wrong direction. Not only that, but we stopped in the same gas station twice — once on our way past it and the second time after we’d walked a bit and turned around because one of us must have finally realized we were lost — and don’t recall the first time we went in there. Our other friend that lived on campus wasn’t out drinking that night because he had to work, so he told us to wait and he’d come to pick us up and drive us back home, saving us a nearly sixty-minute walk home.

The moral of the story: be sure you know where you’re going if you’re out partying and decide to walk home, and make sure you’re with someone if you do. If my friend hadn’t agreed to attempt to walk back to my place that night, I wouldn’t have risked it myself; I would have just sucked it up and crashed at the house party.

If You Don’t Prepay, You’ll Have To Drive Away

, , , , , , , | Right | September 8, 2022

The gas station I work for still lets customers pump and then pay inside after. Because we’re the last gas station that does this, the drive-off reporting company we sent drive-off forms to went out of business. When customers drive off, we lose that money for good unless they return.

With the enormous rise of gas prices with inflation, people have been going to the end pumps, being authorized to pump, and then driving off after. The manager we have now made the wise choice to make all end pumps PREPAY OR PAY AT PUMP ONLY. At night, all pumps are prepay, and there are signs stating this. 

One night, after dark, a lady pulls up to the end pump and asks to be authorized. I respond over the intercom.

Me: “Pump 1, all pumps are prepay after dark.”

She continues trying to be authorized. I use the intercom again.

Me: “Pump 1, pump 1, all pumps are prepay after dark.”

I then see her stepping in front of her SUV and then giving up, hanging the nozzle up, and driving away.

Moments later, another customer comes in.

Customer: “I heard that girl out there yelling, ‘I can’t bring my card inside!’”

I don’t think she was going to pay, anyway. if you need gas, you find a way to get help with it.