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He’s Slow In Many Other Ways

, , , , | Right | August 20, 2021

I grew up in Minnesota. We get some pretty bad winters, and most people learn to drive slowly and carefully when the road is bad. Then, there are the people I meet working as a tow truck driver. Here’s one example.

I’m in my personal vehicle, heading to the garage for work early in the morning. It’s still dark out, and we’ve had about eight inches of wet, heavy, EXTREMELY slippery snowfall overnight, with more snow falling. 

I’m in a chain of cars, all going about twenty miles per hour on a highway with a speed limit of sixty. We get to a straight stretch of road, and I see one set of headlights behind me pull into the other lane and start gaining — fast. A bright red, lifted, souped-up pickup truck flies past me and about eight other cars before darting back into line at the next corner. When we get to the next straight stretch, I watch the truck pull out and speed past a few more cars, until he gets to the front of the line and speeds off into the distance.

It comes as no surprise when, a few miles farther down the highway, I see a familiar bright red, lifted, souped-up pickup truck in the ditch.

I get to the garage, and my dispatcher tells me I have a job waiting for me on the highway I just drove in on. I tell him I know exactly who he’s talking about, and we share a laugh over the story before I get in my tow truck and head back down the highway.

When I get back to the bright red pickup, tow truck lights flashing, the driver jumps out of the truck and walks over, seemingly very agitated.

Driver: “Took you long enough!”

Me: “Yep. Conditions aren’t too great. Can’t risk putting the tow truck in the ditch, because that one would not be a fun story to tell the boss. So, what happened? Is there any damage I need to know about before I hook up?”

Driver: “No, I just slid. I don’t know how you all drive up here with this snow.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Driver: “Nobody goes the speed limit or anything. I had to pass cars everywhere because everyone was going so slow. That’s what caused me to spin; I tried to change lanes to pass someone and spun.”

Me: “Well, look at it this way. How many of those other cars did you see in the ditch?”

Driver: “But…”

Me: “I’ll be straight with you. I was one of those cars you passed, on my way into the garage. Then, I passed you again after you hit the ditch.”

Driver: “…”

Me: “Why do you think we were all going so slow?”

The driver finally lost his aggressiveness and was pretty sheepish for the rest of the interaction. Fortunately for him, there was no damage to his pickup — only to his ego!

Learn To Leave Well Enough Alone

, , , , , , | Related | August 13, 2021

It’s Mother’s Day weekend. I have a standard answer for whoever asks me what I’m doing for Mother’s Day that seems to stop any awkward questions. I just tell people, “Oh, I don’t have a mother,” in a very cheerful voice, and that’s usually the end of that, but a coworker has been bothering me all week about my lack of plans.

Coworker: “So, you’re not doing anything for Mother’s Day?”

Me: “Nope.”

Coworker: “But, nothing? Nothing?!

Me: “I don’t have a mother, so why would I do anything?”

Coworker: “That’s so stupid. Everyone has a mother.”

Me: *Flatly* “Well, I don’t so—”

Coworker: “Who gave birth to you? She’s your mother!”

Me: “Surrogate mothers are a thing.”

Coworker: *Sputters* “Who raised you?”

Me: “My dad.”

Coworker: “So do something for him, then!”

Me: “He hates these kinds of holidays.”

Coworker: “You’re not doing anything for anyone this weekend? Wait, is your mother dead?”

Me: “Not as far as I know. Look, I really don’t want to talk about this—”

Coworker: “If she’s not dead, you should at least send her a card to tell her you love her!”

Me: *Fed up* “The woman who gave birth to me made it very clear to me that she hated me and wished that I hadn’t been born. She kept me locked in a dark bathroom for days at a time, without food or human interaction, because I was ‘too loud,’ when I was three years old. I don’t know her address, and even if I did, I would not be sending that b**** a card.”

Coworker: *Pauses* “Oh. Um, right.” *Flees*

If someone tells you they don’t want to talk about something, don’t force them to talk about it.


This story is part of our Best Of August 2021 roundup!

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Time To “Face” The Customers

, , , | Right | August 12, 2021

Due to sickness and other circumstances, our fabric department lead has been out since Saturday. It’s Monday, and I’m trying to price and put away her freight for her. I’m not thrilled about it, and other things have made the day stressful, as well.

I know very little about fabric — basically just how to cut it and where most of it is — and the other coworker who would be able to answer fabric questions better than me has been out sick, also.

I tend to make faces that display my feelings. Masks don’t help the face thing, though most customers understand that I can’t help them.

I have a customer come up to ask me a question. 

Customer: “I’m making a rag quilt.”

I know nothing about quilting except what my mom has mentioned from when she quilted years ago. I make a face that says, “Oh, shoot, I know nothing.”

Me: “I don’t know much about quilting. The two ladies who do aren’t here today.”

Customer: “Is there someone I can call?”

My immediate thought is, “I can’t give out personal phone numbers.” Also, literally no one else in the building is going to know anything more about quilting than I do.

Me: “Um, no. Hopefully, [Fabric Lead] will be here tomorrow.”

At this point, I’m trying to help another customer who needs fabric cut. The first customer makes a point of checking my name tag and saying my name out loud as she walks away as I try to suggest that she call tomorrow.

A few minutes later, I hear the code called for a manager up front but don’t think much of it. My co-manager comes over to me a little after that to ask me about the customer.

Co-Manager: “Did you help a lady making a raincoat?”

Me: “A raincoat? No. But I did have a lady who wasn’t happy with me.”

Co-Manager: “The lady I just talked to? Yeah, she said you rolled your eyes at her.”

Me: “I didn’t roll my eyes. I made a face because I couldn’t help her.”

Co-Manager: “Yeah, I didn’t really believe her. Your customer service is usually pretty good. I just wanted to let you know. She said she was going to take her business to [Nearby Town].”

Me: *Making a face* “Good for her. We probably didn’t want her business anyway.”

A little bit later, I’m whining about the issue to a coworker.

Me: “Yeah, this customer told [Co-Manager] I rolled my eyes at her. I just made a panicked face because I couldn’t answer her question.”

Coworker: “I know that face!”

Sigh. Apparently, I have to work on not making faces when I answer questions.

Maybe Their Computer Is Smoking?

, , , , , , | Right | August 11, 2021

I work from home for a vape company. I mostly deal with customers via email and instant chat. One day, I get this email.

Customer: “Hello, I would like to return my product for a refund, please. What’s the process?”

Me: “Hello! I need to ask a few questions first. Have you used the product? Is it still sealed? When did you purchase the product, and which one? Please let me know and we will get started.”

Customer: “It’s still factory sealed, never been used. It’s [Computer Brand].”

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid there’s been some kind of misunderstanding. We don’t sell computers. This is [Company].”

Customer: “I thought you said you’d accept the refund! You’re going back on your word?”

Me: “Sir, where did you purchase your computer from? I would recommend that you contact the company where you originally purchased the computer and they will help you. I cannot do anything as you didn’t buy the computer from us. We do not sell computers.”

Customer: “It’s unopened! I just want my money back!”

Me: “Sir. This is [Company]. We’re a vape company. We’ve never sold computers. You need to contact the company that you bought the computer from. I cannot help you.”

Customer: “Well then, I have [our most expensive product] and I want a refund! Will you help me now?!

Me: “Do you have a receipt or proof of purchase you can send? I’ll need a picture of the product in its packaging, as well, please.”

Customer: “I don’t have a receipt; just take it back. I want my money back! I want to talk to your boss!”

Even in a work-from-home job, you still get THOSE customers.

Being Eight Is Really Hard, Okay?!

, , , , , , | Related | August 11, 2021

My husband and I go out to lunch with some of his family members. His grandmother, who is in her nineties and still sharp as a tack, orders a glass of wine. She drinks maybe a third of it before accidentally knocking over the glass. It doesn’t break, but the wine spills into the lap of my cousin-in-law’s daughter, who is about eight.

We flag the server over to alert her. While the server is mopping up the spill, she knocks the wine glass over and the rest of it — you guessed it — splashes the same poor kid AGAIN. We all start laughing at the unfortunate coincidence while the girl sits glumly in her chair, her lap soaking wet.

My cousin-in-law shakes her head.

Cousin-In-Law: “I really hope I don’t get pulled over on the way home. I don’t want to have to explain why my kid smells like booze.”

She didn’t get stopped, thankfully.