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There’s Something To Be Said For Accountability

, , , , , , | Legal | June 18, 2022

I work for an agency responsible for monitoring people in home detention. The people we monitor wear ankle bracelets that track their locations. They can get passes — usually two-hour windows where they can be out of their homes for things like shopping, appointments, etc.

I get a call from a guy charged with driving offences.

Guy: “Umm… yeah, I’m going to be late. I’m just waiting for a [Rideshare]. Depending on traffic, I’ll be about twenty-five minutes.”

Me: “Okay, and what is the reason you’ll be late?”

Guy: “To be honest, I got stuck at my weed dealer’s place, and then I had a [Rideshare] cancel. The new [Rideshare] is only two minutes away.”

Me: “Okay. I’ll give you until [forty minutes from now] to be home, and I need you to check back in then and I won’t breach you.”

Guy: “Thanks, man. I appreciate it.”

I had to give this guy points. He was honest about it and had no breaches yet. He did check back in before the limit and hasn’t had any more breaches since.

When You Gotta Go (Crazy)

, , , , , | Right | June 2, 2022

I work in an art gallery. Just before closing time, a woman who had exited the gallery came back in again wanting to use the bathroom.

Customer: “You saw me come in already. Can I just use the bathroom?”

Me: “The closest one is occupied. By the time that guest gets out, we will be completing our closing procedures and asking people to leave.”

The visitor exit is time-locked. Anyone left in the gallery after that has to wait to be let out by an employee.

Customer: “You are a horrible human being. Absolutely horrible service. Disgusting how you treat people.”

Me: “You can use the public bathrooms at [Location].”

This is about three minutes’ walk away — in the direction she was heading!

She continues her tantrum and attracts the attention of security, who soon relents and lets her head up to an upstairs bathroom. After she’s finished, she tries to get out by the entrance-only door, which is locked about ten minutes prior to closing. The only exit is by me.

Customer: *Walking by me bitterly* “Thank you.”

 She then proceeded to dump her used paper hand towels — at least, I hope they were hand towels — onto the host table. Just goes to show that even when you give them what they want, they’re still miserable.

Was The Book “Bartering For Dummies”?

, , , , , , , | Right | May 23, 2022

It’s approximately 5:30 on a Saturday night — about thirty minutes before we close. I’m alone at the counter while my only other coworker is in the shelves tidying things up. Two teenage boys come in, one wearing what appears to be a band uniform consisting of a black button-up, black slacks, and a silver tie. It strikes me as a little odd, but I don’t really think anything of it.

About ten minutes later, the boy comes up to the counter with a book in his hand.

Boy: “Yeah, so… I don’t have any money, but what about—” *slowly places an unopened can of soda on the counter* “—you take this?”

Me: “Sorry, mate, no can do.”

Boy: “Oh. That’s okay. I’ll just go put it back.”

Me: *Holding back laughter* “Sure thing.”

Boy: “Did you, uh… want the soda anyway?”

Me: “Sure…? Why not? Thanks, mate.”

He proceeds to hand over the soda and I put it behind the counter. [Boy] wanders back into the shelves, followed by his friend. Five or so minutes later, he leaves with his friend. Then, my coworker comes wandering up, clutching another can of soda with a confused expression on his face.

Coworker: “Did he…?”

Me: “Yup.”

Coworker: “Did you…?”

Me: “Nope.”

Coworker: “But you…?”

Me: *Holding up my own can* “Yup.”

Sometimes The Least You Can Do Is The Best Thing You Can Do

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | May 6, 2022

When I was fifteen, I caught the same bus every Saturday to get to my flute lesson. I usually left early so I had some time to spare. One such Saturday morning, I left even earlier than usual. It was fairly cold and there was a light rain, so I was wearing an long, red coat and had a decent-looking umbrella. I’ve been told before that this outfit made me look around eighteen, so maybe that’s why the things that happened the way they did.

I made it to my bus stop and sat down to wait. The only other person there was a girl in her twenties. She was crying and clutching a single piece of paper. I also noticed that she wasn’t wearing anything warm, despite the weather. I felt really bad for her.

Me: “Are you all right?”

She looked at me, swallowed, and said:

Girl: “I just got some bad news.

Me: *Concerned* “Do you want to talk about it?”

That seemed to be the tipping point, and she broke down in front of me. She explained through tears that she’d gone to her doctor to check a lump on her neck and that she’d just gotten the results back. It was a tumour. She didn’t know if it was malignant, but her doctor wanted her back immediately for more testing.

I sat with her for about ten minutes. She told me that her friend was picking her up to take her to the appointment, but she didn’t know how long they would be. I didn’t really know what to do, but I just wanted to make sure she was all right. Then, my bus came. The girl waved me away, trying to smile, saying that she would be fine. Feeling guilty, I got on. I was the only person on board. The bus driver looked equally worried.

I didn’t even make it a single stop before I felt bad about leaving her in the rain by herself. I asked the driver to stop early. Since I was the only person there, he let me off, telling me to make sure the girl was all right. I ran the whole way back. Luckily, the girl was still sitting there waiting. She looked shocked that I’d come back but a little glad, too.

Me: “I really don’t think you should be alone right now.”

I sat with her for another ten minutes, talking with her and trying to distract her until her friend came. When her friend’s car finally appeared, she started thanking me profusely. Her friend pulled up and leaned over from the driver’s seat, asking what was going on.

Girl’s Friend: “Thank you so much for staying with her. [Girl] called me and I came as fast as I could, but the traffic was terrible. Do you want a lift since you missed your bus?”

Me: “No, it’s all right. I was early anyway. I just hope everything turns out all right.”

Girl: *Through tears* “Thank you. It really means a lot that you did that. I’m sorry to have just dumped it all on you. Thank you so much.”

Me: “It’s fine. That’s just something you shouldn’t have to sit alone with. I only did what I thought was best.”

Girl’s Friend: “Are you sure you don’t want a lift?”

I shook my head, wished [Girl] good luck, and waved them off. They thanked me again multiple times and then slowly drove away. Even though I ended up being a few minutes late for my lesson, I’ll never forget the way [Girl] thanked me for simply sitting with her and listening. [Girl], if you’re out there, I really do hope you’re okay and that everything turned out all right in the end.

Third Time’s The Charm For This Specimen

, , , , | Legal | May 3, 2022

I work as a specimen receptionist in a pathology laboratory that is connected to a public hospital setting. I do data entry for bloodwork so it can get tested. The area I work in has seven workstations. Each workstation has a phone. I am by myself for whatever reason and the phone rings.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from pathology. How can I help you?”

Scammer: “Hello, I was just wanting to talk to you about your overdue power bill. We can help you set up a payment plan today.”

Me: “Um, just so you know, you have reached a hospital.”

Scammer: “Oh.” *Hangs up*

I chuckle slightly and go back to work.

The next phone along rings. I transfer it to my phone.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from pathology. How can I help you?”

Scammer: “Hello, I was just wanting to talk to you—”

Me: “Hi. Hospital again.”

The scammer sighs and hangs up. Even more amused, I go back to work again.

The NEXT phone rings. I transfer it to my phone. By this stage, I am suspicious.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from pathology. How can I help you?”

Scammer: “Oh, for God’s sake.” *Hangs up*

I laughed openly and then stared expectantly at the next phone. Disappointingly, it did not ring.