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Zero Respect At Ground Zero

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2022

I wanted to give my fiance, who had never been in NYC before a quick tour of Manhattan before we finished packing up my home and moving halfway across the country.

One of the places we wanted to go to was the 9/11 Memorial. I passed it daily on my way to and from work, and had never gone. Having vivid memories of that day, and knowing people who had been killed in the Towers, it was a somber self-guided tour. There is a room that has small plaques of each victim that light up and a short announcement made of the person’s name, where they were from. There had been eight people from my tiny hometown village killed, including one of our councilmen. I wept, not just there, but in several other areas.

My emotions were raw, and flashbacks to that day were hitting. We entered a large room where there were mangled fire trucks, police cars, rescue vehicles, etc. Most had scorch marks, interiors grey with ash, etc. They were all behind rope barriers, with multi-language signs saying ‘Do Not Touch.’

Ahead of us was a tall man with a small six-or-seven-year-old child, appearing to be father and son. The child scampered off ahead of the father, ducked under one of the ropes surrounding a mangled police car – a door was missing, the front hood caved in, and the trunk popped open. The child climbed right onto the car, and started playing on it like it was a playground jungle gym.

The father not only didn’t say anything, but encouraged his son, and started taking photos. They were talking and laughing with each other in some European-sounding language. I wanted to smack the father, but my fiance dragged me out of there and found a security guard to go extract them out of that room (hopefully out of the Museum altogether).

I was appalled at the disrespect shown to the memories of the 2736 people killed at that very spot.

“I Don’t Want To” Is A Valid Reason!

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 20, 2022

I am a woman who is not interested in having children. For whatever godforsaken reason, the idea that I am happy as a childless adult does not sit well with others.

I was scrolling through social media on the bus when an elderly woman sitting beside me leaned over and saw a picture of a toddler on my screen.

Woman: “What a cute little face!”

I smiled politely.

Woman: “Is she yours?”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “Do you have little ones of your own?”

Me: “No, I’m not interested.”

She patted my arm gently.

Woman: “Don’t worry. sweetheart. It will happen.”

Me: “I hope not.”

The woman looked as if she had smelled something terrible.

Woman: “But women are supposed to be mothers!”

Me: “I’m not.”

We stared at each other for a few seconds before she shifted and looked away. I heard her take a deep breath as if she was going to say something else, but she never did. I could have just said, “No, I don’t have any,” and left it at that, but she also could have minded her own business in the first place.

You Just Gotta… Chill Out…

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | December 1, 2021

This happened in the mid-2000s while cellphones were generally used for talking and people printed out directions from the Internet before going somewhere. My little sister had moved out to the state of New York for college, and I wanted to surprise her on her birthday by making a road trip up there and popping up at her door.

I made an incredibly boneheaded move of printing out instructions from the website Mapquest rather than buying a road atlas, and I quickly found myself lost in New York City with no idea where I was. I tried asking people for directions, but they would either rudely head me off — police included! — or give me a set of convoluted directions that would get me lost even further.

It began to grow dark and I seriously started to panic to the point where I was sweating gallons while gulping can after can of fruit punch. By then, I had at least a dozen different written directions in my car.

In desperation, I got out of my car and ducked into a tiny convenience store that was eerily lit with yellow lighting, and behind the counter, I saw a man staring vaguely into space. His eyes were bloodshot and glazed over, and I could tell he was definitely stoned.

Me: “Excuse me. Can you tell me how to get out of New York City? I’m trying to get to [City].”

The man was silent for about five seconds.

Man: “You want to get out of New York City… and go to [City]… Where exactly in [City]?”

Me: “[University].”

There was another five-second silence.

Man: “[University]…”

He spoke slowly, with a stoic and emotionless face, without blinking or moving.

Man: “So, you’ll want to leave and take a left… You will find a traffic light… Turn onto [highway]…”

There was yet another five-second silence.

He continued giving these complex directions — with all kinds of traffic lights, highway exits, turn left, turn right, go under the bridge steps included — in this eerily calm voice, pausing two to five seconds in between each one, as I frantically jotted them all down. When he finally finished:

Me: “Thank you so much!”

An awkward silence fell. I started heading for the door.

Man: “You’re welcome.”

I was extremely skeptical about these directions, but I was so desperate to get out of the New York City streets after dark that I would have taken directions from a seven-year-old.

Would you believe me if I told you the directions Mr. Stoner gave were 100% accurate, down to each stop sign, and led me STRAIGHT TO THE MONUMENT SIGN of the university?

Fool Me Once, Shame On You. The Second Time Ends In Arrest.

, , , , , , | Legal | November 27, 2021

I am walking down a busy street in NYC when a man steps in front of me.

Man: “Your hair is beautiful.”

I try to side-step him.

Me: “Thank you.”

He steps in front of me.

Man: “Hey, look, I’m an artist trying to get my name out there.”


Man: “Look, wait. I’m [Man]. What can I call you besides beautiful?”

I recognize him from somewhere. It doesn’t click right away, but when it does, I decide I can waste a few minutes with him.

I give him a random name, and he starts to write the fake name on the CD sleeve.

Man: “Okay, [Random Name], now look: I just need a donation of, like, $10.”

Me: “Why?”

Man: “For the CD, you know?”

Me: “Nobody buys CDs anymore. It’s all online.”

Man: *Getting mad* “Now look—”

Me: “I don’t even have a CD player.”

Man: “Are you f****** joking?!” *Louder* “Hey! Hey, I need a cop! Come here!”

A nearby cop comes over.

Man: “This girl asked for a CD — I wrote her name on it and everything — and now she won’t pay me for it.”

Me: “I never said I’d pay for anything.”

Man: “I put her name on the CD! I can’t sell it to anyone else!”

He shows the CD.

Me: “That’s not my name.”

I pull out my ID and show the officer. He looks at my ID, then at the CD, and then at the man.

Cop: *Grinning* “Well, she’s not [Random Name]. Go on, miss. Have a nice day.”

Man: “What the f***, man? Come on! This b**** is costing me money!”

Me: “Thank you, sir.”

I get a few feet away before I continue talking.

Me: “And by the way, these CDs are probably blank. I have one back at my apartment if you want proof.”

The man lunged at me but the cop grabbed him and put him on the ground. I walked away to the sounds of the man yelling at the cop for allowing me to scam him as he was being tucked into the back of the cop car.

That’s One Company That Did Not Deliver

, , , , , , | Working | November 5, 2021

After my desk fell apart, I purchased a new desk online from a major office supply retailer and had it delivered. The delivery was set for a Thursday, so I arranged my schedule to stay home and wait for the delivery.

It did not come. Instead, at one point in the late afternoon, the tracking suddenly said my delivery was delayed until Friday for the cryptic reason, “Unable to leave box(es)”. I found this more than a little perplexing. I live in an ordinary apartment building on an ordinary street. I get stuff delivered all the time, especially since the health crisis started, and no one — including this retailer, from whom I had ordered many times in the past — has ever had the slightest trouble delivering to me before. And there was definitely no attempt made at delivery, either. My buzzer did not ring. My phone number was not called. The driver simply passed my building and decided not to try to deliver my desk.

On Friday, the same thing happened. “Out for delivery” inexplicably became “Unable to leave box(es).” I called the retailer to find out why the drivers were refusing to deliver my desk. The agent took my information and transferred me to their third-party logistics carrier. I gave them my story and the agent there took my number and promised to call me back after they consulted with dispatch.

I was not called back.

On Monday, the same thing happened again. “Out for delivery” once again became “Unable to leave box(es).” Because I work nights and sleep during the day, this meant that I had stayed awake an entire day — the third successive proposed delivery day — for nothing, and now I had to do a ten-hour night shift on a couple of hours of sleep.

At this point I was livid, practically hulking out. I called up the retailer and canceled my order. The agent took my formal complaint and my number so that someone from the retailer could follow up. Of course, no one followed up. The tracking was then adjusted to falsely state that the item was undeliverable due to “incorrect address,” even though the address was, in fact, correct and was the same one the retailer had used every time I’d ordered from them in the past.

Here’s my favorite part. The next day, I got an automated email asking me to take a survey rating my recent transaction with this retailer. I smiled when I saw it. I may even have cackled.

I opened the link and filled out the survey, rating the entire experience with ones (except for the agent I’d canceled my order with, who was polite and helpful) and assuring them most emphatically that I would not be recommending the retailer to my friends, acquaintances, and hangers-on. In the comment box, I detailed every stage of how the retailer and the logistics company had turned a simple sale into a recurring pain that shouldn’t have happened, and then, I submitted the survey.

That finally got me a call from a member of the retailer’s customer service team, who apologized, promised an investigation into my complaint, gave me a $30 credit, and changed my delivery preferences to exclude the logistics company that had refused to deliver to me.

I’m deeply skeptical that anything will actually happen at either company as a result of my complaint, and I intend to solemnly adhere to the rage-sworn oath I made that day never to order from that retailer again. But if you have a bad experience, don’t ignore the surveys. It’s one more chance to be heard, and maybe that’s one more chance that something stupid that happened to you might not happen to someone else. I know it’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened.