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Still Wary About Who Won’t Be Civil

, , , , , | Right | June 15, 2022

As I’m starting to set up stock lists, I notice two men browsing the area I’m stocking, which is a quiet nook that holds the baking supplies. They seem to be having trouble but don’t have anything that indicates they might be working on a new recipe, which normally means they’re browsing for ideas. As a stockist, I take pride in knowing a lot of the more unusual items, so I always like to offer help.

Me: “Hey there. Were you finding everything you needed today?”

Customer #1: “Oh, kind of? We’re looking for ideas…”

Me: “For anything special? We have a few bits and pieces of other stock in some of our other areas. I can also just leave you be to browse, too.”

They exchange a small look.

Customer #1: “For an engagement party.”

At this point, I realise why they might be so shy about it. “Civil unions” (legally recognised same-sex partnerships) have only recently been legalised in New Zealand.

Me: “Oh, how lovely! Who for? If there’s a theme, or anything?”

Customer #2: “It’s… ours.”

Me: *Beaming* “Congratulations! That means you’d know better than anyone what theme you’d like!”

Customer #1: *Starting to grin* “Very true.”

I spent the next five or ten minutes chatting with them about different thoughts and good ways to get good results on a small budget, including a few tips from my sister’s recent marriage — like buying cheap-as-chips lacy curtain fabric and cutting it into fancy-looking tablecloths.

I was overjoyed to encourage them into thinking about what made THEM happy and what THEY wanted in the party, not what anyone else demanded of them. I think they spent a good hour looking through that tiny room after I left them and then going to check the other departments mentioned to see the other decorations.

They started out nervous, obviously not knowing how a stranger would react, but they left full of the same joy I would hope to impart to any potential couple.

That Was Easier Than Riding A Bike

, , , , , , , | Legal | June 12, 2022

I cycle to the pub and hide my bike behind a few buildings, not locked. Last orders come, and my bike isn’t there. It’s my own fault for not locking it, but no one likes to be judged, right? I have a look around and go back to the pub.

Me: “Hi, do you know if there is CCTV out the front? My bike has walked.”

Customer: “Was it locked?”

Barkeep: “I don’t think so, sorry.”

Customer: “Police won’t be interested. You won’t get it back.”

Me: *To the barkeep* “Thanks for your help.” *To the customer* “Thanks, but that isn’t what I asked, and I can deal with the authorities.”

He’s right, though. If you don’t take basic precautions, what do you expect? I report it anyway.

Me: “Hi, can I report the theft of a bicycle?” *Gives details*

Police #1: “I’ve logged that, incident [number]. I hope you get it back. Good luck.”

My phone rings soon after.

Police #2: “We have your bike here at [Police Station ten km away].”

Me: “I… How? Did somebody presume it was lost or something? I’ll come and get it in the morning.”

Police #2: “I don’t know, probably.”

My phone rings again soon after.

Me: “Bicycle theft victim answering service, how may I be of assistance?”

Police #3: “Would you like to make a statement for court?”

Me: “How can you make a statement about a lost bicycle?”

Police #3: “Actually, I confiscated it.”

Me: “Wait a minute. At 10:00 pm, I leave a $50 bike in a car park, not secured in any way. Two hours later, it is in the police station. How did that happen?”

Police #3: “I was on a foot patrol. A ten-year-old boy cycled past. I knew him, and I knew it wasn’t his bike, and I’m treating it as theft.”

Me: “Where?”

Police: #3: “On [Street the pub is on].”

Me: “Well, I can’t fault that for service. What will you do with him? Have a chat with the [jargon for officer who deals with children]?”

Police #3: “Realistically? I’ll give him a telling off with a social worker in his care home.”

I now have the full picture. At 11:00 pm, a child absconded from his care home and took my bike for a joyride. Two hundred metres away, he cycled past a cop. Game over. I was exceptionally lucky.

Me: “If it makes it easier to explain to him that taking bicycles is wrong, then I’ll make a statement.”

Police #3: “Are you one of my colleagues? You know some cop-speak.”

Me: “Not currently, but some of my in-laws are.”

My phone rings again.

Police #4: “Are you in now, and I’ll drive this bicycle out to you?”

Me: “If you can fit it into your car. It’s 0130; I would have thought you would be busy.”

Police #4: “No, it’s Tuesday. Actually, we’ll leave it to the morning; you’ve clearly had a few pints and I can’t take a drunk statement.”

Me: “See you then.”

The next morning, two detectives arrived at my house with the bicycle. They took a statement of one paragraph that basically said, “My bike wasn’t where I left it.” I thanked them profusely and assured them I would be more careful. Through unofficial channels, I heard that the conversation took place between the boy, the youth police officer, and a social worker attached to his care home.

But really, you absolutely can’t fault the service from law enforcement. Foolish man abandons cheap bicycle. Child finds it and goes for a joyride. It is confiscated from him on the same street and returned to the owner the next day. What are the odds?

Tutor Sue-tor

, , , , , | Working | June 7, 2022

I am working for an eCommerce company that sells online courses. One of our USPs [Unique Selling Points] is the fact that we offer a one-hour free tutor service if you purchase a course. One day, my boss came to me.

Boss: “Please create a page for this category and list these products.”

Before I started to create the page, I noticed that the company didn’t have any tutors for this specific category.

Me: “We’re not gonna offer the Mentor service, right? Since we don’t have any tutors for this category at the moment.”

Boss: “No, we are going to advertise with the service even if we don’t have a tutor at the moment.”

Me: “You do know that we can be sued by a client, right?”

Boss: “What’s the problem?”

Guess it’s time for me to find a new job.

Do Not Copy: Please Repeat

, , , , | Working | June 6, 2022

I’m working on repairing a large digital printer for an office when the power goes out one afternoon in a thunderstorm. I have gutted the thing and have parts spread out all over the floor. The lights are off, all computers are down, and this office worker walks up to me:

Worker: “I need you to make me a couple of copies.”

Me: “…um.”

Check Out A Book On Listening While You’re There

, , , , | Right | June 1, 2022

At our university library, we have subscription memberships so people who aren’t staff or students can use the library. During lockdown, we aren’t allowed to let these subscription members in. I answer a call.

Me: “[University] library, [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: *Not listening* “Hi. Can I come in to print my vaccine pass?”

Me: “Are you a student or staff member at [University]? Due to the alert level, you have to swipe your [University] card to come in.”

Caller: “Well, I’m a library member.”

I think she means a subscription member.

Me: “I’m sorry, subscription members can’t use the [University] library at the moment, but—”

Caller: *Instantly outraged* “Oh! Oh! So, they were lying on the radio yesterday when they said we could come into the library to print our vaccine passes? Why would they say that?!”

I realise she hasn’t listened to what I said.

Me: “Ah, you can go to the public library and they will print it for you.”

Caller: “Oh. Who are you, then?”

Me: “This is the [University] library.”

I believe I could hear her deflating as she meekly asked me to look up the correct number. Apparently, she didn’t hear me say the name of the university four times.