With Any Luck, He’s Gone For Good

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: ArtilleryOopsie | July 26, 2021

At the electronics retailer where I work, we have this customer that we call Mr. Driving Gloves because… well… he always wears tacky driving gloves.

Our return policy is a strict thirty days. Mr. Gloves comes in once a month, buys north of $300 in random stuff, then returns all of it on day twenty-nine. He always claims that it is all “defective.” He will literally buy three boom boxes at once plus fifty random little things and just return them all. It is messing with our inventory and commissions badly enough that our manager has instructed us to never sell him anything again.

Mr. Driving Gloves comes in for his last time and returns everything. I am obligated to accept this return, and he begins walking around the store piling random things on the counter for roughly forty-five minutes. I am particularly annoyed with his shenanigans, so I let him finish before breaking the news. He comes to ring out and, with a big smile, I explain that because he is screwing up our inventory and commissions, we are never selling him anything again.

Of course, he argues that all those things were defective, and I reply that defects happen but not to everything you buy. I make it clear that we are not budging.

I’ll never forget his final words.

“I HOPE YOU HAVE A LOT OF LUCK IN LIFE ‘CAUSE YOU’RE GONNA NEED IT!”

Maybe he jinxed it. Ten years later, I have had a lot of luck in life. I have a beautiful wife, a wonderful toddler, and a career with a government agency, and we just bought our first house! Thank you, Mr. Driving Gloves!

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Stalled Car-Ma

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 25, 2021

I’m heading home from my college summer job, and a traffic light changes before I expect it to; I’ve never come this way before. I fumble the clutch and stall the engine.

The guy behind me nearly plows into me and leans on the horn until I get the car restarted. In fact, he whips around me, nearly hitting me as I move off, and he flips me a bird as he does.

At the next light, I’m right behind him… where he proves that he is also driving a manual transmission by stalling his engine!

I tap my horn — just a warbly little “toot!” — and laugh as he flinches.

Karma is seldom so obliging!

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It Feels Like Time Has Lost Its Meaning Lately, But This Is Ridiculous

, , , , | Working | July 24, 2021

During the health crisis, I’ve been ordering curbside pickup and delivery from a large, well-known grocery store. They were bought by a large Internet retailer a couple of years back, so ordering is done via the retail website. At first, it goes off without a hitch, but then I start having issues. One is that no matter what time I place my pickup order for, they start working on it immediately and the order is done really quickly.

Normally, this wouldn’t be something I’d consider an issue, but it’s actually been a pretty big one. For example, one time, I placed my order around 2:00 in the morning to be picked up between 2:00 and 3:00 pm the next day. The next day, I woke up at 9:00 am and saw the text messages: they’d started shopping my order, wanted to know what items to substitute as certain things were out of stock, had substituted items I didn’t want and couldn’t return without going into the store.

Most of the time, I manage to get to the store and pick up my order early or at the time slot I was booked for. For curbside pickup at other stores, you’re normally allowed to pick up any time after the order is ready. Not here. One time, I put in an order and realized I was going to be a bit late for my window. Half an hour after my window, I was leaving my house and I started getting text messages from the retailer, saying how important it was to be on time. Then, when I got there, I was chewed out for being late by the person who brought me my order. From then on, I decided to be more careful about what time I ordered and when I’d get there.

I made a few more orders with not too many issues. Then, I made an order to pick up between 3:00 and 4:00. Somehow, it went through as 2:00 and 3:00 and I didn’t realize. So, I was on my way right after 3:00 and I started getting phone calls that said they were from the retailer. I didn’t pick up, as I was driving, but in my five-minute drive to the store, I had four missed calls. I looked up the number and found out it was from their missed event line. I looked at my order and realized the issue and, luckily, didn’t get chewed out this time.

Finally, I decide to order for delivery. Despite living five minutes away, my local store does not do delivery, so my groceries will come from several cities away. I figure when you order for a specific delivery time, that’s about the time they deliver, right? Wrong. I make my order at 12:00 pm to be delivered at 4:00 pm. At 12:15, they are shopping my order. I get sucked into work and go about my day. Closer to 3:00, I check to see if the order has finished being shopped, and I notice a text message saying that my order was delivered at 1:30. No one knocked or rang the bell. My frozen items are defrosted and ruined.

I’ve decided I’m going to hold off on ordering from these guys again.

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This. Is. TERRIFYING.

, , , , , , | Learning | July 24, 2021

I attended elementary school — kindergarten through fifth grade — from the early to mid-1990s. Every year for Halloween, and the three days leading up to it, our entire school became a haunted house. The ticket sales went to various other school programs and activities. This being an elementary school, you might think it was more of a kid-friendly haunted house. Nope, it was an actual haunted house. The different rooms didn’t change much, but it was pretty gruesome and people really got into it. A lot of parents would help out and the high school even gave extra credit to the students who volunteered to help. Considering how conservative the little town we lived in was at the time, I’m surprised they were even allowed to start this, let alone keep it going for nearly twenty years.

The final scare at the end of the haunted house happened when you reached the cafeteria. A man, usually one of the coaches from the high school, popped out in a Jason mask while revving a real chainsaw (with the saw chain removed) and chased you through a wooden maze that had been built in the cafeteria.

By my fifth grade year, my friends and I weren’t really scared by the haunted house anymore, since most of the scares were the same every year. We were part of the first group to go through and were mostly giggling and goofing around. We made it to the cafeteria, but we weren’t sure when or where Jason would pop out.

We made it nearly to the end of the maze when Jason appeared, revving his chainsaw. The people at the front of our group screamed and ran out the door to the school lobby. One of my friends thought he’d be funny and decided to dart through Jason’s legs on his way out. Jason lurched back, sending the chainsaw over his head and into one of the maze walls. We all froze when we heard the sound of wood splitting and the chainsaw choking as it got stuck.

A teacher who’d been monitoring the area came running in and turned the lights on. There, stuck in the maze wall, was a chainsaw that most definitely still had the blades on. Coach Jason had forgotten to take the chain off.

The teacher herded us out of there while Jason tried to get the chainsaw free. They shut the haunted house down for about an hour while all the teachers met and talked about what to do. Different volunteers dressed as monsters, zombies, etc., switched in and out of the cafeteria for the rest of that Halloween season. They kept doing the haunted house for several years after I graduated on to middle school, but they never had Jason back again.

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Did The Earth Not Move For You, Too?

, , , , , , | Working | July 23, 2021

In 1974, I go to see the new disaster movie Earthquake. The high-budget movie features famous actors and “Sensurround”! This involves specialized bass speakers that create a sound wave that is more felt than heard. The speakers make the theater rumble during the earthquake scenes.

The movie follows the typical disaster movie formula. Part One introduces characters pre-disaster. Part Two shows characters during the disaster. Part Three shows the characters after the disaster.

In the movie, before the big quake, there is a pre-quake, but there is no Sensurround, and I wonder why. (I learn later that Sensurround should have been felt during the pre-quake.)

Everyone in the theater can tell that the earthquake is going to happen very soon. And then… the movie skips from Part One directly to Part Three, leaving out the earthquake part. The entire audience is wondering, “What the f***?”

Three minutes into Part Three, the movie stops and the theater lights come on. The projectionist messed up. Ten minutes later, the movie finally resumes with Part Two. We finally get to feel Sensurround, but the climactic moment in the movie is lost.

After the movie, I get in the long line with all the others wanting a voucher refund ticket. The manager is sitting at a folding card table in the lobby to sign refund vouchers and he is not happy. After ten minutes in line, it is finally my turn. The manager looks at me and says, “So why do you think that you deserve a refund?”

Internally, I just thought, “Whatever the forty people in front of me told you.”

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