Stuck On The First Letter

, , , | Right | September 27, 2020

My very first job after graduating is at an office within a courthouse where people can get their official documents pertaining to their lawsuit or verdict. Mostly, they need a version of the official verdict that they can take with them — the original always stays in the archives — e.g. a verdict wherein the judge says that their insurance does have to pay them, which they can then use to take steps to receive this payment.

One day, a little old lady shuffles into our office, and when I ask what I can help her with, she pushes forward an envelope and says, “Letter.” She has an obvious accent, but that’s nothing new, and usually, I can work around the fact that people might not speak Dutch very well.

But it soon becomes very clear she only knows this one word: “Letter.”

I can see the letter she’s given me is from an insurance company, but she is unable to answer any of my questions so I don’t know how I can help her. Even asking if I can read it doesn’t get me any other response than her pointing at the letter. So, I read it in the hopes that there are instructions in it and that they are asking for her to bring a certain document, which I can then provide.

But there’s no such thing; it’s about something completely unrelated.

I try suggesting she come back with a translator, but of course, she doesn’t seem to understand that, either. I decide to make her the most common document mostly used for insurance cases and she seems happy with it, so I think that’s that.

The next day. “Letter.”

Yup, there she is again, with that exact same letter. No translator, nothing. I try my best to show her examples and work around the language barrier, but she doesn’t get any of it. I decide to make another type of document, thinking maybe it was the wrong type.

The next day. “Letter.”

At this point, I’m lost. I get a second opinion from several coworkers — even though they work at totally different services and don’t know as much about our documents — just to see if they can understand. Nope. The only other thing I can do is just give her a copy — which has no “value” or use at all, short of reading what’s on it — and besides, she would have already gotten a copy by letter when the verdict came out, so I cannot imagine it’ll help. Again, she seems happy and leaves.

The next day… you get it.  “Letter.”

I try to say as clearly as I can that I have given her every document she could possibly get from us, and I can do nothing else. She does not move and just repeats, “Letter,” every once in a while.

My patience has finally worn out, so I just say, “There is nothing I can do with that letter. I have given you everything we can. I can no longer help you. Bye!” I even make a point to wave goodbye and just go sit at my computer and begin working on something else. 

She stands there for a minute, during which I pretend she isn’t there, until she finally shuffles away. 

At least I haven’t seen her since!

She’s So Not Ready To See How Her Food Is Made

, , , , | Right | September 26, 2020

I’m a cashier in a small grocery store. A woman came through my line with three items. One of the items was a package of hamburger. I wrapped the hamburger in a separate plastic bag and put the more fragile items on top of the hamburger. The customer started rearranging the items in her bag.

The reason why? “I don’t want my hamburger to get bruised.”

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A Harmless Necessary Chicken

, , , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

I was inspired by this story to recount my own encounter with unwitting stage fauna.

Some years ago, I was in a summer production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in an outdoor venue. This venue was near a pond and had various birds wandering about. This included a few chickens and roosters.

In a particular scene, a washing basket was onstage at the beginning of a scene. As the actors went about the scene, they noticed they were getting more laughs than usual but thought nothing more than how responsive the audience was. As they got closer to the climax of the scene, they were getting more and more laughs and titters, so they amped up their energy.

In the climax of the scene, Falstaff had to hide in a panic and threw himself into the washing basket…

…to be encountered with a face full of enraged chicken, whose nice cosy resting spot had been disturbed by an actor almost landing on her. Apparently, the hen had been poking her head out of the basket, enjoying the show, to the amusement of the audience, without the actors noticing. The poor chicken took flight, squawking, through the audience, emptying herself on the actor as a final act of revenge. After a momentary pause, during which everyone attempted to pull themselves together, the show resumed. Poor Falstaff had to have a quick costume change.

Related:
A Harmless Necessary Cat

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Kirk Gleason At Ooober Would Never Stand For This

, , , , , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

I work with home-bound dementia patients. Due to health concerns with riding public transportation during the health crisis, my agency is paying for workers to take car services to work. I have used one particular app-based service with no problem… until one Friday.

I get the car and he picks me up just fine. We turn the corner and come to a two-lane street with a stoplight on red. There are two cars in front of us.

The minute the light turns green, the driver zooms into the opposite lane and passes the two cars! He clips the front car while doing so. He does this so fast — like zero to one hundred mph — that it takes me a good minute to realize he’s stopped the car on the next street and the clipped driver, a woman, has pulled up behind him, gotten out, and is now yelling at him.

Once I can move, I grab my stuff and get out of the car, hitting the “CANCEL” button on the app. The driver, meanwhile, is arguing with the woman, saying there is no scratch or mark on her car. She demands his information and he refuses, speaking very condescendingly and insisting there has been no accident. He sees me and asks that I get back in the car.

I respond, “H*** no! You almost f****** killed me!”

Seeing me, the woman comes over and asks if she can get his information on the app. The driver continues to tell her that there is nothing wrong and implores me to get back into the car. She takes a picture of him and his license plate and asks once more for his insurance. He gets in the car and drives off.

The woman is a nurse and has to get to an emergency pickup shift, and I, of course, have to go relieve another worker who is with a client. We exchange information and I tell her I will fill out the accident form on the app. We part ways to our jobs.

I do get a response from the app, saying someone will contact me about filling out a report, but then I hear nothing for almost an entire week. Finally, I have to call up the support line and remind them we have his license plate before they send me the insurance contact number. I pass it on to the woman and let her know to contact me for anything, as I’ve saved all the texts and files with screenshots.

The worst part is, when I checked to make sure I had the driver’s name right, he was still driving even though I had filled out a report on him!

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A Deal So Good, You’ll Say, “WIIIIII!”

, , , , , , | Working | September 24, 2020

After the second edition of the Wii came out — the black version with motion sensors in the remote — my mum took my siblings and me shopping to main retail stores. We were there to get new shoes and socks and really just to waste time.

We went past the electronics section and saw a pile of the black Wiis, and my oldest brother pointed out to us that the price was wrong; they’d put them out at the price the old white Wiis were now worth — almost $200 difference.

My mum, thinking, “What the heck?”, decided to grab four of them — one for each kid — so we all got one when we moved out.

We got to the checkout and the first Wii scanned at the RRP of about $400. My mum immediately pointed out that the sign said $200.

Because that price sign was still up, they had to sell all four Wiis for the $200. We were all polite and the worker serving us thought it was great that we were taking advantage of such a great mistake.

Her manager, on the other hand, not so much. He tried to say they had a limit on how many they could sell, but without the signs and documentation to back that up, he was SOL.

As we were leaving, we saw two workers hurrying to the sign to fix the price before anyone else could notice it.

When we each moved out, between one and four years later, Mum gave us a Wii. I still have mine and used it to play WiiFit during the lockdown.

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