It Makes Cents To Be Stern

, , , , , | Working | June 8, 2021

I recently moved in with my girlfriend. This means our combined income changed our eligibility for certain tax and municipality rebates, so I was prepared for letters from the city council. I was not prepared for how thorough this new city’s governance actually is.

Month #1: We received a sternly-worded letter stating that we would be receiving a letter regarding a council tax.

Month #2: We received a sternly-worded letter stating that the council tax would be reevaluated and we would be receiving a revised estimate.

Month #3a: We received a sternly-worded letter stating that we would be owing extra taxes and could expect an invoice and new estimate.

Month #3b: We received a brochure about our options if we could not repay right away.

Month #4: We received a sternly worded letter with an invoice attached.

Obviously, we made sure we repaid the eighty-three cents as soon as possible. 

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You Might Want To Sit Down For This One

, , , , | Right | June 8, 2021

I am with a group of volunteers doing work in Ukraine. We have just landed at Boryspil Airport and gone through customs after a long flight from San Francisco, with two transfers along the way, so we are all tired, and we are trying to make our way to catch a train for the next leg of our journey to the southern coast of the country.

Several of us have packed extra suitcases full of supplies for the organization we are working with. My suitcase with my personal items arrives at the baggage claim, but my extra suitcase does not, so the group leader and I make our way to the baggage office. There is a long line there and we spend about an hour until we are able to speak about the issue to a harried-looking woman at a desk somewhere in the middle of a large room. There is a single chair across the desk from the woman, and I offer it to the group leader so she can sit down, while I, a generally large man, stand. I am not sure if my standing feels imposing to her, or if the woman senses that I am tired and wants to let me rest. Either way, she gestures over to a wall against which are parked a few chairs and says, “Take a seat.”

I walk across to the wall and select a chair as close as I can to the desk, settling down into it to wait for the baggage agent and the group leader to handle things. After a couple of moments, though, the baggage agent waves me back over. I get up and approach the desk. She gestures to the wall again and repeats, “Take a seat.”

Somewhat confused, but trying to follow directions, I head back to the wall and sit down again. The baggage agent again waves me back. As I’m about halfway over, she says, louder, enunciating each word, “Take. A. Seat.”

Suddenly, the light bulb goes on. I go back to the wall and literally take one of the seats there, bringing it over to the desk to sit down next to the group leader, where I somewhat sheepishly go about helping with filing the report for the missing suitcase.

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Give Them A Mile And They’ll Take… More Miles

, , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: Jahzen6 | June 6, 2021

I was on a two-hour-long car ride. Midway home, I saw a woman waving down cars to get a lift. I stopped and picked her up, and she asked if I could take a ten-minute detour, adding twenty minutes to my drive. I obliged since it was winter and we were in Canada. I always pick up hitchhikers if I can and try to be nice since I’ve needed to hitchhike many times.

Upon getting there, she offered me $5 if I’d wait for her for maximum five minutes to bring her to another destination. I was a bit impatient, but I figured $5 is gas money and is always useful. So, I waited. She came back out and told me she didn’t have a $5 bill, and she was already in the car, so I might as well bring her home.

I asked her if she had any higher bills she could split and that I had fives and tens, just to see if she’d follow through on the deal. Nope. She asked me if I could straight-up give her $10. Nothing in between.

I was taken aback. I ignored it and stayed silent but I was a bit pissed. We got to the lady’s place and she asked again if I could give her $10. This time, I told her, “No, I’m sorry but I think I already did plenty tonight. I don’t know you. I’ve taken quite a detour and was promised $5. My good deed is done.”

You’d think that would have been enough to get her out of my car. Nope. She asked me at least four more times if I was 100% sure I could not spare her a $10 or even just $5, without giving a reason as to why she needed it. I was mind blown and pissed off at this stranger’s attitude but still gave her a simple “no,” to stay polite at least.

Eventually, she got out of my car and I drove off, but man, did I regret not being an a**hole.

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You All Get An F In Kindness

, , , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: DifficultStage5825 | June 5, 2021

My fifth-grade teacher gave the whole class a dollar each once, and kids still complained about the amount they received. It was so disgusting to know she took money from her paycheck which isn’t even a lot, and they didn’t appreciate the money. They would have been satisfied with around three to five dollars; it’s messed up to expect that much. Not only that, but she bought happy new year cards for all of us. That is such an expense for children that age and she probably knew we wouldn’t remember.

That’s not even all she did. She made us pies, we had pizza parties, and we had dessert parties. She wasn’t making a lot of money and she would do stuff like this a lot. Just the fact that she went through that financial struggle to make our day is so selfless. She was such an amazing teacher and continued to make special events for us, even when some kids didn’t appreciate it.

We were only in her class for a year, and it was her starting year, but she handled the negativity so well. It’s just such a messed-up situation to give that much and get nothing in return.

She was uncomfortable with her name, and at the end of the year we asked her for her name and she said that she would tell the class, but she asked us not to make fun of it. We agreed and she said her first name was Phone. Then, of course, the class clown and the “popular” girls and boys made fun of it. She kindly asked them not to, but they continued.

She didn’t continue the conversation after that, and she went to another school after a while when she was offered the same job at better pay. I feel so bad for her, knowing what she did for us. It was when we were so young that we didn’t know how to appreciate something verbally.

She was just such an amazing teacher and I plan on visiting her later on to try to help her out.

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Turning Trolling Into An Art

, , , , , | Right | June 4, 2021

My job sometimes means hand-delivering scientific equipment across the country. I often use the train as it’s safer for the equipment, but occasionally this leaves me waiting around for hours for the next train back.

I find out the next train home is cancelled, meaning an even longer wait than normal, when I realise that there is an art museum nearby and it’s free admission! I figure, while it’s not my normal choice of activities, I can still enjoy my time.

As I’m checking out the pieces, my view keeps getting interrupted by a woman standing right in front of them. I move, she moves; I wait, she waits. 

It doesn’t take long to realise that she is doing this on purpose. Clearly, she is no art snob; she looks about as out of place as I do. She is doing this just to be spiteful.

I have loads of time to kill and no particular interest in the artwork, so if she is trying to get a reaction from me it isn’t going to work. But I am bored, so I play her game and see how committed she is to being a nuisance.

I start speeding up, making her dash from piece to piece. I stop randomly, then move slowly, and then move fast again. The woman is clearly out of shape and is starting to struggle to keep up. I am quietly impressed with her dedication.

It is a disappointingly short time before I “win” her little game. She just can’t do it anymore and has to sit down, red in the face and angry. 

I don’t have much time to enjoy my victory as security is already approaching. I pretend to look at a nearby painting with interest as they eject her from the museum for “disturbing other visitors.” Clearly, she forgot about the many CCTV cameras in every room.

I take my time with the rest of the museum. I enjoy it more than I thought I would, but admittedly not as much as I did in the first room.

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