Trying To Rock The Boat With Taxes

, , , | Right | October 19, 2018

(I receive a phone call from a VERY angry person who wants access to a gated boat launch.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to know why you have a gate on the road to [Lake]. I need to get back there. Why is it locked?”

Me: “Hi. Yes, we keep the [Lake] gate locked at all times. If you’d like access, you need to come up to our office in person so we can get you on the access list. After that, we can give you the lock combination to get in.”

Customer: “You mean, I have to be on some list to be able to use the boat launch? This is crazy. This is public property and I’m a taxpayer. I’ve been coming to this lake for years, and now I’m not allowed to? Why?”

Me: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but we’ve had problems with people going in and dumping trash there. Now that it’s locked, the area is more secure and stays a lot cleaner for the people who come to use it.”

Customer: “But on whose authority is it locked up? This isn’t right! Who are you to prevent people from going back there? It’s our land! The taxpayers’ land!” *voice trembles as if they are starting to cry*

Me: “Actually, our park is no longer supported by taxes. We are self-sufficient. And the park supervisor decides how our land is managed. [Lake] is on our property, and we have the authority to put a gate on the access road if we wish. So, if you want access, you are more than welcome to come up to our office and see us. We can add you to the list and give you the lock combination.”

Customer: *hesitates* “I’ll think about it. I’ll probably come on another day because your office is out of my way, and I’m not going to make a special trip up there just to get a combination.”

Me: “All right, we will be here when you’re ready.”

(Ugh… Rules are rules for a reason.)

A Google Street View Of Justice

, , , , | Legal | October 18, 2018

I work for a multimedia department of a bigger software company; I am a UI designer for small apps and websites. I also do a bit of programming and scripting; it’s nothing too fancy, but good enough to create a nice presentation.

I am asked to create a program showing some locations on maps provided by our client. In short, I create an extremely basic version of Google Maps. In beta while waiting for the real maps, I start with a map of a non-existing country with very weird city names. It will appear if you type a very specific phrase in the search bar. After beta-testing, I find it too clever and funny to remove it — and it is not offending at all, just silly.

Later, my department is dissolved during a major reorganisation. It is a very big mess, and our client smells an opportunity to save some money. He actually claims we never created the program. The company has lost all track of us creating it during the reorganisation, so months later my old manager calls me at my new job to ask if I can remember creating the app.

Even on the phone I can hear her grin from ear to ear when I tell her how she can bring up this childish easter-egg country nobody knows about but me. Since it is already a court case, you could say the weird map is a pretty awesome silent witness.

Paper Recycling Has Become A Toxic Task

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 18, 2018

I used to work in the credit department for a regional department store. My job was attached to the collections department, but I wasn’t a collector. We had a dress code, which was ignored by the collectors. Since we weren’t the only business in the building, we had a code of conduct to prevent swearing in the elevator or the lobby. That was also ignored, also without consequence.

The high point came with the paper-recycling bin. Each group had a large rolling bin to put paper in for recycling, which was picked up weekly by an outside company. One group of collectors used theirs for garbage, including fruit remnants and packaging, and the recyclers refused to touch it. Since it wasn’t in the trash bins located at each desk, the janitorial staff wouldn’t touch it, either.

It sat there and rotted until complaints got to the VP. I was told to take it down three floors on the elevator, wheel it across the street and over a block to the store, dump it in the compact, and bring it back. I tried making the point that this wasn’t my job, that I’d had no part in creating the problem, and that it should be fixed by the people that did create it, but that didn’t fly.

I did as instructed, and parked the stinking bin — rancid juices streaking the sides, flies orbiting around it — in front of that supervisor’s desk, and told her she could clean it.

Should Just Try And Brush This One Off

, , , | Working | October 18, 2018

(My office shares a bathroom with four other offices. I am walking to the restroom when I hear this exchange.)

Woman #1: *panicked voice* “The brush is missing!”

Woman #2: *concerned* “What do you mean the brush is missing?”

(I assume they are talking about a hair brush and move on to do my business. As I am peeing, they rush in.)

Woman #2: *shouting* “THE BRUSH WAS IN HERE! SOMEONE MUST HAVE TAKEN THE BRUSH!”

Me: “…”

Woman #1: “Well, it is missing now! I guess the commode will just remain filthy!”

Woman #2: *quieter but still angry* “I saw it earlier. I thought about cleaning up the mess for five seconds, but didn’t.”

Woman #1: “I don’t know what is happening to this place. It is really going downhill! This place is so disgusting!”

Me: *scuttles out*

Women: *glares accusingly at me*

(And that is how I learned two of my office neighbors have OCD and another suffers from kleptomania. Most awkward hand wash ever.)

Singing Comebacks In The Rain

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 16, 2018

(I’m about to leave the office building where my company is located to go get lunch. We’re an online marketing and web design company, so we can wear pretty much whatever we want. If I’m not meeting with potential clients, I usually wear skinny jeans and band t-shirts, with big hoodies. It’s pouring when I step outside to go get lunch, but before I can open my umbrella, a well-dressed, little old lady tries to JERK my umbrella out of my hand!)

Lady: “You kids should respect your elders more! You don’t need that umbrella, and if you don’t give it to me right this second, I’ll report you for being truant from school!”

(I’m 26, but look much younger, but this is the first time someone has threatened to report me for truancy.)

Me: *politely but firmly* “Ma’am, this is my umbrella, and I do need it. You can also report me, but I’m a computer science major at [College], not a high-schooler, so it won’t get you anywhere.”

Lady: *stuttering* “Well, you’re still a student, young lady, so I demand you give me your umbrella!”

Me: “Fine, that’ll cost you $1,500.”

Lady:What?! Why should I pay you that much for a stupid f****** umbrella?!”

Me: “Because that’s how much it’s going to cost to replace my [expensive laptop that I bought for school and work that I’m currently carrying in my bag] if I give you my umbrella, and I have class tonight. I’ll take cash, thanks.”

(The lady gave me a dirty look and went back inside the building, cussing me out as she did. I was taught to respect my elders, as most Texans are, but I was also taught that I’m worth just as much respect!)

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