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Thanks For Bugging Me

, , , , , | Related | March 28, 2022

I have just finished hanging out with my sister and am heading home. On one of the busiest streets in our town — four lanes each way and major traffic — my dashboard lights flash twice and then my entire car dies. I’m in the middle lane and I’m driving a VW bug, so I’m instantly terrified that someone will hit me.

I turn on the hazards and start to call AAA and let them know that I’m sitting in the middle of the road and need help. They tell me that they will have someone to me within an hour and I should get out of the car in case it gets hit.

I hang up and think I should do that since everyone is racing past, not stopping at all, until this huge lifted truck pulls up behind me. The driver hops out; he is dressed in camo from head to toe and just huge. When I open my door (because the window won’t work) he asks if I need help. I tell him I’ve got AAA coming but it will be like an hour.

He shrugs, whistles, and gets his three sons out of the truck.

Driver: “Well, we don’t want you to wait that long — it’s not safe — so we’ll just get you out of the way of traffic, okay?”

Before I could answer, he had his sons around my car, and then he walked back to the truck. They pushed me into the shopping center parking lot (with the truck blocking the traffic) and then stayed with me until AAA could get there.

They were on their way out of town, and they stopped and did what no one else would do, and to this day, years later, it still makes me smile.

Your Inability To Pay Is Not My Inability To Do My Job

, , , , | Right | March 11, 2022

I worked the desk at a hotel for several years, mostly as a night auditor, but for a while, I was on the second shift, 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm. One night, I am working this shift with just my assistant manager. We are short-staffed, but it is a slow winter night, anyway.

A man and his girlfriend come in the front door and ask to rent a room. Everything goes as normal until it comes to payment.

Guest: “My workplace is paying for it.”

I groan internally. This isn’t uncommon, but there are procedures to get such a thing done that always include the reservation being made in advance, for the simple fact that we can’t charge a card that isn’t physically here without some paperwork behind it.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but your company would have had to set this up ahead of time if that were the case. Do you mean you’re using a company card?”

Guest: “Yes, here.”

At first, I’m relieved, but then I look at the card he handed me, bewildered. It’s some sort of ID that I’m not familiar with, possibly an employment ID, but it’s not any sort of payment card.

Me: “Sir, this isn’t a payment card. I can’t use this.”

Guest: *Indignantly* “My company has a deal with hotels where you enter that number on the card into the system and then it will bill them! Every hotel has this! Are you stupid?”

I just toss my manager a confused look, but even though I haven’t been working there a year, I know this can’t be right. Our system has designated fields for everything. If you put a number into a field that it doesn’t belong in, it won’t just accept it; it will tell you it’s invalid, and there is definitely no field for the long string of numbers on the bottom corner of the ID.

Me: “Sir, the system doesn’t work that way. There is no way to enter this number, and I can’t rent you a room without some sort of payment.”

Guest: “You just enter it! God, you’re stupid! You don’t even know how to do your own job!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but I know my job perfectly well, and there is no field that this number can be entered into. We don’t have any sort of contract like the one you’re mentioning. We have certain rates for certain businesses, and some have ways to set up reservations ahead of time, but—”

Guest: *Now irate* “Just enter the number! I’ve never had this happen before! Why won’t you do your job?!”

I’m now fully over it and I just slide the card back across my desk.

Me: “I am. If you want to rent a room, you will need a payment card. This is not a payment card.”

He begins to gather up his things, but he’s still indignant.

Guest: “I’m going to complain to your manager! This is ridiculous!”

I hook a thumb at the other check-in counter.

Me: “She’s right there.”

The guest pauses for a long moment, staring at my manager giving him a little wave, and then draws himself up to his full height for his parting shot.

Guest: “You should really train your people to know how to do their job!”

And with that, he storms out to the other hotel across the street, clearly planning to try his luck there. I look back at my manager exasperatedly and she just shrugs.

Manager: “Don’t worry, you did great. I don’t know what the f*** he was talking about, either.”

Mother Of Pizzas

, , , , , , | Right | February 23, 2022

My daughter was delivering a pizza and noticed a bumper sticker on the owner’s car that read “Mother of Dragons.” My daughter decided to be clever when the lady answered the door.

Daughter: “Valar Morghullis.”

The lady turned red and started laughing in response. Later, when my daughter told me this, I asked:

Me: “What? No ‘Valar dohaeris’ in reply?”

Daughter: “No. I wished she did… but I did get a very good tip.”

Congratulations On The (Frustrating, Long-Awaited) All-Clear!

, , , , , , , | Healthy | February 4, 2022

Some years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through all the treatment, surgeries, chemo, you name it. A couple of years later, at the three-month follow-up, my oncologist, upon consultation, didn’t like that he could feel some lumps under my arm, so he put in a request for a PET scan.

A PET scan is an imaging test where you are given a slightly radioactive glucose IV shot, wait an hour, and then go through a machine. Cancer being sugar-avid, if there is any tumor, it will light up on the screen.

My insurance denied the request because I didn’t have a CT scan done that would warrant the need for a PET scan; PET scans are more expensive than CT scans.

The oncologist then put in a request for a CT scan.

The insurance denied it because I didn’t have an MRI scan done that would warrant the need for a CT scan, CT scans being more expensive than MRI scans.

Then, my oncologist put in a request for an MRI scan.

The insurance promptly denied that because I didn’t have an XRay done that would warrant the need for an MRI scan.

And this is how I ended up having an XRay, an MRI scan, a CT scan, and a PET scan because insurance wanted to save the money for the PET scan. I got subjected to way more radiation than necessary for them to pay five times the cost they wanted to save.

It was negative. Years later, I am still cancer-free.

Good Old-Fashioned Bigotry: Unplugged

, , , , , , | Working | January 28, 2022

The title of my job is a very long and ambiguous title that really means “trainer,” but instead, lately, I’ve been doing tech support. The actual tech support/IT guy is constantly gone, comes in late, or leaves early, mainly because he is supposed to be working from home but comes in to fix certain things.

Most of my knowledge comes from Googling things and watching YouTube until I figure it out. Since I have somehow taken over the “small” tech support things, everyone on the sales floor emails me when they have a problem. And usually, since no one has told me not to, I teach them how to fix it on their own if I can. I mean, I’m not getting paid more to do the tech’s job, so I might as well help out. 

Most of the sales staff are a younger generation, so they understand what might be wrong and fix it themselves. However, there are the “self-made” old-school ones who don’t believe that women should know anything about technology, and that’s where the problem comes in.

One of the older sales guys stops me as I’m coming into work. I literally have my hands full and he snaps his fingers at me while sitting at his desk. I used to wait tables, so I have no problem ignoring this. I go to my office and he storms over to me.

Sales Guy #1: “You need to call the tech guy.”

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Sales Guy #1: “You need to call the guy to come to fix my computer.”

Me: “I can try to see if I can get it fixed for you. What is the issue you are having?”

Sales Guy #1: “Listen, sweetie, it’s not that difficult. Use that thing there—” *pointing to the phone* “—that’s called a phone, and call up the tech guy to come and fix my computer. I won’t say it again.”

Me: “Then it won’t get fixed.”

He sputters and finally leaves. 

One of the other sales guys pops his head into my office.

Sales Guy #2: “So, did [Sales Guy #1] tell you what he needed?

Me: “Yeah: to call the ‘tech guy’.”

Sales Guy #2: “He literally unplugged his modem. We’ve all tried to help him but were told we ‘weren’t qualified’. So, what are you going to do?”

Me: “Well, I’m going to do what we are supposed to and send in a ticket, because he wouldn’t tell me the problem. I think the wait times are like three weeks now?”

Sure enough, it took nearly three weeks for our IT guy to get to [Sales Guy #1]’s query and come out and fix it. It would have been fixed sooner, but since I wasn’t “qualified,” I didn’t want to give someone the wrong idea. It was worth it, though, to see the old guy nearly purple-faced about the loose cord.