Not Even Remotely Listening

, , , , , , | Related | December 3, 2018

(I recently moved five hours away from home to start a new job after graduating university. My mom is planning on visiting me in a couple of weeks and has excitedly made a list of city attractions she wants to see with me while she is here. We are talking to each other on the phone.)

Mom: “There are so many things I want us to see and do when I visit! I’ve found a few brochures with different activities and have started making a list of everything we can do. I’m going to go get the list; I’ll be right back!”

(She sets the phone down for a moment while going to get her list and returns a minute later. She starts talking again, but mumbling and sounding far away. Note that she is home alone, so I know that she is not talking to anyone else.)

Me: “Sorry, what did you say? I can’t hear you properly; I think something’s wrong with the connection.”

(She just continues talking as if she hasn’t heard me. Her talking is still distant and I can’t make out what she is saying at all. This continues in the same fashion for about three minutes, with me trying to tell her that I can’t hear what she is saying and her continuing to mumble distantly non-stop. I eventually give up, hang up the phone, and try to call back. I get a busy signal, which shows she likely hasn’t hung up the phone from our conversation yet. I call back several times in the next few minutes, only to hear the busy signal each time. Eventually I just give up and wait for her to call me. Five minutes later, the phone rings.)

Mom: *laughing* “You are never going to let me live down what I just did.”

Me: “What happened? I couldn’t hear anything you were saying.”

Mom: “When I got back with my list I sat down, picked up the phone, and started talking again. Eventually when you weren’t replying, I looked down to see the phone on the coffee table still. I had been talking into the TV remote, instead!”

(She had managed to talk into the TV remote instead of the phone for about eight minutes before figuring out her mistake. I’m still not sure how she managed to talk for that long before realizing she couldn’t hear me talking to her at all! She did come visit a couple of weeks later, and we had a great time and got to do most of the stuff from her brochures.)


Hope For Good Parenting Is Doomed

, , , , , | Right | October 31, 2018

(I work in the back room of a thrift store. It is Halloween and we are encouraged to dress up. I’m cheap, so I take some of my older clothes, tear them to pieces, and spray them and my face and arms with fake blood. I go to the washroom in the middle of my shift and encounter a woman and her daughter awaiting a cubicle.)

Mother: *notices me and clutches her daughter tighter*

Me: *a little offended*


Daughter: “Mom, it’s just a costume.”


Daughter: “Come on, Mom.”



You’ve Found Area 51

, , , , | Legal | October 8, 2018

(I’m on a long road trip with my two young children. The youngest is only six weeks old. She is crying to eat, so I pull off the highway at the nearest exit. The only thing around is a decrepit-looking barn, so I turn into the driveway to be met with a locked gate. I turn around and park. Within seconds, two police vans pull up and block me in.)

Officer: “What are you doing?”

Me: “I just wanted to feed my baby. Should I leave?”

Officer: “No, that’s fine.”

(The officers then watched as I unbuckled my daughter from her car seat, and once I was sitting in the front seat with her, they pulled away. Now, I can’t stop thinking… what the heck was in that barn?)

Making You Go Postal

, , , , , | Working | July 2, 2018

(I get to the post office late, but before they close at five. I wait at the counter for almost ten minutes.)

Employee: “I’m closed; you have to come back tomorrow.”

Me: “When did you close?”

Employee: “5:03.”

Me: “Its only 5:01 now, and I’ve been here almost ten minutes.”

Employee: “My watch says 5:10.”

Me: *pointing* “The clocks there, there, and there agree with me.”

(I have him get a supervisor, explain the story, and she verifies.)

Supervisor: “Can you please get this man his package?”

Employee: “I can’t.”

Supervisor: “Why not?”

Employee: “It’ll take ten minutes to get the system back up then shut it down again.”

Supervisor: “Sorry, there’s nothing he can do.”

(I was not impressed with the supervisor. If you decide to not do your job and hide in the back so you don’t have to do any work for at least ten minutes, a little unpaid “overtime” seem reasonable to me; balances the books.)

How Dare You Use Your Time Off As You See Fit?!

, , , , , | Working | July 2, 2018

(I’m visiting some family and we’re at a café when I get a call from work. I’m a salesman and tech in a national electronic store in the Ottawa region.)

Me: “Hello.”

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], I know you have tonight off, but I’m in a pickle. I need you to come in right now.”

Me: “I’d love to, but I can’t be—”

Manager: “No, no, you don’t get it. I’m alone; it’s packed.”

Me: “The evening shift can’t cover by coming in earlier?”

Manager: “They should have started at one pm today. No one showed up, and the day staff all left without me realizing what was happening. I only have my last guy for another hour, and no one’s answering their phone.”

Me: “Okay, wow. I understand but—”

Manager: “No buts—”

Me: “No, I’m serious, I can’t—”

Manager: “No, I’m serious. I’m even offering you overtime for this.”

Me: “Erm… Thanks for the offer; it’s not that I don’t want to, bu—”

Manager: “I said no buts, d*** it!

Me: *sigh* “I have some conditions, then.”

Manager: “As in?”

Me: “You pay for the time I’ll be travelling—”

(All my relatives have stopped talking and are now listening while eating or drinking, realizing I might ditch them right there and then. Since we came in with only my car, I would have to bring back my mom, too.)

Manager: “Fine, no problem. You’re on the clock from right now.”

Me: “Perfect, and I will arrive somewhere around 7:30 pm, an hour and a half before close.”

Manager: *not really listening as he seems busy* “Okay… Yeah, super! See you in half an hour.”

Me: “NO! I said see you in three hours!”

Manager: “What, you just said… It’s barely past four o’clock! What gives?”

Me: “Well, if you could let me explain, as I’ve been trying to do since the beginning: I’m in Montréal, and with the current traffic conditions of the rush hour, it will take me over three hours to make the normally two-and-half-hour-drive from here, not to mention I need to drop by my house to get my uniform. You won’t see me until an hour and half before close.”

Manager: *long pause* “Are you kidding?”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

Manager: “D*** it! I’ll have to… Wait! Why are you in Montréal?”

Me: “Why am I in Montréal?” *cue weird looks from my relatives*

Manager: “Yes! Why are you in Montréal?”

Me: “It’s my day off.”

Manager: “I know that, but why aren’t you in Ottawa?”

Me: “Er, I mean, I’m visiting… I’m with…” *realizing he’s trying to make me justify why I’m not home and available to his beck and call* “You know what? No, I won’t tell you why. It’s none of your business, and frankly I’m appalled you’re even trying to make me justify my reasons for not being available, so I’m not coming in anymore.”

Manager: “But—”

Me: “No buts! Text me if you need help contacting some of our colleagues.”

(I hang up.)

Mom: “Did your boss really ask you why you were using your free time as you see fit?”

Me: “Yup! He’s getting an earful next time we work together.”

(It didn’t come to an earful, as he apologized first. My boss was so frustrated to realize almost three hours after they were supposed to clock in that all the other colleagues were no-show-no-calling, all at the same time. He blew a fuse being alone in the entire store for the evening, hence his attitude with me during the phone call. I was able to find him another manager from another store that evening that could help him after his regular shift, and he brought another employee with him. Word got around about this event, and all the managers of the district didn’t want to give them the pleasure of claiming employment insurance benefits by firing them. So, the faulty colleagues left the company by themselves shortly after, because not a single store would give them enough hours, knowing what happened.)

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