The Lights Are On, But We Wish No One Was Home

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 19, 2021

It’s autumn and the nights are creeping in. I’ve just finished shopping in a not-too-busy retail park. As I pull out of the parking space, I figure it couldn’t hurt to put my lights on.

Literally as my hand is on the switch, a car behind me starts flashing its lights and honking its horn. I didn’t cut them off — it isn’t even close — so I figure it must be about the lights. 

I switch them on (as I was about to do) and give a friendly wave and carry on. This is when the driver cuts the wrong way round the car park to get past me and stops in front of me.

She steps one foot out of her car and shouts at me.

Woman: “Lights on, idiot! It’s getting dark.”

I’m normally a confrontational person and I’m happy to say my piece, but she is being so overdramatic that it’s too surreal to take seriously.

Me: “Okay, love. Thank you. You’re so sweet.”

This pisses her off to no end.

Woman: “I am not your love!”

Me: “Okay, love, the streetlights aren’t even on yet. On you go.”

She huffed and puffed and seemed to think about approaching me, but she thought better of it. She got in her car, slammed her door, put her foot down… and drove straight into the kerbstone. I couldn’t see the damage, but by the noise, her car was certainly missing the corner of the bumper.

She jumped out, shouted at me, shouted at the car, and shouted seemingly at the world in general. As I decided to make a hastily retreat, she even tried to get in front of my car.

I don’t know what made her day so bad that she had to try to take it out on someone, but I know she made it a whole lot worse.

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That Scam Nearly Blew Them Over

, , | Legal | January 29, 2021

I’m out to do errands with my husband. He has just parked our car in a large-ish free parking lot that serves several shops. As I exit the car, there’s a strong gust of wind and I can’t avoid the door hitting the side of a car nearby with an audible “thunk.” My husband comes around from the other side and we contemplate the damage; our car is all right but for a small dent, but there’s a visible scratch on the other one.

Husband: “We can’t stay here waiting for the owner to show up. Just leave a note with our phone number under the windshield wiper and let’s go.”

While I’m doing this, a well-dressed man in his forties appears.

Man: “Excuse me. Is something the matter?”

He says he works in one of the offices above and the car we’re standing nearby is his wife’s. We explain what happened, apologize, and offer to fill out the Accident Statement so that our insurance will cover the cost of repairs. During the entire conversation, he’s understanding and polite.

Man: “You know what, it’s a pity to go through insurance; your fee will go up. Personally, I wouldn’t even bother with such a scratch, but it happens to be my wife’s car. Why don’t we just settle the matter between us?”

He offers us a deal: 100€ in cash to cover the bodywork costs and no need to go through insurance with all the related hassle. I’m tempted to agree, as we’ve been standing in the parking lot long enough and I’m freezing. My husband is not convinced and would still rather do the Accident Statement. While they’re talking, two elder ladies with shopping bags show up.

Old Lady: “What are you lot all doing right by my car?”

Realization of what had happened struck us like lightning. I turned around from looking at the ladies to speak to the man, but he had already scarpered!

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What Subject Do You Teach? Just Curious.

, , , , | Friendly | January 12, 2021

I am in college and I’m trying to find a parking spot. Once I find one and park, a lady in the car in front of me swings her door open and starts yelling at me.  

Lady: “You hit my car!”

Me: *Calmly* “No, ma’am, I did not.”

Lady: “Yes, you did! Do I need to get the police involved? I will call them. You’re going to make me late to the class I have to teach!”

Me: “You are welcome to call the police if you feel the need to, but I can assure you that I did not hit your vehicle.”

Lady: “Oh, yeah?! How are you so sure?!”

I point to the cement post for the streetlight directly in front of my car.

Me: “Because if I had, my front bumper on the passenger side would be completely smushed in.”

The lady realizes there’s no way I could have actually hit her car.

Lady: “Well… I… Uh… Well, I guess since there’s no damage to my car, I’ll leave it this time and won’t call the police.”

She walked off toward the building and I moved my car to a different area just in case.

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Don’t Give Her A Token Of Your Kindness

, , , , | Friendly | December 30, 2020

I drive a little convertible sports car that I bought a few years ago, second hand, thanks to a small inheritance. It’s not a high-end brand or anything, but it’s my pride and joy, the sort of car I never thought I’d be able to afford. Unfortunately, it’s not very cheap to run, but with careful monthly budgeting, I am able to afford to keep and run it reasonably easily, alongside all the usual household bills and life expenses.

One of the ways I keep within my means is by shopping in a discount supermarket. I am going through some other life changes and temporarily living in a kind of rough area of the city. It doesn’t bother me; everyone I’ve met here is lovely and I’ve never seen much in the way of trouble, despite the reputation the area has.

That is, until I meet Pyjama Lady.

It’s early afternoon during the week, so the supermarket is blissfully quiet. I had a half-day from work, so I am in office dress, which means heels, so my feet are starting to ache. I have done my shopping and loaded the car, and I’m returning my shopping trolley to the park. I’m more than ready to go home, release my feet from their prison, and have a nice cup of tea.

In this supermarket, they have the £1 release mechanisms, but because I never seem to have change on me, I have one of those charity tokens that are the same size as a £1 coin to get the trolley with.

I am about halfway between my car and the trolley park when I hear a screechy, “Excuse me, luv!” I look up to see a lady around forty years old, dressed in actual pyjamas, a bomber jacket, and Ugg boots, bearing down on me from across the car park. I stop in my tracks.

Pyjama Lady: “Excuse me! Luv! Wait a second!”

I wait for her to reach me and just stand there looking at her expectantly, at a bit of a loss for words at the sight.

Pyjama Lady: *Grinning like an idiot* “All right, luv? If I give you two 50ps, can I have your trolley? I haven’t got a pound coin on me!” 

Me: “Sorry, I would, but I’ve used a token.”

I smile at her and shrug apologetically. I go to move off but she puts her hand on my trolley and stops me.

Pyjama Lady: *Still grinning* “That’s okay, I don’t mind.”

Me: “Sorry, but I want the token back.”

Pyjama Lady: *Less smiley* “What for? It’s not like you can spend it.”

Me: “Because I bought it and it cost me more than a pound? If you go inside, I’m sure they will change your 50ps for you.”

Pyjama Lady then actually stamps her feet, her hands balled up in fists like a petulant child, and wails.

Pyjama Lady: “But I don’t want to! Just give me yours!”

I shake my head at her in disbelief and go to move off again, but she grabs my trolley and yanks it towards her.

Me: “Let go! Just go inside and get a coin!”

Pyjama Lady: *Screeching* “Selfish f****** cow! It’s just a bloody pound! It’s not like you can’t f****** afford it; you don’t even need to shop here if you can drive a fancy f****** car like that around! YOU SHOULDN’T BE HERE!”

And with that, she stomps off, phone in hand, frantically texting. I think that’s it and, after watching her go around the corner of the shop, I finally make the rest of the way to the trolley park and retrieve my token.

I turn to go back to my car and, lo and behold, there she is again, standing right next to my car! I start to jog over, mentally preparing for whatever may happen, and as I get closer, I see that she is leaning on the door, cigarette in hand, an evil grin on her face.

Me: “Excuse me, what are you doing?!”

Pyjama Lady: “You have no f****** business being here, fancy b**** in your fancy car! F*** off back to Waitrose where you belong, c***!

And with that, she PUTS HER CIGARETTE OUT ON MY CAR BONNET! I am so shocked that I just stand there, frozen, and she just walks off with a smug grin.

The supermarket was no help; their CCTV just covers the front of the shop and, while they were sympathetic, they just repeated the mantra that “cars are parked at your own risk.” Luckily, I have a dashcam with a parking mode, so even when I’m not driving, it records footage. I took it to the police, as there was a lovely shot of her face peering through all my windows while I was shopping, not to mention a clear view of her cigarette antics later.

I ended up having to get my entire bonnet resprayed — my insurance paid — and she ended up with a community service order along with the cost of my insurance excess, court fees, and a fine. All over a trolley coin.

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A Parking Spot Of Bother, Part 2

, , , , | Right | December 27, 2020

There’s a public park next to our store situated on a popular walking trail. During this particular summer, the city has closed the public parking lot that gave you access to the trail due to road work, so people take it upon themselves to think that they can park in our parking lot — for free — and use the park. Most of the time, if they come in and purchase something, my boss — who also happens to be a lawyer — will let them park there. There are two incidents, however, that stick out in my mind.

A woman with THAT haircut parks in our lot and goes to the park. My boss comes outside.

Boss: “You can’t park in our lot if you’re not a customer.”

She starts screaming and yelling at us.

Woman: “I’ll be sending a letter to the city mayor about this!”

Boss: “Go ahead. You send her a letter and I will send her two.”

The second incident involves a man who parks his car DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF OUR WINDOWS and then tries walking to the park.

Boss: “Sir, you need to move your car.”

Man: “No.”

Boss: “Either you need to move the car or I will move it for you.”

Man: “No.”

He then ignores my boss and waves him off.

My boss gets our large commercial truck we use to move things and parks it directly behind this man’s car. Then, he gets on the phone and calls a tow truck. The man comes over and begins complaining.

Boss: “Are you going to move it now?”

Finally, after much complaining, he agrees to move his car.

I get that the city had no backup plan for parking and many of the people who wanted to use this park could not because they didn’t want to purchase anything from our store. The city’s lack of planning isn’t everyone else’s fault, but still, I wonder to this day: why do people think that because a city closed the public parking lot it gives them the right to park wherever they want?

A Parking Spot Of Bother

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