Getting The 411 On The Situation

, , , | | Working | July 6, 2019

(This happened in the 1980s, at which time phone numbers were only available through phone books or through directory assistance — 411. By this time, 411 calls were no longer completely free. Instead, one got maybe five free 411 calls per month, and could request two phone number on each call. After that, you were charged for each 411 call. I was trying to arrange certain outdoor activities, and was, therefore, seeking the phone numbers of various facilities, such as state parks, YMCA camps, etc. When one looks at a street map — as this was well before the likes of Google Maps — one can’t necessarily tell what town such a facility is located in. The typical 411 calls went something like so:)

Operator: “Directory Assistance. For what town, please?

Me: “I need the phone number of [Facility] which is near [Nearest Town].”

Operator: “Sir, I will need the name of the town that is in.”

Me: “I don’t know the town, but the closest town on the map to it is [Nearest Town].”

Operator: “Sir, I cannot look up the phone number without the name of the town.”

Me: “Don’t be silly. Directories in this state are by county, not town. [Nearest Town] is in [County] County, and that’s all you need to look it up.”

Operator: “Sir, I need the exact name of the town it’s in!”

Me: “Fine. Give me the phone number of [Facility] which is in [Nearest Town].”

Operator: “That number is [phone number].”

(Then, the operator HANGS UP without letting me ask another phone number! After a few such calls, all pretty much with the same conversation, I get pissed because I am going to have to PAY for 411 calls when I should get two numbers on each call. So, I contacted the Board of Public Utilities with FULL details of what has transpired on these calls. It turns out my state has a very effective BPU. Within a few days, I get a phone call from a phone company manager that goes something like this:)

Manager: “Hello, Mr. [My Name]?

Me: “Yes?”

Manager: “I’m calling about your recent complaint to the BPU. I’ve investigated your claims and found you to be completely correct. The same thing happened to me several times when I called Directory Assistance and tried getting such phone numbers. I will reverse any 411 charges to your account and [Phone Company] will be retraining our directory assistance operators so this doesn’t happen again!”

Wrong Number, Wrongest Attitude

, , , , , , , | | Right | June 6, 2019

(The phone rings.)

Me: “[Store], [My Name] speaking.”

Customer: “Sorry, I wanted [Competitor].” *hangs up*

(About a minute later, the phone rings again.)

Me: “[Store], [My Name] speaking.”

Customer: “Argh, I wanted [Competitor]!” *hangs up*

(Less than a minute later, the phone rings again.)

Me: *sigh* “[Store], [My Name] speaking.”

Customer: “F***, why can’t I get [Competitor]?”

Me: “Well, if you keep calling the same number, you’re going to keep getting the same store.”

Customer: “But this is the number I was given!” *hangs up*

(Seconds later, the phone rings again.)

Me: “[Store]—“

Customer: *cuts me off* “F***, if you say you’re [Store] again, I’m going to come down there and kill you.”

Me: *pauses* “Yeah, I still work for [Store], and I should tell you that as soon as we are done here, I will be forwarding your phone number to the police. Have a nice day.” *hangs up*

(I called the police immediately after. It turns out he had a long history of making threats, and was currently out on bail for a similar charge. I’m guessing it was revoked.)

Auntie Is Twenty Minutes Behind Everyone Else

, , , , , | | Related | May 24, 2019

(My husband has recently medically retired from the military after an 18-year career as a military logistician. He severely injured his back during his last combat tour and, due to that and other injuries and his PTSD, he is rated as 100% disabled by the VA. He has decided that he wants to work after retiring but he has to clear the job he takes with the VA due to his rating. He ends up finding a very good job as an operations manager for a janitorial company in a city 20 minutes from the small town that we have just moved to. I am talking to my elderly aunt on the phone and telling her about his new job. She is literally obsessed with a major national retail chain, and she always tacks on an extra S to the end of it.)

Me: “[Aunt], [Husband] just got a really good job as an operations manager with the company that provides cleaning services to all of the hospitals in [Nearby City].”

Aunt: “Don’t they have a [Chain]s in the town that you live in? My neighbor retired from the military and he got a job unloading trucks at the [Chain]s in [Town she lives in]. It’s a fine job! Why didn’t [Husband] get a job at the [Chain]s near you?”

Me: “Yes, they have a [Chain] Super Center, but unloading trucks only pays $11 an hour. Anyway, [Husband] can’t lift anything heavier than 20 pounds due to his back injury. Plus, this new job pays around $25 an hour.”

Aunt: “But [Chain]s has that great program where they hire veterans! [Husband] should have gotten a job there!”

Me: “Yes, but those jobs don’t pay very much. [Husband] spent the last eight years of his military career managing groups of more than 40 troops. Being a regular retail employee is actually a real insult after having a career like that. He manages 30 people at his new job. Plus, the VA told him that he cannot get a job where he has to do any heavy lifting.”

Aunt: “But [Chain]s is such a fine company! I go there all the time! Don’t you want him to have a job where you shop?”

Me: “[Aunt], we don’t even shop at [Chain] very much. We like [Other Companies]. Anyway, why would [Husband] take a job that he isn’t medically cleared to do for a few dollars above minimum wage after a career as a highly-decorated military sergeant?”

Aunt: “But I love [Chain]s! My neighbor really enjoys his job. I think that it’s stupid to drive an extra 20 minutes just to be called a manager at a job!”

Me: “Didn’t you hear that his job pays $14 an hour more than he would make at [Chain]? Plus, the company specifically wanted someone with prior management experience in the military for his position.”

Aunt: “Well, yes, but I still think that it is stupid to drive an extra twenty minutes for a job!”

(I dropped it after that. My husband has been at his job for five months now and both upper-level management and his employees absolutely love him. I don’t know why she thought that working at that chain for a few dollars above minimum wage was somehow better than making $25 an hour at his job!)

You Can’t Fight Against Mother’s Nature

, , , | | Related | May 9, 2019

(I’m on the phone with my mother, discussing my parents’ visit next weekend. Since both are obnoxiously nosy, traditional, and fearsome about nearly everything in life, I tend to keep relationships to myself to keep things healthy.)

Mother: “So, do we get to see [New Boyfriend]?”

Me: “Oh, he can’t be there this weekend.”

Mother: “Oh. Why not?!”

Me: “He can’t make it. He isn’t there.”

Mother: “Ah! Why! Not! I am so eager to meet him!”

Me: “He isn’t around that day.”

Mother: “Now I can’t meet him. I so hoped for it.”

Me: “Well, he just isn’t here this weekend.”

Mother: “Why can’t he? It’s the first time we get to see him.”

Me: “He is not around, not in town…”

Mother: *deep sigh*

Me: “But we will come to [Aunt]’s party in June.”

Mother: “Aaaaahh! Not fair!”

Me: “Why so…”

Mother: “Now [Aunt] gets to see him first!”

Me: “That depends who sees him first at the party, I guess?”

Mother: “Just isn’t fair. Why can’t we see him this weekend?!”

Me: “He is just not around.”

Mother: *keeps muttering until I change the subject*

(Mind you, I used to have a cat which was afraid of her. Every year on my birthday, she would sneak out of the living room and chase the trembling cat until I dragged her — my mother — back to the living room, and my father told her to stay put on the couch and not chase the poor cat. She kept trying. My boyfriend is not going to be around during their visit this weekend!)

Just Not His Day (In Court)

, , , , | | Legal | April 30, 2019

(I am thirteen, chilling in my room, doing my homework when I get a call from an unknown number.)

Caller: *in a gruff voice* “Hello, I am looking for Mr. [Person].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I think you have the wrong number.”

Caller: “No, this is right. We need to see you in the courthouse at [Location] on [date].”

Me: “Still, wrong number.”

Caller: “No, it is not. See you in the courthouse.” *click*

(I went to see where the number called me from. The call was from Texas. I live in Florida.)

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