A Battery Of Smugness

, , , , , | Right | May 3, 2021

I am the “disrupted operations supervisor” for my airline, dealing with delays, cancellations, and disruptive passengers. I’m called to escort a passenger to the luggage claim because his bag is vibrating, and the police want to speak with him.

The officer opens the bag in front of him and removes a battery-operated shaving machine.

Officer: “Sir, do you know it’s illegal to carry batteries in your hold luggage?”

Passenger: “No, I didn’t.”

Then he turns to me and asks:

Passenger: “How are you going to fix this?”

Me: “Well, either you remove the battery or you carry it in your hand.”

Passenger: *Yelling* “The battery can’t be removed, you moron! And I’m not taking nothing in my hands.” *Smirking* “So, how are you going to fix it?”

I signal the officer to stand down and answer.

Me: “Sir, please there’s no need for that. In this case, the item will have to stay behind unless you’re willing to reconsider.”

Passenger: “H*** no. You’re not keeping it and I won’t carry it in my hand.” *Smirking again* “So, how are you going to fix it?”

I repeat myself and he repeats his question.

Me: “Sir, I don’t have time for this.”

I put the item in the destruction bin.

Me: “Please proceed to the boarding gate and have a nice flight.”

As I’m turning away, the police start to escort him back to the boarding lounge.

Passenger: “I guess I’ll just borrow my friend’s machine from his bag.”

The cops stopped and led him into the police station. The airport called his friend and removed his bags from the plane, causing a ten-minute delay. They were issued fines and lost their flight.

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Do Things Different So Faro From Home, Part 2

, , , , | Right | April 19, 2021

I’m working at an emergency call centre line that deals with car insurance regarding accidents, flat tyres, cars not starting, etc.

In Portugal, we speak Portuguese. Many of my colleagues don’t speak or understand English, let alone speak it fluently. I, however, have a British accent, so whenever a difficult English-speaking customer rings, they usually transfer the call to me.

Summer is our busiest time of the year and we have about twenty calls on hold. My caller is a furious American woman.

Caller: “It is unacceptable that you people don’t have an English-speaking option! It takes forever to find someone who can speak English!”

Me: “Right, sorry about your wait. What is your emergency?”

Caller: *Calmer* “Oh, nothing, it’s just that I’m an old lady that lives and drives alone, especially at night time during winter when it’s raining, and I just switched insurance companies, so I wanted to know how long it would take for you to answer my call.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. You’re not in need of any sort of help or danger, and you just called at our busiest time of the year and held up our lines just for a test run?”

Caller: “Yes! And it took you too d*** long to find someone to speak to me in English!”

Me: *In my best customer voice* “Okay, ma’am, I assure you that should you run into any sort of car trouble during wintertime and ring us up, we’ll have someone to answer your call immediately. So, at this particular time, if that will be all, I’m going to ask you to hang the phone, seeing as this is our busiest time of the year and I have real emergencies to attend to.”

Caller: “I sure hope you do. I’ve been living in Portugal for five years alone and can’t be left stranded by myself in case I have car problems in the middle of the road.”

Me: “So, you’re saying you’ve been living here for five years and haven’t bothered to learn the native language? And you expect that everyone you come into contact with knows how to speak English? I should warn you right now that the tow truck drivers we send in cases of emergency speak only Portuguese, and it will be with them directly that you’ll have to deal with.”

Caller: “Then you should report it to your supervisor.”

Me: “Right. If that will be all, goodbye.”

Do Things Different So Faro From Home

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A Direct Flight To Tantrumville

, , | Right | April 6, 2021

My airline manages a phone number handling calls for information on daily flights.

Me: “How may I help you?”

The caller is a woman with an angry tone.

Caller: “My daughter is coming on the direct flight from [City], and she called me saying that they have landed at [Nearby Airport] for two hours. I paid extra to make sure that this was a direct flight! What the f*** are you idiots doing?”

Me: *Calmly* “Okay, ma’am, let me check the info on this flight.”*Does so* “The flight was diverted because one of the airport’s fire engines broke down and the airport security rating went down, meaning that the passengers had to change to a smaller plane to get here, which we asked [City] airport to inform—”

Caller: *Interrupting me* “You filthy liar, you’re a [string of expletives]!”

Me: *Calmly* “Ma’am, I’m not lying, and there is no need to treat me like this.”

Caller: “Shut up! I have every right to call you what you are!”

Each time I try to talk, she screams and insults me further. Eventually, she stops, probably tired.

Me: *Annoyed* “Due to the fact that you are refusing to behave like a civilized person, I have the right to disconnect. Thank you for contacting [Airline], and have a good day.”

Caller: “You stupid b****! I will sue—”

I disconnected before she could begin again. That call is now used for training purposes.

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Wait Until You Hear About Centaur Babies!

, , , , | Learning | March 20, 2021

In the fourth grade, I became obsessed with the discovery of “mermaid babies” — babies who are born with webbed feet and/or hands, or with their legs and/or feet fused together. Every week in my class, someone was required to present a news report on any topic we wished, and of course, my topic was on this interesting phenomenon of mutations.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm following my week to present led a lot of my classmates to get annoyed and skeptical with me. One kid even came up and basically called me a liar and a fraud because her mom told her mermaid babies aren’t really mermaids but babies with their skin fused together. She got especially annoyed when I just gave her a confused look and went, “Duh, it’s not like they’re born with gills or something,” and walked away.

I finally gave my presentation, starting with a short fictional story I read about pregnant women laying by a “mermaid lake” who then gave birth to actual mermaids. I made sure to mention that the story was just a legend — incorrect word but I didn’t know that — and wasn’t real, before diving into my actual findings about a baby who had to have surgery to separate their legs.

I’ll never forget the look of awe on my teacher’s face as she listened to me speak. And after I was done, she set her grading clipboard down and asked, “So… Wait… Are these real mermaids? Like, can they breathe underwater and everything?” 

I stood there, dumbfounded for a second, before replying, “No, Mrs. [Teacher]. Mermaids aren’t actually real; it’s just the baby’s legs stuck together.”

I wish I could remember what I wrote and read to my class. It still bothers me to this day, wondering where in my presentation I went wrong for her to ask me that.

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Flipped That Argument Around

, , | Right | January 22, 2021

I work in a small café. It’s after closing hours and the big flip-sign on the door says, “CLOSED.”

A customer walks in anyway.

Me: “Sorry, we’re closed.”

Customer: “What does it mean?”

Me: “It means we’re not open.”

Customer: “So open? I need a coffee.”

Me: “No I said, ‘not open.’”

The customer turns around and sees the back side of the flip-sign on the door.

Customer: “Why does it say, ‘OPEN,’ then?”

He got me.

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