Riding You The Wrong Way

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 15, 2019

(I am in high school. I play basketball and often travel to different cities within my province for games. Towards the end of the season, I injure one of my knees and can’t play the end-of-season championship. I still want to travel and see my team play, but as the bus is overcrowded, and my dad has planned to come to see our games even if I am injured, I am going to make the ten-hour travel with him in his truck. The mother of one of my teammates asks my father if she and her eleven-year-old son can travel with us. My dad accepts, and we agree that we will pick her up from the elementary school where she works at 4:00 pm. At 4:00 pm, she’s not there. At 4:15 pm:)

Me: “That is ridiculous. Why is she taking so long?”

Dad: “Maybe she had some kind of trouble. Let’s wait a bit more.”

Me: “Yeah, but if she was going to take longer, she could just come and see us and tell us how long it will be.”

(This is before cell phones.)

Dad: “I know. It’s bugging me, too, but I agreed to give her a ride, so let’s wait a bit more.”

(She finally comes out of the school at around 4:30 pm.)

Friend’s Mother: “Oh, I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. I had to wait for a student’s mother, and then we took a few minutes to catch up. But now we just need to go to my place to get my son and our bags and we’re all set!”

(Okay, it was bugging us that we had to wait while she “caught up,” but at least it’s over. Or so we thought… Once we pull over into her parking, she says…)

Friend’s Mother: “Okay, I just need a few minutes to get our things.”

(So, we wait… and wait… Soon, it’s 5:15 pm, more than an hour after we were initially supposed to leave.)

Me: “Let’s just leave. We waited long enough.”

Dad: “That wouldn’t be nice. I’ll just go and see what this is all about.”

(And so he goes. He comes back two minutes later, visibly fuming.)

Me: “What’s going on?”

Dad: “You’re not going to believe it. Not only was their luggage not ready, but they were rooting through emails so she could find the address of her brother they’re going to stay with! They were not ready at all!”

Me: “So, we leave now?”

Dad: “No, they’re coming. They had their coats on.”

(Finally, two minutes later, they’re in, but I just cannot understand how she feels it is okay to make us wait for over an hour, when we are the ones to give them a ride. The road is long, and once we are close to our destination, we get lost, thanks to my father. My father finally figures out where we are and drives us to our hotel.)

Friend’s Mother: “Why are we going to the hotel? You need to give me a ride to my brother’s place first! It’s in [Suburb].”

Dad: “Listen, I don’t know this city very well, but I know your brother lives on the other side of town. It’s about 3:00 am, and I’m not going anywhere. Take a taxi.”

(Later, he told this story to other players’ parents and learned that she had pulled off similar stunts with most of them, so they all refused to give her any more rides. My basketball team got eliminated from the championship on the first day, so she expected us to leave soon after. My father stayed a day and a half longer and watched every game of the championship, just to spite her.)

This Landlady Is Shockingly Cold

, , , , , | Working | March 6, 2019

(It is a particularly cold Canadian winter, on a Saturday night at around nine pm, and I am taking a shower. The water is not very hot, and within a few minutes, it goes completely cold, even when using only the hot water tap. I still have shampoo in my hair and a bit of soap all over but the water is way too cold for me to handle. I am used to rinsing my hair with cold water because it’s good for the hair, but with the water barely above freezing, I cannot do it! I wrap myself in a towel and call my landlady to inform her of the problem. She tells me to wait until Monday morning because her maintenance man does not work on the weekends. I tell her the water is too cold to rinse off the shampoo and soap without risking hypothermia and it can’t wait until Monday.)

Landlady: “What do you want me to do?”

Me: “I will call a plumber and a locksmith to access the water heater and deduct the bills from my rent.”

(She tells me she is coming with her husband to have a look at the problem. While waiting for her to come, I rinse my hair with a bottle of water from the fridge that is less cold than water from the tap, and water from the kettle that is room temperature. Shortly after that, I hear a knock on the door and it is my landlady. My lips are bluish and I am still shivering a lot.)

Landlady: *seeing that I had rinsed my hair* “It was not urgent; you were able to finish your shower. I came here for nothing!”

(The door to the maintenance room where the water heater is for the whole building is right next to my apartment door and I see water beginning to leak from under it. I point to it and my landlady looks at it and goes pale. She unlocks the door and hurries to shut down the water valve.)

Landlady: “I don’t know what to do with all this water all over! Give me some towels to absorb it.”

Me: “I only have a few, and I need to keep the clean one for after I am able to rinse myself off.”

(I close the door, leaving her to deal with her problem since I already have my own. Less than an hour later, after I wash most of the soap away with a washcloth and warm water from my kettle, there is another knock on the door. This time, it’s my landlady’s husband.)

Landlady’s Husband: “We fixed my problem and the water is probably already hot. It’s a good thing my wife insisted on having a look at the problem instead of waiting until Monday; otherwise, the water could have risen to reach the electrical outlets and it could have caused a much worse problem!”

Me: “You mean it’s a good thing I insisted and threatened to call a locksmith and a plumber?”

Landlady’s Husband: “…”

(I slammed the door and went to take a much-needed, long, hot shower!)

This Is Spring Rolling Down Hill

, , , , , , | Related | February 9, 2019

(My father, over the years, has taken the eating habits of a pig. I mean the like of always having some food fall on his shirt, making it a race by pushing one bite down by taking the next, open mouth, loud noises so you can actually hear him chew, slurp, smack, and all from one end to the other of the house, and so on. It’s useless to ask him to stop; he says he doesn’t hear anything or just doesn’t know how and that it’s no big deal. It drives me crazy and makes me sick. This one time took the cake. We are having Vietnamese spring rolls for dinner in a build-your-own way; all the ingredients are on the table and you just take what you want. Some items are sticky and have a spoon to serve yourself with, while others you can use your hand as long as you take what you touch. As usual, my father decides the rules don’t apply to him, so he goes in without using the spoon. He can’t just wipe the sticky sauce on a napkin or go wash in the sink. Instead, he proceeds to stick each finger in his mouth, one at a time, all the way to the base, and suck it clean, with the usual noises. Then, with his hand all wet with saliva, he moves to reach into the next dish like nothing happened. Totally grossed out, I stop him.)

Me: “Dad! No!”

Dad: “What?”

Me: “No, you just covered your fingers in saliva; don’t put it back in our common food. Go wash it first.”

Dad: “Hmpf. If you insist.”

(He does wash, but he decides to be as loud as he can since he did not like me calling him out. Since he eats super fast, he’s done first. The problem is, he has to throw his napkin and some bits that fell on him from the meal in the trash can, which is behind him. So, here we are, and he — unnecessarily — bends all the way in half, placing his butt right at the table level, almost leaning on the table, and… yes, he farts. A big, long, stinky one. On the table. Again, grossed out, I call him out on it.)

Me: “Dad! Come on! Farting at the table is bad enough, but farting on the table is disgusting and totally excessive.”

Dad: “Oh, I did? I didn’t notice.”

(He never even attempted to say sorry.)

Winter Is Coming; Good Service Is Not

, , , , , | Working | January 3, 2019

(My mother lives in a small town. She bought her first car while already in her 40s, at the only dealership in her town that sold the particular brand she wanted. She decided to service it at the dealership since she didn’t really know of any good garages. This dealership, like many others, offers a service where they will give you a ride to work and get you back — provided that you work within a certain distance — so that you’re not stuck at the garage waiting for your car for hours or having to take a taxi. One day in November, my mother brings her car in for routine maintenance and to have her winter tires installed.)

Service Advisor: “Okay, ma’am, you’re all set. You can wait to get a ride with [Employee]; he’s currently giving a ride to another customer but should be back in a few minutes.

(My mother decides to wait a bit. At some point, she sees the dealership car coming close to the entrance to drop off another customer, so she heads outside towards the car. The other customer gets out of the car and closes the door. My mother is a few feet away and starts towards the car door, but the car suddenly moves forward quickly and peels out of the parking lot, leaving my mother there. She heads back inside to talk to the service manager.)

Mother: “I was going to get in the car to go to work and your employee just left. Is he coming back? Is there someone else to give me a ride to work? I don’t want to be late.”

Service Manager: *looking out the window into the parking lot* “He did what?! I’m really sorry, ma’am. I’m going to call him.” *on the phone* “Hey. Where are you? You’ve got a customer here that needs a ride.” *pause* “What? I don’t care if you’ve had breakfast or not. Come back here right now and get the customer.”

(My mom is irritated but brushes it off and goes to work. When she comes back at the end of the day, she sees that her car is still on summer tires. She goes to the counter to talk to the service advisor.)

Mother: “Excuse me. I’m here to pick up my car but I see that the summer tires are still on it. Why didn’t you change them?”

Service Advisor: *condescendingly* “Well, ma’am, your tires were too worn out to make it through the winter. We couldn’t install them on your car; that was not safe.”

Mother: “Okay, but why didn’t you call me? Winter is coming. Obviously, I’m going to need winter tires, and now I’m going to have to come back another time just for that.”

Service Advisor: *sheepishly, as if the thought of calling my mother didn’t even occur to him* “Huh… I guess we could have done that.”

Mother: “You should have! It’s very inconvenient that I have to come back for something that was supposed to be taken care of today. Wait a minute. I’ve paid you guys to store my winter tires since last spring. Are you telling me that I paid for six months of storage for nothing?! Why didn’t you tell me my tires were too worn out before storing them?!”

Service Advisor: “…”

(My mother spoke to a manager, who refunded the six months of storage, but she still had to come back to have new tires installed. After a few similar blunders by the dealership, my mother vowed to never, ever do business with them again. About ten years later, she still hasn’t set foot in that dealership, and she still gets a bit worked up if I bring up that story.)

Scratching Off Your Debt

, , , , , , | Related | January 1, 2019

(I am six years old. My father is working full time on collecting funds for charity. One of the persuasion tools they use is a scratch card, as a sort of appeal to a “gambling sense” or a “leave it to faith” kind of thing. This would convince some to give apparently, anyway. One day, the little six-year-old curious and enthusiastic learner I am, I decide to ask about the scratch card and how it works. I go to see my father.)

Me: *holding the card* “Dad, what’s this?”

Father: “This card? I’ll show you.”

(He takes it from me and points on it.)

Father: “So, this is to raise funds for [Charity]; all you have to do is pick one little circle on the card and scratch it. Give it a try; just scratch one.”

Me: “You want me to scratch one for real?”

Father: “Yes, yes for real. Go for it.”

(I scratch one circle, it says $1.70.)

Father: “All right, that will be $1.70, miss.”

(I proceed to pretend to give him money, but he gives me a stern look.)

Father: “No, you have to give me a real $1.70. You scratched it; now you have to pay it. That’s how it works.”

(I’m stunned into silence, and start panicking! I’m just a kid; I don’t have any money! I believed we were just pretending for the sake of explaining. Since he said to scratch it for real, I thought it did not matter and that we could just use it as a meaningless demonstration. I was certainly not aware we were making an actual transaction. After five seconds that are an eternity for me…)

Father: “It’s okay. I’m your father; I’ll pay it for you.”

(He went away with the card like everything was perfectly fine. Up to this day, I have no idea why he made me do it for real, knowing real money would have to be involved, and without a warning, or, why he could not simply explain with words only. But I swear I still have trust issues from the experience!)

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