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Grief Is A Deep Pool

, , , , , | Related | December 2, 2021

My grandmother recently fell and things are looking grim. It will probably be a matter of days. Despite my dad being her son, she didn’t appoint him as “next of kin.” Instead, my grandmother appointed her daughter as the first point of contact. This is fine; she could only list one and she had a great relationship with her daughter.

My grandmother passes at 6:00 am. My dad is a volunteer at the swimming club and his first lessons start at 8:00 am, and his first break is around 10:00 am. My family knows this; he’s been doing this for twenty years now. 

At 10:00 am, he checks his phone and sees a missed call. He calls back and gets my cousin on the line. He is informed that his mother passed away. My cousin then gives this gem.

Cousin: “We couldn’t reach you! Why couldn’t we reach you? Why didn’t you pick up?”

Dad: “I was in the pool.”

Cousin: “You should have had your phone with you; you knew Grandmother was doing bad.”

Dad: “I know, but I was in waist-deep water.”

Cousin: “You should have taken your phone with you!”

Dad changed the subject. My cousin was probably grieving, but it’s a bit silly to expect a swimming instructor, who is supposed to keep an eye on little children, to have their phone with them in waist-deep water.

When Someone’s Death Is An Inconvenience, You Have Reached Peak Entitlement

, , , , , , | Right | August 26, 2021

I work in an insurance office. The owner had some serious medical issues and passed away. We notified clients via mail and email that he would not be available and was on medical leave about a year before he passed. His son started working as an agent at the agency two years before he passed.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Agency]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “Yeah, I need to speak to [Boss].”

Me: “I apologize, but [Boss] is currently on medical leave and is not available for calls. I can assist you.”

Client: “I’m a friend of his; he’ll want to speak to me.”

Me: “You are free to reach out to him personally, but he is not in the office at this time.”

Client: “All right, what’s his cell number?”

Me: “I am unable to give out his personal information at this time. I am happy to pass on a message, though.”

Client: “No, it’s okay. We go way back.”

Me: “Sir, I cannot give out his personal information. Is there a message I can pass on to him?”

Client: “I’m getting really sick of not being able to reach him. All I’ve gotten for the last several months is excuses. You need to tell him it’s very unprofessional for him not to talk to his clients.”

At this point, the clients have been notified via mail and email, and I have been told to refer people to look at the notice we sent. We are really trying not to say over and over in the office that [Boss] died because we all loved the guy and are mourning the loss, but this guy won’t let up.

Me: “Sir, as I said, he is not available.”

Client: “He needs to get available. I demand a call back!”

Me: “Sir, he passed away. He cannot call you back. I can help you with what you need, but he will not be calling.”

Client: “That is very unprofessional! I’m sick of excuses!”

Me: “Please hold.”

I go to the son’s office and let him know what is going on. He’s generally a very laid-back person but is very protective of his dad and touchy about anyone who tries to bad-mouth him.

Son: “Send him to me now.”

I went back to my desk and transferred the call, and for several minutes, I heard a lot of angry talking. The son then came out and told me to mark on the client’s file very clearly that he was not allowed back in the agency.

Dad Is Applauding From The Great Gas Station In The Sky

, , , , , | Right | July 27, 2021

My dad owned an independent gas station. When he passed away, I ended up taking it over and running it.

In comes a customer with that particular swagger of somebody who “knows” that he’s getting his way. I carefully brace myself for the upcoming battle and put on a professionally friendly expression. He comes up to my register and tells me that he’s a good friend of [Father] and he always gets a discount.

All professional pleasantry drains from my face and I give him an ice-cold look.

Me: “You’re a liar. Please leave.”

He turns an interesting shade and roars that he’ll have my job.

Me: “First of all, you couldn’t handle my job. Second of all, [Father] was my father. Third of all, my father died four years ago, and all of his friends attended his funeral. So, no, you are not his friend and you will not be getting a discount.”

I almost wish I could translate the choked noises coming from the back of his throat to text. He turned some interesting colors, and then he fled at top speed and I haven’t seen him come back.

Zombies Need Bank Accounts, Too

, , , , | Right | July 19, 2021

Me: “Good afternoon, thank you for calling [Bank]. This is [My Name]. Whom do I have the pleasure of helping today?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m [Customer], and I’m just calling to see if you all think I’m dead.”

Me: “Um… What?”

Customer: “I just want to make sure that you all don’t think I’m dead. You see, I recently had an issue with [Different Bank], and when I went in to resolve it, they informed me that I’m dead. But I’m not and I want to make sure you guys don’t think that, as well.”

Me: *Trying not to laugh* “Well, you sound very alive to me, but let me check your account.” *Checks the account* “Looks like we have you listed as alive and well!”

Customer: “Oh, good. You know, my mortgage is with [Different Bank], and if they’re saying I’m dead, then I shouldn’t have to pay on it anymore!” *Laughs*

Me: *Laughing with the customer* “It’s definitely strange that they think you’re dead.”

Customer: “Really is. You know… I should be careful. If everyone thinks I’m dead, my wife might just attach some cinder blocks to my feet, toss me in the river, and make it official!”

What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: jcstan05 | July 8, 2021

I am a headstone designer. Years ago, a gentleman came to the shop looking to buy a grave marker for himself. He was in good health; he was just getting his affairs in order. Ordering a headstone pre-need is a good decision for a few reasons, including the fact that you can choose what goes on it.

Our client wanted us to engrave something pretty crude. I can’t remember the exact phrasing, but it included an F-word and would definitely cause some backlash in my small town. The cemetery, not surprisingly, rejected our proposal. I’m willing to engrave whatever my client wants on a stone, but we’re constrained by the graveyard’s regulation: no inappropriate images or wording should appear on the memorial. Bummer.

We found a workaround: we engraved the scandalous epitaph on the bottom side of the stone. That way, nobody had to know what was under there, and my customer “could read it and laugh for all eternity.”