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I… M… D… E… A… D…

, , , , , | Working | November 3, 2020

My aunt is handling my grandfather’s affairs after he passed away. Most of it goes smoothly except when she tries to close one of his accounts. They always say that they need to speak to the account holder to close the account. She sends in a copy of the death certificate and they still can’t comprehend that he is dead!

Finally, after several months of this, she’s had enough. 

Rep: “We’ll need to speak to the account holder. “

Aunt: “Then get a Ouija board!”

Rep: *Long pause* “Pardon?”

Aunt: “He’s dead! So if you really need to talk to him, get a Ouija board.”

Rep: “Uh… I’ll just close this out for you.”

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So Much For No Child Left Behind, Part 2

, , , , , , | Related | September 1, 2020

I am the author of So Much For No Child Left Behind. I thought I would let the readers know that despite everything, I turned out okay and don’t hold grudges.

My dad and step-mom separated when I was fourteen and were legally divorced a year later. Right after they separated, his mother died rather traumatically. My mom decided that without my step-mom around, my dad may become unpredictable, and she suspended my visits with him.

About six months later, I started visiting him after school on Fridays and he dropped me off at home by the time my mom left for her third-shift job at nine. Things were going well, and he was acting like a dad, though I figured it was a phase.

Everything is fine for a while. He has a string of girlfriends that are okay, but most don’t really want to date a man who has his issues. I start staying all weekend with him and teach him basic domestic tasks he was never taught. Then, his new girlfriend shows up.

She seems nice, but she has three grown children and five grandchildren. They immediately begin spending their weekends with him, and before I know what’s happened, the oldest and her boyfriend have moved in with my dad and take over the tiny bedroom that belongs to me.

I get fed up and stop going over because her family is taking over the household and suddenly I’m not allowed to listen to heavy metal because it’s “got too many messages her grandchildren can’t hear.” Mind you, I always wear headphones anyway. Eventually, he moves with her two hours away without telling me. I don’t hear from him except once at Christmas wanting to know what I want. I forget about it and move on.

Years later, I am married and in college, and I have a brand-new baby. I’m starting college belatedly due to lots of issues regarding money and general family things, but I’m rocking it.

My world falls apart. I get a call from my dad’s sister saying she just found out that my dad is in the local hospital, possibly dying. The reality ends up being far worse. He has cirrhosis of the liver and there may be neurological issues. I find out that, because of improper medical and dental care, an abscess has formed on his brain, and if he lives, he will be nearly helpless.

Because we have not seen one another or spoken to one another in years, a patient advocate has to mediate. He agrees to let me handle everything and signs forms, and they have to test him to make certain he is capable of making the decision.

I spend time with him as often as I can, but at each visit, he is worse and worse. He knows me but he sometimes talks about me like I am someone else he is speaking to about me. Once, he begins to cry and beg for forgiveness. I can’t not forgive him, but I am still hurting from a lifetime of rejection and broken promises.

One day, he simply lapses into a coma and doesn’t wake up. I arrange as much as I can and deal with it. If you want to know where the girlfriend was, she’s the one who ditched him at the hospital and contacted friends who set out to find me through various people.  

Before he died, I asked him if he remembered leaving me behind to go to Mexico. He told me he does and that it was really stupid for him to leave me since it ended up making our relationship worse.  

I looked at him and said, “You remember how you told Grandma you knew it was a ‘hassle’ to keep me? Well, apparently, your girlfriend thought it was a hassle to keep you, so she dropped you off here.”

He looked at me with his mouth open and said, “SHE DID!”

Petty of me? Sure. Correct? Absolutely. Did I do the right thing in showing up and making the calls? Yes. Do I regret it? Nope. Do I take my kids on all of my vacations? Yep.

So Much For No Child Left Behind

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Junk Mail Is Inevitable, Even If You Die

, , , , , , , | Working | August 21, 2020

I was living in the same building as my landlady. Her husband passed away while I was living there, and five years later, a certain organization is still sending him mail every four months offering a large discount — in bold letters on the envelope — when he renews his subscription. I try to intercept these as much as possible, which isn’t too bad because my landlady has become an invalid and most nurses and assistants coming in to tend to her don’t recognize the name and leave it in the hallway.  

As she is put to bed fairly early and is unable to get up, I’ve made a habit of checking in with her in the evening before going to bed to see if she needs anything. If she happens to receive a letter addressed to her deceased husband, I’m sure to hear her life story and how unhappy it was all over again, so intercepting the mail isn’t totally selfless. 

Each time I intercept the letter, I return it, marked “deceased”. After five years, I have had enough of it and, frustrated, I cross out the address and write, “Moved – new address – [Famous Local Cemetery] – plot to be asked for”.

The letters have finally stopped.

I sometimes wonder if they finally got the message or if the cemetery is receiving junk mail now.

This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

Read the next Best Of August 2020 story!

Read the Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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You’re Gonna Make Me Cry Again For Completely Different Reasons

, , , , , , | Right | August 20, 2020

I have recently lost my grandmother due to lung cancer and I found out when I was coming back from break. I was supposed to go back on the till but am allowed to leave to mourn. I have to walk through a guest area to get to the backstage areas that lead to the employee parking lot. I have been crying and a teenage boy approaches to ask a question.

Guest: “Do you know where the nearest lockers are?”

Me: “Just go down to the water fountain; hang a right.”

Guest: “Thanks. By the way, don’t cry. It’ll get better.”

Me: “You have no idea, but thank you.”

I was wearing sunglasses that were rather large, to fit over my glasses, and he must’ve been focusing hard to see the tear tracks. However he realized, it made me feel a little better to know that someone who didn’t even know me cared.

This story is part of our feel-good roundup for August 2020!

Read the next feel-good story here!

Read the feel-good August 2020 roundup!

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Overstuffed With Staff

, , , , , , | Working | July 31, 2020

This happened a few years ago when I was still in college. I was working at a fast food joint that was… an interesting place to work, to say the least. I had also been dating this guy for a few months when both of his parents died. The funeral was scheduled for Saturday of that week when I was scheduled to work. It was an all-day event two hours away. However, I wanted to pay my respects, so I asked my manager what my options were. 

My manager told me I could just switch with someone else. I talked with another coworker who was scheduled for Sunday but not Saturday and we agreed to switch. My manager cleared it, and I thought all was well and good.

Cut to Saturday. As soon as I turned my phone back on after the service, I saw a few missed calls from work. Yes, they had tried calling during the service itself. I called back and it was my shift lead asking where I was. Initially, I thought my coworker had no-showed, but no, she was there. 

Puzzled, I asked what the problem was since she was covering my shift. Apparently , they had wanted us both to come in, but hadn’t mentioned it until now, but could I come in today? I told them no, it wasn’t possible, and that I’d see them tomorrow.

The next day, I came in for the Sunday morning shift to see that my coworker I’d switched with was in, as well. Apparently, they told her she was still expected to work it. Not even an hour later, she was sent home because it wasn’t busy enough to warrant having that much staff. I left that job a few months later and can’t say I was too disappointed about that.

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