It’s Time For Them To Make A Fire Exit From This Conversation

, , , , , | Friendly | January 21, 2020

(I live in a four-story apartment building in downtown Vancouver where the two exit stairwells are used regularly by residents to enter and exit the building. They act as a sort of communal back door that can be opened just as the front door can be. I often use the back door as it is the closest doorway to my apartment. One evening, I am leaving to take my dog for a walk and take the usual route down the stairs and to the back door. However, when I get to the exit and push on the door it won’t budge, so I push again harder this time and continue to try to push it open. When it still doesn’t move, I look out the little window and see a man just outside the door.)

Man: *muffled speaking as the door is closed* “There is a woman sitting in front of the door.”

(There is more muffled speaking between the woman and the man. I push on the door again thinking she must have moved, and I still feel resistance. When I push again, it finally moves as she has gotten on her feet and is moving away from the door.)

Me: “What are you two doing out here?”

Man: *says nothing*

Lady: *angry* “I was just trying to find a place to eat a sandwich and smoke a joint! I don’t see what the problem with that is?!”

(Smoking weed is legal in this province but is still subject to bylaws of smoking away from doorways.)

Me: “One: this is a doorway and you need to be like 15 feet away from it as there are private residences right above you. Two: you are blocking a fire exit!

(My dog is barking at them, and lucky for me, he has a big deep bark so he sounds much scarier than he actually is.)

Me: “You need to leave and find somewhere else to be.”

(The lady and man then left in an angry huff. The average age of the occupants in my building is probably 60+; I’m one of the only occupants in my 20s. Any one of my neighbors with walkers would definitely not have been able to exit safely in an emergency. It still makes me so angry to think about how thoughtless and dangerous this lady was being.)

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The Ring Is Now Measured In Roentgens, Not Carats

, , , , , | Working | December 29, 2019

My partner’s father works for a multinational company that fits fire detection equipment, not your standard home or small business detectors but sophisticated multi-sensor systems for large companies, industrial complexes, etc. He’s worked all over the country in everything from steel foundries to naval bases.

He was recently tasked with fitting some new systems at one of the UK’s nuclear sites as part of a team of eight technicians. Due to some of what they were installing actually being inside the housings for a reactor, they were briefed ahead of time on the more unique dangers of working in a potentially radioactive environment. The one thing that stood out was a warning to consider removing wedding rings or other items of significant value; upon leaving the site, anything that registered as radioactive would be retained by the site and sent to deep storage as radioactive waste until pretty much the end of time.

There were eight technicians, seven went in wearing no jewelry, and one decided to carry on wearing his wedding ring. When they exited the site that evening, three of them had items flagged as very slightly radioactive. Two of them went home without their boiler suits, and one of them went home without his boiler suit or his wedding ring. His wife was not impressed.

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Those Instructions Don’t Float With Me

, , , , , , | Learning | December 1, 2019

I have Asperger’s and take instructions very literally.

My infants’ school had its own swimming pool, so we had mandatory swimming lessons as part of PE. In one of the first lessons, we had to do an exercise where we were told to hold on to one edge of the pool, and then push off from it and glide across to the other side. The teacher repeatedly emphasised that we were not allowed to paddle or kick. We had to keep our arms and legs completely still and just glide across from the initial push.

I made it about halfway across before I started to sink, but I did exactly what I was told and kept my arms and legs completely still even when I was almost at the bottom of the pool. A fully-clothed teaching assistant had to jump in and rescue me.

Funnily enough, the school never thought to tell my parents about this. They only found out years later — when I was no longer at that school — when something reminded me of it and I told them the amusing story of that time I nearly drowned.

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Frozen: The Sequel

, , , , , , | Working | November 26, 2019

(I work in a supermarket and whilst I know situations happen that can affect stock badly — i.e. broken fridges, dodgy ovens on the hot counters, etc. — I know not to have conversations about it in front of customers. I’m at a different supermarket run by a different company, as they sell a particular product I want. I’m waiting for a supervisor to check on the stock level of the product and I’m stood by the customer service desk and cigarette kiosk. The two colleagues seem pretty oblivious to my presence, despite saying hello to me minutes earlier.)

Colleague #1: *to kiosk colleague* “So, did you hear about the freezer thing?”

Colleague #2: “No?”

Colleague #1: “Well, the freezer on the shop floor that has the chicken in it broke. All the chicken thawed overnight. The next morning, they got it fixed quite quickly. And apparently, they just decided to put all of the previously thawed chicken back in the freezer to sell.”

Colleague #2: “Ew. Why?!”

Colleague #1: “Not sure. I hope our customers like salmonella!”

(At this point, I had been informed by the supervisor that the product I wanted was out of stock. The next day, after I enquired through their website for a stock update on the product I wanted, a survey popped up about my experience and I was honest about what I’d overheard. A manager ended up emailing me about the two colleagues’ conversation, apologising for what I had overheard. I made a mental note to never buy frozen items from that particular supermarket!)

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Incompetence  

, , , , , , | Working | November 14, 2019

(I work at my college bookstore. We’re a central location and people often come to ask for assistance not related to the bookstore. I am working on my own when this happens, but two of my coworkers are there killing time between classes.)

Student: “Uh, hey, you know that cigarette thing outside? I think it’s on fire.”

Me: *thinking this is outside my pay grade* “Oh, okay, thanks. I’ll call someone.”

(After conferring with my coworkers and peeking out the window, we determine it is a small, manageable fire at the bottom of one of those tall ashtrays )

Coworker: “Okay, I have a bottle of water. We’ll go put it out while you watch the store”

(My two coworkers then proceed to run full speed out of the store screaming:) 

Coworkers: “WEE WOO! WEE WOO! OFFICIAL BOOKSTORE FIRE DEPARTMENT BUSINESS! WATCH OUT!”

(I watch out the window as they empty the water bottle into the smoldering cigarette bin and a huge cloud of smoke erupts out of it)

Coworkers: *running back in, panicked* “Oh, God, I think we made it worse. This is not okay!

Me: “Uh, yeah, it may be time to hang up your fireman’s hat. I’m going to call maintenance…”

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