She Doesn’t Smell What The Rock Is Cooking, Either

, , , , , | Working | January 31, 2021

One afternoon, I smell smoke as I am cleaning around my apartment. I spend a few minutes searching around to see if it is coming from anywhere in my apartment, and I poke my head out the window to see if someone is barbecuing outside, but I can’t find a source. So, I decide to call up the apartment office and let them know, at least.

Receptionist: “Hello, this is [Apartment]. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] in apartment [number]. I just wanted to say that I smell a strong smell of smoke in my apartment, though I can’t actually see anything.”

Receptionist: “Hmm… Well, I don’t smell anything.”

There is a long pause after this, as I try to work out if she is joking and how I should respond. The apartment office is in an entirely separate building from any of the actual units in this complex, so her comment makes absolutely no sense.

Receptionist: “Well, bye!” *Click*

I considered calling back, but less than a minute later, the fire alarms in the building started going off, so I ended up evacuating. It turns out that there was a kitchen fire in the level below mine, though luckily it was contained enough that it didn’t spread before the fire department could arrive and put it out. The smell lingered for weeks, however.

But at least they couldn’t smell it in the office!

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I’ll Have Half Pepperoni, Half Deadly Disease

, , , , , , | Working | January 27, 2021

During the 2020 health crisis, we order carryout from a local pizza chain. There is a queue to enter the restaurant in order to maintain social distancing. When I finally enter the store, I see that the only workers wearing masks are at the front desk. Only a few of the folks making pizza are wearing masks. The few that are wearing masks are wearing them around their necks and not covering their noses and mouths.

Me: “Uh, your workers don’t have to wear masks?”

Cashier: “They have respiratory issues so they don’t have to wear masks.”

Me: “So, of the twelve people working here, ten of them have respiratory issues?”

Cashier: “Well, we don’t ask for documentation of the illness.”

Me: “Cancel my order.”

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God Doesn’t Want To Be Brought Into This

, , , , , | Right | January 2, 2021

I’m head lifeguard at an outdoor pool. One of my duties is to make sure the pool is still safe for customers when storms approach. If the lifeguard on duty sees storm clouds, they call me if they don’t see me already heading out, as my house is in view of the pool. I follow very simple guidelines; if I see storm clouds, I announce the risks and warn everyone that the pool may be closing. If I hear thunder, I make a show of evacuating the pool and starting a large clock for fifteen minutes; if no risks are shown by the end of the clock, I allow them back in. If rain starts or I see lightning, the pool is closed for the rest of the shift. If there is another shift scheduled later on in the day, I reevaluate the risk then and reopen if necessary.

This particular day, I see lightning at 1:00 pm and the next shift is from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. I’ve been assisting the families with packing up their belongings and watching children as their parents get the cars ready while the lifeguard on duty is cleaning up the office and locking up.

I am shouting as families are finishing up packing cars.

Me: “If the storm has stopped by 4:00 pm today, please feel free to come back! If not, please come back any other day and let us know you were here today for a rain check on the admission fee!”

I start filing the admission forms in the rain check binder when a family van drives up and a mom comes running towards me. The lifeguard is returning equipment to the lockers at this time.

Mom: “I want entry for me and three children.”

Me: “Ma’am, I cannot allow you entry while there is a storm active.”

Mom: “Oh, this little thing will blow over. Give us entry.”

Me: “Ma’am, lightning just struck nearby not ten minutes ago.”

Suddenly, some thunder cracks.

Me: “And that’s thunder right there. Even if it wasn’t raining, that means I couldn’t allow you entry. Please do not make an issue of this. It is for the safety of you and your children.”


As if on cue, lightning strikes a tree just outside the pool’s premises. The tree is close enough to the equipment lockers that I hear a shriek and rush over, ignoring this woman, to check on my lifeguard. I find her huddled behind all the lockers, shards of bark embedded in the door of HER locker. I immediately take a picture of that door and help this girl into the office to let her calm down. I then turn to the woman and show her the picture.

Me: “Ma’am, God just tried to kill my lifeguard to stop you from swimming. I don’t know what else to tell you, but the pool is closed and will remain closed until I can get someone to look at that tree.”

I closed the office window in her face and shut the blinds. As the gates were already locked, she could do nothing but try to shout at us, but the wind drowned her out.

When she finally calmed down, I ended up driving the lifeguard to a nearby clinic to have her checked out in case she was hurt. She ended up being fine, but the pool was shut down for two weeks as the lightning strike ended up frying out the filtration system.

The crazy mom? She ended up reporting me every day of the shutdown for not letting her kids into the pool.

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An Unap-peel-ing Punishment

, , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2020

I work as a shift lead at an ice cream shop. We sell banana splits. When making them, we either put on gloves or use the peel to move the banana into place. We are never supposed to touch the banana with our bare hands.

One coworker isn’t the best. On one particular shift, I catch him twice touching the banana with his bare hands. I tell him this after I catch him a third time.

Me: “[Coworker], if I catch you touching the bananas again, I’m going to cut off your fingers.”

I never saw him do that again.

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Where There’s Smoke…

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2020

I had a fairly late call from security letting me know of a guest they busted smoking in the stairwell. This is a 300-room hotel with ten stories. The guest had been found actively smoking a cigarette on the third-floor landing of the fire escape. There were pictures documenting the incident, and the entire stairway smelled of smoke. The guest owned up to it but wanted to speak with a manager first thing in the morning.

After some review, I found that the guest was with a conference connected to a disorder that caused massive allergies. It was mostly young families trying to cope with and drive research for a cure. Mostly kids are affected, and they literally have to eat special food through a tube because they are so allergic to literally everything.

The guest decided that it was too cold — fifty degrees Fahrenheit — to bother following the state law of smoking outside and smoked in the stairway. So much for the sick kids they put at risk. 

I confronted the guest in the morning and asked why they would put so many families at risk as well as break state law, and the response I got was that the guest smoking in the stairwell causing a fire risk and allergy issue was a retired firefighter and police officer.

When confronted with the danger he put the entire hotel and the very sick families in, his excuse was that he wasn’t affecting his wife who had the illness. The guest proceeded to spit-scream in my face that I wasn’t a firefighter and he was, and therefore, he should be able to smoke where he pleased.

Funnily enough, he changed his tone after I explained the issues and danger to the organizer of the conference.

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