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Impatience Usually Produces Results Counter To What You Want

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: volcanodancer | October 11, 2021

I’m an electromechanical engineer. I was called out to deal with a set of faulty automatic gates. They had gotten stuck in the open position, and it was compromising the security of the building. My job was to find out what had caused them to stick open, fix it, and get them working again.

This particular manufacture of gates uses an encoder to tell the control panel where the gates are in their swing, and it turned out that kids had been riding them and had caused this to go out of calibration.

Recalibration was a simple two-minute job; I put a couple of traffic cones on each side of the gates and set the calibration going. During this process, the gates open fully and then close fully twice at about half the usual speed.

Enter [Woman]. She had parked her white Audi in the secure compound whilst the gates were open, and even though she was only allowed in there to load and unload into her shop, she regularly parked all day in a visitor’s space — totally against the terms of her lease.

I set the calibration going and the gates did their first swing totally open. At that point, [Woman] came out to her car and started her engine.

The gates started to close again, and [Woman] pulled out of her space like a nutjob and accelerated toward the gates, stopping just before the cones but revving her engine like she wasn’t pleased.

Seeing them closing, she pressed her fob button to get them to open, but of course, they were calibrating so they were totally ignoring all instructions from the fobs.

The gates closed fully. The lock mechanism engaged, and they started to do their second swing, at which point she started to roll forward, revving all the time. Just as she touched the cone with her car, she pushed it back and broke the infra-red safety beam, thus aborting the entire procedure and making the gates lock in a slightly open state.

She sounded her horn.

Woman: “Let me out!”

Me: “You caused the processor to fault. Those gates aren’t opening any time soon; it will be at least five minutes before I can restart the procedure as I have to power them totally down.”

I didn’t, but she didn’t know that. She proceeded to start shouting and getting angry, so I just said:

Me: “Sod you. I’m parked outside.”

I locked the control box, walked to my van with my tools in my pocket, and started driving away.

About two minutes later I got a call from the landlord of the building, pleading with me to go back and saying that [Woman] was really, really sorry.

I gave in. I went back and started the calibration again — but this time, I deliberately turned the speed on both motors to the lowest setting, so it took about ten minutes in total.

The woman never did apologise, and she still sped out like an idiot as soon as I moved the cones, but it gave me great pleasure knowing that my malice made her almost half an hour late.

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Gosh, Now I Feel Really Safe

, , , , , , | Working | October 11, 2021

This is during the beginnings of the 2020 health crisis. I decide to take advantage of the low interest rates for mortgages and buy my first home. After searching for a few months, I claim one that’s in my budget before it’s even put on the market and move in on June 1st.

I am a single female in my late twenties. I am also formally diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and am an introvert, making it difficult for me to talk to strangers. In addition, I was raised by a mostly traditional Southern family, meaning it has been wired into me since birth to be polite and courteous. All of these factors combined mean I have a difficult time being rude to people and telling them “no.”

When I first move into my new home, I notice there is an old security system on the wall. I don’t know if it belongs to the previous owners or the owners before them, but I don’t think much of it at the time.

A few weeks after moving in, I get a knock on my door at 7:00 pm. My door does not have a peephole and I don’t have a doorbell camera, so I open the door to see who it is. Standing in front of me is a man who is dress in business casual and has a lanyard around his neck with a badge. He is also not wearing a mask. 

Man: “Hello, I am [Man], the Relocation Manager for [Security System] here to talk to you about our services. I’m sure they mentioned during your closing process that we would come by to visit.”

Me: *Flustered and confused* “No, they didn’t. Neither my agent nor lawyer mentioned you.”

Man: “Oh, well, they should have. Anyway, I’m here to offer you some promotions we have, since you fall into a special group.”

Me: “Oh, okay.”

Man: “Do you mind if I come in?”

I’m feeling uncomfortable, but Southern courtesy kicks in.

Me: “Sure.”

The man comes into my house and notices the old system on the wall.

Man: “Oh, this is old. We’ll be sure to replace that with a more up-to-date model with a touchscreen.”

I remain silent for the most part, keeping my distance and staying behind him, so my back is never turned to him.

Man: “Do you mind if I see your backyard?”

I point him in the general direction where the hall is, following behind him. My back door is located in my office. He goes into my office, opens the back door, and looks around.

Man: “Nice privacy fence you have there. Criminals also like it because he provides them privacy, too.”

I recognize he’s trying to scare me, and it’s making me annoyed. We head back into the living room where he casually sits on my couch.

Man: “Aren’t you going to come and sit down?”

I’m still keeping my distance, and I’m getting even more annoyed.

Me: “No, I’m fine standing.

Man: “Well, since you just moved, we are offering you a special deal for new homeowners. We can waive all the installation fees and fees associated with new accounts.”

Me: “And how much would the monthly fee be for monitoring?”

Man: “Our lowest package starts at $63.99 a month.”

Me: “I haven’t even been in my house for a month, so I’m not sure if I can afford that.”

Man: “Sure, you can.”

Me: “I would rather wait instead of signing up immediately.”

Man: “Oh, this promotion is only for a certain amount of time, so you need to sign up today.”

Me: “But I don’t know if I can afford it. I need to think about it.”

He pulls out a tablet and proceeds to ask me my name, number, and email. I think he’s taking my contact information to contact me later. Then, he asks for my social security number.

Me: “I don’t feel comfortable telling you that.”

Man: “Don’t worry; it’s encrypted.”

Me: “I still don’t want to tell you.”

He hands me the tablet for me to put it in manually. I start doing so, seeing that it does the stars as I put in the numbers, showing it is encrypted. I hand the tablet back to him.

Man: “And what’s a good card number that I can put in?”

It finally clicks.

Me: “Wait, are you signing me up for the service?”

The man nods.

Me: *Starting to get angry* “I told you I needed time to think about it. I’m not signing up for a service today. I don’t know what my monthly budget will look like yet.”

Man: “Well, your bank wouldn’t have agreed to give you a mortgage if you couldn’t afford it.”

Me: “I don’t know even know who you are. For all I know, you could be lying to me about working with [Security System].”

Man: “My work badge is right here with my name if you want to take a picture.”

I should have done that, looking back.

Me: “I still need time.”

Man: “Well, I can extend the offer a couple of days. Is that enough?”

Me: “No, I would need a couple of months.”

Man: “I can’t do that. The offer is time-sensitive.”

Me: “I’m not signing up for a service when I don’t know what my monthly budget looks like.”

The man stares at me for a few seconds.

Man: “I see you are getting annoyed, so I’m going to leave.”

Me: “Yes, please.”

After he left, I sat on my couch, shaken and scared by the whole event. I know what I did was stupid. I could have gotten hurt or had my information stolen. After I calmed myself down, I immediately bought a different security system out of spite. I tried reporting the guy but found that [Security System]’s customer service is basically nonexistent.

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The Final Word On Passwords, Part 12

, , , | Right | September 30, 2021

I work for an online shop. Like most online shops, you need to make a profile where you keep contact info and such. With us, you can also store the payment info, so it’s easier and faster to finish your next shopping. Usually, it works fine and the customers are happy with our security.

Then, this customer calls in.

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Store]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: *Fairly annoyed* “Every time I try to make an order with you, I have to put in a new password. I cannot pay anything before I put in the password. Why is it so difficult to order from you?”

Me: *Slightly confused* “I’m sorry to hear that you are having problems ordering. When is it that you have to put a password? I do know that for some payments you have to do that, but what exactly is it here?”

Most payments via credit card have to be done with double passwords — a demand the bank and security there has put forward. It’s nothing we can control. I think that’s what the customer is talking about.

Customer: “It’s every time I try to pay. I have to make a new password before I can get to payment. It asks me to log in. Why can’t I just write my email and then make an order?”

The conversation was longer, but by the time the customer mentioned this, I realised that they were talking about the password to log into their SHOP profile. The customer seriously couldn’t understand why we would demand the customers to have a password to log in and why the email wasn’t enough.

I did my very best to explain the reason without sounding like I was belittling their intelligence. I mean, why would we ask people for a password in order to keep their personal information secure when shopping with us?

Related:
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 11
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 10
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 9
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 8
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 7

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Humility Will Take You To New Heights

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Mike_OxonFaier | September 8, 2021

My friend’s mum is a customs officer in a large British international airport. Customs officers are the ones who check your bags for prohibited items and things you need to pay import tax on.

A few years ago, she was on duty when a famous singer came through customs. She stopped him. No special allowance is given to famous people, and some of them get caught with drugs.

Singer: “Do you know who I am?”

My friend’s mum actually did know.

Mum: “No. I don’t. Do you know who I am?”

The singer was stumped by this question, and his confusion showed on his face.

Mum: “I am the officer who will arrest you if you don’t cooperate.”

The singer wisely chose to cooperate.

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This Security Guard Will Not Guard Your Insecurities

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Crycakez | August 29, 2021

I work in security, and I am a gate guard for a public-owned outdoor entertainment area. While I’m waiting there, a man walks past taking his young son — three or four — to daycare.

Man: “Boys don’t cry, [Son]. Only girls do.” *Sees me and addresses me* “Isn’t that right?”

Me: “Actually, boys can cry. Only really strong men and boys cry; it’s weak men that think only girls do. If you cry, it’s because you are a strong boy.”

The man goes red in the face, hurries to the daycare down the road, and then comes back to yell at me. I turn around and point out:

Me: “I’m a female in the role of a male. I’m doing a ‘man’s’ job. And you are a chauvinist pig to teach your son such toxic masculinity.”

Man: “Well, I’m French and that is our culture.”

Me: “This is New Zealand and it is not our culture.”

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