A Battery Of Smugness

, , , , , | Right | May 3, 2021

I am the “disrupted operations supervisor” for my airline, dealing with delays, cancellations, and disruptive passengers. I’m called to escort a passenger to the luggage claim because his bag is vibrating, and the police want to speak with him.

The officer opens the bag in front of him and removes a battery-operated shaving machine.

Officer: “Sir, do you know it’s illegal to carry batteries in your hold luggage?”

Passenger: “No, I didn’t.”

Then he turns to me and asks:

Passenger: “How are you going to fix this?”

Me: “Well, either you remove the battery or you carry it in your hand.”

Passenger: *Yelling* “The battery can’t be removed, you moron! And I’m not taking nothing in my hands.” *Smirking* “So, how are you going to fix it?”

I signal the officer to stand down and answer.

Me: “Sir, please there’s no need for that. In this case, the item will have to stay behind unless you’re willing to reconsider.”

Passenger: “H*** no. You’re not keeping it and I won’t carry it in my hand.” *Smirking again* “So, how are you going to fix it?”

I repeat myself and he repeats his question.

Me: “Sir, I don’t have time for this.”

I put the item in the destruction bin.

Me: “Please proceed to the boarding gate and have a nice flight.”

As I’m turning away, the police start to escort him back to the boarding lounge.

Passenger: “I guess I’ll just borrow my friend’s machine from his bag.”

The cops stopped and led him into the police station. The airport called his friend and removed his bags from the plane, causing a ten-minute delay. They were issued fines and lost their flight.

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I’ve Never Felt So Safe!

, , , , , | Working | April 26, 2021

I have just noticed some fraudulent charges on our bank account at a big box store in Texas from my husband’s debit card. I immediately check to see if he still has his card — he does — and then call to get it canceled.

As a matter of “security,” I know that the card shouldn’t even work out of state without someone calling in and setting a travel advisory.

Because it’s after hours on a Sunday, I have to wait until the next day to dispute the charges, which results in the following exchange.

Bank Accounts Manager: “What can I help you with?”

Me: “My husband’s card was used in Texas, and I need to dispute the charges and get him a new card.”

Manager: “Okay. What is the name on the account?”

Me: “[My Name], and my husband is [Husband].”

Manager: “Okay, yes, I see those charges. It never should have happened because we locked down Texas after a lot of these happening.”

Me: “Well, I just need to dispute the charges and get him a new card.”

Manager: “Oh, he doesn’t need a new card.”

Me: “I already canceled it with the rep last night, so he will definitely need a new one.”

Manager: “Well, you shouldn’t have done that! He doesn’t need a new card.”

Me: “Regardless, could you please just order it for me?”

Manager: “Okay. I have the charges disputed and the money back into your account, and the new card is ordered. Is there anything else you need?”

Me: “No, thank you. Have a good day!”

It wasn’t until after I hung up that I realized she never asked me for identifiers beyond the name on the account. Gee, I wonder how the card was unlocked for use in Texas?

I had to call a second time about a month later when the card didn’t arrive. It turned out that she had never ordered it.

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The Curse Of The Babyface

, , , , | Working | April 16, 2021

The local casino is near both my mom’s work and my university, so some days, when our lunch breaks overlap, we and my stepdad meet for lunch there. I turned twenty-one about eight months ago, but I still look young for my age. This means that the staff looks a little extra hard at my ID when I enter the building. I sit down with my family at a table, and while we’re waiting for our food, we notice a security guard walking nearby.

Stepdad: “Is he looking at [My Name]?

Mom: “I think he is.”

I have a feeling this means he’s debating how old I am, but we brush it off for the time being. After passing us about three times, the guard comes over.

Security Guard: “Excuse me. Can I see your ID?”

Me: “Sure.”

I hand him my ID, and he stares at it for a long time.

Security Guard: “I’m sorry. The staff in the security room noticed you and thought you looked really young. I had to check.”

Me: “It’s okay. I understand.”

Security Guard: “You just look really young, and if I don’t check, I could get in trouble.”

Me: “That’s fine! It’s no big deal.”

Security Guard: “You just… look really young.”

My mom and stepdad love to joke about the time I got carded twice, but I’m more interested in knowing how young the guard thought I was!

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This Purchase Was A Slam Punk

, , , | Right | April 13, 2021

My best friend in high school is a punk. Her hair is short and black with blonde streaks and it spikes out all over the place. She wears baggy, ripped-up clothes and a spiked necklace. And she has a face that naturally said she wants to kill you. She teaches kick-boxing at one of the local gyms. She comes into the store where I work, does some shopping, and checks out through my line.

Friend: “Hey, [My Name], I know you aren’t supposed to tell me this, but is that guy near the aisle your security dude?”

Our security people wear plain clothes, and I can see he’s one of ours.

Me: “Yeah, he is.”

Friend: “Oh, good. I don’t have to kick his a** for following me around the store, then. Could you let him know I’m actually picking things up for the church?”

With that, she leaves. I call the security guy over, laughing, and tell him who she is and what she was doing.

Me: “You got to remember that just because they dress like punks, it doesn’t mean they’re up to no good.”

And to make my point, I nodded toward another customer who had just come in who looked like a soccer mom. Every month, she tried to steal around $400 worth of Legos.

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Star-Crossed Rock-Lovers

, , , , | Working | March 26, 2021

It’s my first time flying internationally — just from the USA to Canada, and the previous times I’d been to Canada were by car before passports were required — so it’s also my first time through customs. I either miss the announcement and signs concerning declaration forms or there just aren’t any, and I am the only person not in the know, as when we get off the plane in Quebec, I am the only one who doesn’t have a form filled out.

Cue me hastily filling out paperwork on a back table while all the other passengers finish their interviews and carry on with their travels. Finally done, I look up and see that I am now alone with a single customs agent waiting on me. I approach her and hand over my forms. The agent reviews them.

Canadian Agent: “What’s the reason for your visit?”

Me: “I’m visiting a friend.”

Canadian Agent: “And how did you meet?”

Me: “Online.”

I notice the agent’s eyes narrowing suspiciously at this.

Canadian Agent: “What is their name, and how long have you known each other?”

Me: “[Friend’s Full Name], and we’ve known each other for ten years.”

Canadian Agent: “Is this your first time meeting in person?”

Me: “Yes, but we voice and video chat frequently as well as send each other mail occasionally.”

Canadian Agent: “Where does your friend live?”

Me: “[Small Town] on the coast.”

Canadian Agent: “And you’re just friends?”

Her tone has changed to downright accusatory and I’m a bit taken aback.

Me: “Yes. She’s one of my best and oldest friends. We’ve just never had a chance to meet in person before due to the distance.”

I am asked a few more probing questions into the nature of my relationship with my friend, each getting more direct and suggestive about what I intend to do with my “friend,” as if the concept of traveling internationally to meet someone who you have a platonic relationship with is completely impossible.

I finally manage to escape that uncomfortable line of questioning and enjoy a lovely time with my friend and her family! Then comes my return trip and second time through customs.

The American agent glances over my forms and passport.

American Agent: “Welcome back.”

They go through a spiel about taxable goods, high-value purchases, and forbidden items, asking if I have anything to declare.

Me: “Nope, none of that.”

The agent indicates toward my large suitcase.

American Agent: “What’s in there?”

Me: “Mostly rocks. Turns out the area I went to has lots of raw jasper!”

American Agent: “Really?! That’s awesome!”

And with that, I was sent on my way. I’m sure it was mostly just the difference between leaving and returning to the country, but the fifth degree the Canadian agent gave me about my friend still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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