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When You Gotta Go…

, , , , , | Friendly | April 7, 2022

One time in the early 1970s, I was on a full bus heading from Minnesota to visit my cousin in South Dakota. This was back in the dark days of travel before there were many (if any) rest areas, gas stations at every major intersection, and chain restaurants galore. I was sitting up near the driver chatting with him. He was a cool guy and was telling me all sorts of stories.

We were approaching the border between the two states and he got on the PA.

Driver: “Welcome to South Dakota! Enjoy the wide-open views.”

Everyone who had kind of been dozing stirred and looked out the windows.

Right then, we passed a car on the side of the road, and out in front of it was some poor woman crouched down relieving herself. I can still remember the shocked expression on her face as this busload of people whizzed by and the laughter of the bus passengers getting their first glimpse of the… wonders of South Dakota.

Not Ac-custom-ed To This Particular Scam

, , , , | Legal | March 24, 2022

I work night shifts, so I am usually asleep from around 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, at which point I wake up to run errands before work. I’m not sure if the new year has anything to do with it, but I’ve been getting a lot of calls from car warranty places and other scams. This was a new one.

The phone rings while I’m sleeping. I look at my phone to see “South Dakota Govt” come across the screen and this wakes me up a little more.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Yes, this is US customs calling to inform you that we have confiscated one of the packages that was to be delivered to you. In order to clear this up and to pay for your package to be released from us, we need to verify some information. Is this [My Mom]?”

Me: “No. This is [My Name].”

Caller: “Oh. So, this is not [Mom]? Are you sure you are not her?”

This person already sounds suspicious.

Me: “No, I am not.”

Caller: “So, are you Mrs. [My Last Name]?”

Me: “No. I am a Miss [My Last Name], but not that one.”

Caller: “Oh, that is perfectly fine. Can you verify your date of birth for us so we can compare it to the information on the package?”

I’m now very suspicious; what does my date of birth have to do with what’s in a package? They should be verifying my address instead. I pull my phone away from my ear for a moment and look at the number being dialed in. Blinking, I see that it is a cell number from our town.

Me: *Sighing* “No, I won’t be giving you my date of birth. I can see right now that you are calling from a cell number, idiot.”

They hung up.

RIP Betty White, And RIP Your Birthday Joy

, , , , , | Working | February 16, 2022

It was my birthday. At around 3:00 pm, I stopped at a coffee chain because I had a free birthday coffee drink via their app, and I went inside to order because I’m technologically challenged and needed help with the barcode scanner.

The front counter was a bit messy and [Barista #1] was short right off the bat, so I just assumed they had gotten through a rush. Even though it was a weird time for a coffee rush, I knew that this particular location was the busiest in the city so it wasn’t outside the realm of possibilities. Having worked in fast food and restaurants for years, I don’t mind if an employee isn’t 100% happy in interacting with me. What followed next, however, was ridiculous. 

[Barista #1] was standing at the register with a blank stare.

Me: “Hi. Could I please have a venti peppermint mocha with almond milk?”

Barista #1: “Whip?”

Me: “No, thank you. And I have a free birthday drink, but I don’t know how to get the correct barcode to scan.”

Barista #2: *Shouts from across the store* “IS IT YOUR BIRTHDAY?!”

Me: *Smiles* “It is!”

Barista #2: “Happy birthday! Betty White died.”

I am a huge fan of Betty White, and I had not heard this news yet. According to my husband, the news was released as I walked into the coffee shop.

I was shocked, and now I just wanted to get out of a public place.

Me: “Oh…”

I looked back at my phone to try and find the barcode.

Barista #2: “Yeah, we just found out!”


I stared, shocked.

Barista #1: “It’s any barcode! Just scan any of your old barcodes, and it comes up on my computer so I can select the free drink.”

Me: *Scans the barcode* “Okay… Thanks.”

Barista #1: “Now you two can go back to talking.”

Cue awkward standing at the counter looking at my phone, avoiding eye contact until my drink was made. 

[Barista #1] handed me my drink.

Barista #2: “Well, have a happy birthday!”

Me: “Yeah… Thanks for the news?”

[Barista #1] smiled at me and whispered like she was telling me a secret. 

Barista #1: *Nodding toward [Barista #2]* “She’s not doing so well.”

Most ridiculous and awful customer service experience ever.

A Very Rewarding Afterlife

, , , , , | Right | December 14, 2021

Me: “Hi, thanks for calling your [Large Company] MasterCard services with [My Bank]. May I have your first and last name?”

The caller gives me a name. Her first name doesn’t match an account but her last name does.

Me: “And your relationship to the cardholder?”

Caller: “Oh, I’m his mother. We noticed he had reward points and wanted some help to use them.”

Me: “If the primary is available to speak with, I can help him redeem them online; otherwise, there’s a hotline he can call to redeem them over the phone.”

Caller: *Very nonchalantly* “Okay, we won’t be able to do online since he died a couple of months ago, so what’s the hotline?”

Me: “Let me get you over to someone that can help with that.”

I then transferred her over to our Deceased Probate department. What the f***?

This Kid Took Their Task Very Seriously

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 7, 2021

I worked as a substitute teacher for many years. It became a running joke with my spouse, who was a principal, that I always had to work on my birthday because if he didn’t need me to sub at his school, one of the other schools would call. I even agreed to substitute in the dorms at a residential school when my birthday was on the weekend.

It wasn’t a big deal, as we usually celebrated by going out for dinner on a night near my birthday and my spouse and children would either buy or make a cake. And the school staff benefited because it was a tradition to bring donuts to school on your birthday. 

For my fortieth birthday, I agreed to volunteer at our children’s school’s field day, so we joked that I wasn’t working on my birthday, even though I was going to be at school all day.

At one point during the day, my oldest child saw me heading toward the building.

Oldest Child: “Where are you going?”

I thought that was strange.

Me: “I need to use the bathroom.”

My child took off running ahead of me into the building. Again, that struck me as strange.

Near the end of the day, when all the students and staff and volunteers were gathered in one place, my oldest child came out carrying forty black balloons! My spouse had let the principal know it was my fortieth birthday so the teachers had gotten together and ordered the balloons!

[Oldest Child] was tasked with hiding the balloons until it was time to bring them out, and the balloons were hidden in the gym where I was headed to go to the bathroom. [Oldest Child] had to run ahead to hide the balloons in another room before I got to the gym!