Not So Hot On The Hotspot, Part 2

, , , , , | Friendly | September 5, 2020

Whist on annual leave during the summer holidays, we take the kids out to the countryside. It is a beautiful day and we decide to stop and have a few drinks and lunch in a pub.

While my seventeen-year-old daughter is very sociable and quite happy to sit in a pub garden enjoying the sunshine, my twelve-year-old son isn’t. He is autistic and actively avoids social situations, even with family, and hates to have his routine disrupted.

However, we have found that as long as he has access to his games through his phone or tablet he will stay relatively happy as he can zone out.

My wife, daughter, and I sit in a picnic-type pub while table my son plonks himself on a bench nearby and proceeds to play his games. We have been sat in the pub garden for an hour or so when a couple of women come into the garden with three children and sit themselves in the shade next to the pub. No biggie, as we are at the top (sunny) end of the garden.

After about twenty minutes, the mother of the three children approaches my son.

Woman: *Demanding tone* “Are you playing online? My son cannot access the pub Wi-Fi.”

The signal is poor in the garden area.

Son: *Nervously* “Yes.”

He holds up the mobile Wi-Fi device he is using.

Woman: “What’s that?”

I respond as my son is now showing signs of elevated anxiety.

Me: “It’s a mobile Wi-Fi device so he can play his games.”

Woman: “How do I connect to it? My son needs to play his games!”

Me: “I’m afraid you can’t. There is limited data on it and it is for my son’s use.”

Woman: “But my son can’t play his games.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s not my problem.”

Woman: “But why should your son be able to play his games and not my son?”

Daughter: “Because we brought a mobile device and you didn’t.”

Gotta love my daughter!

Me: “As I said, it’s for my son’s use and there is limited data on it. End of.”

The woman then stomps back to her table in a huff and we think nothing more of it. 

I have to point out that even if she had asked politely, I would have still said no as the range on the thing is pretty poor which meant her son would have had to sit near my son to use it. This would have only raised my son’s anxiety levels and he would not have been happy.

About ten minutes later, she shouts across the garden in a rather jubilant tone.

Woman: “Ha! I’ve managed to connect to your device!”

Me: “I doubt that, since you haven’t got the password.”

Woman: “I don’t need it; I have put my own in.”

I’m like, “Whatever; there’s no way she connected to it.” We carry on chatting for another hour before getting up to leave. As we pass her table, she demands to know.

Woman: “Why is your service provider charging me for data?”

Me: “They’re not; you were never connected to my device.”

Woman: “Yes, they are… look!”

She thrusts her phone in my face.

Me: “I’m not with [Provider]… but I assume you are?”

I do not stay any longer and am not prepared to “discuss” the situation with her.

Daughter: “She probably selected personal hotspot option, thinking it was our device, from her own device but there was not enough data available. When she entered her password it was to purchase additional data!”

Not So Hot On The Hotspot

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Click And Collect Catty Comments

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 4, 2020

We are in a lockdown with the recent health crisis. Supermarkets have a limit on how many people can enter, which is enforced by security at the doorway. Naturally, this means there are lines to access the supermarket. 

I’m immunocompromised, with a condition that means my immune system attacks and fights my organs, so I have to take specific medication that suppresses my immune responses. This puts me in the “vulnerable” bracket to lots of things, not just the new crisis. I’m basically 80% liquid sanitiser and soap at this stage. 

I’ve not been able to organise home delivery for groceries — all the slots were full — and it’s been hard to get anyone to collect groceries for me. But luckily, our store has an option for a “click and collect,” where I qualified to place an online order and pick it up at a special counter at the store. I go in a mask, gloves, and all. 

Part of going for the click and collect, however, involves strolling past the large lines of people waiting to collect my order at the counter. While I have the immune system response of a weak tea bag, I’m in my twenties and look fairly healthy. This, of course, attracts a lot of foul-mouthed comments from people I walk past with my groceries, ranging from “faker,” to “selfish, taking the slots from those who need it,” as well as “hoarder,” for having a full cart and being a single person — it was a normal shop. 

Please, guys, don’t judge everyone. You don’t know if they are themselves vulnerable or collecting for someone else who is.

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All Aboard The Passive-Aggressive Express!

, , , , | Friendly | September 1, 2020

I have endometriosis. It’s a fairly common condition, which is unfortunate, because it can also be extremely painful and lead to a whole lot of other physical and mental health problems.

I have just had my second surgery, which went well enough, but I have been in pain and feeling quite weak for a few days after. On the first day I feel like leaving the house, I am to meet my partner for lunch at a place not too far away from home. Usually, I would walk, but I’m still weak, so I opt to take the tram for two stops.

This particular tram line is not used a lot, especially on these stops, so I have the whole vehicle to myself. I still don’t take a priority seat, preferring a seat right near the door, so it would be easier to get up and out; in contrast to this, priority seats have more space that can also accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, prams, etc.

On the next stop, a woman also gets in, carrying a multitude of shopping bags. She turns around, sees me, and decides to stand right next to me, huffing dramatically. Again, the tram is otherwise empty.

I could explain that I have just had surgery and prefer to sit next to the door and that she is free to take any of the remaining fifty-nine seats. However, it’s none of her business, and… she’s free to take any of the remaining fifty-nine seats!

So, I prefer to pretend not to see her, looking happily through the window. I get off at the next stop, and she huffs again because she has to move for me to stand up and again in order to take the seat.

I like to tell this story when people tell me young people are inconsiderate. I would probably have sucked it up if the tram had been full and she had bothered to ask me. But being passive-aggressive with me will only bring people more of the same.

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That’s One Crappy Camping Trip!

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 31, 2020

During my preteen and teen years, my dad made it a family goal to take me and my brother camping to every cold spring in Florida. After a while of doing this, we had a pretty solid routine down, so one morning, I get ready to go swimming first and grab a couple of watermelons to chill with me while my dad and brother secure the site.

I swim out to the middle of the spring, where it’s blasting out water up from beneath me, and relax back with my fruity buoys. A while passes and I realize that my family hasn’t joined me. I look around and spot them in a crowd standing on the boardwalk on the shore, so I start to paddle over. They must have already seen where I was, as the moment I start moving, they both frantically start waving their arms and making Xs in a clear “DO NOT COME OVER HERE” signal. Not one to argue with that sort of display, I settle in to wait.

Eventually, my family does join me, along with a throng of people who had also been held up on the boardwalk, and I learn what happened. A family had entered the water before everyone and one of their children had apparently soiled themselves to the point that their swimsuit was bulging with it. The child was jumping up and trying to get onto one of the blow-up floats the family had, but kept missing, and each time they missed little logs would pop out and go floating down the river. Obviously, no one wanted to enter the water with this going on, thus the crowd.

Thankfully, my position in the spring kept all the water flowing away from me, and the river itself was fast-moving, so the… debris… was cleared quickly, but I still don’t understand why the family didn’t just take their child to get cleaned up or how they remained oblivious to the problem they caused around them!

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There Goes The Neighborhood… Right Where It Needs To

, , , , , , , | Right | August 31, 2020

I am lucky enough to live in a relatively nice neighborhood with a culturally diverse population in a liberal part of the USA. Therefore, it is not too uncommon to see some houses proudly showing off some Black Lives Matter banners without ruffling too many feathers. My family decides that we want to be included, so my two children make one of our own and we put it up near our mailbox.

The next day, I happen to be doing some cleaning in the living room and spy that a middle-aged woman in a business suit has pulled up and is trying to remove the BLM sign from our property! I march right out.

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but what do you think you’re doing?!”

The woman jumps when she sees me, but then her stare becomes cold and her body language confrontational.

Woman: “You live here?”

Me: “Yes, and you’re stealing from my property.”

Woman: “Do you own this house?”

Me: “That’s irrelevant. Please put down that sign and leave, immediately.”

Woman: “You shouldn’t be putting up racist posters like this! It’s bad for the community!”

Me: “Whatever views my family wishes to express on our own property are our concern, not yours.”

Woman: “But you’re bringing down the neighborhood! This neighborhood used to be so nice and now it’s full of…”

I can see she’s struggling to finish her sentence without sounding like a racist. I let her stutter for a moment, hoping she comes to the conclusion that it’s impossible, but she’s committed!

Me: “Ma’am, please put down my sign, get back in your car, and—”

This is when I look into her car for the first time. Her back door is open and I can see no less than FIVE other BLM posters tossed back there! Then I look at the woman again, and it dawns on me; that business suit, that face, that Karen hairstyle… I have seen this woman’s realty ads plastered all over town!

Me: “Are… are you stealing BLM posters because you’re worried about how it will affect house prices?!”

Woman: “Well… they will! I won’t be able to get any respectable clientele if they think this town was full of racist thugs!”

Me: “Lady, I am a forty-five-year-old housewife in sweatpants. Do I look like a racist thug to you? Get off my property! I am going to be calling your bosses to let them know what you’re doing!”

Woman: “You can’t prove it!”

And with that, she kicked my BLM sign one more time for good measure and drove off. I stared long and hard at her car as it careened down the road — dangerously, I might add.

I re-entered my house, composed myself, finished the cleaning, and then settled down in front of my computer. I accessed the recording from the security camera on my front porch, found the footage of my altercation with the racist realtor, and emailed it to both the police and the realty company she works for, providing both her name and the license plate of her car.

Before the end of the day, I received an email back from the head honcho of the company informing me that her employment with them had been terminated immediately and that she had been arrested by the police for the destruction of private property.

I don’t expect everyone to share my political views, but it’s the first time they’ve been accused of bringing down the housing market!

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This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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