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Car-Free Makes Him Too Care-Free, Part 2

, , , | Legal | September 18, 2021

I’m the author of this story, and based on the reactions, I thought some of you might like this story of my dad.

This story took place a few years before the other story, when my dad had just started working at the hospital. To get to and from work, and around in general, he used a mo-ped, since he didn’t have enough money for a car yet. His daily commute would take him through an intersection with a very, VERY annoying stoplight for the bike lane. It. Would. Not. Turn. Green. At all. The intersection was a quiet one, so you can understand how frustrating it was to stand there, waiting, waiting, the minutes ticking by, while there was absolutely no other traffic around to justify the wait. Everyone who encountered that stoplight eventually gave up, looked left and right, and rode on, running the red light. No accidents ever happened, but…

Enter [Police Officer]. [Police Officer] knew about this stoplight and its annoying habit of staying red, and he knew that people would eventually get tired of waiting and run the red light. He would hide near the intersection, catch people running the red light, and fine them accordingly. Pleas that the stoplight was malfunctioning, that no-one got hurt, or that the victim really had to get to work, fell on deaf ears. They ran the red light and that is against the law, so they got fined. It was, in his eyes, a nice way to fulfil his fine-quotum. (Yes, this was a thing back then.)

Except my dad, on his illegally souped-up mo-ped, refused to stop for this guy after the first ticket and managed to escape his ticket-trap every single time because he was much faster. (My dad was, and in many ways still is, a brat with major authority issues and zero empathy who thought this all great fun. It was neither his first nor his last run-in with the law, but it was never severe enough to land him in court, except one time and that was deemed self-defence. Anyway…)

[Police Officer] was understandably very annoyed by my dad’s antics and became determined to catch him, which only made my dad more determined to escape him. He was unable to avoid that intersection. It was either too close to his home or his workplace; I can’t recall which.

One day, [Police Officer] finally managed to collar my dad and gleefully began writing him a ticket. Dad’s temper got the better of him and he ranted at [Police Officer] a bit, finishing with an insult that I think was rather inspired.

Dad: “You are a perspectiveless man in a perspectiveless job!” 

“U bent een inzichtloze man met een uitzichtloze baan!” It doesn’t translate too well.

Police Officer: “Yeah, whatever, here’s your ticket. Pay it within two weeks, or it’ll be court!”

Dad decided to be petty and wait until the very last day to pay his ticket… and it’s a good thing he did, because two days before the pay-by date, he got a nice, official letter. It stated that, because of the Royal Wedding between then-Crown-Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus, the government decided to pardon all minor traffic offences as a gift to the people. The royal house, and the wedding, were not very popular back then, so I guess they were trying to score a few points. So, because Bea got hitched, Dad didn’t have to pay his ticket. To this day, he still laughs when picturing the face of [Police Officer] when he heard about this.

That stoplight finally got fixed not long after that, and [Police Officer] had to find a new way to get his kicks. Also, just to clarify something: my dad and his coworker from the previous story were not medical staff; they worked in the hospital’s kitchen. Make of that what you will. Also, for the people wondering why my dad would tell his coworker not to insult cops when he did it himself: my dad has both zero empathy and a temper he can’t control well, so even though he knew insulting the cop would probably make things worse, he basically couldn’t help himself. And when it happened to his coworker, he just didn’t care.

Car-Free Makes Him Too Care-Free

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Check Cabling But Also Check What You’re Saying!

, , , | Right | September 18, 2021

I work tech support for a major ISP. A customer calls because her TV set-top box won’t start up; the message is “check cabling”. Throughout the process, I have to shout to get her attention because she is chatting with roommates. Apparently, they are med students.

Customer: “[Lots of medical information about a patient].”

Me: “Ma’am, what is the TV doing?”

Customer: “[Lots of medical information about a patient].”

Me: “Ma’am, what is the TV doing?”

Customer: *As if I’m being a nuisance* “Still starting.”

Customer: “[Lots of medical information about a patient].”

Me: “Ma’am, what is the TV doing?”

The customer continues violating every privacy law on the books and probably necessitating a few new ones.

Me: “Is the TV starting?”

Customer: *Suddenly very surprised* “It works! What was the problem?”

Me: “When it said, ‘check cabling’… the cable was loose. Have a nice day, ma’am.”

If I ever need a doctor in that city, I think I’ll just die.

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Unnecessarily Gendering Things Will Make You Purple With Rage

, , , | Working | September 15, 2021

This takes place in 2018. I am a man and I love the colour purple. Purple clothes for men are quite rare, so I am pleased to find a pair of bright purple sneakers in my size. I look for an employee.

Me: “Excuse me, could I try these on, please?

Employee #1: “Oh, I’m sorry, they must have been misplaced. These are women’s shoes.”

Me: “Oh, that’s okay. I really like them.”

Employee #1: “But… they are women’s shoes!”

I am allowed to try them on and I decide to take them. I figure the employee is just a one-time fool and I go on with my day.

A month or two later, I head out to get a new pair of glasses. I find a lovely purple frame. I look for an employee.

Me: “I really like this frame.”

Employee #2: “It is a superb frame. Let’s get you one in a more suitable colour.”

Me: “No, no, I like the purple one.”

I see the employee freeze and stare at me. I sigh in silence.

Employee #2: “But… this colour is from the women’s collection.”

Me: “I don’t mind. I really like purple.”

The employee helped me get my glasses but checked twice more if I didn’t want to try one of the other colours.

I can’t wait for the day that purple becomes a fashion colour for men. I could have turned away from these employees, but then I wouldn’t have my purple sneakers and glasses.

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From The Makers Of Jenga: Cabinets

, , , | Working | September 10, 2021

I go to a thrift store that is connected to a church. There’s a big sign that says, “No refunds,” which I understand and accept, so I go inside. I find a lovely little cabinet, check everything, and buy it.

However, when I get outside and put it down — well inside ten meters of the store — it simply falls apart. In the literal sense of the word. Imagine one of those slapstick scenes — that literal. 

I go back inside the store, with all the pieces. 

Me: “Eh… it fell apart.”

Employee: “Excuse me?”

Me: “I put it down and, well… this.”

Employee: “But you just bought it. Like… five minutes ago.”

A man I don’t know chimes in.

Man: “I saw it happening. She only put it down.”

Me: “I know the store says, ‘No refunds,’ but eh, I’m… kind of upset about this.”

Employee: “Of course! Let me get the owner for this.”

The employee calls for the owner and the owner comes. The woman looks at me. 

Owner: “So, you want to donate something?”

Me: “No, I just bought this cabinet and it just fell apart.”

Owner: “I’m sorry to hear that, but the store policy is—”

Employee: “No, no, she just bought it! Not even five minutes ago!”

Man: “I saw it happening. This lady did nothing unusual.”

Owner: “Huh? She went home or…?”

Me: “No, I only went outside and put the cabinet down.”

Man: “She hadn’t even passed the lamp post over there!”

Owner: “But I checked this cabinet myself! It was fine! It is sturdy!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it just fell apart.”

Owner: *To the employee* “How much did she pay?”

Employee: “[Small amount].”

Owner: “Did you see it happening?”

Employee: “No, I did not. I’m sorry.”

There are no cameras in or outside this store.

Man: *Getting louder* “But I did! I am a witness!”

Owner: *Sigh* “Fine, just give her the money back. But you’ll leave the planks here!”

Me: “Fine by me; I wasn’t looking for a [Swedish Furniture Store] project. Thank you so much.”

Owner: “But this is an exception! No refunds!”

Me: “I understand, and again, thank you.”

I was happy that man stood up for me because I have a feeling this owner didn’t actually believe me. This event did give me a somewhat sour aftertaste and I wondered if I should give that store a second chance. However, right before the global health crisis, they suddenly closed.

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The Police’s Worst Enemy: A Letter Of Complaint!

, , | Right | September 10, 2021

We rent out homes to people. The police charge into one of the homes. I do not know the exact reason, but I do find out it is justified and tied to a crime. The tenant loses the home immediately, we get the keys back… Case closed, right? 

Then, we get an email from the neighbour.

Neighbour: “Last week, the police charged into the home of my neighbour. It was really noisy and quite the disturbance. Next time, please announce a charge so I can make sure I am not home that day. Also, think of the children in this complex. This was very traumatizing for them.”

I do not think this person knows how police charges work.

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