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So Much For Reliable Transportation

, , , , | Working | February 3, 2021

[Coworker #1] has a disability. Because of this, she is a part-time employee and a transportation service for disabled people drops her off in the morning and picks her up during the lunch break. 

One day, it is 12:40 pm when [Coworker #2] in the parking lot calls out to me.

Coworker #2: “Did you see [Coworker #1]? Her transport is here.”

Me: “Yes, I just spoke to her. I’ll get her.”

I run to the break room where [Coworker #1] is eating her yogurt. 

Me: “Your transport is here.”

[Coworker #1] starts finishing her yoghurt quickly.

Coworker #1: “They told me they were arriving at 1:10 pm.”

When [Coworker #1] gets outside:

Driver: “Ah, we waited for you!”

Coworker #1: “Uh, yes. I was told you were coming at 1:10 pm and I didn’t get a text message saying you’d be here earlier.”

Driver: “Yes, I forgot to take your number, but if you stay outside, there will be no problem.”

Coworker #1: “I should stay for an hour eating in the rain in case you’re early?”

Driver: “And if you answer me back, we’ll leave you here until 5:00 pm next time.”

The rest of us usually finish at five.

On another occasion, the receptionist receives a phone call from [Coworker #1]. 

Coworker #1: “I can’t come to work today. My transport just called me and they took someone in my place.”

[Coworker #1] is reliable, but the receptionist, with the advice of the executive secretary, decides to call the transportation service for disabled people to be sure.

Transport Employee: “Yes, we had an out-of-time registration, but it was someone important, and then we would have had to find a third driver and a third vehicle just to pick up one person. We had to refuse someone else, instead.”

Because of this, [Coworker #1] lost a day off. 

Unfortunately, that is the only company that offers this service in our city and [Coworker #1] has to make do with it. And having seen the reviews, she is not the only one to have problems with this company.

Absolutely Trucking Mad, Part 4

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Artilleryman08 | October 18, 2020

I have a side-hustle on my days off. My job in an oilfield has a rotational schedule where I work two weeks and then get two weeks off. I make plenty of money at my job, but it doesn’t hurt to make a little extra cash.  

I am, in essence, a tour guide for the region I live in. I don’t have any planned tours, but usually, I just take people to see neat places that they would not know about or think to go to.

I am adamant about getting paid up front. Customers sign an agreement that guarantees to protect my truck from messes or damage. So far, I have never had any issues, fortunately, and people always enjoy the places I show them.

Except for one family. 

They seem friendly enough when they sign the contract and I collect my fee. Once money changes hands with this family, the attitude changes; they begin treating me like I am a second-class citizen.

I drive them around to some of the most beautiful scenery I can find. People are often left speechless by these places and never have I seen someone not be impressed. Until now. Every place I show them just seems to disappoint them. I can’t deny that I am a little offended by their indifference, but whatever, I have my money.

When I get back to town and drop them off at their hotel, it gets interesting.

Customer: “You can just park in the back and leave the keys at the desk. Tell them they are for the [Customer’s Last Name] family.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “This truck, just park it in the back. We might use it later.”

Me: “This is my truck. I’m not leaving it here; that’s not part of the deal.”

Customer: “Oh, please, there is no way you can own a vehicle like this. It obviously belongs to your company.”

Me: “I do this job self-employed, on my days off from my regular job. I assure you, this is my truck. I can show you my name on the title.”

Customer: “Young man, if you don’t do as you’re told, I will be forced to call your boss.”

I am thirty.

Me: “You mean me? I am my boss.”

Customer: “Okay, smart a**, get your boss on the phone, right now!” 

I think about just driving off but then have a better idea. I call my supervisor at my real job. He’s been in the oilfield for fourteen years and can be quite the cusser. He knows what I do on my days off and even sends people my way sometimes. He answers and I just say:

Me: “One of my clients is demanding to speak with my boss, so here she is.”

I hand the customer my phone.

Customer: *Sounding smug* “I tried to tell your driver to leave the truck here so we could use it, but he lied and said he owns it—”

I can hear him yelling.

Boss: “ARE YOU F****** STUPID?”

I don’t discern anything else, but I know he gives her a good thrashing. She just walks to the window and hands me my phone.

Customer: “He wants to talk to you.”

She then walks away.

Boss: “That fix your problem?”

Me: “Yeah, thanks, [Boss].”

Boss: “Anytime, brother.”

Absolutely Trucking Mad, Part 3
Absolutely Trucking Mad, Part 2
Absolutely Trucking Mad

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

Read the next story in the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Bumper To Bumper Problems

, , , , | Right | March 21, 2019

Customer: “The bumper is falling off of my car!”

Me: “Oh, no, I’m sorry to hear that! Unfortunately, we don’t do body work here; only mechanical repairs. Do you need a referral to a body shop?”

Customer: “No, YOU have to take care of it. My car is less than two years old and it’s a lease. This should be under warranty!”

Me: “Let’s go take a look.”

(We go out to the service driveway where his car is parked. The bumper is indeed separating at the fenders, but the lower section of the front bumper is clearly dented, scraped, and generally mangled, with some trim pieces falling off.)

Me: “Did somebody hit your car? There’s clearly signs of impact. Unfortunately, the warranty doesn’t cover outside influence. If you were in an accident, you may want to consult your insurance company about covering the repairs.”

Customer: “Nobody hit my car. I did that. My driveway is steep and there’s a dip going in, so the bumper hits if I pull in or out too fast. I mean, if I go slow enough it won’t, but… I hit it a lot. And sometimes I hit the curb when I don’t get the angle right, too.”

Me: “That would DEFINITELY qualify as an outside influence. The manufacturer’s warranty only covers factory defects.”

Customer: Well, it’s a FACTORY DEFECT that they built the car so low! I shouldn’t have to go so slow in my own driveway! So this should be covered under warranty!

Me: “Yeah… Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t see it that way.”

Customer: “But this is a lease car! I’m going to have to give it back and they penalize for damage. I am NOT paying for this!”

(I knew I wasn’t going to make any headway, so I ended up referring him to the manufacturer’s corporate helpline. The case manager assigned to him ended up calling me for confirmation of his complaint, laughing and incredulous that the customer thought his inability to drive without hitting things should be considered a ‘factory defect.’ Unsurprisingly, he did not get his way. And best of luck to him when he tries to return the 3/4 of his car that will probably be left at the end of his lease!)

Won’t Stand For It

, , , | Right | January 28, 2019

(I’m a passenger in a very overcrowded train going from Leipzig to Berlin. The train left the station ten minutes late and even more people get in. Two passengers check their reservations and ask a couple to vacate their seats.)

Standing Passengers: “Give us these seats. We reserved them.”

Sitting Passengers: “Strange, we also reserved these seats. Maybe you are in the wrong car?”

Standing Passengers: “No, these are our seats.”

Sitting Passengers: “We are sorry, but these are not your seats. Here, see? These are the reservations for these seats.”

(This keeps going for another minute, the standing passengers are getting louder, so that the whole car can listen to their shouting. Meanwhile, the train starts moving and the conductor appears.)

Conductor: “Good afternoon. What seems to be the problem here?”

Standing Passengers: “These people are sitting in our seats and won’t give them to us.”

(The sitting passengers are trying to get a word in but are interrupted by the standing passengers. They quietly hand their tickets and reservations to the conductor.)

Conductor: *to the standing passengers* “I’m sorry, but these passengers reserved these seats. Can I please see your tickets?”

Standing Passengers: *hand over their tickets, while complaining about the train service in general* “This is unacceptable. We reserved these seats. We want to be compensated!”

Conductor: “I’m sorry, I found the problem. You booked seats on the train that is leaving for Berlin in five minutes.”

Standing Passengers: “But this train goes to Berlin.”

Conductor: “Yes, this train also goes to Berlin but it was delayed and so the departure times of both trains were nearly identically.”

Standing Passengers: “But we booked seats. It’s unacceptable for us to stand.”

Conductor: “Well, it’s the book fair in Leipzig today and therefore the train is full. There are a lot of people standing.”

Standing Passengers: “This is unacceptable and bad service.”

Conductor: “Well, you are in the wrong train. I cannot do anything about that.”

Standing Passengers: “How rude! Give us your name, so we can complain to Deutsche Bahn.”

Conductor: “Gladly, my name is [Conductor].”

(Lots of people started sniggering and the standing passengers ran off to the next car. I really would have liked to listen in on their telephone call with the complaint department.)

Wouldn’t Have Been A Flight Of Fancy

, , , , | Working | January 18, 2019

A few years ago, I needed to book business travel for an out-of-town conference. Since the conference location was about five hours away by car, I decided I’d save the company some money and drive instead of fly. Even after the company reimbursed me for mileage, they’d still save a bunch of money.

I discussed this with my boss. We found out the company does not allow using your personal car for business travel due to liability — e.g., if you are in an accident and your car is damaged it is a legal grey area. Travel suggested renting a car. I was still okay with this, because I figured it would still save the company some money, and there was a rental car outlet near my house. I figure I’d reserve the car the week before and pick it up the night before I left.

Fast forward to the week before … While attempting to reserve the car through the company travel website, I found that the company had a preferred rental agency that I was required to use. Unfortunately, the only rental outlet for the preferred company was — you guessed it — at the airport. Now, just days before my conference, flights prices were sky-high (sorry). I had no choice but to rent a car.

I drove my personal car to the airport and parked it in the airport garage ($). I rented a car at the airport ($$) and drove to my conference. I parked in the hotel garage for a week (super $$$, since I was parking in a downtown garage under a hotel in a major city), drove back to the airport, and drove home.

When all was said and done, I’d paid to park my car, paid for a rental, paid to park the rental, and paid for gas. It would have been cheaper to fly.