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Something, Something, Brightest Bulb…

, , , , , | Working | December 4, 2020

I’m a woman. I bought a new car off the lot a few months ago, and it’s suggested that you bring the car back to the dealership after a few months to get a checkup. Sure, whatever, it’s free. So, as I hand my keys to the man behind the counter at the end of my signing in:

Me: “Oh, and my left high beam is aimed too high. Can I please get it aligned while it’s in?”

Receptionist: “Sure, I’ll show you how to do it right now.”

Me: “Sorry, what?”

Receptionist: “Come on; I’ll show you.”

Intrigued, I lead him to my car, where he asks me to unlock the door. I do, and I move to pop the hood, but he reaches in and pushes the headlight switch forward.

Receptionist: “There you go. You push this forward to turn on your high beams.”

Time stops as I blink at him slowly a few times.

Me: “Can I talk to someone else, please?”

Receptionist: “What?”

Me: “Like, anyone else. A manager, maybe.”

I’ve never asked for a higher-up a day in my life and don’t really know what to expect.

The receptionist walks me back and gets a manager. I explain what happened and the manager’s friendly smile falls, and then his mouth drops open.

There are profuse apologies, and I head out with a friend who’s picking me up for brunch to kill the few hours my car is in the shop.

I was greeted and helped by the manager when I returned, and he was careful to shield me from the receptionist.

To this day, I cannot imagine what he heard in my request to suggest that I didn’t know how to put my high beams on.

Getting A Master’s Degree In Fierce

, , , , , , , | Related | December 1, 2020

I’m a big fan of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” My mom is a child of the sixties, and I figure she would get a kick out of seeing the challenge where the drag queens perform in a musical where they have to sing and dance as Cher at different stages of her career.

We’re watching together and she seems amused, but it’s sort of like she doesn’t quite get what’s going on. Then, eventually, it clicks…

Mom: “Oh! They’re all men!

Me: “More or less. Why did you think they were all dressed up as Cher? She’s been a gay icon for fifty years.”

Mom: “Well, I don’t know, honey. Your generation does all kinds of strange things. I’ve just learned to smile and nod and let you do whatever makes you happy.”

When “Canada’s Drag Race” became a thing, Mom particularly enjoyed the episode where the queens had to dress up as Celine Dion.

Film Lot, Bond Speaking

, , , , , , | Working | November 27, 2020

I am working in a movie company production office. As a general rule, in my city, a new TV or movie production starts up a new company with each new project.

A representative of the yellow pages calls us, obviously seeing that a new company has formed.

Representative: “Hi, this is [Representative] from the yellow pages. I’d like to speak to someone about setting up a listing in our book.”

Me: “Oh. Okay. Um. No, thank you. We don’t want to be in the yellow pages.”

Representative: “What? Everyone wants to be in the yellow pages.”

The representative starts her spiel but I cut her off as soon as I can.

Me: “No. Seriously. We don’t want to be listed.”

She starts up again and I start to get annoyed.

Me: “Look. We don’t want to advertise anything about us. We are a private company who doesn’t want to be bothered while we’re working.”

She pauses for a really long time.

Representative: “Are you with the government?”

That’s not the assumption I was expecting — especially since “Production” is in the company name — but I say:

Me: “Sure, yes, we are with the government.”

Representative: “Wow… Okay. Your secret is safe with me. Thank you and goodbye.”

I’ve never fielded that sort of call before or since, but I loved that she thought she’d stumbled on a secret government operation.

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

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Read the Best Of November 2020 roundup!

Racking Up The Grievances

, , , , , , | Working | November 20, 2020

I have a luggage rack on my bike which has encountered a problem. I take it into the shop where I bought it, where they offer a lifetime guarantee.

Me: “I’ve got this issue with my pannier rack which you guys sold me.”

Cashier: “Do you have a receipt?”

Me: “Yes.”

I hand the receipt over.

Me: “So the problem is—”

Cashier: “No worries; we can fix that for you. It’ll be about twenty minutes or so.”

Me: “I mean, that’s great, but the problem is—”

Cashier: “Cool, cool.”

He doesn’t even look at the bike; he just starts wheeling it away.

Me: “Right, but—”

Cashier: “Look. The rack broke, yeah? We’ll take it off and replace it.”

He disappears into the back.

Me: “Oooookay.”

I go out and drink a leisurely coffee. Forty minutes later, I haven’t heard anything, so I go back to the shop and ring the bell on the counter. A different person, I assume the bike mech, emerges from the back, wiping her hands on a rag.

Me: “Uh, hi. I’m here to pick up my bike. It’s a blue Kona?”

Her eyebrows go up.

Mech: “Oh, that was you, huh?”

Me: “Um. Yes. Trouble?”

Mech: “Well, we’re having a little more difficulty than we’d first thought.”

She shoots a look towards the back, where I assume the cashier is hiding.

Mech: “Can I ask, how did you shear off the screws holding the rack to the frame?”

Me: “I swear, I don’t know. I was waiting for a ferry and I just heard a ‘ping!’ sound and the screw heads had come clean off. If it was something I could fix myself, I would have just exchanged the rack and reinstalled it, but I don’t have the tools to get the broken screws out of the holes. I tried to tell the guy, but he wouldn’t listen and said you folks could replace it in twenty minutes.”

The mech pinches the bridge of her nose and lets out a long sigh.

Me: “I don’t want to be a pain, but how much longer is this going to take? I can come back tomorrow…”

Mech: “That’d probably be best. Sorry about [Cashier]; he’s the owner’s son and thinks he knows everything. I hate to say this, but if you’ve got a boyfriend or a brother or something, if they bring it in, they’ll have better luck getting him to actually pay attention.”

Me: “My husband hasn’t ridden a bike since he was twelve years old. He wouldn’t have to first clue what to say without a script.”

The mech heaved another sigh, scribbled something down on a piece of paper, and slid it over to me. It was a note that said, “My girlfriend works here; they’re much better,” with the address of another shop. I’ve gone there ever since and never encountered any problems.

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

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Read the Best Of November 2020 roundup!

The Innovation Of The Future: Micro-timezones

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 11, 2020

I’m playing a game online with a guy from California who I met in the game.

Me: “I’m going to hop off after this game; it’s getting late.”

Teammate: “Oh, what time is it where you’re from?”

Me: “I’m from Vancouver; it’s 5:00 am.”

It is 4:52 am, but I rounded it.

Teammate: “Wow, you’re only eight minutes ahead of me.”