The Only Driving She’s Doing Is Her Family Crazy

, , , , , | Related | September 25, 2020

My grandma manages to hurt her back; I’m not sure exactly what she did but the end result is a laminectomy. Before she agrees to surgery, she tries trying to manage things with drugs. Because she is on painkillers, I am living with her to handle most of the big things like driving — for errands and taking her to and from work — etc.

I’ve just lost my job when things happen, which is why it is easier for me to drop things to go live with her, but after being with her for a few weeks, I get hired on at a new place. When I get the notification for the interview, I explain the situation and they are willing to work around things to a point, and my mom says that she’ll be willing to switch off with me since it is the summer and her job is off for the season, so she’ll be there when I’m not.

I end up getting the job and my grandmother decides that it is a good time for her to stop taking her meds. I walk into the office and hear this:

Customer: “Well, [Grandma], how’re you doing with things?”

Grandma: “My back is still a little stiff. But my granddaughter got a job, so I haven’t had a pain killer in almost twelve hours and I feel great!”

It is only like six, maybe seven hours since I know she took a pill. I don’t say anything to her because she has this annoying habit of automatically dismissing anything I say, but I go back outside and call my mom.

Mom: “Hey, how’s it going?”

Me: “Do you know what your mother’s trying to do?”

My mom heaves a heavy sigh because she knows it’s not good.

Mom: “What?”

Me: “She’s apparently decided that because I’ve gotten a job, she needs to no longer take her meds. She can’t turn her neck and she still can’t move all that fast, but apparently, she thinks she’s going to be driving sometime soon. We told her the plan, didn’t we?”

Mom: “We did. All right, don’t say anything; I’ll take care of it.”

We end the call and I wander back inside. The customer leaves and I settle into the chair I’ve been using. I’m reading my book when my grandma’s phone rings and she puts it on speaker.

Grandma: “Hey, [Mom], are you excited that [My Name] got a job?”

Mom: “I’m always excited when new opportunities pop up for her. Are you still taking your medication?”

Grandma: “Well, I stopped. I need to be able to drive myself since [My Name] will be at work.”

Mom: “Did you check with your doctor before you stopped taking your medications?”

Grandma: “I just stopped. It’ll be fine; I’ll try and drive tomorrow.”

Mom: “No, you will not!”

Grandma: “But—”

Mom: “No. You can’t turn your head without turning the upper half of your body and that’s too slow to react in driving situations. You have not been told to stop your meds and you don’t need to. [My Name] and I already discussed this and we talked to you about it; when she starts working, we’ll switch off so I’ll come stay while she’s at work, and then she’ll be there the rest of the time.”

Grandma: “But you guys just moved and you need to set up your house.”

Mom: “Half of our stuff is still in a storage pod that’s not going to be delivered for at least two weeks. And we don’t have to unpack everything immediately.”

Grandma: “Well, but [My Name]

Mom: “[My Name] can make her own decisions and we’ve already discussed this. You do not get to go making your own medical decisions and taking yourself off medications.”

Grandma: “I know what I’m doing. I was a nurse.”

Mom: “Thirty years ago!”

Grandma: “But—”

Mom: “No, Mom. You are not making adult decisions here. You need to take your medication and stop going cold turkey. Your doctor prescribed them for a reason. [My Name] is still able to drive, and she and I have worked things out. I know you want to drive, but that’s not possible right now.”

Grandma: *Heavy sigh* “Fine.”

Mom: “Thank you. I’ll see you in a few days.”

Grandma: “Bye.” *Hangs up and turns to me* “Did you say something?”

Me: “Me? Nope”

She only works a half-day normally, so things finish and we get in the car to head to lunch.

Grandma: “You know, my back is bothering me, so I’m going to take a pill. I’m proud of myself for making it more than twelve hours, though.”

I didn’t bother pointing out that it was still only like nine hours, if that. My mom and I managed to juggle the rest of the summer, and just before schools started back up in September, my grandma went through with the surgery. Luckily, she was able to drive just fine afterward… at least until the stroke, but that’s a story for another time.

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Sometimes Love Goes With Logic

, , , , , , , | Working | September 22, 2020

I got engaged in college, after dating my fiancé for a few years. I know that seems young to a lot of people, and for some people, it is too young. Not surprisingly, a few people expressed surprise that we were planning to get married at our age. Two funny reactions came from military officers; I was in ROTC, and as the wedding date was before graduation and commissioning, I thought I should tell the officers in charge of our unit.

The first reaction was from a hard-nosed, very strict, imposing, and somewhat intimidating captain. He broke out in a huge grin and exclaimed, “Congra— Wait, how long have you known him? Longer than a couple of weeks, right?” I reassured the captain that we’d been dating for a few years and his smile returned. “Then I’ll stick with my first instinct: congratulations!”

But a major seemed disappointed and asked me why I wanted to get married so young. She said, “Why are do want to settle down with your fiance right now? Don’t you want to get out there and explore, go see the world?”

“Of course,” I said. “With him.”

She blinked a few times before saying, “That’s… a really good answer. I’ve never thought of it that way before.”

We’re about to have our fifteenth wedding anniversary this summer.

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Do You Even Skate, Karen?

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 19, 2020

My friends and I are at a local lake park. It is fully fenced and you need a key to get in. The key is given out by the homeowners’ group and you have to live there to have one. The park is maintained 100% by a fee taken by the HOA. The fence is ten feet tall and topped with razor wire; these richies really take their muddy lake park seriously.

The park is about sixty by two hundred feet, with a little beach on a small rural lake. The park “belongs” to probably thirty or forty different homes. We are the only people in the park.

There are six of us and we are sitting at a table about a hundred feet into the park, away from the fence, eating and working on DnD sheets, when we hear screaming. I am the “speaker” for my group of friends — we are all about twenty, and they are art/stem students and I am a 6’9″ security guard — so I go up to this middle-aged couple.

When they see only I am coming, they start FREAKING OUT. The man is standing with fists at his side screaming, and the woman is doing this weird dance, making gesturing motions and using the “threatening white lady singsong” voice.

The rest of the group follows but stays back twenty feet.

Karen: *Clapping her hands and smiling* “Okay, time to go! Come on! Go, GO, GO!”

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Karen: *Smiling bright* “You know you can’t be here! You know that!” *Big smile and clap* “Time to go!”

Me: “We can be here. She—” *points to my girlfriend* “—lives here, and we have the key.” *Shows the key*

We have the locked gate to the park right between us and they aren’t making any attempt to come in.

Karen: “Where did you get that?! Doesn’t matter! Let’s go!” *Clapping* “Can’t have you here; you know you can’t be here! My kids play here; we can’t have that!” *Smiles*

Me: “No. We can be here. We aren’t leaving.”

Karen: *Face immediately falls* “Don’t talk to me that way. Get out now. NOW, NOW, NOW!” *Clapping but no longer smiling*

Me: “No. We are here in the middle of the day, not causing problems. We have a key and ID showing we can be here. Do you have a key?”

Karen: “I don’t need a key to tell you to leave! I’m telling you to go! NOW!”

She keeps clapping rapidly at the group behind me and making “come here” gestures with both hands.

The husband appears to be attempting to play “bad cop,” arms crossed over a puffed chest, chin up, watching me through sunglasses.

I speak to my longtime girlfriend, who is the resident here.

Me: “Hey, honey. You allowed here? You want to stay?”

She nods without saying anything to this. Karen’s eyes go to her and narrow. Sadly, this is where things go bad.

Karen: “Oh, really, you live here? You sure about that? You sure you’re allowed here?”

Her smile comes back wider than ever and she pulls out her phone with 911 pre-dialed and shows us.

Karen: “Want to explain it to the police, honey?” *Big smile and direct eye contact*

This is 2005 or ‘06 in a rather rich white neighborhood, and my girlfriend is obviously Middle Eastern. She backs down immediately because, to her, truth doesn’t help here. These people don’t appear to even live in the neighborhood, but she’s sure the cops would take their side anyway.

So, Karen is wiggling her phone at us and waggling her eyebrows. I really, REALLY want to push back on this, because I feel like I could handle the police. Police interaction is part of my daily job as security, and at that age, I foolishly think it would matter. But my friends are really freaked out about the police, so we pack up while the couple stands there smiling, clapping, and sometimes calling out, “Hurry up!”

They wait until we leave and start following us back to my girlfriend’s house. The lady’s phone is out and still pre-dialed. I vividly remember her holding the phone in front of her, displaying it to us whenever we look back at them, with her thumb hovering over the call button the whole way back.

Karen: “Aw, you’re good kids. Thanks for doing the right thing. You’ll understand someday why you need to keep your neighborhood safe! Thanks for listening to us!”

They repeated similar things the whole way back. Then, they stood at the bottom of the driveway and stared us down until we went in the front door and then they both smiled and waved. The husband then took out a small camera and took photos of the house and mailbox, and individual pictures of the license plates for the four cars in the driveway.

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Any Given Sundae, Part 5

, , , | Right | September 18, 2020

Me: “Welcome to [Fast Food Place]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’ll have a fudge sundae and a small [smoothie].”

I instantly recognize him by the order; he’s an older customer that always orders a dessert and the same smoothie before canceling the dessert, wasting our time in making it. Sure enough, when he pulls up to my window…

Me: “That’ll be [price].”

Customer: “That doesn’t sound right.”

Me: “The smoothie is [price] and the sundae is [price]; with tax means your total is [total].”

Customer: “How much was that sundae?”

Me: “[Price].”

Customer: “Cancel that; get me a pie, instead.”

He pays and drives over to the second window. After he leaves, I switch my headset to talk to the other employee, one of the managers.

Me: “Take a shot in the dark at who canceled their sundae.”

Manager: “I now have two motherf****** sundaes up here. Come make one disappear.”

Any Given Sundae, Part 4
Any Given Sundae, Part 3
Any Given Sundae, Part 2
Any Given Sundae

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A Burger Delivered By Any Other Name…

, , , , , , , | Working | September 17, 2020

My brother loves biking and is looking to earn some extra money, so he signs up for a food delivery app aimed at bicyclists. Another delivery app gets more orders but is intended for people with cars. He decides to sign up anyway and just bike the orders, but he has to use his girlfriend’s driver’s license to validate it as he doesn’t have one. When speaking with customers, he uses a masculine name one letter off — so a plausible typo — from her name, which is displayed on their screen. He often works both apps at the same time.

One day, my brother is delivering an order to an apartment building where he needs to be buzzed in. He calls the customer.

Brother: “Hi, this is [Brother] from [Delivery Service #1].”

Customer: “I didn’t order anything from [Delivery Service #1]?”

Brother: “Oops, I mean this is [Girlfriend’s Name Slightly Altered] from [Delivery Service #2].”

Customer: “…”

The customer still let him in, despite using two completely different names, neither of which was actually the name on the app!

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