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TV On Demanding, Part 2

, , , | Right | September 22, 2021

This is back when satellite dishes are the norm to get foreign TV instead of cable.

Me: “Welcome to [Satellite Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m just calling to let you know that your satellite must’ve moved. Can you fix that as soon as possible, please?”

Me: “Um… What makes you think the satellite moved?”

Customer: “My picture’s all grainy and I lost a few channels. Can you just bump it back into place or something?”

Me: “I’m afraid that won’t be possible. You will need to adjust your satellite dish to get the signal back. I can give you instructions for how to do it yourself, or we can send a technician within twenty-four hours.”

Customer: “No, no, there’s nothing wrong with my dish; it’s been in the same place for seven months.”

I know that there’s been bad weather in her part of the country.

Me: “I’m sorry, but is it windy where you are right now?”

Customer: “Yes, it’s a bit of a storm, actually. Now, are you going to move the satellite back or do I have to take this to your manager?”

Me: “Okay, so, the satellite is in space. It didn’t move. If you wait until the storm is over and then adjust your dish, the picture will come back.”

Customer: “You’ve been very unhelpful. Get your manager to call me back; I want to make a complaint.” *Click*

This was in the early millennium so, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the satellite TV provider move their satellite overnight.

TV On Demanding

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Unless Your System Can Prevent Floods, Go Away!

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2021

Our shop has been open for about six months when the worst floods in years strike and the place is flooded. We are in the process of cleaning up, like all the other businesses nearby, when a man comes in. I’m cleaning the bar so I greet him.

Me: “Hi there, can I help you?”

Man: “Yes, I’m actually wondering if the owner is around. I’d like to talk to them about our point of sale and credit card processing system. I am confident that ours will be better than whatever you’re currently using.”

I look around. Tables and chairs are stacked on the upper ground floor, and my colleagues are hosing river mud off the lower ground. This is clearly not the time. We’re an extremely close team and this has obviously been incredibly upsetting for our owner. I make an executive decision that he doesn’t need to deal with this now.

Me: “I’m afraid he’s not available at the moment. As you can see, we’re dealing with a situation just now. But please leave your card and I’ll pass it on.”

I take his card and he leaves. The owner has been wiping tables a few feet away.

Owner: “I love you.”

Best job I’ve ever had. And we’re still going!

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Most Moms WANT Their Kids To Build Character

, , , , , , | Related | September 16, 2021

I was deployed to Louisiana as a volunteer disaster responder after Hurricane Katrina. The damage was so great, and the media coverage so thorough, that an unprecedented number of people volunteered for the first time to come down south and help out.

My job at the time was shuttle driver; I ferried volunteers and their luggage back and forth from the headquarters building and the local airport. Quite late one evening, I was called to pick up a young college student whose flight had just arrived.

When I got to the airport, she was standing next to an older woman who, as it turned out, was her mother. This woman got in a car and followed us to the HQ, followed us INTO the HQ, and then tagged after us while I signed in the new volunteer and showed her where she would be sleeping.  

Mom took one look at the sleeping room — three rows of snoring volunteers on rickety cots or on blankets on the floor — and hit the roof.

Mom: *Hissing* “You are not staying here!”

She grabbed her daughter by the arm and frog-marched her back out to the car.

This woman — upon learning that her lovely child had signed up to do relief work — had driven down to Louisiana from Ohio in her car, timing it so that she could meet her daughter’s plane and check us out.

I guess we didn’t pass muster. I felt so sorry for the girl; I wonder if she ever managed to get out from under Mom’s thumb.

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That Prank Is Just Cold

, , , , , | Working | September 14, 2021

We’re in the first hot days of summer, the air conditioning has not been activated yet, and the whole workforce is gasping. I’m visiting a different department — accounting.

Me: “How’s things?”

Accountant: *Puffing* “[My Name], make it cooler!”

Me: “Eh, you wish.” *Looking out of the window* “Did any of you know there’s revenue police just outside our gate?”

Accountant: *Gasps* “WHAT?!”

Me: *Grinning* “Gave you a shiver, did I?”

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Teamwork Can Move Mountains… Or At Least Trees

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 10, 2021

One evening when I was young, the Seattle area was experiencing one of its windstorms, which can produce winds up to ninety miles an hour. My dad came home from work a bit later than usual. He explained that the road had been blocked by a tree felled by the wind. When he got to the downed tree, he was in a small line of traffic; people were honking their horns and he saw the same thing on the other side of the tree.

Dad is pragmatic. He turned on his hazard lights, shut off his engine, got out of the car, went to the driver of the stopped car in front of him, and explained a plan.

Dad: “There are at least a dozen cars blocked by this tree, meaning there are at least a dozen drivers. Surely we can lift the tree together and move it out of the way. Honking certainly isn’t going to move it, and it’s not on any power lines or anything dangerous.”

And he was right: there were enough drivers and passengers who were willing and able to pick up the tree and carry it to the side of the road. After a couple of minutes, traffic was able to pass the road as usual.

I still live in the greater Seattle area, and since getting my driver’s license, I have twice been in the same situation. Both times, I’ve done what my dad did, telling the other drivers, “A while back, this happened to my dad, and he had an idea…” And every time, we get the tree moved in a matter of minutes. Teamwork for the win!

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