They Think There Snow Problem

, , , , , , | Working | December 10, 2019

When I get up in the morning, I find that it has snowed heavily overnight. Snowplows are making the rounds everywhere, and only the main roads have been cleared, so I’m driving slowly and carefully over slippery streets.

It’s normal winter business until I pull up to an intersection and see two snowplows coming down the street towards me. They’re staggered a little, so the snow cascades from one scoop to the next plow and off to the side of the road.

This seems efficient, except that this is a two-lane road. To do this, one of the plows is driving down the wrong side of the street. 

Freaked out by the sight of a large snowplow driving full-speed down the road directly at me with no sign of slowing down, I decide to make a quick right turn to get out of the way. The snowplow cruises through the intersection and starts honking at the oncoming traffic. The traffic that is going the correct way down the street. Both oncoming traffic and the plow slow down, and the plow manages to squeeze over into the correct lane just before hitting another car, well past the intersection.

I am able to see this from the side of the road, where I ended up after my car fishtailed from turning fast onto a slippery road. It takes a few minutes and a kind bystander to get me back on the road.

Furious, I call city public works and tell them about how a snowplow was driving down the wrong side of the road at 8:00 am on a Monday and ran me off the road to avoid getting smashed into. The response I got?

“Well, ma’am, when the roads aren’t busy, we encourage our drivers to plow like that to save time clearing the roads. They just got a little behind today because the snowfall was so heavy; they usually stop driving like that around 7:00 am.”

That is how I learned that in my city, snowplow operators and the city government think that driving directly into other cars is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, and that they don’t take into account how snowfall affects the plowing schedule.

I’m not sure what bothers me more: that it is a complete non-issue to them that a plow nearly killed me, that they don’t think plows should adjust their behavior when it turns out there are cars… or that the plow never slowed down until it had driven past where I was.

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It’s Raining Dogs

, , , , , | Right | December 10, 2019

My husband is a subcontractor for a rental management company. He’s been working for the same office group for about fifteen years. 

He has been working on renovating a house for the company. The carpets have been replaced, and my husband has repainted the interior and trim, fixed both toilets, repaired and repainted the exterior, and replaced all light fixtures. He has saved repainting the deck and patio for last. From the living room, there is a sliding glass door that leads into the outside patio, surrounded by screening, and then there is a screen door that leads to a deck, kind of an L shape. My husband has replaced all of the screening around the patio and replaced the screen door, and has now started to paint the railings around the deck. Then, it starts to storm, so he has to stop.

The next day, he goes back to finish what he couldn’t do the day before. I’ve tagged along to help where I can. He starts at the steps of the deck and works his way towards the sliding doors in the patio. As soon as he crosses the threshold into the — covered — patio, we hear thunder. Within minutes, the heavens have opened up and it is pouring. Soon, all of the paint on the still-wet deck has washed away, and I’m watching a taupe-colored river cross into the neighbor’s yard. The deck now looks as it did when we began. He finishes what he can, but the rain never lets up.

Day 3: It doesn’t rain. He gets the deck painted. He goes inside to do a final run-through and make sure everything is as it should be. Then, he looks through the sliding glass door; there are two dogs on the deck… walking over the paint, leaving footprints. One is female, in heat, and bleeding… all over the deck. The other dog is male, and obviously answering the call of nature with the female. My husband goes out to the screened patio with a broom to shoo them away. The male starts barking and growling at him. Then, he places his paint-covered paws up on the new screen door. Neither dog leaves all afternoon.

At this, my husband snaps a few pictures of the deck and the dogs and sends them to the rental management company, along with a description of the last three days. The management company group simply laughs and asks when the job will be done. I’ve never seen him look so dead inside.

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Not Conditioned To This Level Of Incompetence

, , , , , | Working | December 6, 2019

This takes place in the middle of a heatwave. We discover that our water heater is leaking, so we get it replaced. Two guys come out, they get it unhooked, and they get the new one in place. Then, it’s time to get the old one out of the house. One of the guys starts pushing the old 80-gallon water heater up the stairs, but after two steps, he has enough. He throws a tantrum, saying he doesn’t want to be the one pushing it up the stairs. He throws the dolly across the basement, gouging a wall, and then he goes back into the utility part of the basement and knocks a shelf off the wall, before storming up the stairs and out of the house. The other guy apologizes for his behavior and says that he will most likely be fired for his behavior. The other guy finishes installing the water heater, but there’s an extra wire hanging down that he has no idea what it’s for since the grumpy guy didn’t label anything. He assumes it’s for nothing and leaves it. They do not take the old water heater with them when they are finished and leave.

Meanwhile, one of my mom’s friends has had his AC die, so Mom offers him our spare window unit until he can get his AC fixed. She and Dad drive it over to his house, but when they return, they notice our house is very hot. Closer inspection reveals that our AC is no longer working. Dad goes into the basement, navigating around the water heater, and sees the extra wire. He tries to fix it, but he can’t. A few angry emails and phone calls later, the company agrees to send an electrician out, even though they claim there’s no possible way the water heater guys knocked out the AC.

We bring out every fan we can find in the house to keep as cool as possible. Like I said earlier, it’s in the middle of a heatwave with real feel temperatures of 110 to 115, if not hotter. Since I overheat easily, I drive around in my car for an hour, then I head into the basement and sleep down there. 

The electrician comes out the next morning. He finds the problem and fixes it. He doesn’t charge anything, and he even takes the old water heater with him. It takes two days for the house to cool down completely.

The worst part is, the AC at my mom’s work is also broken the same week this happens, so she has zero relief from the heat.

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A Blizzard Of Ungrateful Customers

, , , | Right | November 19, 2019

(Our area is undergoing the harshest winter we have seen in over forty years. Buildings have collapsed from all the snow, and many stores have to close several times on really bad days because no one can even drive to work. The cities and counties have to get outside help to keep up with snow and ice management. Today is pretty bad, but several workers can get to our store so they decide to open. Our parking lot is a mess, though, because the company that does our lot’s snow removal is behind and it is still snowing like crazy. We get about five customers that come in this day. We have one bag of salt left and regularly salt the front entrance of the store. All the stores that sell salt are out because of the high demand. A lady charges in from the blizzard outside.)

Customer: “Your parking lot is terrible! My husband just slipped when he got out of the pickup! What are you going to do about it? Where is your manager?!”

Me: *genuinely concerned for the man* “Hi. I’m so sorry your husband slipped; is he okay? Do we need to call an ambulance?”

(Her husband is standing behind her looking at products.)

Customer: “I asked you what you’re going to do about your parking lot!”

Me: “Well, unfortunately, since it’s still blizzard conditions, there isn’t much we can do. The company we hire to do it is behind and it’s still snowing six inches per hour. Us workers may get stranded here today, in fact.”

Customer: “Well, couldn’t you salt it?!”

Me: “The trucks that come and clear it do spray a salt-gravel mixture.”

Customer: “But you said they are behind schedule, so why don’t you salt it?”

(The customer says this like it’s a completely normal request.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we only have one bag of salt for our store entrance and I can’t salt the lot with that.”

Customer: “Why not? Your customers are falling! You need to go salt that lot. I expect you to fix this!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but are you saying that you want me to hand-salt the entire parking lot with one small bag?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: *fed up at this point and worried we will get snowed in* “Well, ma’am, this is the Christmas season and a time for miracles, but I’m not Jesus, so I can’t magically turn a bag of salt into the 100 bags it would take to salt that lot, and I’m not going to put myself in danger by going out in those conditions.”

(My coworkers are watching this interaction with big eyes.)

Customer: “Well, that is very inconsiderate of you! And if someone dies out there, you will have a lawsuit on your hands!” *turns to her husband* “Honey, did you get the pens? Good. Let’s buy them and leave!”

(I ring them up for one freaking pack of pens, all while the customer is giving me the stink eye and ranting about inconsiderate stores.)

Me: “Thanks for coming in today, and ma’am, I just want to tell you how amazing you are.”

Customer: “Um, what?”

Me: “Yes, you see, I’ve never met someone who would risk life and limb in a blizzard for a pack of pens. Your bravery is to be congratulated!”

(I say this with the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face.)

Customer: “You are a rude b**** and I hope you get in a car wreck!” *stomps out into the blizzard with her husband in tow*

(Five minutes later, another customer comes in:)

Next Customer: “Excuse me, can you do something about the parking lot? My husband slipped getting out of the car.”

Me: *internally screaming* “I’m so sorry! We are actually closing early due to the blizzard, but hopefully, they will clean the lot tomorrow.”

(Us employees made the decision to close early and get home before we got stranded. Good thing, too, because we got almost three feet that day and the entire area was closed the next day except for snow crews.)

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This Is An Ex-Lawn!

, , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(We sell a lot of gardening products, among a wide variety of other things. Europe is currently experiencing a record-breaking heatwave and drought. The heat is sweltering, it has not rained in two months, and the media is blanketing the population with fire hazard warnings. Around noon, the phone rings.)

Me: “How can I help you today?”

Caller: “Yeah, I was trying to get rid of the weeds in my lawn today. But when I used my weed burner…”

(Internally, I’m already cringing, because I know where this is going.)

Caller: “…my lawn caught fire for some reason.”

(Okay, so, I know this guy’s an utter idiot, but I can help him.)

Me: “That’s… too bad, sir, but no problem. We have plenty of supplies here to help you seed or plant a new lawn after the drought ends. I just need to know how big of an area you—”

Caller: *cutting me off impatiently* “No, no, I just want to buy something to make the grass green again. It’s become black, you see.”

Me: “Uhm, I don’t think that’s possible, sir. It won’t become green again; your lawn is dead.”

Caller: *confused* “What do you mean? Dead? It only burned for a little while. The fire department put it out, like, within fifteen minutes.”

(I’m literally rubbing my temples at this guy’s lack of intelligence by now.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but yes, I’m afraid that your grass is very dead. The only thing you can do at this point is either reseed or replant but, while I can sell you everything you need for that, I still recommend you wait until after the drought. Current water restrictions prohibit watering lawns at the moment. Without that, nothing will grow, anyway, and sod will just turn brown and die in days, anyway.”

(Silence.)

Caller: “Grass can die? I never heard of that. Is that why it caught fire so quickly? Are you sure you don’t have anything that’ll make it alive and green again?”

(Some people shouldn’t be allowed near open flames.)

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