Needs More Blue On De Ting

, , , , , , | Right | March 29, 2019

(I work at a budget hotel chain. We’re a very small branch, so on evenings and nights, there’s only a single employee staffing the whole thing. As this one employee frequently needs to be working around the hotel, we have a blue button at reception with instructions to press it to call the receptionist if they’re not behind the desk. One evening, I come back to reception to find an indignant-looking man at the desk.)

Me: “Oh, good evening. Can I help you?”

Customer: “I hope you can. I’ve been waiting here twenty minutes now.”

Me: “Oh, gosh! I’m sorry about that, sir. Did you press the blue button?”

Customer: “No. I couldn’t find it.”

Me: “Oh. Well, in future, if there’s anything you need, just press here. I can’t know you’re here if you don’t press the button.”

(I indicate the blue button. Note that this button is right in the middle of the reception desk. It is right next to a sign instructing customers to press it for assistance. There are a second set of instructions above the button, in case customers missed the first set. This button is the only button on the desk. It is also labelled, “BLUE BUTTON,” in large letters.)

Customer: *looks at the button for a second* “Oh… Well, I couldn’t find it. It isn’t blue enough.”

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They’re Colder Than The Fridge

, , , , , | Working | June 28, 2018

(After nearly twenty years of verbal and physical abuse from my overbearing father, my mum has finally worked up the courage to leave him. The council allocates us a new house, and most of our furniture is odd bits and pieces donated by relatives. The only luxuries Mum has allowed herself are a new carpet, and kitchen appliances. She tries to order a fridge from [Catalogue], but on the day of delivery we get a call to say the lorry’s broken down and we’ll get the fridge next week. Bearing in mind we have eaten microwave meals for a week — as we only have a microwave — and the fact my brother is special needs, Mum rings to ask if it can be delivered sooner. The customer services woman sounds like she really couldn’t care less, and Mum complains about her, but it is agreed the fridge will be delivered the next day. Next afternoon, we get a phone call from the delivery men.)

Delivery Man: “Right, well, we can’t find your house on the GPS, ’cause it’s a new build, isn’t it?”

Mum: “Yes, the rest of [Street] is a building site. If you tell me where you are–“

Delivery Man: *shouting* “Just give us the f****** street names, would you? We’re from Bristol. We don’t know this f****** town.”

Mum: *in tears* “I’m sorry, but I don’t like your attitude. You know what? Just leave it. I’ll get a fridge from somewhere else–“

Delivery Man: “S***.”

(My mum hangs up on him, sobbing about men and how horrible people are these days. After giving her a hug, I convince her to ring up to complain, but before she can, she gets a call from a nice customer service woman. The nice woman assures her she did nothing wrong, writes down directions to our house, and promises that the delivery men will be on their best behaviour. A few minutes later, we see the white lorry reverse down our half-finished street. We know they’ll be trouble before they even come to the door, because a builder asks them to move to one side so they can get a forklift down to the building site.)

Delivery Man: “F*** off, mate.”

(The builder backs off, but keeps an eye on them, as do the rest of his team.)

Mum: *opens the door, and looks at the delivery men’s muddy shoes* “I’m really sorry, but would you mind taking your shoes off? I have a new carpet and—”

Delivery Man: “No, can’t do that. Look, do you want this f****** fridge or not?”

Mum: *finally losing her temper* “You know what? Just forget it. FORGET IT! Just take the d*** thing back and I’ll get my money back.”

(She closed the door on them. Grumbling, they went back to their lorry and sped off. The builders waited until they’d left before resuming their work. Needless to say, we’re going to order a fridge from somewhere else.)

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Has No Idea What They Are Talking About

, , , , | Healthy | April 22, 2018

(I am seventeen years old, and claim disability benefit. Part of my autism means that I cannot speak over the phone — I literally start shaking and have a panic attack if my phone so much as starts ringing. Usually this is not a problem, as my mum will talk for me if it’s an urgent call, and the words, “Does not speak on phone,” are plastered all over my documents and disability claim form. Unfortunately, though, we’ve had some variation of this conversation too many times.)

Caller: “Hello, this is [Disability Allowance]. What can we do for you today?”

Mum: “Hi, I’m calling on behalf of my daughter.” *explains problem*

Caller: “Okay, [My Name]—”

Mum: “No, I’m her mother.”

Caller: “You’re not [My Name]?”

Mum: “No.”

Caller: “Oh, okay. Who are you? Are you the power of attorney?”

Mum: “No, I’m just her mother. She can speak for herself, just not over the phone.”

Caller: “That’s not allowed. We have to speak to [My Name].”

Mum: “But she can’t—”

Caller: “We’re not allowed to have this discussion with you without her direct consent, even if you are a blood relative. Is she there?”

Mum: “Yes, but—”

Caller: “Please pass us over to [My Name], or I will have to terminate this call. All she needs to do is give consent for you to talk on her behalf.”

Mum: *giving me an apologetic look* “So, let me get this straight… You want my autistic daughter to talk to you over the phone, to tell you she can’t talk over the phone?

Caller: “Yes.”

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Backing Up Your Phone Is More Reliable

, , , , , | Related | April 19, 2018

(My sister has recently worked up the courage to kick out her abusive husband. The only problem is that he needs help moving his stuff to his new flat, but he doesn’t have a car. Being the nice person that I am, I offer to drive him there, and my teenage niece tags along so I can drop her off in town later. After a long, uncomfortably silent journey, we get to the flat. The husband basically bullies me into helping carry his stuff inside, but my niece manages to convince him to let her stay in the car. She’s on her phone. I grab some stuff and go up to the flat, feeling unsettled by the husband’s sullen silence.)

Husband: “Put that box just in there.”

(I do, and turn just in time to see him close the door. Although he has always been friendly toward me, I’ve heard what he’s capable of, and am understandably nervous. He insists on showing me around before I leave. I agree, but soon come to regret my decision.)

Husband: “…and here’s the bedroom.” *he gestures toward the far wall* “There are two old biddies next door, who like each other very much. I used to turn the TV up at night, but now I just sit and listen to them. It’s quite funny.” *he starts to imitate moaning noises and squeaking*

Me: *freaked out* “Right… Well, I’ve got to go now. [Niece] is waiting in the car.”

(He just stares at me.)

Me: “I’ll just let myself out.”

(I practically flee the building, and scramble into my car, creeped out. My niece looks up from her phone for the first time all day, looking at me with mild interest.)

Niece: “I can’t believe you went with him. The number one rule of staying alive as a young woman: Never go into a flat with a strange man, especially without backup.”

Me: *laughing nervously* “Oh, I was kind of hoping you’d be my backup. Just out of interest… How long would you have left it before coming after me?”

Niece: “I’d like to say ten minutes…”

Me: “But?”

Niece: “Realistically? Probably when my phone ran out of battery.”

(Needless to say, I was not impressed.)

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Kicking Yourself For Saying It

, , , , , | Related | April 17, 2018

(We are in the middle of moving house. My mother and I — both quite small women — have been tasked with moving a heavy ottoman upstairs. We get stuck halfway up, out of strength and breath.)

Mum: “Holy s***, this is heavy.”

Me: *struggling to breathe, bearing all the weight* “I think we need help. Can we get [Brother] to help?”

(My brother is 16 years old, 6’1″, and built like a gorilla, but he’s severely autistic and epileptic. He’s recently had a seizure, and is sitting quietly in his room, unaware of what’s going on outside his little bubble. We don’t want to disturb him, but I am at serious risk of being crushed to death.)

Mum: *finally giving in* “[Brother]!”

(Obediently, my brother appears at the top of the stairs. We instruct him in what we need him to do. He grabs the other end of the ottoman and helps pull it the rest of the way, but he gets stuck at the top of the stairs. There’s a pile of my books right in front of my room, meaning he can’t go back any further without moving them.)

Brother: *looks at me expectantly*

Me: “It’s okay, [Brother]. Just kick them out the way or something.”

(Bearing in mind that I haven’t heard a word out of him all day, none of us could have predicted what happens next.)


(And I kid you not, he spins around and BOOTS my books, all his weight behind the kick, sending them scattering. One book even flies into the opposite wall.)

Me & Mum: *staring*

(Then, my brother turns quietly back towards us, gives a little shrug as if nothing happened, and picks up the entire ottoman by himself as if it weighs nothing, and carries it into his room.)

Me: *still staring, in shock*

(A few seconds pass in silence.)

Mum: *quietly, to me* “Well, you did say he could kick it.”

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