Staying Here Is Fines

, , , , , , | | Working | July 25, 2019

(My husband, two daughters, and I decide to spend a week in one of our favourite cities for a vacation. Rather than book a hotel, we go through a popular house-rental site, instead. We find what sounds like a really nice place. Things… do not work out as planned.)

Owner: “Oh. You’re early. You were supposed to arrive at 4:00; it’s only 3:30.”

Me: “Is that a problem?”

Owner: “Yes. I’m still cleaning. I need you to come back later.”

Husband: “Couldn’t we just bring in our stuff and stay out of your way? We’re a bit tired.”

Owner: “No, that won’t work.”

Me: “Okay. We can go buy some groceries.”

(Later…)

Owner: “I’ll show you around. This is the kitchen.”

Me: “Wow. Those statues are really… something.”

Owner: *proudly* “Aren’t they? They’re life-size fertility statues.”

(They sure are. Anatomically correct, too. Exactly what you want to look at while eating breakfast.)

Owner: “See that kitchen counter? It’s brand-new. Don’t scratch it! Otherwise, I’ll charge you to fix it.”

Me: “Okay.”

Owner: “Make sure you take the garbage out before you leave; otherwise, I’ll charge you a $50 fine.”

Me: “Sure.”

Owner: “I’m very particular about my things staying nice. If I find that you’ve damaged anything, you’ll be paying for it.”

Me: *thinks, “Why on earth do you rent out your house if you’re that worried about damage?”* “We’ll be careful.”

Owner: “I hope so. Oh, and don’t make noise after 10:00 pm.”

Me: “Why not?”

Owner: “Because you’ll disturb the people renting the downstairs level.”

Husband: “What? I thought we were renting the entire house. You never said anything about sharing it.”

Owner: “Well, you are. And if I hear that you made noise after 10:00 pm, I’ll charge you a $100 fine.”

Me: *sighs* “Your ad said that there’s a pool?”

Owner: “Yes, there it is.”

Me: *cheers up at the sight of the pool* “Wow, that’s lovely. Um, what’s that noise?”

Owner: “Oh, next door is doing some construction.”

Husband: “It’s really loud. Are they going to be doing that for long?”

Owner: “Probably. They’ve been at it for several months, and they don’t seem to be close to being done.”

Me: *heart sinks* “It’ll be kind of difficult to enjoy the pool with all that racket.”

Owner: *shrugs*  

(She leaves shortly after that, and we get settled in.)

Older Daughter: “Mom, do you mind if I switch bedrooms with you and Dad?”

Me: “I don’t mind, but why?”

Older Daughter: “I’m pretty sure some of the ‘decorations’ in my room are urns containing ashes of dead pets, and they’re kind of creeping me out.”

Me: “What?!” *checks* “You’re right. Okay, sure, we can switch.”

Younger Daughter: “I’m going to go and use the pool. I don’t mind if it’s noisy.” *comes back a few minutes later* “Never mind.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Younger Daughter: “[Owner] is doing some work in the garden shed, and she keeps glaring at me.”

Me: “She’s still here? I thought she left.”

Younger Daughter: “I’ll wait until later.”

(An hour later, my daughter goes to use the pool again, only to return a few minutes later.)

Younger Daughter: “Forget it. Now she’s mowing the lawn, and she’s glaring at me again.”

(The following day:)

Husband: “How’d everyone sleep?”

Me: “Well, apart from the fact that I kept thinking there were ghosts of dead pets in our room, not bad.”

Older Daughter: “Not great.”

Husband: “How come?”

Older Daughter: “Well, remember those downstairs renters that we were warned not to disturb? They had a screaming fight at midnight and woke me up.”

Younger Daughter: *looks out the window* “[Owner]’s back, and she looks pissed. It’s going to be hard to relax when she’s always around and looking like she hates us being here.”

(That was a lousy vacation. In case you’re wondering, none of that “don’t do [thing] or else I’ll fine you” was in the fine print of our agreement; I checked. And she definitely didn’t mention that we’d be sharing the house. In hindsight, we should have packed up and left, but we were in a popular city and didn’t know if we’d be able to find anywhere else to stay at short notice. We were able to laugh about it later, anyway, and the next time I rented a house from someone, I asked, “Do you have giant fertility statues and/or urns full of dead pets’ ashes? I have a reason for asking!”)

Unfiltered Story #152394

, , , | | Unfiltered | May 27, 2019

(I used to work at an order desk for a company that supplied drug stores with all of their products – medicine, makeup, candy, and so on.  These orders came through on an answering machine, and I was expected to enter the orders on a computer based on what the message said.  I was told to never call the stores directly if I had any confusion about what they were ordering – I was just supposed to enter a message at the top of their invoice asking for clarification.)

Voicemail from store:  Please send us light bulbs.
Me:  Great.  No indication of how many, what wattage, or anything.  *types message*  Regarding light bulbs:  please clarify how many you need, what brand, and what wattage.  Thank you!

*Following day*

Voicemail from store:  Please send us LIGHT BULBS.  You didn’t send any yesterday, and we’re almost out.
Me:  *sighs, types message*  Regarding light bulbs:  please clarify how many you need, what brand, and what wattage.  Thank you!

*Following day*

Voicemail from store:  LIGHT.  BULBS.  I don’t know why this is so difficult!
Me:  I can’t stand this.  If it costs me my job, so be it.  *calls store*  Hi, regarding those light bulbs – can you give me more details, please?
Store owner:  Oh, right, sorry!  We need (number) of (brand), 60 watt.
Me:  Thank you!  I’ll put that in for you today.  Just to let you know:  there’s a message area at the top of your invoice, and I’d put a message there a couple of times asking for clarification about those bulbs.
Store owner:  Really?  I never noticed.

(That’s what I thought.  I didn’t blame the customer for this, actually – I blamed my company for having a silly rule about me not calling stores.)

Patient Has No Patience For Rules

, , , , | | Right | May 22, 2019

(Our doctor’s office has three doctors, one of whom has just moved to this building from another clinic. The clinic used to be a bank, and has doors that open onto the street, but because there are a step and a bus stop directly in front, we have those doors locked and a sign asking patients to use the back door so that there is wheelchair access. One of the patients from the doctor’s old clinic arrives for the first time at the new clinic and approaches the desk. She is rather upset. I am sitting next to my coworker, who is this doctor’s receptionist, and I witness the following:)

Patient: “Why is the front door locked? I tried and tried and I couldn’t get in! Why do you use the back door? That makes no sense!”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry you were confused. There is a sign there, and we need to use the back door to accommodate patients who can’t use stairs.”

Patient: *sighs and grumbles* “Winnipeg! Anything goes here!”

(She gives her name, signs in, and sits down. There is a sign asking people to please remove their footwear, as the weather in Winnipeg is terrible and people wearing shoes inside makes everything a mess. This is not uncommon in Winnipeg; many clinics have places to leave your shoes. The patient sits for a few minutes, and then sees the sign.)

Patient: *suddenly screaming* “TAKE OFF MY SHOES?! NO ONE IS GOING TO FORCE ME TO TAKE MY SHOES OFF! WHAT IS THIS, A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY?!”

(My coworker and I are blown away and just sort of sit there, stunned.)

Patient: “THAT’S IT! JUST CANCEL MY APPOINTMENT! I AM NEVER COMING BACK HERE AGAIN!”

Receptionist: “Okaaaaayyy…”

(The patient storms out and we cancel her appointment. Several hours later, the phone rings.)

Patient: “I must speak to [Doctor]!”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, the doctor is in with patients right now and can’t take phone calls. Can I take a message?”

Patient: “I was in earlier and I left because it was so silly. Why is the front door locked? I must speak to [Doctor]!”

Receptionist: “The doctor doesn’t take phone calls from patients, ma’am. He can’t speak to you.”

Patient: “I NEED TO SPEAK TO HIM RIGHT NOW!”

Receptionist: *finally having enough* “You had your chance to speak with him when you had your appointment, but you chose to leave. You have been very rude. You can find yourself a new family doctor. Goodbye.”

His Advice Is Neutral At Best

, , , , , , | | Healthy | May 6, 2019

(We have had our cat, Fritz, since he was a tiny kitten, and he’s always seen the same vet. One day, when Fritz is around eight years old, he starts spraying urine against furniture instead of going in his box. Knowing that this could be a symptom of something serious – besides being annoying and gross – I promptly make an appointment for him to see his vet.)

Vet: “Well, we’ve examined his urine for crystals, and he doesn’t have any. That can mean only one thing.” *stares at me accusingly*

Me: *after an expectant pause* “Yes?”

Vet: “You need to get him neutered. Honestly, I don’t know why you haven’t done so yet. He’s eight years old; he should have been neutered years ago.”

Me: “But–”

Vet: “No, I’m serious. This sort of spraying activity is very common in an unneutered male, and–”

Me: “But he is neutered.”

Vet: “What?”

Me: “In fact, you’re the one who did it. We had it done right after we got him from the Humane Society. It should be in his file.”

Vet: *looks at the start of the file* “Oh.”

Me: “So, something else must be causing this behaviour, right?”

Vet: *still processing the fact that he was wrong about Fritz not being fixed* “Well… are there any new cats in the neighbourhood?”

Me: “Come to think of it, yes. Our neighbour across the back lane just got a new cat. Fritz sometimes sees him through the window and hisses at him.”

Vet: “Well, there you go.” *looks at me triumphantly*

Me: “Um, what do you mean?”

Vet: “Fritz is antagonized by that new cat. He’s spraying to assert his dominance in his own home.”

Me: “Okay, so… What do I do?”

Vet: “Do? There’s nothing you can do. Apart from moving, that is!” *laughs*

(Very helpful. I started looking for a new vet after that.)

Needs A Color And Husband Correction

, , , , | | Right | May 5, 2019

(I am working as a stylist and assistant manager at a hair salon in a mall. It is closing time and there is only one stylist working on a client who came in for a rather complex colour correction that is taking longer than expected; everyone else is cleaning their stations and the salon in general. As assistant manager, I need to count out the till and balance everything for the day. Luckily, the woman who is still having her hair done instructs her husband to pay for her services before she is done so I can count out the till and send everyone but myself and the stylist still working home.)

Me: *counting the till*

Client’s Husband: *standing over me shouting numbers* “42, 86, 12!” *laughs* “Lost your count did ya?!” *laughs more*

Me: “Yes, sir, I did and I am trying to balance out the till so all the others can go home.”

(I start my count again.)

Client’s Husband: “22, 6, 89!” *laughs* “Gotcha again! If I have to wait for my wife, so should everybody! I paid good money on this!”

Me: “Well, all of these stylists are commissioned-based, so they are not being paid to sit here and wait, yet they cannot leave until I can be assured that the till is balanced.”

Client’s Husband: “Well, then, I want my tip portion back. They shouldn’t be paid to just sit there and wait!”

Me: “Again, they are not being paid to just sit here and wait; they are merely stuck waiting unpaid and have places they need to be. The only people that have to stay until after the till is balanced are me and [Stylist working on his wife]. You are delaying this by preventing me from doing my job.”

Client’s Husband: “Well, what if I wanted to buy some products? You can’t refuse a sale, can you?!”

(He proceeds to grab the priciest items from our retail area, none of which would be helpful for him or his wife.)

Client’s Husband: “Keep the tills open and keep everyone here until we leave!”

(It is then that the client herself comes from the sinks, water dripping in her eyes.)

Client: “[Husband]! Stop being such a d**k! Go get in the car outside and stop it!  Let [My Name] do her job and [Stylist] do her job so everyone else can go home! It is no one here’s fault that I tried to colour my hair myself and it is taking longer to fix it than expected!”

(The client’s husband walked out sheepishly, and I managed to balance the till in no time so everyone else could leave for the night. BONUS: The client came back with flowers for [Stylist], left a generous tip for both the stylist and me for staying extra late, and pizza showed up later with an apology to the entire salon for her husband’s behaviour.)

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