Gas Problems Are The Worst

, , , | Working | May 24, 2020

This happens in the pre-cellphone era. Our company routinely performs jobs at a refinery located 230 kilometres away — that is, an hour-and-a-half drive. At 9:00 am, the foreman at the refinery realizes they will need special equipment to complete the job, so he calls the company and they send another worker with a van to deliver it.

At 10:30, the foreman is waiting outside the refinery. At 11:00, he’s annoyed and at 11:30, he starts to worry. The van finally shows up at 12.

Foreman: “At last! What took you so long?”

Driver: *Stalling* “Ehh, I had trouble.”

Foreman: “What trouble? I’ve been listening to the radio; the traffic was fine!”

Driver: “I had trouble… getting gas!”

Foreman: “Getting gas, eh? We’ll talk about that later. Where are you going now? We need to unload the van!”

Driver: “Why, I’m going to lunch before there’s a queue!”

Twenty years later, “I had trouble getting gas” is still the blanket reply whenever someone’s punctuality is questioned!

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Skewering Your Hopes Of Staying Contactless

, , , , , | Working | May 23, 2020

Due to the regulations in Norway surrounding the recent disease outbreak, most restaurants are closed except for takeout. I head over to surprise my husband with some of his favorite döner kebab to cheer him up. 

As I am waiting — patiently, one meter apart from all the other patrons — to order, I see advertisements everywhere in the restaurant asking people to pay with contactless payment methods to avoid unnecessary touching. They’re on the digital menu screens, on signs,  everywhere, asking people to pay with contactless methods.

I almost always try to use contactless anyway, so I’m pleased. There should be no reason to touch the PIN pad, as it is a transaction under the currency requirement that makes you enter your PIN code using your bank card. 

I eventually make my way to the front, place my order, and go to pay using contactless payment, only for the screen to prompt for me to enter a tip into the keypad and hit “OKAY” to acknowledge the total. The gentleman working there has no ability to enter it in himself, so I am forced to touch the PIN pad regardless.

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How Dare You Make Me Do Math?!

, , , , , | Working | May 22, 2020

I’m really bad with confrontation.

Cashier: “Your total is $26.15.”

Me: “Okay.”

I hand her $41.15.

Cashier: “What are you giving me all this money for?!”

Me: “I— I— I— Change.”

The cashier gave me a dirty look. She called her supervisor, took a long time to count out $15, and shoved it into my hands. The whole time, she held my items behind the counter. I have no idea how I offended her so badly.

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Welcome To The Brain On Autopilot; May I Take Your Order?

, , , , | Working | May 22, 2020

While I’m at work, my husband texts me to bring home something for dinner, so I decide to go through the drive-thru of a fast food place famous for their chicken n’ biscuits, since nothing else sounds the least bit appetizing.

Worker: “Place your order whenever you are ready.”

Me: “I’d like two cajun chicken filet biscuit combos, please.”

Worker: “What size and what to drink?”

Me: “Medium and sweet tea on both.”

Worker: *Garbled* “To go?”

Me: “I’m sorry can you repeat that?”

Worker: *Much clearer* “To go?”

I’m still sitting in my car… in the drive-thru.

Me: “Did you ask if it was to go?”

Worker: “Oh… uh… Anything else?”

Me: “No, that’s all, thanks.”

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Curbside Pickup Of Disease

, , , , , | Working | May 22, 2020

We were in the middle of a widespread health crisis, but I still needed some lumber and other supplies, so I placed the order online — and paid for it in full — with the option to pick it up at the store. When I got the email that my order was ready, I headed to the store.

I parked by the door nearest the pick-up registers and found it locked. There, an employee told me I needed to enter at the pro entrance — at the other end of the store.

Since my purchases included a significant amount of lumber, I moved my truck to the pro entrance, which was also near the lumber dept. There was nobody outside from whom I could request curbside pickup, so I entered and asked where I could pick up my order. I was directed to the pickup registers — at the other end of the store.  

But since that door was locked, I had to walk the length of the store inside, through all the other (unmasked) customers. I got there, waited a moment for an employee to call on me, and handed her my order confirmation. She called it in and we waited… and waited… and waited. 

Another employee started coughing during this wait, so I stepped several feet away. I didn’t know what we were waiting for because I’d been emailed that the order was ready to be picked up. Around this time, I told the employee that I wanted to exit the pro door because that’s where my truck was parked. She assured me that I’d be exiting that door.

Then, another employee showed up with a cart loaded with my purchase. Now I would have to go back through the crowd to the pro door. I was really miffed, so I asked if I could get out the nearer door. She said no, but that I could exit through the — relatively close — garden center.

I chose that route, as it got me outside quicker, but now I had an even longer way to push the load — and the sidewalk had been blocked by a couple of delivery trucks so I had to push it through the car lane.

And that’s how this septuagenarian got his exercise today. I am so glad I wore a mask, face shield, and broad-brimmed hat to minimize my exposure to all the yahoo customers and employees wandering around the store with no PPE at all.

So much for “curbside pickup.”

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