Not Even Remotely Listening

| Working | February 6, 2013

(My dad is calling up the local electronics store to see if a TV is in stock.)

My Dad: “Yes, I’m calling to see if you have the 46″ Samsung TV in stock?”

Employee: “Hang on…” *shouts off the phone* “…do we have any Sam-Sing things?”

My Dad: “No, it’s Samsung. The 46″ Samsung TV.”

Employee: “Oh, okay…” *shouts again* “Do we have the Samsung 36″ TV?”

My Dad: “Not 36″. 46″.”

Employee: “Okay…” *shouts again* “Do we have the 42″ Samsung?”

My Dad: “You know what, never mind…”

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Stupidity Can You Leave You Powerless

| Working | February 6, 2013

(It’s a winter and a bad storm has knocked out power. A large tree has come down on the power line right where it crosses road. After a few days, I give the power company a call to report it.)

Me: “Hi, I’m calling about [street]. The power there’s still out, and a tree fell on the line right where it crosses the road. It’s pretty dangerous; do you guys know about it yet?”

Representative: “You’re on [street]? Yeah, we fixed that one a couple days ago.”

Me: “No, you didn’t; the power is still off and there’s a tree right across the power line halfway up the road!”

Representative: “You’re out on [street nearby], right? There was a broken line there; we fixed it two days ago.”

Me: “I can guarantee we don’t have power over on [street] right now; I’m borrowing a store’s phone to make this call. Besides, there’s still a bloody great tree down on the power line, and it’s right across the road!”

Representative: “Across the road from what?”

Me: “What? No, the power line crosses the road there, and this tree is on it. The line didn’t break, but it’s lying right across the road.”

Representative: “Across the road from what?”

Me: “No, it’s LYING ACROSS THE ROAD!”

Representative: “ACROSS THE ROAD FROM WHAT?”

Me: “No, look; the power line goes from a pole on one side of the street to a pole on the other side there, okay? It crosses the street there. And right where it crosses the street, a tree fell on it, and now the power line is lying right across the road!”

Representative: “Across the road from WHAT?”

Me: “It’s not across the road from anything–look, there’s a downed power line on [street] and the POWER LINE is ON THE ROAD.”

Representative: “Oh, it’s actually on the road?”

Me: “YES!”

Representative: “Yeah, that’s not very safe. You shouldn’t go near it.”

Me: “We HAVE to, to get food, because the power’s been out for four days now.”

Representative: “Well, no one’s reported it out.”

Me: “I am reporting it out to you now; I guess everyone on our road just figured that someone else had already called it in.”

Representative: “So, the line isn’t actually broken?”

Me: “No, but there’s a really big tree on it stretching it all the way to the ground, and because of where it fell, and because the power line crosses the road right there, the power line is down in the middle of the road. Also our power is still out.”

Representative: “Yeah, if the line wasn’t actually broken it wouldn’t show up at our end. We figured when we fixed the break on [nearby street] it got everything back on out there. I’ll get someone out to check on it.”

Me: *heartfelt* “Thank you!”

(That was one of the stupidest conversations I’ve had in my entire life!)

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Enter The Meowndarin

| Working | February 6, 2013

(I’m at a metalworking shop trying to get a piece of furniture repaired.)

Owner: “Yeah, we can fix this, but it may take a little while. We’d have to replace all of… oh, wait a minute.”

(He goes to the door and holds it open. An older man in a wheelchair enters slowly.)

Owner: “Hello again, [older man]. I’ll be with you in one minute. I’m just helping out a customer.”

Old Man: *in a thick German accent* “Don’t you vorry. Just to have looks at your new pieces.”

(The owner and I finish up, but the old man starts to leave. The owner goes to hold the door open for him, when suddenly…)

Old Man: “VOTCH DE CAAAAAAAT!”

(Sure enough, a feral cat comes flying through the open door and darts into the back.)

Owner: “Oh, s***. I had tuna for lunch.”

Worker: *from the back* “Oy, boss, there’s a cat eating your—OW!”

(We both hurry to the back to find the cat is eating the remains of a sandwich. Meanwhile, the worker is bleeding from his hand and is actually hiding behind a desk in fear.)

Me: “Uh, should I call the police?”

Owner: “No. OY, LARRY!”

Larry: *in another room* “BUSY!”

Owner: “We need your project!”

Larry: “What the f*** for?!”

Owner: “Feral cat.”

Larry: “…Gimme a minute.”

(It takes him a few minutes, in which the cat finishes the sandwich as well as the paper it was wrapped in. Finally, Larry comes through the door: from the waist up, he’s wearing plate armor including helmet and gauntlets, and over that he has a thick apron.)

Larry: “Claw through this, b****!”

(He grabs at the cat, but misses.)

Larry: “This stuff’s too heavy! Maybe if I—”

(Larru THROWS himself across the room, tackling the cat and grabbing it. The cat claws at him furiously, but can’t get through his armor. Unfortunately, he also spills a large bucket of nails all over the floor.)

Owner: “Go kick that cat out. We’ll get the nails.”

(Larry takes the cat out of the shop and comes back.)

Larry: “I think I may have just lost us a customer.”

Owner: “What happened?”

Larry: “There was a woman out there looking at the candlesticks, and she asked me what the h*** I was doing. So, I told her I was testing out the new order for the animal control department.”

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There’s Got To Be A Debtor Way

| Working | February 6, 2013

(Backstory: My husband recently found out he had an acute form of cancer which would be deadly unless he got immediate treatment (leukemia). It has rendered him totally disabled and is totally dependent on me for everything. He is so weak that he can’t shower or get dressed and can barely walk from room to room. This has unfortunately left us behind on our credit card.)

Me: “I understand why you’re calling, but I just do not have any money to give right now. We’re only bringing in $600 a month in social security and that barely covers 2/3 of the mortgage. I have NO money left. I called to explain this already.”

Credit Card Rep: “You need to get a job.”

Me: “I don’t think you understand. My husband has cancer. I will be more than willing to send you whatever documentation you’d like from the hospital to prove I’m telling the truth. I can’t leave him alone at all. He’s a fall hazard.”

Credit Card Rep: “You need to find a job and hire someone to watch him. Try [fast food restaurant].”

Me: “Do you really think I’m going to find someone to be his caregiver on a [fast food restaurant] salary? I’ll be paying out more to that than I bring in! That doesn’t even make sense!”

Credit Card Rep: “I think you’re just lazy and don’t feel like working. It’s harder to work at [fast food restaurant] than it is to take care of an adult. You can leave him for a few hours.”

Me: “Do you even hear what you’re saying?”

Credit Card Rep: “Well, then you need to ask someone to help you take care of him.”

Me: “Who? The people who have jobs and bills to pay? You want them to take time off work and help me for free?”

Credit Card Rep: “Yes!”

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My Treatment Doesn’t Need Your Mistreatment

| Working | February 5, 2013

(I suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve worked very hard to manage my illness, but when I have insurance I am required to attend therapy. I go to my boss and explain to her that now that I have insurance through the company, I’ll be needing one day a week, every other week off in order to seek treatment. The following conversation occurs…)

Boss: “I’m going to schedule according to the store needs. You need to manage your social life on your own time.”

Me: “It’s not my social life. It’s medical treatment for a recognized illness. I’ve got paperwork diagnosing me. I need the time off.”

Boss: “You’re not really sick! You’re just making that up!”

(At this point I could have called HR, but I decide to try one more time.)

Me: “In the first place, you don’t have any medical training so you don’t know what you’re talking about. In the second, I can’t expect my therapist to just randomly shoehorn me in here and there. She has a set appointment schedule and I have to work within that. I’m not asking for anything special—just my rights under the law.”

Boss: “You don’t have any rights under the law. You’re just making stuff up. I’m going to schedule according to the store needs, and if you don’t come in, you’ll be fired!”

(At this point, I get fed up. The next day I call the District Manager. I explain the situation to her. I email her copies of my diagnosis and a letter from my therapist explaining my needs. She reviews them, calls me back and tells me the following.)

District Manager: “You do what you have to to get well. You’re a valued employee and we want you around for a long time. If it comes down to it, I’ll work your hours that day. And let me know if anyone else gives you a hard time about your illness. I’ll fire their a** on the spot!”

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