I Got 5000 Problems And You’re All Of Them

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(Our company does plans to show where a house will be built on the property. Naturally, these plans are given to the county for review and approval to help get a building permit. If a house is over 5,000 square feet of disturbance, then the county will treat it as major construction work and cause a host of other plans to be done. If the house is under 5,000 square feet, then the project is exempt from the other plans. Doing a house under 5,000 square feet is easier to get a permit for in both time and cost. A client is trying to build a house under the 5,000 square feet so he can sell it later on. We have worked with him and he hates the ones over 5,000 square feet. We do the plan and have come up with around 4,900 square feet of disturbance. He is happy and we have it submitted to the permit office. About two weeks later, we get an email from a county reviewer about the project. Comments happen all the time so this is not unexpected. A few are minor, but two catch our eye.)

Reviewer: “1. Make the driveway pad at the front into a square and revise the plan. 2. Submit a [document saying the house is a major plan for projects over 5,000 square feet].”

(I print the email off and deliver it to my boss, who worked on the plan.)

Boss: “This doesn’t seem right. Why does she want to make the driveway pad like that? There is no rule I can find saying she can do that. If we do what she wants, we will be over 5,000. You know [Client] is not going to like that.”

(My boss and I go through all the requirements for driveways and can’t find anything saying that we have to do that. My boss writes back a detailed message about why we won’t do that and asking what the requirement is that says we have to do that. A few days later, we get this message.)

Reviewer: “[Department Head] is requiring it. Please update the plans.”

(We have worked with [Department Head] before in the past and know him to be a reasonable person. We try to call the reviewer and all but one time we get an answering machine. The one time we get through, she says:)

Reviewer: “The message I sent you is enough.”

(We try to talk with [Department Head] directly, but he is extremely busy and typically out of the office. After sending messages and phone calls, we call his office to set up a meeting with him in person. Two weeks later, [Department Head], [Reviewer], my boss, and I meet at the department head’s office.)

Boss: “So, this is about [Project] that you reviewed.”

Department Head: “What project? I don’t recall any project like this.”

(This isn’t unusual; he is only second to the head of the whole agency, who is appointed by the county counsel, and has hundreds of jobs. My boss gives him the email with the original comments from the reviewer and shows him the plan.)

Department Head: “I don’t understand. This doesn’t appear to be any comment I made. These comments make no sense to me.”

(This is the first time my boss or I have heard of this.)

Me: *turning to reviewer* “So whose comments are these?”

Reviewer: “[Supervisor]. She is the one who requested it. I don’t know why we are in this meeting with [Department Head].”

(The supervisor and the department head are not even close to being mixed up. The supervisor is a blonde, 30-year-old woman who has a common name, while the department head is a black, 60-year-old man with a very uncommon name that is hard to pronounce.)

Me: “You said yourself for weeks that [Department Head] was the one asking for these comments.”

Reviewer: “I never said that.”

Me: “I have your email right here.” *passes it over to [Department Head]*

Reviewer: “That isn’t my email. You must have changed it.”

(The department head facepalms.)

Department Head: “Let me look at the comments.”

(He took a quick look at the comments and removed the comments about the driveway and forcing us to go over 5,000 square feet. The reviewer is still there, but every time we get her, she delays our jobs almost as a revenge for catching her in a lie.)

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It Will Be Two To Three Days Before They Get It  

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(I participate in this bookish group and we send packages out to each other once a month. It’s kind of a cheer thing. One of the big rules is to not ship stuff directly from whoever just because that kind negates the cheer portion of things. Due to reasons, I have to go into a [Big Chain Bookstore] to pick up a couple of things so that I can get things out to my sister on time.)

Me: *approaches help counter* “Hi! I’m wondering if you could help me out?”

Employee: “Sure! What can I do for you?”

Me: “I’m wondering if you have some books in stock?”

(We go through a list of a few books. A handful aren’t available in store currently.)

Employee: “Well, we can ship these to you in two to three days if you’d like.”

Me: “Sorry, it’s going to someone else.”

Employee: “Oh! Then we can ship it to them!”

Me: “Sorry, it’s part of a box I’m trying to send out.”

Employee: “Oh! We can ship them to you direct in two or three days.”

Me: “No, sorry. I’m getting ready to go out of town and I need this to be ready before I leave.”

(We finally find a book that’s in stock in store. The employee walks over and helps me find the book. As she’s handing it to me:)

Employee: “Are you a member with us?”

Me: “Yep.”

Employee: “Oh! Did you know you could have this stuff shipped to you in two to three days?”

Me: “Yeah… I just didn’t have time to wait for the two or three days for this. I actually have some stuff on the way that was delayed so I’m coming up with a backup.”

Employee: “Did you order from us?”

Me: “No.”

Employee: “Oh! You should have ordered from us; we could have shipped it to you in two to three days, and then you wouldn’t have had to wait!”

Me: “Thanks for the help!” *walks away quickly to another part of the store*

(I get that they’re trying to drive business or whatever, but I’d already told her I didn’t want anything shipped to me or my friend and that I was aware of the two- to three-day shipping.)

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Berate For Running Late

, , , , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(Part of my husband’s responsibility is unlocking the office in the morning. This means that he has to do his best to be there before anyone else shows up. Normally, this isn’t a problem, because he is very conscientious. One day, however, our little girl decides to throw a tantrum as we are trying to get her ready for daycare, and this delays our departure by about twenty minutes. As I drive us to work, his cell phone starts ringing.)

Husband: “Hello?”

Coworker #1: “Where are you? I’m waiting outside for you to unlock the door!”

Husband: “I’m really sorry. My daughter didn’t want to get ready this morning, so I’m running late. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Coworker #1: “Well, hurry, okay?” *hangs up*

(His phone starts ringing again.)

Coworker #2: “Why aren’t you here yet?”

Husband: “Didn’t [Coworker #1] tell you? I’m running late.”

Coworker #2: “Running late? How long are we going to have to wait?”

Husband: “I’ll be there as soon as possible.” *hangs up*

(His phone starts ringing again.)

Supervisor: “I hear that no one has been able to start work yet because of your tardiness.”

Husband: “I’m hurrying! Traffic is bad. I’ll be there as fast as I can!”

Supervisor: “Well, see that you are.”

(His phone rings again several more times as we are driving, each time from another coworker berating him for being late. By the time he gets to work, he is practically in tears from frustration and misery that he’d inconvenienced everyone.)

Coworkers: “SURPRISE!”

Husband: “What?”

Supervisor: *with a broad grin* “We all waited here and took turns calling you! It was hilarious! *sees my husband’s face* “Um… it was supposed to be hilarious.”

Husband: *unlocks the door and goes to his desk without saying a word*

(His supervisor apologized to him afterward and bought him a coffee. She’d honestly thought that the prank would be funny and felt terrible that they’d upset him.)

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That Got Zero Reaction

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(I’m getting ready to check out at a big-box home improvement store. I’m placing my items on the belt when I notice a reflective sticker with the numeral zero off to the side of the belt. It’s not unusual; sometimes people decide they don’t want something and leave it off to the side.)

Cashier: *pointing at the sticker* “Is that your Zero?”

Me: *faux indignant* “That means nothing to me!”

(My kids giggled, being used to my “dad humor.” The cashier didn’t even crack a smile.)

 

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Learn To Bottle It To Get Those Tips

, , , , , | Working | September 10, 2019

(I’m at a baseball game with some friends, and on this occasion, I’m the designated driver. Before the first inning starts, I go to a concession stand to get a hot dog and a bottle of soda. Despite a man and his two kids making requests of the other vendor, the hot dog comes with no trouble. The soda, however…)

Me: “Excuse me, I asked for a bottle, not a fountain drink.”

Vendor #1: “The bottles aren’t cold.”

Me: “That’s fine. I’ll still take it.”

Vendor #1: “They’re not cold!”

Me: “And that’s fine. It’s liquid, it tastes better than the swill from the fountain, it’ll help break down any fat in this hot dog, and it’s non-alcoholic so I can drive myself and my friends home. Now, may I have a bottle of [Soda]?”

Vendor #1: “THEY’RE! NOT! COLD!”

Vendor #2: “[Vendor #1], that doesn’t bother him.” *hands me a bottle* “Sorry about that.”

Vendor #1: “That’ll be [total].”

(I pay, get my change, fish a dollar out of it, and go to tip like I always do.)

Me: “Oh, wait. You wouldn’t get my order. That was her. And she was busy with her own customers.”

(As soon as I finish, I put the single away, pull out a twenty, and hand it to [Vendor #2], instead.)

Vendor #2: “Thank you, sir! And God bless you!”

(I told my friends what happened before the game started. I went back to the stand three more times, but I still got [Vendor #2] two of those times, so she walked away with $40 in tips just from me while [Vendor #1] never saw a dime. My friends, however, decided to get all of their beer from that stand. While I don’t know what they tipped, I do know they followed my pattern. Based on how many times they went to get drinks, I can only imagine what she raked in from us. I also hope [Vendor #1] learned his lesson.)

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