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  • Not So Closely Guarded
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  • Category: Transportation

    It’s Not As Clear As A Bell To Him

    | Ames, IA, USA | Employees, Transportation

    (I am taking the bus home from my university campus. Upon seeing my stop coming up, I pull the cord to signal to the driver to stop. Normally, a bell sounds to signal that the pull has been registered, but in this case nothing happens to signal that the pull has been registered. At the same time, three other students each pull the cord, with short intervals. We have no way to know if the driver has noticed our signals, but as we approach the stop sign, he slows down and comes to a stop. However, he doesn’t open the rear doors as usual and instead gets on the speaker system in the bus.)

    Driver: “Please exit through the front door.”

    (As the four of us line up to exit, he stops each of the students in front of me and tells them individually, in a stern voice, that they only need to pull the stop cord once. They are all international students, as am I, and seem somewhat confused by his admonition, but just nod and walk off the bus. As it is my turn, I decide to tell the driver that the signal bell isn’t working, even if it should be obvious to him.)

    Driver: *sternly* “You only need to ring the bell once to signal for me to stop.”

    Me: “Yes, I know. However, your bell isn’t working, so we couldn’t know if you knew we needed to get off.”

    Driver: “But I get a signal up here on the instrument panel, and that works just fine, so only pull the cord once.”

    Me: “Yes, but WE couldn’t hear the bell ring, so we didn’t know.”

    Driver: “But I saw the signal just fine. You only need to pull once.”

    Me: “Yes, I understand, but WE couldn’t hear it, so how are we supposed to know the pull registered?”

    Driver: “But I saw the signal. You only have to pull once.”

    Me: “But WE DIDN’T!”

    Driver: “But I saw it just fine.”

    Me: *at this point, I realize we are going to be here all day, if I keep this up* “Great! I know that already.”

    Driver: *as I exit the bus* “You should only pull the cord once.”

    Your Courier Days Are Numbered

    | Beltsville, MD, USA | Employees, Extra Stupid, Transportation

    (Our office is in an industrial complex, where a number of warehouses share a single building. Each business has its own front door and address. Our office was created after the original floor plan, from sections of other warehouses, and they neglected to add a number on our front door. Still, our address ends in ’58′ and the neighbors have their numbers on display, with a ’56′ and ’60.’)

    Courier: *coming from adjacent business* “Wow, I couldn’t find you guys.”

    Me: “We’re right here, at [address].”

    Courier: “Yeah, but you have no number out front.”

    Me: “I know. It’s a pain, but we’re right here between [two adjacent addresses].”

    Courier: “I’ve been driving around for half an hour.”

    Me: “Why didn’t you call us?”

    Courier: “I didn’t have your number.”

    Me: “But we received a call earlier, saying you were going to be late.”

    Courier: “That was dispatch. I never received any information.”

    Me: “So, you couldn’t call dispatch to call us?”

    Courier: “No. Like I said, I’ve been driving around trying to find you guys for 30 minutes.”

    Me: “Oh, well, sorry. Like I said, we’re right between ’56′ and ’60.’”

    Courier: “Yeah, but there was no number. I can’t tell where you are if there’s no number…”

    An Overbearing Picture

    | Canada | Employees, Transportation

    (I’m a university student, and as part of our tuition, our student cards also doubles as a bus pass that lets all students travel for free in the city when swiped. I get on the bus one morning, swipe the card, and go to sit down when I hear the ‘beep’ that means the card was accepted.)

    Driver: “Stop! Show me your card.”

    Me: “Uh, sure.”

    (I hand it over, wondering if I misheard the beep. The driver stares intently at it for several long moments, and then glares at me.)

    Driver: “Your finger was covering the picture.”

    Me: “Whoops, sorry. My bad.”

    Driver: “Don’t cover the picture.”

    Me: “Yeah, I’m sorry.”

    Driver: “Your finger shouldn’t cover the picture!”

    Me: “…again, I’m sorry. Can I have my card back now?”

    (I reach out to take the card back, but the driver doesn’t move. Only when I grab it does she reluctantly let go and start the bus. As I go sit down, I hear her call after me, one last time…)


    Test Driving Back To The Fifties

    | IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Employees, Transportation

    (While we are shopping for a used car, my husband hears me range from humor to anger about the chauvinistic salesmen talking down to me. At one dealership, the salesman pops the hood and goes into a detailed discussion of the engine with my husband. He then pulls me to the passenger side to discuss the vanity mirror, cup holder, and car color. The salesman then hands my husband the keys for a test ride. His mouth falls open when hubby gives me the keys and gets in the passenger seat. He is actually pacing outside when we return. He runs over to us.)

    Salesman: “How did she handle?”

    Me: “We’re not buying it. It needs a new transmission, the steering pulls to the right, the brake rotors have been resurfaced incorrectly, and it leaks antifreeze.”

    (As we turn to leave, my husband calls back to the dumbstruck chauvinist.)

    Husband: “But I absolutely looooove the vanity mirror!”

    Carbonated Drink With A Carbon Footprint

    | Heredia, Costa Rica | Employees, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive, Transportation

    (My roommates and I order two pizzas and a big soda from the neighborhood pizza place to be delivered for a gathering with friends. One is a bacon and the other ham with mushrooms. We had ordered from them previously and they were taking so long we were about to call them again. When the delivery guy finally arrives on his motorcycle, despite the place being only two blocks away, he only has one pizza with him and no soda.)

    Delivery Man: “I’m sorry. They don’t tell me what I have to deliver; I just deliver whatever they give me.”

    (But when he comes back with the second pizza, he has forgotten the soda again! We decide to start eating as we are starving at that point only to find out that the second pizza isn’t right. Frustrated, we call the pizza place.)

    Lady On The Phone: “So you didn’t order a mozzarella pizza? It says mozzarella here on the order.”

    Roommate #1: “Um, no. We never mentioned mozzarella.”

    Lady On The Phone: “Mmm… let me ask [Person who took the order].”

    (Three minutes later:)

    Roommate #2: *almost fainting from hunger* “Oh, my god, I don’t care what the mistake was. I just want the correct pizza.”

    Lady On The Phone: “Hello? Yes, I talked with [Person who took the order] and he wrote it down correctly but the chef didn’t understand his handwriting.” *giggles*

    All Of Us: “…”

    Lady On The Phone: “I can send you the correct one if you’re willing to wait. We would’ve have to start making it. Is that okay?”

    Roommate #1: “YES… please. And we told the delivery man about the soda…”

    Lady On The Phone: “No problem! It will be there with the correct pizza in, like, 20 minutes. Buh-bye!” *hangs up on us*

    (20 minutes later we hear the motorcycle in our driveway.)

    Roommate #2: “That’s some waste of gas… Seriously, it’s only 2 blocks away.”

    (The delivery guy hands us the pizza and we check it on the spot that it was the correct one. And that’s when we ask him about the soda…)

    Delivery Man: *gasps and clutches his head, or rather, his helmet* “I’ll be right back!” *jumps back on his motorcycle and speeds away*

    Me: “We should ask for a free soda or something. It has been, like, an hour since we called the first time. The first pizza is already cold! And I’d rather go myself than see that guy waste gas for only two blocks for the THIRD time!”

    (They convinced me to let it go and just eat the cold pizza while we waited for the soda. The worst is, a week later the same thing happened and the delivery man had to return for the soda again!)

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