Category: Criminal/Illegal


(Imaginary) Bordering On Ridicule

| Vienna, Austria | Criminal/Illegal, Employees

(Restaurants and cafes can pay to have a portion of the sidewalk closed off so they can put chairs and tables there, to enable people to sit outside instead of inside. Of course, as people have fun and time gets later, they might be a noise concern since nobody wants to have people chat and laugh at night.)

Waiter: *to me* “Sir? Please take a step forward.”

(I do.)

Waiter: “Thank you, sir.”

Me: “What … was that about?”

Waiter: “You were outside the designated area of our ‘garden,’ where the distinct possibility exists that you might be a noise disturbance to the people who have their flats here. And of course we do not wish to be the source of any disturbance, sir.”

Me: “And… inside the line I’m not?”

Waiter: “No, sir, inside our ‘garden’ you are not a disturbance when you enjoy your time with us.”

Me: “But… I’m essentially half a foot from where I was before and there is no provision whatsoever that the noise I make would be muffled.”

Waiter: *with INCREDIBLE politeness in the voice* “Sir, I don’t make the law. I only get to ridicule it.”


Sending Fraudsters A Clear Message

| Helsinki, Finland | Criminal/Illegal, Technology

(I work for an airline online ticket sales back office. One of our duties is to profile online bookings in search of credit card scammers.)

Coworker: “This booking is a scam. I’m sure of it! It fits all the profiles!”

(Sure enough, the credit card used for the booking turned out to be a copied credit card.)

Coworker: “Here’s another one! And another! They are flooding in now! I’m sure these come from the same source. They all look the same!”

Me: “Can you handle it or do you need help?”

Coworker: “I don’t know. Let me see… Shoot, there are at least 20 of these! I gotta make them stop. I’ll send them an e-mail!”

Me: “You’re gonna do what?”

Coworker: “I’m gonna send them an e-mail”

Me: “Send who an e-mail?”

Coworker: “The scammers!”

Me: “How are you gonna send them an e-mail?”

Coworker: “There’s an e-mail address in these bookings!”

Me: “You really think that’s gonna work?”

Coworker: “Well, you don’t know if you don’t try! There, I wrote in it ‘Stop spamming us with these frauds’ and sent it!”

(We have a laugh together wishing it would really be this easy to fight the frauds and continue with our tasks. Then, less than 10 minutes later, we receive an e-mail to our team’s general e-mail.)

Coworker: “No way! It worked!”

Me: “What worked?”

Coworker: “The e-mail I sent to the fraudsters! We got a reply! It says: ‘Oh, ok :)’ and the frauds really stopped, too!”

(We printed that e-mail conversation out and pinned it to our message board. This is how you fight crime!)


Reverse Registration

| Cameron Park, CA., USA | Criminal/Illegal, Transportation

(I have traveled to visit my parents. My car registration tags are expired. The replacement sticker had just arrived in the mail, but I was in a hurry so I simply dropped it on my passenger seat with the intent of applying it to my car once I got to my parents’ house. Well, I forgot and while I am leaving town, I notice the flashing lights of a city police cruiser in my rear view mirror and immediately realize my mistake. I pull over in a parking lot and the nearest spot happens to have a row of bushes right by driver’s side, leaving the officer no room to come up to my window. While he is still pulling in, I back out a few feet and reposition my car to give enough space for him to approach my window.)

Officer: *walks up to my window as I roll it down*

Me: *holding my registration tag* “I know exactly why you pulled me over. I was in a hurry and was going to put this before I left, but I forgot. I’ll put it on right now.”

Officer: “Ah, I see. That’s fine. And while I appreciate you making space to walk up here, we really do not want to see reverse lights when we have someone stopped. We have no way of knowing whether you might try to ram us or our cars.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. Thanks for not shooting up my car.”

Officer: *chuckling* “That’s your one free pass.”