Category: Transportation


A Shocking Discovery

| Kitchener, ON, Canada | Language & Words, Transportation

(I’m the parts manager for a body shop that specializes in high-end cars. My shop is contracted to do all the warranty work for several dealerships in the area. I have just returned to work after taking sick leave and am still getting my head back in the game.)

Me: “I know that you can get custom nameplates for your vehicles, but since when does Land Rover provide them?”

Estimator: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I just got our shipment and these came in for that Discovery you’re dealing with, the one with the new hatchback.”

Estimator: “And?”

Me: *holding up two packages, each with a pre-arranged series of letters ready to put on the vehicle* “I’ve never seen anyone so proud of their hobbies. I mean, who would put “VERY DISCO” on their car?”

(My coworker reaches over and swaps the packages around so I can see that they combine to spell “DISCOVERY.”)

Me: “…I’ve been sick.”


The Key To The Problem Is Not The Key

| UK | Bosses & Owners, Transportation

(I do vehicle maintenance admin for a regional ambulance service. This is both emergency and patient transport. I get a call from a PT team leader based at a small station.)

Team Leader: “Hi, we’re missing the keys for [vehicle number]. Do you know if it was cleaned last night?”

Me: *checks* “No, it looks like the cleaners haven’t been to [Station] yet this week.”

Team Leader: “Oh. I’ll just go check with the crew.” *talks to ambulance crew and returns* “They say that they gave the keys to the cleaners, and the last time they saw it, it was being cleaned in the garage. The cleaners must have taken them and we need them back right now.”

Me: *knowing where this will lead* “Okay, well, the cleaners work night shifts, so they won’t be at work right now. I can ask their supervisor to get in touch with them at home, though.”

(This is deemed a necessity, since we can’t have working ambulances off the road. I call the supervisor and explain. Ten minutes later, the team leader calls back again.)

Team Leader: “We can’t actually find the vehicle either. We’re worried the cleaners might have taken it, since they have the keys. It’s needed urgently on the road and we’re already low on vehicles today. Our response level will be affected because of this.”

(I then relay the information to the supervisor. They call me back an hour later, since the cleaners didn’t pick up at first. I get in touch with Team Leader.)

Me: “Our supervisor has been in touch with the cleaners, but they haven’t been to that station last night–”

Team Leader: “Oh, I was meaning to call you back. We found the vehicle. It was actually outside in the car park and, uh… one of the crew had the keys in his pocket. Sorry about that.”

(That station was tiny! It had FIVE vehicles allocated to it! How could they not notice one outside? And why did they never ask crews to check themselves for keys before automatically assuming that cleaners took them? Those kind of issues happened so often that we raised it with management. But crews are the life-savers, so it didn’t matter how they behave.)


Very Taxing Taxiing, Part 2

| Sofia, Bulgaria | Bad Behavior, Employees, Transportation

(My friend and I have been living in the city for a few short weeks and right now we’re in an area that we absolutely don’t know, looking for a particular store. Note that this happened before everyone got Google Maps on their phones. We take a bus which doesn’t drop us off where we expect, and then we get lost.)

My Friend: “Which is this street?”

Me: “[Street], according to that sign, but why do you need it? You’re as lost here as I am.”

My Friend: “I’ll be calling a cab.”

Me: “Are you mad? We can’t afford a cab.”

My Friend: “I can pay for it, and I’m really sick of walking around. We’ll get a cab to the store and then we’ll figure our way back from there.”

(I agree, so she calls a cab. This particular service takes your number, your location, and your destination, and then the driver calls in a few minutes to tell you when he/she will be there. So we wait about 20 minutes and are a bit frustrated when someone finally calls us.)

Caller: “Hello, I hear you want to go to [Address]?”

My Friend: “That’s right.”

Caller: “Where are you now exactly?”

My Friend: “Uuuh, it’s [Street], right next to a kindergarten…”

Caller: “What? I’m not wasting any fuel on you; you can walk to your destination in about 15 minutes!” *hangs up*

(To say we were dumbfounded would be an understatement. We did find the store on our own. It was a whole hour’s walk. And they say cab drivers know the city perfectly…)

Very Taxing Taxiing


The Order Is Never On The House

| Pendleton, IN, USA | Transportation

(Our previous house was in a rural area, at the end of a dead-end road, with no other houses around. Calling to order a pizza for delivery, I had this conversation when giving directions to our house:)

Me: *giving the last part of the directions* “Then turn left. The road dead-ends in 300 yards.  We’re at the dead end, and it’s the only house there.”

Clerk: “Which side of the road is it on?”

(A month or so later, different pizza place:)

Me: “[Same directions].”

Clerk: “What color is the house?”

(Sadly, variations of this conversation took place regularly for the entire time we lived there. Seriously, how hard is it to figure out where to deliver the pizza when there’s only one house in sight?)


New Flights Of Unreason

| Washington, DC, USA | Employees, Time, Transportation

(I’m trying to get on a flight for work to State College, PA. I have to be there by 7 pm for sound-check; the flight is scheduled to take off at 12:30 and land at 2 pm. At 12 pm, they announce a five-minute delay. Knowing that it’s NEVER a five-minute delay, I approach the desk.)

Me: “I just wanted to talk to someone about getting on another flight; I MUST be in State College this evening for work.”

Airline Employee: “Oh, it’ll be fine. We’ll just be a few minutes delayed.”

(Every few minutes, they announce another short delay. By 1 pm, I go back to the desk.)

Me: “Hi, I really need to talk to someone about getting on another flight.”

(At that moment, a VERY cranky passenger storms up and interrupts me to shout about the delay. Airline employee turns away from me to deal with it. He continues to rant, and another employee comes over. Now there’s a bunch of us in line, and everyone’s serving that one guy. I give up and return to my seat. At 1:30 pm, I return to the desk and again, just as I am about to be served, cranky man jumps up and starts yelling. At 2 pm, I try AGAIN, and by now there are FIVE airline employees serving him and everyone else is being ignored. Finally, at 2:30, I stand my ground.)

Me: “OK, the last time I checked, I was told it would be ‘just a few minutes until the plane took off. That was more than two hours ago. I fly tens of thousands of miles with you folks every year and I know you have other flights into this town – I NEED to get on the next flight. Can you help me?”

Airline Attendant: “Sorry, miss, but the last flight to State College left an hour ago. Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

Me: “…”

(I managed to get into town and to the venue with less than 20 minutes to spare.)

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