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“Move That Ambulance NOW!”

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-43104314

Woman writes a scathing note and leaves it on an ambulance parked in front of her house (they were at the neighbor’s) to MOVE THEIR VAN NOW…

We’ve reported lots of this sort of stuff on E-hell but this takes the cake, plate, server, and topper. 0218-18

 

A snippet from the above linked article…

A woman left an abusive note on an ambulance dealing with a 999 call, ordering paramedics to “move their van”.

The writer said she did not care if “the whole street collapsed” and the crew had “no right to be parked here”.

The hand-written message was left on an ambulance in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, earlier.

Operational manager Mike Duggan said the paramedics also received verbal abuse.

He shared an image of the note on Twitter saying he was “very angry”.

Paramedic Katie Tudor tweeted Staffordshire Police asking: “Is there anything that can be done about this? It’s becoming a regular occurrence.”

It takes a special kind of snowflake to insist that an ambulance is violating her space and must be moved.   It’s short -sighted, selfish and represents a character deficiency …almost sociopathic, in my opinion.

A member of my extended family is a paramedic and, oh, the stories this person can tell.   Once he and his partner were trying to resuscitate an elderly woman who appeared to have had a heart attack.   Two of her grandsons, both adults, threatened to kill them if they were unsuccessful in saving her.   Both paramedics promptly stood up, left all the equipment there, walked out of the house, locked themselves in the ambulance and called 911 for police assistance.   At least in the US, there are certain things that, if said, automatically triggers a required response from the first responders.   Death threats said in the heat of emotions is number one on the list of things you do not say to the EMS or paramedics.  The elderly woman died, btw.

 

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A short bit of background. In 2000 my spouse’s grandmother passed away. At that time my spouse, along with 2 siblings, were sent a box or two each from her estate. Things their father, who had been caring for grandmother, thought should be passed down. There was no arguing, the boxes arrived and that was what you received from the estate. My spouse and I have no children. So we always intended to pass these items down to the siblings’ children, grandmother’s great-grandchildren.

Fast forward to 2017. The first of the great-grandchildren is about to be married. One of the items my spouse inherited was a set of silver with first letter of the family last name engraved on each. There are 2 boys among the great-grandkids and we thought we would send this as a wedding gift to the first of them to marry since they were most likely to be carrying on the family name.

We were not invited to the wedding. No hard feelings, spouse is not close with the sibling whose son is getting married and we live across the country from each other. I found out about the wedding on Facebook. When I found out about the wedding I contacted my SIL via Facebook messenger to congratulate her family and inform her about the silver. I began by asking if she wanted to ask her son if he would be interested in it, because it not, maybe it would be better suited to her other son.

She wrote back immediately saying she didn’t need to ask, she was sure her son would love to receive it as a wedding gift. I immediately replied, “Great! where can I send it?”. No response. At this time it’s about 6 weeks before wedding. I wait a few weeks. It is now less than 1 month before wedding. I write again and say, “Hey, if son is not interested in the silver no hard feelings, but if you could let me know I’d appreciate it”. Again, I get an immediate reply saying yes son is interested and she’ll have to “check” where to send it.

Huh? Check? It’s less than a month before the wedding and the mother of the groom doesn’t know where to send a gift? I know! How about her house? Or my MIL who I assume is going to the wedding since they live close by? Or the son’s new apartment? In the time it took her to type “let me check where to send it” she could have typed her address. True or not, the way this made me feel was that she didn’t want us to have her address. I’m 3000 miles away, it’s not like I’m going to drop by for a visit. I was angry enough to consider not sending the silver at all.

In the end, days later she sent me her address. I wrote her back immediately thanking her and letting her know I would be sending it. I also let her know that she hurt my feelings and that she needn’t worry we won’t be dropping by. (okay I didn’t write the part about dropping by, but I wanted to!) 0226-18

Lesson learned: never beg anyone to please accept your generosity.   Once an offer is made and that offer “ball” is in the recipient’s court,  don’t go running into their side of the court pointing to the ball insisting they return it back to you.

Make the offer of the gift and if the intended recipient cannot be bothered to inform you of an address to send it, wait an appropriate amount of time in silence and then set the gift aside for someone else, sell it, donate it, whatever.   If ever asked what happened to the offered gift, reply, “I’m so sorry.  When I did not hear from you for six months, I assumed you did not prefer to receive it so I gave it to XXXX.”

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Trying To Get A Word In

Your recent story about someone in a theatre interrupting a conversation with their own prompted me to tell this story. I’m still a little unclear of who’s in the wrong here and would appreciate yours and readers advice.

I’m a pretty quiet person and fairly content to sit back and listen and chime into the group conversation occasionally.

In one group of friends, however, it’s hard to get a word in. One woman in particular talks A LOT. It’s pretty much a wall of sound and she doesn’t have any problem interrupting what you’re saying to get going. The dynamics of the group means that people also tend to just let her talk. Subsequently, I don’t talk much when I’m in this group. When I do try and say something, I’m often interrupted by this person.

I was getting pretty annoyed by this. And reduced the amount of time I was spending with this group because of it. After a while though I thought, “Well, maybe I’m just being too sensitive and this is just how the group interacts with each other”. The next time I was spending time with them I decided that when I had something to say I was going to say it, whether that interrupted her or not.

Well… it didn’t go down well. I was met with “No, I’m talking let me finish. Don’t interrupt”. Basically, she can stop me mid sentence but if anyone does it to her, it’s a problem.

I don’t particularly want to spend my time with this group sitting in silence but I’m genuinely perplexed as to how to join a conversation when it’s so hard to get a word in edgewise. 0707-18

And why haven’t you tried her own statement to her when she interrupts you?   My husband used to have a particularly clever way of dealing with people who repeatedly interrupted him by saying,  “Oh, I’m sorry. Please forgive me for talking while you were interrupting. ”   Done the right way, it can be a funny way to get the point across.  People like this woman are more selfish than anything else.  They are verbal bulls in the china shop and the only way to get that bull under control is to take the bull by the horns….not exactly something quiet or non-assertive people are comfortable doing.

The other dynamic is that apparently what this woman has to say captivates the audience to the point that they routinely gather to hear her talk.  If she was boring, people would wander away to form smaller conversation circles until her audience is greatly diminished or gone all together.   I’m not sure why you choose to be an audience member when the option exists to start side conversations with someone on the periphery of the group.

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My husband and I own an inflatable company. We rent out bounce houses and waterslides for private parties, church and school events, family reunions, etc. We love the industry we are in – people are always happy to see you! – and we love making people happy.

This is our 4th season in this business and there has definitely been a learning curve involved. My personality is that I’m a natural pleaser and want to leave everyone as happy as possible. However, I learned early on that a polite spine and boundaries are necessary in this business if you want to stay afloat.

The first two seasons in business we CONSTANTLY had people calling us from organizations, charities and large corporations asking for us to “sponsor” a bounce house at their event. We did this a few times, with the promise of “free advertising” as an incentive. We learned very quickly that this type of advertising is completely ineffective in our industry and we never booked a single job from doing these free events. We made a decision that we would pick our favorite charity and donate a bounce house to their annual event and that would be the end of our give- free-stuff-away-extravaganza. We’ve been happy with this arrangement for some time now. However, we still get phone calls – though not as frequent. I’ve learned how to have a polite spine, but even beyond that, I’ve learned how to expose their greediness in a fairly kind way. The conversation below is one that I had this week with a HUGE national company that was holding a health fair.

Me: How can I help you?
Freeloader: Hi, I’m with ______ and we are holding our annual event in a few months. We wanted to give you a great opportunity to sponsor our event with some bounce houses.
Me: : (pretending to feign interest) We love renting out for big events! Could you further explain what you mean by “sponsor”? What all does that entail? (I know good and well it means they want a free bounce house, but I want THEM to say it, instead of pretty it up with a word like sponsor.)
Freeloader: Oh….ummm….well, errrr…..It means that you would donate a bounce house to the event.
Me: OH. Donate a bounce house to you?? (silence)
Freeloader: But, it, ummmm, it means that you would get free advertising. It would be a great opportunity for you!
Me: We have found that this type of advertising does not work for us. (awkward silence)
Freeloader: Oh, well it would still be a nice thing for you to do.
Me: – (names company) Isn’t that a multi-million dollar company?
Freeloader: Ummm, yes.
Me: I’ve seen their commercials, gone into their stores. You guys have great products.
Freeloader: Yes we do.
Me: So, just to clarify, you are wanting me, a very small family-owned business, to donate my labor, fuel, time and bounce house to YOU, a multi-million dollar company?
Freeloader: (silence)
Me: Would you be willing to give us the equivalent of free products in return?
Freeloader: Well, ummm, no I don’t think we could do that.
Me: I see. (silence. I let the silence get reeeeeally awkward)
Me: I’ll be happy to give you some prices on what we offer. We do offer a discount for multiple rentals and multiple days. (I then go into my spiel about what products we have.)

Sometimes I end up booking them but in this case they said they would keep calling around to find a company that would “sponsor” their event.

It’s unbelievable to me the nerve and gall that people have. This has happened with corporations, charities, churches and even private parties. It takes a crew that WE pay for labor to deliver and set up, it takes fuel in OUR diesel truck and trailer to get the bounce house to the location, it take state inspections that we pay for to make sure they are safe and it takes expensive insurance that we pay for to cover any liability. Maybe people don’t realize the cost of running a small business. Often we wonder how we will pay for insurance and overhead costs. Small businesses go under every single day. The next time you think to ask your friend, family member or random small business to give you something for free – whether it’s a haircut, a music lesson, a vehicle check-up or whatever – please remember that their livelihood depends on your business. Supporting local, small businesses doesn’t mean ask them to do stuff for free and receive “free advertising”. It means write them a check for a product or service the same way that YOU want to receive a paycheck for your time and labor. 0705-18

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Feel Good Friday – Musical Road

The stretch of Route 66 that travels east out of Albuquerque, New Mexico and heads to the small town of Tijeras is desolate at best. Besides a handful of gas stations and a spider web of power lines that cast their shadows onto the two-lane roadway, there’s not a whole lot to see. But for one quarter-mile stretch, there’s plenty to hear.

Two years ago, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), along with the National Geographic Channel, had the idea to make a roadway that sings—literally. Enlisting the help of San Bar Construction Corp., a New Mexico-based company that designs and constructs traffic control devices and signs, NMDOT created a length of roadway between mile markers four and five that plays music whenever a vehicle drives over it. But there’s a catch—the tune, in this case “America the Beautiful,” only works when cars are traveling at exactly 45 mph. The road’s purpose is twofold: to encourage drivers to stay the speed limit and to bring a little excitement to an otherwise monotonous highway.

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