Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 5523232 times)

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Virg

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24315 on: November 07, 2013, 08:11:47 PM »
crella wrote:

"About 12 years ago or so when I was commuting from the 'burbs into Watertown and around Boston daily , the first time I saw this I thought the same thing, but after seeing it darned near every time I saw an ambulance I had to conclude that , at least in Boston, it's a nifty way to get through a clogged tunnel in record time..."

I don't doubt it.  I get the feeling that Boston area driving trainers teach cutting people off as part of the curriculum.  We don't call 'em "M***holes" for nothin'.

Virg

Xandraea

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24316 on: November 08, 2013, 12:50:14 AM »
On the subject of drivers "not seeing" other vehicles that are stopped at lights and such, several years ago a friend of mine drove a big old conversion van, hard to miss, and was stopped at a red light at an intersection one day when he felt a bump. Put his van in park, got out to look and found an extremely irate man who'd driven his fancy little sports car right into the back of the van, smashed it all up. All my friend had felt was a bump, and the little car was nearly totaled. All because the guy had "not seen" the giant green conversion van stopped at the intersection in broad daylight.

Mediancat

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24317 on: November 08, 2013, 07:52:15 AM »
I went to grad school in Boston, so I know about Boston drivers, at least. Once I was standing outside mt dorm at 100 Beacon Street, when a car came down the street, legally, only to have the driver have to slam on her brakes, because at the same time there was a green light 100 feet down, the walk signal directly in front of 100 Beacon was also on, meaning there was a cyclist walking his bike across the street.

(I often wondered if the reason Boston drivers tended to the cranky is that the streets look like they were designed by a child playing pickup sticks.)

What makes the driver an SS is that she leaned out of her window, shouted abuse at the cyclist, and then hurled, I'm not kidding, a full bottle of juice at him. In self-defense, the cyclist raised his hands to protect himself, and ended up catching the bottle of juice. He then thanked the driver for the juice, and kept on going across the street.

The driver stayed in front of the crosswalk for a few seconds, until prompted into action by the person behind them, who was protruding into the intersection of Embankment and Beacon, honked their horn, and then she drove off.

Rob
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 07:40:51 AM by Mediancat »
"In all of mankind's history, there has never been more damage done than by someone who 'thought they were doing the right thing'." -- Lucy, Peanuts

Tsaiko

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24318 on: November 08, 2013, 08:55:55 AM »
I have a special snowflake AND a life lesson story all rolled into one. This is one of the many, many reasons why I will always call the police to come do a report after accidents (working for an auto insurance company convinced me and this story sealed the deal).

My mom's coworker was stopped to make a left turn when a car hit him from behind. He got out and the driver of the car that hit him was a teenage girl. She was hysterical. She had a driver's permit, wasn't supposed to be driving without her parents, it was parents' car, she'd pay for the damages, please don't call the police, she'd never get her license if he did. Sob, sob, sob. Co-worker being a nice guy, agreed not to get the police involved. The damage to his car was minor, but he did get her insurance information just in case it was more extensive than it looked. Girl thanked him repeatedly and promised to pay for the damages.

Everything agreed on and taken care of, co-worker drives off.

Several days later, the police show up at his place of employment and arrest him for hit and run. Seems that the girl didn't want to get in trouble with her parents, so she told them she'd hit someone but they drove off. She'd gotten the guy's license plate number though. Her parents then turned around, called the police, and reported co-worker's license plate number for a hit and run. He finally convinced them he was innocent when he was able to show them that he had her insurance information. After all, how we he have all that info if he just drove off?

I don't know how it all ended, but I do know that the police do not look favorably on you filing a false report.

Twik

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24319 on: November 08, 2013, 09:21:58 AM »
On the subject of drivers "not seeing" other vehicles that are stopped at lights and such, several years ago a friend of mine drove a big old conversion van, hard to miss, and was stopped at a red light at an intersection one day when he felt a bump. Put his van in park, got out to look and found an extremely irate man who'd driven his fancy little sports car right into the back of the van, smashed it all up. All my friend had felt was a bump, and the little car was nearly totaled. All because the guy had "not seen" the giant green conversion van stopped at the intersection in broad daylight.

To be fair, perception is a strange thing. There's two steps - first to actually have our eyes pick up an image, and second for our brains to process the raw data, and say, "that is a truck ahead of us, which is not moving". And if we have a preconception that traffic ahead of us *should* be moving, that sometimes shapes what our brain perceives, no matter what our eyes have transmitted.

Apparently the most common explanation for traffic accidents is "I didn't see the other car." Which makes sense, because if you *had* seen the other car, and registered it mentally, you'd be an idiot to drive into it, right? But I think many times what the driver means is "I saw the car, but my brain failed to process the information correctly to tell me I was going to hit it."
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unnalee

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24320 on: November 08, 2013, 09:33:21 AM »
At one of our previous apartments, it was actually a set of twin buildings with a shared parking lot behind/between.  At the time, I was a teacher, and home for summer holidays.  So I was walking downstairs that afternoon to get the mail.  I met our building manager on the steps.  He sort of laughed and said, "I hate to tell you, but someone just hit your car."  At the time, the car was parked behind our building in its designated spot.

He had always been a bit of a joker, so I thought he was pulling my leg.  Nope.  Turns out one of the elderly women who lived in the other building got her groceries delivered.  The delivery driver had backed right into our parked car!  Our apartment numbers were clearly posted on our parking spaces.  Did the driver come and tell us what she'd done?  NOPE.  She just drove away and left.  The only way we knew was because our manager had seen it happen.

I took photos, called our insurance, got contact info for our manager who said he'd be a witness for us, and went right down to the store to see if the owners were in that day (it was a small town).  As I'm standing at the customer service desk, trembling with rage,  I explained to store manager what had just happened, showed photos, etc.  He gave me owner's contact info. and got the store's insurance involved.  Driver hadn't even reported in that anything had happened!

Needless to say, store's insurance paid for all repairs and driver lost her job.  I just couldn't believe she left, even when she knew our manager had seen it happen.


Hillia

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24321 on: November 08, 2013, 09:37:42 AM »
I have a special snowflake AND a life lesson story all rolled into one. This is one of the many, many reasons why I will always call the police to come do a report after accidents (working for an auto insurance company convinced me and this story sealed the deal).


DH had a similar experience, back when he was young and unsure of himself.  He was at a strip mall with a small parking lot.  He started to  back out, then noticed a woman also backing out a few spaces down.  She was not looking where she was going, and based on the direction she was turning, she was going to hit him.  He didn't have time to change gears and pull back in, or even honk the horn, before she hit him.  She jumps out of her SUV and starts screaming abuse at him, although it's clear from the position of the vehicles that she hit him.  A man and his adult daughter come over from the sidewalk and tell her to settle down, they saw the whole thing, and she was definitely in the wrong.

She calmed down at this point, and starts begging DH not to call the police, she'll take care of the damage, blah blah.  She gives him her business card and tells him to get an estimate and she'll handle everything.  Because this is his first accident, and he young and unsure, and her business card shows that she's in a profession where one might expect some level of integrity, he allows himself to be convinced.

We all know where this is going, right?  He gets an estimate from his mechanic, she says it's too high and she'll get her neighbor to do the work in his body shop.  Then she just quits answering her phone and DH never hears from her again.  The profession that convinced DH that she was to be trusted?  Licensed family counselor.  I wanted to report her to the licensing board for her total lack of personal ethics, but DH just wanted to forget the whole thing.

Edited to remove incomplete sentence.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 10:01:31 AM by Hillia »

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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24322 on: November 08, 2013, 09:53:26 AM »
Hillia, what's the best part?
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Shalamar

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24323 on: November 08, 2013, 12:53:18 PM »
I once encountered a lady who might be considered an SS in a parking lot ... or possibly a scam artist.

My young daughter and I had gone into Safeway to pick up a few things.  When we came out, there was a woman standing beside our car, purple with rage.  As soon as she realized I was the car's driver, she started screaming at me, saying "YOU OPENED YOUR DOOR INTO MINE!  JUST LOOK AT ALL THE DAMAGE!"    It looked like my daughter (who was the passenger, of course) had opened her door carelessly, leaving very small nick in the woman's driver-side door.   There was a fleck of blue paint in the nick that MIGHT have come from our car.

Okay, fine.  The point wasn't the very small amount of damage, the point was that it looked like I was responsible for it, and I immediately said "You're right.  Let's exchange information."  She kept screaming at me for a full minute.  (I don't know whether she'd worked up a head of steam waiting for me to come out of Safeway and was going to deliver her speech no matter what I said, or whether she was just that good an actress.)

She finally calmed down enough for us to exchange information, and then she said that she didn't want to go through our insurance because her rates would go up.  She'd call her friend, who was a mechanic, and he'd give her an estimate.   That's when I smelled a scam, but I didn't know what else I could do - I couldn't prove we hadn't made the dent.

A few days later, she phoned to give me the estimate, and once again she sounded very suspicious and angry on the phone.  Even my saying "Fine, I'll write you a cheque" didn't calm her down.  Sheesh.

Now, of course, I'm wondering if she deliberately parked beside a blue car, hoping that she'd get pre-existing damage fixed for free ...

Kiwichick

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24324 on: November 08, 2013, 01:34:00 PM »
On the subject of drivers "not seeing" other vehicles that are stopped at lights and such, several years ago a friend of mine drove a big old conversion van, hard to miss, and was stopped at a red light at an intersection one day when he felt a bump. Put his van in park, got out to look and found an extremely irate man who'd driven his fancy little sports car right into the back of the van, smashed it all up. All my friend had felt was a bump, and the little car was nearly totaled. All because the guy had "not seen" the giant green conversion van stopped at the intersection in broad daylight.

To be fair, perception is a strange thing. There's two steps - first to actually have our eyes pick up an image, and second for our brains to process the raw data, and say, "that is a truck ahead of us, which is not moving". And if we have a preconception that traffic ahead of us *should* be moving, that sometimes shapes what our brain perceives, no matter what our eyes have transmitted.

Apparently the most common explanation for traffic accidents is "I didn't see the other car." Which makes sense, because if you *had* seen the other car, and registered it mentally, you'd be an idiot to drive into it, right? But I think many times what the driver means is "I saw the car, but my brain failed to process the information correctly to tell me I was going to hit it."

That's fascinating. 

I was driving around a roundabout with four streets coming off it, my drive way was just off the roundabout. Suddenly there's a huge armoured truck blaring it's horn at me because I was about to drive right in front of him and I didn't see him.

I worked as a head teller in a bank at the time and was used to seeing the trucks at work, I think because it was completely out of context in a suburban street my brain didn't register it as actually being there.

cwm

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24325 on: November 08, 2013, 02:30:10 PM »
On the subject of drivers "not seeing" other vehicles that are stopped at lights and such, several years ago a friend of mine drove a big old conversion van, hard to miss, and was stopped at a red light at an intersection one day when he felt a bump. Put his van in park, got out to look and found an extremely irate man who'd driven his fancy little sports car right into the back of the van, smashed it all up. All my friend had felt was a bump, and the little car was nearly totaled. All because the guy had "not seen" the giant green conversion van stopped at the intersection in broad daylight.

To be fair, perception is a strange thing. There's two steps - first to actually have our eyes pick up an image, and second for our brains to process the raw data, and say, "that is a truck ahead of us, which is not moving". And if we have a preconception that traffic ahead of us *should* be moving, that sometimes shapes what our brain perceives, no matter what our eyes have transmitted.

Apparently the most common explanation for traffic accidents is "I didn't see the other car." Which makes sense, because if you *had* seen the other car, and registered it mentally, you'd be an idiot to drive into it, right? But I think many times what the driver means is "I saw the car, but my brain failed to process the information correctly to tell me I was going to hit it."

Sometimes, though, you really don't see it.

I was young and driving a load of stuffed animals to the police station (they took them on patrols to give to little kids or something) and had to make a left turn. The way the sunlight was reflecting off of a fence nearby literally hid the fact that there was a car coming. Even if its headlights had been on, I would have just seen sunlight, and the color of the car was the same color as the light reflecting onto the street. I turned left, she went straight, and her car got all sorts of torn up. My car had a bit of a dent in the corner and we had to get some pliers to pull a bit of metal away from the tire itself, but it was mostly fine.

I got in trouble, I got a ticket, my insurance went up, and I owned up to it, but the lady I hit luckily couldn't have been nicer. She said she'd always hated the way that intersection was set up, especially that time of day and figured that I really hadn't seen her, it was a true accident. And the fact that she was calm made it so much easier for both of us.

Iris

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24326 on: November 08, 2013, 04:59:21 PM »
On the subject of drivers "not seeing" other vehicles that are stopped at lights and such, several years ago a friend of mine drove a big old conversion van, hard to miss, and was stopped at a red light at an intersection one day when he felt a bump. Put his van in park, got out to look and found an extremely irate man who'd driven his fancy little sports car right into the back of the van, smashed it all up. All my friend had felt was a bump, and the little car was nearly totaled. All because the guy had "not seen" the giant green conversion van stopped at the intersection in broad daylight.

To be fair, perception is a strange thing. There's two steps - first to actually have our eyes pick up an image, and second for our brains to process the raw data, and say, "that is a truck ahead of us, which is not moving". And if we have a preconception that traffic ahead of us *should* be moving, that sometimes shapes what our brain perceives, no matter what our eyes have transmitted.

Apparently the most common explanation for traffic accidents is "I didn't see the other car." Which makes sense, because if you *had* seen the other car, and registered it mentally, you'd be an idiot to drive into it, right? But I think many times what the driver means is "I saw the car, but my brain failed to process the information correctly to tell me I was going to hit it."

Sometimes, though, you really don't see it.

I was young and driving a load of stuffed animals to the police station (they took them on patrols to give to little kids or something) and had to make a left turn. The way the sunlight was reflecting off of a fence nearby literally hid the fact that there was a car coming. Even if its headlights had been on, I would have just seen sunlight, and the color of the car was the same color as the light reflecting onto the street. I turned left, she went straight, and her car got all sorts of torn up. My car had a bit of a dent in the corner and we had to get some pliers to pull a bit of metal away from the tire itself, but it was mostly fine.

I got in trouble, I got a ticket, my insurance went up, and I owned up to it, but the lady I hit luckily couldn't have been nicer. She said she'd always hated the way that intersection was set up, especially that time of day and figured that I really hadn't seen her, it was a true accident. And the fact that she was calm made it so much easier for both of us.

When I first bought my current car I was somewhat startled when approaching a small roundabout on a suburban street my brother (in the passenger seat) started shouting incoherently and generally panicking. Naturally, I slowed, covered my brake, and looked around for problems. It was then that I saw the other car approaching the same roundabout from the cross street and braked (hard!) to avoid a collision. Thanks to my wider pillar at the edge of my windscreen, ironically a safety feature, this other car had exactly matched a blind spot in my forward view on the entire approach to the roundabout.

Now I know about that quirk I move my head to check that spot when appropriate, but I would genuinely have not seen that car until I hit it if I hadn't had a passenger that day.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24327 on: November 08, 2013, 07:32:58 PM »
Many of the customers I encountered today in the new-just opened two days ago-super duper grocery store close to work, and on my way home. I get that its nice, shiny, and new, and has such things as all kinds of prepared and made-to-order food, and a whole lot more. that being said, if I had to say "excuse me" one more time due to someone just leaving their cart, or parking and blocking every aisle, I was going to scream. And the actual groceries? nothing new or special or to write home about. And they all seemed to think it was great to bring the whole family!

and let's not forget the several groups of folks who saw each other and just had to stop and yap right where they were.

UGH. I get that its only been open a few days, so the newness hasn't yet worn off, but really? have some consideration please!

VorFemme

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24328 on: November 08, 2013, 07:57:28 PM »
Second accident I witnessed in Georgia - by myself on the way home.  I was behind a blue pickup (Ute to the Aussies - not the largest ones made, but a big enough one).  We were in the left turn lane (crossing oncoming traffic with a protected green arrow) and turning into a five lane road (two north, two south, and a middle "left turn only lane" for people wanting to turn into various businesses on the other side of the street without blocking traffic (if they did it according to the laws & customs of the land). 

A regular sized silver car (most colors have been changed except the blue - to provide some anonymity) turned out of a parking lot to our right (after we completed our left turns into the left straight lane) and then tried to get immediately into the left travel lane, then the left turn lane - totally ignoring the existence of the more or less sky blue pickup (bigger than his vehicle).  He hit it two or three times trying to get through it - then both stopped in the left turn lane (middle lane).  The pickup  driver to see what was wrong with his vehicle and the other driver and the driver of the silver car to rant & rave at the pickup driver.

I pulled into a parking lot on the far side of the road & called the police on my cell phone.

After the elderly (white haired driver and just as white haired female companion in the passenger seat) couple were interviewed AND the single younger man (not older than thirty - possibly mid-twenties - never did get a good look at him OR talk to him at the time of the accident) had talked to the police and the elderly couple were checked for possible injuries - the policeman came over to talk to him.  First question was "have you talked to either of the drivers"?  I was able to say no - didn't know them, hadn't talked to them, just seen the accident & called it in after pulling over in case the police wanted to talk to me.  I'd worked for a car insurance company and I wanted to keep my eye witness account of event untainted by any possible charge of bias.  It had been a fairly low speed accident and I had seen other people checking on both drivers - I had been behind both vehicles and wanted to keep my account simple.

I explained that I had been behind the blue vehicle as we came down east facing road, we'd come to the left turn lane and both of us turned south on the protected left turn arrow into the nearer lane.  The silver vehicle came out of the (grocery store) parking lot to our right and pulled into the right lane, then signaled a left turn and tried to pull through the blue vehicle at least twice, bouncing off of it each time, before they both stopped in the left turn lane, with the silver vehicle behind the blue one.  I had seen both drivers get out and talk to each other while I made a phone call on my cell to get the police notified. 

Other people had already stopped and were talking to both drivers - so I just waited on the police.

Two or three days later, I got a call of thanks from the pickup driver.  The elderly couple had insisted that he had pulled "from out of nowhere" into the lane they were trying to get into and caused the whole accident.  An eye witness account of someone who knew neither of them had made a world of difference for HIM (and staying at the scene to do the police report explained why he was an hour late getting back from lunch to his boss).  Nobody else had seen what happened because of how quickly the elderly driver had gone from lane one to lane two to lane three (left turn lane) - or tried to - because the pickup was already in lane two.

And no one else had noticed that the elderly driver had tried to go through the other vehicle more than once...although everyone there with their windows rolled down had heard him yelling at the younger man for "driving like a bat out of heck" and causing the accident. 

I'm not sure if I'd call the elderly driver a SS - but he did need an eye test, at the very least, in my opinion.
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Dr. F.

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24329 on: November 08, 2013, 09:32:50 PM »
Speaking of perception issues, have you guys seen this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4?

I saw it in a room full of scientists at a seminar and no one caught it.