Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 5619294 times)

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Fi

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1095 on: February 27, 2009, 07:21:55 PM »
I just remembered this one. I worked for a government agency that enforced environmental laws related to farming. I got a call one day from a Mrs. Snowflake. She wanted to report that the farm next door was secretly dumping pollutants in the middle of the night. She was very insistent about how horrible this farm was and all the illegal things they were doing and the local officials just looked the other way.

The first thing I did after taking her report was to call the local officials to get their story. "Mrs. Snowflake? Sigh." I could almost hear the guy's eye rolls.

It seems the Snowflakes had decided that they wanted to live in the country, so they bought a piece of property in a farm area. The farm next door had been a dairy farm, but it was tied up in probate for years. The executors did to run the farm; they just kept up the property for eventual sale. The Snowflakes thought it was all perfect. Quiet, rolling green hills, a few picturesque barns in the distance.

Then the farm was sold and the new owners, quiet legally, turned it into a turkey farm. All of a sudden, there was all sorts of, you know, farming going on. Trucks going up & down the road. Turkeys making loud turkey noises. Dust. Farm smells. It completely spoiled the Snowflake's bucolic dream. They hadn't moved to the country to be inconvenienced by farms. And, what was worse, it turned out that running a turkey farm was completely within the zoning for the area and the county had no interest in rezoning it to suit the Snowflakes.

Since they were unsuccessful in getting the zoning changed to suit themselves, the Snowflakes were doing everything they could to run the turkey farmers off. They were calling every government agency they could think of and swearing that the turkey farmers were committing all sorts of horrors. The poor inspector I talked to had to go out & check almost every claim, even though it was pretty obvious that the turkey farmers were model farmers. They had even changed some of their practices to lessen the impact on the neighbors, The midnight "pollution dumps," for example, were really normal farming jobs that were being done at night so it wasn't so dusty during the day.

I never did learn the final resolution, except I do know that the turkey farm is still there.

Ooh! That happened memorably a few years back in East Anglia in the UK! In that case, it was a couple who bought a house that shared a driveway/lane with a working farm. They bought it for their "rural dream". The farm, quite understandably, had various heavyweight machinery going up and down the lane (the farmers, btw, were quite happy about making the shared drive accessible by vehicle, but obviously it wasn't a pristine new-paved road - it was a very well maintained farm track, as it should have been (basically, you could drive a basic sports car up it slowly...)) Although the machinery was a factor in their case, as I recall, the couple's objection was that the farm's cows were too loud...

The couple complained and took it to court.

As I heard it, the only delay on judgement was the fact that they had to wait for the judge to stop laughing... (I've read a chunk of the judgement, and trust me, the judge was dying laughing all the way through at the prosecuting couple's presumption. They knew where they were buying, they knew what their neighbours did, they liked the image of living next door to a working farm, but they didn't want to have to put up with anything inconvenient related to a working farm).
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 07:41:11 PM by Fi »

ginlyn32

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1096 on: February 27, 2009, 08:23:37 PM »
I just remembered this one. I worked for a government agency that enforced environmental laws related to farming. I got a call one day from a Mrs. Snowflake. She wanted to report that the farm next door was secretly dumping pollutants in the middle of the night. She was very insistent about how horrible this farm was and all the illegal things they were doing and the local officials just looked the other way.

The first thing I did after taking her report was to call the local officials to get their story. "Mrs. Snowflake? Sigh." I could almost hear the guy's eye rolls.

It seems the Snowflakes had decided that they wanted to live in the country, so they bought a piece of property in a farm area. The farm next door had been a dairy farm, but it was tied up in probate for years. The executors did to run the farm; they just kept up the property for eventual sale. The Snowflakes thought it was all perfect. Quiet, rolling green hills, a few picturesque barns in the distance.

Then the farm was sold and the new owners, quiet legally, turned it into a turkey farm. All of a sudden, there was all sorts of, you know, farming going on. Trucks going up & down the road. Turkeys making loud turkey noises. Dust. Farm smells. It completely spoiled the Snowflake's bucolic dream. They hadn't moved to the country to be inconvenienced by farms. And, what was worse, it turned out that running a turkey farm was completely within the zoning for the area and the county had no interest in rezoning it to suit the Snowflakes.

Since they were unsuccessful in getting the zoning changed to suit themselves, the Snowflakes were doing everything they could to run the turkey farmers off. They were calling every government agency they could think of and swearing that the turkey farmers were committing all sorts of horrors. The poor inspector I talked to had to go out & check almost every claim, even though it was pretty obvious that the turkey farmers were model farmers. They had even changed some of their practices to lessen the impact on the neighbors, The midnight "pollution dumps," for example, were really normal farming jobs that were being done at night so it wasn't so dusty during the day.

I never did learn the final resolution, except I do know that the turkey farm is still there.





This happened a couple of times in my former hometown.

People had decided they wanted a country life and moved....next door to a hog farm.

Yeah. You don't want to smell that on a hot summer day. They moaned and groaned that the HOG FARM, who was their first, was lowering their property values. They even wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. They didn't get much sympathy. In fact, considering it was farm country, they were pretty much laughed at. One guy wrote in that "they were growing your FOOD! Did they think the ham and bacon just magically showed up in the store?"

It was pretty funny.

ginlyn
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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1097 on: February 27, 2009, 11:11:57 PM »
I'm reminded of my father - my parents wrote letters back and forth to his sister (and her husband) in England, and my mother did much of the writing. My father would correct her spelling mistakes in red ink on the letters, and then add a few words of his own.

 :o :o :o

We used to try to explain him by saying "Oh, my father is British... and was born in 1924... and has some funny ideas - you must excuse him..." (apologies to the Brits around).

No apologies necessary; that strikes me as quite an effective (and funny) tactic! :D

I'm also invariably tempted to correct incorrect spellings in correspondence... :-[ Especially as BF has a tendency to employ text-speak in his emails.

bigozzy

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1098 on: February 28, 2009, 05:26:03 AM »


Ooh! That happened memorably a few years back in East Anglia in the UK! In that case, it was a couple who bought a house that shared a driveway/lane with a working farm. They bought it for their "rural dream". The farm, quite understandably, had various heavyweight machinery going up and down the lane (the farmers, btw, were quite happy about making the shared drive accessible by vehicle, but obviously it wasn't a pristine new-paved road - it was a very well maintained farm track, as it should have been (basically, you could drive a basic sports car up it slowly...)) Although the machinery was a factor in their case, as I recall, the couple's objection was that the farm's cows were too loud...

The couple complained and took it to court.

As I heard it, the only delay on judgement was the fact that they had to wait for the judge to stop laughing... (I've read a chunk of the judgement, and trust me, the judge was dying laughing all the way through at the prosecuting couple's presumption. They knew where they were buying, they knew what their neighbours did, they liked the image of living next door to a working farm, but they didn't want to have to put up with anything inconvenient related to a working farm).
[/quote]



There was another one like that a couple of years ago in one of those idyllic English villagers that the big city folk used to buy into.

One SS couple bought a house in an old village complete with old church. They then started raining complaints down on the church because they used the old bells disturbing their Sunday sleep!

allimac

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1099 on: February 28, 2009, 06:08:38 AM »
The country dwelling snowflakes reminds me of the many articles in the newspapers about stupid innocent people that move from the city to the countryside, only to get terribly upset that horses are living on the nextdoor farm. They can't stand the smell from the horses and in some stories someone in the household is allergic to horses and cannot go outside. Of course allergies should be taken seriously, but when the horses have been on the farm next door for many years and it's completely obvious that the field next to your property is a grazing field for the horses, why even buy the house?

There is at least one such article in my local newspaper each year.

ETA: I hadn't read today's newspaper. There was an article about people that had moved into a bunch of newly built houses right by the railway tracks. They are upset because the trains aren't completely silent. Sigh.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 12:27:12 PM by allimac »

iridaceae

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1100 on: February 28, 2009, 06:12:18 AM »
The country dwelling snowflakes reminds me of the many articles in the newspapers about stupid innocent people that move from the city to the countryside, only to get terribly upset that horses are living on the nextdoor farm. They can't stand the smell from the horses and in some stories someone in the household is allergic to horses and cannot go outside. Of course allergies should be taken seriously, but when the horses have been on the farm next door for many years and it's completely obvious that the field next to your property is a grazing field for the horses, why even buy the house?

There is at least one such article in my local newspaper each year.

It's no different than the people who move next door to an airport and then complain about the flights.  Yes, you thought that out well, didn't you?

kherbert05

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1101 on: February 28, 2009, 06:34:49 AM »
I've posted about these SS before.

We have land out in the country. For years Lewis had a cattle lease on it (kept our taxes down). They built a subdivision across the creek. During Deer season Lewis went out to check his cattle and found brats from the subdivision chasing his cattle on their 4 wheelers and dressed in camo.

He told them to leave (knows that my generation in the family is all girls - no teenaged boys in the family at that time). He also told them it was foolish to be in camo on someone else's land in Deer Season because they could be shot.

Parents complained that Lewis threatened their precious children. Lewis did have a rifle in the truck - This is TEXAS guns are frequently mounted on racks in the back windows of pick up trucks. Also, we have found squatters on the land before*.

The sheriff's deputies figure out what happened and told the families to keep their children off our land. One of the parents actually told the deputies that it was public land and they would do what ever they wanted on the land. This idiot actually thought that because no one lived on the land that meant no one owned it and it was public property. This misconception was corrected.

* Family story is that in the 1950's some bank robbers hid out on the land and were hired by Pop to do odd jobs before a deputy spotted them and arrested them.
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creativecat

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1102 on: February 28, 2009, 08:44:06 AM »
I don't post very often here, but I love this thread and have Many stories about snowflakes - a few even about myself when I was bit younger and less mature. But this one always stands out.

I went to the grocery store one day during my last year of college. I don't like to drive around for hours to find a spot close to the store, so I will go down an aisle and pick a random spot. I had just passed a spot at the far end of the aisle I was in and saw some closer ones in the next aisle, so I chose to keep driving. I get to the end of my aisle, and a lady has parked (literally) in the middle of the aisle (impossible to pass) waiting for a space at the front.

Okay, normally, I would be very patient and wait, but the guy whose spot she had chosen was not even in his car yet. He had barely made it there and was just beginning to load a cart full of groceries and a baby into the vehicle... So, after about 5 minutes of waiting (there was a line behind me, so no backing up), I give a gentle honk to clue her in about the line. No go. Another couple gentle honks and a flip of the bird (like I said, not very mature of me). The lady literally gets out of her car and (very snidely) says, "I am waiting for a spot". I asked her if she could kindly take a lap around or move aside as she was blocking the aisle, preventing others from going around. I was a bit afraid of what she might do to me for flipping the bird, but was also very annoyed at waiting this long. I just wanted to find a place to park and regretted not pulling into the far spot I'd passed.

The lady refuses to move and comments on the rudeness of my honking of the horn and my "gesture". I was not one to hold things back at that point. I told her that she was being extremely rude to inconvenience more than just one person in line and to put pressure on the person loading up their car. Besides, I just wanted to find a place to park. This whole scenario lasted about 5-10 minutes (not exaggerating - the guy had a lot to load into his car and was really slow). She chose not to move. By the time she parked and I found a spot, I had been in the parking lot for about 20 minutes. I was out of the store in less time.

So, now, I would handle the situation much differently, but I still think that the logical thing would have been for her to move her car or take a lap so others could safely pass her.

BabyMama

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1103 on: February 28, 2009, 09:06:00 AM »
The country dwelling snowflakes reminds me of the many articles in the newspapers about stupid innocent people that move from the city to the countryside, only to get terribly upset that horses are living on the nextdoor farm. They can't stand the smell from the horses and in some stories someone in the household is allergic to horses and cannot go outside. Of course allergies should be taken seriously, but when the horses have been on the farm next door for many years and it's completely obvious that the field next to your property is a grazing field for the horses, why even buy the house?

There is at least one such article in my local newspaper each year.

Did you hear about Peter Rabbit, the 32 year old horse that was forced to move from his pasture (that he'd been born in) because people were complaining about living so close to a horse?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26417620/

He was finally moved at the beginning of Feb.
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MissRose

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1104 on: February 28, 2009, 09:25:23 AM »
I just had a snowflake customer at work recently...

When a customer needs their account activated, they must call us and answer a security type question we pose to them of some kind, and we have several types to choose from, and if the customer answers right then we can proceed to activate account then assist with changes from there.

I had a lady call in who needed the help above that was described.  I informed her that she must answer 1 of about 4 different security questions to get account activated & get help.  She said "why can't you just activate it so my boss gets off my tail then I can make the billing change..."  I let her know I am sorry unless you answer a question right, I am not allowed to make the change.  After 10 minutes, she gave up, and hung up.  I just hope she doesn't subject any of my co-workers to the same hassle today unless she realizes what we need to work with her account issues.

Reika

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1105 on: February 28, 2009, 12:47:28 PM »
Ah yes, Miss Rose, the "But confidentiality doesn't apply to MEEEEEEEEE" people. Hate them. Absolutely hate them. Sorry, but I'm not going to get in trouble with my job or possibly the federal government because you're calling from an area that you don't feel comfortable verifying information.

The real fun ones are the spouses, male and female, calling on their husband/wife's policy. First they give me a hassle over verifying info, then getting what they're looking for or making any changes. And I do tell them before verifying that I'm limited as to what I can give them but will do what I can assist them. Per HIPAA any changes on a policy can only come from the policyholder, since every health insurance company I've worked with that policy, I'm fairly confident that HIPAA does safeguard that kind of thing. The diatribes I've gotten about that were ugly. They aren't happy when I tell them to take it up with their congresspeople about changing the law, but well, that's the only way it'll get changed.

Though there are several who'll sigh in exasperation, but not at me, and say nicely "See, this is why I told him/her their own darn business!" And we'll have a nice laugh about it and I'll help them as much as I can.

mechtilde

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1106 on: February 28, 2009, 01:17:01 PM »
The real fun ones are the spouses, male and female, calling on their husband/wife's policy.

Ooooh I remember those! I used to work for a large motoring organisation in the UK, and that happened all the time- only the main member was allowed to make changes. The other fun one was when you got parents calling about their adult children's memberships and getting cross with us.

The absolute worst ones, however, were parents, especially fathers, calling to see if their daughter had broken down. Nope, sorry, can't give you that info- I can only pass a message on. We *could*not*tell*them. It would not only be a breach of data protection laws but could also potentially endanger the person who had broken down. Ther were times when I wanted to ask them "If you daughter broke down and a man called asking me what was happening, would you want me to tell them?", but of course I never did as that would just have made them even more angry. I know they were worried, but surely they should have realised that we had to protect confidentiality and safety? Evidently not.
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skbenny

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1107 on: February 28, 2009, 01:18:50 PM »
We have Special Snowflake Grad Student Applicant's Mother problem.  According to FERPA regulations (think HIPAA only for students not patients) we cannot discuss anything with a parent.  If the student wants to know they have been accepted, the student must contact us.  Every student that applies has to provide us several methods of contact: telephone, cell phone, email, snail mail, proxy, etc.  If the parent is not the proxy then we can't give them information.

It doesn't matter if the parent goes from the secretary that takes care of student records to me (her supervisor) to the Department Chair, to the Dean, then to the VP.  We cannot give you that information without losing our jobs.  Screaming at the secretary and swearing at her once the VP has told you no, will not improve you child's chances of getting into graduate school.  Applicants are accepted based on merit and merit alone.

MacabreArtStudent

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1108 on: February 28, 2009, 01:22:03 PM »
Working in a call center for a communications company (cable/phone/internet) I get my share of special snowflakes every day. Mostly it's people who want us to drop *everything* and send a tech to their house for a minor issue. This guy was nuts though ...

SS calls me to find out why his services aren't working. SS is in a very small tow outside of one of the larger towns we service (seriously, there was maybe 50 customers in his whole town) and there was maintenance being done on the lines that ran from the larger town to the smaller town. This was nearing the end of my shift which meant it was after midnight. Usually that is when maintenance like this is scheduled to be done because it will impact the least amount of people. I informed SS that it was temporary and should be back up in a few hours. From most people, I get "OK, I guess I should be getting to bed anyway." Some people ask for a credit for the time service was out, but usually give up on that when they find out the credit will be very small due to service only being out for a short time. I'm still happy to give people a credit, it's just that it usually is less than $2 ($100 per month for all three services divided by 30 days divided by 24 hours.) This is not good enough for SS.

SS informs me (at the top of his lungs) that he was in the middle of a very important business deal that required both his internet and his television services (he did not have our phone service). I might have believed him but he goes on to scream that he was trading on the stock market and that his trades were affected by the outcome of the presidential primaries that day. This is when I lost any sympathy for him. Remember, it is after midnight so the American stock market is closed and has been for hours. Also, the primaries are over already, the votes have been counted, and a winner declared so all he was watching was 24 hour news coverage of the all the speeches that were made hours and hours ago.

I still would have just rolled my eyes and ignored him but then SS demands that we reimburse him for the business deal that he lost out on because of us. This isn't going to happen, it's really not our fault if somebody wants to conduct business in the middle of the night, we will just give them a credit for what they paid us, but just out of curiosity I ask SS what amount he would like to be reimbursed and figure we can go from there, some times I can negotiate a credit for inconvenience sake. SS wants $1,000,000.  :o I had to hit the mute button on my phone because I started laughing. I thought he was joking. Nope. SS really wanted a million dollars because his internet and TV had been off for less than an hour.

He screamed and yelled at me that he would have my job if he wasn't given the credit. Nevermind that I was in more danger of losing my job if I *did* give him a million dollars, but I digress. After screaming at me for about a half an hour and realizing that there was no way he was going to bully me into giving him a credit of any sort besides what was due to him, SS hung up on me. And immediately called back to speak with somebody else. At this hour there was only one other somebody and he was sitting in the desk behind me and had been laughing at SS's ridiculous demands along with me. SS tries to tell coworker that I was a big meanie and I was rude to him and he wanted to speak to the owner of the company. (Um, no. We aren't going to call the corporate office to get his home phone number so we can wake him up to deal with your BS.) He then demands to speak to co-worker's superior ... that would be me ... Nevermind, he wants to speak to *my* superior. Well, he's not here right now but we will certainly send him an email and have him pull the call (they are all recorded) and he will call you back after reviewing the situation. SS suddenly decided that the credit I had offered him for the actual service charges was good enough.  ::)

Seriously though, who honestly thinks that their cable company is going to give them a million dollars for a minor inconvenience? He's become a bit of a running joke between me, coworker, and another coworker from another department who heard the whole thing. Anytime somebody asks for something ridiculous we do a Dr. Evil impression and ask for "One *million* dollars!"  ;D

MacabreArtStudent

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #1109 on: February 28, 2009, 01:29:29 PM »
The other fun one was when you got parents calling about their adult children's memberships and getting cross with us.

We got a call one night from a SS's mother. His cable stopped working all of a sudden. Does he call the cable company? Nope, he calls Mommy and has her call the cable company. To her credit, she sounded rather exasperated with him.

I asked DH what he though would happen if he called his mom in the middle of the night to inform her his cable wasn't working. Her response would probably be "What do you want *me* to do about it? Call the cable company!"