Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 4385262 times)

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mmswm

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18405 on: December 12, 2012, 01:21:01 AM »
Why do interstate highways bring out the most Special Snowflakes Ever?  I'm 1250 miles into what if ultimately a journey of a tad more than 4000 miles.  Granted, I'm taking a bit of the long way (Seattle, WA; San Diego, CA; Ft. Worth, TX, Atlanta, GA; then Miami, FL), but between winter driving conditions over the Rockies and wanting to visit a few people, I felt that the extra couple hundred miles was worth it.  So, today, as I was closing in on the final stretch into San Diego (yay!!!  I get to hang out with one of my most favoritest people EVER) I encountered the SSiest driver I've ever seen. 

A bit of background: Tejon Pass on I-5 can be quite dicey.  The southbound assent is rather steep (reported 6% grade over 5 miles, total vertical assent 2613 feet over 11.6 miles).  There are 4 travel lanes.  The two an the right are generally reserved for semis, RV's and vehicles that are towing something.  The third lane is generally for slower moving passenger vehicles and the 4th for faster moving passengers vehicles. As you begin the southbound assent, drivers are warned to turn off their a/c's in order to avoid overheating and there are water stations every quarter to half mile, along with a number of highway personel to assist if required.  I'm no longer an inexperienced mountain driver.  While I haven't been driving in these sorts of conditions for a long time, I am otherwise a skilled driver and gained quite a bit of experience travelling across the US earlier this year when I drove through the northern Rockies (Montana, Idaho) and the Cascades (Washington State, Oregon), and, of course, all the mountain passes in OR and CA on this drive going south. By now, I've got a general idea of how my car handles under these conditions.  Tejon Pass is by far the steepest grade over the longest distance of all the passes I've navigated thus far.  There are, of course, passes that are worse, but those are part of the reason why I'm not taking the shortest route from point A to point B.  I drive a 1999 Honda Civic with a manual transmission.  /end background. :D

So, I'm happily motoring up the pass. Even though my car is packed with as much stuff as I could cram in it, I was still able to maintain 60-65mph during most of the assent (except when the posted limits on certain curves were lower).  Since I was travelling at the posted speed limit, I spent most of my time in the far left (4th) lane, actively passing slower traffic on my right. When I was just a couple miles from the apex of the pass, this pick-up truck came barreling up behind me.  There was a pretty solid line of traffic to my right at the time, so I couldn't have moved over even if I wanted to.  Besides that, I was travelling at the posted speed limit.  For this guy to want to pass me, he would have to be speeding, and with law enforcement out in force, that would not be a wise move.  Anyway, I continued to climb the hill, looking for a space in the lane to my right for me to safely move over, even though I would have to slow down (which I did NOT want to do while going uphill...which maybe SS driver was thinking the same thing, but I think the difference here is that he was speeding and I was not).  Anyway, it took about a mile before there was a break in traffic large enough for me to move out of his way.  In that minute, this guy was flashing his lights at me, swerving, honking, and shaking his fist and making other gestures.  I could not believe that this guy was willing to make that big of a ruckus on a stretch of road that is so steep and icky that semis were chugging up it at 15mph and the DOT sees fit to equip with the sheer number of emergency stations that exist on that stretch.

I suppose though, that Karma won in the end.  Not too long after he got around me, the cops had him pulled over. :D

sunnygirl

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18406 on: December 12, 2012, 01:58:34 AM »
The kids were awesome. No disipline probs at all, and with 1st through 5th grades, that's kinda saying something. The parents on the other hand...
My workplace runs massive events for children (and parents) once a month, and I usually volunteer to help run them because they are very enjoyable. We've never, ever had a problem with a kid behaving badly - some minor rambunctiousness like running and generally getting overexcited, but no tantrums or SS behaviour. All the bad behaviour comes from the parents. Mostly either sneaking away from the group into parts of the building they are not allowed and then complaining when caught, or refusing to watch/control their children the tiniest bit (completely ignoring that the kids are running or wandering into off-limits rooms) on the grounds the staff leading the team are in charge. Even though we make it very clear both verbally and in writing that we are not responsible for their children and that they must keep control at all times.

Of course, some schmuck and his wife try to come through as we are still setting up at 7:30.  I told the man that he was more than welcome to buy something, but I got to pick three things to go with him...including the flamingo yard ornament made of pink tinsel.  They wandered off quickly.
I probably would have taken you up on the flamingo lawn ornament :)
Me too. Totally jealous of whomever got that little treasure!  ;D

MissRose

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18407 on: December 12, 2012, 11:16:03 AM »
I was working with a customer on an issue that required he do a few tweaks on his account to fix the issue and keep an eye out to see if happens again.  After explaining why, and how to fix, the customer then said "I would like a supervisor", I then asked when I ask for one, they need to know why, and then he said "because you were rude".    Perhaps, I was rude for asking him for the reason why and following departmental protocol.  I then was able to locate one, and when I was ready to send the customer to him per his request, the customer already disconnected the line.  Makes me wonder why he wanted one and wasn't willing to wait perhaps, I will never know.  I've checked the system, and he has not bothered to contact us back to complain.

MrTango

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18408 on: December 12, 2012, 11:26:26 AM »
I suppose though, that Karma won in the end.  Not too long after he got around me, the cops had him pulled over. :D

The fact that someone is driving at the posted speed limit does not relieve them of the requirement to keep right if there is faster traffic, and the mere fact that he was speeding doesn't make him a SS.

On the other hand, the way he expressed his displeasure at having to wait until you could find a safe place to move over plants him quite firmly in the SS category.

Then again, I also love watching karma win.

mmswm

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18409 on: December 12, 2012, 11:59:25 AM »
I suppose though, that Karma won in the end.  Not too long after he got around me, the cops had him pulled over. :D

The fact that someone is driving at the posted speed limit does not relieve them of the requirement to keep right if there is faster traffic, and the mere fact that he was speeding doesn't make him a SS.

On the other hand, the way he expressed his displeasure at having to wait until you could find a safe place to move over plants him quite firmly in the SS category.

Then again, I also love watching karma win.

That's why I labeled him SS. It's not like I was going under the speed limit, or intentionally staying in the left lane just to irritate him.  I was actively passing slower traffic. It was like he expected me to cut somebody off and slow down myself, just because he wanted to break the law. Trying to drive a lot faster than the speed limit on a pass that makes most lists of "most dangerous mountain roads in the US" just makes him an idiot.  I have no issues moving over for faster traffic, but I do like to make sure it's safe to do so before I change lanes.  Cutting somebody off would have made me the dangerous driver, and that would not have been cool.

sevenday

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18410 on: December 12, 2012, 02:23:18 PM »
Re: the mountain pass speeder - the OP was looking for a safe space to merge right and allow the speeder to pass; it just so happened that no such space opened up before the truck caught up to them.  I don't think the OP was wrong, nor irresponsible, either.  If you are speeding, you do not get to insist that "slower" traffic (i.e. those going the speed limit) MUST make room for you.  Is it safer to move over and allow a speeder to pass you? Certainly, especially on known dangerous roads, but my sympathy for the speeder's desire to get around you is zero. 

artk2002

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18411 on: December 12, 2012, 05:20:36 PM »
A bit of background: Tejon Pass on I-5 can be quite dicey.  The southbound assent is rather steep (reported 6% grade over 5 miles, total vertical assent 2613 feet over 11.6 miles).  There are 4 travel lanes.  The two an the right are generally reserved for semis, RV's and vehicles that are towing something.  The third lane is generally for slower moving passenger vehicles and the 4th for faster moving passengers vehicles. As you begin the southbound assent, drivers are warned to turn off their a/c's in order to avoid overheating and there are water stations every quarter to half mile, along with a number of highway personel to assist if required.  I'm no longer an inexperienced mountain driver.  While I haven't been driving in these sorts of conditions for a long time, I am otherwise a skilled driver and gained quite a bit of experience travelling across the US earlier this year when I drove through the northern Rockies (Montana, Idaho) and the Cascades (Washington State, Oregon), and, of course, all the mountain passes in OR and CA on this drive going south. By now, I've got a general idea of how my car handles under these conditions.  Tejon Pass is by far the steepest grade over the longest distance of all the passes I've navigated thus far.  There are, of course, passes that are worse, but those are part of the reason why I'm not taking the shortest route from point A to point B.  I drive a 1999 Honda Civic with a manual transmission.  /end background. :D

This is why I take I-5 when going north, but US 101 going south. 101 is much prettier and there are nicer places to stop. It doesn't take that much longer over the distance I'm traveling (San Jose or Berkeley to Los Angeles) and I think the extra time is worth it. I've driven I-5 through the Tejon pass many times and avoid it like the plague.

I suppose though, that Karma won in the end.  Not too long after he got around me, the cops had him pulled over. :D

The fact that someone is driving at the posted speed limit does not relieve them of the requirement to keep right if there is faster traffic, and the mere fact that he was speeding doesn't make him a SS.

We could endlessly debate whether that left-hand lane is for the fastest traffic, in which case mswm was somewhat in the wrong, or for "traffic going faster than the next lane over" in which case she was clearly in the right. Personally, as long as she was actively passing people in the #2 lane, she was within the rules, making Mr. Impatient the SS.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Mental Magpie

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18412 on: December 12, 2012, 05:58:59 PM »
I think people are misunderstanding MrTango.  He was separating what actually made the driver a SS from what was not SS behavior.  I don't think he disagrees that the driver was a SS, just which behavior (the way he expressed his disappointment for lack of better words) is that which moved into the SS territory.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

mmswm

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18413 on: December 12, 2012, 06:12:26 PM »
I think people are misunderstanding MrTango.  He was separating what actually made the driver a SS from what was not SS behavior.  I don't think he disagrees that the driver was a SS, just which behavior (the way he expressed his disappointment for lack of better words) is that which moved into the SS territory.

I do believe you're correct.  Also, I was not clear in my original post as to the identification of what made the driver SS.  It was the gestures, weaving, honking and flashing lights that made him SS.

I have certainly been in the position before where I've been in the far left travel lane behind somebody slower than me, but that somebody was faster than the traffic to his/her right.  While not my favorite set of circumstances, that person in front of me really should be able to pass others without being bullied by me, so I slow down and wait for them to finish passing the cars to their right, then speed back up.  This driver yesterday didn't seem to understand that part of travelling on a busy highway.

FWIW, I drive a LOT.  I love road trips.  I've done the Miami to Detroit haul a couple times, Miami to Atlanta (at least 20 times or so) Miami to Fargo, ND, Fargo to Minneapolis, Fargo to Brandon, MB, Canada, Minneapolis, MN to Seattle, and now Seattle to Miami, with a side trip through San Diego :).  I'm pretty good about taking the entire situation into account when deciding how I'm going to maneuver in order to drive at the pace I would like to drive while at the same time attempting not to be an irritation to other drivers.  I also tend to make "friends" with truckers on extremely long hauls.  It's amazing how they remember the polite driver that's been behind them for 300 miles when there's heavy traffic or construction that requires jockeying for position, etc.  and they'll position themselves to help you get where you need to be.  I've also had a few truckers approach me in truck stops or rest stops to let me know of potential hazards ahead.  A good long haul truck driver can be a fabulous resource on cross-country road trips. 

greencat

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18414 on: December 12, 2012, 06:36:46 PM »
Re: The driver thing - I think that expecting someone to either break the law or risk the lives of themselves and others so you can continue breaking the law is inherently Special Snowflakiness.  The aggressive behaviors were evidence of him being an SS, not what made him one.

Special snowflake hotel guests:  Breakfast is that meal traditionally eaten first thing in the morning.  When you stumble down, either hungover or still drunk, at almost noon, don't complain that we're no longer serving breakfast.  At half-past eleven, it's time for lunch.  You can either order some lunch here, or I can recommend one of several within-walking-distance establishments that serve breakfast foods all day, but I can no longer serve you breakfast.



mmswm

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18415 on: December 12, 2012, 06:40:30 PM »
Re: The driver thing - I think that expecting someone to either break the law or risk the lives of themselves and others so you can continue breaking the law is inherently Special Snowflakiness.  The aggressive behaviors were evidence of him being an SS, not what made him one.

Special snowflake hotel guests:  Breakfast is that meal traditionally eaten first thing in the morning.  When you stumble down, either hungover or still drunk, at almost noon, don't complain that we're no longer serving breakfast.  At half-past eleven, it's time for lunch.  You can either order some lunch here, or I can recommend one of several within-walking-distance establishments that serve breakfast foods all day, but I can no longer serve you breakfast.

Or do what I did this morning: stumble down during the posted breakfast hours, get food then stumble back upstairs to sleep for another hour.  Of course, I wasn't hung over, but tired after hanging out with a friend until fairly late.

MrTango

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18416 on: December 12, 2012, 07:30:45 PM »
I think people are misunderstanding MrTango.  He was separating what actually made the driver a SS from what was not SS behavior.  I don't think he disagrees that the driver was a SS, just which behavior (the way he expressed his disappointment for lack of better words) is that which moved into the SS territory.

This.  Thank you.

AfleetAlex

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18417 on: December 13, 2012, 10:20:40 AM »
  I also tend to make "friends" with truckers on extremely long hauls.  It's amazing how they remember the polite driver that's been behind them for 300 miles when there's heavy traffic or construction that requires jockeying for position, etc.  and they'll position themselves to help you get where you need to be.  I've also had a few truckers approach me in truck stops or rest stops to let me know of potential hazards ahead.  A good long haul truck driver can be a fabulous resource on cross-country road trips.

POD this. There are a few Special Snowflake truck drivers out there, but most are the anti-snowflake.
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18418 on: December 13, 2012, 11:51:09 AM »
I had one this morning - SS I-drive-a-fast-looking-car-us

I was driving down GA400 this morning, as usual. This is a very heavy traffic road, four lanes in each direction, and a full lane width shoulder on each side - buses can 'skip the line' and drive down these shoulders to avoid traffic legally. Hence, it's neither legal nor a bright idea to drive on the shoulder for any distance at all unless you have a true emergency.

When traffic stopped dead about 3/4 of a mile from my exit, as it typically does, I noticed that a little mini Cooper with racing stripes and a hood scoop intake was behind me, driven by a well dressed woman in her 60s, in a business suit (at least from what I could see) and giant Barbara Bush pearls. Not the sort of person we expect to be an aggressive driver. She was easing into the shoulder, but not all the way, just enough to see around traffic perhaps. She stayed there for the entire distance to the next exit, except when we passed an accident on the shoulder with a police car present, and then roared past me and sped down the exit ramp. I got off, and was right behind her, as she laid on the horn for (I watched the clock) almost 2 full minutes as the guy ahead of her waited for a gap in traffic to make a right on red. She was gesturing wildly the entire time, one finger salute, shaking a fist, just acting insane. She jumped out right behind him in traffic when he turned (nearly cutting off a car) and drove off, well over the speed limit, still honking and gesturing. I last saw her half a block ahead of me, still honking, still shaking her fist, paralleling the guy that had made her wait. I was never so glad to turn off into my office!

Hillia

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #18419 on: December 13, 2012, 12:14:41 PM »
This happened a few years ago.

It was during morning rush hour. I had just dropped DS off at school and was headed to work.  I was going north on a major street (3 lanes each direction plus a left turn lane).  I approached a traffic light, which was solid green for both north and southbound traffic - so you could make a left turn if there was a sufficient gap in traffic to do so.  As I approached, intending to continue north through the intersection, I noticed a woman in the southbound left turn lane.  She was waiting for her gap in traffic, but was slowly creeping forward - not just inching forward to be ready if a gap appeard, but slowly moving into traffic.  I honestly thought she was planning to pull in front of me, so I slowed down while watching her.  This infuriated her, and there was a lot of arm waving etc on her part as I continued on.

Here's the best part: I watched in my rearview mirror as she made a highly illegal (and dangerous) U turn in the middle of hte busy intersection.  She then wove in and out of traffic to follow me.  When I was stopped by a red light, she got out of my car and came up to mine, banging on my driver's side window and screaming.  I just kept the door locked and windows up, and tried to read the company name on her ID badge (wasn't able to, unfortunately).  Eventually the light turned green, other drivers began honking and yelling at me, and I took off.

This was really stupid on her part for a number of reasons, not least of which was that this happened in Phoenix, in a high crime neighborhood, where road rage shootings happen with some frequency.  She's lucky she picked on me and not someone who was a) carrying a weapon and b) unstable enough to use it.

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