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February 17, 1993

Fort Erie, Ontario, Constable Paul Fletcher told reporters in December that a man armed with a club tried to force a woman to drive him home with her to get money for him, but that when he waited for her to unlock the passenger door from inside, she sped away.

The one showing that sticks out in my mind was last August. I think, not sure, but I think while I was showing I had a nervous breakdown. Oh – not a typo. I actually broke down into tears in front of my customer. Ok ok, I am not on Prozac, so let me explain the whole situation.

At the time, I was a manager in my company’s second office. I had just hired three agents and all three started the same day. I was also running some other training classes that night, for both of the offices. I was CrAzY busy…

My father in law works in my office as a rental agent. He happen to become very ill and wound up in the hospital, he was actually so sick that his prognosis was not looking to good. He had a huge list of customers waiting to view apartments and he is the top guy for a management company so he was getting about 20-30 calls a day from this Management company to show their vacant apartments (there was 11 at the time).

So me, trying to be helpful and super efficient I thought that I could run my training, have a meeting, take his showings over and still do my work in the office. This lasted for about two weeks.

Ok – wait – that was only the set up… I want you to feel my pain that very day.

Anyhow, this particular night I worked in the office all day, had a training meeting and was taking his customers out through out the day. By 9:00PM I was finally at my last appointment, and I just wanted to get home. So I am waiting at the apartment for my last customer. I was there for about an hour showing other customers so the doors were already unlocked, the lights were on and I was just waiting. I see the customer walking up the walk and “oh, man I am almost done”. I have a rule about how I show vacant apartments. I never walk up steps before my customers. I am afraid that they might close the door behind us – and I don’t want the door shut in a vacant apartment at night. Silly safety rule, right? NO.

As she approaches the stoop to the apartment, my phone rings – its my mother in law calling from the hospital. She starting shooting out bad news about my father in law and my customer is standing right there. So I motion her to the apartment and we go up stairs. I am in front of her as we go up the stairs. SLAM! The door closes behind us. “Umm Mom, I will call you back”.

I go back downstairs to open the door while she is viewing the vacant apartment. THE DOOR WILL NOT OPEN. My heart drops. I am turning the knob every which way I could and NOTHING – it feels as if it is locked – not jambed. She comes back down the stairs and starts asking me questions about the apartment as I am standing in front of the locked door. I just start crying. I can not stop the tears, I can not look at her, I can’t speak. She asks if everything is ok, with fear in her voice and I just look at her and start spilling my guts, like I am doing here, but in hysteria.

Once I gain somewhat of composure, I open the tiny window at the base of the stairs and I figure I have to climb through it. I will have to squeeze my ARSE through this window and get us out. OH MY GAWD. OK, I turn to her and explain to her what I have to do. So she is helping me climb through the window and I have one leg out and she is pushing me from behind. As I am half way out of the window, other tenants come walking up and have NO IDEA what I am doing. I am crying, I am climbing through the window and they have no idea who I am.

As they open up the front door, with me still semi through this window I can feel bruises forming as I look at my customer as ask her “so, do ya want the apartment?” She answered with – “that will be a no”.

I am not exactly sure where I lost her, do you think it was my hysteria, my having her help me climb through the window or fear that she was dealing with a nut job?

On Sears’s hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping. (Gee, that’s the only time I have to work on my hair!)

On a Japanese soda machine: Soft drinks – Enjoy refreshing taste while having a good time chatting! (Friends sold separately.)

On a bag of Fritos: You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. (The shoplifter special!)

On a bar of Dial soap: Directions: Use like regular soap. (And that would be how?)

On some Swann frozen dinners: Serving suggestion: Defrost. (But it’s *justa suggestion!)

On a hotel provided shower cap in a box: Fits one head. (Really?)

On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert: (printed on bottom of the box) Do not turn upside down. (Too late! You lose!)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: Product will be hot after heating. (Are you sure??? Let’s experiment.)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron: Do not iron clothes on body. (But wouldn’t that save more time?)

On Boot’s Children’s cough medicine: Do not drive car or operate machinery. (We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction incidents if we just kept those 5 year olds off those forklifts.)

On Nytol sleep aid: Warning: may cause drowsiness. (One would hope!)

On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights: For indoor or outdoor use only. (As opposed to use in outer space?)

On a Japanese food processor: Not to be used for the other use. (Now I’m curious.)

On Sainsbury’s peanuts: Warning: contains nuts. (But no peas?)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts: Instructions: open packet, eat nuts. (Have a lobotomy)

On a Swedish chainsaw: Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals. (What is this, a home castration kit?)

On a child’s Superman costume: Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly. (That’s right, destroy a universal childhood fantasy!)

A Korean kitchen knife: Warning keep out of children

Found on the inside of a pull top lid of a liquid radiator sealant: “Caution: DO NOT LICK LID”

Dr. Pepper bottle: “WARNING: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE. CAP MAY BLOW OFF CAUSING EYE OR OTHER SERIOUS INJURY. POINT AWAY FROM PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY WHILE OPENING.”

From a newspaper article: “A congressionally-funded study has determined that many smokers are ignoring the warning labels on cigarette packages”

Top Cog fan belts instructions for replacement: Do not change belt while the engine is running.

Indigo Owners Manual: Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw mouse at co-workers.

Cloth roller restrooms towels: Warning! Improper use may cause serious injury or death!



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