November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Running On Empty

| CA, USA | Bizarre, Health & Body

(I work in an outpatient lab that is usually very busy at all hours of operation. On this day, there are only two people in the waiting area and I am sitting behind the front desk entering in paperwork. An older man walks in and begins to wander around which is odd because there are signs posted everywhere indicating that he should sign in or tell a staff member he is here.)

Me: “Sir, can I help you?”

Man: “There’s no one here!”

Me: *I look at the two people sitting right in front of me, then back to him* “I know, weird! Usually we’re packed right about now. How can I help you?”

Man: “Why isn’t anyone here?”

(The two patients and I look at the man, not knowing what to say.)

Me: “Well, that means there’s hardly any wait to get your blood drawn.” *I smile, trying to be friendly* “Are you here for blood work?”

Man: *he stops wandering around and looks at me, suddenly angry. He shakes his blood work order in my direction* “Bah!”

Me: “…Can I help you with anything, sir?”

(He shook his paperwork at me again and made a gesture of dismissal with his hands and turned to walk out. I guess we weren’t busy enough for him. To this day, I’m still confused about the entire situation.)

They Ended Up Having A Triffid Conversation

| USA | Bizarre, Math & Science

(I am an undergrad researcher to a microbial genetics lab. As such, we have a lot of plants along one wall for experiments. These are pure-bred alfalfa plants, some of them genetically modified, so we are a little protective of them. We don’t want any of their seeds escaping the lab, both because they’re expensive, and because we don’t want them cross-breeding with the wild-type alfalfa outside. We have a net below to catch their seed pods, but some seed pods escape. Because of this, we’ve asked the janitors to not sweep underneath the plants so that we can gather up any escaped seed pods and they don’t make it out into the wild. I’m in the lab late working on a project that needs the bacteria fed every hour. So, I’m staying the night, but am currently surfing the Internet and watching shows while waiting for the next feed. A janitor comes in to clean and goes white in the face when she sees me.)

Janitor: “I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was in here.”

Me: “Sorry. Go ahead. You’re fine.”

Janitor: “I’ll just come back later.”

Me: “The bacteria need to be fed every hour for this experiment, so I’m here all night. Just do what you need to do.”

Janitor: *looking at me like she’s seen a ghost* “Really… I’ll just…”

Me: “Do you need me to leave?”

Janitor: “No… I…”

(She starts cleaning the lab, and I notice that not only is she not sweeping under the plants, but she is leaving a good five feet between her and the plants whenever she goes near them. She seems really overly cautious about it and seems like she’s going to a lot of trouble to not go near them.)

Me: “It’s okay; you can go near the plants. We just don’t want to lose their seed pods, is all.”

Janitor: *suddenly less afraid* “They won’t eat me?”

Me: “What? The alfalfa?”

Janitor: “Yeah. That’s what my manager told me. You guys were making a plant army for the government and we had to leave the plants alone, or we’d get bitten or even eaten.”

Me: *pauses* “They are just alfalfa plants. We’re being paid by the Department of Agriculture to make alfalfa plants that need less nitrogen fertilizer.”

Janitor: “Oh!”

(She spent the rest of the time cleaning the lab having a great conversation with me. It turned out she was a really nice girl, a French major, and we both spoke French and it helped pass the time. I kind of understand now why she was afraid of our lab, but I don’t understand why she thought the government was building a plant army.)

How About Bringing That Brain Out Of Retirement

| IL, USA | Uncategorized

Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for [coworker].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but she retired last month.”

Caller: “Oh…can you have her call me back?”

Me: “I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear before. She retired and is no longer employed here. Can you tell me what you are calling about so I can direct you to someone else?”

Caller: “No, no, that’s fine. I’ll just call for her again later.”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but she won’t be here later. She retired. She’s gone.”

Caller: “It’s okay. I’ll just call for her later.”

Me: “Sir, you don’t understand. Other members of our group have taken over her responsibilities, so if you can tell me what it is you needed to talk to her about, I can direct you to someone who can help you.”

Caller: “So, can I call back next week?”