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A Directionless Conversation, Part 3

| Germany | Right | November 2, 2013

(I answer the phone.)

Me: “Good evening, you have reached the front desk. How may I assist you?”

Guest: “I’m lost.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that; where are you right now?”

Guest: “I don’t know; I told you I was lost!”

Me: “Where are you calling from right now?”

Guest: *annoyed* “My cell phone!”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but I need to know where you are if you would like directions to the hotel. Is there a street sign near you?”

Guest: “Yes.”

(There is a very long pause.)

Me: “Can you tell me what it says?”

Guest: “No.”

Me: “No?”

Guest: “No. It’s dark; I can’t read it.”

Me: “Ma’am, if you would like me to give you directions I will need to know where you currently are. Can you please tell me the street name?”

Guest: “Fine…”

Related:
A Directionless Conversation, Part 2
A Directionless Conversation

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Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

| Working | November 2, 2013

Appalling On-Calling

| ON, Canada | Working | November 2, 2013

(I am the only person in our staff of computer services workers for the hospital to do the after-hours and weekend on-call duty. This weekend, I have arranged to give on-call duty to another person, since I am moving house. The change in on-call procedure has been sent out as a system-wide email, and is posted on the first login screen every staffer uses. At 11:30 pm, I get a call on my personal cell phone. All on-call requests are supposed to go to the pager the department owns, so I answer, thinking it is a friend.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, [My Name], it’s [Name] on Switchboard. My monitor’s colors look a little weird; can you come in and replace it?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. I arranged over a month ago to have [Coworker] take on-call duty this weekend, since I’m moving house. That change is posted all over—”

Caller: “But I can’t see the colors right!”

Me: “I’m not the staffer on call this weekend; you’ll have to call [Coworker]. Besides, the system is monochrome. You don’t need accurate colors.”

Caller: “[Coworker] won’t come out for this! Besides, it isn’t the system I need.”

Me: “What program are you using?”

Caller: “I’m surfing the internet!”

Me: “Can you get into the system and use it?”

Caller: “Of course!”

Me: “So you are calling me because you can’t do something you are not supposed to be doing, after you’ve been informed that I am not the on-call person this weekend? I’m not coming in for this. Call [Coworker].”

Caller: “I’m going to report you to your boss and HR!”

(The caller actually did. When my boss asks me about the invective-laden email that was sent to both him and the head of HR, I told him what really happened and why I refused to come in to work and change out the monitor. The caller got read the riot act by the head of HR!)

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What Fools These Mortals Be

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Working | November 2, 2013

(One of my colleagues is working on a customer account, where the customer has a very unfortunate last name. Everyone’s just had a laugh about it. The discussion turns to how because she’s a ‘Mrs’ she would’ve chosen to marry into the name. I’m not really getting involved in the conversation but am casually listening.)

Colleague #2: “Why not just choose to keep her maiden name? I mean, what about the children? They’d be teased at school!”

Colleague #3: “Yeah. It’s like, as an adult you learn to deal with it but when you’re a kid you won’t understand.”

Colleague #2: “Exactly! Names are important! It’s true; names really matter!”

(I decide to interject.)

Me: “A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.”

(Colleagues #1 and #2 look at me with blank looks.)

Colleague #2: “What?”

Me: “A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.”

Colleague #2: “What?”

(I repeat it again, as clearly and as eloquently as I can manage.)

Me: “A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.”

Colleague #2: “What?”

Me: “I’m quoting Shakespeare!”

Colleague #2: “Oh…”

Colleague #1: “So that means names don’t matter, right?”

Me: “Did you guys seriously not get the reference?”

Colleague #3: “I got it!”

Colleague #2: “Yeah, but that’s because you’re lame!”

Driving H2-Slow

, | Eugene, OR, USA | Related | November 2, 2013

(My mother calls me long-distance as I am in college. She is upset because her car is making a bright green puddle behind the right front wheel. I keep fairly close tabs on the family cars, even from afar.)

Me: “Take the car to our regular shop and have them take a look at the water pump.”

(My mother takes the car, and sure enough, it’s what the car needs. She calls me again a day or two later…)

Mother: “I picked up the car but I don’t think they did the job right. The water pump warning light was on the whole way home.”

Me: “The… which, now? The ‘water pump warning light?'”

Mother: “Yes, it was on steadily except when I would accelerate or turn a corner or step on the brake, and then it flashed.”

Me: “Uh… okay, and where is this ‘water pump warning light?’ What does it look like?”

Mother: “It’s on the dashboard with the rest of the lights. It’s a little blue water fountain icon.”

Me: “The windshield washer fluid is in the garage on the second shelf…”

Related:
She’s Too H2-Slow

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