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Slow ‘Em Who’s Boss

| Working | June 13, 2012

(I have a summer job on a construction site sweeping work areas, sorting materials and such. One day my coworker and I—both underpaid temps passing time until college classes start again—have been asked to sweep the floor in an area where the construction team is installing the air conditioning system.)

Boss: *to my coworker and me* “You need to be careful because we don’t want dust in the system, so work slow.”

Coworker: “You won’t have to tell us twice, sir. We can do slow!”

(We start sweeping the area slowly. After some time, the boss comes by.)

Boss: “Guys, you really need to go slower. There is too much dust in the air.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there are a lot of people working here. We are taking it really easy, but we can’t tell the dust to get on the floor.”

Boss: “Well, just slow down. Take it REALLY easy!”

Me: “Sure, we can slow down!”

(We take it down even further as the boss leaves. After all, when the boss tells you to work slower you don’t say no!)

Coworker: “This is the first time I’ve ever heard someone apologize to the boss for not slacking off enough!”

(Soon after, the boss comes back again to check up.)

Boss: “There I still too much dust in the air. You guys really need to go slower!”

Me: “Well, I think that if we go slower you need to make a time lapse video to see us moving. Are you sure about this?”

Coworker: “Yeah, not that I’m complaining, but we aren’t exactly the only ones here who can stir up the dust. We should probably sweep the whole area before the day is over.”

Boss: “No problem. Just get as far as you can get, but make sure you go really slow this time.”

(The boss leaves again, and we are trying to figure out how we can slow down even further and still actually do anything. Once again, as the boss finishes his rounds, he checks up on us again.)

Boss: “Well, it’s getting better, but can you please slow down even more?”

Me: “I am honestly not sure if I can do that. We are barely moving as it is, and I think we were just passed by a snail.”

Boss: “Well, try anyway. It’s getting better, so keep up the good work!”

Coworker: *after the boss leaves* “I love this job.”

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