It’s Not Big Easy Staying Alive

, , , , , | Right | December 8, 2018

(In 2012, I’m getting ready to move to Louisiana with my boyfriend, and as the moving date gets closer, I’m excited enough that I’ve started yapping about it to customers every so often. Most of them have fairly generic, “Good for you,” “Have fun,” and, “Aw, romance,” type responses. Some of them suggest specific restaurants and attractions I should visit if I’m in the right area. However, one guy’s advice sticks out to me in particular.)

Customer: “Stay away from New Orleans. That’s a murder city.”

(My now-husband’s father lives in New Orleans, and we visit him regularly. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been murdered yet.)

Boomers And Job Hunting Is Almost Adorable

, , , , | Related | October 4, 2018

(I’m trying to find a job, but there aren’t many positions in my area that I’m qualified for. Throughout the process, my mom has kept up a steady stream of “advice.” All of it is either decades out of date, irrelevant to my situation, or just plain wrong. If I don’t take her advice, she accuses me of not trying hard enough. I’m on the phone with her.)

Mom: “Oh, I almost forgot! I wanted to tell you how my new coworker got his job!”

Me: *mental sigh* “How did he get his job?”

Mom: “Well, he’s Native American, so he went to this job fair for Native American job seekers.”

Me: “Okay…”

Mom: “So, you know. It’s a thought. You could try it.”

Me: “Yeah… That’s not going to work for me.”

Mom: *getting mad* “Why not?”

Me: “I don’t know if you’re aware, Mom, but I’m not Native American.”

Mom: “Well, you could just… you know…”

Me: “No, I don’t think I do know.”

Mom: “You don’t need to be so difficult about this! Really, you’d have a job by now if you could be more flexible.”

Me: “Does flexible mean pretending to be Native American?”

Mom: “Just listen to your mother and look into it!”

(She hung up after that. I did not look into it.)

This Job Literally Encourages Drinking

, , , , , , | | Working | May 21, 2018

(I’m a front-end supervisor at a high-volume store. I notice one day that my manager has scheduled me to close the front end and open the next day.)

Me: “Hey, I saw the schedule and I noticed that I only have eight hours between shifts. I know that it’s legal, but I live 45 minutes away and there is no way I can fall asleep right when I get home. Can this be changed?”

Boss: “Okay, so, here’s a secret that I learned. What you do is take a capsule of Zzzquil, then open a bottle of wine. Do not stop drinking the wine, and you will fall asleep.”

(I didn’t take that advice.)

The Job Search That Took Fifty Years

, , , , , | Working | April 20, 2018

(Twice a week the same young man shows up at my office dressed in a suit jacket and tries to drop off a resume. Each time, I refer him to the website. He comes back, having not checked the site, still trying to hand in a paper resume. Finally, I sit him down and ask why he keeps coming back.)

Man: “My grandfather says I have to show up in person and make a good impression. He says that going to a website doesn’t show initiative.”

Me: “That’s not true. Do you even have any design or programming experience?”

Man: “Uh… No. You train, right?”

Me: “No, that’s the basics of what we expect from an employee. You know we don’t have any posted job listings, right?”

Man: “No, I didn’t go to the website because my grandfather said… Heck, I’ve wasted a lot of time, haven’t I?”

(I send him back with a letter to his grandfather.)

Letter: “Dear Sir,

Your grandson has come to my office on five occasions now, following your advice. That same advice seems to be what is hampering his job search.

When I am looking for an employee, I am looking for someone with initiative, thoroughness, and follow through. In this case, I want someone who takes the initiative to visit the website and research the company. I want someone with the thoroughness to read and follow the instructions on how to properly submit their resume. Finally, I want someone who follows through with an application to any job that meets their qualifications.

I hire only competent employees, and following the very basic instructions of how to apply for a job shows this competence. By having your grandson ignore this and follow your outdated advice, he has shown himself unable to use the resources at hand, unable to follow basic rules, and requiring special treatment.

Furthermore, as you have sent him to ‘hit the pavement,’ he doesn’t know the first thing about this business! (For example, showing up in a suit to an office where we dress exceedingly casually shows he is a bad fit for our environment.)

I’ve wished your grandson well in his job search. Please stop hampering it with your bad advice. This is the new millennium.”

(The young man thanked me! A few weeks later, he emailed that he found employment in a business completely dissimilar to mine. I hope he learned his lesson about not listening to dated advice!)

She Will Tell You Valentine’s And Time Again

, , , , | Romantic | January 11, 2018

(My long-term boyfriend and I are regulars at a comic book shop, and often talk with the staff while we browse. On this day, there’s a young man and a younger woman working.)

Young Man: “My girlfriend’s birthday is just a few days after Valentine’s Day. February is a real minefield for me.”

Me: “Sorry to hear that. I find it so much easier to not focus on arbitrary dates like that. Huh, baby?”

Boyfriend: “What’s that?”

Me: “We don’t worry about Valentine’s Day, do we?”

Boyfriend: “No, thank god.”

Young Woman: “You have to be careful about that.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Young Woman: “Well, I mean, I tell my boyfriend I don’t really care, but of course I do care.”

Me: “What? Then why tell him you don’t care?”

Young Woman: “Because he should know.”

Me: “You… expect him to read your mind? I really don’t get this.”

Young Woman: *impatiently* “I’m a girl! Of course I care!”

Me: “I’m a girl. I don’t care.”

Young Woman: “Well, you have to be careful about believing that! We all care!”

Me: “I am standing here saying that I don’t care. You’re not hearing it second hand from [Boyfriend]. I don’t care.”

Young Woman: “Yeah, right, you won’t dump him if he just skips Valentine’s Day.”

Me: “We have been together for five years. We’ve skipped every Valentine’s Day. I. Don’t. Care.”

Young Woman: “Well, you really have to be careful about that. I would dump my boyfriend if he skipped Valentine’s Day after I told him I didn’t care about it.”

Me: “Oh, my god! You’re the reason women are stereotyped as unreasonable! Thanks a lot for that! Is it really so frickin’ hard to just say what you mean?”

Young Woman: “He should know!”

Me: *to Boyfriend* “Don’t you dare get me anything this year.”

Boyfriend: “I was thinking of getting you a new tablet sometime this month. If you want to call that a Valentine’s gift, we can.”

Me: “No, let’s not call it anything. But that’s very very sweet; I do need a new one.”

Boyfriend: “Okay, want to go look at tablets?”

Me: “I love you.”

Young Woman: *as we’re leaving* “Don’t believe it! She wants jewelry!”

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