Underprivileged Understanding Is Underwhelming

, , , , | Right | February 10, 2019

(As a receptionist for a local government office, I get a wide variety of people in. I do my best to treat them all with respect, though sometimes it’s not easy. A man comes in who wants to know about funding for local buses. I show him the information, and he notices the funding is separate for regular school buses and for those that transport kids with special physical needs.)

Customer: “Uh… Ah, yes, those buses are for underprivileged kids.”

Me: “Yes, well, they’re for kids, like in wheelchairs. They need ramps and stuff like that.”

Customer: * gives me the most withering, pitying look I’ve ever received* “That’s what ‘underprivileged’ means, dear.”

(I didn’t have the heart to correct him. He was so sure.)

Drivers Know No Other Way To Get Around

, , , , , | Working | January 17, 2019

(It’s 5:30 in the morning and my supervisor and I are in the bus depot, preparing for the first shift of the day. The phone rings. It’s the other early-morning driver, who reports that his car won’t start and he won’t be able to get to work for his first run.)

Supervisor: “I can’t go to collect him because I have the first run out of [Destination #1] in fifteen minutes, and he lives way out in [Distant Suburb].”

Me: “And I have to be driving the bus out of [Destination #2] at the same time.”

Supervisor: “I’ll wake up the mechanic and see if he can help.”

(He does so, and outlines a complex plan which involves him dropping a jump-starter pack from the depot workshop to the mechanic’s house while he is en route to [Destination #1], so the mechanic will then proceed to our colleague’s place to start the car. The supervisor and I will do our own bus runs while also making deviations from our routes that cover the areas that our missing colleague would have done, until the missing driver has finally reached the depot and is able to take over. By the time the supervisor has finished sorting it out, ten minutes have passed and it’s time for us to leave for the early-morning runs.)

Supervisor: “I’ll just go and get the jump-starter pack from the workshop and head out to the mechanic’s house now and… Oh, d***. I don’t know [Colleague]’s exact street address. Would you ring him to get that while I get the jump pack and bus sorted out?”

(Before I can do so, the phone rings again.)

Colleague: “Oh, and by the way, I just moved house last weekend to [a street address only a few minute’s walk from the depot].”

Supervisor: “…”

Me: “…”

You Can’t Dismiss The Karma On This One

, , , , , | Working | December 20, 2018

(Since I began my job, one of the managers has taken a dislike to me, which I cannot understand and which she never explains. I get on really well with everyone else, and over time they all notice her attempts to bully me and the unfair way she treats me. They cannot understand it, either, but according to some of my colleagues who’ve been with the company a long time, she has a habit of singling out a particular person to try and bully and dominate. Our working relationship deteriorates over time. I stand up to her bullying, which she hates. I always make sure my work is flawless so she has no reason to complain, but she deliberately gives me the most difficult tasks to do. The better I do my job, the more surly she becomes. Finally, she resorts to accusing me of things I haven’t done — including stealing — and fires me. I immediately hire a lawyer and claim unfair dismissal, and legal proceedings begin. We start with a mediation session between me and my lawyer, and her and the company lawyer. When it’s over — and I am shaking with rage at the lies she’s attempted to tell, and that I’ve been able to prove are lies — I go into the ladies room to take a few deep breaths and splash my face with water, etc. The next thing I know, she’s entered the bathroom, too, and stands there grinning at me. I go to push past her, when she says:)

Manager: “Do you remember [Client] file you were working on?”

(I stop. The client in question involved many complex tasks, and delicate and difficult work. I’ve actually been wondering how they’ve been getting on without me on that one, because I had been doing the majority of the difficult tasks. So, curiosity, and the dawning of a realisation that I might be about to have the opportunity for a little revenge, stops me from storming out.)

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Could you bring me up to speed? We haven’t been able to move forward since you left, and [Client] is threatening to leave. What I need is an hour of your time right now so we can go over the unfinished work. Are you free now to do that now?”

Me: “Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. But I’m not going to. It’s called karma, you psychopathic b****, and there’s a whole lot more of it coming your way.”

(With that, I marched out. The case proceeded, and I received compensation for unjustified dismissal, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. I heard from my old colleagues that she was moved to a different position in the company, one where she wasn’t in charge of people, and a few months later was fired for gross dishonesty. Karma got her good!)

Playing A Game Of Political Chairs

, , , , , | Romantic | October 13, 2018

(Australia’s frequent changing of Prime Ministers has become a running joke both there and in New Zealand, and they’ve just got a new one again. I’m getting ready for bed when I knock a stuffed koala off a shelf.)

Me: “Meh, I’ll just replace it. Isn’t that what the Australians do, just replace things?”

Girlfriend: “I’m going to get this for a whole month, aren’t I?”

Me: “Month? By the time that’s over, they will have gotten a new one again.”

The Kind Of Price That Will Give You The Blues

, , , | Friendly | October 12, 2018

(My manager is about to head home on a Friday afternoon and asks a passing question just before heading out the door.)

Manager: “Would any of you buy an electric bike for $2,000?”

Me: “I just bought a bicycle for a tenth of that.”

Colleague: “Yeah, but does it have Bluetooth?”

Me: “It does when my phone’s mounted to it.”

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