Formatting A New Friendship

, , , , , | Working | October 21, 2017

(I work in a portrait studio and am going to upload a customer’s pictures from a memory card after finishing the session. I get an error message that says, “card cannot be used,” which I’ve never seen before, so I call our help desk. He asks a couple questions and runs few a couple of quick things that don’t work.)

Help Desk Tech: “Okay, let’s do it this way. Go ahead and format the memory card.”

Me: “What? Format the memory card?”

(I am terrified to do this because it will erase all the images I just finished taking of a large group.)

Help Desk Tech: “Yeah.”

Me: “No.”

Help Desk Tech: “No?”

Me: *firmly* “No.”

Help Desk Tech: “Why not?”

Me: “I’m trying to retrieve the images, not delete them!”

Help Desk Tech: “It’s fine. I can still get them after you format it.”

Me: “No.”

Help Desk Tech: “It will be okay.”

Me: “What’s your name?”

Help Desk Tech: “[Help Desk Tech].”

Me: “Well, [Help Desk Tech], if I am going to go against my better judgement and format this memory card I need you to promise me that I won’t delete these pictures.”

Help Desk Tech: “It should be fine.”

Me: “Should be isn’t good enough! I need you to promise me.”

Help Desk Tech: “I promise. Go ahead and format it. I’ll help you through this. We can do it together.”

(I can tell he’s teasing me, but I take a deep breath and format the memory card. He proceeds to remotely access my computer and retrieve the images from the card.)

Me: “You did it!”

Help Desk Tech: “I’m glad. I was totally lying when I promised before.”

Me: “[Help Desk Tech]!”

Help Desk Tech: “Just kidding.”

Me: “Thank you so much!” *to my customer who has been waiting for her pictures* “He did it! My new best friend [Help Desk Tech] did it!”

([Help Desk Tech] is my buddy now. I’m always glad when I call the help desk and it’s him. The customer loved her pictures and tipped me $30.)

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Going Against Code

, , , , , | Working | October 19, 2017

(Back in 1978, I was just a kid working as a programmer for a large engineering firm. One day my boss hands me two stacks of listings. They are the source for a project, one from today and one from six months prior. My job is to go through them line-by-line and mark which lines have been removed, which have been added, and which have been changed. The stacks are at least six inches tall, and I look at them in dread, realizing that there have to be some 100,000 mind-numbing lines to read. The number of errors I am bound to make will be astronomical. Then I get the bright idea to write a program that can find insertions, deletions, and changes. One day, such tools will become commonplace, but in 1978, they are unheard of. In a couple hours, I have a working program and I run all the code for the project through it, print it out, and give it to my boss later in the day.)

Boss: *looking shocked* “It’s done?”

Me: “Yeah. I wrote a program that did all the dirty work.”

Boss: *getting a bit red and angry* “Who authorized you to write a program to do this?

Me: “I was hired as a programmer. I didn’t think I needed to ask about that. Besides, this is 100% accurate. If I did it by hand, think of all the errors that would be in it.”

(Since our stuff often needed FAA or military oversight, he realized I just helped him dodge a bullet, and he calmed down quickly. The remaining problem was that this little task was designed to keep me busy for two or three weeks while he came up with something else for me. But from then on, I was put on more interesting projects.)

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Very Animated About Getting You To That Movie

, , , , | Working | October 14, 2017

(It is well known at my store that I am a fan of anime, because I often wear hair ribbons or pins related to different series. The manager is as well, but she just displays it with a lanyard of soot sprites. At this time, I’m copying the schedule for the first week of the new year into my phone while she checks out a customer.)

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], do you like [Animated Movie]?”

Me: “Well, it’s one of the many by [Movie Director] I haven’t seen yet.”

Manager: *knowing smile* “[Nearby Theater] is showing it on the 5th, at 7 pm. Subbed. And it’s just $12.”

Me: “Okay, thanks!”

(It wasn’t until I walked out of the store and checked the schedule I just copied down for that date that I realized she scheduled me to get out of work an hour earlier than the time the movie starts so I could go see it. Best. Manager. Ever.)

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Time To Walk Them Through It

, , , | Working | October 12, 2017

(The number one rule at pools is no running. Just don’t do it. I’ve seen some pretty gruesome injuries as a result. One day, I’m lifeguarding, and this kid is just not getting the “no running” rule. We’ve warned him three times and still see him literally sprinting from one side to the other. My coworker finally has enough the fourth time.)

Coworker: *as loud as she can* “HEY, YOU!” *the kid stops and looks like a deer in headlights* “COME HERE!”

(The kid walks, for the first time at a reasonable speed, up to her, looking scared. We can kick people out of the pool, and I’m pretty sure he assumes that is about to happen.)

Coworker: “All right. Can you lift up your left leg?”

Kid: “Uh, yeah.”

(He does so.)

Coworker: “Okay, and put it down?”

(The kid does that.)

Coworker: “Now lift up your right leg and put it down.”

(The kid does all these things and stares at her, confused.)

Coworker: “Great! What you just did is called walking. That is what I and the other lifeguards have been trying to get you to do the whole time you’ve been here. Not because it’s optional, but because it’s safer! Now that we’ve established that you can walk, you better slow down, or you can’t be here anymore. Understand?”

(The kid nodded and never ran the rest of his stay.)

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Dealing With Humans Is A Lottery

, , , , | Right | October 12, 2017

(I work at a stadium. Across the street is a small mom-and-pop bodega owned by a very nice family from India. I usually eat there because the food is good and cheap, and the location is convenient. On game days, they get slammed with drunk tailgaters walking over from the stadium. This exchange takes place one afternoon on my lunch break.)

Owner: “Hello. How are you today, and what may I get you?”

Me: “I am doing well, sir, and you? It looks like you guys are super busy, so I will just take a [pre-made sandwich]. Thank you!”

(As he hands me my lunch and rings me up, he hands me three lottery tickets.)

Me: “Oh, I don’t need these; I didn’t pay for them.”

Owner: “Take them as a gift, sir. You are literally the only person who has been polite and talked to me as a human being all d*** day!”

(See, kids? It pays to be polite!)

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