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A Brazilian Reasons To Ask For A Manager

, , , , , | Working | March 16, 2023

I’m Brazilian by birth, though I grew up in England. As such, I have a very strong accent and speak Portuguese as a second language. I need to get some documents notarised and head to the local office. As it is my first time there, they need to take some details.

Woman: “Okay, now I just need your [incomprehensible] number.”

Me: “Um, excuse me?”

Woman: “Your number.”

Me: “My identity number is here on my ID.”

Woman: “No, I need your other number.”

I have no idea what is going on. The woman gives me a patronising smile.

Woman: “What nationality are you?”

Me: “Brazilian.”

Woman: “No, your other nationality.”

Me: “I’m Brazilian.”

Woman: “No, your other nationality.”

Me: “Well, I am dual nationality British-Brazilian, but what difference does that make?”

Woman: “Aha! So I need your [random abbreviation] number.”

Me: “I have no idea what you are talking about. I am Brazilian; I only have an [ID] number.”

This carries on for five minutes until my boyfriend (who is native) comes along. He talks to the woman who then leaves, and he turns to me, speaking English.

Boyfriend: “You’re done here. She wanted your naturalisation number.”

Me: *Cluelessly* “But I’m born and bred Brazilian. I just speak funny.”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, she heard the accent and smelled the money. She was trying to get you to pay for a few more forms. Next time, just say you are Brazilian and keep it there.”

Time To Hit That Client With A Big Red “You’re Fired” Button

, , , | Right | March 12, 2023

Client: “Why would anyone have a hard time using a website? It’s all about clicking buttons. Make buttons big red squares, and maybe add some sound to each one, so when a user points to a button with the mouse, he’ll hear a ‘button voice’ yelling, ‘Click me! Click me!’ Now, this is what I call a user experience!”

Me: “…”

Client: “Listen, boy, I am not supposed to provide these kinds of solutions. I am paying you to do that! Listen… are you r*****ed or something?”

Carnage Knows No Gender

, , , , , , | Working | March 10, 2023

I spent a little over two years volunteering as a focus group tester for a very large gaming company. The idea was to test the boundaries of the game to see if you could find flaws and/or crash the game, as well as provide feedback on the gameplay. When you signed up with these guys, they gave you an application with a questionnaire asking what sorts of games you were interested in playtesting for them.

My preferred style of gameplay involves as much violence, destruction, and slaughter as possible, so I selected every genre where it was theoretically possible to cause carnage: shooters, real-time strategy, fighting games, etc. You know, the fun stuff that is not meant for anything below M-Rated.

Pretty soon, I got my first call to come in for a group. I was super excited. What kind of game would I get to see? Would it have guns? Swords? Epic space battles?


It turned out that the only part of my application the company actually looked at was my gender. I happen to have a uterus, so I was put into a group with six or seven other young ladies and told to provide feedback on a new browser-based Flash game about caring for virtual babies.

It was the most G-rated, brainless, idiotic pile of nonsense I’ve ever had the displeasure of interacting with. The focus group could have involved elementary school kids happily, assuming kids that age wanted to pretend to be a very watered-down version of a mommy.

And for some reason, the other girls were eating it up. They kept asking questions like, “Do we get to dress them up?”, “How do we feed them?”, and, “Do they talk?”

The more I listened, the more irritated I got. The staff clearly expected an easy session where all the young ladies had zero knowledge or intention to actually test the game’s ability to function under stress.

After about twenty minutes of listening to fluff noise, I decided to ask a few questions of my own.

Me: “Would it be possible to starve the babies?”

Staff: “No, that’s not possible. The babies cannot die.”

Me: “Oh. Then would it be possible to neglect the babies to the point of inducing a psychotic break?”

Staff: “No, absolutely not. The babies cannot go insane.”

Me: “Well, would it be possible to somehow pit the babies against each other in gladiatorial combat? If I give my baby a sword, can he learn to dismember the flesh of his enemies? Is my baby large enough to wield a submachine gun?”

The only answer I got to any of those was a horrified stare.

Me: “I filled out the questionnaire. Why did the idiots who are processing those only look at my gender and not my preferences?”

There was some sputtering and an awkward, vague excuse about a mistake happening “somewhere.”

About a month later, I was called back to playtest another game. This time, it was a tactical shooter. I dragged that game through the toughest trenches of gameplay and soon broke their physics engine by filling a room with corpses.

I continued to be a focus tester for the next two years, and they never again asked me to provide feedback about babies. As a bloodthirsty uterus-bearer, I couldn’t have been happier. Maybe from now on, they’ll think twice before automatically assigning work based on an outdated stereotype!

I’ll Transfer You To EXACTLY Who You’re Asking For!

, , , , , , | Right | March 8, 2023

It’s barely 7:15 in the morning and most days I’ve usually had several cranky callers by this point, but this particular morning has actually been pretty pleasant. Until this guy:

Caller: *Cuts me off before I can even start my usual greeting.* “Let me talk to service.”

I roll my eyes but stay polite and professional, starting with the usual questions to get the guy where he needs to go. It basically boils down to whether he needs semi-truck, equipment, or generator repair and if he needs us to make a service call or if he’s coming to us. All of two, maybe three questions unless the caller is being particularly difficult.

Me: “Sure thing. To make sure I get the right guys, what do you need serviced?”

Caller: “Honey, just let me talk to service.”

Me: “I’ll be happy to get you to our service guys if you’ll let me know what we’re working on. We have multiple service departments.”

Caller: “Give me the service manager.”

Me: “What are you needing worked on so I can call that service manager for you? Each service team has their own manager.”

The caller starts talking to me slowly as though I’m an idiot and should just know what he wants.

Caller: “Sweetie, I don’t need anything serviced. I just want to talk to a service manager.”

Me: “What is this regarding, then, so I can get the proper manager for you?”

Now I’m convinced this guy is probably a telemarketer; he’s too evasive and pushy, but I have to do my due diligence and make sure he’s not just wanting parts or something and thinks he needs to talk to service for that. That’s happened plenty with new customers who don’t know we have other dedicated departments outside of service.

Caller: *Irritated sigh.* “I just want to talk to your truck shop manager about becoming a mechanic.”

Me: “Ah, okay! Our service managers don’t actually handle recruitment until later in the process, but I can get you over to a technician recruiter.”

This is our process since our managers are so busy; the recruiters can answer most of the questions applicants have, and they can weed out people who don’t qualify.

Caller: “No, sweetheart, you’re going to let me talk to your service manager.”

I’m now absolutely done with this guy. He’s been nothing but condescending and difficult and I’m sick to death of being called pet names by a total stranger—I deal with this kind of behavior constantly but I usually can’t do anything about it because they’re customers.

Me: “Alright, one moment.”

Instead of sending him to a recruiter—none of whom are in that early, so he would just call right back—I call our truck service manager, who is a busy guy, and no-nonsense, but he’s always nice. I know he’ll take a few minutes to deal with the caller and set him straight.

Truck Service Manager: “Please tell me you have something more fun than the last few ‘I need my truck fixed yesterday’ calls you’ve sent.”

Me: “Oh, I do! This guy is demanding to talk to you about a mechanic position, refused to talk to a recruiter, talked down to me and didn’t want to answer my questions, and kept calling me sweetie and crap like that. I’m sure you would love to have such a peach on your team!”

Truck Service Manager: “Oh, really?” *He sounds maybe a little TOO delighted.* “Well thank you for the nice distraction. I’ll get this guy’s information and make sure he doesn’t have a chance, and knows it. If he’s gonna talk to you nice ladies like that when he’s looking for a job, how’s he gonna talk to customers? We don’t need that around here. Hand him over!”

The caller got what he demanded, but it did not work out in his favor. Rule of thumb, y’all: be nice to the people who answer the phones, especially if you’re looking for a job! We will absolutely pass on notes about your behavior, especially if you behave like this guy did. Being rude, demanding, or condescending does you no favors.

When They Go Low, You Go Thigh

, , , | Right | March 7, 2023

I am shopping in the frozen meat aisle. I am perusing the shelves when another woman is slowly making her way down the aisle while on her phone. She is speaking loudly, which doesn’t usually bother me, but what she is saying is.

Customer: “Yeah, I need to get the chicken thighs to make that [n-word] fried chicken that they seem to like down at church. You know, the [n-word] kind that has all those spices.”

Shocked at her brazen use of a racial slur (she’s white), I stare at her for a moment, which is when I catch the eye of an employee who is walking past, also in shock from what they just heard. The customer continues.

Customer: “Yeah normally I wouldn’t eat any of that ethnic crap but the kids seem to like it and one of the kids is – y’know – slow and special and they’re bringing that [r-word],[n-word] friend that they seem to like. Put the [n-word]s and [r-word]s together in the corner and they stay out of trouble for the rest of us.”

Still in a trance about how much more offensive this woman can be, I realize I am standing in front of the frozen chicken thighs. Without even thinking, I grab all nine packs and put them in my cart. The woman finally makes it to the thighs section and sniffs in disappointment when she sees that they’re all gone. Then she sees my trolley.

Customer: “Hey, you don’t need all those thighs, do you? I needed some.”

Me: “Sorry, I kinda do. I’m feeding a bunch of special and slow people who also happen to be black. You know how it is.”

Customer: *Eyes wide.* “That was a private conversation!”

Me: “Not at the volume you were speaking, lady.”

Customer: “Give me some of those thighs!”

Me: “Sorry, they’re in my trolley. They’re mine.”

The customer turns to the employee and points to him.

Customer: “You! She’s taking all the thighs! Tell her to give me some.”

Employee: *Who is black.* “Sorry, I’m just a slow [n-word] that doesn’t know anything.”

He walks away and so do I, leaving her sounding like she’s about to screech.

When my husband asked over the next few months why we were always eating chicken thighs I told him we were fighting discrimination.