Marriage, Thy Name Is Nepotism

, , , | Working | February 12, 2019

(I work at this small IT office. The boss’s wife is one of my coworkers; she can be very bossy and has a temper. I have worked here for almost a year now, mostly ignoring her outbursts.)

Me: “Good morning. I am calling you for a ticket that was made by your company yesterday. It was issued by Mr. [Employee].”

Company: “Sorry, but Mr. [Employee] is not available right now; he is sick at home.”

(Ten minutes later I hear the boss’s wife talking to another coworker.)

Boss’s Wife: “I still need to call Mr. [Employee]. He wanted to talk to me about some pricing issues.”

Me: “Oh, he’s sick. I’ve just talked to his company on the phone.”


Me: “Wow, calm down. Sorry. I did not mean to decide for you. I just heard you saying his name… and you are sitting next to me.”


(She runs out, clearly very angry.)

Coworker: “Well, now you’ve done it. You’ve been the twelfth new guy to piss her off. It was nice knowing you.”

Me: “She can’t seriously fire someone over this… can she?”

(And yes, two hours later, I was given two minutes to clear my desk, without even a chance to say goodbye to my colleagues.)

Hopefully They Still Make Time For Second Breakfast

, , , , | Working | February 11, 2019

Me: “I think [Municipality] uses the Shire’s calendar.”

Boss: “A calendar from the Shire? What do you mean?”

Me: “The calendar used by the Hobbit-folk, you know.”

Boss: “Oh?”

Me: “Well, I mean… I don’t know any other calendar on which February has a 30th day.”

(And the people who dated at least two letters like that are supposed to be running a part of the country!)

Literally Wrote The Book

, , , , | Working | February 8, 2019

(I work as a security officer. This means the location where I work is called my post, and what I am expected to do every day are my post orders. This week I get a visit from one of my many bosses dropping off some new equipment.)

Boss: “Just to give you a heads up, some of the higher-ups are coming by next week on Thursday and Friday to look over some things here and at [Other Site]. I’ll warn you: [Higher Level Person] likes to give pop quizzes.”

Me: “On what?”

Boss: “The post orders.”

(I then laughed and had to explain to her the reason this was so funny to me: I have been at my site for nearly five years. Not only did I update the seriously outdated orders after settling in, but I also keep them regularly updated, as the location has had construction and logistics changes over time. I literally wrote what this person plans to quiz me on.)

It Took Five Hours To Ruin His Whole Business

, , , , , , , | Working | February 8, 2019

This happened twenty years ago. I was a truck driver driving a fixed route of deliveries to several factories in the country. Mobile phones weren’t as common as they are now, so when I was on the road there was no way for my boss to contact me. It was normal for me to leave my boss’s place at 0700 and not return before 1900. Sometimes it would happen that my boss would phone one of the addresses on my route to leave me a message: pick up a load at that address, don’t deliver the load at that address but at that address, etc.

One day I came back, parked the van, and went into the office to hand in the car keys as usual.

My boss told me that my wife had called and that it sounded serious. Of course, I called my wife, and she told me that her father had died five hours ago and she needed me to come home. I asked her when she called my boss. She told me she had called five hours ago and told the boss.

I hung up and asked the boss why he didn’t relay the message five hours ago. He told me that he’d considered that, but he knew that I would return home immediately and that would be very inconvenient for him. And as my father-in-law was dead already it wouldn’t make any difference if I finished my route.

He didn’t see me leave because he was KO’d on the floor. I never returned to the place. I started work with another company one week later. I told them when I applied why I was looking for a new job, and they didn’t have any problems with me hitting a jerk in the face. I did have to go to court, but that was to get my outstanding pay, which I did.

I also made a call to the Dutch Bureau for Taxes about tax fraud, about having five different vans on the road on one license plate, about double sets of books, and about shipments of “medicinal herbs” to certain warehouses.

The Worst Kind Of Chain Store

, , , , , , , | Working | February 6, 2019

(I am browsing in a shop that sells jewellery, scarves, and other accessories. I find something I want to buy and wait while they serve another customer, a young woman who is trying on a necklace. Neither the customer nor the owner speak English as a first language.)

Customer: “I’m not sure. I think the chain might be a bit long.”

Owner: “We could cut the chain, if you like.”

Customer: *noncommittally, as if she’s mulling it over* “Okay.”

(The owner’s wife immediately snatches the necklace away and cuts the chain.)

Owner: “That will be [price].”

Customer: *looks at the necklace again and tries it on with the new chain length* “No, I don’t think I want it.”

Owner: “You have to buy it now. We cut the chain for you. We can’t sell it.”

Customer: “I didn’t ask you to.”

Owner: “You said, ‘Okay.’ ‘Okay,’ means, ‘Yes.’ You don’t speak proper English. I speak English. ‘Okay,’ means, ‘Yes.’ You must buy it.”

Customer: “I don’t want to buy it.”

(Then, the owner and his wife physically manhandled the woman out of the shop, yelling about how they were going to call the police on her. I threw down the thing I was thinking of buying and ran out of the shop, too, chasing after the woman, who was sobbing on the street, to console her. I still regret not calling the police on them for assault, or even saying something to them.)

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