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Was A Much Sweeter Interaction Than Thought

, , | Working | October 22, 2016

(My brother and I are customers at a fast food place and overhear an interaction between a manager and an employee, who has Down Syndrome.)

Manager: *semi-angrily* “What are you eating?”

Employee: “Nothing…”

Manager: “I can see you eating something; what are you eating?”

Employee: “Nothing!”

(At this point my brother and I become uncomfortable because we think the employee is being yelled at for either eating product, or just eating while on the clock.)

Manager: “Is it a Rice Crispy treat? It’s a Rice Crispy treat, isn’t it?”

Employee: “…yeah.”

Manager: “Is it sugar free? It better be sugar free.”

Employee: “It is!”

Manager: “I don’t think it is. You know you aren’t supposed to have sugar. It can make you really sick!”

(My brother and I relax, and as we walk out to the car we talk about how relieved we were that we were just watching a concerned coworker rather than the employee getting in real trouble!)

The Boss Is As Nice As Pie

, , | Working | October 10, 2016

(Just before I go in to work, my mom calls to let me know that my uncle – who practically raised my father – has just passed away. Said uncle lived over 1,000 miles away from where we are now, so we’re still trying to work out who will be able to attend the funeral and all those other practical details while mourning. Having just recently gotten married, I’d used up all my time off for the honeymoon, and haven’t accrued much more. Once at work, I manage to catch my boss alone.)

Me: “I just wanted to let you know, my uncle passed away. We were very close to him – he pretty much raised my dad – so I would like to attend his funeral, if at all possible, but it’s out of state. I know I don’t have a lot of time off, but—”

Boss: *cutting me off* “I’ll process your compassionate leave with HR. Don’t worry about it. Normally, I don’t think they cover uncles, just immediate family and grandparents, but I’ll take care of it. So tell me about him. Your uncle.”

Me: “Well, he was in the military for a bit. Then he became a firefighter, and a cop, and later a police commissioner. He taught my dad everything he knew about sports, and he was one of the best men I’ve ever met. He has three kids, and his wife…” *at this point, I’m fighting back tears, because I don’t want to cry in front of my boss*

Boss: *noticing my struggle* “So I love pie. It’s awesome.”

Me: *choking back a laugh* “Pie is awesome. My favorite is pecan, but it doesn’t love me back. Stupid nut allergy!”

Boss: “That stinks! But seriously, pie! It’s the greatest creation known to mankind. Except rhubarb pie. That stuff’s gross!”

Me: “Seriously! And strawberry rhubarb is worse; why waste perfectly good berries, tainting them with rhubarb?”

(This continued for a few more minutes, as he cheered me up talking about pie, then puppies, then any number of other happy things. He also followed through and talked to HR, getting me enough time off that I was able to drive with my father and support him through the funeral. Best. Boss. Ever!)

Good Food And Better People

, , , | Working | July 15, 2016

(I’m in my hometown after being gone for a decade to attend my sister’s memorial service. She was 28 and her death was not a pleasant one. Obviously, I am not doing so great. I get to town early and decide to grab lunch from my favorite restaurant before going home and getting ready for the service.)

Owner: “Hey, [My Name], can I get you the usual? Oh, you look upset. What’s wrong? ”

(Near tears, I explain the reason for my visit back to my hometown.)

Owner: “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. You sit tight and I’ll be right back.”

(After a while the owner comes back with my order and several HUGE bags of food to go.)

Owner: “Here, take this to your family and have dinner on me after the funeral. Nobody should have to cook at a time like this.”

(Not only did she remember my name and my usual after not seeing me for ten years, but she had remembered the favorite dishes of the rest of my family, too. It brought a little ray of sunshine into a really hard day for me and my family.)

Can’t Hold A Scented-Candle At Your Boss

, , , , | Friendly Working | July 14, 2016

(I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome which causes pain and means my joints bend too far. I’ve been in a lot of pain recently. After work one day, my boss and I are walking to our cars. I get in my car and start the engine. My boss opens the passenger door and puts a gift bag on the seat. She smiles at me and gets into her car and drives off before I get a chance to speak. I text her.)

Me: “Why did you do that?”

Her: “You’re a trooper and I know you’ve been in more pain recently than you have been letting on. I hope it cheers you up.”

(She gave me a cherry-scented candle, a cherry face scrub, and a mini bottle of my favourite wine. Best. Boss. Ever.)

Enough To Give You A Fit

, , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2016

(Owing to a number of disabilities, including epilepsy, I’m not permitted to be in the office on my own in the early morning for health and safety reasons. When I’ve got systems to check or restart/fix early morning I arrange with another member of staff to be in at the same time as me. I’ve got admin rights to the systems; that guy doesn’t. We both get to go home early when this happens and we’ve done this for years. This morning I turn up and nobody else is in, so I wait in reception. And wait. It gets to 8:45 am, when I’d got in at 6 am, and finally someone shows up but not the staff member I’d arranged with; it’s our IT director. I mention about my coworker not showing up.)

IT Director: “Yeah, I heard about that and told him not to show up.”

Me: “Oh, did the system restart not need doing at 6:30 am today? Would have been nice to be told but these things happen, I guess.”

IT Director: “No, it needed doing… Does this mean you didn’t do it?”

Me: “Well, no, I couldn’t. I’m not allowed in the office on my own. That’s why [Coworker] comes in when I need to do this.”

IT Director: “Yeah, I heard about that. It’s a stupid rule.”

Me: “Under health and safety I’m not allowed in the building on my own. Stupid rule or not, that’s how things are.”

IT Director: “Why not? Because you’re a woman? So much for feminism.”

Me: “No, because I’m an epileptic.”

IT Director: “Well, that’s two faults against you, then. Not doing the restart and not telling us you’re a [very rude term for the mentally disabled]. I’ll be speaking to your boss.”


This story is part of our Epilepsy roundup.

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