Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

, , , , , | Working | March 6, 2018

(I work at a garden festival once a year, on a large grounds with almost no cell-phone reception. To communicate, all workers use walkie-talkies. “Phoning etiquette” states that you’re supposed to say which group of workers you want to contact first — i.e. “Entrance to Office” — and then wait for them to reply before actually starting a conversation, so those who aren’t mentioned know that they don’t have to listen carefully. Two of the chief organisers of the festival share a first name and have jokingly started to just message, “Mary to Mary,” and immediately start talking without waiting for a response. The boss, who we all only know by her last name, is not too happy about it, but it’s not a big problem.)

Walkie-Talkie: *during a slow time* “Mary to Mary, you want to take a smoke break? We just got cookies in the office.”

Boss: *through the walkie-talkie as well* “You do know everyone can hear this, right? It’s not for chitchat!” *laughing*

Mary #1: “You’re supposed to not listen if you’re not mentioned!”

Boss: “Well, too bad! My name is Mary, as well! I’m coming for those cookies!”

(Ten minutes later, I saw her walk by me with a large cookie in her hand. We never found out if her name is really Mary.)

The Drive-Thru At Pride Rock

, , , , , | Working | March 2, 2018

(The sandwich shop I work at allows phone-in orders for pickup, which people usually order under just their first name. Occasionally, that causes some confusion, because when you got multiple orders under the same first name, you have orders under Michael, Michael 2, Michael P., Michael Smith, Mike from (Employment), etc. It isn’t uncommon to accidentally hand the wrong “Michael” bag to the wrong Michael, especially if they have similar orders. I start getting creative when I take phone orders.)

Customer: “…and my name is Michael. When will that be ready?”

Me: “Ooh, sorry, dude. I already have an order for a Michael, and I want to make sure your order doesn’t get confused. Do you like The Lion King?”

Customer: “Haha, yeah?”

Me: “Okay, cool! You want to be Simba? I’ll put you down as Simba. Your order will be ready in fifteen minutes, Simba!”

(Later, my boss walks by my queued-up orders and sees all of the names on the bags.)

Boss: “What is this?

Me: “What?”

Boss: “Lindsay… Tinkerbell… Michael… Frankenstein… Judy… Spartacus…”

Me: “I didn’t want multiples of the same name in my queue; that way we don’t make mistakes on the order.”

Boss: “Well, how is anyone supposed to know which order is whose?!”

(A customer approaches the counter:)

Customer: “Hakuna Matata! My name is Simba and I ordered a meatball sub for pick-up!”

Me: “’Sup, dude. You getting a drink and chips with that?”


Has A Speech Prepared Right Out Of The Gay-te

, , , , , , , | Working | March 1, 2018

(I’ve been working at a grocery store for a few months with a manager who is, frankly, a miserable human being. He’s aggressively rude, blunt in all the wrong ways, and quick to lambaste you for minor mistakes and ride you on them for weeks. And, unfortunately, upper management is terrified of doing anything to him because he’s openly, flamboyantly gay and cries discrimination and homophobia the second someone so much as criticizes him. After finally having enough, I’ve decided to quit and decide to let him — the main reason for it — know exactly what I think about him.)

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], I heard you’re ending your employment with us. That’s a shame. Is there any reason in particular?”

Me: “Well… It’s a coworker issue, mostly.”

(He shoots me this toothy smile like he knows I’m about to say something he can twist. Not wanting to give him even a shadow of a chance of playing this game with me, I cut in.)

Me: “Let me tell you something about myself. I’m in a romantic situation that would make churches in this area try to exorcise us: I’m in a polyamorous relationship with three other people, including a trans-woman and another man. I’m so comfortable in my pansexuality I make you look straight; I’ve just never dared use it as an excuse for abusing people and getting away with it. I’m quitting because you’re an abusive creep of a manager and absolute scum of humanity; it has nothing to do with you being gay, or camp, or whatever. You’re just an a**hole.”

(At that, I flick my name-tag onto the table and toss my company vest off, while he and the rest of the office stand there, too stunned to respond.)

Me: “By the way, last night when he came in, I told your husband I saw you kissing [Coworker] a week ago. I heard you say you wondered why he went to his parents’ and didn’t call you last night; there you go.”

(I left just in time to hear him process what just happened and start freaking out. To his credit, though, a coworker I kept in touch with told me I humbled him pretty badly — even if I ruined his marriage — and he has started taking criticism on how to be a better person.)

Your Timing Is Just Sick

, , , , | Healthy | March 1, 2018

(It is evening. I feel I am getting the flu, and that it won’t be better in the morning. I let my team manager know that I will call in sick tomorrow. I stay home for two days and show up at work again. In the stand-up meeting, my manager addresses me.)

Manager: “[My Name], I want to talk about how you called in sick recently. It’s a pity you did so in the evening. It was too early. You should have waited until the morning, like always, and decided then.”

(Everyone in the circle nods and sighs.)

Me: “I don’t understand. I mean, it is good to know it up front, so you can plan ahead with my colleagues.”

Manager: “No, that is not how it works. You showed yourself weak by calling in early. Never do that again.”

(As a result, from then on, those few days a year I was actually sick, I always waited until at least eleven in the morning until I called in, despite HRM wanting to know it as soon as possible every day.)

Soda, So Dumb

, , , , , , | Working | February 28, 2018

(I’m at a grocery store. It’s shortly before the store closes and their sale prices end. It’s a location I’ve never shopped in before, but I have been visiting a friend nearby, so I stop in. There are very few customers in the store, which is a bit surprising. I’ve been charged with purchasing the soft drinks for a large party and am buying 12-packs in a variety of flavors. Most of my shopping has been done on previous days and I’ve limited the purchases to 12 twelve-packs during each stop to avoid depleting the shelves. This store has stacks and stacks of the product, which surprises me, as the price is quite low and the other locations I’ve shopped at have limited quantities due to the large volume of sales.)

Cashier: “I’m sorry. I can only sell four 12-packs to you; we have to limit the sales so we don’t run out of product. Which would you like to buy?”

Me: “Really? The store is nearly overrun with the soda and the sale ends in an hour. Do you think you’re going to run out before then?”

Cashier: “That’s our policy and I can’t make any exceptions.”

Me: “May I speak with the manager, please?”

(The manager confirmed that this was the case and I would be only allowed to buy four, also that I wouldn’t be allowed to purchase more if I left the store and re-entered. I left, not purchasing anything, and made a hasty drive to the location near my home where I usually shop to get the rest of the soda. As expected, the supply was depleted, but I managed to find what I needed and check out with no issues. I mentioned my experience to the cashier, and she knew exactly to which store I’d been and related that the particular store has very low sales numbers and always has loads of unsold product at the end of special promotions, and the management there can’t figure out why.)

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