A Little Class In Class Will Pay Off Later On

, , , , , , | Working | April 28, 2021

High school was a difficult time for me. I was the “smart kid”: straight-A student, top of my class, the one everybody wanted for group projects. And I was the one everybody forgot was there when recess came. I wasn’t quite bullied, but I was ignored A LOT.

To make things worse, I was diagnosed with a tricky disability in my senior year and was extremely ill, in and out of hospitals all through that year. My grades naturally slipped a bit, and at that point, the few people who talked to me regularly dropped me like a hot potato. Obviously, now that I was only a B student and couldn’t do the whole group project on my own, I was no longer necessary. By the middle of the year, only the “weirdos” from two classes below me even acknowledged I existed. (Great guys. We’re still friends!)

Fast forward several years. My disability is well under control and my career is taking off. I am to be the project manager on a big project in a prestigious engineering firm and I’m involved in hiring more people to the team. We call in a guy whose resume looks promising, and this exchange happens as soon as he is introduced to the interviewing panel.

Candidate: “[My Name]?! Wow, it’s been so long I didn’t recognize you! How’s it going?”

Me: “I’m sorry, do we know each other?”

Candidate: “What, you don’t remember me? I’m [Candidate]! We went to high school together.”

I figure maybe he is someone from another class aiming for a leg up, but I still have no clue who he is.

Me: “Ah, well. That was almost ten years ago and was a difficult time. I’m afraid I don’t remember you. But anyway, your resume…”

Candidate: “Oh, come on! You have to remember me! [Candidate]? We were in the same class all the way through! I think you even had a crush on me!”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Candidate: “Yeah, you totally had a crush on me! You were always up for helping me with homework, and you were game to include me on group projects and then do my share. Pretty sure you did everyone’s share! Ha, no point risking your grade being lower, right? You were a weird little girl!”

I remember him now. I did have a crush on him for a while and “helped” him a lot with schoolwork (meaning I did it for him). It’s bad enough to bring that up in an interview, but… 

Me: “Ah, yes. [Candidate]. I remember you now. You were the one who started yelling out that the [ableist slur] was coming when my disability first started. And stepping back in corridors or crossing the street when I walked by. And telling people they should stay away from the [other ableist slur] or they’d become losers like me, too.”

Candidate: “Er… I… Well, I was young, and…”

Me: “Thank you for reminding me of all this. Turns out it saves us some time.”

Candidate: “But… my interview?”

My Boss: “I think we can all agree that we’re done here.”

He seemed sincerely shocked that he didn’t get the job!


This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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The Sweetest Thief

, , , , | Working | March 6, 2021

Before the health crisis enforced working from home, my team had a tin of candy set out. We took turns restocking it weekly and it worked well since we had an area just for ourselves. Then, the candy started disappearing after hours, at incredible rates.

We honestly didn’t really mind because we always got too much candy and there was typically a lot left at the end of the week. But we also knew it was likely a project manager who had a massive sweet tooth and tended to stay late, and we thought it was rude to just take without a heads-up when he could easily afford his own.

So, we wrote, “God is watching you,” on the tin the next time we restocked. We expected that the guy would come to us and say something about liking candy and being put on the restocking rotation, but it turns out that we both overestimated and underestimated the guy’s honesty.

The candy continued disappearing at the same rate, but every Monday, a $20 note would appear below the tin. Our regular candy budget was about $10, so this was way too much. But since we never officially found out who our candy-thief-turned-candy-supplier was, we couldn’t exactly give it back. We started getting a fancy cake once a month with the leftover money.

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Great Expectations

, , , , | Working | December 8, 2020

This happened to my wife in her first job. She was sixteen at the time.

In this clothes store, all kinds of people came because they had a large collection and lots of stuff to complement the clothes. Also, all ages and sizes could buy stuff here.

One slow day, my wife is on the floor with a colleague. Two customers come in: one very pregnant woman, looking hot and miserable, and a regular customer that often spends a lot of money there.

In the store, everybody works on commission, so the employees are always happy to see this customer, and she often asks specifically for my wife to help her.

My wife’s colleague jumps and runs to be sure to be able to help the regular customer and my wife gets stuck with the mother-to-be.

Not a nice move by the colleague, but what can you do? Well, this.

My wife approaches the pregnant woman.

Wife: “Would you like to take a seat and have a glass of water?”

She is very happy to accept and visibly relieved to get off her feet. Then, my wife asks about the pregnancy, expected delivery, sex of the baby, and stuff like that.

Pregnant Customer: “I’m actually here to shop for the baby; I have almost nothing bought yet!”

Wife: “Can I make some suggestions?”

Then, my wife went around the store and gathered lots of clothes and baby stuff. The woman could take her pick, could use the bathroom, and could keep sitting and be comfortable all afternoon. She ended up buying almost all of the stuff for the baby she needed — some toys, cute stuff for the nursery, etc. — and gave a big tip to my wife for all the help.

And the regular? She bought a skirt and left quickly.

My wife’s colleague was curious and went to their supervisor, claiming that my wife stole her customer. But too bad for her, the supervisor had seen what happened and told her off. My wife was complimented for treating a customer so well and making such a good sale.

My wife and her colleague were never really friends after that, but my wife soon found a better job.

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A Watch Might Be Handy For This Handyman

, , , | Working | October 22, 2020

My bathroom faucet has been dripping non-stop for a few days, so I decide to call someone to fix it. After a quick research, I find a landline for [Handyman #1] and he assures me he will be in my house in an hour. He is a little evasive about prices, but I decide to trust him for now. Not so bad, right?

Well… after almost four hours, I call again.

Handyman #1: “I’m already driving to you!”

Weird. I am calling a landline! I get fed up with the unprofessional behaviour and cancel the job; I confirm my information with him, tell him I will not need his services, and — after hearing some very “polite” words from him — hang up.

After calling some friends and family, I found another person, [Handyman #2], who got here in less than twenty minutes, fixed my problem, and even gave me some tips about what to do if I encountered the same type of problem again. Great!

After three hours of the first cancellation — SEVEN HOURS after the initial contact — guess who was on my buzzer? Yep, [Handyman #1], and he even had the audacity to ask if I was the person who’d cancelled.

And some people ask why they can’t find work.

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Sex For Anything Besides Reproduction? How Dare You!

, , , , , | Related | August 11, 2020

I was raised in a very open household, where I was encouraged to talk about all subjects, so I don’t really get embarrassed easily. My sister-in-law, on the other hand, is bizarrely prudish, to the point that she refers to pregnancy as being in a “delicate condition.” It’s particularly weird because she’s not even religious.

We are both in our late twenties, and at the time of this story, I am being treated for a health issue which means I can’t take the pill. My husband and I are not ready for children yet, but we have slipped, so I am at a pharmacy and convenience store getting a pregnancy test and a large box of condoms. My mom is also somewhere in the store buying her own things, while I’m already at the register.

My sister-in-law enters the store, sees me and my items, turns an interesting shade of red, and makes a beeline for me. Her side of the conversation is done in an angry whisper that’s still audible to other people in line, while mine is at my normal voice tone.

Sister-In-Law: “[My Name], what are you doing?! Why are you buying this trash, and at a local family store? Don’t you care about our family reputation?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Sister-In-Law: “You’re a married woman! People are going to think you’re cheating. And are you? What do you need this for? Married couples don’t need condoms, and a whole box is just scandalous. And if you thought you were in a delicate condition, you’d see a doctor, unless you’re trying to hide your infidelity!”

Me: “I need condoms because I like sex and so does [Husband]. I’m pretty sure a whole box of condoms make us prepared, and hopefully very lucky. And I need the test because, well, I like sex and so does [Husband]!”

I wiggle my eyebrows.

Sister-In-Law: “You’re just shameful! I’m ashamed to even know you! Would you be buying this if your mother could see you? Of course not, you—”

In one of those benevolent-universe coincidences, my mom chooses this moment to come to the register.

Mom: “Hey, [My Name], did you finish buying your stuff already? I found a box of the [different condoms] you prefer if you want to switch.”

Sister-In-Law: *Screaming* “You’re all shameful!”

As she stormed out of the store, the cashier and the couple behind me in line were dying of laughter, I had laughing tears rolling down my eyes, and my mom was just super confused. To this day, my sister-in-law barely speaks to me at family functions, which I still consider a double win!


This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

Read the next Best Of August 2020 story!

Read the Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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