I Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Misogyny

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

[Coworker #1] works in the next office over but takes his lunch at the same time as ours. Some days he will blank us; other days he won’t leave us alone. He is okay apart from his some strange opinions and his outlook on life, in particular on women and their “role” in life and the workplace. Personally (and as a guy), I still find him odd and backward and would rather have nothing to do with him. 

[Coworker #2] and I are chatting about family life when [Coworker #1]’s tray lands on our table with a thud. 

He interrupts us.

Coworker #1: “Well, I would never have children.”

Me: “Okay…”

Coworker #2: “I love my children. They are a handful but they give so much love.”

Coworker #1: “Nah, all part of your female biological programming. It’s just nature.”

Me: “Okay, I… err… don’t know what to say to that.”

Coworker #2: “You know what? I think I’m going to get a head start on that presentation. [My Name], are you coming?”

Me: “Oh, the presentation. Sure, let me just finish my lunch really quick.”

Coworker #1: *Seemingly not noticing* “You see, women are programmed by their bodies to want and love children, allowing men to go out and hunt.”

Me: “And that’s what you are? A hunter?”

Coworker #1: “Well, yes. Yes, I am. I will never be burdened by family or children. I am the hunter and need independence.”

I finished my lunch and looked at [Coworker #1], his cardigan stained from lunches previous, looking like he couldn’t hunt down a cheese sandwich.

As far as I know, [Coworker #1] did get called in for sensitivity training, among many other things. But he never crossed the line enough to get disciplined properly. The greatest punishment was probably his own company.

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A Sade Pleet With A Side Of Haggis

, , , , , , | Working | April 6, 2021

I’m from England. This was one of a string of temporary jobs I had while travelling a few years back. I’m selling people pies, sandwiches, and tea as normal when a lady in a nurse’s uniform asks me a question.

Nurse: “Can I have a sade pleet, please?”

Me: “A what?”

Nurse: “A sade pleet.”

I’m completely confused.

Me: “I beg your pardon?

Nurse: “A sade pleet!”

Me: “Er…”

I gesture at the array of food, drinks, and other assorted cafeteria-related items on the counter between us.

Me: “Ma’am, if you can see one on here, please grab one!”

The nurse picks up a small plate from a pile in front of me and shakes it.

Nurse: “A sade pleet! A SADE PLEET!”

It’s at this point that I finally twig that I’m listening to someone with a distinct Scottish accent, which I haven’t heard in some months and wasn’t expecting to hear at all while working in a hospital cafeteria in Australia. She’s asking if she can have a side plate. I laugh with some relief.

Me: “Beg pardon, ma’am, I wasn’t at all expecting to hear a Scottish accent here! Yes, of course, please take a plate, and sorry about that!”

Thankfully, she took it in good grace, headed off with her sade pleet, and, I hope, thoroughly enjoyed her break.

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You Gotta Admit, The Potty Training Is Easier

, , , , , , | Working | March 25, 2021

I don’t really know my coworker, [Coworker #1]; the only interaction I have with her is when she invites herself to my conversations. It’s annoying, but I figure she is just a bit awkward, so I don’t make a fuss. I do, however, learn quickly not to talk about my kids; she will constantly chime in with unwanted and condescending advice about how she would do things differently with “her babies.”

A load of us are grabbing lunch and we don’t see [Coworker #1] sneak up on us.

Coworker #2: “So, how are your kids getting on after their bad night the other night?”

Me: “Oh, much better, thanks. We let them stay up a little later than normal last night and they fell asleep on our bed.”

Coworker #2: “Bless them, I bet they enjoyed that.”

[Coworker #1] comes over and sits down.

Coworker #1: “You shouldn’t be so lenient on them. How are they going to know their boundaries?! Hmmm?!”

Me: “With all respect, you don’t know—”

Coworker #1: *Completely ignoring me* “No, that won’t do at all. My babies are locked downstairs. It might seem cruel, but it’s for their own good.”

Coworker #2: “You lock your kids away?”

Coworker #1: “My dogs! What did you think I meant?! Some people!”

Me: “Hang on. All this stupid parenting advice you have been pushing around, and you don’t even have any children?”

Coworker #1: “Dogs, children — what’s the difference?! Let me tell you, I’ve been raising my babies since they were born and they have turned out perfectly fine. You might learn a thing or two.”

Me: “I can’t believe this. I’m leaving.”

Coworker #2: “Me, too.”

I understand people without kids not having a clue, but to compare children to dogs? That is just beyond ignorance and out the other side.

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

Read the next Best Of March 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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But Is It Vegan?

, , , , , | Friendly | November 18, 2020

I’m talking with a coworker during lunch. While she is Jewish and I am of Catholic denomination, we are both very liberal-minded and do not take religious matters very seriously. So, we are freely talking about the oddities of various religions and belief systems, presently about Pastafarianism.

Coworker: “What I do not understand about the Pastafaris is that when they have noodlemass, they basically consume their god? Isn’t that weird?”

Me: “You know that this is literally what they teach us Catholics? That the wafer and wine we are served at mass are physically transubstantiated into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ for our consumption?”

Coworker: “Well, that doesn’t sound kosher to me.”

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Needs To Disable The Bigotry

, , , , , , | Working | September 11, 2020

I’m visiting a friend on campus, and we decide to go down to a cafeteria nearby for dinner. I expect to pay for myself, as I’m a visitor. I’m in a wheelchair, though I’m still very capable of taking care of myself. When we go through the entry line, instead of asking for payment, the cashier at the door just waves us in. My friend and I go in, giving each other confused looks.

Friend: “Huh. That’s a first.”

Me: “Maybe he thought I had a student ID out?”

Friend: “Maybe. Oh, well, free food!”

We get our food and start eating. My friend gets up to get more food, and the cashier comes over, apparently having swapped to the floor.

Cashier: “I can take your plate for you!”

He says this a little slowly, but I don’t think anything of it.

Me: “Oh, thank you!”

Cashier: “Where is your worker? She shouldn’t leave you alone here!”

Me: “My… worker?”

Cashier: “Yeah, your assistance worker!”

Me: “I don’t have one. That’s my friend.”

Cashier: “Okay, where did your friend go?”

He obviously exaggerates the word “friend,” as if mocking me.

Me: “She’s doing something somewhere else, as she’s allowed to do, as she is not in any way a caretaker for me or anybody else.”

My friend comes over and sets her plate down.

Friend: “Can I help you?”

Cashier: “Oh, good, you’re back. Your client is starting to get upset.”

Friend: *Pause* “She’s a friend. Who’s very capable of taking care of herself.”

Cashier: “They like to think that, huh?”

Friend: “I’d like to think you can grab your supervisor. Now.”

The cashier laughs and walks off. My friend then goes up to someone else wiping down a table, who does get a manager. The manager comes over.

Manager: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yeah, one of your employees has been implying that because I’m disabled, I need a carer.”

Manager: “Well, I’m sure there’s an explanation—”

Me: “He refused to listen to me as a functional adult which, even if I did need a carer, is not appropriate. I do not need to be talked down to or told I can’t take care of myself.”

Manager: “I… I see. I’ll have a talk with him.”

I went back to visit my friend a couple of weeks later, and she had found out that the cashier had been fired. He apparently assumed that anyone with any visible disability needed or had a carer.

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