Talking About Music Therapy Requires Therapy

, , , , | Working | October 14, 2017

(I can’t complain too much because I end up getting my license renewed in 10 minutes, but I have the weirdest conversation with the employee who processes it.)

Employee: “Wow, 21? Did you get hammered on your birthday?”

Me: *the question takes me by surprise, but I laugh a bit* “Oh, no; I just went out for a drink with some friends. I was living in New York before coming back to Colorado, which is why the license is so expired.”

Employee: “Oh. So, what were you in New York for?”

Me: “Completing my clinical hours for a degree in music therapy. I worked in hospice, on an adult and pediatric program.”

Employee: “Aw, where babies go to die?”

Me: *pause* “Unfortunately, yes, sometimes.”

Employee: “So, music therapy. You help people sleep?”

Me: “Not quite.”

(I explained a little about music therapy, grabbed my license, and shimmied on out of there. All I know is that I didn’t go through four years of school and 1,200 clinical hours to help people sleep!)

Potentially Explosive Neglect

, , , , , | Friendly | October 8, 2017

(I am speaking with my roommate who works at an art store, and used to work at [Popular Retail Chain], which shares a wall with the art store.)

Roommate: “So, we just evacuated [Art Store] because we smelled a gas leak.”

Me: “Did anyone tell [Popular Retail Chain]?”

Roommate: *long pause* “No.”

Projecting The End Of Your Job

, , , , , | Working | September 29, 2017

(Our company oversees several projects at once, and we rotate our staff from one to another whenever one ends. I am a manager running one of these projects. Another manager has transferred his employees over to me, with a warning that one in particular has been slacking off, and to keep an eye on her. Her first two days under me, she is noticeably less productive than anyone else, getting less than a third of what is expected completed by the end of the day. I sit down with her to go over our expectations and the problems we have been having with her work. I end up writing her up and placing her on review, which essentially means that as long as she can meet a minimum standard for only one of her next three shifts, we will keep her on staff. The entire conversation, she is combative and only reluctantly accepts being on review, only after being reminded that if she doesn’t go on review, she will be let go on the spot. The next three days, her performance doesn’t improve at all. Towards the end of her last shift on review, I tell her we can discuss her review once the meeting room is available, in about two minutes.)

Employee: “Ugh, can’t we just talk about it really quick here?!”

(There are several other employees in the room, and I’m not about to fire her in front of the rest of the staff, in case she causes a scene.)

Me: “No, I’ll go see if the meeting room is open.”

(I check the room, and when I get back, she is gone.)

Me: “Where did [Employee] go?”

Coworker: “She left; she said you told her it was all right if she went home early.”

(At this point I’m furious, so I decide to just call her and let her go in the morning before the next shift starts. On the phone the next day:)

Employee: “Ugh, what do you want?”

Me: “We need to discuss your review.”

Employee: “Can’t we talk about it at the office? I’m busy.”

Me: “No, actually. We—”

Employee: “I’m trying to sign a lease for a new apartment! I’ll call you back when I’m done!” *hangs up*

(Now, I’m fuming. At first, I felt bad about having to fire her, but now I’m looking forward to it. She calls back about 30 minutes later.)

Employee: “What is so important?!”

Me: “Since you haven’t improved your job performance, we are going to let you go.”

Employee: “What?! You can’t do that! You need to give me some warning before you fire me like this.”

Me: “What part of ‘you have three days to improve or we will take you off staff’ did you not understand?”

Employee: “But I just signed an apartment lease! Fine. I’ll just go back to [Previous Manager]’s project. What do you think of that?!”

Me: “You can’t. I’m not taking you off of the project; I’m firing you from [Company]. We went over this when you were written up.”

Employee: “But you don’t work for [Company]!”

Me: “Who do you think I work for?”

Employee: *pauses* “What about [third project]?”

Me: “Seriously? You don’t work for [Company] anymore; you can’t go to our other projects. We’ve already mailed your last check, and I’ve informed the other managers that you were let go, and instructed them to not let you onto company property.”

Employee: “UGH! I just signed a lease!”

(I spoke with the other manager, who told me that he had several missed calls from her since leaving early the night before. My guess is that she thought that if she could get transferred to another project before I could fire her, it would somehow save her job.)

Shared Confusion

, , , , , , | Related | September 29, 2017

(I am about fourteen. My mom and I share a weird connection; my dad calls it a “shared brain.”)

Mom: “Hey, [My Name], do you know where the uh… uh…”

Me: “Yeah, Mom, it is next to the uh… uh…”

Mom: “Smart-a**.”

(Pause.)

Mom: “Oh, I found it!. You were right; thanks, [My Name]!”

Dad: “…”

Needs A Stamp Of Reality

, , , | Right | September 26, 2017

(I’m waiting in line behind an older customer who seems disturbed about something. The nicest clerk calls her up. The customer is complaining that the only books of stamps they have are Christmas themed.)

Customer: “I went to the other post office, and all they had was Christmas stamps. I thought your office would be more updated.”

Clerk: “Sorry, but I don’t have any control over what stamps we carry.”

(She grumbles off and the clerk calls me up.)

Me: “I’ll take Christmas stamps…”

Clerk: “Yeah, my son was in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan for three years. To reach the post office, it took three buses. And when they had to wait for a bus, they had to stand back-to-back to watch out for the wolves.”

Me: “Holy cats.”

Clerk: “Yeah, so, when people like that come in… I just don’t get it.”

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