The Key Is To Check The Key

, , , | Working | January 16, 2019

Many years ago I was working at a city-owned community recreation center. As I was often the first one to enter the building each morning, I had a key to the front entrance and the access code to call to have the alarm disabled. One day I unlocked the door, called the alarm company, and then started to put my keys away, only to realize I’d just let myself in with my own house key!

My next call was to the city maintenance department to report what had happened. The locksmith they sent told us that the tumblers in the lock were so worn that any key of the same make would have unlocked that door, and it was a good thing an authorized employee had been the one who discovered it rather than someone with no reason to be entering the building!

Has No ID-ea It’s Christmas

, , , , | Right | December 25, 2018

(Every year, my county holds a holiday gift drive to benefit local needy kids and families who otherwise wouldn’t get much for Christmas. The event relies entirely on donations from local businesses and individual citizens. The “staff” are all volunteers. One year, my mother and another volunteer are manning the check-in table where people came to pick up their gifts. Due to past impersonation and theft problems, it is standard procedure to check everyone’s ID. A middle-aged woman approaches the check-in table to pick up her gifts.)

Volunteer: “Good morning! I need to see your photo ID, and then we’ll get one of our ‘elves’ to bring out your bag.”

Lady: *huffs as she hands over her driver’s license*

Volunteer: *verifies ID matches the list* “All right, here comes your ‘elf’ to escort you through Santa’s Workshop to pick out a couple of additional toys. Merry Christmas!”

(The lady grunts and follows the “elf” who’s brought out her bag of gifts. The volunteer turns her attention to the next person in line. Not long after, the lady returns. She is obviously angry and starts shouting.)

Lady: “YOU STOLE MY DRIVER’S LICENSE! GIVE IT BACK, YOU B****! I SHOULD HAVE YOU ALL FIRED!”

Volunteer: *shocked* “Ma’am, I gave your ID back to you. Are you sure it’s not in your purse?”

Lady: “OF COURSE I’M SURE! I DON’T HAVE IT! YOU SHOULDN’T BE CHECKIN’ FOLKS’ ID, ANYWAY! IT’S DISCRIMINATION ‘CAUSE I’M BLACK! YOU’RE ALL RACIST AND STOLE MY ID!”

Volunteer: “Ma’am, I—“

Lady: “YOU OWE ME A REPLACEMENT! YOU STOLE MY ID AND NOW NEED A NEW ONE!”

Volunteer: *shakily hands over $20 to cover the driver’s license replacement fee*

(The infuriated lady snatched the money from her and flounced out of the building, muttering about thieves. Later that day, a relative of hers came to pick up their own bag of gifts. While chatting, the relative mentioned that the angry lady had found her ID in the bottom of her purse. As a result of this incident, a new policy was put in place: volunteers are absolutely not allowed to touch peoples’ ID’s.)

All Talkie, No Walkie

, , , , , , | Working | November 20, 2018

(I work in a leisure centre where jobs include cleaning, customer care, and lifeguarding. This is a small centre, so there are only four employees and the manager on site. On this particular day, there are only male staff. I’m taking my turn lifeguarding. From my chair I can’t see the front desk, where the rest of the employees are. I have a radio to communicate problems. I have been in the chair for nearly an hour, it’s hot, and there’s no sign of anyone coming to switch with me. I pick up the radio.)

Me: “Hey, does anyone fancy taking a turn on pool?”

(Silence.)

Me: “It’s nice and warm out here.”

Coworker #1: “[My Name], are you trying to use the radio? We can’t hear you.”

Me: “Could someone come and take me off, please?”

Coworker #1: “We’re just hearing static mate; try speaking up.”

Me: “Can. Someone. Please. Switch. With. Me.”

Coworker #2: “We really can’t hear you mate; try speaking up.”

Me: “Try coming out and talking to me, then.”

Coworker #3: “What are you trying to say to us?”

Me: “Maybe you could get off your fat a** and try and solve the problem with a little initiative.”

Coworker #1: “What?”

Me: “Never mind. Forget it.”

Coworker #3: “Come again?”

Me: “Never. Mind.”

(This goes on for about five minutes. Eventually, [Coworker #2] comes out to switch with me. He has a massive grin on his face.)

Me: *snapping* “What?!”

Coworker #2: “We could hear you the whole time.”

(I instantly felt very stupid, and went back to the front desk without saying anything else to him. When I got there, everyone laughed, including the manager, and I vowed to kill them all — which was fine since I know for a fact I’m on the manager’s workplace massacre list — before getting on with my job. I know I sound pretty dumb for falling for that, but in my defence, it was very hot, and I’m quite gullible as it is.)

It’s A Running Problem

, , , , | Right | August 17, 2018

(I’m volunteering for a local race, packing up and handing out runner kits at a local community center. There’s a sign on the front desk with a bright red arrow pointing to the gym for kit pick-up. I’m hanging another sign nearby when a runner comes in, and walks right up to the front desk.)

Runner: “Where do I pick up my race kit?”

Front Desk: “Just to the right in the gym. There will be a sign right out front.”

Runner: *walks off in that general direction, having still not noticed either of the five-foot signs*

Me: “I thought the signs were big enough to be noticed, but I guess not.”

Front Desk: “He’s the third one today.”

A Two Too Much

, , , , | Working | July 24, 2018

(It’s time for my yearly review, so my boss and I sit down to discuss my strengths and weaknesses, on a scale of one to five, as an employee.)

Boss: “Just to let you know, my boss won’t let me give anyone a four or a five. So I gave you mostly threes. Let’s start with your communication; that’s a three.”

Me: *thinking “Why do fours and fives even exist, then?”* “So, how would I get a four or a five? You just complimented me the other day that my etiquette was perfect! If you think it’s perfect, and it’s only a three, what can I possibly do to get a four or a five?”

Boss: “I’ll ask my boss. The next one: following procedures. I only gave you a two for that.”

Me: “A two?”

Boss: *nods* “You’ve documented all the incidents properly, which I noted here.”

Me: “If I documented them all properly, then why am I only getting a two?”

Boss: “Because most of them deal with the same family. It looks like you’re picking on them.”

Me: *fighting the urge to jaw drop* “But they’re in here every day, and they always cause trouble, every day. Just yesterday [Coworker] had to kick them out when the boys started punching each other.”

Boss: “And you both documented it, which was good. But it looks like you’re picking on them.”

Me: “So, what do you want me to do? If they cause problems again — which they will — do you want us to kick them out without making documentation for your boss to see?”

Boss: “Oh, no! You have to document everything properly! We need the paper trail in case anything comes back again.”

Me: “But you know this family. The parents just dump their kids here — five boys, all between the ages of eight and twelve — and leave. The kids run amok. They get into fist-fights with each other, vandalize our equipment, and scream about bombing things around the families who come in with toddlers. Our other regular customers are starting to avoid the center entirely when these kids are there. Just last month, all of them surrounded one of their classmates and were calling him [homosexual slur]; the poor kid was in tears.”

Boss: “I know they can be difficult sometimes, but you just need to be patient. I’m not here a lot of the time, so you just need to keep documenting everything.”

Me: “So, next time they start shouting profanity or singing about [male anatomy], I’ll report it again like I have been doing?”

Boss: “Don’t do that. It’ll make it look like you’re just singling them out.”

Me: “No one else sings about [male anatomy] to the families with babies.”

Boss: “We just can’t have you always picking on them. They’re only kids, after all. You need to be patient. Now, let’s get back to your annual review. I’m giving you a two for following procedures.”

(The ENTIRE rest of the evaluation was every bit as nightmarish. And before anyone in the comments suggests banning those boys, my boss’s boss refuses to, because she pities them for their “bad home life.”)

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