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An Original Way To Pass The Blame

| Working | June 7, 2015

(I am 21 and take a temp job organizing paperwork for a major lawsuit involving a construction firm and several of its subcontractors. I love the work, and many of the people are nice. My boss, while being a fun and interesting person to hang out with, is a terrible supervisor.)

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], here’s another original document to add to the current batch.”

Me: “All righty! Where should I put it in?”

Boss: “Just the next opening will be fine, but be very careful with it as it’s an original with signatures.”

Me: “Sure thing.”

Boss: “Oh, and here’s a copy of it, but we don’t need this one.”

(At this point she takes the original document and tears it in two.)

Boss: “Oh, my God! What have you done!”

Me: “I didn’t do anything! You just tore the original!”

Boss: “You should not have given me the original to destroy! Now we have to index the copy! I thought you were smarter than this!”

Me: “But, [Boss]! The documents haven’t left your hands!”

Boss: “Don’t try to shift the blame, [My Name]! I saw what you did!”

(This wasn’t the first time such a thing happened or the last. Luckily, my National Guard unit activated soon after and I never went back!)

Shocked You Say No To Firing On His Say So

| Right | February 17, 2015

(I am a safety person for a local road building company. A part of my job is to take complaint calls from the public and to sort out incidents. It should be noted that we have a fleet of roughly 200 pickup trucks for foremen and crews. The only thing these trucks all have in common is they are white and have the company logo on each side of the vehicle. They can each be identified by the plate number and the unit number marked on the side.)

Me: “Good afternoon, [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

(There is some unintelligible ranting on the other end, like the caller is talking to someone else.)

Me: “Hello? This is [My Name] in Safety here. Can I help you?”

Irate Caller: “Yeah! One of your f****** guys is driving like a f****** idiot! What kind of f****** morons do you losers hire?! You need to fire this f***** NOW!”

Me: “I’m very sorry you are experiencing problems with one of our crew members. If you can relay me some information so that I may identify the unit and the driver, I can investigate into this matter and have it dealt with. What exactly was he doing?”

Irate Caller: “It’s a f****** white truck on [Street]. He pulled up onto the f****** curb and parked on the f****** grass!”

(Being in road construction, this is actually quite common for when workers need to do surveying, take measurements, etc. on sites we have or will be working on, if there is no other safe place to stop or park in the area.)

Me: “Well, sir. That is actually a common practice.”

Irate Caller: “He cut me off! And flipped me off! And he’s tearing up the grass!”

Me: “All right, I’m sorry, sir. But I will need a bit more information than that it was a white truck, then. Do you have the plate number, or were you able to see the unit number? It would be visible on either side of the truck.”

Irate Caller: “You f****** losers don’t even know where your f****** guys are?! What the f*** is wrong with you?!”

Me: “Once again, sir, I am very sorry, but we currently have about 10 job sites open all over the city and about 200 white company vehicles in operation at this time. To identify the specific driver you are having problems with, I need more information.”

Irate Caller: “If I give you more info will you fire his a**?!”

Me: “I’m afraid disciplinary action is not within my responsibilities. I would be able to identify who is currently assigned this vehicle, track his trucks GPS to see how erratically he is driving and if he is supposed to be at the location you’ve identified, from there I can inform his supervisor and they will then determine what action should be taken. Whether it be a need for training, a suspension, or possibly termination.”

Irate Caller: “What the f***?! Just fire his a**!”

Me: “Again, sir. I’m afraid it doesn’t work quite that way. And even so, you have not provided me with any information to identify the driver.”

Irate Caller: “F*** you!! You’re all f****** losers! You’ll be out of business in a month!”

Me: “Well actually… Our season is slowing down for the year, and we will likely be closing operations within a month or two, weather depending… However, we are prepared to gear up for next season in full force! Lots of work to be done!”

Irate Caller: “F*** you!” *hangs up*

A Caustic Sense Of Humor

| Working | November 30, 2014

(We are re-doing our annual safety training including PPE, chemicals etc.)

Instructor: “So does anyone know what caustic means?”

Coworker: “Yes, that’s the good one, right? The one we all want?”

(Everyone is laughing.)

Coworker: “No, I’m sure that’s the good one.  My mom calls me caustic all the time. It’s a good thing.”

Boss: “You are, and it’s not.”

The Compliments Are Not Complimentary

| Working | August 21, 2014

(My foreman is quite awkward about giving compliments. I have worked with him for six months and only received a few. Before this we had a few busy days and I’ve had little sleep over them.)

Foreman: “Uh… I just wanted to tell you that I was quite impressed with how hard you have been working lately. We need more people like you around here.”

Me: “Thanks!”

Foreman: “No, thank you.”

Me: “For what? Sorry?”

Foreman: “For working hard?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. Thanks!”

Foreman: *sighs* “We’ll work on your listening skills next…”

Perhaps This Isn’t Your Calling

| Right | July 9, 2014

(I’ve just started a new job as a secretary for a house construction company. The former secretary is training me.)

Former Secretary: “This job is a snap. Answering the phone is the easiest part. All they ever want is lot prices or house prices. Oh, the phone is ringing now; go ahead and answer it.”

Me: “Good morning. Thank you for calling [Company Name]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I need you to fix my hot tub.”

Me: “One moment please, sir.” *to the former secretary* “This guy wants us to fix his hot tub.”

Former Secretary: “What?”

(The former secretary takes phone, talks a little, and then hangs up.)

Former Secretary: “He had the wrong [Company Name]. He thought he was calling the head office of the hotel he’s staying at.  That was weird. Oh, the phone’s ringing again.”

Me: *answers phone*

Caller: “THEY’RE CUTTING DOWN MY TREES! MAKE THEM STOOOPPP!”

Me: “One moment please, sir.” *to former secretary* “Um, this guy says ‘they’ are cutting down his trees.”

Former Secretary: “Are you kidding?”

Me: “I thought answering the phones here was supposed to be easy?”

Former Secretary: “It usually IS!”