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I Smell A Rat

| Working | April 11, 2014

(In the province of Alberta, there are no rats, thanks to a massive government pest control program. I work my way through college on a gravel crusher crew. When I am transferred to the night shift, the night supervisor tries to scare me.)

Supervisor: “Hey, you gotta be careful when you’re out there, inspecting the gravel piles!”

Me: “Oh? Why is that?”

Supervisor: “Well, because rats like to hide in the gravel piles!”

Me: “Really?”

Supervisor: “Yup. I was out there earlier tonight and I saw a couple of big ones scurry around and hide in the piles.”

Me: “Well, it was nice working here.”

Supervisor: “What? You’re not going to quit because of a few rats, are you?”

Me: “Oh, I’m not quitting. But the government’s gonna shut this place down.”

Supervisor: *panicking* “What? Why?”

Me: “Well, there are no rats in Alberta because the government killed them all. If you’ve seen evidence of rats, we have to report it to the government.”

Supervisor: “WHAT?”

Me: “Yeah. The government’s probably gonna shut this place down for the rest of the summer while they come in here, go hunting for the rats’ nest, and kill them all.”

Supervisor: “You’re kidding.”

Me: “Nope. Have you called this in yet?”

Supervisor: “I DIDN’T SEE ANY RATS!”

Me: “Are you sure? Maybe I should call this in anyway, just to be safe.”

Supervisor: “I DIDN’T SEE ANY RATS! I WAS JUST TRYING TO SCARE YOU! DON’T SHUT US DOWN!”

Me: “Really? I highly doubt you’d joke about something so serious.”

Supervisor: “THERE AREN’T ANY RATS! THERE AREN’T ANY RATS! I MADE IT UP!”

Me: “Okay, then.”

(I didn’t get any more trouble from him the rest of the summer.)

Going Totally Off The Wall

, , | Right | March 4, 2014

(I work for a company that builds homes and develops land. As per California law, we warranty our homes for a ten-year period after the house is bought. Our warranty covers structural defects.)

Me: “Warranty. [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hello, my house has a structural defect. I want you to fix it.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. Could you give me your address? And what exactly is the defect in question?”

Caller: “My address is [address].”

Me: “Okay, I see you in our system. Could you tell me the problem, and I will see what I can do about entering a ticket for you.”

Caller: “The walls are not strong enough. You have to send someone here to put in better walls.”

Me: “The walls are not strong enough? Are they bowing, or cracking?”

Caller: “No, the ones that are still standing are fine.”

Me: “The ones that are… still standing…?”

Caller: “Yes. I wanted to remodel to make my living room and kitchen one big room, but it was too expensive. I saw a demolition crew do wall removals on those home improvement shows, so I just got a chainsaw and cut the wall out myself.”

Me: “Okay… so you ‘remodeled?'”

Caller: “Yeah! But then my house caved in.”

Me: “… Ma’am, are you saying you cut down a load-bearing wall in your home with a chainsaw?”

Caller: “Well, I didn’t know it was load-bearing. But this is clearly a structural defect! The roof caved in, and I’ve been living here for 16 years! I could sue you for endangering my life all this time!”

Me: “Ma’am, it was not a structural defect.”

Caller: “How can you say that?! THE ROOF CAVED IN!”

Me: “Because you chopped down a load-bearing wall!”

Caller: “THIS IS NOT MY FAULT! I DESERVE A BRAND NEW HOUSE! IT WAS A STRUCTURAL DEFECT, AND I HAVE A WARRANTY!”

Me: “Your house was under warranty for 10 years. Your house is 16 years old. It was structurally sound until you made it structurally unsound, by CUTTING OUT A LOAD-BEARING WALL WITH A CHAINSAW.”

Caller: “YOU OWE ME A NEW HOUSE! YOU OWE ME A NEW HOUSE! I’LL SUE! I’LL SUE YOU!” *click*

Someone Is About To Be Fired

| Working | January 6, 2014

(My boss and I are travelling in the boss’s car when the boss gets a phone call that comes through the car speakers.)

Boss: “Hello?”

Coworker: “Hey. It’s me, [Coworker].”

Boss: “Hello, [Coworker]. What do you want?”

Coworker: “Uh, do you want the good news or the bad news?”

Boss: “The good news first, please.”

Coworker: “Well, the good news is, the fire’s out.”

Toying With The Public

| Right | December 10, 2013

(I work for the municipal division of a road construction company. One part of my job is going out to sites, once the job has been completed, to take measurements for our quantities reports. To do this I use a measuring wheel tool. I am out measuring a sidewalk that has just been completed.)

Pedestrian: “Aren’t you a little old to be playing with children’s toys?”

Me: *confused* “Pardon?”

Pedestrian: *gestures at the wheel* “That’s a toy for toddlers! With those bright colours and all the noise it makes!”

(The wheel is fluorescent orange and black, and makes a ticking noise as the number of meters roll up.)

Me: “Well, first, I’d like to say that you are never too old to play with toys. Second, this is a measuring wheel, and I am using it to record my company’s final quantities on the city sidewalk program. It’s a tool, not a toy.”

Pedestrian: “What a horrible liar you are! Let’s see what your boss has to say about you playing with some kid’s toy on the job AND lying!”

(With that she storms off. I continue my work. When I return to the office later that day my safety manager calls me to her office, as she deals with complaints. She was crying from laughing so hard.)

Disability Challenged

| Working | October 19, 2013

(My supervisor is in the process of writing his daily report of activity on the construction site. He calls one of the foremen on site for the spelling of his last name.)

Supervisor: “So it’s P-R-… D-R-… P-R-O… No? Okay then.”

(The supervisor hangs up the phone and turns to me.)

Supervisor: “There must be concrete dust in his phone. I couldn’t hear a thing he said.”

(A moment later, the foreman arrives at the field office door, goes straight to the desk and writes his name down.)

Foreman: “There! That’s how it’s spelled, ya deaf b******!”

(The foreman leaves and goes back to working.)

Supervisor: “Hey! I’m not dumb.”

Me: “…he said deaf.”

Supervisor: “Oh.”

(We both crack up laughing.)