Slow ‘Em Who’s Boss

| Working | June 13, 2012

(I have a summer job on a construction site sweeping work areas, sorting materials and such. One day my coworker and I—both underpaid temps passing time until college classes start again—have been asked to sweep the floor in an area where the construction team is installing the air conditioning system.)

Boss: *to my coworker and me* “You need to be careful because we don’t want dust in the system, so work slow.”

Coworker: “You won’t have to tell us twice, sir. We can do slow!”

(We start sweeping the area slowly. After some time, the boss comes by.)

Boss: “Guys, you really need to go slower. There is too much dust in the air.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there are a lot of people working here. We are taking it really easy, but we can’t tell the dust to get on the floor.”

Boss: “Well, just slow down. Take it REALLY easy!”

Me: “Sure, we can slow down!”

(We take it down even further as the boss leaves. After all, when the boss tells you to work slower you don’t say no!)

Coworker: “This is the first time I’ve ever heard someone apologize to the boss for not slacking off enough!”

(Soon after, the boss comes back again to check up.)

Boss: “There I still too much dust in the air. You guys really need to go slower!”

Me: “Well, I think that if we go slower you need to make a time lapse video to see us moving. Are you sure about this?”

Coworker: “Yeah, not that I’m complaining, but we aren’t exactly the only ones here who can stir up the dust. We should probably sweep the whole area before the day is over.”

Boss: “No problem. Just get as far as you can get, but make sure you go really slow this time.”

(The boss leaves again, and we are trying to figure out how we can slow down even further and still actually do anything. Once again, as the boss finishes his rounds, he checks up on us again.)

Boss: “Well, it’s getting better, but can you please slow down even more?”

Me: “I am honestly not sure if I can do that. We are barely moving as it is, and I think we were just passed by a snail.”

Boss: “Well, try anyway. It’s getting better, so keep up the good work!”

Coworker: *after the boss leaves* “I love this job.”

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Your Logic Is Up In The Air

| Working | May 3, 2012

(My crew and I are installing glued-down carpet tiles in an office space. The glue must be exposed until it has set up completely. We’re a couple hours into the process, having just cleaned the bare floor of debris, and have started to spread glue. The job site supervisor walks in the room with a crew who is supposed to be installing ceiling tiles.)

Supervisor: “These guys are going to be putting in the ceiling tiles here, okay?”

Me: “No. I just prepped everything, and I’m glueing the floor now. No one can work in here until the carpet is done.”

Supervisor: “Well, I scheduled for you both to be here today. They should be fine. They’re working on the ceiling, and you’re working on the floor, so you won’t be in each other’s way.”

(The ceiling guys realize right away what is going on, and out of professional courtesy start packing up their tools to leave.)

Me: “I’ll say okay if you can answer this one question.”

Supervisor: “Yes?”

Me: “Where are they going to stand while working on the ceiling while I’m working on the floor?”

Supervisor: *speechless*

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Polymorphic Pleasantries

, , , , | Right | March 28, 2011

(I am calling a Housing Trust tenant to arrange a new time for us to re-glaze her shower screen. The maintenance centre has just called to say this particular elderly lady has several doctor’s appointments. These conflict with her original appointment time.)

Me: “Hello. This is [My Name] from [Glazing Business]. How are you?”

Tenant: *chirpily* “Oh, terrible. It’s this blasted weather, you know.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Tenant: “That’s alright, love. How are you anyway?”

Me: “Alright, thank you. I agree with you about the weather, though. Anyway, I was just calling about–”

Tenant: “Oh, yes. I am all dizzy, and my head hurts. And it doesn’t help that I’m allergic to the sun.”

Me: “That must be very frustrating. I just spoke to–”

Tenant: “And I’m polymorphic! If I go outside and change form, they’ll get me!”

Me: “That’s not a good situation to be in at all. Anyway, I understand you’ll be going into hospital on Tuesday morning. We need to change your appointment time. Is–”

Tenant: “I hope I win the $20mil in the lottery this weekend. Then I can move to Tasmania. Oh, the weather in Tasmania! I hear it’s beautiful and cool over there. Not like here!”

Me: “Yes, I’ve heard that too.”

Tenant: “Oh, you’ve been there? What’s it like?”

Me: “No, but I do have it on good authority that it is definitely cold.”

Tenant: “Oh, good. I hate being in this pension house. If I win this weekend, I will move to Tasmania and get rid of the pension. They can’t get me there, because it’s over the strait.”

Me: “It would be wonderful if you did win. Can we come Tuesday afternoon to fix your shower screen?”

Tenant: “Hang on darling, I’m blind.” *papers shuffle* “Sure, love. I’ll be home from the hospital by then.”

Me: “Fantastic. It was lovely talking to you!”

Tenant: “And to you, dear! When I win this weekend, you can have a share.”

Me: “That’s very kind of you. Have a lovely weekend!”

Tenant: “You too, dear.” *hangs up*

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Feel The Burn, Pay For The Lawsuits

, , , , , | Right | June 15, 2009

(I work for a construction company that often works on residential streets. As we are working on one road, a woman steps under the caution tape and proceeds to walk through the construction zone.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but you’ll have to go around this area. I could give you an alternate–”

Woman: “NO!”

Me: “Uh, I’m afraid you have to. It’s against the law to go into construction zones.”


Me: “…”

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It’s Okay, She Has A Thick Head

, | Right | November 19, 2007

(While installing a street light pole)

Lady: “Is this going to take long?”

Me: “Ma’am, I need to you step back.”

Lady: “But is this going to take long? I need to get to my car.”

Me: “Ma’am… I need to you step back.”

Lady: “Is there someone else I can talk to?”

Me: “Ma’am… you have a 1-ton concrete pole directly over your head. If it drops, you are going to die. I need you to please step back.”

Lady: “Okay… but can I get to my car?”

Me: (I yell to my job foreman) “…Hillbilly!”

Hillbilly: “GET THE F*** OUT!”

Lady: “I never met anyone so rude.”

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