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Listen To Awl The Instructions

, , , , , , , | Learning | September 6, 2022

I’m working at a summer camp. The campers are in a woodworking and crafting class.

Instructor: “All right, let’s meet the tools.”

He picks up a hammer.

Instructor: “Hammer. It hits things.”

He picks up a plane.

Instructor: “Plane. It makes things flat.”

He picks up an awl.

Instructor: “An awl. It makes holes. Note that I said, ‘An awl,’ and not just, ‘Awl.’ Every summer, someone tells the campers to get an awl, and they go get all the tools. Don’t be that camper.”

After the campers start working on their projects, the instructor sees a camper putting lots of tools in a bucket.

Instructor: “Hold on, [Camper]. What are you doing with all those tools?”

Camper: “Dunno. I asked [Counselor] what I needed for the next step, and she told me to go get them all.”

Instructor: “Were you listening carefully in the beginning?”

Camper: “Yeah, why?”

Best Wait In Line If You Can’t Pay The Fine

, , , , , , , | Right | August 24, 2022

I worked road construction as a flag man (human stop sign) for a while back in high school. As a flagger, I had no control over when I could let cars go; I simply waited for a pilot car and then flipped my sign, so any anger directed at me was misplaced.

One time, a lady got out of her car to b**** at me for being held up for a few minutes. After she got done cussing me out for a good couple of minutes, she decided that she didn’t want to wait anymore and blew past me.

About fifty yards down the road, she was forced onto the fresh tar (spraying tar on the side of her car and ruining the paint) by an oncoming gravel truck. The foreman saw this and blocked her in with her truck — they take this very seriously; people could be killed — and waited for a cop to show up, who promptly wrote her a $500 ticket. Sweet, sweet justice.

What In The Archaic Social Expectations?

, , , , , | Working | June 23, 2022

I am a married woman working in construction. Most of my coworkers are men. As such, most of my work interactions are with men. Human Resources rarely leaves the office, so when they do, you know something is up.

I was in the middle of a task when a well-dressed woman came up and tapped me on the shoulder.

Me: “Yes?”

Human Resources: “[My Name]? I need you to come with me.”

Me: “Okay.”

We go to the main office where the site foreman is waiting.

Foreman: “Okay, [My Name]. You’re not in any trouble.”

Human Resources: “I just need to verify some things with you.”

Me: “Okay.”

Human Resources: “You’re close with [Male Installer], correct?”

Me: “I guess so. We work together.”

Human Resources: “But you also see each other outside of work?”

Me: “We go to lunch. What is this about?”

Foreman: “Do you eat alone?”

Me: “No, I just told you we go to lunch. It’s cheaper to carpool everyone.”

Human Resources: “So, you eat together?”

Me: “Me and [Male Installer] specifically? No. We all eat together.”

Human Resources: *With a disbelieving tone* “Never?”

Me: “No. Why?”

Human Resources: “If you are involved with someone at work, you know you need to notify HR.”

Me: “You think I’m involved with [Male Installer]?”

Human Resources: “Are you?”

Me: “No! Where did you come up with that?”

Foreman: “There was an anonymous tip that you two were… spending more time together than others.”

Me: “I never hang out one-on-one with any men who aren’t my husband or family.”

Human Resources: “Your coworkers are 95% men and you never see any of them exclusively?”

Me: “No.”

Human Resources: “Is there a reason for that?”

Me: “Up until now, it seemed like a good plan to avoid stupid questions.”

Foreman: “[My Name]!”

Human Resources: “I am only following up on an issue that was brought to our attention. There is no reason for name-calling.”

Me: “I didn’t call any names. I said this questioning is stupid. Did you ask [Male Installer] or any of the other guys I eat with every day?”

Human Resources: “Let’s just stay on task.”

Me: *Standing up* “Have a nice day, [Human Resources].”

Foreman: “[My Name], please sit down. Just let us get through this and you can go back to work.”

Me: “Unless you’re going to ask every single man I work with, it seems like you are targeting and harassing me.”

Human Resources: “[My Name], we are—”

Me: “Asking a married woman if she’s having an affair, but not asking the men she is accused of being involved with. I got it.”

Human Resources: “We have information based on an anonymous tip.”

Me: “I would love to see what I’ve been doing that is so damning.”

Human Resources: “We do not have to provide anything.”

Me: “Either fire me for misconduct on the job site or let me go back to work.”

[Human Resources] glared at me while [Foreman] looked at the floor. I walked out and went back to work without another word. Nobody asked me about [Male Installer] again, and as far as I know, none of the men were asked about our alleged affairs, either. I never found out who submitted this anonymous tip, but I sure would like to.

Stupid, Stupider, Stupidest

, , , , , | Right Working | May 31, 2022

The foreman of the construction company that was fixing our parking lot hit the gas meter. There was a gas leak and we had to evacuate the building. Every employee was outside, there were no cars except employees’ in the lot, and there were cop cars and fire trucks.

That didn’t matter. A man went around the cars and trucks and headed to the store with a firefighter whistling and chasing him. He made it into the building before the firefighter got him out. I don’t think he got fined.

Oh, and while this was going down? The construction employees thought that this was a great time for their literal smoke break. You know, only a few feet away from a gas leak.

Someone Please Come Collect This Giant Tool

, , , | Working | CREDIT: pupperpaw | May 16, 2022

I was working as a cleaner and just-do-stuff person on a construction site and the boss man didn’t like me — because I was a young woman in a man’s world, I guess? Other workers were nice to me, especially [Coworker], who is important to the story. [Coworker] was a good man, nice, funny, and kind. An example of that is when [Coworker] took me under his wing when [Boss] denied me the ability to change my clothes anywhere else than his office. [Coworker] started to track when I came in for work and kept [Boss] busy while I changed my clothes.

This particular event happened when the building was close to finished. I was cleaning the inside of that building when I heard [Boss]’s voice.

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], why this place is looking like this?”

Me: *Looking around* “Like what?”

Boss: “Like this, there are tools all over the place. You should keep this place clean.”

Me: “This is a construction site. There are tools. Workers use them. What do you want me to do? Collect them?”

Boss: “Yes. I need you to collect all tools that are not in use right now.”

Me: “Umm… you want me to collect all tools? That are not in use right now? Like, take them outside to the storage, so people need to walk there to get them again?”

Boss: “What is your problem? Do what I say! Collect all of them and don’t do anything else until you do.”

Then, he walked off. Just walked off. First, I was mad, but then I thought why not? And so I started to collect ALL of the tools. You let go of your hammer to use a circular saw? I took your hammer and took it to storage. I even found a wheelbarrow that I used to take even more tools in one trip.

I took all of the tools to storage. I did keep different subcontractors’ tools in different piles so no tools were lost or mixed.

At one point, [Coworker] stopped me.

Coworker: *Very puzzled* “What are you doing? We use these tools.”

Me: “I know, and I’m sorry that this makes things hard for you, but [Boss] told me to collect all of the tools that are not in use right now. So I’m doing that.”

Coworker: “Why would he make you do that?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Coworker: “I’ll go to talk to him.”

He left and came back.

Coworker: “You didn’t lie. [Boss] just told me to let you do your job.”

Me: “Well then, I do my job.”

I took more tools to the storage. After an hour or two, other workers started to put up signs like “I use this” or “This is mine,” and of course, I didn’t take those tools again. I had to explain my surprising enthusiasm to steal people’s tools lots of times, but all of the workers were nice, so they just took more cardboard or paper and made more signs. Soon, [Boss] started to note the signs of the workers, and he wanted answers.

Boss: “What are these signs?”

Me: “Workers put them up.”

Boss: “Yeah, but why?”

Before I had time to answer, [Coworker] intervened:

Coworker: “You told [My Name] to collect all of the tools. She did it so well that we couldn’t keep up, so we put signs to mark the tools that we used.”

Boss: “Why you didn’t stop her?”

Coworker: “You told me not to.”

Me: “And because I have been running around gathering tools, I have not done anything else.”

Boss: “Why not?”

Me: “Because the tools are constantly coming back inside. And no one uses them.”

I got yelled at, but it was worth it.