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You Ever Just Wanna Throat-Punch A Coworker?

, , , , , , | Working | February 23, 2022

One of my coworkers, a low-level manager, thinks that just because he has “manager” in his title now, he is above everyone. Literally everyone. I am the assistant to the site manager — the actual big boss. I run his schedule according to his requests and those who need to meet with him.

After a progress meeting with [Coworker] — but not [Site Manager] because he was dealing with something on the floor — [Coworker] tried to take my laptop off my desk. I grabbed it back and turned away.

Me: “Excuse me. Do you need something?”

Coworker: “[Site Manager] has a meeting that needs to be changed.”

Me: “He didn’t tell me.”

Coworker: “No, it’s in an hour, but it’s not going to work.”

Me: “With [Subcontractor on site], I know. It’s been like this every week for months.”

[Coworker] reached for my computer again.

Coworker: “Move it to tomorrow.”

Me: “Not unless I hear it directly from [Site Manager].”

Coworker: *Angry* “Now look, girl, I know you think you’re hot s*** because you probably spend your day on your knees under his desk, but I’m a manager and you’re not! Now change the d*** meeting before I call [Site Manager] myself and tell him you’re being a b****!”

The other people in the office were slowly stopping their work to watch us.

Me: *Smiling* “I’ll call him for you.”

He grabbed me by the back of the neck and tried to grab my phone.

Site Manager: “Hey, [My Name], I’m almost done out here.”

I should not have elbowed [Coworker] in the throat, but I did. He fell back to the wall behind him.

Site Manager: “What was that?”

I retell the whole interaction.

Me: “So, uh… that’s where we are.”

Site Manager: *Calmly* “Have [Coworker] take a seat in my office until I return. Do not move my meeting.”

[Site Manager] came in and slammed his office door behind him. We all heard him screaming at [Coworker] for what he said to me and for how he had tried to manipulate things in his favor. As it turned out, [Coworker] wanted to be at the meeting in question, but he had another meeting at the same time. The other meeting was immovable, so he decided to try to move that one, instead. [Coworker] came out of [Site Manager]’s office, pale and shaken.

Coworker: “[My Name], please forgive me for my unforgivable actions. I will try to… I will be more respectful in my communications in the future.”

Me: “Do not come into my office without my prior approval ever again.”

[Coworker] nodded and left without another word. The office was dead quiet when I was called in. 

Site Manager: “[My Name], did you hit him?”

Me: “Yes. I know it was wrong, but I—”

Site Manager: *Trying not to smile* “You’re not in trouble. I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I am proud of you.”

This Lesson Really HURTS

, , , , , | Working | February 11, 2022

I have told several stories about my father-in-law, including this one. This story is actually about the man my father-in-law went to work for when he first started working in construction decades ago. We’ll call him Dave. My father-in-law said this older man taught him everything he knew about construction. Dave was smart, a hard worker, and tough as nails.

One day, Dave fell off a ladder and heard a sickening crack in his arm. My father-in-law could see that Dave’s arm was broken, but thankfully, the skin was not broken. Dave went to the site boss and told him he’d broken his arm. The boss said he could leave for the hospital but Dave wouldn’t get paid for the day.

Dave told my father-in-law to run to his car and get an old shirt and a roll of duct tape. I won’t describe here what Dave did because it is not a wise thing to do. Anyway, with some… pulling and help from my father-in-law, he got the bone reset. Dave then cut off the sleeve of the old shirt and put it over the broken arm. With my father-in-law’s help, he duct-taped a piece of wood to the arm and went back to work.

After they got off of work that evening, Dave asked my father-in-law to drive him to the hospital. They walked into the emergency room. After taking most of his information, the nurse asked:

Nurse: “Is that really duct tape around your arm?”

Dave: “Yes.”

The nurse ran and got the doctor, who immediately got him into the X-ray.

Doctor: “Well, Dave, it’s really broken. But you did a great job setting it. I don’t think I could have done better. We are going to put a new cast on it, but I have to ask why you didn’t come in earlier. Why did you wait to come in?”

Dave: “If I had come in, I wouldn’t have gotten paid. I’m poor. My family needs this paycheck to eat.”

They put a new cast on it. The doctor made sure there was no bill. The next day, Dave showed up on the job site and went to work, even using a hammer with the broken arm.

My father-in-law said he learned so much from Dave — although learning how to set a broken arm with duct tape was not among the things he would have guessed.

This Lesson Really Speeds
This Lesson Really Blows
This Lesson Really Bites
This Lesson Really Stings, Part 3
This Lesson Really Stings, Part 2

A** At Fault On The Asphalt

, , | Right | February 9, 2022

I work in asphalt with my dad. We seal coat parking lots (essentially spraying parking lots black again so they look new) and the black stuff goes on wet. We cone off these areas and signs are put up WELL in advance telling people that the parking lot will be closed for this reason.

Cue a pedal biker who, after blowing through a line of bright orange cones, hits the seal coat while it’s still wet, falls, and then slides across the asphalt, drenching his pretty biking outfit in our oil-based sealer. My dad just looks at him.

Dad: “Well, now you know what the cones are for.”

Instead Of The Driveway, He Should Just Drive Away

, , , , , , , | Working | October 26, 2021

I’m out for my morning walk. I’m getting on in years and need to be careful where I’m walking. I come upon a car and trailer completely blocking the footpath and sticking well out into a busy road.

I catch the eye of a tradesman working up at the front of the house.

Me: “Don’t you know it’s illegal to park blocking the footpath? And someone is likely to run into your trailer sticking out like that.”

He responds as though talking to an idiot.

Tradesman: “I need to park near where I’m working so I don’t waste my customer’s time walking backward and forward to get my tools.”

Me: *Perplexed and pointing* “But there are a good six metres of empty driveway in front of you. If you moved up there, you would be closer to where you are working.”

The tradesman looked at me, looked at the empty driveway, shrugged, and went back to work, leaving me to risk being run over in the busy street detouring around his vehicle.

Meet Lucky And His Coworker, Luckier

, , , , , | Working | September 28, 2021

My dad owns a small demolition business and I work for him. We tear down old houses or remove the interior for remodels. There is one employee we call Lucky because he suffers some minor but unfortunate accident at every site he works at, like having a chunk of drywall fall on him or a piece of wire scratch his face. Lucky, two other coworkers, and I are sent to tear down a trailer that is not safe to live in or move. As we do our walk-through:

Me: “Okay, everyone, be careful; the floor does not look sturdy.”

Coworker #1: “I bet lunch that Lucky goes through within three hours.”

Coworker #2: “One hour.”

Lucky: “Not funny, guys!”

Me: “The next thirty minutes.”

Lucky: “Okay, first to fall through pays for lunch for a month.”

Us: “Deal!”

As I’m entering the kitchen:

Me: “Something happens to you at every site. At least this time we—”

The floor rips like paper as my leg goes through it.

Lucky: “Wooo! Lunch on the boss’s son!”

I had some bruising around my thigh and an even bigger bruise on my ego. Lucky made it through the job without a single accident, and I paid out big time for lunch that month.