Shouldn’t Have Gone Down That Rabbit Hole

, , , , , | Right | June 21, 2017

(I work as a freelance contractor doing computer repair and sometimes take on wiring projects, too. An apartment complex hires me to fix their private cable service across one of their buildings. I am in the unit of four Spanish-speaking young men. I am male, solidly built, but have back trouble and don’t want to aggravate it by moving heavy furniture.)

Me: *in English since I know at least one of them speaks some English* “Can I get some help moving your TV cabinet from the wall?”

One Of The Young Men: “Why, you can’t do it yourself?” *laughter from all four men*

Me: “I’m sure I could but don’t want to risk damaging any of your things. I just need room to open up the cable jack in the wall and test it.”

(Still laughing, one of them helps move the TV cabinet out.)

Other Young Man: *whispering* “Coneja.”

(Directly translated, “rabbit.” However, I knew the term also is a derogatory slang term related to female anatomy.) The others join in, laughing, “Ay, coneja. Sí, coneja.”)

(The whispered jokes continue with more laughter while I open the cable jack, quickly find the problem (poorly attached connector was about to fall off), fasten a new connector and repair the jack, and turn the TV on.)

Me: “It works, see? Now can we move the TV cabinet back in place?”

One Of The Young Men: “Okay.” *turns to other men and whispers* “Qué coneja.” *what a “rabbit”*

(As I am leaving, I turn back to them:)

Me: *all in Spanish* “Have a nice evening and enjoy your cable!”

(Four shocked and mortified faces stared at me as I closed the door.)

Doesn’t Give A Truck

| AB, Canada | Working | October 4, 2016

Coworker: “You’re in big trouble!”

Me: “Oh? How so?”

Coworker: “Because you left all the tools in the company truck!”

Me: “So? We’ve got another job in two days. Policy states that it’s perfectly fine to leave the equipment in the truck when you’ve got jobs that close together.”

Coworker: “Really?”

Me: “Yup. Why? What happened?”

Coworker: “Well, someone took the company truck out to visit clients yesterday, and when they got back, they left the windows rolled down. Someone could have stolen everything!”

Me: “Well, wasn’t me. They were rolled up when I finished that job on the weekend. Who took it out to visit clients?”

Coworker: *pregnant pause* “Me.”

Me: “You’re the one you took the truck out?”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Me: “So you’re the one who left the windows rolled down overnight.”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Me: “So whose fault would it have been if everything was stolen out of the truck?”

Coworker: “YOURS, because you’re supposed to empty the truck after a job!”

Me: *annoyed sigh*

Coworker: “I’ll cover for you this time, but next time, you empty the truck!”

Contracting Confusion

| Leiden, The Netherlands | Working | June 2, 2015

(The phone rings and the caller ID shows it is a number from the other side of the country.)

Me: “Hello, [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Hello, this is [Contractor]. I’m calling for your quote for the repainting of the outside of your house.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong number.”

Caller: *speaking slowly and clear like you would do to a two-year-old* “This is [Contractor]. I. Am. Calling. For. Your. Quote.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but as I said you must have dialed the wrong number; I haven’t contacted any contractor.”

Caller: *sounding slightly desperate* “You don’t understand. This is [Contractor]. I’m calling regarding the repainting of your house.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m in a town about three hours from [Contractor’s Location], and I couldn’t possibly have my house’s outside wall repainted as I live in an apartment. I’m afraid you must have dialed the wrong number.”

Caller: *sounding close to tears* “BUT MY SON GAVE ME THIS NUMBER!”

Me: “Well, probably he gave you a wrong number.”

Caller: “But… my son gave me this number… My son gave me this number.”

Me: “I wish you a nice day. Goodbye.” *hangs up*

(I stood there dumbfounded. Luckily she never called back.)

Fear Not The Magic Of The Lightning Guild

| FL, USA | Working | May 13, 2015

(I am having some work done in my house when a new worker shows up, surprising me since I thought I knew everyone and the head contractor had not told me new people were showing up.)

Man: “Fear not my magics, fair maiden. I am a servant of peace! I am the one they call the Ender of all that is Dark! The vile forces of the water dwellers have rendered my brother unable to continue the tasks unsigned to him by the leader of our order.”

Me: “I- uh… what?”

Man: *laughs heartily* “I’m the new electrician; [Name] got some bad sushi last night, so our boss called me in to finish the job.”

Me: *bursts out laughing* “Oh, my god, that is the best thing I’ve ever heard!”

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Not Being A Complete Tool

| MD, USA | Related | November 7, 2014

(My teenage brother is doing carpentry work for a contracting company. His coworkers are looking at a calendar that features scantily-clad women with construction equipment.)

Coworker: “Hey, [Brother], check this one out.”

(He holds up a picture of a woman wearing nothing but a tool-belt.)

Brother: “Wow, nice tool-belt!”

(Yes, he was serious.)

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