A Not-So-Sweet Response

, , , , , | Working | April 2, 2020

(My coworker’s contract will not be renewed due to certain circumstances. She is the one who always fills the team’s candy jar, out of her own pocket, just because she wants to.)

Manager: *jokingly* “[Coworker], we’ve run out of candy.”

Coworker: *deadly serious* “Yeah, well, I’ve run out of contract, so what are you gonna do about it?”

(I needed about two minutes to catch my breath again from laughing. The manager was awfully silent for the rest of the day.)

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They Have A Degree In Being Nuts

, , , , , | Working | April 1, 2020

(It’s lunchtime at the biotech company I work for. Pretty much everyone in the company has a biology degree, with at least an essential grasp of immunology, including allergies. Most folks have finished eating their lunch, but someone has put out a bowl of mixed nuts to share while we shoot the breeze.)

Colleague #1: *casually* “You know I’m allergic to almonds?”

(I glance down at the bowl of nuts — including almonds — that we’re all snacking from.)

Me: “Oh, geez! Do you need us to take it away or something?”

Colleague #1: “Nah, don’t worry; it’s not that bad.”

(There’s nothing weird about that; plenty of people are safe to be around foods they’re allergic to, as long as they don’t actually eat it. But just about as the conversation is about to move along naturally, [Colleague #1] picks up and eats a handful of nuts.)

Me: “Uh…”

Colleague #2: “Uh, you know there are almonds in there, right?”

Colleague #1: “Yeah. Don’t worry; I’m only allergic to some almonds.”

([Colleague #3] is also allergic to almonds.)

Colleague #3: “Really? Like, just certain sub-varieties, or something?”

([Colleague #1] just shrugs and pops a couple of almonds in his mouth. My other coworkers and I exchange glances.)

Me: “So, like… is it a cooked/uncooked thing? Or something to do with… seasoning or something?”

Colleague #1: “I dunno. I’m just allergic to some almonds.”

Colleague #4: “How can you tell?”

Colleague #1: “I can’t, until I’ve eaten them.”

Colleague #2: “Is it like, just a mild allergy, then? Like, some itching…?”

Colleague #1: “Oh, my throat closes up and I can’t breathe.”

Colleague #2: “What? That’s really serious!”

Colleague #1: “I mean, when it happens, sure.”

Me: “Do you have an epi-pen on you?”

Colleague #1: “No, it’s not a big deal.”

Colleague #5: “Who even brought these almonds? Maybe we should put them away.”

Colleague #1: “They’re mine. I brought them!”

(He proceeded to snack on another handful of them. The next five minutes saw an entire table of biology professionals trying to convince [Colleague #1] to stop eating food that apparently causes him to stop breathing. We couldn’t, and despite having a biology degree himself, he didn’t seem to understand what the big deal was.)

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It Was A Personal (Stuff) Joke

, , , , , | Learning | April 1, 2020

I am tasked with taking a video inventory of my entire school. This worries the other teachers, as a lot of their classroom supplies are their personal property, not the district’s. I assure them that this is just for insurance purposes, and they have nothing to worry about. The day before I’m to begin the inventory, I send this email.

Email: “I know I’ve previously stated that the video inventory will not affect anything you personally own in your classroom. However, I have received word from the central office that anything on the recording will be considered district property. Please remove all personal furniture, books, posters, supplies, etc., from your rooms by the end of the day. See me if you have any questions.”

A few minutes later a teacher, who’s probably been in the same classroom for twenty years, comes storming into my room. She’s livid.

Teacher: “Do you have any idea how much personal equipment I have in my classroom? Do you have any idea how impossible it’s going to be for me to move it all out? Do you want to go down there right now and have a look?”

Me: “Look, let’s deal with this logically. First of all, what’s today’s date?”

Teacher: “April… first.” *Pause* “You son of a b****.”

Another teacher left a pile of feathers on my desk, with a note saying the tar was coming soon.

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The Human Step-Counter

, , , , , | Working | March 29, 2020

(I fall off my bike on my way to get some dinner before covering an overnight shift at the front desk for my coworker on a night I don’t usually work. I bang up my knee pretty good, but I am able to walk and everything, and working at a retirement home means orphaned canes. This is about twelve hours after I fell, and my shift is over. We have calendars listing weekly events in the elevators.)

Coworker: “You didn’t change the calendars last night.”

Me: “No, I fell off my bike. Can’t walk that far. I can wait here if you want to do them now.”

Coworker: “No, I’ll get someone else to do them. Why didn’t you do them?”

Me: “Because I fell off my bike yesterday.”

Coworker: “But you can walk?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s not that bad, but it’s really limited how many steps I can take today.”

Coworker: “But you didn’t change the calendars.”

Me: “Yeah, because I can’t walk that far. My knee hurts.”

Coworker: “But you can walk home?”

Me: “Yes, because I didn’t do the calendars.”

Coworker: “Then why didn’t you do the calendars?”

Me: “Because I can only walk so far. And not fast enough to catch the elevators.”

Coworker: “Then why didn’t you come back to the desk and rest in between?”

Me: “Because that is physically more steps.”

Coworker: “No, it’s not; you rest in between.”

Me: “It’s physically more steps.”

Coworker: “Whatever. Why didn’t you stay home?”

Me: “Because I was already covering a shift and there wasn’t anybody to take it?”

Coworker: “I wouldn’t have come in if I was in pain.”

(Note: this coworker didn’t show up for her shift the day before, stranding the coworker I was covering for two extra hours and making our boss work the shift.)

Me: “Well, I have chronic pain, so it isn’t that big of a deal.”

Coworker: “Then why didn’t you do the calendars?”

Me: “Because I have a limited number of steps.”

Coworker: “Whatever. I don’t believe you anyway.”

Me: “All right, if you could only eat 2,000 calories a day, you wouldn’t spend it all on candy, right? You would eat something else? That’s what I’m doing with my steps. I have a limited number.”

Coworker: “I don’t get it.”

Me: “And I don’t think you ever will.”

(I limped out then with my cane. As it was the weekend, I had to go further to catch public transit and barely made it home as it was. I don’t think I would have made it if I’d done the calendars. I’m very glad that I don’t see her very often. Thanks for nothing, [Coworker]!)

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, , , , | Working | March 28, 2020

(A coworker comes into the office and notices I am eating doughnuts.)

Coworker: “Oh, can I have one, please?”

Me: “Umm, I don’t think they’ll be to your liking.”

Coworker: “I love doughnuts, though!”

(She reaches for one.)

Me: “No, really. I don’t think you want one.”

Coworker: “Gosh, you’re always so rude. You greedy pig!”

(She puts half of one in her mouth and bites down hard. She then chews, looking satisfied, but after a couple of seconds she spits it out.)

Coworker: “That is disgusting! Oh, my God. Look, I’m bleeding!”

Me: “No, that’s just tomato sauce.”

Coworker: “Tomato sauce?! With doughnuts? That’s horrible. Why are you having that?”

Me: “I’m pregnant. I was craving it.”

(She scoffed at me about how ridiculous I was and how I was just milking my pregnancy for attention. Literally three people in the office work knew at that point, her being the third that I had just told. She then made it a point to criticise my pregnancy every time she saw me. It got to a point that I started having breakdowns from the constant harassment and she was reprimanded and suspended for a week. The worst part was, a year or so later she got pregnant, as well, and it was particularly difficult for her, or so she would have us believe. The second she set foot in the office everything had to be about her. I made the mistake of walking into the staff room while she was having her cravings — honey-roasted peanuts and pork scratchings in mayonnaise — and she demanded that I leave for judging her; I literally hadn’t said a word. She then spat her food at me, screeching that at least it wasn’t tomato sauce and chocolate. The entire office breathed a sigh of relief when she went on maternity leave.)

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