There Is Snow Reason Not To Celebrate

, , , , , , | Working | October 23, 2017

(It has been cold for a few weeks now, and our university has already shut down once due to ice and snow. My department works for the university, and shuts down when the school does. There is more snow on the weather forecast for today.)

Coworker: *peering out the window* “There’s the snow! Finally.”

Supervisor #1: “All right! Who’s up for some day drinking? We can go to [on-campus Pub] just like last time we shut down early.”

Supervisor #2: *pulls a bottle of what looks like champagne from underneath his desk*

Supervisor #1: “Oh! You’re so prepared!”

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

, , , , | Working | October 22, 2017

(The office I work at is pretty laid back regarding things like lunch breaks, so I prefer to take my break later in the afternoon so that I am available to answer the telephones over the typical lunch hour. My desk is next to the department printer where a lot of protected information about clients is printed, whereas one of my coworker’s desk is a few cubicles down the hall. I am gathering up a stack of coworker’s printed material and decide to drop it off to her as it’s been sitting for a few hours. It is about 10:45 am, but she’s sitting at her desk eating lunch.)

Me: “Hi, [Coworker], just dropping off your printed forms; they’re in the protected folder in your in-tray if you’re looking for them.”

Coworker: “Oh, okay… um, listen; I normally take my lunch early because I get hungry earlier. I need you to make sure you don’t interrupt my lunch with work; I’ve earned my break and it shouldn’t be interrupted for anything other than an emergency, okay?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you took an early lunch. Regardless, I was just dropping off the files you printed earlier; I don’t actually need anything from you at the moment. Enjoy your lunch!” *I head back to my desk but my coworker follows me*

Coworker: “I don’t think you understand; it’s very disruptive if you give me your work while I’m on lunch! I don’t get a proper break at all and it stresses me out!”

Me: “Yes, I understand that. I apologized because I didn’t know you started taking earlier lunches. I also wasn’t bringing you any work; you left some client files in the printer tray with sensitive information on them. People were sifting through the pile to get their own items. I was just dropping them off to clear the printer tray, not asking you to handle them right this moment. Next time I’ll make sure you’re not on break before I stop in.”

Coworker: “Good, because I’m not going to interrupt my lunch unless it’s an emergency!”

(A couple days later I am taking my lunch at my usual time, which I have done every day since I started in the department. Our other coworker is out at an appointment so it’s just the one coworker handling clients.)

Coworker: “[My Name]! I need you to jump on line one and finish handling a client’s case!”

Me: “What? Why?!”

Coworker: “I picked up the phone and after a minute or two realized I really had to pee! You can handle it; he just needs help filling in a certain section of his registration.”

(My coworker runs off and I end up answering the phone to a client having severe technical difficulties, and I spend over 20 minutes sorting it out. After that call, another client calls, and another, and so forth until I’ve spent over 45 minutes on the phone and my coworker still isn’t back yet. I manage to find her in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil and talking to someone in another department.)

Me: “Where have you been?! You were supposed to come right back from the bathroom so I could go back to my lunch!”

Coworker: “Yeah, but it’s stressful answering those calls! I just needed a little breather to refresh. I’ll go get the next caller.”

Me: “Good. I’m taking the rest of my lunch outside. I won’t be there if you need to use the bathroom again.”

Coworker: “Okay, fine! Jeez! It was just a little break!”

(Shortly afterwards coworker stopped printing her files and would email them to me asking me to print and file them for her since I was “already right there”. I left for a job at another department and she quit the company altogether about a month later because it was “too stressful” for her. The rest of us had no issues and found the job to be relatively easy. She was the one making it stressful!)

The Next Big Science: A Formaldehyde-Resistant Strapless

, , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

(I work for my university, prepping equipment and chemicals for the undergraduate lab classes. Since I’m working with a lot of chemical stains, I usually show up to work wearing lab coats and my rattiest T-shirts. However, I’m also a research student, and we’re required to dress up when we present our work at the biannual symposium. As such, I’m wearing a nice dress today instead of my usual cut-offs and T-shirt, and apparently some people weren’t expecting it.)

Lab Manager: “Excuse me, miss, you can’t be in… Holy s***, [My Name]! I didn’t recognize you! Why the hell are you wearing a dress?!”

Me: “It’s symposium day; I have to dress up to present my work.”

Lab Manager: “Christ, that’s today? Well, good luck! You do look nice; I just don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a skirt. It’s weird.”

(Later, in the research lab…)

Principal Investigator: “Holy cow, [My Name]. You look great! Why don’t you dress like that every day?”

Me: “Because most days, I’m hauling formaldehyde-soaked dissection specimens or scrubbing test tubes out with bleach, and I like this dress!”

Principal Investigator: *laughing* “Fair enough. So, ready for your presentation?”

(My presentation did actually go very well, but I continued getting spit-take reactions throughout the day. Since then, I’ve made it a point to dress up one or two days a semester when I’m not working; the double-takes are just too much fun!)

The Bank Job

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

In my first real job, one of my tasks is to take cheques to the bank and bring back cash for the petty cash. I am given a handbag and am told I need to take my own wallet for ID purposes at the bank.

The accountant jokes with me, “Oh, if you get mugged, make sure you ask for your wallet back.”

I don’t take his joke too seriously until I am at the bank one day. I turn to see a guy watching the teller counting the money I am to take back. He then turns to me and gives me a creepy grin. I don’t think anything of that until I am a few doors away from the bank and turn to find him so close to me he’s almost touching me. I quickly dart between cars and across the road. He follows a short distance away, so I duck into a shop that I know has an upstairs exit into the next street. I sneak a look when I am going up the stairs to see him standing by the door I had entered. I run out the back door and through another shop before rushing back to work. Thankfully I had explored different routes and knew which stores had rear exits. My work only wants me to take one route to and from the bank, at the same time each day.

Not long after that, I move into a receptionist role and a new hire is given the bank job, which isn’t part of the job description. Her husband comes in to see the accountant and tells him that his wife is not doing the banking. The accountant agrees it is too dangerous for a middle-aged lady to do, but funnily had not considered it too dangerous for his teenage niece to do.

Your Leave Sheet Is Mud

, , , , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

(I overhear my boss on the phone. It is Monday.)

Boss: “Okay, thanks for letting me know. I’ll put it down on your leave sheet.”

(Pause.)

Boss: “Yes, it does have to go down as annual leave. See you on Wednesday.” *hangs up*

Me: “What was that about?”

Boss: “You know that [Coworker] has been at [Music Festival]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Boss: “Well, she booked today off and was going to come into work tomorrow, but when she and her friends sobered up this morning they realised that their car had sunk into the mud, so they won’t be able to set off before this evening at the earliest. I told her that tomorrow would be annual leave, and she asked if it had to be. It’s not sick leave and it’s not compassionate leave, so yes.”

Me: “And it’s rather difficult to be compassionate towards someone who voluntarily goes to stay in a muddy field…”

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