A Santa Existential Crisis

, , , , | Working | December 22, 2017

(I am assisting a line of parents when a woman storms up to the counter. She seems rather upset. This happens close to Christmas.)

Mother: “Sorry, but could you tell me where [Coworker] is, please?”

(I shout for her.)

Coworker: “Hi! Can I help?”

Mother: “Did you tell my daughter that Santa doesn’t exist?”

(Silence falls on the room.)

Coworker: “How old is she?”

Mother: “Five.”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Mother: “Why?”

Coworker: “Because Christmas is nothing more than a commercial holiday nowadays, and your daughter doesn’t need to be told a MAN is going to be getting her everything she wanted for Christmas.”

Mother: *with a rigid smile* “It was also the only reason what was looking forward to Christmas this year, after seeing her father die right before her eyes last Christmas Day.”

Coworker: *going pale* “Oh, umm—”

Mother: “So, thank you. Thank you for ruining Christmas. The first two Christmases my daughter is going to remember: seeing her father collapse on a dollhouse they were building together, and learning that Santa doesn’t exist from a virtual stranger. Thank you, you self-righteous b****!”

(The woman ran out of the daycare in hysterics. Everyone else then turned towards [Coworker], and she barely had time to escape before utter chaos ensued. We lost a lot of business that day (to which we have yet to recover), and [Coworker] was let go for her conduct. I got in touch with the woman with condolences and apologies. She accepted, but said she wouldn’t be coming back. I don’t blame her.)

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Not So Sweet Resolution

, , , | Working | December 22, 2017

Coworker: “Hey, you have to pick a name. We’re doing secret Santa.”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m visiting family over December, so I won’t be here.”

Coworker: “DUH! That’s why you pick a name now, and then we can all open them at the Christmas party.”

Me: “When is the party?”

Coworker: “18th December.”

Me: “To which I won’t be here…”

Coworker: “…do you maybe want to pick a d*** name and stop being an a**hole?!”

(I pick a name and buy something before I leave the week later. When I get back in January:)

Coworker: “WHERE WERE YOU?!”

Me: “I told you. I was visiting family over December.”

Coworker: “You should have said. [Coworker] got you a box of sweets, but I decided to take them home. Otherwise, they would have been eaten just being left here.”

Me: “So, where are they?”

Coworker: “I ate them.”

Me: “…”

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Sweet Oranges

, , , , | Friendly | December 21, 2017

(My officemate and I are known for constantly taking the mick out of each other, with each of us on separate occasions remarking that if one of us were nice to the other, it would be too weird to handle. I come in on Monday morning.)

Officemate: “Morning.”

Me: “Morning.”

(I walk over to our office swear jar and put £1 in.)

Officemate: “Expecting a bad day at work?”

Me: “Eh. [Girlfriend] broke up with me yesterday so, I figure, best accept that I’m going to be in a bad mood now.”

Officemate: “I’m sorry. That sucks.”

Me: “Yeah, well. At least I can swear as much as I want today and someone will get some good out of it. How was your weekend?”

(We chat a little bit, including once or twice about whether I think the ex-girlfriend and I might get back together. I make some effort to make a few jokes so as not to make the atmosphere too weird and we chat more generally about other things. I eat lunch with another colleague and come back in afterwards. There’s a bottle of orange juice on my desk.)

Me: “Huh? Where did this come from?”

Officemate: “Well, I was gonna get you chocolate but I’ve never heard you talk about what type you like. But I have heard you mention your orange juice addiction so I thought it might help cheer you up, since you’re having such a rotten day.

Me: “That’s incredibly sweet of you.”

(My office mate sort of blushed and waved his hand at me. Normal service resumed later that afternoon.)

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A Different Kind Of Lightbulb Moment

, , , | Working | December 20, 2017

(It’s the first of December and we’re decorating. A coworker helps me untangle a string of lights and I plug them in.)

Coworker: “Looks like you’ve got a short; some of the colors aren’t working. Let me take a look. I know a lot about these you know.”

Me: “Do you smell burning?”

Coworker: *not paying attention* “That’s too bad. I think I found the problem. Hang on, let me pull this bulb. You know, these things are bad for overheating.”

Me: “Oh, here. This bulb is on fire.”

Coworker: “Wait, what?!” *sees the bulb I’m holding, drops the lights, and bolts out of my cubicle*

(I calmly unplugged the lights and blew out the flame. I wish I could say this was the first fire I’d dealt with at work, but it was definitely the smallest. Hardly worth fleeing in terror over.)

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Peppered With Allergies

, , , , , , | Working | December 20, 2017

(I’ve been asked to cover a shift in the produce department. Since I’ve never worked produce before, I’m given pre-loaded carts and told to stock them. I’m highly allergic to bell peppers, and several peppers in the box are broken. I try to stock them anyway, but I can feel my throat starting to itch and my hands are turning red.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], could you possibly take over with the peppers, so I don’t die? I’ll stock those strawberries, and take that cart back when there aren’t peppers on it anymore.”

Coworker: “Okay.”

(I put out the boxes of berries and look up to see my coworker stocking squash, with full boxes of peppers still sitting on top of the cart.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], um… I’m happy to stock the zucchini. I really just needed your help with the peppers, because I’m allergic.”

Coworker: “You’re allergic to peppers? I thought you were just trying to get out of doing your job.”

Me: “What? No! I stocked all those berries and stuff; how is that not doing my job?”

Coworker: “You pawned this full cart off on me.”

Me: “No, I asked if you would mind just stocking the peppers. I haven’t handled them a lot because I’m allergic. I didn’t realize that just touching them could cause a reaction.” *I hold up my hands*

Coworker: “Huh, okay. You should tell someone you’re allergic. That’s a good reason; you could avoid getting fired that way.”

Me: “Fired? What? Wait, were you going to complain about me swapping with you? I asked you nicely. Also, what did you think I meant about dying?”

Coworker: “I thought you were kidding.”

Me: *speechless*

(I told the manager I couldn’t take the risk of covering in produce anymore.)

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