How Much Lung Cancer Do You Need Before You’re Allowed A Break?

, , , | Working | August 19, 2017

(I work overnights at a gas station. Due to a loophole in the laws of my state, the company I work for is able to shirk giving us 30-minute breaks by instead paying a yearly fine. After months of not being guaranteed a break, I decided to buy a pack of cigarettes to go on fake smoke breaks. I tucked them in my bag for later.)

Coworker #1: *barges into the kitchen* “Since when do you smoke?”

Me: “What?”

Coworker #2: *turning to me* “You smoke?!”

Coworker #1: “I saw cigarettes in her bag.”

Me: “You were SNOOPING in my bag?”

Coworker #1: “Your bag was open and I happened to glance inside. But seriously, when did you start smoking?”

Coworker #2: “Oh, my god, you better not have started smoking!”

Me: “Woah, woah. You two are hypocrites!”

(Both of them actually smoke cigarettes, one since the eighth grade.)

Coworker #2: “Just because we smoke doesn’t mean we want you to!”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, we make bad choices!”

Me: *starting to laugh* “Oh, my god. Guys, I bought them for the breaks.”

Coworker #1: “What?”

Me: “I bought them so I could go on smoke breaks. Not to actually smoke them.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, my god.”

Coworker #1: “You genius. I hate you.”

(I haven’t let them live it down, but every now and then they both ask to see the pack of cigarettes to make sure I haven’t started smoking!)

Your Argument Is Redundant

, , , , | Working | August 18, 2017

(A few years ago I could see my company failing. As I have two small children, I decide to find another job with some stability. Towards the end I talk at great lengths with some of my team and try to get them to at least look at their options, but as the pay is higher than average, due to the bad reputation of the company for firing people, many of them ignore my advice and some ridicule me for going to somewhere else for less money. A year later, I get a message from one of my former team. He is a decent guy but utterly hopeless. Due to him being friends with the boss, he was never pulled up on his behaviour and was massively overpaid. But I still want to help him out.)

Ex-Coworker: “Hey, [My Name], did you hear the news?”

Me: “Hey, about the redundancies? Yeah, I heard. Are you affected?”

Ex-Coworker: “I don’t know yet. We will soon.”

Me: “That’s a shame; it really is. How is the job hunt?”

Ex-Coworker: “Oh, I haven’t started yet.”

Me: “Maybe worth looking soon. I mean, it is better to find something now then be desperate later.”

Ex-Coworker: “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

(I know this guy won’t bother; as much as I want him to sort himself out, I know he will struggle.)

Me: “Tell you what. I will send you over anything I find.”

Ex-Coworker: “That would be great, thanks!”

(Over the next couple of weeks I send a list of jobs, each of them are more suitable to his “skills.” I deal with recruitment companies anyway so I get them to take a look at his CV. I don’t hear anything for a couple of months until I get another message.)

Ex-Coworker: “Hey, [My Name].”

Me: “Hey! How are you?”

Ex-Coworker: “Not great. I found out I’m at risk.”

Me: “That sucks; how goes the job hunt?”

Ex-Coworker: “Okay, I guess. Those jobs you sent over weren’t really what I was looking for.”

Me: “Really? Why not?”

Ex-Coworker: “Well, if I’m going for a new job I want to get more money.”

Me: “More money? But you might not have a job in a couple of months.”

Ex-Coworker: “Yeah, well, I need to find a better job.”

(I was stunned. This guy knew that he struggled in his current job, he knew that he was overpaid, and that any more money would mean an even more challenging job. I just didn’t know how to respond. Eventually he signed off and said goodbye. I heard nothing from him again for months, later learning from another friend that he did lose his job, and that apparently I didn’t help him out and that I promised to get him a job. He still messages me time to time asking for work; I occasionally send him over vacancies. None of them are ever good enough.)

You’re Not A-Lone Star

, , , , | Working | August 18, 2017

(I have been living in Texas for about five years, whereas my coworker has lived here most of her life, only having moved away once for about ten years, then moving back. This is a conversation we had when she was trying to get information on a new client.)

Coworker: “Where is Texas Tech?”

Me: “Texas.”

Coworker: *while laughing* “I know that. Smart-a**.”

Me: “I’ll Google it for you.” *I pull it up* “It’s in Lubbock.”

Coworker: “That’s really far north. Isn’t it?”

Me: “I have no idea.”

Coworker: “How long have you lived in Texas?”

Me: “How long have you lived in Texas?”

That’s Not What They Mean By Edibles

, , , , , | Working | August 17, 2017

(I write profiles on various attractions for the west coast. Though new, I’ve received a few odd assignments, and with my general eccentric interests, I’m fairly hard to throw off-balance. One day, a profile request for a museum exhibit in San Diego comes to my email.)

Me: “Oh, gods, please tell me that someone misspelled ‘cannabis.’”

Coworker: “Why, what’s it say?”

Me: “Cannibals: Myth & Reality.”

Coworker: “What? Yeah, that has to be a typo.”

(I look at the brochure that came with the assignment.)

Me: “Nope. It says cannibals. I’m writing about a cannibalism exhibit. This was not what I was expecting when I applied here.”

(I write the profile and become very interested in the exhibit, to the point where I request to write an editorial article for our website. A few days later, I get a call from one of the people at the museum for an impromptu interview. He’s very helpful, explaining how the exhibit is meant to disprove many of the popular notions about cannibalism. He’s incredibly insightful, pointing out how most cases of were actually for medical purposes in western culture, or a desperate situation of life and death. However, since I am not on speakerphone, my coworkers can only hear my side of the conversation.)

Me: “That makes so much sense. So, it’s not just savages and psychopaths that indulge in cannibalism?”

Coworker: “That was not a sentence I expected to hear in this office.”

Boss: *sticking her head out of her office* “I’m sure there’s context for that, but I’m not sure I want to know it, [My Name]. I’m just glad I already had lunch.”

(Thankfully, the article ended up being very good, but after that I made sure to either let my coworkers know who I was interviewing ahead of time, or take the call in another office.)

How Not To Be Stern

, , , | Working | August 16, 2017

(The morning show host at my radio station has seen that Howard Stern movie one too many times, and as such, believes the key to being a great radio announcer is being hated. He goes out of his way to be as unlikable as possible, antagonizing anyone he can: listeners, coworkers, the boss. One day, I come into work to see that he’s cleaned out his office.)

Me: “Hey, [Morning Guy], why is your office cleaned out?”

Morning Guy: “I just got a job at [Other Radio Station]. When the boss comes in today, I’m going to give my one month’s notice. I have no doubt that they’re going to turn around and fire me as soon as I give it in.”

Me: “What makes you say that?”

Morning Guy: “Because they did it to [Former Coworker].”

Me: “Dude, that was different. [Former Coworker] was a jerk, and he turned into a total a**-hole after he turned in his notice. But you… the boss loves you, for some reason.”

Morning Guy: “Nope. I’m a much bigger a**-hole than [Former Coworker] ever was. Just you wait and see. As soon as I give my notice, they’ll have security escorting me to the door.”

(Later that day, the boss comes in, and the morning guy goes in to deliver the news. The boss closes the door, they have a long meeting, and the morning guy eventually comes out, just stunned.)

Me: “So, are you fired?”

Morning Guy: “No…”

Me: “Then what happened?”

Morning Guy: “They offered me a raise to stay.”

(He went back to his empty office, just flabbergasted, muttering about Howard Stern and how the boss is supposed to hate him. Never have I seen a man work so hard to be unlikable, and fail!)

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