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!)

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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.

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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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That Definition Is Tight

, , , , , | Working | October 18, 2017

Coworker #1: *reading an article about American Football player Rob Gronkowski* “‘It’s looking like a very Merry Gronkmas. New England Patriots tight end debuted a new ugly sweater that features a photo of him spiking a Christmas present.’ Apparently there’s a contest where you can win a dinner with him and a surprise guest, plus a bunch of signed memorabilia.”

Coworker #2: “I don’t care about the memorabilia; I’d just take the dinner with him. He’s hot.”

(The conversation continues about Gronkowski and football. A few minutes later…)

Me: “Wait… is ‘tight end’ a football term?”

(Everyone laughs.)

Coworker #1: “Yes, it’s a hybrid position, like a wide receiver.”

Me: “Oh, I was thinking they were talking about Gronk’s ‘tight end.’”

Coworker #2: “Well, that’s a good description, too.”

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Sick Of Not Being Sick

, , , , | Working | October 17, 2017

(After being as fit as a fiddle for more than two years, I get sick. A really bad cold knocks me out for a whole week. I can’t speak, and barely eat or drink. When I’m finally healthy and back at work the next week, I bump into my coworker.)

Coworker: “Hey, how was your vacation?”

(He wasn’t the only one who asked me that. I really need to get sick more often.)

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