Sexism Is The Kicker

, , , , , | Working | November 10, 2017

(My coworker and I both work overnight, and we are swapping stories.)

Coworker: “So, has any customer acted all crazy with you at night?”

Me: “Let me see… Oh, yeah! Once, it was around midnight, and I heard a loud bang, bang, bang on the glass door, and the customer was trying to put her foot through it!”

Coworker: “That’s it?”

Me: “Well, yeah. I mean, it was scary loud! You never had one like that?”

Coworker: “Oh, yeah, but that’s not scary.”

Me: “Then what’s the scariest thing for you?”

Coworker: “One time a creepy guy was wandering around, staring at me through the window! I called the police!”

Me: “And that’s scarier than someone trying to kick down a door?”

Coworker: “Well, he was a guy, and yours was a girl!”

(We’re both female, but I still think mine was scarier, even if it was a girl. Girls can be scary when violent.)

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Deaf Jam

, , , , , , | Working | November 10, 2017

(At the store where I work, one of our overnight stockers is profoundly deaf. He usually works with another stocker who is partially deaf and can sign for him. One day, the other stocker is out sick, and the delivery that day is very large so the stockers are kept late and  are therefore still in the store when it opens. I’m working one aisle over from the deaf stocker when I hear a customer making a commotion.)

Customer: “Hello! HELLO! HEY! STOP IGNORING ME, YOU IDIOT!”

(I hurry over to see her standing behind the stocker, who is working on something and hasn’t noticed her there.)

Me: “Excuse me, can I help you?”

Customer: “No! This jerk is ignoring me! I want him to show me where the jam is and he won’t answer me!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can show you. It’s right over this way.”

Customer: “No! I want him to do it! Make him do it! Why is he ignoring me!?”

Me: “Ma’am, he is deaf. He can’t hear you and hasn’t seen you.”

(At this point, the stocker finally turns around. He waves hello and tries to go about his work, but the customer jumps in front of him and starts speaking in a very loud, exaggerated manner.)

Customer: “Where! Is! Jam! Show! Me! Jaaaam!”

Me:Ma’am. He cannot understand you. I can show you where the jam is.”

Customer: “No! I want him to do it. It’s the principle of the thing! He spent so long ignoring me, and now I will make him acknowledge me! He’s deaf, so he can read lips, so of course he can understand me!”

Me: “No, ma’am, he can’t read lips. Please, let me show you to the jam.”

(The customer keeps insisting that the deaf stocker be the one who helps her, so I give up and call over the manager, who knows some very limited sign language. He comes over, listens to what the customer has to say, and signs a short phrase to the stocker. The stocker signs something simple back, and walks off.)

Manager: “Ma’am, he says he didn’t mean to ignore you, and he’s very sorry he couldn’t understand you, but he only lip-reads in Spanish. Now, I’ll show you where the jam is.”

(After the customer has left I ask what he really signed.)

Manager: “I just told him to go work in another aisle. To the best of my knowledge, [Stocker] doesn’t understand a word of Spanish, either lip-read or written. I just figured that would be the best way to get the customer to let someone else help her without more of a scene. But d***, do I wish I could ban people like her from the store.”

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Not Drawing A Picture Of Intelligence

, , , , | Working | November 9, 2017

(I’ve just started a job, and the administrative assistant is showing me my new office. The office has no supplies in it except the computer and printer.)

Coworker: “Just let me know what supplies you need, and I’ll get them for you!”

Me: “Thanks! I think just some pencils, pens, and a pad would be great to start. Oh, and a stapler.”

(She heads to the supply room to get my supplies and comes back a short time later with a box.)

Coworker: “Here you go! Pencils, pens, post-its, pads, a stapler… and…” *she pauses for effect as she reaches into the box again* “…a pencil sharpener! I thought you might want one.”

(I look between the electric pencil sharpener she’s just pulled out and the box of mechanical pencils she gave me. She doesn’t seem to see the issue, as she’s still smiling.)

Me: “Oh, what a great idea! Thanks!”

(She was a nice woman, but definitely not the sharpest pencil in the box.)

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Trying To Resuscitate Their Knowledge

, , , , , , | Learning | November 9, 2017

(My coworker has just returned from a three-day first aid course, so he can be qualified as the first aide for our pool and gym. On his first day back, we are discussing how his course went.)

Coworker #1: “Oh, God, the course was so boring. I had to fight to stay awake the entire time.”

Me: “Was there nothing that interested you?”

Coworker #1: “Well, the guy who took the course did say he had done something from the course a lot of times.”

Coworker #2: “Resuscitate someone?”

Coworker #1: “No something else, to help keep them alive.”

Coworker #2: “Resuscitation?”

Coworker #1: “No, it was something else! The main thing we learned.”

Coworker #2: “That’s resuscitation!”

Coworker #1: “CPR! He had done CPR to save people!”

Coworker #2 & Me: “What do you think the ‘R’ stands for?”

Coworker #1: “…”

Me: “Please tell me you didn’t sleep through the course.”

(We don’t plan to leave him as the sole first aide of the gym any time soon.)

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Escalating Problems That Aren’t There

, , , , | Working | November 8, 2017

(I live in the Midwest, so tornadoes are a real threat. Our loss prevention team comes around to each department in the store to make sure we all know where the tornado shelter is, especially the new people.)

Loss Prevention: “It’s just downstairs, in women’s dresses.”

Coworker: “So, what happens if the power goes out? How would we get down the escalator?”

Me: “…like stairs.”

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