Pot Calling The Kettle Pink

, , , , , | Learning | March 16, 2019

(One day at the child care center where I work, I have a little boy come in with red fingernail polish on. Later that day, one of my male coworkers sees him and walks up to me.)

Coworker: “Who painted that child’s fingernails?”

Me: “His mom.”

Coworker: “Oh, my God.”

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “That poor kid doesn’t stand a chance.” *walks away*

(You’re a male working in childcare and you want to hold a three-year-old to traditional gender expectations?)

Aisle Never Get To See This Band

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2019

(I’m an usher at a local arena. I’ve been looking forward to this concert, and I really want to work an aisle.)

Head Usher: “[My Name], you’re working [aisle], [Coworker #1], you’re working [not an aisle]…”

Coworker #1: “Does anybody working an aisle want to trade spots with me? I’d like to work an aisle.”

Head Usher: “[Coworker], please stop talking. I’m assigning the rest of the locations.”

Coworker #1: “I was just trying to help in case anybody wants to work [not an aisle]!”

Head Usher: “You’ll work where you’re assigned.”

Coworker #1: “Well, maybe I’ll just leave!”

(The head usher finishes assigning locations, and we get in place. I’m working with [Coworker #2].)

Coworker #2: “I don’t really like this band.”

Me: “Different tastes. I really like them, but I’d never be able to afford a ticket. I’m glad I’ll have a chance to see them.”

(The head usher comes up.)

Head Usher: “[My Name], can you work [not an aisle]?”

(I figure that [Coworker #1] made good on her threat to walk out, and I know somebody has to cover the position.)

Me: “Sure.”

Head Usher: “Okay. [Coworker #1], you can work here.”

(Now I feel like a prize chump. Still, it’s a job before it’s a chance to see the show, and at least I can listen. This doesn’t stop me from stewing about it, and imagining all sorts of cutting remarks to use on [Coworker #1]. After the show, [Coworker #1] comes up to me.)

Coworker #1: “[My Name], I’m sorry! I didn’t know you wanted to see the show, too!”

Me: “Well, that’s the way it goes in this job. I work where I’m assigned, and I don’t always get to see what I want to. Of course, I’m a professional.”

(I walked away.)

They’re Terrorizing Themselves

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2019

(A few months ago, a series of gas explosions rocked an area to the north of Boston. Several homes were damaged or destroyed, though injuries were thankfully low. My coworker lives in one of the towns affected and was evacuated in the early morning, and is thus unable to come into the office, so I’ve been providing cover for her. We work as faculty assistants. A woman from another department in the school calls to set up a meeting with one of my colleague’s professors.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have access to that professor’s calendar. If it’s for something urgent, I can try to catch him in person today?”

Caller: “I think it can wait. Do you know when [Coworker] will be back in?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. She lives up in [Town affected], so she’s displaced right now and it’s too early to know when she’ll be allowed back into her house.”

Caller: “Goodness, that’s awful!”

Me: “Yeah. Thank God, her house wasn’t one of the ones that blew, but it’s such a scary thing!”

Caller: “It’s terrible, just terrible! And I haven’t heard anything about how it happened, but it must have been terrorism, right?”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure about that—“

Caller: “It had to be! What else could it be?”

Me: “Well, I think I saw something about how they were doing maintenance—“

Caller: “Oh, they’ll say anything now. It’s just a cover-up! It had to be terrorists; that’s the only thing that makes sense!”

Me: “Right. Sure… So, why don’t you email [Professor], and CC me and [Coworker], and hopefully we’ll get this scheduled.”

(Why on earth terrorists would want to target an insignificant residential area thirty miles from the nearest city is beyond me, but she wasn’t the only one to jump to that conclusion!)

Back To Back Excuses

, , , , , , | Working | March 14, 2019

(I have just had a minor surgery on my upper right arm. I work two different jobs: one through the week, the other only on the weekends. After the procedure, I am told that I am not allowed to lift more than ten pounds for the next two weeks in order to fully recover. This is fine, as my first job as a librarian allows me to sit at a computer and not always carry heavy objects. My second job as a cashier, however, requires me to lift 24-packs of water, 30-packs of beer, etc., because customers often place these on the belt. I let both jobs know ahead of time that I would be having surgery, and I make sure to get a note from my doctor saying I am not allowed to lift more than ten pounds. I go into my second job early to hand them the note and see if I can work at the self-check lanes for my shift which is only four hours long. There is one person who never checks because they complain that it “hurts their back” to check for a long period of time, and they happen to be working at this time.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker #1], I had surgery the other day, and I have a doctor’s note here saying that I can’t lift more than ten pounds. I see that [Coworker #2] is on the self-check; do you think they’ll let me switch them?”

Coworker #1: “Probably not, but we can go over and ask, anyway.”

(We walk over to [Coworker #2]. I have a noticeable bandage on my right arm.)

Coworker #1: “[My Name] has a doctor’s note saying she can’t lift more than ten pounds; would it be okay if you moved over to a regular lane?”

Coworker #2: *takes a brief glance at my bandaged arm and sighs* “Well, my back’s been bothering me today and I really don’t feel like checking right now.”

Me: “But I just had surgery the other day, and I have a note that says I am not allowed to lift a certain amount; otherwise, it could tear the stitches.”

Coworker #2: “Well, I guess, but my back has been hurting…”

Me: *cuts in, slightly annoyed* “Look, I have an official doctor’s note, and I think that it’s a little more valid than you just saying that your back is hurting.”

Coworker #2: *huffs* “Fine, but if my back starts bothering me, I want to switch back.”

(They stalked away to the regular checkout lanes, and I took my place at the self-check. The entire time we worked, they apparently talked about me to our other coworkers and occasionally shot me dirty looks. They did ask what I had surgery for, as if the bandage wasn’t enough proof. Shockingly, they never did ask to switch, so I guess their back wasn’t hurting them as much as they thought!)

They Paid What They Deserved

, , , , , , | Working | March 13, 2019

(My team acquires five members. All of them are people in their late teens or early twenties who often go out drinking and clubbing together. As one of the more senior members of the team, I’m not so fussed about this and I prefer hanging with friends than going out on the town. Because of this, I don’t socialize with them outside of work and a couple of them seem to really dislike me for this. Two of them are guys who come across as rather arrogant and boorish along with being rather shifty. The younger team members seem to be following their lead on most things and it’s been causing issues. Often they show up to work hungover or occasionally still drunk from the night before. I casually warn them not to do this as management has zero tolerance against this kind of thing. Soon after, some of my colleagues tell me that these kids have begun to mock me behind my back and are making comments about boring they think I am. Not bothered with them, I shrug these off as they are a bunch of immature kids. One day, one of the two shifty guys asks me to come out to dinner with them after work. Immediately, I’m suspicious as they wouldn’t normally wouldn’t give me the time of day. However, he is insistent and claims they want to get to know me better. At dinner, it becomes pretty clear they don’t mean to pay me any attention, and whenever I try talking they just ignore more or talk over me. Fed up, I get up to go to the toilet, and the group doesn’t seem to notice. While I’m in one of the stalls in there I hear the two shifty guys plus one other come in, laughing loudly.)

Guy #1: “F*** me, did you see Captain Boring’s face? Mate, he just sits there with a stick up his a**!”

Guy #3: “Why the f*** did you invite that guy? He’s so bloody dull! Rice pudding is more exciting than him!”

(All three of burst out laughing. I just roll my eyes.)

Guy #2: “Well, someone has the pay the bill for us, don’t they?”

Guy #3: “You what?”

Guy #2: “In a while, we’re going to sneak off for a cig, then ditch him with the bill!”

Guy #3: “NO F****** WAY! MATE, THAT’S F****** COLD!”

(Again, they burst into fits of laughter and I can hear them high-fiving and commenting on how hilarious my face will look.)

Guy #1: “Well, that’ll teach the c*** for being such a f****** wet blanket, won’t it?!”

(I am incensed, but rather than rushing back to the table and confronting them, I decide to give them a dose of their own medicine and sneak out a back exit. Later, I get several angry texts, insisting that I owe people money and calling me derogatory names. On Monday, I get into work early and give my boss a heads up about this. Soon after, the two ringleaders come in, looking furious.)

Guy #1: “Oi! C***!” *shoves me* “You f****** owe us money, you mugging little s***!”

Guy #2: “Yeah, what the f***, mate?!”

(Immediately, our manager pulled us into a team meeting. Here, I told the team that I’d overheard their plan to ditch me with the bill and that I thought they were all pathetic morons for sinking so low. Initially, they tried to play it off as a “misunderstanding,” but my manager dismissed it, and after some back and forth the two ringleaders eventually confessed that they were going to do it. Apparently, it was to teach me “not to be so boring.” My manager then proceeded to angrily chew them out and told them they’d acted like immature morons and got what they deserved. I informed the group that I certainly wouldn’t be paying them back after that stunt. For the rest of the day, it was very awkward. However, a day or so later, the dream team was broken up and sent to different departments and were strongly advised that any revenge acts would be severely punished. A few weeks afterward, I saw the two shifty guys being escorted out in handcuffs by the police. They had been selling drugs to different staff members through the company’s instant messaging system. They are apparently facing prison time for their actions. A few of the other members of that gang did actually apologize to me, and they told me that they weren’t aware of the plot until after I left and they felt guilty about the way those two had mocked me. I accepted their apology, but I can’t feel too sorry for the two shifty guys.)

 

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