Cake Makes Everything Better

, , , , , , | Romantic | February 16, 2020

(I am a few months into my first “real” job. My marriage recently ended, and I am feeling very unhappy. Some but not all of my coworkers know that I am getting divorced. My birthday is coming up shortly, and I decide to throw a party to cheer myself up. What birthday party is complete without cake? So, I make a phone call.)

Me: “Hi. I’d like to order a birthday cake, please. It needs to be big enough to feed 25 to 30 people.”

Bakery Employee: “No problem. What would you like it to say?”

Me: “‘Happy Birthday, [My Name].’”

(I hang up the phone and realize that two of my coworkers are staring at me.)

Coworker #1: *smirking* You’re ordering yourself a birthday cake? That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

Me: “Well, I want a cake for my party. You’re all invited, by the way.”

Coworker #1: “Can’t someone else order it for you? What about your husband?”

Coworker #2: *nudges [Coworker #1]*

Coworker #1: “What?”

Coworker #2: “She’s getting divorced, idiot.” *to me* “I’ll come to your party. Can I bring anything?”

Me: “Just yourself.” *smiles gratefully*

(The party ended up being a huge success. The cake was delicious! By the time everyone had left, it was 1:30 am and my house was a mess. Oh, did I say everyone had left? Not quite. [Coworker #2] stayed behind to help me clean up. And – to paraphrase a famous saying – several years later, Reader, I married him.)

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The Chaos Chorus

, , , , , , , | Working | February 13, 2020

(I’m a volunteer at a museum. The volunteers and staff carry radios so we can coordinate. We have different channels for different groups so, for example, the tour guides can coordinate tours without bothering the rest of the staff. Our radios are also always simultaneously tuned to a second channel called “general,” which is only used for announcements. The museum is closed for today while we change exhibits. Notably, a site safety staff member is also testing out the PA loudspeakers.)

Site Safety: *on general* “Heads up, loud noise coming.”


Site Safety: *on general* “Sorry, folks… That’s a bit louder than expected. We’re gonna look into that.”

(A few minutes pass:)

Unknown #1: *on general* “Szz fn mph… fllf.”

Supervisor: “Ah, darn it, someone’s leaning on their transmit.”

(Someone’s accidentally transmitting on general without realizing it, usually caused by leaning up against a wall and hitting the PTT button.)

Supervisor: “Hot mic on general.”

Unknown #1: “Fzz whll… mm.”

Supervisor: “Hot mic on general!”

Unknown #1: “Hll?”

Unknown #2: “Hot! Mic! On! General!”

Unknown #1: “Snzzz whrr…”

Unknown #3: “HOT MIC ON G**D*** GENERAL.”

Supervisor: “Hey, keep it professional on the radios!”

Unknown #1: “Shvvv br.”

(Pretty soon, a chorus of voices pop up, all calling in, “Hot mic on general.” Then, suddenly:)


(Long pause:)

Unknown #3: “Uh… hot mic on g**d*** PA.”

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But That’s How Calendars Work?

, , , , | Working | February 13, 2020

(Recently, I’ve been attending a series of presentations given by a coworker who happens to have a cube near mine. Today, I get an email from him that off-handedly mentions him giving a class this afternoon, which surprises me, so I stand up to talk to him over the cube wall.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker #1], are you doing a training thing this afternoon? I don’t have an invite for it on my calendar.”

Coworker #1: “Huh, that’s weird; it should’ve sent one to you. I’ll send you a new one.”

(The coworker that sits on my other side, who was not involved in this brief exchange, speaks up in the most mocking, condescending voice possible:)

Coworker #2: “What, you can’t figure out where to go without a meeting invite? You need your calendar to tell you where to be?”

Me: “Well… yeah, I didn’t know we had a training session this afternoon. If I don’t have an invitation, I won’t know to be there.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah… well…” *grumbles under his breath*

(I have no idea why it was so offensive to him for me to want to have my schedule written down!)

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Time To Notice The Nice Ones

, , , | Right | February 11, 2020

(I just started training at a local shop. I have worked in retail before, so I know what to expect. My coworkers are great and we get along very well. Near the end of my first shift, I have the following conversation with one of them.)

Coworker: “I bet you’re exhausted now. Time to clock off and get out of here. It will surely take you some time to get home, I suppose.”

Me: “Not really. I live right around the corner. That’s a huge plus for me. Actually, I shop here myself all the time.”

Coworker: “Wow, really? I’m so sorry, but I don’t recognize you as a customer.”

(She takes another good look at me.)

Coworker: “We do recognize all the grumpy ones, so I guess, since I don’t remember having seen you before, that you were always nice to us.”

(Having had the same experience in my previous retail job, I knew exactly what she meant, but as she said it, it somehow really got to me.)

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Look Hu’s Talking

, , , , , | Working | February 11, 2020

(I have just gotten a new officemate who is also new to the company. He knows people on our team well enough but is still learning names from other teams that we have to collaborate with. He is attempting to send an email to someone on a particular project.)

Officemate: “What’s Albert’s last name?”

Me: “Hu.”

Officemate: “Albert. He works on the [Project]…”

Me: *sensing the spirits of Abbott and Costello disturbed and rising from their graves to haunt us* “His name is Albert Hu. H-U.”

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