Bad With Faces But Good With Lollipops

, , , | Working | April 14, 2019

(I was diagnosed with prosopagnosia, which is a disorder which makes it all but impossible to recognize faces, when I was about eight years old. I’ve learned to use ears or hair or necks along with types of clothing people wear to know who they are. After a few years of landing a job with a dream company of mine, where I’m on the phone and not doing any face-to-face with customers, we get a department transfer to my department. For some reason, I get the feeling he doesn’t like me because he’s always very brisk with me and never really says, “Hello.” While I’m friendly and easy to get along with, I don’t generally have a lot of time to chat with my coworkers, but when passing through I might quick small-chat with them if I notice something interesting on their desk, a nice new outfit, or if they catch me and want to know about how my days off were or the like. One day, I’m suddenly called into the office for a meeting with Human Resources. I have absolutely no idea what I could have possibly done and am ready to defend myself against any possible customer complaint. When I get there, the HR manager tells me who she is, as I’ve only had very limited exposure to her, and seated next to me is the guy who transferred to our department about a month earlier. I’m told I was brought in because the transfer felt I didn’t like him and had some kind of vendetta against him. Completely caught off-guard, I adamantly tell both of them I have no idea what they are talking about.)

New Guy: “I know you don’t like me because before I transferred over you had filled out a ‘coaching form’ for something I did wrong, and ever since I transferred over, anytime you see me you just stare at me in disgust.”

Me: “I stare at you in disgust?”

New Guy: “Yes! Anytime I walk by you, you’re staring at me like I’m from outer space or something! It’s because I’m Chinese! I find it offensive and racist!”

(I hear a bit of thunk, and look over to see the HR manager dropping back in her chair, putting a hand over her face and slumping a bit.)

HR Manager: “[New Guy], what do you know about [My Name]?”

New Guy: “What do you mean? I’m not interested in learning that much about someone who hates me because I’m Chinese!”

Me: “What she means is, I have a disorder that makes it hard for me to know who I’m looking at. I literally cannot tell people apart by their faces. I’m staring at you because you’re new to my department. I am looking at you because I’m trying to figure out who you are every day. You wear the same type of clothing as [Supervisor], have the same skin tone as [Supervisor], are the same height as [Supervisor], and have the same large muscle mass as [Supervisor]. You come in wearing a heavy jacket like [Supervisor] and I don’t want to say, ‘Hey, [Supervisor]! I have a question,’ and it’s you, or vice-versa. I’m looking at you like you’re from outer space because… well… everyone looks like that to me.”

(It’s dead silent for what feels like an eternity, but couldn’t be more than a couple of seconds in real time.)

New Guy: “I… Is that real?”

(The HR manager starts is nodding her head rapidly.)

Me: “Extremely rare, but very real. I have to use other means to know who I’m talking to. [HR Manager] knows about it because I let her know before I was hired. It’s actually why she said exactly who she was; I can’t tell who she is, even though we’ve spoken a few times.”

New Guy: “I’m really… really sorry. I had no idea. Really, I had no idea. I guess that’s why people thought I was odd for saying [My Name] didn’t like me.”

HR Manager: “Sooooo… is everything okay, then? We all good?”

Me: “I’m fine as long as [New Guy] is!”

New Guy: “As long as there are no grudges, yeah, I’m okay.”

Me: “I don’t hold grudges; don’t worry. Hey! If you see me staring and say like, ‘Donut!’ or something silly, I’ll always know it’s you!”

(Both the HR manager and he started laughing and we dismissed the meeting. Anytime he walks by now, he goes, “Lollipop!” so I always know who it is and say hello with his name after chuckling.)

Getting Catty In The Office

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 11, 2019

(At work, we’re sat in groups of four on one pod — basically four curved desks pushed together so all the computers are in the middle. [Coworker #1] of the pod has a cat called Margaret — her first cat. [Coworker #2] and I have had many cats in the past but not currently, and [Coworker #3] has never had a cat but understands how they work. We’re just generally chatting when the topic goes on to Margaret the cat.)

Coworker #1: “Ugh, Margaret was being a little b**** last night.”

Coworker #3: “Cats cannot be b****es.”

Me: “They can be a**holes, though.”

Coworker #3: “Yes, they seem to do that a lot.”

Coworker #1: “Fine. Margaret was being a little not-b**** last night.”

Coworker #2: “Why was your cat a little not-b****?”

Coworker #1: “She wouldn’t go out!”

(There is a pause.)

Coworker #2: “And?”

Coworker #1: “We put her out every night, and last night she wouldn’t go out.”

Me & Coworker #2: “Yes?”

Coworker #1: “We had to chase her round the house to try and get her to go out!”

Coworker #3: “Isn’t that normal?”

Me: “Yup.”

Coworker #1: “Is it?”

Me & Coworker #2: “Yup.”

Me: “If a cat doesn’t want to go out, it will not go out.”

Coworker #2: “They’re even worse if you’re trying to get the a**hole in.”

(I nod mock-solemnly in agreement.)

Coworker #1: “But if she’s in, she runs about the house in the middle of the night!”

Me: “She sounds like a normal, healthy cat.”

Coworker #1: “THIS IS NORMAL?!”

Me & Coworker 2: “Yup.”

Coworker #1: “Shouldn’t she be asleep at night?”

Me: “Cats are mostly nocturnal. So… no.”

Coworker #1: “Why can’t she just love me unconditionally, sleep at night, and do as I say?”

Coworker #3: “Well, those kinds of animals do exist… They’re just called dogs.”

It Was A Different Time

, , , , , | Legal | April 9, 2019

This is actually my dad’s story. He’s had a rather interesting life, and one of many interesting things he did when he was young was pack up and travel with the circus as a roustabout. This was back in the 70s, so the atmosphere was… colorful.

One of the people my dad remembers vividly was another roustabout known only as “Spin.” Spin was a Hell’s Angel biker type and was absolutely terrifying. But he liked my dad, insomuch as he only beat him up a couple of times, and never bad enough to need a hospital visit.

The best example of how terrifying this guy was one time when somehow, he and my dad wound up being held up at gunpoint. They were both unarmed. Spin simply glared the assailant down and stated tersely, “You can shoot… but you can only get one of us.”

The gun was already pointed at my dad. The gunman would have had to switch targets in order to hit Spin first. He considered his options… then turned tail and ran.

And that’s how my dad was saved from being shot simply because the guy he was with was that f****** scary.

Five-Star Dishonesty

, , , , | Working | April 2, 2019

I am a tour guide. Management has it set up that for every five-star review we receive on a certain website, provided we are mentioned by name, we will get a $5.00 bonus.

So, I give myself a catchy nickname, let’s say Sally Seashell. I mention my name a few times during my ninety-minute tour, and at the end will say one time, “If you enjoyed your time with us today, please go to [website] and mention Sally Seashell. The bosses read it every day!”

One tour guide will consistently get twenty five-star reviews per day. For reference, I might get three or four in a whole week.

I ask if I can shadow this amazing tour guide to learn some tips and tricks. What I see shocks me! She literally tells everyone to take out their phones and pull up [website], and tells them she needs to see a five-star review with her name mentioned, and only then will she “reward” people with various coupons. We are supposed to give those coupons out for free!

Horrified at this complete lack of professionalism, I report this to our boss. He does not seem concerned until I say, “What happens when [Other City #1] or [Other City #2] sends people out here undercover to see how she does it?” Apparently, my boss had been getting a lot of praise because we have by far the most five-star reviews. Does honesty mean nothing?

Speak For Yourself

, , , , | Working | April 1, 2019

(I work in the same room as twelve other people. My colleague answers the phone:)

Colleague: “Hello. [Company], [Colleague] speaking. How may I help?”

(The caller says something.)

Colleague: “Umm…” *pause* “How may I help you today?”

(The call continues. After she puts the phone down, she has a rather puzzled look on her face.)

Us: “Are you all right?”

Colleague: “Yes, just confused. At the start of the call I said, ‘Hello, [Colleague] speaking,’ and he said, ‘Oh. You must be related to Rebecca Speaking.’”

(A few of us giggle, and others roll their eyes or groan a little at the joke.)

Colleague: “I don’t get it.”

(Don’t worry; we explained it to her once we’d stopped roaring with laughter.)

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