Those Who Flail To Plan, Plan To Flail

, , , , | Working | March 20, 2019

(I’m new at this job. My supervisor is away on a business trip, and I’m finishing up a call with our shipping warehouse contact, a woman who’s been working with my company for years.)

Me: “And don’t worry, [Supervisor] will be back in the office tomorrow, so it won’t just be me flailing around over here.”

Warehouse: “Oh, you’re not alone in the flailing, trust me. I do my fair share of it here, too!”

Me: “We can flail together, then. We’ll be flail experts!”

Warehouse: “We’ll start the Noodleympics!”

As Long As The Coffee Survived

, , , , | Working | March 18, 2019

(A coworker and I are walking back from our break, and he’s carrying a tray of take-out coffee for everyone. He is carrying the tray with one hand, looking at his phone in the other as he walks.)

Me: “[Coworker], be careful.”

Coworker: “Huh?”

Me: “Watch out where you’re walking.”

Coworker: *clucks his tongue at me affectionately* “See, you’re like the big sister I never had, worrying over nothing.”

Me: “You have like five cups of hot coffee in one hand, and it’s all uneven here. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

(He scoffs at me so I let it drop. A few paces later, however, as he’s looking at his phone, he comes up on a ledge that has a central set of steps, misses the steps, and his foot comes down on open air. It’s only about a foot drop or so, but he pitches forward and his phone goes flying as he reflexively grabs for the coffee tray, jerking it up over his head like he’s offering it skyward — amazingly not spilling a drop — as he lands hard on both knees.)

Me: “Oh, my God! Are you okay?!”

Coworker: *gritting his teeth in pain* “Yes, thanks. And a preemptive thanks for not saying, ‘I told you so.’”

(At least he saved the coffee, and luckily, his phone was okay, too!)

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!)

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