“Know-It-All” Is Code For “A**hole”

, , , , | Working | February 8, 2021

The one good thing about lockdown has been working from home and not next to my idiot coworker. He is a typical know-it-all, never wrong, always right, even when proven otherwise.

He is one person in this world I cannot abide and cannot hold my tongue. Everyone at work seems to find it hilarious that I, being such a quiet and meek person, give this one person such an earful.

We are having a team catchup; I am staying mostly quiet. All work stuff has been discussed and we are talking about how we are getting on in lockdown. My know-it-all coworker has hinted several times that he has ignored all company and government guidelines. Then, he comes out with this:

Coworker: “Look. All I’m saying is that I am not responsible for other people’s health.”

Me: “But you are responsible for your actions that affect others. I mean, if you go around brake-checking other cars, you are still at fault for the accident, no matter who was putting themselves at risk at the time. You are affecting others with your choice not to wear masks or wash your hands.”

Coworker: “I don’t understand. Why do I have to wear a mask and stay indoors? I’m healthy. Why can’t the old people just keep away from me?”

Me: “‘Old people’ are still people; they still need to eat, shop, and exercise. They need to leave the house for that and — shock! — interact with others. What do you propose, locking them inside?! Maybe a cozy cell somewhere.”

Coworker: “Then why can’t people do those things for them?”

Me: “If you were any more stupid, you would swallow your mask!”

Senior Manager: “[My Name]! I don’t think that behaviour is appropriate!”

Coworker: “I’m not wearing a mask and no one will make me!”

Senior Manager: “Just to remind everyone, masks are mandatory at work, as are hand sanitiser and distancing.”

Coworker: “I’m not wearing one.”

Senior Manager: “Yes. Yes, you are. I happen to know that you can wear one, according to your risk assessment.”

Coworker: “I lied. I can’t wear one.”

Senior Manager: “Okay, that can be remedied. Please contact Human Resources as to why you felt it was appropriate to lie on a mandatory legal safety form and how you plan to conduct your site-based key worker role while not working on site.”

Coworker: “Fine, I will!”

I asked a few weeks later, and no one had seen [Coworker] on site since, and he wasn’t answering emails, either. I can only assume his big stand against HR and the law didn’t go so well for him.

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You’ll Back Off One Way Or Another

, , , , , , | Working | February 7, 2021

It’s early on into the global health crisis when people are still getting used to wearing masks and having to stand six feet apart. It’s the end of our shift, and we’re standing in line at the time clock. An older coworker is standing close to me, maybe a foot away.

Me: “Dude, could you step back a couple of feet? That’s not six feet.”

Coworker: “Oh, it’s fine! It’s all media-pulled BS to control us! There’s no danger!”

Me: “Seriously, dude. Step. Back.”

Coworker: “H*** no!”

Me: “I’m not scanning my badge until you step back, and I’ve got all night.”

He huffs and leans back by maybe thirty degrees. I shrug, shift my weight, and make a pretty convincing farting noise with my mouth. I then sigh, as though I’ve been holding it in for a while. I laugh as he jumps back a good five feet, his face almost comical in its shock, as our coworkers standing in line laugh at him.

Me: “What? I told you to step back.”

He still refuses to admit there’s a global crisis, almost a year into it, but he’s better at keeping his distance now!

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“Normal” Is A Myth

, , , , | Friendly | February 7, 2021

My carer and I are buying some things at a small local shop. This shop, like many others in the UK, has a post office in it. Due to social distancing measures, only one person is allowed in the post office section at one time. Those waiting to use it have to queue outside.

My carer is known for his dry wit and I am on the autistic spectrum. I have used the sanitizer at the shop’s entrance, worn a face covering, and observed social distancing. As we are leaving, a woman tries to enter the post office when there is already someone there and is very politely told to wait outside. The man with her takes exception and complains rather loudly that the staff are being appalling.

As we are walking away, my carer observes that it’s a very weird world when so-called “normal people” have more trouble adjusting to new rules than a person with a disorder that supposedly makes it difficult for them to adjust to change.

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Shield Us From The Stupid!

, , , , , | Working | February 6, 2021

I’m a kidney transplant patient, and as such, I’m considered extremely clinically vulnerable to the pesky illness that’s doing its world tour.

Wales has been in its third lockdown since December — it’s now January — and patients such as me have once again been advised to “shield” by the government, i.e. not leave the house if you don’t absolutely have to. That’s fine by me; I’ve chosen to continue to shield since the first lockdown anyway.

Our boiler is due for its annual service, and as it’s still reasonably new, the service has to be carried out in order to maintain the warranty. I call the company that we usually use to book it in.

The young lady taking my call is extremely slow at doing so — it’s a bit like dealing with Flash the sloth from “Zootopia” — but all is going smoothly and the service is offered for a few days hence.

Then, we get to the fun part.

Me: “Could you please let the engineer know that I am shielding, so I will require him to wear a mask while in the house and follow precautions?”

Employee: “Oh, do you have any symptoms? We can’t come if you have symptoms.”

Me: “No, I’m not infected; I’m just shielding.”

Employee: “So you’re isolating but no symptoms. I’m not sure if we can come, really.”

Me: “No, I’m not isolating. I’m shielding. I just need the engineer to know that, for safety.”

Employee: “So you’re saying it’s not safe to be in your property? Is someone else there showing symptoms?”

Me: *Getting frustrated* “No, no one here is infected. No one here is isolating. It is completely safe for the engineer to be here. I’m just shielding as I’m vulnerable, so he’ll need to keep away from me.”

Employee: “Oh, you’re vulnerable? Are you elderly? You don’t sound elderly!” *Giggles*

Me: *Ready to scream* “No, I just could get really ill if I catch it. So all I need is for the engineer to be made aware that I am shielding and that he needs to wear a mask at all times. Please!”

Employee: *Sounding more confused* “But you’re not elderly…?”

Me: *Sigh* “No. You don’t have to be elderly to need to shield.”

Employee: “Are you sure you don’t mean you’re isolating? Because we can’t come if you’re isolating.”

Me: *Trying not to yell at her* “Please, just pop on the notes that I’m shielding. Show your boss. If he doesn’t want to send anyone, just call me back. Will that be okay?”

Employee: “Okay, but I’m still not sure.” *Pauses while she types* “How do you spell shielding?”

I just wanted to bang my head against the table. If they weren’t a reliable and reasonably priced company, I’d have given up on that phone call. I was under the impression that shielding was a common enough term in the UK now, but maybe I’m wrong?! Anyway, after all that, the engineer is coming tomorrow. Phew!

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Catch Train 22

, , , , , , | Working | February 5, 2021

My town goes into curfew at 6:00 pm because of the health crisis, and our station decides that this is a good time to cut back on trains. In my job, only [Coworker #1] lives far enough away to have to take the train every night, and when he gets out at 5:00 pm, there is no train for him.

I can hear his supervisor talking to the boss.

Supervisor: “But he leaves at 4:30?”

Boss: “Yes! Temporarily; we are trying to find solutions.”

Supervisor: “Everyone is grumbling because he’s leaving early!”

Boss: “It’s taken off of his days off.”

Supervisor: “But even so, it’s not normal for someone to leave early.”

Boss: “If he goes out on time, he doesn’t have any more trains, and I wouldn’t make him sleep outside, and if we leave him in the offices, we have to have someone to watch over him. Do you agree to stay here tonight?”

The supervisor left and agreed to let him go at 4:30 pm.

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