Urine A (ClO)t Of Trouble

, , , , , , | Working | November 30, 2018

As a young assistant, I had many jobs within a recording studio. One was cleaning the bathroom. Our bathroom was in the back of the studio, down the stairs in the dingy basement.

One morning I arrived to the screaming of the mixer, demanding I go downstairs and scrub the bathroom. Good assistant that I am, I ran to the store and bought every cleaning supply that I could carry, and proceeded to clean the bathroom: Comet in the sinks, Pine Sol on the floors, bleach in the toilet.

I was scrubbing and rinsing and mopping, and I heard through the studio speakers that I was needed in the control room. I left the half-finished job to align a tape machine, and then I was requested to do a messenger run.  

It was about midday by then and I returned to the office. Everyone was looking at me like I was a dead man walking. Finally, someone got enough nerve to tell me that the mixer was looking for me and that they’d never heard him this angry. I ran to the studio, and as I walked in, he was standing in front of the console crying, and screamed, “IF I COULD RUN, I WOULD KILL YOU WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS!”

Well, I had never finished cleaning the bathroom. This engineer decided to take a toilet break, sat on the toilet, and opened his newspaper. As he urinated, smoke started rising from inside the toilet and through his legs. I never flushed the bleach in the toilet; ammonia and bleach create chlorine gas, which burned his skin from the top of his bum to just above the back of his knees. He couldn’t sit for two weeks, which is tough for a recording engineer.

I somehow held onto my job. I guess the chief engineer thought it was funny.

There’s No Masking Their Disinterest

, , , , , , | Working | November 29, 2018

(Wildfires have become an increasing problem in my area every summer. This year, even though the fires are nowhere near where I live, a weird weather pattern traps a thick smoke cloud here for several days. I have asthma, so I am unable to leave my apartment during this time. Once the smoke clears, I go to the hardware store to buy the kind of face mask that blocks smoke so this won’t happen again. Since I have no idea where to find masks, I ask an employee. I explain to him that I need it because of my asthma and the smoky conditions, just in case some masks are unsuitable for that.)

Employee: “Face masks… Face masks… Those would be on an end cap on [aisle], I think. But I’m not sure. Let’s go look.”

(He starts leading me through the store to look for the masks.)

Employee: “Have you heard of the [Family] family?”

Me: “No, I haven’t.”

Employee: “Well, they had all sorts of health problems. Always dealing with something. But then one time, the day after Halloween, they found little [Son] passed out next to a pillowcase full of candy. Took him to the doctor, and it turned out he had diabetes.”

Me: *wondering why he’s telling me this* “Was he all right?”

Employee: “Yeah, but the mom, see, she was a nurse, and she’d seen people die from insulin. So she didn’t want her son taking that. The whole family changed their diet, instead. Organic, raw, vegan.”

(We haven’t gotten to the face-masks yet, but the employee stops in the middle of an aisle. He’s no longer looking for them at all.)

Employee: “So, yeah. The diabetes cleared right up! And the daughter, she had asthma. It went away, too!”

Me: “Ah.”

Employee: “Really, you should try it. Go on a green juice cleanse for a couple weeks. It’ll take care of that asthma.”

Me: “Um… I’d rather just find that mask, thanks.”

Employee: “Oh, right.”

(He finally showed me where the masks were, and I found the right one. Before leaving, he made a few more comments about changes I should make to my diet and what wonderful effects it would have on my health. All of this was despite me not showing one bit of interest in his claims about diet. Also, I’ve been a vegetarian who eats mostly vegetables for over a decade, and I still have asthma.)

The Boobishly Designed Cash Register

, , , , , , | Working | November 29, 2018

I used to work at a coffee stand on a college campus. It was run by the college, so our financial paperwork was occasionally audited by state auditors. We had to account for every time we opened the cash register because the register would log the time stamp on a report we had to file.

We weren’t allowed to open the drawer for anything but a shift start, a sale, and shift end. Unfortunately, due to the placement of the register and the stand itself, most of us baristas ended up having to lean in close to the register and its handy “drawer open” button. Also unfortunately, most of us had boobs that got in the way and hit the button. We were instructed to write down a brief note about why the drawer was opened.

And that’s the story about how some state auditor had to handle a file full of little notes that read, “Sorry, hit with boob.”


, , , , | Working | November 28, 2018

(My sister just graduated from a medical school in the USA and is about to start her residency. Her husband is really proud of his wife being an MD, because both his family and ours are very much working-class, and none of our parents went to college. His parents didn’t even finish high school, and he is only one of his siblings to get a college degree. While he is professionally successful and makes good money, his wife’s academic success is a matter of great pride and joy for him. As a present to my sister, my brother-in-law books a two-week-long trip to Europe, where they will visit us and travel to a couple of other places. Apparently, he put “Dr. and Mr. [Last Name]” on all their reservations. My partner and I live in a tiny flat, so my sister and brother-in-law are going to stay at a hotel nearby. I pick them up at the airport and drive them to the hotel. The following interaction occurs, and I can hardly stop myself from laughing throughout it.)

Brother-In-Law: “Hello. We have a reservation for Doctor and Mr. [Last Name].”

Clerk: *looking at my brother-in-law* “Welcome to [Hotel], Doctor [Last Name]. We’ll need your passports and a credit card.”

Brother-In-Law: “Sure. But I am not the doctor.” *pointing to my sister* “She is.” *to my sister* “Honey, do you have our passports?”

Clerk: “Of course, Doctor [Last Name]. Will you be needing two keys for you and your wife?”

Sister: *handing the clerk the passports while my brother-in-law gets the credit card* “Actually, not that it matters, but I am Doctor [Last Name], and my husband is Mr. [Last Name]. Here are the passports.”

Clerk: “Thank you, Mrs. [Last Name].” *types in the info in the computer; then looks at my brother-in-law again and hands him the passports* “Here are your passports, Dr. [Last Name]. It’s a pleasure to have you stay with us. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 9:30. Your room is on the second floor. The lifts are to your left.”

Sister: *looking at her husband* “And that is why I never want you to put ‘doctor’ on any forms for me ever again, sweetheart.”

A Catty Adoption Center

, , , , , , | Working | November 27, 2018

I’m having a day out with my mom and aunt, and we go to a mall I haven’t been to before. My aunt is excited to show us the animal adoption center inside, so we walk in to look over the cats.

Almost immediately I find a small, sandy-colored kitten who looks exactly like my cat did when he was a kitten. Between already not being in a super good mood that day and still hurting from the loss of my lifelong pet — he was a year old when I was born and he lived to be 19 — I immediately start to cry as the kitten reaches for me through the cage bars.

Seeing me cry and repeat, “He looks just like [My Cat],” as I pet him through the cage, my mom and aunt immediately go to ask if we could see him. The employees, though acting friendly, are adamant about refusing, since, “he’s new [there],” but eventually they take him out to let me play with him for a bit. While I pet and let him crawl on my shoulders, my mom and aunt are talking with one of the girls about adopting when I am out of earshot.

The other girl sitting with me keeps getting more and more eager to take him back from me, and acting as though I am planning on drop-kicking him. She keeps up a constant repeating of, “Be careful!” until I hand him back myself. At this point I want to leave because I am embarrassed for crying, and the employees are all looking at me like I asked how long it takes to drive to the moon.

Later on, my mom apologizes and says she was planning on getting the cat, and even my aunt wanted to pay half the adoption fee because she felt so bad, but the one employee refused, saying he was not yet adoptable and that he would be ready in about a week or two after he finished all of his checkups and vaccinations. She says it had to be done through them and only them for the whole cat’s life, which sounds sketchy to me.

Three days later, we’re having another outing with my aunt and my cousins, and my aunt shows us the center’s social media page. They have adopted out the same kitten they refused us to someone else and posted it on their wall, mentioning how amazing it is that he found his forever home so quickly. I don’t know if they lied about him being on hold — which we would’ve understood — or they confused being completely heartbroken with emotional instability and judged me based on that assumption.

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