Your Argument Is Redundant

, , , , | Working | August 18, 2017

(A few years ago I could see my company failing. As I have two small children, I decide to find another job with some stability. Towards the end I talk at great lengths with some of my team and try to get them to at least look at their options, but as the pay is higher than average, due to the bad reputation of the company for firing people, many of them ignore my advice and some ridicule me for going to somewhere else for less money. A year later, I get a message from one of my former team. He is a decent guy but utterly hopeless. Due to him being friends with the boss, he was never pulled up on his behaviour and was massively overpaid. But I still want to help him out.)

Ex-Coworker: “Hey, [My Name], did you hear the news?”

Me: “Hey, about the redundancies? Yeah, I heard. Are you affected?”

Ex-Coworker: “I don’t know yet. We will soon.”

Me: “That’s a shame; it really is. How is the job hunt?”

Ex-Coworker: “Oh, I haven’t started yet.”

Me: “Maybe worth looking soon. I mean, it is better to find something now then be desperate later.”

Ex-Coworker: “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

(I know this guy won’t bother; as much as I want him to sort himself out, I know he will struggle.)

Me: “Tell you what. I will send you over anything I find.”

Ex-Coworker: “That would be great, thanks!”

(Over the next couple of weeks I send a list of jobs, each of them are more suitable to his “skills.” I deal with recruitment companies anyway so I get them to take a look at his CV. I don’t hear anything for a couple of months until I get another message.)

Ex-Coworker: “Hey, [My Name].”

Me: “Hey! How are you?”

Ex-Coworker: “Not great. I found out I’m at risk.”

Me: “That sucks; how goes the job hunt?”

Ex-Coworker: “Okay, I guess. Those jobs you sent over weren’t really what I was looking for.”

Me: “Really? Why not?”

Ex-Coworker: “Well, if I’m going for a new job I want to get more money.”

Me: “More money? But you might not have a job in a couple of months.”

Ex-Coworker: “Yeah, well, I need to find a better job.”

(I was stunned. This guy knew that he struggled in his current job, he knew that he was overpaid, and that any more money would mean an even more challenging job. I just didn’t know how to respond. Eventually he signed off and said goodbye. I heard nothing from him again for months, later learning from another friend that he did lose his job, and that apparently I didn’t help him out and that I promised to get him a job. He still messages me time to time asking for work; I occasionally send him over vacancies. None of them are ever good enough.)

Take Your Internet Fame And Shove It

, , , | Friendly | August 18, 2017

Friend: “Here.” *hands me a shovel*

Me: “Okay?”

Friend: “And stand here.” *moves me to behind a door*

Me: “What’s going on?”

Friend: “My sister gets home in a couple of minutes. I want to hit her over the head and flee.”

Me: “WHAT? I’m not doing that!”

Friend: “I thought you were my friend?”

Me: “Not enough of a friend to knock your sister out!”

Friend’s Mum: *in the Kitchen* “OH, PLEASE, HIT HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH IT! MAYBE IT’LL KNOCK SOME SENSE INTO HIM!”

Friend: “SHUT UP!”

Me: “What the h*** is going on?”

Friend: “I want to get famous on YouTube, and I thought I would make a viral video like that Shovel Girl.”

Me: “…”

(I didn’t do it.)

Hasn’t Got The Energy To Deal With This

, , , , , , , | Right | August 15, 2017

(I used to work for one of the major energy suppliers in the UK. Over the years I heard all kinds of excuses not to pay the bill, some genuine, some just plain crazy. One of my favourites occurs when I am on the evening shift. A customer calls up, furious that we keep sending him bills.)

Customer: “I’m not paying because I don’t believe in paying for energy.”

Me: “You used the energy; you have to pay for it, whether you believe in it or not. I understand if you cannot pay all in one go and am happy to set you up with a payment plan, if you’d like.”

Customer: “No! I haven’t used any energy. I’m not paying for what I haven’t used.”

Me: “That’s not what the meter readings are saying.”

Customer: “Then your meters are faulty. I’m not using anything.”

Me: “You seem to be calling us from your home phone. Is that right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “It’s also dark out. Do you have a light on?”

Customer: “Well, of course I am. How could I see without it?”

Me: “Your phone uses energy and so do your light bulbs. You just admitted to using energy.”

Customer: “NO! Phones are just phone lines – they don’t use electricity. Also light bulbs use solar energy. I am NOT using any of your electric.”

Me: “Oh, do you have solar panels?”

Customer: “No! You don’t even need them. All light bulbs run on solar power. They’re LIGHT bulbs. Light is powered by light. You know, from the sun. Sun LIGHT.”

Me: “I can also hear a television or radio on in the background.”

Customer: “Yes, but it’s SATELLITE. It runs off the SATELLITE, not electricity. God, you people are so f****** stupid.”

(I pause for a moment and decide this is just one of those battles that isn’t worth fighting. We have lots of customers waiting and this customer doesn’t seem willing to budge.)

Me: “Unfortunately, it appears as though your appliances are using electricity because your meter readings are going up. This bill must be paid. If you do not clear your balance or set up an arrangement, we will go to court for a warrant, which will allow us access to your property to fit a prepayment meter to ensure the energy is paid for. This will also incur further charges to your account. I can set you up on a payment plan today to prevent this.”

Customer: “Go f*** yourself, you stupid b****. Go ahead. Take me to court. I’m not using any energy. You’ll never get that warrant!”

Interview Drama

, , , | Working | August 14, 2017

(I’m interviewing candidates for a role, I have already seen their CVs and have picked out the best of the bunch. All they have to do it impress with their personality and answer some simple questions.)

Me: “So why did you apply for this role?”

Candidate: “Well, I have always wanted to work in engineering.”

Me: “Really? Okay, that’s interesting. Well, this is a new field for you; what makes you think you have the ability to perform in this role?”

Candidate: “Well, my degree will really help me.”

Me: “Your degree in…” *I check papers* “…drama? How… would… that help you?”

Candidate: “I… err. Well…”

(It turned out that they couldn’t answer simple questions about their own CV, and more likely than not made a lot of it up. We went with someone else.)

Another Case Of Wifitis

, , , , , , | Working | August 13, 2017

(We’re due to have a new member of staff; they passed the interviews all fine and we’re just making sure that their workspace will be set up a-ok. Keep in mind we’re an Internet software company. As part of this we ask if the employee has any special needs for their workplace; for instance I’m disabled due to arthritis so I require a special chair and keyboard set up. I got a phone call from the new employee about a day before she was due to start:)

New Starter: “Hey, yeah, just calling about my workplace set up. I do have a few requirements.”

Me: “Okay, no worries; do you want to go through them now or send them via email or post?”

New Starter: “Nah, phone is fine. I need an ergonomic keyboard and mouse because I have RSI.”

Me: “No problems at all; I’ve got a setup like that myself so we’ll get those installed for you.”

New Starter: “Right, and I’m deathly allergic to WiFi, so you’ll need to shut off anything wireless in the office.”

Me: “…pardon?”

New Starter: “Yes, I’ll die if I’m near a wifi signal. You need to shut down anything that works wireless.”

Me: *noticing at this point she’s calling me from a MOBILE PHONE* “Erm, that may pose a real problem as a lot of our systems and phones work on wireless.”

New Starter: “Tough. Disable it. Rewire it or whatever you have to do. I’ll die if I’m near anything wireless.”

Me: “Can I ask a question?”

New Starter: “Yes.”

Me: “How did you protect yourself against the signals when you came in for your interviews then? That meeting room actually houses two of the main wireless points for the office.”

New Starter: “I’m going to sue.” *hangs up*

(She DID in fact call a lawyer to claim we were refusing ‘disability accommodations’ who then called our corporate office to complain. We’d already sent the notes from my phone call up so they knew about her ‘issue.’ We never heard anything further aside from a single note from HR saying we’d withdrawn the job offer ‘on agreement with the interviewee.’)

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