I’ll Keep Doodling; You Keep Projecting

, , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I like to draw. I’m not very good but I enjoy doodling, mostly landscapes. If the weather is miserable, sometimes I take my break at my desk and draw.

Out of the blue, my boss and another manager approach my desk. They don’t look happy.

Boss: “Can we see your book?”

Me: “Err, no. It’s my property.”

Other Manager: *Sternly* “Come with us.”

They march me into an office. My boss motions for me to sit down. The other manager seems to be trying to be intimidating, but it’s not really working.

Boss: “A coworker has made a complaint about your drawing; they say you have been making fun of them.”

Other Manager: “That counts as bullying and we won’t stand for it.”

Me: “I just doodle; I don’t draw people.”

Boss: “Okay, but we cannot prove that without your book. We can’t force you to show it, but we might need to investigate, and that might mean suspension.”

Me: “Fine, whatever. Here, take the book.”

They search the book and find nothing, of course.

Other Manager: “He might have ripped out the page.”

Me: “Count them if you like; there should be 300 pages.”

They look at me, I guess to see if I’m being serious.

Me: “Go on. I haven’t taken any pages out; you can check.”

Other Manager: “I need to take this.”

Me: “No, that’s my personal property. If you want to count the pages, you can, but you do it in front of me.”

Boss: “I told you [My Name] wouldn’t do it. You can count the pages if you like but I’m getting a coffee. [My Name], you want one?”

I drink a coffee with my boss while the other manager sits and counts the pages. He finally finishes.

Other Manager: “Okay, 300. He was telling the truth.”

Me: “Look, I don’t know who complained, but it could have gotten me suspended. What are you going to do to them?”

Other Manager: “I guess I can have a chat with them.”

Boss: “No, you wanted to interrogate [My Name], so we do the same to them. After all, [My Name] might want to make a complaint, too.”

Other Manager: “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. We can do it now.”

I had a good idea who complained anyway, but it was confirmed when they took the office busybody away into a room. I couldn’t hear what was said, but it looked like a loud conversation.

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Check Out This Sweet Parenting!

, , , , , , , | Related | June 1, 2021

My mum was a firm believer in treats, but only in the right places; she didn’t want me to associate treats like sweets or chocolates with the wrong places, in case I started demanding them.

When I was two, my aunt and my cousin visited us from Australia for a couple of weeks. While they were staying, my aunt would do the shopping to give Mum a rest, and she would take my cousin and me with her.

My cousin is about five years older than me and apparently quite demanding. He would demand a chocolate bar from the display at the till, and if he didn’t get one, he would throw a tantrum. My aunt would give in and get him one, and so I wasn’t left out, I got one as well.

This was the first shopping trip Mum and I went on after our family returned to Australia. All was fine until we got to the checkout and I saw the display of chocolate bars. I pointed at them and asked for one.

Mum: “Not now. You can have one later after tea.”

I threw a tantrum. It involved me screaming, sobbing, and generally being a very annoying and very loud little snot. The queue was quite long, and it took a while for us to get served. In all that time, there was no let-up in screaming.

Mum felt like giving in. Even with the ear-splitting shrieks I was emitting, she could still hear a lot of tuts and “what a bad mother” comments from other shoppers to each other in the queue. She did come close to it, thinking it would be so easy to do so, but she told herself that if she gave in now, it would be harder next time.

In the end, she had to drag me kicking and screaming out the door. That wasn’t a turn of phrase, as by that time I had thrown myself onto the ground, having apparently decided to move onto the next level of toddler tantrum.

I don’t know how she managed it, but Mum did manage to get me to stop without giving in. I’m guessing I just screamed myself to exhaustion and gave up.

One week later, we were back in the shop at the checkout. I pointed to the chocolate bars and asked. Mum said, “No,” and just as my lips started to quiver and it looked like I was about to have another temper tantrum:

Mum: *Sternly* “Don’t even think about it.” 

It worked, as I didn’t have that chocolate bar tantrum. Not then, not ever. 

A year or so later, we were at the checkout. My new little sister was in her buggy, Mum was packing the bags, and I was looking at the chocolate bars. I’d started to recognise words, so I was telling Mum what all the various chocolate bars are. The customer behind us spoke up.

Customer: “You’re going to have trouble getting him away from them.”

Mum: “We’ll see.” *Finishing up and turning to me* “Come on, time to go”

I left the chocolates and walked out the shop with Mum and Sis, leaving a very surprised customer behind. 

Fast forward about eighteen or so years. I’m visiting my parents during one of my university holidays. Mum has just finished telling me about all of the above, as I was too little at the time to remember it. 

Me: “So that’s why!” 

Mum: “What do you mean?” 

Me: “All these years, I’ve always felt deep down that it was wrong to buy chocolate bars from the checkout display. I never knew why; I just felt it was wrong. Even when I was working at a supermarket, it just seemed wrong. Now I know why; it’s because of that tantrum!” 

Mum: “Well, the lesson certainly stuck!”

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You Can Throw Those Complaints In The Trash

, , , , , | Right | May 25, 2021

I work for the local council contact centre. People can call in regard to any council-related issue. In this case, it’s about rubbish dumped on the street

The customer has been putting in request after request for the last few months. He calls again and I am the unfortunate one to take his call.

Me: “Good afternoon, [Council], [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Caller: “I want this sorted today! I have been putting requests in and it’s not been sorted! I want your manager!”

Me: *Trying to be as calm as possible* “May I ask what the issue is please?”

Caller: “People are dumping rubbish outside my house. It’s all your fault, you stupid b****! My address is [address]!”

Me: “I’m just going to put you on hold so I can have a look.”

I just can’t stand his shouting but I remain calm. 

Me: “Okay, sir, I can see that you have put in two requests in May and June, and another was put in two days ago. This has now gone to the relevant team.”

Caller: “No, I want this sorted today! Call me your manager!”

I called the manager who was in a meeting, so he wanted my manager’s manager’s name to speak to them to get it sorted today. I rang my manager again who had to come out of the meeting to deal with this customer. The caller wanted the surnames of everyone he had spoken to, which I refused due to data protection.

I ended up putting him through to the manager and finished work thirty minutes late thanks to him. It turns out HE was one throwing rubbish on HIS OWN LAND. The council doesn’t deal with privately-owned roads due to insurance purposes, etc. He had been throwing everything out and expecting us to pick it all up.

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The Squeaky Wheel Gets A Promotion, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | May 25, 2021

I work in a factory. We were supposed to spend a little time in each department and then choose where to work. Instead, we are all dumped on the shop floor, mopping up spills, replacing the hundreds of time light bulbs, and rewiring plugs.

Four years of study for this? I feel conned and bored; this isn’t the job I accepted. I am going nowhere and barely sleeping, and I dread every Monday. 

I am complaining about it to another guy my age who’s in the same position.

Coworker: “I don’t know why you are complaining. It’s a job, isn’t it?”

Me: “Aren’t you bored? All we do is the same thing over and over.”

Coworker: “I don’t mind it.”

Me: “But this is a dead end. If we stay, this is all it is ever going to be.”

Coworker: “I’m going to try to get the team leader role.”

Me: “I mean, sure, but that is one vacancy and there are five people who have been here longer. Look, it just isn’t for me.”

Coworker: “Whatever. I would just keep your head down.”

I don’t. I apply for the first job I can in another department. My coworker calls me crazy. But before long, I am promoted and then promoted again. I leave the company for a more senior role and then am promoted again. Eventually, I end up working on some cutting-edge stuff for a great company.

I get a message from my former coworker.

Coworker: “Hey, how’re things? I heard you got made redundant and I thought I would let you know, your old job is open again. Shame you left; you could have been team leader now. I just took the role.”

I didn’t bother replying.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets A Promotion

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When His Ad Verbatim Becomes Ad Nauseum

, , , , , | Right | May 25, 2021

I get a call from a retired gentleman who wishes to complain about new legislation on fees for second properties. I bring this up on Google so I can check it.

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid that the government has arranged this; the bank cannot do anything about it. You’d need to bring it to your MP’s attention.”

This unleashes some sort of demon.

Caller: “I want a complaint raised. You will fill it ad verbatim; you know what ad verbatim means, I hope!”

He complained about the legislation, and then, because I was using verbal cues like “aha,” “hmm,” “yeah,” etc., he decided to go off on me, practically reducing me to tears and calling me every name under the sun. Policy means I had to read the complaint back to him to confirm.

Not long after, one of the bigwigs for our site came over, explained that they’d looked at the complaint and listened to the call, and told me that the man had been sent a notice of account closing. This means that the bank had declared him not worth his custom — despite the amount he had in his accounts — and that they would be closing his accounts and he would need to find another service for his banking needs.

This is something very, very, rarely done, and is usually reserved for laundering accounts, so it was a big win.

This story is part of our Best Of May 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of May 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of May 2021 roundup!

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