Reading Too Much Into It

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2020

I run the scale at a waste facility and have struggled with already cranky customers getting mad at me because I struggle to hear them with their masks. Most of my customers are contractors and can be a little dense.

Customer: “How come you’re still wearing that button? The election is over!”

Me: “Did you read it?”

The button says, “Please be patient; I’m hard of hearing.”

Customer: *Turning red* “Well, how was I supposed to know?”

Me: “Maybe read the button you’re looking at?”

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Getting To The Meat Of The Problem

, , , , | Working | December 15, 2020

My company has asked a load of us to help out in the factory on a special project. It means long days in the cold, but it’s extra money and they promise to feed us.

Day one is tough, but we make it fun. Lunchtime comes around and they take our orders for pizza — meat and vegetarian options. Everyone kicks back and tucks in.

Day two is just as difficult as before, but we are in a rhythm, we work hard all morning, and they come round and offer fish and chips. Most have fish; some just have chips. It’s really cold and the hot food goes down well.

Then, one of the younger guys pipes up, going on about fried chicken.

Coworker: “Yeah, let’s get fried chicken tomorrow.”

Me: “Err… not everyone eats meat. I just can’t eat it. We should have something everyone wants.”

Coworker: “Nah, it will be great! Let’s get chicken.”

Me: “Do what you want, but these meals are for everyone, not just what you want, okay?!”

A few more people chime in to agree; they don’t eat meat or just don’t want greasy chicken. I think nothing more of it until the next day.

On day three, we are getting tired and people are making mistakes, but we make it through to lunch. Management comes round asking what chicken meals we want.

Clearly, [Coworker] has gone behind everyone’s back. I am honestly a bit pissed off.

Manager: *To me* “So, what meal can I get you?”

Me: “Oh, nothing for me. I can’t eat it.”

Manager: “Oh, really? [Coworker] said he spoke to everyone and they were happy.”

Me: “Not really, but if most people are happy, then I can just get my own.”

Manager: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s fine.”

I take a long lunch and grab myself something to eat. I come back to find half of the team missing. The manager is stressed, worrying about finishing the work on time.

It turns out that [Coworker] didn’t bother to ask anyone. Half of the team wasn’t happy, either, and decided to get their own lunch. Some were stuck in traffic, some were just late, and some were chatting or went back to the office first.

Things were so delayed that we didn’t finish our quota for the day. A couple of guys — including me — volunteered to work even longer to make up the time lost. When asked, [Coworker] stated that he “didn’t want to” and left.

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This Transaction Has A Number Of Issues

, , , , , | Right | December 7, 2020

Customer: “I’m looking to place an order.”

Me: “Okay, what do you need?”

The customer gives a lengthy description of the pipe fitting that they need. I spend five minutes searching based on their description.

Customer: *After five minutes of silence* “I have a part number; would that help you?”

In what universe would that NOT be helpful?

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Communication And Camaraderie

, , , , | Working | October 30, 2020

I overhear the following conversation between two workers: one is an old-timer that nobody gets along with, and the other is a newly-hired temp whose contract is about to expire. He has already politely inquired with the offices whether the company is extending his term or letting him go, to no avail.

New Hire: “Has anyone had any idea of where I’m assigned as of next week? 

Old-Timer: *Chuckling* “Why do you bother asking? The company isn’t hiring indeterminate contracts anymore!”

New Hire: “If you were the last one, I see why they wouldn’t.”

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He’s Getting Warmer… And Colder

, , , , | Healthy | October 26, 2020

I’m an IT technician in a factory. My female colleague is heavily pregnant at the moment and has been suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, so she’s doing a mixture of remote working and on-site working with significantly reduced hours. She only comes on-site if she feels well enough to do so.

Today is one of her better days, so she’s on-site. I’ve just come back from a job. My female colleague is nowhere to be seen, but all her stuff is sitting on her desk so she can’t be too far away. We have a placement student in our office at the moment, a lad in his early twenties. He’s a very capable IT technician but not yet very world wise.

Me: “Hey, [Student], where’s [Female Colleague]? Is she okay?”

Student: “She’s in the bathroom throwing up again.”

I flinch at his apparent lack of sensitivity and realise that, as the most senior person in our office, I may have to have words with him about this.

Student: “Hey, [My Name], I’m worried.”

Me: “Oh, about what?”

Student: “[Female Colleague] has been vomiting a lot. Every day she’s in, she keeps running to the bathroom to vomit. I’m worried about her; that’s not normal.”

Me: “No, [Student], you’re right. It’s not normal. But she has Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which means she’ll vomit a lot because of her pregnancy.”

Student: “But I don’t get it. When my sister was pregnant with my niece, she had morning sickness and it was nothing like as bad as this!”

Me: “Yeah, but this isn’t morning sickness, mate. It’s worse. A lot worse. Oh, and try and be a little bit more sensitive about it, yeah? It can’t be easy for her.”

Student: “Yeah, but it’s not normal!”

Me: *Sighing* “Of course, it’s not normal! That’s the point. She has… Look, just never mind, okay? Try and show a bit of sensitivity.”

I sat down at my desk, having given up trying to explain it to him. [Student] sat for a few minutes muttering, “It’s not normal…” until [Female Colleague] came back, red-faced, tearful, and feeling sorry for herself. I sat her down and got her a drink of water.

To [Student]’s credit, he DID later leave the room and come back with an ice lolly (popsicle) for [Female Colleague]! Clearly, in spite of his cluelessness, he’d been paying enough attention to realise that ice lollies were one of the few solids she was actually able to keep down. He later told me that he felt sorry for her and wanted to try to make her feel better. She seemed to really appreciate the gesture.

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