An Installation Aberration

, , , , , | Working | December 3, 2018

(I’m an IT technician in a factory, the only female on the team. I’m heavily pregnant with twins; it’s my first pregnancy. I’ve been quite ill, with aches and pains, dizziness, and so on. I’ve also been suffering quite badly from hyperemesis gravidarum — vomiting during pregnancy. My hormones are going crazy, and I have been quite emotional. My boss, a massive bear of a man with a heart of gold, has been wonderful, allowing me to work from home or just take a rest day if I feel too ill to work. I’ve been trying to come in as much as possible, though, in spite of how I’ve been feeling. I’m on light duties, forbidden to go into the factory or do anything more strenuous than walking to an office to plug in a mouse. One day I’m at my desk, fixing a few things using remote support, and updating the asset database. I’m alone in the office. One of my colleagues, who is currently working on one of our other sites, sends me a message over our internal messaging software.)

Colleague: “Hey, [My Name], what you working on now?”

Me: “Not much. Fixed a few things, and now I’m looking at updating the asset register.”

Colleague: “There’s four new PCs to go into finance. Today. Can you sort it, please?”

(This is part of a project he’s supposed to have finished by the end of the week; clearly he’s missed his target.)

Me: “But… I’m on light duties. I’m pregnant, in case you’d forgotten?”

Colleague: “Don’t be stupid; it’s not hard to install four PCs.”

Me: “So, ask someone else?”

Colleague: “I’m asking you.”

Me: “…”

Colleague: “Look. Just do it. Why do you women always have to be awkward?”

(He then signed out of the messenger, something we IT technicians aren’t supposed to do unless we’re going off site or going home. I have a rare medical condition called Craniocervical Instability, which means my neck can’t support my head properly. I’m fine if I wear a neck brace; otherwise, I get excruciating pain in my head and neck after a while. I’d had my neck brace off for a few minutes, but now I put it back on. I got up from my desk and waddled to the IT store. I located the four PCs and monitors, which I loaded onto a trolley and slowly dragged to the finance department. The only person in Finance was a young intern, so I asked him where the computers needed to go. He showed me. I cleared a desk, set up the first computer, and knelt on the floor to connect up the cables. By now I was exhausted. I was sweating, my back, neck, and shoulders hurt, and I felt dizzy. Suddenly, I got an attack of nausea and vomited all over the floor and down the front of my blouse. The intern, embarrassed, jumped to his feet and asked me if I was okay. He sat me down and got me a drink of water, then started clearing up the mess. At this point the chief accountant walked in to see me sitting in a chair, crying my eyes out, and her intern on the floor cleaning up my vomit. She asked if I was all right, and when she learned what had happened she called my boss, demanding to know why he was sending a heavily pregnant and clearly uncomfortable woman out to do such a big job on her own. My boss, it turns out, knew nothing about it! My boss apologised to the chief accountant, and to me. He sent me home early to rest. I later found out from one of the other technicians that when my colleague came back on site, my boss called him into his office and started screaming at him. Yes, screaming. Apparently, it was so loud they could hear every word! He no longer works for us. He quit that afternoon.)

Sounds Like A “Not Always Right” Editor

, , , | Working | October 17, 2018

(I have some of the best coworkers, and we like to joke around a lot. One of them is a middle-aged lady who is a real darling, but she has her quirks, one of them looking angry whenever she works hard or is really focused on something. She is working on the far side of the table from me. I’m chatting with another coworker while we work.)

Coworker: “What’s up with [Female Coworker] today? She looks so cranky! Come to think of it… she always kind of does.”

Me: “Nah, she’s never cranky. She just works hard!” *to the female coworker* “Hey, [Female Coworker]. You are always such a pleasant and cheerful person!”

Female Coworker: “Nope, I’m a miserable old hag!”

Me: *pause* “I was trying to make you look good.”

Throwing Out Or Throwing Up?

, , , , | Working | September 17, 2018

(The cat food production line has started to reek, so when I have some downtime, I go through and find out that line workers have been just putting open, rotting, maggot-infested boxes of cat food under tables, maybe to hide them. I get a bin and some gloves and start throwing the opened and contaminated stuff into the bins. A new guy walks up to me.)

New Guy: “Are you just throwing those out?”

Me: “Yep.”

New Guy: “Can we take them?”

Me: *looking horrified* “What?!”

New Guy: “Well, if the company is throwing them out, can we take them?”

Me: “You don’t want them! Do you smell that? Do you see the things moving?”

New Guy: “Well, some look okay.”

Me: “They are contaminated. I’m throwing them into a special large trash can, which is locked… and now I know why.”

Don’t Quit What You’re Doing

, , , , | Working | August 21, 2018

(It’s my second day of working a new job as quality assurance. I was warned that production hates quality assurance people because the job is to find the mistakes and make people do things all over again. I’m very friendly, easy going, and sarcastic, and it doesn’t hurt that I’m a woman who is 110 pounds soaking wet, so I don’t look scary. On my first day, I make friends with 90% of production. No one is getting mad at me for sending things back. On day two, this happens. I walk up to the line. [Coworker #1] on my right is putting product in boxes. [Coworker #2] on my left is moving the boxes to a shrink wrapper.)

Me: “All right, guys, I’m here to ruin your day.”

Coworker #2: “F*** this s***! I’m out!” *walks away*

Me: “Woah.”

Coworker #1: “Where is he going?”

Me: “I don’t know. He literally just said, ‘F this S. I’m out,’ and now he’s out. What did I do?”

Coworker #1: “Nothing. He’s just lazy.”

Me: “All he had to do was push a thing into another thing!”

Coworker #1: “Yep.”

(I was still freaked out that my little joke made him quit for about three minutes, until I heard someone won the pool on when that guy would quit.)

Warming Up Those Blue Collars

, , , , , , | | Working | June 4, 2018

(I work in a factory, but mainly in the office. In other words, I’m what you would call a “white-collar worker.” Every now and then, as part of my job, I have to visit the production area.)

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name], meet [New Hire]. He’s new here, and you’ll be seeing a lot of him.”

New Hire: “Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I would shake your hand, but unfortunately, I’m all dirty right now.”

Me: “Really? Oh, no, buddy, that won’t do. I don’t believe in that kind of thinking.”

(I shake his hand, anyway, and even go in for a “bro-hug.” When I remove myself from him, both my hand and shirt are covered in dust.)

Me: “I don’t believe in office politics. Us suit-wearing stiffs aren’t nearly as important as you think. We’re all on the same team here, and I’m rooting for you.”

(Treat blue-collar workers with respect, people! Their job is just as, if not more important.)

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