That’s All Phone Books Are Good For Now

, , , , , , | Working | April 19, 2019

(Before he retires, my dad is a fitter machinist and loves to play practical jokes.)

Dad: “Hey, [Colleague], I took up a collection for you.”

Colleague: “What for?”

Dad: “Phone books.”

(Dad gets a big stack of phone books he’s borrowed from all the offices and sets it down in front of her.)

Colleague: “But what for?”

Dad: “Well, I heard you got a new car.”

Colleague: “Um, yeah?”

Dad: “Well, if you sit on these, you can see over the steering wheel.”

This Prank Doesn’t Lose Steam

, , , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(Before he retires, my dad is a fitter machinist and works in a range of pharmaceuticals, food factories, and coal mines over the years. I love to hear all his stories about practical jokes and things that he has done over the years. And no, he has never been fired or reprimanded. In fact, he is usually incredibly well-liked and promoted continually since he works incredibly hard whenever he isn’t pranking someone or goofing off. He works with a great friend who, while apparently clever, seems to have some incredibly ditzy moments.)

Dad: “This would clean up better if we could steam clean it. Ah, I know! [Friend], take this bucket and go ask [Colleague across the factory] for some steam.”

(Thinking he’ll clue into the joke after a minute or so, he is surprised when [Friend] nods and leaves with the bucket. After a few minutes, [Friend] comes back, and surprise, surprise, the bucket is empty.)

Friend: “Ah, no! It’s gone. Hang on. I’ll go again. I must have spilled it.”

Dad: *trying his best at a serious face* “Okay.”

(As soon as he’s gone, he calls the extension for [Colleague], who exclaims that he thought [Friend] was pranking him. Dad laughs and explains briefly, and then [Colleague] puts Dad on loudspeaker so he can listen when [Friend] arrives.)

Friend: “I need some more. I spilled it.”

Colleague: “Ah, I know what it is. It evaporated. What you’ll have to do is pour it quickly and then run to the back with it before it disappears. Here, take two just to be sure.”

(Dad hears a few noises and then it goes silent for a moment before [Colleague] picks up, laughing.)

Colleague: “He’s on his way.”

(Dad hung up and, sure enough, [Friend] was running through the factory, carrying a bucket in each hand, with all of the operators staring at him, and he arrived panting with two empty buckets.)

Unfiltered Story #147114

, , , | Unfiltered | April 15, 2019

I am the most junior worker at a specialty manufacturer, so I get to answer the phones when it rings. This is in the mid 90’s, well before map apps.
Me:”<Manufacturer>, how can I help you?”
Customer: “I need to bring some material down to be cut, where is <our street>?
Me:”It runs parallel to <major street> between <street> and <street>. If you’re coming from the west end of the city, don’t speed on <our street>. There’s a speed trap, lots of people visiting us get tickets.
About an hour later, the customer arrives.
Customer: “I got a speeding ticket on <our street>!
Me: “I did tell you about the speed trap, sir.”
Customer:(sheepishly) “…yeah…”
The whole reason I started telling customers was all the complaints I heard about people getting tickets…

I’ll Make You Sorry You Asked

, , , , | Working | March 22, 2019

(My boss at this time is a very arrogant individual; he is very full of himself and likes to pretend that the world snaps to attention and answers his every whim. Another thing to note is that all of the supervisors and quality staff are required to have a radio, and we are not allowed to turn them off while on the clock.)

Boss: “[My Name], this is [Boss].”

Me: “Go for [My Name].”

Boss: “Where are you right now?”

(Not wanting to give the whole plant a mental picture they can’t unsee…)

Me: “Indisposed. I can meet in five minutes; just tell me where.”

Boss: “But where are you right now?”

Me: “Not currently available.”

Boss: *furious and demanding* “[My Name], tell me where you are, and what you are doing, right now.”

(Okay, Boss, you asked for it…)

Me: “I am currently in the fourth stall from the door in the east bathroom, sitting on the toilet and feeling much better.”

(There is a long pause on the other end of the line. I am well aware that everyone with a radio has heard our conversation.)

Boss: *much more quietly* “When you are finished, please see me in my office.”

Me: “Of course. I’ll be there in five minutes.”

(I don’t remember what was so important, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t have waited five minutes. But he never pressed me over the radio again.)

Management Never Learns That You Get What You Pay For

, , , , , | Working | January 24, 2019

Back when I worked as an IT technician in a factory, I had a female colleague who worked as one of our factory technicians. She was a very good technician — highly capable. Part of her job involved spending a lot of time working with a particular system that formed a core part of our production line. She became very competent with this system, and so became our go-to person if we had any issues.

One day she got word that management was doing an internal trawl to recruit someone who would manage this system. My colleague was very keen to apply, and everyone in our department — including our IT Manager, my colleague’s boss — said she should go for it. Initially, she didn’t tell our Head of Department, but when he found out he said that “while he’d be sorry to lose someone who was such a good IT Technician, he couldn’t think of anyone better qualified for the job.” Staff in other departments were excited to hear she had applied, too, because they knew she’d be really good at it.

Well, her interview rolled round, and she came away feeling very positive. The interview panel — which consisted of two directors and one of the senior managers — seemed to be impressed with her. It seemed that she would be a dead cert for this job.

Then management announced their decision: instead of hiring my colleague, they hired someone else: a young woman who had only been in the company about six months compared to my colleague’s two and a half years, was in no way IT literate — IT ability was pretty much a requirement for this job — and actually knew next to nothing about the system. In fact, the only thing she had over my colleague was that she worked as an admin clerk in a department that made the greatest use of this system. My colleague was disappointed, but disappointment soon turned to anger and frustration when the newly appointed “Administrator” for this system ended up phoning my colleague every day because she needed help with the system that she was supposed to be managing!

We later heard through the company grapevine that someone in higher management selected this person over my colleague on the basis that if they hired my colleague, “they’d have to pay her more because she’s an IT technician,” whereas if they hired someone who was just an admin clerk and less experienced in the system, “they could pay her an admin clerk salary.”

And people wonder why so many of my colleagues left the company — me included — to go on to better opportunities elsewhere!

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