Workplace Daddy Issues

, , , , , | Working | December 14, 2017

(I’m the supervisor at a popular Canadian coffee chain. I’m also one of the only males and slightly older than most of the rest of the staff (me being 28, them mostly being high school/college age). I’ve just exchanged some change for one of my cashiers.)

Cashier #1: “Thanks, Dad.”

Cashier #2: “Did you just call [My Name] ‘Dad’?”

Cashier #1: *laughing* “It was an accident. Besides, he’s kind of like our Work Dad.”

Cashier #2: “That’s so weird. [My Name] doesn’t want to be called Dad by a bunch of teenagers.”

Me: “Actually, I’m fine with it.” *laughs* “Maybe if I’m your dad you guys might listen to me for a change.”

Cashier #1: “See, he’s fine with it.” *turns to me* “Thanks again, Work Daddy.”

Me: “Now that on the other hand…”


, , , , , | Working | December 13, 2017

(I am driving home from the grocery shopping when I realize I forgot to buy salsa. I stop at a well-known 24-hour convenience store to grab some.)

Employee: “Can I help you find something today?”

Me: “Yeah, I was looking for salsa but I wasn’t able to find any.”

Employee: *blank look*

Me: “I was looking for salsa but I couldn’t find it on the shelves. What section would that be in?”

Employee: “Pasta sauce? Over this way.”

Me: “No, sorry, I saw the pasta sauce, but I was looking for salsa.”

Employee: *blank look, then brings me over to the pasta sauce*

Me: “Um, sorry, I saw this but I wasn’t looking for pasta sauce I was looking for salsa.”

Employee: “Oh, like chipzend?”

Me: “Huh?”


Me: *realizing she is saying “chips and salsa” but thinks it’s one word* “Yeah.”

Employee: “Oh, we don’t have any chipzendzaza here.”

Me: “Okay, thanks.”

(I grabbed some salsa at another store on my way home.)

Named And Shamed

, , , , | Working | December 11, 2017

(Our work environment is pretty casual, and most everyone has a nickname of some sort, while several of the guys go by nicknames exclusively for the most part. One of these guys is someone who doesn’t often have cause to interact with clients or partners, which is what typically prompts us to use real names out of professionalism. One day, I need his help with something for a potential client.)

Me: *e-mailing the client and copying my coworker on it* “Hi! So I think we’ll be able to work something out. Let me introduce you to [Real Name] who knows more about the topic than I do and can get you started.”

Nicknamed Coworker: *in a private e-mail* “Hey, did you mean to copy someone else? Who’s [Real Name]? Did we hire someone new in my department?”

Nicknamed Coworker: *in another private e-mail sent less than a minute later* “I forgot that I am [Real Name].”

(He didn’t live that one down for a while.)

One Bjorn Every Minute

, , , , | Healthy | December 6, 2017

(My husband and I have chosen a name for our child that is rare in our area. We’ve also gone with an older variant of its spelling which has a near silent letter. For the sake of the story let’s say it is Bjorn. Our doctor’s office does confirmation calls for our newborn visits.)

Receptionist: “This is a reminder call from [Family Doctor]’s office that ‘Bejorn’ has an appointment tomorrow at nine am.”

Me: *repeating back as an excuse to give pronunciation* “Bjorn—” *j sounds like a y* “—appointment tomorrow at nine am. Got it. Thank you.”

(At the appointment the receptionist calls for ‘Bejorn.’ I ponder a moment if it is better to correct the pronunciation or let it go. I smile and decide to say something so it doesn’t continue to pop up.)

Me: “It’s actuality Bjorn with the j being a y sound.”

(The receptionist doesn’t seem put off and the rest of the visit goes smoothly. Our family doctor is already familiar with the name having also been the one to deliver him. I’m getting a rare moment of sleep when the office calls to confirm my newborn’s next appointment. The voicemail made me laugh.)

Receptionist: “Hi this is [Receptionist] from [Family Doctor]’s office calling to remind you that…” *long pause where you could almost hear them thinking* “…your SON has an appointment tomorrow at 11 am.”

(Well played.)

Princess Buttercup Had It Right All Along

, , , , , | Working | December 5, 2017

(My direct supervisor is six feet tall, built like a linebacker, and kind of gruff. I was initially very intimidated by him, but have since learned he’s actually very sweet. When we meet in the morning I always say, “What’s up, buttercup?” to him, and he fills me in on what happened the night before and what needs to be done today. He’s never told me he minds it. One day the manager, my supervisor’s boss, comes up to me.)

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], can I talk to you for a second?”

Me: “Sure, what’s up?”

Manager: “You need to stop calling [Supervisor] ‘Buttercup.'”

Me: “What?”

Manager: “It’s demeaning. Stop doing it.”

Me: “Okay? I mean, sure. I’m sorry I made him uncomfortable or anything.”

Manager: “Thanks.”

(I feel bad that I made my supervisor uncomfortable and stop greeting him that way for a few days.)

Supervisor: “[My Name], are you feeling okay?”

Me: “Yes? Why, is there something on my face?”

Supervisor: “Well, you just haven’t said, ‘What’s up, buttercup?’ in a while.”

Me: *confused* “[Manager] told me to stop calling you that, though. He said it was demeaning. I assumed that you didn’t like it.”

Supervisor: “No! If I don’t like something, I’ll tell you, okay?”

Me: “Okay.”

(Later in the day, I see my supervisor and the manager talking. I need to ask my supervisor something, so I head over, just in time to hear my supervisor shout:)


(I didn’t hear what the manager said because I was so stunned. My supervisor later told me that the manager just didn’t like that a man was being called ‘buttercup.’ I’ve since gone back to my original greeting in the morning, because apparently being called ‘buttercup’ starts his day on a good note.)

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