The Color Of Incompetence

, , , , , | Working | December 8, 2017

I am draftsman in a construction company. I recently did a project modernizing a school. Since it was a public school, our client was the city’s planning department and the person in charge was a civil servant with degrees in architecture and engineering.

Right at the start, things got out of hand. After submitting our ground-plans I got a call from the civil servant. She explained to me that she didn’t like the colours in the plans. I politely explained to her that the colours were determined by a standard and that there was nothing I could do about it. Submitting plans not according to standard can be a huge hassle, since they can be rejected, and we’d have to start over with the approval process. Nevertheless, she insisted we change the colours, so I told her I’d talk to my boss about it.

He told me to propose to her that we’d change the colours under the condition that they pay the entire price for the planning twice as overhead. He hoped that this would make her back down, since that’s a lot of money for essentially ten minutes of work. The civil servant, however, immediately agreed to it.

From there on, it only went downhill. Turns out the architect had planned a server farm in a heritage-protected attic made out of extremely flammable 200-year-old wood. No way we could weld or solder up there without a 24/7 fire-watch person. We proposed a solution to the engineering lady: Using plastic tubes instead of the steel tubes, which would not only be cheaper but also last longer. The lady in charge immediately declined and said we should hire a fire-watch at their cost.

As you can imagine, the project soon went over budget and we had to stop working midway through, since there were no funds left. By then, we had installed all the tubes and cables, but the actual server farm and cooling units were still missing. Four years went by like that and the legal warranty for our work expired.

The city soon took note of that and pleaded to the state government for securing more funds. They got barely enough money to finish the project. However, engineering lady had another plan and used the money to extend the warranty for another four years… for a system not running. Always glad to see my tax dollars well spent.

Fat Chance Of Caring

, , , | Working | December 4, 2017

(I recently bought a new sweater; it is white with bold red writing on the front which reads: “Sorry if I looked interested. I’m not!” I think it is funny, so I wear it to work. All my other coworkers find it funny, too. But one doesn’t. He is NOT an a**h***! But he always has to voice his opinion, whether anybody wants to hear it or not.)

Coworker: *looking me up and down* ”You look fat in that sweater.”

Me: *pointing at front of said sweater* “You might want to read this again.”

Looking For Someone To Help, 18+

, , , , | Right | November 27, 2017

(An older customer enters the shop. He’s from somewhere in the Balkans and doesn’t speak German very well. Usually he just walks past our counter to enter the 18+ section, for which we have to ID people. This time, however, he stops in front of the counter and pulls a sheet of paper out of his jacket. It’s a letter from the town council that says he has been approved to employ somebody to help him in his home. He points towards the part where he’s circled the salary.)

Customer: “Look, here.”

Me: *glancing at the letter* “Umm, what about it?” *wondering if he needs something explained*

Customer: *looks at me expectantly*

Me: “I’m not sure what you want me to do.”

Customer: “Would you do that?”

Me: “Are you asking me if I would work for you?”

Customer: *nods*

Me: *taken aback* “No.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because I have a full-time job here that I really like, and I’m not looking for anything else. Besides, I’m not even qualified. I think you have to go to the job-center or one of the social services agencies.”

Customer: “But you did… social?”

Me: “No, I didn’t. Ever.”

(I have a former coworker who was in training as a child-care worker, with whom he has probably confused me, but I’m not in the mood to point that out.)

Customer: “But you could still…”

Me: “No. I’m neither qualified nor interested. I can’t help you with that.”

Customer: *looks crestfallen and shuffles towards the 18+ section*

(I don’t know what’s worse: That he just asked a random person without proper qualification to work for him and take care of him, or that he actually expected me to knowingly work for a horny old man who reeks of baby powder and watches porn regularly.)

A Stroke Of Misunderstanding

, , , | Working | November 21, 2017

(My father suffers a stroke and we have to take him to the hospital. My mother stays with him and I go home in the morning, so I have to call in at his workplace.)

Me: *crestfallen* “Hi, I’m calling about [Father]. Sadly, he had a stroke last night, and we had to take him to the hospital. He won’t be able to come in until further notice.”

Secretary: “Oh, no! What did he do?”

Me: *repeating* “He had a stroke.”

Secretary: “Oh… No. I mean… like… medically.”

Me: *beginning to grasp after a few seconds of confusion* “Umm… I think you might be referring to the figurative meaning of the word, when people act stupid or funny. However, ‘stroke’ is actually a medical term describing when the brain doesn’t get enough blood.”

Secretary: “Oh, wow! I did not know that until now. Can you imagine? Anyhow, tell him to get well soon, to catch some restorative sleep, and to send in a letter from his doctor if it will take him longer than two days to recover.”

(Needless to say, it took him longer than two days. When I told my dad this story some days later, he had a good laugh about it, saying it was a good thing that secretary did not work in a medical office. Tomorrow, he’ll be starting work again after about a year.)

Some Caffeinated Banana Drama

, , , , | Working | November 17, 2017

(It is summer and I am sitting in a café. I love iced coffee. They don’t have it on the menu, but they do have coffee and ice cream. In Germany, an iced coffee is cold coffee with vanilla ice cream in it and whipped cream on top. So, I think I’ll just ask if they would make one for me. Worth a shot, right? The waitress shows up and I ask her.)

Waitress: “Yes, no problem. I sure could make one for you.”

Me: “Awesome, thank you!”

Waitress: “Which kind of ice cream would you like in it?”

Me: *confused* “Uh… Vanilla?””

Waitress: “I’m sorry, we only have banana and strawberry.”

Me: “Yeah… I think I’ll just have a coffee. Thanks.”

(I appreciated the thought, but seriously, iced banana coffee? Yuck.)

Page 2/1812345...Last
« Previous
Next »