Can’t Safely Pin That Job

, , , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2017

This happened back in the mid 90s. I had recently graduated, and was now applying everywhere I could to get a job with my engineering degree. One such place was a government research establishment, and I was delighted to be granted an interview. It was on the other side of the country, and I was reliant on public transport, as I didn’t have a car. Also, as I was a poor ex-student, I couldn’t afford a new wardrobe. However, the suit I wore for my university interviews was still in good enough condition, so I wore that.

I had researched my connections thoroughly, and arrived in the area in plenty of time. After a pleasant stroll nearby, I arrived at the reception and security block about 15 minutes early. I signed in, and was told to take a seat as someone would be with me shortly.

As I went to sit down, I felt something give. I reached behind me, and could feel a tear in my trousers. I shot off to the toilet to inspect the damage, and was horrified to see that the tear started between my legs and went about half way up my backside!

I decided I needed help. I explained the problem to the receptionist, and asked her if she had any safety pins. She didn’t, but she was able to offer me some paper clips. I retrospect I should have asked to borrow a stapler, but my brain was in full panic mode. I gratefully accepted the paper clips and headed back to the toilet.

Whilst I couldn’t just clip my trousers together, I found that by unwinding the clips I could use them to wire my trousers closed. This now presented me with another problem – sitting down. Fortunately, when I did come to sit down, I found that the metal ended up in my, um, natural crevasse. It wasn’t too uncomfortable, but I was very much aware that I was being jabbed, and as a result my mind wasn’t fully on the interview.

During the tour of the facility, I was glad that the place wasn’t teeming with people, as I wasn’t entirely confident that the back panel of my jacket was covering everything I needed it to. So, I made sure that I was always walking by the side of, or just behind my guide, and I certainly never went up the stairs in front!

After the interview, my ordeal was far from over. Being a poor graduate, I had spent most of my money on the travel costs, and I did not have anything to spare for buying new trousers. So, it was a walk to the bus stop, followed by a bumpy bus ride — not ideal when having metal pressed in places that could lead to a stainless steel enema if the potholes got any worse — and then a lengthy train journey. After that, it was a trip on a very crowded underground ride through London. It was rush hour, which meant that I was stood up for the duration, much to my backside’s relief, but it did mean that my rear was now potentially at the eye-line of the seated passengers. I hope they got therapy afterwards.

Then it was one more train journey back to my hometown, and then a half-mile walk home. There, I received the love and sympathy one would expect from my parents, once they had finally stopped laughing.

I never did hear back about the job. I expect that the interviewers were either puzzled by how someone with an upper second-class honours degree could appear to be so vacant, or they were too traumatised by the visions they received. Whilst I don’t think I did give anyone a full moon, as my boxer shorts did remain intact, I suspect that some people received a partial lunar eclipse.

Knows How To Navigate These Noisy Waters

, , , , | Right | November 16, 2017

I work at the Water Bureau. I got a call to go out to a house on a “loud water” complaint.

A nice elderly gentleman came out of the house and told me that the water was louder and it had been that way for a week. I asked many questions to try to narrow it down to a cause, and the gentleman said he hadn’t made any changes to the house or anything different with the plumbing recently.

Finally, I asked him if there was anything new in his life in the last week. The man thought for a moment and said, “Well, I did get new hearing aids last week.”

I suggested that perhaps he could just hear the water better now that he had hearing aids. The man said, “Well, God d***, I bet you’re right! That just proves to my wife I’m not crazy. Thanks!” And he went back into his house.

Another satisfied customer.

A Haunting Number Of Questions

, , , , , | Right | October 31, 2017

(It’s almost Halloween, and that means we get some crazy questions at our town hall. Most residents call our office for tax collections and treasury and treat it as if we are a general receptionist to field calls. These are the questions we usually get for the Halloween season.)

Customer #1: “When is Halloween?”

Employee: “The 31st.”

Customer #1: “Right, but is it, [day] or [day]?”

(Another fun conversation sample…)

Customer #2: “What time is trick-or-treating?”

Employee: “There isn’t a set time.”

Customer #2: “Well, how am I supposed to know when to go out?”

(And a few more…)

Customer #3: “Are the fireworks going to be at night or during the day?”

Customer #4: “Where can I go to get a trick-or-treating permit?”

Customer #5: “I am taking my kids to go trick-or-treating. Can I get a solicitor’s permit?”

Customer #6: “How much does trick-or-treating cost?”

Damaging My (Govern)mental Health

, , , | Right | October 30, 2017

(I work chat support for a major hotel chain, and I’m slowly starting to lose faith in our government. This is not the first time a chat of this nature has occurred.)

Chatter: “I am trying to book a room for a US Congressman. Does that qualify for the government rate?”

Reading The Ticket, That’s The Ticket!

, , , | Working | October 29, 2017

(I’m at an appointment a couple towns over. When I come back to my car, I see a parking inspector standing next to my car writing a ticket.)

Me: “Hi, this is my car. Is there some sort of problem?”

Parking Inspector: “Hello, yes. This street is resident parking only.”

Me: “Oh, I didn’t notice.” *taking a look around* “Wait, would you mind showing me the sign that states this is resident parking only?”

Parking Inspector: “There is none.”

Me: “How do you mean? There is none?”

Parking Inspector: “Yes, there has been a construction site here recently. It seems they didn’t put the sign back up when they finished.”

Me: “Okay, but how am I supposed to know this is residents-only then?”

Parking Inspector: “Look, I’m not going to argue. You are parking here and I’m going to write you a ticket. You can object to the ticket once you receive the official ticket per mail.”

Me: “Okay. Could you write down that the sign is missing, please?”

Parking Inspector: “Okay.” *finishes writing, prints out the ticket, and hands it to me* “Good day, sir.”

(Fast forward a couple of weeks. By now, I have received the ticket by mail and objected to it according to the attached instructions, pointing out I couldn’t even know this is resident parking only since there was no sign and I’m from a couple towns over. One afternoon my telephone rings.)

Employee: “Hello, is this [My Name]? I’m calling about your objection to a parking ticket.”

Me: “Yes, this is [My Name].”

Employee: “I’m afraid your objection has been dismissed as being unsubstantiated. I’m calling to let you know that, if you pay this week before we send out another payment request, you’ll save yourself paying the processing fee.”

Me: *in disbelief* “How do you mean? Can you pull up the ticket on your screen and read it back to me? I just want to be 100% sure we’re talking about the same ticket.”

Employee: “Sure, wait. Just let me pull it up.” *goes silent for a few seconds* “Sir?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee: “Consider the matter resolved. I’m going to take charge of it from here on. Have a nice day.”

Me: “Thank you. You, too!”

Employee: *mumbling while hanging up* “Dear Lord in heaven. I’m working with idiots!”

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