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Task And Ye Shall Grieve

| Working | May 10, 2012

(This takes place at a US government agency. We’ve released an RFQ for a major computer purchase: one new large mainframe system replacing two smaller and much older systems. I’m the sysadmin for all three. It’s currently October of 1994.)

Me: “I’m going to need some help with the migration when the new machine gets here. I want either Bill or Dave to assist me.”

Boss: “It won’t be here for a while, right?”

Me: “Right, not until March. I just wanted to give you a little lead time on getting an assistant, so you could arrange it with their manager.”

Boss: “Okay. Remind me again when it gets a little closer to the time.”

Me: “No prob…”

(January, 1995)

Me: “The contract for the new machine has been awarded. You asked me to remind you about getting an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(February, 1995)

Me: “They’re starting to build the machine. It should ship early next month. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(March, 1995)

Me: “The machine is being shipped tomorrow. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(Late March, 1995)

Me: “The machine is on our receiving dock. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(End of March, 1995)

Me: “The machine is in the computer room. They’re starting to hook up the power. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(April, 1995)

Me: “The machine’s up and running. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(May, 1995)

Me: “The machine’s been running for a month, and I’ve begun the migration, but I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it…”

(September, 1995)

Boss: “Why aren’t you finished yet?!”

Ah, Government

| Working | May 2, 2012

(Ten years after moving halfway across the United States, I still receive voter literature from California, but addressed to my Missouri home. I thought I would try, once again, to remove my name from California’s voter registry, so I call the San Bernardino county registrar office.)

Me: “Hello, I’m calling to remove my name from San Bernardino County’s voter registration list…again.”

Employee: “Why?”

Me: “Because I moved nearly 10 years ago.”

Employee: “May I have your contact information?”

(I give my former address and my Missouri address that is receiving the literature.)

Employee: “Hold, please.”

(After a few minutes, she gets back on the phone.)

Employee: “Your new address is not in county records.”

Me: “It must be. You send me voter literature.”

Employee: “Why?”

Me: “That is the question, isn’t it? Can you please remove me from your voter rolls?”

Employee: “Please hold.”

(Once again, she puts me on hold for a few minutes.)

Employee: “Ma’am, your current address is not in our records.”

Me: “Correct. It is in Missouri. That is why I do not want to receive voter literature from your county.”

Employee: “Why? You should vote.”

Me: “I do, in Missouri.”

Employee: “Can you come in and sign the papers?”

Me: “No. I do not live in California anymore.”

Employee: “Why?”

Me: “Because I moved my family to Missouri.”

Employee: “Why?

(As I mentally review approximately 119,312 answers I can give her, she speaks again.)

Employee: “Well, wait a minute.”

(After a brief wait, she returns.)

Employee: “I am unable to locate your new address in the San Bernardino County records. Are you sure it is in San Bernardino?”

Me: *frustrated* “No! It is in M-I-S-S-O-U-R-I. Osage County, Missouri.”

Employee: “Where do you live then?”

Me: *sighs* “Missouri.”

Employee: “Is that in San Bernardino County?”

Me: “No. It is in Missouri. Osage County, Missouri.”

Employee: “Is that in California?”

Me: “No. It is in Missouri. Although there is a California, Missouri…”

Employee: “Huh?”

Me: “Never mind. I do not live in San Bernardino anymore. I do not have a San Bernardino address.”

Employee: “Well, why did you call me then?”

Me: *face palm*

Obama Can’t Fix Stupid

| Right | November 14, 2011

(A couple is arguing with me; I’m a cashier at the city clerk’s office.)

Man: “Why was my marriage license denied?”

Me: *looking over the application* “Sir, you had 60 days after the license was issued for you to get married. The license is only valid for 60 days. It’s been over 3 months.”

Woman: “But we got married here when we filled out the license.”

Me: “You didn’t have the clerk or a magistrate officiate a ceremony or fill out the rest of the form, so you were not married. If you want to get another valid license and have someone marry you here, I can get you another form.”

Man: “Fine…”

(I go to get blank application and shows the couple where to put what information, where to sign, etc.)

Me: “and we’ll need a check for $40.”

Man: “But we already paid that! I’m not paying that again!”

Me: “Sorry, but it says on the top of the application that the $40 fee is non-refundable, even if you miss the 60 day window. If you want another license you need to pay the fee again.”

Woman: “This is stupid! We already got married here!”

Me: “No, ma’am, yo–”


(The couple storms out. As they leave, I hear the man grumbling.)

Man: “F**kin’ government. I thought that Obama was gonna fix this s**t!”

A Complete Debarkle

, , , | Right | March 9, 2011

(I work in the call center for parks & gardens.)

Me: “Parks & Gardens, may I help you?”

Resident: “I want a new street tree, please.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. Is there a problem with your current street tree?”

Resident: “Yes. It doesn’t attract the native birds. I want a street tree that attracts native birds.”

Me: “Okay. We don’t normally replace street trees just because they don’t attract birds. Other forms of wildlife use the street trees too. Is there anything actually wrong with the tree?”

Resident: “Yes. It keeps on growing.”

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What Would Jesus Discount?

, , , , , , , | Right | November 3, 2010

(Three teenagers come up to my register to buy some CD cases.)

Me: “And that comes to $10.33.”

Teenager: “What if my dad was the Prime Minister?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Teenager: “What if he came in, and said it was $5?”

Me: “It would still be $10.33?”

(He seems to think this over for a minute.)

Teenager: “Well, what if he was the government?! Then what?”

Me: “The price would still be $10.33.”

Teenager: “Okay, so then, what if Jesus himself came into the store, and came up to you, and said it was $5?”

Me: “Well, Jesus would still have to pay full price. Which is $10.33.”

Teenager: “If Jesus was here, you’d be going to Hell!”