Not Climbing The Stairs Of Your Career

, , , , , | Working | June 9, 2017

(We have lots of restrooms in the building; however, we only have one that you don’t have to take a short flight of stairs to get to. We usually keep it locked when there isn’t a performance to keep it clean and keep the supplies from being used up. I’m on crutches, so I ask for the key.)

Me: “Hey, boss, is it okay if I use the accessible bathroom?”

Boss: “Yeah, sure, here’s the key. Just give it back at the end of the day so you don’t have to keep asking for it. I’m not here tomorrow but [Manager who also has a key] will be and she’ll get it for you until we get you a copy made.”

Me: “Cool, thanks. I’ll get a doctor’s note with an estimate of when I’ll be off the crutches, but they’re saying about three weeks.”

Coworker: “Wait, what? Why does she get a key? I hate going up those stairs. I’m older than her and I’ve been here longer. I should be allowed to get a key, too!”

Boss: “She’s on crutches. You don’t have a physical reason, and after her ankle is better she’ll be using the upstairs bathroom like the rest of us — after her doctor okays it.”

(I leave and come back. My coworker is standing in front of the office door, fiddling with something and obviously waiting on me.)

Coworker: “Oh, hey! I’ll give the key back to [Boss]. Go on in. I’ll be there in a sec.”

Me: “Um, actually I’m keeping the key all day so I don’t have to keep asking for it.”

Coworker: “Then I’ll hold onto it for you and you can just tell me when you need it.”

Me: “That’s… not going to happen.”

Coworker: “Look, you’re young. I’m getting on up there and I don’t want to climb those stairs. Just give me the key.”

Me: “Tell you what. You tear several ligaments and tendons in your ankle and come to work anyway and then I’ll hand it over. Until then, you use the stairs like [Boss] said.”

(My coworker tried to get me written up for “insubordination” despite him being the same level of employee as me, but our boss gave him a stern talking to instead. He got fired when we caught him going through my desk, looking for my copy of the bathroom key. Of all the things to be fired over!)

Telling Them Off Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

, , , , , | Friendly | June 8, 2017

(I am shopping at our local dollar store when I come across an old lady in the cleaning aisle, spraying air freshener into the air. And it isn’t little sprays — it is massive “oh, my gosh, who was just in the bathroom!” sprays.)

Me: “Ma’am? You really shouldn’t do that.”

Old Woman: “Why? You’re not my boss!”

Me: “I know, but I’m sure there are others in this store like me who are allergic to the chemicals in those bottles.”

Old Woman: “What the h*** does that have to do with it?”

Me: “Well, let me put it this way: when I have an asthma attack and have to go to the hospital because I can’t breath, are you going to pay for my ambulance ride?”

(The old lady’s face pales. She drops the air fresheners on the ground and scampers away to the other side of the store. I go on with my shopping, holding my breath as I walk through the cloud, and grab the one thing I need from that aisle. A clerk stops me as I leave the aisle. I thought for sure the old lady reported me for something but am surprised when she smiles at me.)

Clerk: “Thank you. We’ve been trying to get her to stop for the last ten minutes but she just kept telling us to f*** off.”

You Say Tomato, I Say Death

, , , , , , | Working | June 8, 2017

(I’m in London for the weekend with a friend and we’re visiting a restaurant I always go to when I travel there. They usually have great food and good service, and are strict about allergies if you explain them when you order. I’m deathly allergic to tomatoes and go into anaphylactic shock if I eat any.)

Server: *after taking my friend’s order* “And you, miss?”

Me: “I’d like the English Breakfast platter, but can you make sure there aren’t any tomatoes or any ketchup in it? I’m extremely allergic.”

Server: *surprised* “Seriously? But ketchup is awesome!”

Me: “Sadly, yes. Could you also ask that if anything on the platter is prepared or cooked with tomatoes the chef skips that in my order? I’m fine with losing out on some stuff.”

Server: *sighs* “Fine. But we don’t comp prices if you remove things from the standard order.”

(I’m surprised by this, since they’ve done just that several times for me in the past, but I still go ahead and order and wait for the food to come.)

Server: *with food* “Enjoy your breakfasts.”

(After thanking him, we dig in. Call it paranoia and bad customer behaviour, but I always poke around in my food with a fork before eating out of fear of a tomato slipping in unnoticed.)

Me: “What the h***?!”

Friend: *alarmed* “What?”

Me: *shocked and angry* “There’s ketchup smeared on the underside of practically everything on this plate!”

(My friend, a tiny 5’ 4” woman, storms off to look for a manager while I quietly panic. One couple next to us has taken notice and asks me what’s going on. My friend comes back with a manager and the server soon after.)

Manager: *to me* “I’m very sorry for the mix up in your order, miss. We take allergies very seriously and—” *looks at my plate* “What the bloody h***, [Server]! None of our dishes looks like that, and the lady’s friend has told me she explained her allergy!” *to me* “Do I need to call for an ambulance, miss?”

Me: “No, thankfully I didn’t have any. But this is so not okay. If I’d eaten this I could have died.”

Server: *angry* “No one is allergic to ketchup! Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you’re allergic!”

Manager: “Go to my office. Now.”

(Our food got comped and the chef came out to apologise. The server had written that I wanted ketchup on the underside of everything except the eggs, and being as accommodating as they are, complied with the request.)

This Process Has Some Teething Problems

, , , | Working | June 8, 2017

(This takes place when I’m in boot camp. Several people in my division are told we need to get our wisdom teeth removed. I go to my appointment, and the dentist performing the procedure on me already looks irritated when she walks into the room. When she pulls out the needle to numb my jaw, I start trembling the from anxiety of having a giant needle pointed at my face. The fact that I normally do not have a problem with needles and am having this unexpected reaction upsets me even more.)

Dentist: *sees me shaking and rolls her eyes* “Calm down, would you?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m trying to!”

(She begins to jab the needle into my gums and while it wasn’t painful, it was still extremely uncomfortable. Each time I whimper, she rolls her eyes and grumbles about how people need to quit being babies. She numbs the right side of my jaw and moves to my left side. This time, she practically stabs me in the gums and I immediately feel a sharp pain through the whole side of my face. This causes to me to scream and jump, probably not the smartest thing to do with a needle still in your mouth.)

Me: “OW! WHAT THE F***!”

(I sit straight up and she shoves me back down into the chair.)

Dentist: “SIT DOWN! Stop being so d*** difficult!”

Me: “Woman, that f****** hurt like h***! You hit someth…”

(Right then, my entire jaw closes and seizes up, I can barely open my mouth.)

Dentist: “Stop being such a wuss! You’re just making this worse on yourself, now open your mouth!”

Me: *as best as I can through closed teeth* “I. CAN’T!”

Dentist: “Bull-s***! Quit being difficult!”

(She then tries to physically pry my mouth open which results in a couple minutes of severe pain in my jaw and her getting mad when I reach up to pull her hands away from my face. She eventually realizes that I’m not just refusing to cooperate and there really is something wrong with my jaw. She glares at me for a moment and storms from the room. She returns a few minutes later and throws a sheet of paper at me which turns out to be an appointment slip.)

Dentist: “We can’t do this today. Come back on [date]!”

(I attempt to mime the question “What about my mouth?”)

Dentist: “You’ll just have to wait. If it’s still messed up in a few hours, come back. Get out.”

(I returned to my barracks where it took an hour for my jaw to release and I could open and close it normally. My division commanders and some of my fellow recruits had a good laugh at me in the meantime. I went back on the day the appointment slip specified and ended up with a more cheerful, sympathetic dentist who extracted my wisdom teeth with no issues!)

Don’t Let The Bad Customers Bite

, , , , , , | Right | June 8, 2017

(I work for a “heavy haulers” trash company. We pick up the big stuff the normal guys can’t, like furniture, dressers, and more. In our area there’s a bad bed-bug epidemic, so everyone is required to at least double-wrap the furniture. A woman calls us asking for a date to pick up a couch.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. What do you need?”

Caller: “I’ve got a couch I need to throw away. When can you get it?”

Me: Our next pick up date is Wednesday. All furniture must be at least double-wrapped or we will not take it.”

Caller: “Why?”

Me: “There is a bed bug epidemic in our area and we have to be careful.”

Caller: “But I don’t have bed bugs.”

Me: “That doesn’t matter if you do or don’t. Regulation says all furniture must be double-wrapped”

Caller: “This is bullshit! You’re making me pay extra for wrap for no reason!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but all furniture must be double-wrapped.”

Caller: But I don’t have f****** bed bugs!”

Me: That doesn’t matter. All furniture must be double-wrapped, or we can’t take it. No exceptions.”

Caller: *enraged* “WHAT? YOU THINK I LIVE IN SOME F****** PIG STY?”

Me: “I never said that ma’am, I’m sure you have a lovely home. But as per order all furniture must be double-wrapped.”

(She nearly slammed her phone down, judging from what I heard after ending the conversation with a reluctant “Fine!” and her address. When we went to collect the couch from her alley we saw a wrapping job that looked like she had a seizure when doing it. And while putting it on the truck my partner saw three bed bugs under the wrapper.)

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