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Too Little Too Late

, , , , , | Working | September 24, 2021

[Manager #1] was my manager only briefly, as my old boss left suddenly and a new one couldn’t be found for a few months. She didn’t want to manage me, she didn’t value my job or my input, and she made no attempt to hide it.

A new manager was eventually found, but I never forgot how she treated me. I made every attempt to avoid her, and if she wanted my help, she could ask my boss, and then it was low-priority.

Eventually, I found another job with better pay and fewer hours and handed in my resignation. [Manager #1] made several remarks about me not being a loss to the company. But it didn’t affect me; she didn’t matter and her opinion didn’t matter.

On my last day, she came to my desk.

Manager #1: “Here. Just a little something so as not to part on bad terms.”

Me: “Oh, a card… Thanks.”

Manager #1: “Just a little something, you know. Good luck.”

I already had the bin there for the rest of the stuff in my desk, so the card went there, too. A few weeks into my new job, my new manager pulled me aside.

Manager #2: “We had an applicant get through to the shortlist. I think you might know her… [Manager #1]?”

I was far more professional than [Manager #1] deserved, but I was honest and told him how she had behaved on several occasions. She did not get the job.

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When Mom Projects Her Insecurities, You Project Them Right Back

, , , , , | Related | September 24, 2021

I sew as a hobby and have been occupying my free time by making clothes for my toddler. I’m showing my mother some patterns I got on sale and a bunch of fabric. The fabric has cute stories behind it: extras from prior projects, fabric and trim I found while helping clean out my late grandmother’s place, and fabric I bought at an estate sale for a nice old lady I traded tips with.

She is not impressed.

Mother: “Well, with all this talent you have, why not make some clothes for work? That’s far more practical than all…” *waves hand over my cutting table* “…this.”

Me: “Because most of what I have are scraps. A yard or two is plenty to make clothes for a kid, but not enough for a grown adult.”

Mother: “You could use those scraps to make me some pants instead of spending your time going to thrift stores and making all this frilly stuff. Is [Daughter] even going to wear this?”

This is not the first time she’s made snide comments about my hobby, but I’ve had it at this point. I put on my best customer service smile.

Me: “You know, I have six yards of black twill I need to use up. Why don’t you grab my tape measure and give me your measurements? Waist, hips, and inseam.”

She does this, feeling smug as heck. I compare them to my master sizing chart and go through my stock of patterns, pulling out every pants pattern in her size. There’s a variety of styles, but they are all “women’s” or “plus” patterns.

Me: “Okay, pick one.”

Mother: “Um… these are all… big women’s patterns.”

Me: “Yes, your measurements put you in women’s sizing and not misses’. Pick one, please.”

Now it’s my turn to be smug, as I watch the realization dawn on her that vanity sizing (a common retail practice of labeling a garment as smaller than it is) doesn’t extend to sewing patterns. She puts the patterns down and starts backing out of the room.

Mother: “I guess the pants I have are fine.”

Me: “I guess they are.”

She left it alone and I go back to designing for my daughter. She loves her new outfits! The ladies in my moms’ support group are starting to offer to pay me to make clothes for their kids!

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Stick Around And Get A Free Education!

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 23, 2021

Back in the 1990s, when only the police and 911 dispatch had caller ID, one of the most popular ways teenagers and adults with no lives would annoy strangers would be to call them and either sit and not say anything, ask for someone who didn’t live there, or call and immediately hang up.

At one point in time, these calls seriously became a nuisance to our home where every day, at 7:00 am sharp, someone would call and say nothing, and then at 4:30 pm sharp, they would call and ask for a “Sherry Slone.” Every… freaking… day. Picking up the phone and yelling, “F*** OFF!” did nothing but tickle the person pink and encourage them to call more often.

Then, my dad found a rather interesting solution.

Caller: “Hello, is Sherry Slone there?”

My dad pulled my science book out of my lap.

Dad: “Mitosis, a process of cell duplication, or reproduction, during which one cell gives rise to two genetically identical daughter cells. Strictly applied, the term mitosis is used to describe the duplication…”

The caller hung up. The next morning, they called again and my mother answered. They were silent.

Mom: “Oil painting is a hobby that requires both skill and patience. The supplies that I prefer using is a standard X size brush made out of—”

The caller hung up.

And surprise, all the calls stopped.

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Sometimes Gluttony Comes To Bite You Back

, , , , , , | Working | September 21, 2021

We bring cakes to work for our birthdays. I normally buy plenty as they never seem to last. I joke that it’s like feeding time at the zoo. [Coworker #1] is the worst; she’ll see you come into the office and you can’t even get the cakes out of the shopping bag before she starts eating. Then, she’ll go back several times trying to be sneaky, but she never is.

Honestly, it annoys me at first; she leaves nothing for the other shift, even if I mark up a box for them.

One birthday, as I am leaving, I notice that there are loads left. On my way out, I shout to the next shift that there are some upstairs and to grab what they want, and then I head home.

[Coworker #1] accosts me the next morning.

Coworker #1: “So, it was your birthday yesterday?”

Me: “Good morning, [Coworker #1]. Yes, it was.”

Coworker #1: “So, cakes?”

Me: “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise you weren’t here. Yes, there might be something left in the kitchen. I’m not sure if they have been in the fridge or not.”

She mutters something under her breath; I catch something about saving some for her. She comes back in with the remaining boxes.

Coworker #1: “Well, it’s not my favourite, but I guess it’s something.” 

I ignore her. Apparently, she eats the rest of the cakes throughout the morning. She starts complaining more than usual, and then at lunch, she disappears.

Coworker #2: *Looking through the box* “[Coworker #1] doesn’t leave much for anyone else, huh?”

Me: “Oh, don’t eat the cream ones; they have been sitting in a warm kitchen all night.”

Coworker #2: “[Coworker #1] ate two full boxes already!”

Me: “Wow, I wonder if we will see her today.”

She took the next two days off. She blamed me, of course, but no one took her seriously.

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Mansplain A Mansplainer And Watch Him Implode

, , , , , | Working | September 21, 2021

I am by no means a professional photographer, but while on vacation, I took a photo of a waterfall and liked it so much that I had a large print made to hang on my office wall. One day, the coworker we’ve secretly dubbed “Actually” Man stops by my office. His superpower is his firm belief in knowing more than everyone else and his inability to keep himself from correcting them, even when they’re not wrong.

Coworker: “Hey, I love the photo of the Lower Falls on your wall.”

I’m filled with internal glee because I know what’s coming.

Me: “That’s the Upper Falls, [Coworker].”

Coworker: “Actually, the Lower Falls are easily identifiable as they’re one of the tallest waterfalls in North America and are surrounded by the distinctive colored rock walls of the canyon.”

Me: “Do you see any distinctively colored rock around those falls?”

Coworker: “No, but I’d recognize the Lower Falls anywhere.”

Me: “Apparently not. Those are the Upper Falls.”

Coworker: *Sneer* “Oh, yeah? And how do you know?”

Me: “Because that’s where I was when I took the photo.”

He stared for a moment and then left my office without another word.

I sent an office message to my other coworkers, bringing out a favorite quote from “The West Wing”: “Victory is mine, people, victory is mine. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land. I have rendered ‘Actually’ Man unable to correct!” 

From the office next to me, I heard, “Huzzah!” There was a muffin on my desk when I came back after lunch.

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