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A Forklift Load Of Attitude

, , , | Working | September 23, 2021

I work for a small company that services industrial laser cutting machines. Since there are only a handful of us service engineers, most of our clients’ employees know all of us. They also know that I’m the least experienced one by far, having joined the company less than two years ago.

One day, I come to service a client complaining that his machine is suddenly cutting very poorly.

Me: “Good morning. What seems to be the issue?”

The client’s employee, who’s the one usually operating the machine, responds.

Employee: “All was fine until yesterday evening, and then it suddenly started cutting like crap. One of the mirrors must have cracked.”

Older laser cutting machines use moving mirrors to deliver the laser beam to the cutting point, and those do occasionally crack due to overheating.

Me: “This may very well be the case, but I need to do some testing first to see what’s going on.”

Employee: “You’re wasting your time. We’re behind schedule already because of this breakdown. Just check the mirrors.”

I ignore him and do my tests. True to his word, the cutting is, indeed, of unacceptably poor quality, but not evenly so across the cutting area, which suggests an entirely different problem.

Me: “It seems that your mirrors somehow got misaligned, not that one of them cracked.”

Employee: “But you didn’t even open the casings to look at them! And why would the mirrors move? Do you know what you’re doing?”

Me: “I’m not going to open the casings, expose the mirrors to dust, and then spend a couple of hours cleaning them if that’s not the issue. Please, let me do my job.”

The employee leaves for a break while I realign the mirrors. He comes back when I’m just about finished.

Employee: “Are you still with that crap? Why don’t you look at the mirrors already?”

Me: “Just finished. Now, time to verify that the alignment is correct. Please load up any of your programs and try cutting.”

Muttering that I don’t know what I’m doing, he does as I ask. The machine cuts perfectly.

Employee: “Well, I’ll be d***ed. But why would the mirrors move?”

Me: “I don’t know. Did anyone hit them by accident?”

Employee: “Not that I know of. What do you think we are, a bunch of apes? We take care of our machines.”

I’m about to leave it at that and write off the reason for the alignment issue as unknown, but then I decide to have a closer look. I’m glad that I did because I notice that the whole laser generator, which weighs over a ton, is not exactly where it used to be judging by the marks on the dirty floor and the bent bolts that hold it in place. Lightbulb moment.

Me: “[Employee], did anyone, by any chance, drive a forklift into the generator just prior to when you started having issues?”

Employee: *Sheepishly* “Um, yeah. Something like that may have happened yesterday.”

Cue me banging my head on the wall. Thankfully, the manager didn’t write off my conclusions as “inexperience” and agreed to install a barrier to prevent this from happening again.

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She’s Shouting On Prints-iple

, , , | Right | August 19, 2021

I’m in the waiting room of an eye clinic in a hospital. A woman in her late sixties and her adult daughter come out of one of the exam rooms. The woman loudly is complaining that she didn’t get a printout of the exam results, and her daughter is trying to calm her down.

Patient: “I always get the printout! They always give it to me! They didn’t give me the printout now!”

Patient’s Daughter: “Mom, stop yelling. You’re not being polite.”

A technician comes out of the room, as well.

Technician: “Our printer is out of order; I can’t print the results. But I sent them up to the ward.”

Patient: “I need to get a printout! I always get a printout!”

Technician: “It’s okay, the ward upstairs has them. I sent them up through the system. We can’t print it.”

Patient: “But I need to get the printout! You need to give me the printout!”

Technician: “I can’t give it to you, but I sent it to the ward.”

Patient: “You have to give me the printout! Just give it to me!”

Technician: “I sent it to the ward. It’s fine.”

Patient: “No, I want the printout now! Give me the printout!”

Technician: “I can’t.”

Patient: “Why not?!”

Technician: “Our printer is out of order.”

Patient: *Suddenly all calm and sweet* “Oh, that’s acceptable. Why didn’t you say so?”

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The Nameless Are Not Blameless

, , , | Right | February 1, 2021

When this takes place, most people have cell phones but calls aren’t yet so cheap that no one thinks twice about making calls. I’m working in a place with a boss who doesn’t mind us making personal calls on the work phones as long as we don’t take advantage.

I’m at work and the phone rings with an incoming call. We use old phones that don’t have caller ID.

Me: “Good morning, [Company]. May I help you?”

Caller: “Did you call me?”

Me: “Please may I have your name?”

Caller: “No, you called me. You know who I am.”

Me: “Sir, this is a business number, not a personal number. It could have been any employee who called you. If you tell me your name, I can try and find out who it was.”

Caller: “No, I’m not giving you my name. You have to know me if you called me. Why did you call me?”

Me: *Sighs* “Sir, we have over a hundred employees here and it could have been any one of them that called you. I bet if I put out an announcement on the loudspeaker asking who called a mobile number and the call wasn’t answered, at least half of the employees would say it was them. If you want me to try and find out who called you, I need your name.”

Caller: “No, you called me. I refuse to give you my name.”

Me: “Well, in that case, I’m sorry but I can’t help you. Have a nice day, sir.” *Hangs up*

I hate it when people call in saying, “Did you call me?” without giving a name.

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You Need To Have A Strong Backbone For This Line Of Work

, , | Right | October 23, 2020

I’m a physical therapist, and I hear my colleague speaking on the phone to a patient.

Colleague: “I’m telling you, if you don’t come to your appointments twice in a row, it’s protocol that we close your file.”

Patient: “So now you hate me? What is this? All I want is to continue my treatments!”

Colleague: “I understand, but as I said before, we can’t do that here. May I ask why you didn’t come to these past few appointments?”

Patient: “Well, my back didn’t hurt anymore so I didn’t need it! But now it hurts again, and now you won’t treat me just because you hate me! I want to speak with your manager immediately!”

I am surprised at how well she has been handling the situation, seeing as how the patient has been screaming at her to the point where she is saying the same thing over and over again in three-minute intervals.

Colleague: “My manager isn’t here today. I have my next patient in a couple of minutes, so, to sum it up for you, if you come tomorrow I will not treat you, not because I hate you, but because those are the rules here.”

Patient: “F*** the rules!” *Click*

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Was Your Brain Confiscated, Too?

, , , | Legal | August 5, 2020

I answer the phone at the investigation department at the police station.

Caller: “Hi. I’m with [Law Firm], and the son of one of our clients had his car confiscated.”

Me: “Okay, can you give me the vehicle’s plate number?”

Caller: “I don’t have that.”

Me: “What is the son’s ID number?”

Caller: “I don’t have that, either.”

Me: “What’s his name?”

Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you have your client’s ID number?”

Caller: *Pause* “Let me call you back.”

He never did.

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