PEBCAK, Episode IX

, , , , , | Working | September 10, 2020

My father works as a tech support in a hospital. He is sometimes “on call,” which basically means everyone in the hospital can call him at every, yes, EVERY hour of the day if there is a problem with a PC.

It is 3:00 am, and my mom and dad and I are sleeping in our rooms; mine is right next to theirs. We all suddenly wake as there’s a loud noise; it’s my father’s phone ringing and it’s someone from the hospital. It pisses us off but it happens less than once a month, and no one usually calls at night. It’s a nurse calling.

Dad: “Hello?”

Nurse: “Hello, is this [Dad’s Surname]?”

Dad: “Yes, what seems to be the issue?”

Nurse: “I am at the end of my night shift and I need to write a report down before I go home, but the office PC doesn’t start!”

Dad: “Okay, has it had problems in the past few days? The nurse before you said something about it not working well.”

Nurse: “No, nothing! What do I do?! I need to sleeeeep!

Dad: “What does the monitor say?”

Nurse: “‘No signal. ‘What does it mean?”

Dad: “Okay.”

He tells her what “no signal” stands for and tries to solve the problem. This goes on for about fifteen minutes but the PC still won’t start. Suddenly, my dad has a realization.

Dad: “Wait, look under the desk.”

Nurse: “Okay, what now?”

Dad: “Is the charger in the power-point?”

Nurse: “No? Should it be?”

Dad: *Huffs* “Yes, or else the PC has no electricity to work!”

Nurse: “Eww, but it’s gross! There’s too much dust! Can’t you come here and put it in for me?”

Dad: “Are you kidding me? I am here to tell you what to do, not to do it for you! You are a d*** nurse; you should have some gloves! If you’re so picky, use them! BYE!” *Hangs up*

My dad was fuming, and he was super tired and went back to sleep.

The hospital is one hour’s drive from my house, so the nurse wanted my dad to get in the car in the middle of the night, drive an hour, put a d*** charger in, and come back home. Some people!

PEBCAK, Episode VI
PEBCAK, Episode V
PEBCAK, Episode IV

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How Do These People Keep Getting Hired?

, , , , | Working | September 6, 2020

I’m heading to a coffee break and one of my coworkers is wrestling with the laser printer, which has been out of order since yesterday. It has to be noted that the display has been showing a message, “Replace Drum,” for months before the printer finally stopped working altogether.

Coworker: “Hey, since you’re good with this stuff, would you give me a hand? Put this in the printer and take out the old one.”

She hands me the spare part still in factory wrapping and the instructions leaflet. I don’t find anything especially difficult with it. I replace the part as per the instructions and restart the printer, which immediately displays the “Replace Drum” message.

Coworker: “Why isn’t it working yet?”

Me: “Because the drum still needs to be replaced. The part you gave me is the toner collection tray, and I replaced that. What you hoped to accomplish with that is beyond me.”

Coworker: “But this is the spare part that was ordered weeks ago!”

Me: “And yet it is not the part which the printer instructed you to order.”

When I went to get my coffee, my coworker was standing still and staring at the printer, perhaps trying to subdue it into working again through sheer willpower. In case you chalk it up to “women and technology,” I’m a female, too.

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Don’t Know If We’re Incompetent Or Gassy, But We’re Somewhere In That Zone

, , , , , , | Working | August 27, 2020

When our teams work in certain high-risk sites, each worker must wear a gas detector. Due to a number of failures and calibration occurring at the same time, one of our workers needs a detector, and we’re all out of spares. I check who’s on layoff and not needing a detector in the next weeks and start making phone calls. The first guy is a fresh hire and he confesses he left a detector in the shack at a site a hundred miles away.

The human resources coordinator blows a fuse when I tell her. “What? This is not admissible! I’ll write him up!”

“I’d really suggest you don’t, boss.”

“Why not? He signed when we gave him his personal—”

“He didn’t sign because he never got one. He was always meant for [low-risk] site, but a third man was needed at the refinery, so we gave him a random one and sent him with God. Moreover, he was supposed to get safety training within ninety days of being hired, and despite several occasions and several reminders, the term expired five months ago. Of course, you could still write him up, but there’s a chance it comes back to bite us in the back.”

So far, no letter.

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They Lost That Game

, , , | Right | August 26, 2020

I work at a ludopub, namely a place where you can play board games while also eating dinner. This fact is not very well-advertised, which leads to situations such as this story.

A middle-aged couple enters the ludopub as I’m busy reorganizing the boardgames’ shelves.

Man: “Excuse me, do you have a table for two?”

Owner: “Sure, right over there. What would you like to play?”

Woman: “We’d like [Classical Music Piece] if you don’t mind.”

Owner: “No, I mean, like, what board game?”

The couple stares at the owner in awkward silence for several seconds.

Me: “Are you sure you’re in the right place?”

Woman: “I mean… you did look like a pretty romantic restaurant.”

Man: “Told you to check on the Internet!” 

Woman: “C’mon, how could I have guessed? This kind of place is in ugly streets, not on the waterfront!”

Owner: “Well, we’d be happy to put music on for you and serve you, if you wish.”

The couple hurriedly left the place.

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Glowing With Confusion

, , , , | Learning | August 19, 2020

I’m teaching a radiation safety course for workers doing a project in a Belgian nuclear plant.

Me: “…while the average dose for the general population in Belgium is two mSv per year—”

Worker: “Oh.”

Me: “Why’d you say, ‘Oh.’?”

Worker: “Those poor people.”

Every attempt to explain failed. It’s a small dose, it’s the value for the natural, background radiation, and it is actually lower than our own country. No joy. To this day, [Worker] is convinced that the Belgians inhabit a deadly radioactive wasteland. Eventually, he failed the test, and I wonder if he did it on purpose.

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