It’s Good For The Boss That You Have Internal Filters

, , , | Working | March 18, 2019

(I work as an intern in the lab. One of my jobs is filtrate mud to separate clear water from solid particles. This batch’s mud is exceptionally thick and the filter paper tears easily, so I use two layers of paper per filtration, as my supervisor recommended. It means a filtration that usually takes half an hour now takes two to three hours, but it is the only way to get it done properly. The boss of the lab pops up and see me preparing the layers. He is not a great listener and thinks he is always right.)

Boss: “Why are you doing it this way? It’s going to take forever! You only need one filter paper.”

Me: “I need to use two this time or it doesn’t filter properly. [Supervisor] told me—“

Boss: “Don’t be ridiculous. Here, let me show you.”

(I internally cringe, as him doing experiments always results in me and my supervisor spending hours cleaning after him, and I just know this time is not going to be any different. But he is my boss, so I let him to it and go work on other tasks. I keep an eye on him for twenty minutes and see him struggle and keep tearing the filter paper, mud going through instead of clear water. He finally “has something urgent to do in his office,” which is my cue to clean up the huge mess. I try my best to scoop mud from the flasks and everything the boss used as quickly and efficiently as possible, so we can still analyze the sample before it dries up. Seeing the disaster, my supervisor gives up what he is doing and helps me. As we are finishing up, the boss comes back from his urgent matter. He looks at us cleaning for a little while and tell us patronizingly:)

Boss: “Yes, you see, for this batch, you should use two layers of filter or it goes everywhere! Remember it for next time.”

(He promptly exited and let us bask in his wisdom.)

Need A Worst Customer Of The Day? Hold My Beer

, , , , | Right | February 22, 2019

(It is fifteen minutes before I clock out and a few tables have just emptied, so I am cleaning up as much as possible before I leave the bar understaffed to catch the last train home. Three men are ready to order, so I drop everything to take their order of two whiskeys and a beer. They don’t ask for anything with their whiskey so I bring it to them neat and go back to cleaning up. The guy drinking beer calls me over and starts in on me angrily.)

Beer Drinker: “Is this how you serve in this place?”

Me: “Yes?”

(I don’t know what he wants but he is gesturing at the whiskey, so I assume ice.)

Beer Drinker: “This is horrible service! This is not how you serve customers! Where is the ice?”

Me: “You didn’t ask for ice, so I assumed you wanted it neat.”

Beer Drinker: “This is not how you should treat a customer! Where is the owner?! How dare you treat me like this! You are a horrible waitress! How long have you been here? You’re new. aren’t you?! You won’t be here for long…”

(He just continues on his tirade while I continue cleaning tables nearby. His friends who are actually going to drink the whiskey try to stop him but he isn’t stopping.)

Me: “If you have a problem with the service here, you are welcome to leave. I am not obligated to serve rude customers with a smile. You did not say, ‘please,’ or, ‘thank you.’ I gave you what you asked for, so if that’s still not good enough for you, then there’s the door.”

(The beer drinker at this point starts swearing at me, and his friends start to drag him away. At the door, he yells, “F*** off!” at me. Since they haven’t touched their drinks I yell back.)

Me: “Bye! Thanks for the drinks!”

(Staff got free whiskey and beer out of it.)

Japan Has Its Zombie Apocalypse Licked

, , , , | Learning | December 17, 2018

(I teach English in Japan. Near Halloween, we have special lessons teaching kids about the culture and words connected to Halloween. For this particular class, we have an assignment to draw a monster and write a paragraph to describe it, following a particular format. This student has a friendly rivalry with her brother.)

Sister: “This is my monster, Beroberobero [Brother] Zombie. He isn’t a candy. He is a zombie. He can everything lick. He can’t kill people.”

Brother: *in Japanese* “I can’t kill people? Being a zombie is no fun if you can’t kill people!”

Sister: “But you can lick things!”

This Sunshine Rose In The East

, , , | Hopeless | September 28, 2018

(I am an exchange student in Japan, and I also work part time at an English school. Currently I am handing out leaflets for my school in front of a subway station. A lot of people glance at me, but very few take the leaflets, so I feel a little embarrassed. I am reading out a spiel in Japanese about our school when a little old lady comes up to me.)

Little Old Lady: “[Something in Japanese that I can’t hear because of a train passing by]… very beautiful!”

Me: *in Japanese* “I’m sorry?”

Little Old Lady: *after a little thinking, in English* “Your hair!”

Me: *in Japanese* “Oh, thank you!”

Little Old Lady: *in Japanese* “Yeah, you have a really beautiful hairstyle! How do you braid it like that?”

Me: *in Japanese* “Oh, it’s really simple…” *explains how to braid the hair*

(We end up chatting about hairstyles a little more, when I remember why I’m there in the first place.)

Me: “Oh, would you perhaps be interested in taking English classes?”

Little Old Lady: “Oh, no! I’m too old to remember all that stuff!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sure that’s not so!”

Little Old Lady: “I’m sorry for not being interested in what you’re promoting.”

Me: “No, that’s okay! Thank you!”

(She didn’t take a leaflet, but she was the best customer I had! Thank you, lady, for brightening the day of a silly, lost, foreign girl! I really wish I knew an equivalent of, “Thanks for brightening my day!” in Japanese!)

Code Blue: Lazy Coworker!

, , , | Working | September 25, 2018

(I work on a Navy ship. I go into my work-center one morning and see something I never even imagined I’d ever see. The filters for electronic equipment I am responsible for have turned BLUE over the weekend. It turns out my coworkers had to repaint a door and sanded it down in the work-center first; thus, the blue paint dust got sucked into my equipment’s filters. Cleaning the filters falls under a specific maintenance plan, and this one is a monthly “check.” However, by the rules, I can slip in an extra one if the need arises, as long as I tell the work-center supervisor.)

Me: “Hey, [Supervisor]. My equipment is… blue. I’m going to do the M1 check on it.”

Supervisor: “Okay. Thanks for the heads up.”

(Some time later:)

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]… That check was scheduled for me this week, anyway.”

Me: “Was it? Okay, well, it’s done now. I wasn’t going to leave it with blue filters.”

Coworker: “Well… you’re not going to do the rest of my checks, too?”

Me: “Seriously?”

Coworker: “Yeah, you should do the rest of my checks, too!”

(Yes, my coworker was annoyed that I didn’t do the rest of his work for him. He didn’t care that the job needed to be done immediately — obviously dirty filters are an electronic safety issue! He just felt I should have done the rest of his work for him, too.)

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