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Maybe We Should Start With “Love Thy Neighbor”

, , , , , | Friendly | December 7, 2021

A recent conversation between my “Christian” neighbour and me went something like this.

Neighbour: “Your Asperger’s Syndrome is God’s punishment for being an atheist.”

Me: “But I had AS before I became an atheist.”

Neighbour: “Then it’s God’s punishment of your parents for their sin of allowing you to become an atheist.”  

Me: “My parents didn’t ‘allow’ me to become an atheist. I chose it myself, so why should my parents be punished for what I did? And why should I be punished for someone else’s sin?”

Neighbour: *Getting adamant* “You shouldn’t question it. It’s God’s will!”

Me: *Being a bit provocative* “Aren’t your God’s plans for the universe ‘ineffable’?

Neighbour: “Yes, that is so!”

Me: “So, how can you know what your God meant to happen to me and why?”

Neighbour: “I’m a Christian so I can understand these things. You are an atheist so you are refusing to understand!”

Me: “I truly would like to understand how you can claim to interpret your God’s ineffable plans for me. To me, that seems like blasphemy.”

My neighbour, speechless, stalked off.

Being charitable, I have to assume she doesn’t know the meaning of “ineffable”.

Will Not Fork Out An Explanation

, , , , | Right | December 7, 2021

Our gas station has a kitchen, and I’m in the back standing at the expediter station. An old man suddenly approaches.

Old Man: “Pork!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Old Man: “Pork!”

Me: *Confused* “Er… what was your order number?”

The man tells me his order number and I’m still confused, as he keeps saying pork. One of my managers is standing beside me quietly watching the exchange.

Old Man: “Gah!”

The man throws his hands up and walks away.

Me: “What was that?”

Manager: “Beats me.”

A couple of minutes after trying to figure out what he said, my manager holds up a fork to me.

Manager: “He probably meant fork.”

Me: “Well, maybe he should’ve asked instead of shouting at me like I’m an animal?”

He didn’t come back or call management, so good for me, I guess?

Going In Order Is Very Rewarding

, , , , , | Right | December 6, 2021

I’m working in a bar on a really busy Saturday night. Customers are crowded together, but I am doing my best to keep my eye on the order they arrive and serve them in that order. I don’t always get it right, but usually, most folks are patient or polite about it.

[Customer #2] has been waiting a while but definitely not as long as [Customer #1]. I’m not sure if it is alcohol, entitlement, or a combination thereof, but he is not happy when I try to service [Customer #1] first.

Customer #2: “HEY! I was here first; this is ridiculous!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry about the wait, but I’m confident [Customer #1] was here first. I’ll definitely serve you next, though.”

Customer #2: “That’s not good enough. I’ve been waiting for ages. I demand you serve me right now!”

Me: “No. I know [Customer #1] was at the bar first and I will serve you in the order you arrived. I will be with you in a minute or two.”

Customer #2: “Not good enough!”

Customer #1: *Big sigh* “Look, mate, I was here first, but you can serve him before me if you want.”

I admit I am quite frustrated at this point and don’t want to reward [Customer #2] for pitching a fit. I also know that management generally has our back with difficult customers, particularly drunk and/or entitled customers.

Me: “That’s good of you to offer, but I don’t like the way he spoke to me, so I’ll serve him next or not at all.”

Customer #1: “Oh, go on. It’ll be the easiest way to make him go away.”

Me: “Thanks for your offer, but respectfully, I’ll serve you and then him.”

[Customer #1] held his hands up and then ordered. [Customer #2] scoffed and stormed off.

I know I probably should have taken [Customer #1]’s offer, but honestly, I just couldn’t bring myself to reward that behaviour.

Thanks For Taking The Time To Explain That

, , , , , | Working | December 6, 2021

I work for a biotechnology company. The most recent few weeks at work have been EXTREMELY busy — not a moment to sit and think, always running from one fire to another, etc. It’s hectic and crazy, we’re severely understaffed, and everything breaks all the time. We all bring our laptops to meetings because we can’t afford to lose an hour, and we inhale our lunches in five minutes while typing with the other hand.

Our CEO thinks of himself as a cross between God and Socrates. He’s an arrogant a**hole who believes he’s filled with wisdom to impart yet has absolutely no idea how hard everyone is working.

As I was flying between tasks, [CEO] came in with someone I hadn’t seen before.

CEO: “[My Name], this is our new intern, [Intern].”

Me: “Oh, hi, nice to meet you.”

CEO: “She’ll be primarily reporting to you.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

CEO: “She’ll be here all summer. Please put her to work right away.”

I quickly introduced myself and my team to [Intern], who seemed pleasant and competent enough but knew nothing about the company. As grateful as I was for additional help, bringing on a new person means training, and I sure as heck didn’t have time to give even thirty seconds’ worth of training that day. I thought about having her follow me around just to watch, but most of the craziness that day was happening in the lab, and she wasn’t allowed in the lab without certain safety training that wouldn’t even be available to her until the next week.

So, the result was that I did my best to hand her some papers to read, apologized that I wouldn’t have time to do much training that day, and left her at her desk to start reading. It’s not the way to give someone a stellar first day, but I had emergencies and deadlines all through the afternoon, so I really couldn’t do much else.

Apparently, while I was running between tasks later in the afternoon, [CEO] sauntered in to ask [Intern] how she was getting along. He directly asked her what she was working on at that moment, because that’s the kind of a**hole he is. She had already finished reading what I gave her, so she honestly answered that she had read a couple of papers but had run out of things to do.

Next thing I knew, [CEO] summoned me out of the lab, where I was rushing to meet multiple deadlines, and called me into his office. He sighed, got a contemplative look on his face, and seemed to be gearing up for one of his facetious, self-aggrandizing lectures. Meanwhile, I was so busy that I’d brought paperwork with me TO HIS OFFICE to fill out, and I’m pretty sure I filled out some of it while walking down the hall. A lab timer in my hand was counting down to some other unmissable deadline. In other words, on an afternoon when every second counted, the last thing I needed was to be called into [CEO]’s office.

When I arrived, [Intern] was already sitting there.

CEO: “[My Name], do you know why I’ve been successful in life?”

Me: “Why?”

He pretended to take a few moments to think of the answer. I mean, for f***’s sake.

CEO: “Because when I have people working for me, I always make sure they have something to do. Now, five minutes ago, I asked [Intern] what she was working on, and do you know what she told me?”

He then, at great length, described the scene between himself and [Intern], as well as how appalled he was that he’d hired someone to help me, yet I left her without any work to do. Never mind the fact that he didn’t tell me in advance that he was hiring an intern or the fact that he’d dropped her in my lap on a day when I had no time to train her. In fact, I ended up missing several deadlines and timed events that day because I was stuck in [CEO]’s office, listening to him talk about time management.

I don’t work there anymore. They never understood that if you don’t hire enough people, you’ll be stuck forever in a downward spiral because even the people you have are too busy to train the new people.

Holding On To Their Bad Attitude

, , , | Right | December 6, 2021

We’ve had an overhaul of our library system and, as a result, unfortunately, some holds have slipped out of the system. I understand that this is an inconvenience to the patrons, and we have tried to communicate it to the public to the best of our ability, but there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, and some patrons like to blow it way out of proportion.

Patron: “I’m waiting for a book I have on hold. When is it going to come in?”

Me: *Checking the account* “Oh, I’m so sorry. I can’t see any holds on your account. We’ve had a glitch in the library system lately that caused some holds to disappear, so just tell me which book you want and I can put it on hold for you again.”

Patron: “That is completely unacceptable! You had better put me next in line on that book or else!”

Me: “If you would please tell me what book it is, I will see what I can do.”

Patron: “How am I supposed to remember that? I put a hold on that book in February. You should know what book it is; just look it up on your little computer.”

Me: “As I have told you, unfortunately, we had a problem with the system, and some holds don’t show up anymore. I know it’s inconvenient, but there’s really nothing I can do about it. If you know which book you were waiting for, I can put it on hold for you again, but the data on some past holds has unfortunately been lost. I would like to help you, but I can’t do anything about this specific problem.”

Patron: “Well, that’s unacceptable.”

Me: “I agree. I’ve been on the phone with the company that supports the system for days, but apparently, they can’t do anything, either. I’m very sorry. If you remember the book you had on hold and approximately what date you put a hold on it, I will put that in the system for you.”

Patron: “Well, how are you going to compensate me?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Patron: “I think I deserve some kind of compensation for this, don’t you?”

Me: *Completely fed up at this point* “Absolutely.” *Gestures to the room* “Just for you, any one of the books you can find on the shelf today, you get to borrow completely for free and keep for six weeks.”