Beginning To Sound Like A Broken Vinyl Record

, , , , , , | Working | September 18, 2018

(Within a few months of starting my job, I develop a latex allergy. Because I need to wear gloves to collect samples, my boss orders in some nitrile gloves for me. They are only for me to use because of the higher price compared to the latex gloves. A few months later, I start getting horrible itching on my hands during work. It sometimes spreads to my face and arms, and gets so bad I need to jump in the shower the moment I get home and scrub myself raw to try and make it stop. After a process of elimination, I figure out the source and go to my boss.)

Me: “So, you know how I’ve been itching lately?”

Boss: “Yeah.”

Me: “I think I know why, and if I’m right, you’re not going to like it. I think I’m allergic to the nitrile gloves, as well. I need to test it out.”

Boss: “Oh, my God, you’re so bloody precious.”

(I was allergic to the nitrile. I now have vinyl gloves and strict orders not to develop any more allergies.)

That’s Totally Riddikulus

, , , , | Working | August 30, 2018

(I work as a lab technician in a factory. I’m one of the few females in a workplace full of males who — sometimes literally — think they know it all. There is one coworker in particular who served a short stint in the Navy years ago and now tries to insert this into conversation wherever he can, in order to talk about his “hard time served in the military.”  This guy served a few months and then was quietly discharged due to some obscure medical condition. The way he talks about it, though, he was on the front lines, digging trenches, giving orders, etc. I’m just going about my job, and it’s common for people to come into the lab for an assortment of different reasons. Also note that I’m wearing a Harry Potter shirt this day with the spell “Expecto Patronum” on the front.)

Coworker: “Hey, turn around. I want to read you shirt… Expecto Patronum… Oh, I know this! It’s Latin for, ‘Expect Greatness.’ I learned it in the Navy!”

Me: *trying not to burst out laughing*

Coworker: *sees me grinning from ear to ear* “Is that it?! I’m right, aren’t I?”

Me: “Uh… Actually, it’s a spell from Harry Potter.”

Coworker: “Oh… Huh. Must have been something similar that I learned in my time, I guess.”

(Sure, dude… Whatever you say. I got a good laugh out of it with my Harry Potter-loving friends and coworkers.)

Not The Big No-No-No You Thought It Was

, , , , , | Working | August 17, 2018

(I’m from a non-English speaking country and I’m doing a post-grad at a botanical institution. Two colleagues from my country have been here for six months and they show me the basics of living in Cambridge.)

Colleague: “So, if you finish working late you can either get food at the petrol station or at a deli in this road… but for the main shopping, there’s a supermarket down this road. When you go to the cashier, she’ll ask you three questions. I don’t know what she means, but it’s easier if you always say, ‘No, no, and no.’”

(I did my main shopping on the first weekend and I found out that the dreaded three questions were, “Do you have a reward card?” “Would you like a bag?” and, “Would you like any cashback?” Also, they were always pronounced in the same way, and very clearly by all cashiers, so I don’t know how my colleague couldn’t figure out what they said. When I explained it to him, however, he was very happy to get cashback at the supermarket instead of walking all the way to the ATM!)

Got The Scoop On Your Safety

, , , , , , | Working | July 12, 2018

(I work in a laboratory, and part of my job involves sampling products with long metal scoops. Our autoclave is broken, so to sterilise the scoops, we’ve resorted to spraying them with ethanol and then burning it off over a bunsen burner. It’s a little dangerous, especially when the ethanol inside the scoop ignites and a small flame shoots out of the opening. I am currently sterilising a batch of scoops when the safety officer comes in on his regular inspection. He looks around the lab, then stops next to me, watching me spray then flame a scoop.)

Safety Officer: “So, is there anything here, in the lab, that you have concerns about? Anything that you feel is a safety issue?”

(I look at him, then at the burning scoop in my hand.)

Me: “No, not at all.”

Safety Officer: “Oh, good.”

(We got excellent marks on that inspection.)

Careful, They’ll Be Watching You

, , , , | Working | July 2, 2018

(In our weekly lab meeting, one of my colleagues is presenting a complicated experimental plan with a lot of procedures over the course of several days.)

Boss: “You’re putting yourself at risk here by having so many steps. Every step you take…”

Me: “Every move you make?”

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