God Gets Paper Jams Too

| Milwaukee, WI, USA | Working | January 8, 2017

(I work in a law office that I love, but where the employees are by and large not very good at technology. To remedy this, our office has started doing monthly optional tech lunches. This is the email announcement for one of them.)

Announcement: “Just a reminder for the next Brown Bag Tech Lunch, next Friday at noon. The title is: ‘Why you should not ask “Why?” when your computer or file won’t work.’ Some of the subjects to be covered:

Why did [Coworker #1]’s PC lose its ‘Trust Relationship’ with our network?

Why did [Coworker #2]’s password change not stick?

Why did almost every PC in the Milwaukee office refuse to install updates?

Why does almost everyone’s Citrix session crash occasionally?

Why did the printer print out gobbledy-gook?

Why did [Coworker #3]’s scanner refuse to scan a document?

Is there a God?

Plus, some things you can do that might keep things like that from happening.

No need to RSVP. Will be available by video conference. See you there!”

Won’t Be Haunted By This Marriage

| Leesburg, VA, USA | Romantic | January 4, 2017

(My fiancé and I decide last minute to have a small wedding with just our direct family members. I am slightly disappointed to be getting married in a lawyer’s office, but happy to be getting married to my fiancé. Once everything is done, we are about to leave when things get interesting.)

Me: “Thank you so much! This building is actually quite lovely. I was expecting a standard building.”

Lawyer: “Oh, no! This is one of the oldest buildings in town! It was originally a tavern in the 1700s and over the years it’s been many different things. In the Civil War alone it was a military hospital, prison, and mortuary! This place is actually haunted! Want to see?”

Me: “Absolutely! Impromptu ghost tour and finding out I got married in a haunted house? Best wedding surprise ever!”

(He then took us on a tour of the building and attic. Soldiers from the Civil War had drawn directly on the walls and a few drawings were depicting ghosts that had been seen in the house over the years! It was completely accidental, but it made the day even more eventful!)

The Runner Is Running Into Your Job

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Working | December 20, 2016

I have worked for 15 years at a law-firm. I am the person in charge of the computer network, and because I am also an assistant to the managing partner, I coordinate the monthly staff lunch and the monthly staff breakfast.

A very insecure coworker gets promoted to office manager, and she hires a girl to work as a runner/clerk. All this person’s duties involve is making copies, making coffee for the conference rooms, and running documents to the courthouse.

One month, I make the mistake of asking her to pick up the donuts for the monthly breakfast. She immediately goes into hyperdrive and takes over the breakfast with the permission of the new manager. Suddenly, she is ordering a ton of unnecessary stuff that no one even asked for, and arranging the donuts in weird ways.  We’ve always just sat out the boxes of donuts and bagels and cream cheese, with napkins, paper plates and plastic ware. Not on HER watch. Now she has them each on separate plates on big trays that she went out and bought and charged the company. There isn’t room on the counters in the lunchroom for the big trays so she places the trays of donuts and bagels on top of the garbage cans. Really appetizing.

She becomes particularly hyper about usurping anything I do and doing it badly. She starts trying to interfere and tell people what to do about software problems and countermanding my instructions on things — which she is in no way trained for.

Finally, she went too far on that and tried to fix one person’s computer while they were away from their desk, by deleting all the “clutter” on their C: drive to make it neater while completely failing to go to the courthouse with documents that were time-sensitive because she was too “busy” trying to do my job. She was not very competent anyway, and instead of making sure she had a job she could do, this office manager, apparently in order to mess with me, got her in so far over her head that she ended up out of a job entirely.

The Sick Reality

| New Orleans, LA, USA | Working | November 23, 2016

(One of the attorneys I work for used the wrong file number in a dictation; fortunately, I am familiar with his cases, so I figure it out.)

Me: “You need to be careful. If I were out sick, another secretary would’ve had a problem with that.”

Attorney: “You can’t get sick!”

Me: “I wish that were true, but you know I can. It’s happened.”

The Coffee Is Protected

| Milwaukee, WI, USA | Working | November 10, 2016

(I work for a non-profit firm that doesn’t always have state-of-the-art technology, which means we experience more than our fair share of technical difficulties. On this particular day, our main server has crashed in epic fashion, knocking out computers and phones for everyone in the office. It’s been down for more than an hour when I take a break from paperwork to heat up some coffee in the break room microwave.)

Coworker: *walking by* “Look at you! You found an electronic device in this office that’s working!”

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