A Portrait Of A Stupid Landscape

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Working | April 4, 2015

(The senior partner’s nephew works for us as a copy clerk for the summer and the fact that this kid got into college HAS TO have something to do with Uncle Senior Partner. This kid is AMAZINGLY stupid. One day the copier, which has three trays (8-1/2″ x 11″, 8-1/2″ x 14″ and 11″ x 8-1/2″)  runs out of paper in that third drawer. I walk by as he is looking mystified at the supply cabinet where all the paper is labeled either 8-1/2″ x 11″ or 8-1/2″ x 14″. I see the blinking light on the copier and knew what the problem is: it was out of 11″ x 8-1/2 paper.)

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Young Employee: “We don’t have the paper the copier wants.”

(I picked up a packet of the 8-1/2″ x 11″)

Me: “Look, we can MAKE SOME.” *turns the paper on its side*

Young Employee: “Whoa, that’s FAR OUT!”

Swimming In Rules

| UK | Working | January 21, 2015

(I am a trainee lawyer. Each trainee shares an office with their supervisor, who has control over their work and training. We switch departments every few months during our contract and so have a new supervisor every few months. I am meeting my next supervisor. His current trainee is in the room.)

Supervisor: “Now, I have two ground rules in here.”

Me: “All right. What are they?”

Supervisor: “Rule one: Keep With Next. I don’t want to see any headings on one page and text on the next.”

Me: “Fair enough. That bugs me as well.”

Supervisor: “Good, sounds like we’ll get on. Rule number two is that you can’t keep your swimwear on the company law books.”

Me: “I … what?”

Supervisor: “I’m afraid it’s a particular bugbear of mine.”

(He’s looking at his current trainee rather pointedly so I turn around. His trainee starts to laugh.)

Trainee: “Basically, one time I decided to put my swimming trunks on the Gore-Brown textbooks to dry. [Supervisor] got offended. It was only once!”

Supervisor: “Yes, that was the day the rule was born and I’m sticking to it. So those are the two rules. Keep with next and no swimwear on the company books.”

Me: “I’ll… bear it in mind if ever I get the urge to flaunt my swimwear around the office.”

Supervisor: “See, I knew we’d get on!”

(We actually did get on very well. And I never once put my swimwear on the company books.)

Not Enough Skills For The Survey

| USA | Working | January 8, 2015

(I graduated college a year ago. My boss receives a survey from the school asking him to rate my performance and skill sets.)

Boss: “Well, this is interesting.” *hands me the survey* “You do it!” *walks away*

Opposite Of Smart-Phone

| Chicago, IL, USA | Working | January 2, 2015

(I’m a legal assistant. One of the associates, while a good lawyer, is known for being very disorganized and scatterbrained. He has just returned from a hearing and is running all over the office searching for something, while simultaneously having a conversation on his cell phone.)

Attorney: *talking on phone* “Well. I was just thinking about you so I thought I’d give you a call…” *to me* “Have you seen my phone? I don’t know where I put it.”

Me: “Um… no…”

(I’m thinking he must mean another phone than the one he’s talking on.)

Attorney: *searches in office, in file room, continues phone conversation* “Hey, [Other Assistant], have you seen my phone anywhere? I can’t find my phone!”

Me: *half-kidding* “Are you talking on it?”

Attorney: *stops, looks at me, laughs, goes into his office, and shuts the door*

Me: *to other assistant, staring at each other in disbelief* “Did that really just happen?”

Very Bad Reception, Part 11

| Wales, UK | Working | November 3, 2014

(I am junior executive of a solicitor company. Despite being one of the top firms in the UK we are also one of the cheapest with a reputation of taking almost any case, despite being no-win/no-fee in order to help out people who usually wouldn’t be able to afford legal aid.)

Receptionist: *over intercom* “Miss [My Name], there is a very strange man here asking for you. Should I call security?”

Me: “No, it’s okay. I’ll come down.”

(I go to the front to see my boyfriend standing there, looking irritated.)

Receptionist: “This man is insisting on talking with you. I told him that he has no business here.”

Me: *to Receptionist* “This is my boyfriend. He’s here to take me to lunch.”

(My boyfriend smirks as we leave. During lunch my boyfriend tells me how rude the receptionist was to him: that she was telling him he had no business there and that he wouldn’t be able to afford legal aid. My boyfriend is in no way scruffily dressed, but we don’t talk to our clients like that, anyway. I decide to talk to receptionist when I return to hear her side of the story. When I return there is an angry looking man standing by the receptionist.)

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t help you.”

Client: “This is ridiculous. I want to speak to someone in charge.”

Receptionist: “That’s not possible. I’m sorry. You have to leave.”

Me: “[Receptionist], what’s going on?”

Receptionist: “Nothing, this man was just leaving.”

Me: “Okay? Do you want to take lunch now?”

(The receptionist gets up to leave, smirking at the client. When she’s out the door I turn to the client.)

Me: “I am junior partner here. Is there something I can help with?”

Client: “Yes. I can her hoping to make a claim, but that woman said that you don’t help my kind here and that I wouldn’t be able to afford you guys, and that you don’t help tramps. That’s disgusting behavior.”

Me: “I absolutely agree. We’ll have a look at your case for you and determine a course of action. The legal advice is, of course, free for your troubles. We will be having words with our staff shortly, I assure you.”

(It turned out the man had quite an important case that won himself a huge payout and was our biggest case of the year. The receptionist denied everything, but after two more complaints, one from the senior partner’s wife saying that she was called a whore, the receptionist was gone.)

Very Bad Reception, Part 10
Very Bad Reception, Part 9
Very Bad Reception, Part 8

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