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Even Chris Griffin Isn’t That Stupid

, , , , , | Learning | September 26, 2021

It’s the first day of classes, so we’re going over the syllabus.

Professor: “Now, here are my rules on using technology in class. I don’t mind y’all taking notes or whatever digitally as long as that’s actually what you’re doing and you aren’t being a distraction. A couple of years back, I caught one guy on his phone during an exam. The weird part was that he wasn’t even cheating. He was watching Family Guy! Good lord, can you imagine watching a TV show on your phone during an exam?! Or sitting next to someone that is?! Don’t be that guy, please.”

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An Inattentive Attendant

, , , , , | Working | September 23, 2021

I go to the gas station and pull up at one of the pumps. It’s morning, and the gas station is empty. I get out of my car, run my card at the pump, select my fuel type, and put the nozzle in the gas tank. It clicks but nothing happens. The pump is clearly not running. I check the pump to make sure I actually selected the fuel type; yes, I did select the fuel type I wanted since that one is showing the price, whereas the other two are no longer showing the price. I try again; nothing comes out. I check to make sure my credit card was read by the machine; the screen does not indicate anything is wrong. I try to get the pump started a few more times, each time checking both the fuel screen and the payment screen to see if I missed a step. There is no sign indicating that the pump is out of order. Finally deciding that the problem may be the attendant failing to activate the pump, I finally go inside.

The attendant is standing at the counter, looking at me. Considering that I am the only customer at the station and the pump I used is in her direct line of vision, I am wondering why she would not activate the pump.

Me: “Hi, pump two appears to not be working, and I checked everything—”

Attendant: “Yes, there was a sign on there before, but someone took it down. It only works on Premium.”

There is a long pause after she speaks. I stare at her, waiting for her to offer further assistance. I am incredibly confused as to why she would not replace the sign or put a bag over the pump. By all appearances, she seems to have literally NOTHING to do, and there were no cars around when I pulled in. In the past, I’ve even had attendants alert me over the intercom if something was wrong with my pump or the card reader as I was using it. This particular attendant makes absolutely no move to help, and her response does not offer a solution, like suggesting that I move to a different pump.

Me: “Um… are all the pumps like that?”

Attendant: “You can move to pump four if you want to use Regular.”

I sputtered a bit because I was frustrated and trying very hard not to take it out on her, even though I felt like she did nothing to prevent the situation from happening and seemed to not be interested in helping further. I just walked out of the gas station, moved my car, and tried again with pump four, which works perfectly.

I kept looking at the broken pump; the attendant was not coming out with a sign. I went to my car to make my own sign since I felt like she was going to let this happen to everyone who came to that pump. However, the second I was done making my sign, she came out with a sign and put it on the pump. We both made eye contact for a long moment before she turned around and went back inside. I just got back in my car and drove to work, making a mental note to never to go to that gas station if I could avoid it.

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A Negative Business Interaction

, , , , , | Working | September 20, 2021

I often have to get into the warehouse inventory to make sure we have the items we need when handling warranty replacements to send out to customers. My bosses and I mostly communicate via company IM as most of us work from home.

Me: “I’m going to assume that the inventory we have for coils is off.”

Boss: “Why do you say that?”

Me: “Because I don’t think we actually have negative thirteen thousand coils in there.”

My boss disappears for fifteen minutes.

Boss: “Well, that’s definitely off. We have some.”

Me: “Can I still put this sales order through?”

Boss: “Yes, I’ll deal with it.”

We currently are at negative fifteen thousand coils now. He claims he’s going to deal with it any day now.

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Raise The Stakes And They’ll Call Your Bluff

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2021

I had a coworker who was really very good at his job — when he wanted to be. He was rather lazy and didn’t really show initiative. One day, he decided he wasn’t making enough money, so he almost stopped working altogether. He did the bare minimum to keep his job.

After about two months of this (and numerous counseling sessions with the boss), he marched into the boss’s office and demanded an almost 40% raise or he’d quit.  

The boss told him that wasn’t possible and wished him well in his new job.

The next day, the coworker came in and tried to retract this, but the boss said no, too late.

Moral of the story: before you threaten to quit, make sure you are actually valuable.

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How Do These People Operate Their Cars To Get To Work?!

, , , , , | Working | September 15, 2021

I work at a small library branch where I have become, through no fault of my own, responsible for IT and technical issues. I have no formal training; I’m just the normal amount of tech-savvy for my generation, having grown up with computers and smartphones, while most of my coworkers are quite a bit older than me.

I’m a problem-solver at heart, so I don’t mind helping out, but there are a few coworkers who frustrate me to no end, because they will not even TRY to understand when I explain to them how to troubleshoot small problems like, “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?”

The first year I work at this branch, it is finally time to go on summer vacation. Joy and celebration, a whole four weeks where I can just mind my own business!

I know that there are probably going to be technical issues while I am away because there always are, so I sit down and write a long list of things that might happen, how to deal with those things, and who to call if said things do not resolve themselves on their own. I make sure that everyone who will be working during my vacation has read the list and understood it, I make sure that there are copies of the list everywhere, I make it clear that I will probably be unreachable for most of my vacation, and I leave a list of numbers to call in case something happens that is not on the list.

Then, I go on vacation. It is fantastic and I have a great time. Then, the last weekend before I am supposed to go back to work, I log into my work mail, just to check what happened while I was gone and what I will have to deal with on my first day back. I find a long string of increasingly annoyed emails from my boss, who is stationed at the main branch, about how I should have made sure everything was functioning correctly before I went on vacation.

I get back to work and find out that, two weeks into my vacation, there was a power outage. This apparently caused some kind of glitch that made our self-checkout machine stop working. As a result, my coworkers had spent the past two weeks checking everything out manually and they were not happy.

Coworker: “[My Name], finally! You need to fix this now. It’s been impossible to work like this.”

Me: “Ooookay? Did you look at my checklist at all?”

Coworker: “There was nothing on there about what we were supposed to do if the power went out.”

Me: “Did you look at step number one?”

Step number one for everything is, of course, “Turn it off and turn it on again.”

Coworker: “I don’t know how to do that! That’s what we have you for!”

I crawl under the self-checkout machine, turn it off, and turn it on again. While waiting for it to start up, I turn back to my coworker.

Me: “So, that’s how you do that, just like I showed everyone before I left. I have to ask though, did anyone call IT for help? Or the library system supplier? This is literally what they’re for, and the numbers are right there in the checklist.”

Coworker: “But you’re the one who deals with those people. We don’t know how to do all this technical stuff.”

Me: “If you call IT, they will tell you exactly how to do all this ‘technical stuff’. They are very nice people, I promise.”

Coworker: *Huffily* “Well, it’s still your job.”

The self-checkout machine started up again, connected to the servers, and worked perfectly within five minutes. I went back to my desk to try to apologize to my boss and explain in the kindest possible words that my coworkers were technical disasters who were incapable of following simple instructions. 

I tried to bring up the issue at the next staff meeting, but the general consensus among my coworkers was that I should just be on call for technical issues whenever I had time off. I said fine, as long as I got the appropriate pay rise. The boss said no. I did not stay much longer at that workplace.

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