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We Can’t Imagine McDonalds Will Be Knocking Down Your Door For That Recipe

, , , , | Friendly | December 25, 2022

It is Christmas Day. I share a flat with three flatmates, hailing from Nigeria, Korea, and Spain. I am American, and we are all relatively new(ish) to London, and we were caught off-guard a few days earlier when we found out that London (well, the entire UK actually) completely shuts down on Christmas Day. No public transport, no shops, cinemas, restaurants, nothing. Unless you’re a hospital or a hotel you’re pretty much guaranteed to be closed.

Since none of us are going home for Christmas, we make our own plans. We all agree to make food from our respective cultures and have a nice Christmas Day meal together.

They are all talking among themselves.

Nigerian Flatmate: “I am making jollof rice, and some moimoi. It’s really flavourful and spicy!”

Korean Flatmate: “That’ll go well with my fried chicken, and we have some kimchi for sides.”

Spanish Flatmate: “I’m glad you’ve for the rice sorted [Nigerian Flatmate]! I’ve got some Iberico Ham from [Spanish convenience store] and [other items] that we can turn into a tapas.”

They all look at me expectantly:

Me: “I’ve prepped some roast beef with vegetable trimmings.”

All Flatmates: *Forlornly.* “Oh.”

Me: “What’s wrong? Is… is beef not good?”

Nigerian Flatmate: “I was hoping for something a bit more… American.”

Me: “A lot of Americans have roast beef at Christmas!”

Korean Flatmate: “Yeah, but…”

Me: “…but, what?”

Spanish Flatmate: *Stifling laughter.* “They wanted burgers [My Name!] They wanted fries, milkshakes, twinkies!”

Me: *Also stifling laughter.* “American food is more than just burgers and fast food!”

Nigerian Flatmate: “Yes, but… it’s Christmas!”

Me: “What does that mean?”

Korean Flatmate: “I was hoping to send pictures back to my family and make them laugh that I was having burgers with my Nigerian and Korean food.”

Me: “Well… we do have burger buns in the cupboard.”

Suddenly, there was a brainwave. Christmas dinner was served, and my flatmates were all laughing and enjoying the holiday spirit as they video-called families and make them laugh at their moimoi-kimchi-fried-chicken-iberico-ham-roast-beef burgers.

To clarify; they knew American food is way more than just burgers, I just hadn’t done a good job of convincing them otherwise since I had moved in (lots of Subway and Five Guys!). After New Year’s I made a better effort to cook at home more and introduce them to a much more varied selection of cuisine from the USA!

We all still live together and Christmas Day is approaching again, and circumstances mean we’re all here again. I can’t wait to see their faces when I present to them homemade Big Macs as my Christmas Day contribution!

You Made One Mistake: You Showed Them How To Do It

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Flighterdoc | December 24, 2022

Decades ago, I was the IT purchasing person for one of the very largest law firms in the US. We had offices across the USA and in England, and a couple in Asia, as well. I had to arrange for all their IT equipment. This was in the days when law firms were just starting to put a computer on everyone’s desk, and everything was done on Word Perfect under DOS.

A couple of days before Christmas, I got a call from the office manager in the London office. Their laser printer needed a new toner cart, and they were out. They had a HUGE (multi-billion-dollar) acquisition deal going down and needed to get it fixed.

Me: “Who usually replaces them?”

Office Manager: “We have a deal with a local guy who comes and installs them when needed.”

This guy charged GBP350 for the toner cart and another 100 and change for “installation,” roughly a thousand US dollars, which was totally outrageous for a single toner cart.

Office Manager: “He has already left for his holiday, and we can’t find anyone else as things are already shutting down for the holiday. No one here has a clue how to install a toner cart.”

Long story short, the only alternative was for someone to fly to London with a toner cart and install it. We tried to find someone at the NYC office, but none of the techs had a passport.

I decided that if that’s what they wanted, I’d do it. I wasn’t the tech, but I could certainly hum the tune and dance the steps, so I grabbed a couple of toner carts (after verifying the model). I met a jet at Hollywood Burbank Airport and flew to London (eleven hours later).

I got picked up and delivered to the office, made a point of showing the staff how to install the cart, left them a spare, and I was done.

Except… I was stuck in London… on Christmas weekend. And not just Christmas but Boxing Day, as well. There were no flights back to the land of free; they were all booked up.

I called the IT director and explained that I would be delayed.

IT Director: “No problem. Just get a hotel and stay available for any issues that may come up.”

I spent three days in a five-star hotel with room service. I had to buy some personal items, which went on the company. The flight back home? The first seat I could get was in first-class.

All in all, the toner carts that I would buy for maybe $45 each cost the firm well over $150,000 — those jet flights aren’t cheap. Considering the client paid for it, no problem. The firm billed in excess of $10 million for the work — mine, and of course, the lawyers’.

When I got home, I was on vacation anyway since it was between Christmas and New Year’s.

Not all tech support issues are horrible, just most of them!

This Could’ve Been So, SO Much Worse!

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 20, 2022

I started a new job as a lorry driver and had perhaps the worst possible thing happen on delivery. I lowered my tail lift to the ground, and the back door man took the delivery off and reloaded my tail lift with waste and returns. Our tail lifts have ramps that lock upright to restrain the load on the tail lift. It is impossible for me to see from the trailer, and the back door guy must ensure that it is safely locked before I move the tail lift. He gave me the all-clear and I lifted away. I pulled a cage off the tail lift into the trailer and I heard the worst possible noises: crashes and the screaming of a child.

I lept out of the trailer and noticed that the contents of the tail lift had fallen off the unlocked ramp and landed on a small girl who was passing by with her school group. She seemed mostly unhurt but obviously upset. She had two teachers looking after her, so I ran to the back door guy to ask what had happened. He hadn’t stowed the tail lift and was having a cigarette when he should have been supervising.

I reported the incident to my office, and then I followed their advice and reported the incident via the store’s incident report line. The back door guy lied and said that nothing had hit the girl, just landed near her and scared her. When I got back to the yard, I went straight to the office and wrote a statement admitting to any errors I think I made, as well as the fact that it was witnessed and I took details.

Fast forward a month. I’m dragged into a meeting and suspended pending investigation and likely sacking. The manager attempts to steamroll me, but I manage to speak up.

Me: “I will not sign anything here or agree to anything without a Union representative present.”

Reluctantly, the manager calls in a rep, who talks me through everything. He has me accept the suspension and explains that it’s a formality and that the main investigation will be where I can make my case. He somehow gets the investigation arranged for the next day. During the investigation, he lets me speak but adds context or helps me to explain things better. At the end of the meeting, he makes his own statement, which calls out the main three reasons that I was suspended.

Rep: “‘Number one: the incident wasn’t reported properly.’ [My Name] followed the direct advice of management and then further wrote a statement without being prompted. ‘Number two: the tail lift ramp was not secured.’ It was impossible for [My Name] to see if the ramp was secure, and he relied on the back door guy to clear it. He can’t be held accountable for the ramp since he wouldn’t have been able to secure it even if he did see it. ‘Number three: [My Name] did not immediately check on the person who had been injured.’ Firstly, had the ramp been stowed, this would not have happened. Second, the girl was being attended to by her teachers, and [My Name] wouldn’t have been able to help much more. He did offer to call an ambulance and offered to share details when asked. All in all, whilst this is a horrible, unfortunate incident, [My Name] was incredibly unlucky to get caught up and did everything right from his end. I don’t see why it took a month for this to be investigated since [My Name] did report it.”

The end result was that I was completely cleared of fault. The back door guy was sacked for not doing his job properly and not reporting the incident. The store manager was sacked because he did not ensure that his staff knew the correct back door procedures, and the third back door guy (who should have assisted with the delivery in the first place) was put on final warning for not doing his assigned duties. (He was actually clocked out on break during the incident.)

Making A Real Boob Of Yourself

, , , , , , , | Working | December 16, 2022

I work in a fairly male-dominated industry, and most of the female coworkers I’ve had over the years tend to leave quickly because of a fairly sexist atmosphere. I tend to get along with most of them really well. In both my previous job and my current one, I’ve had female coworkers who get along really well with me say that I’m “sweet” and “charming”.

One day, a male coworker speaks to me.

Coworker #1: “I don’t get it.”

Me: “What?”

Coworker #1: “The girls, they all seem to like you, especially [Coworker #2].”

Me: “Okay… and?”

Coworker #1: “They barely talk to me. I told [Coworker #2] that her boobs looked great, and she just ignored me and walked away. You never say anything to her about how great she looks, and she’s all over you and hugs you every morning.”

Me:Really? You just walked up to her and said, ‘Hey, [Coworker #2], I like your boobs!’? Were you expecting her to go, ‘Oh, yeah, here, have a feel,’ or to show you? Crazy idea: have you ever, with any of the girls, just talked to them… like they are human?”

Coworker #1: “Well, no, but girls love being told they look great.”

Me: “Yes, they do, but usually, it’s, ‘Hey, that new haircut suits you,’ or, ‘I love your earrings today.’ What you did was just objectify her and make her feel like an object.”

Coworker #1: “So, I should say I like her hair?”

Me: “It’s a better start than the boobs, yeah. But try just talking to her.”

[Coworker #2] actually walks up behind me at this stage and wraps her arms around me in a hug.

Coworker #2: “And that is why I love you most out of my work friends. [Coworker #1], honestly, don’t even try talking to me. You won’t ever be seeing my boobs.”

Sticky Situations Aren’t My Cup Of Tea

, , , , , , , | Right | December 6, 2022

I love honey on my toast and in my tea, so I usually carry some in a couple of mini jars when I’m travelling. They literally hold about two teaspoons each. I’m having a buffet breakfast in my hotel, and they don’t have honey, so I’ve brought my tiny jar to my table.

The family at the next table spots it.

Child: “Mum, look! I want honey!”

Mum: “Excuse me. Where did you get the honey? We didn’t see any.”

Me: “I don’t think they’ve got any. I brought this with me.”

Mum: “I’ll go ask.”

Off she goes, and I carry on enjoying the last of my breakfast, spreading honey on my toast.

Mum: *To her daughter* “They haven’t got any. We’ll ask the nice lady.”

Dad: *To me* “Excuse me. They haven’t got any. Can my daughter have some of yours?”

Me: “No, sorry. It’s just enough for one.”

Mum: “But she just wants a bit. Can’t you spare a bit?”

Me: “No, sorry, but it’s really just enough for me.”

Daughter: “Daaaaad, I really want honey.”

Dad: “Look, she’s just a kid. Can you just give us a bit for her?”

Me: “No. I can’t.”

I spoon the last of my honey into my tea and put the jar into my pocket.

Mum: *Angry now* “Oh, well, that’s nice. Sorry, [Daughter], the lady won’t give you any honey.”

The daughter starts crying.

Dad: “Are you happy now? Look at her!”

Me: “I’m not the one who promised her honey when there wasn’t any. Yeah, I’m happy. Looks like your day’s going to suck, though.”

I took my tea and headed to my room while the daughter had a complete meltdown behind me.