Play Possum Until It’s Gone

, , , , , , | Right | November 23, 2019

(I work maintenance for a property management company and often carry a work phone to take after-hours maintenance calls.)

Me: “[Company] repair line, this is [My Name]; what can I do for you?”

Tenant: “Miss [My Name], you aren’t going to believe this. There’s a baby possum in my house. Can you send someone out to come to get him?! I’m scared he’s gonna come up my stairs and climb in my bed or something while I’m sleeping!”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Unfortunately, ma’am, due to state laws, none of our pest control specialists can remove it. You’re going to have to call the Department of Fish and Game and see if they can come out and remove him.”

Tenant: “Are you sure you can’t send someone out sooner?”

Me: “I’m sure, ma’am. It would be illegal.”

Tenant: “Okay. I don’t think they’re open right now so I guess I’ll have to call them in the morning. Miss [My Name]?” 

Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

Tenant: “Possums can’t climb stairs, can they?”

Me: “I think you should be safe if it’s small enough.”

Tenant: “Okay. Okay, thank you, Miss [My Name].” 

(She called me the next morning to tell me the saga of how her neighbor came over and managed to herd the baby possum out of her home.)

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Your Number One Is Not Their Number One Priority

, , , | Working | June 25, 2019

(I’m in my office, taking a toilet break. I’m just sitting there, doing my business, when I hear the janitor come in. It’s a small washroom with only two stalls, so it’s not long before she reaches mine. She pushes on the door and sees it’s in use, so I assume that’s it. Less than twenty seconds later, she shakes the door, muttering something angrily.)

Me: “Sorry, I’m in here!”

Janitor: *shakes the door again*

Me: “Just a moment, I’m still going.”

(I hear more angry muttering. I get about five seconds of respite… and then she sticks her hand under the door with a rag, trying to clean the floor despite the stall still being in use.)

Me: *quickly pulling my legs back* “Yeesh, okay!”

(I was not done, but I quickly finished up anyway and left. The janitor pushed in the moment I was out. She kept glaring as me as I washed and dried my hands. I get that she was probably on a schedule to get the washrooms cleaned, but can’t you give someone a minute? Or at least ask nicely?)

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He Has An Amazing Station In Life

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 29, 2019

I take the commuter rail to work every day. The station I get off at is extremely busy. It is right in the middle of a college campus — people actually walk through the station to get from one side of campus to the other — and has connections to about six different bus lines, a subway line, and shuttle buses to a local medical area. The neighborhood is okay, but not stellar, and lots of students walking through tends to mean a lot of dropped trash and such. The roof is leaky, and sometimes the doors don’t close all the way, so dirt, leaves, and rain get in.

However, this is the absolute cleanest station on the line because of one janitor. This man is a machine. He is constantly sweeping, mopping, cleaning handrails, and picking up trash. Even on the most crowded days, there is hardly anything on the floor. I’ve been seeing him every day, just quietly doing his job more thoroughly than the (higher paid) janitors at the college I work at.

One cold day, I decided that his guy needed some sort of recognition for his work. I got him a $40 card to the local coffee and donut shop and gave it to him, explaining how grateful I was for his efforts. He looked surprised, but then his face lit up with the biggest grin I had ever seen on him. I wave at him all the time now, and I’m glad he knows that at least one of the ten gazillion people rushing by notices his amazing work.

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Whipper-Snipper Used By The Whipper-Snappers

, , , , | Working | May 3, 2019

(I have worked for this company for a full summer as a way to make money to help pay for university. One of the bosses is an almost-70-year-old man that does as much work as he can at his age and is very easy to get along with; however, the other is just a boss and someone that likes to do things her way without thinking of others. On this particular day, I have been sent to do some mowing, which I have done since I was 12 with my family and absolutely hate. My coworker and I are at a residence, and just as we are finishing up I get a call.)

Female Boss: “Hello, are you still at [First Property]?”

Me: “Yes, we were just about to finish up actually and take off. Why? What’s up?”

Female Boss: “I just got a call wondering if we would be able to go mow a lawn for the first time this year. I’ll send you the directions.”

(It is already June, which means that the grass has been growing for approximately six weeks, causing it to be very long. As my coworker and I come to the property, we notice that the grass is out of control. Luckily, we have a very good ride-on mower and a heavy-duty whipper-snipper, but still, it will take a while to do. After we finish mowing we have to rake, which takes as long as the mowing itself. Once we are finished, we load up the machines, but before we can leave the woman who owns the house runs out.)

Homeowner: “Thank you so much for this. My husband is a fisherman and I usually have to mow the whole lawn myself with just a push mower, but it was broken and we just got it fixed. Without you guys, it would have taken me days to mow this.”

Coworker: “It was not a problem; it’s our job!”

Homeowner: “Well, I appreciate it. Here. Take this.”

(She handed us each a bottle of water and $5 as a tip. We refused but she insisted. Even though I hate mowing, it is people like her that make it bearable, and thanks to her $5 I was able to buy an energy drink, which always makes my day easier!)

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A Scrabble To Find The Scribbler

, , , , , | Working | April 29, 2019

(At the factory where I work, coworkers suddenly start writing “funny” messages on the doors and walls of our toilets. It turns out it’s some kind of contest between them. Clearly, management isn’t thrilled, and issues a memo that if anyone is caught in the act they’ll be fired on the spot. But since these are toilets, it is illegal to install camera surveillance. Without any means of surveillance, the memo has no effect and the walls and doors get smeared with more new “funnies” every day. One day, the maintenance department thinks they’ve found a solution in a paint that is supposed to be resistant against all sorts of pens, markers, crayons, etc. They invite a salesman to demonstrate the product. The man comes in with a lot of samples and we all get to try to write on the samples with anything we can come up with: markers, pens, lipstick, pencils, and even spray paint. Nothing sticks to the samples. The salesman cleans every sample without any effort.)

Head Maintenance: “That’s nice. But I want to see this stuff on one door of our toilets.”

Salesman: “Sure you can. I’ll treat one of your doors with our product, but you’ll have to sign this order for it first.”

Head Maintenance: “There’s no way I’m going to buy a product if I haven’t tested it in real life. That’s why we asked for a demonstration in the first place. We’re done.”

(Management found a cheaper solution. They painted the toilets and hired someone to clean the toilets whenever workers used them. That man also checked the toilets for new scribbles. As a result, two coworkers were fired. The walls and doors stayed clean.)

 

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