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No One Wants To Play That Game With You

, , , , , , | Working | December 23, 2021

A former acquaintance of mine was always very hard up for cash, despite earning a good living. He was constantly trying to get me to lend him money until payday, promising that he’d pay me back with “10% interest”. I always politely refused, saying (with complete honesty) that I never lend people money.

One day, he was in very good spirits. Our city was going to host the Grey Cup (Canada’s version of the Super Bowl), and getting tickets to this event was like finding gold dust. His workplace had a free draw for two tickets to the game, and he’d won! 

Me: “Wow, that’s so lucky! I hope you have a great time.”

Acquaintance: “Oh, I’m not going to go. I don’t even like football.”

Me: “Huh?”

Acquaintance: “I only entered the draw on the off chance that I’d win free tickets. Do you have any idea how much I can get for these? I’ll make bank!”

Me: “That’s kinda shabby, dude. There are probably people in your company who’d hoped to win so that they could, y’know, attend the game.”

Acquaintance: “Yeah, so? They can still attend the game if they offer me the highest bid.”

Me: “You’re going to auction the tickets to your colleagues? Don’t you think they’ll resent you for that?”

Acquaintance: “Hey, they’re my tickets. I can do whatever I want with them.”

And off he went, convinced that he was going to make a fortune. Two days later, I ran into him again, and this time he was very glum.

Acquaintance: “Turns out you were right. My coworkers were really pissed that I was auctioning off the tickets.”

Me: “So, what are you going to do?”

Acquaintance: “They pretty much shamed me into giving them back, and they did a redraw. It’s not fair.”

Me: “I think you did the right thing, though.”

Acquaintance: “Whatever. Say, payday isn’t for a couple more days… any chance that you could—?”

Me: “Gotta go.”

Is Your Brain Mid-Sized?

, , , , , , | Working | December 22, 2021

Our daughters moved out in 2017 to share an apartment together. My husband and I helped as much as we could, including renting a truck for all their stuff. Because they had several large pieces of furniture, we selected a mid-size truck.

On moving day, we headed over to the place from which we’d rented the truck. It turned out to be a tiny convenience store, which seemed a bit odd, but whatever. I found my confirmation email and gave the clerk all of my information. He looked a bit confused and then he led us outside and pointed to a very small truck.

Clerk: “You can have that one.”

Husband: “Um, no, we rented a mid-size.”

Clerk: “We don’t have any mid-sizes left. We only have that small one.”

Me: “What about that mid-size over there?”

The clerk spoke slowly, as if to a not-bright person.

Clerk: “You can’t have that one. It’s already been rented to someone else.”

At that point, I was starting to get very upset. There was no way we’d be able to fit some of the larger pieces of furniture into the small truck.

Husband: “This isn’t right. We rented a mid-size. We’re at the right place on the right date; I checked. Why don’t you have one?”

Clerk: “We only have one mid-size, and it’s already rented to—” *checks his system* “—[Badly Mispronounced Version Of My Name].”

Me: “That’s me!

Clerk: “No, you said your name was— Oh.”

We finally got the truck we’d rented. The rest of the day was extremely stressful, and we were so glad when it was over!

Sexism Is Heavy

, , , , , | Working | December 14, 2021

When I was twenty-one in the late 1980s, I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree, and I tried to find work in my field. Alas, jobs were scarce at the time, so, to pay the bills, I became a secretary. I soon learned to not get much respect from my boss and his colleagues. They figured that since I was young and female, I probably didn’t have much in the way of brains. I needed the job, so I gritted my teeth and put up with their sexism.  

One day, I went to grab something from the top drawer of a filing cabinet. I did what I always did: thumb back the release for the drawer and grab the handle with all my strength since it was heavy. For some reason, this time it didn’t “stop” when it was fully extended; it just kept coming, and I found myself with an armful of an extremely heavy file drawer.

Me: “Oh, my God, HELP!”

I got no response.

Me: “HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME, NOW!”

My boss came ambling out of his office, annoyed.

Boss: “What the h***’s the matter?”

Me: “GRAB THIS DRAWER FROM ME! I’M ABOUT TO DROP IT ON MY FEET!”

Boss: “Ugh.”

He grabbed the drawer.

Boss’s Colleague: “Geez, is someone torturing a cat out here? What’s with all the noise?”

Boss: “[My Name] had a mishap with this drawer.”

Colleague: “You’re kidding. I didn’t think filing was something that even [My Name] could screw up!”

[Colleague] laughed. [Boss] chuckled. I glowered.

Boss: “Well, you’re okay now, [My Name], so get back to work.”

I was shaky for the rest of the day, not to mention in pain from strained muscles. No word of solace from any of the higher-ups, of course. Fast-forward to a few months later.

Me: “[Boss], I’d like to talk to you for a minute.”

Boss: “Is it important? Because I’m just about to leave for a meeting.”

He grabbed his golf bag as he spoke. Yes, he really did have “meetings” on the golf course that lasted for hours.

Me: “It’s pretty important. I’ve had an offer for another job, and I’m going to take it.”

Boss: *Stares* “Oh.” *Puts the golf bag down* “Where? Doing what? More secretarial stuff?”

Me: “At [Company], as an entry-level computer programmer.”

Boss: *Pauses* “A computer programmer?”

Me: “Yes. Remember my resume? It stated that I have my Bachelor of Computer Science degree.”

Boss: “Oh, yeah. I remember now. But aren’t you happy here?”

I was not touching that one.

Me: “It’s not that. This is what I’ve trained for, and the money’s much better.”

Boss: “I guess there’s nothing I can do to change your mind, then.”

Me: “No, sorry.”

My new job was everything I’d hoped. It was fun, interesting, and well-paid, and my coworkers respected me. As the final icing on the cake, one of those coworkers was the man who eventually became my husband. We’ve now been married for twenty-eight years.

Tell Me How To Say No To This

, , , , , , | Romantic | November 9, 2021

I used to have a male coworker who was a bit… off. One day, he came into work looking very worried.

Coworker: “I’ve got a serious problem. There’s this gorgeous young woman who takes the same morning bus that I do. We’ve gotten to talking, and she’s really nice.”

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Coworker: “I’m married.”

Me: “Dude, are you saying that she’s hit on you?”

Coworker: “Well, no.”

Me: “What do you talk about?”

Coworker: “The weather, stuff like that.”

Me: “That just sounds like polite small talk to me. Why are you so concerned?”

Coworker: “What if she does hit on me? I don’t think I’ll be strong enough to resist because she’s super hot.”

Me: “From what you’ve told me, it sounds like she’s just being friendly. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Coworker: “No, she wants me. I’m sure of it. Oh, God, my marriage will end!”

Me: *Losing my patience* “Here’s a crazy idea. If she does proposition you, say, ‘I’m flattered, but I’m happily married.’”

Coworker: “No, that’s no good. She’s going to come on to me and I won’t be able to say no.” *Sighs heavily* “The only thing I can do is start taking an earlier bus.”

Me: *Giving up* “Good for you, I guess.”

Ah, Men And Amen

, , , , , , , | Working | August 1, 2021

About a year ago, I would regularly go out for coffee with some of my coworkers. I stopped doing so after a while. These two stories are why.

Story #1:

Male Coworker #1: “Hey, [My Name], how’s it going?”

Me: “Ehh, been better. My daughter’s boyfriend just broke up with her, so she’s really down.”

Male Coworker #1: “Don’t worry; she’ll find someone else.”

Me: *Touched* “Yeah, I suppose you’re right—”

Male Coworker #1: “Women have a knack for finding their next meal ticket. She’ll have another boyfriend by the end of the week, guaranteed.”

Me: “…”

On another occasion, a different male coworker made some really disgusting, racist comments about a political figure I admire, and when I called him out on it, he insisted that he was “entitled to his opinion.” I got up and walked away.

And I haven’t been back.