Political Labels

| Working | July 7, 2017

(We use smaller child parts that get welded together to make engine cradles for OEM automobile manufacturers. This day, we ended up with two bins of LEFT [Bracket Type] instead of one LEFT and one RIGHT.)

Worker #1: “Oh, [expletive], we got left [Bracket] in the right [Bracket] riser.”

Worker #2: “Is the label right?”

Worker #1: “The label says ‘left.’ Must have been dropped off last shift by MS.” *Material Services* “Coffee must have run out.”

Me: “Maybe the left parts identify themselves as rights. We can’t discriminate anymore. This isn’t Trump’s America.”

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Their Common Sense Expires Months Ago

, , , | Right | June 7, 2017

(My office focuses on wholesale business. We deal with stores across the US that sell the products we manufacture. This phone call is from a small business that sells a few of our products. My coworker takes the call.)

Store: “I need to update my credit card information.”

Coworker: “Ok, let me pull up your information.” *pulls up info* “I see we have a card on file that ends in [numbers].”

Store: “No, no, no, that’s the old card. I need to give you the new number. I can’t believe you didn’t call and tell me my card was out of date!”

Coworker: “I’m terribly sorry no one contacted you, but I can go ahead and get the new card on file now.”

Store: *gives updated credit card information*

Coworker: “Okay, I’ve got that on file now, but I don’t see a pending order.”

Store: “I don’t have a pending order because you didn’t have my updated credit card information.”

Coworker: “Oh, I see. Can I place the order for you now, since we’ve got the new card on file?”


Coworker: “Ok, well, we’ve got it now, so it will charge when you place your next order.”

Store: “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me it was expired.”

Coworker: “If you don’t have a pending order that’s held up by an expired card, then we don’t know that the card is expired.”

Store: “So you have to wait until the order is held up?”

Coworker: “Well, yes, because we have thousands of customers. We can’t monitor every single credit card to see when it’s about to expire.”

Store: “But you sent me an email saying it was out of date.”

Coworker: “….but I thought we hadn’t contacted you…”

Store: “It’s an old email from months ago. It says you can’t process my order until I update my credit card.”

Coworker: “Well, you must have updated it back then, because you don’t have any pending orders, nor any cancelled or on-hold orders.”

Store: “Then why did you send me this email?”

Coworker: “You said it was from months ago? You may have had a pending order months ago, but I can see that all of your placed orders have been processed. We aren’t currently holding anything for you.”

Store: “This email IS from months ago. I updated my card months ago as well. I’m just now reading the email!”

Coworker: “Okay, well, the new card information you just gave me was different from what was on file. So, has your credit card information changed since the last time you updated it?”

Store: “YES!”

Coworker: “So do you need to place an order?”

Store: “NO! NO, I DON’T!!!”

Coworker: “I’m not sure why you’re angry, then?”

Store: “YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME!” *click*

Me: “So she’s mad at us for not being mind readers?”

Coworker: “I guess…?”

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Handshaken To His Core

| Working | May 16, 2017

(Every summer for the past few years we’ve employed a summer worker who isn’t exactly the brightest. He’s smart when it comes to exams and school, but a little gullible and easy to fool. We’re all gathered around the build desks, working on an order while discussing part of the dress code, and someone mentions a specific part of the employee handbook which gets emailed to every full-time contracted employee. I’m known for being quick with sarcastic comments and snappy comebacks.)

Summer Worker: “Wait, there’s an employee handbook? I didn’t know this. Where can I get a copy?”

Me: *getting up and going into the office to phone our manager upstairs about a separate issue* “You only get it when you get a full-time contract and we teach you the secret handshake.”

(As the door closes I hear this:)

Summer Worker: *turning to our apprentices and asking wide-eyed and in all seriousness* “Have you guys been taught the secret handshake yet?”

(Cue me loudly dying of laughter in the office as my manager answered the phone. The rest of the production team could be heard losing it.)

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Milking Young Minds

| Right | April 22, 2017

Me: “Good morning. You’ve reached [Company]. [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling from [Local Kindergarten] regarding your products.”

(I’m surprised but think she might want to know something for educational reasons since I can’t think of any possible way our products could be used in a kindergarten.)

Me: “Sure, go on! I’m happy to help you with your questions or put you through to somebody who can.”

Caller: “We’re soon hosting a carnival and I just wanted to make sure: Are your products safe to use on small children?”

Me: “Wait… WHAT?!”

Caller: “Aren’t you [Makeup Company]?”

Me: “No… we’re a manufacturer for mechanical milkers… for cows.”

Caller: “Oh… Oh, dear! I already thought your company name sounded weird. I’m very sorry. Please don’t tell anybody about this…”

(Turned out said makeup company had the same number as we did, only with a different area code. However, “But can we safely use that product on small children?” still is a running gag in our technical department.)

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Faster Than The Speed Of Nothing

| Working | March 1, 2017

(I’m an industrial automation technician, so I do know a fair share about computers and networks. However, I’m not “IT”, so for them, I’m just another clueless user. I work in an industrial manufacture that is 5km away from the other office where the local IT tech resides. And to top it off, the main offices are 200km away. A few months earlier, the IT team came over from the main office to spend a weekend upgrading equipment and stuff while the production was halted. The very next Monday, everybody around notices that everything on the network seems to be a lot slower than usual. We pretty much all figure that the upgrade isn’t fully done and give them some more time. A few of us complain verbally to the IT department, but it falls on deaf ears. Things are getting worse and worse. I finally have enough so I write an e-mail to the IT leader.)

Me: “This is getting ridiculous. The network is way slower since you upgraded the switches. It takes me over 30 seconds to log a remote desktop session to [Computer A], while I logged in within 5 seconds before whatever you did two months ago. Once I’m in, it’s fast.”

IT Department: “We did nothing. We changed Internet providers. In fact, the new one is way faster than the old one.”

(Along is a print screen of an Internet speed test. I do the same test and have the same results. I write back, including my print screen, but also movies captured with my phone to show how slow things are.)

Me: “I’m not complaining about the speed of the Internet, but the speed of the intranet. That PC I log with remote desktop is located under my feet, in the server room. It shouldn’t take 40 seconds to log-on to. I can’t even download a PDF from the web. After two minutes, it’s still stuck at 80%, while I get it in 12 seconds with my phone.”

IT Department: “It’s probably a problem with your PC. I’ll ask [Local IT Tech] to go have a look.”

Me: “Well, in that case, [Coworker #1] and [Coworker #2] and [Coworker #3] and [Coworker #4] and [Supervisor] and [Manager] have the same issues, and that’s only those around me. I can’t say for other departments, but I’m pretty sure they have the same issues.”

(Unknown to me, my manager has had the same idea of recording his logging session into another remote desktop session, to no answer from IT. Two weeks later, no change, and no visit from [Local IT Tech]. I’ve had a chance to talk to everybody, and they all have the same issues. So, instead of sending an e-mail to the IT leader, I go through the “proper channels” and open a service ticket, stating that every PC at the mill are having similar issues. The next day, [Local IT Tech] is there. My PC is the first target. Within the time she is on it, at least three other people ask her to have a look at their PC when she is done with mine, because theirs too is slow. Two hours later, still on my PC:)

Local IT Tech: “Well, I don’t know. Everything seems fine.”

Me: “No, it’s not. Is it possible that there’s a bad configuration in a switch, or a hub somewhere?”

(I couldn’t believe I was troubleshooting the IT department.)

Local IT: *through closed lips, as if not allowed to say it* “Well, I think [IT Leader] did changed some security protocols.”

(I suggested they have a look at their configuration. She didn’t look at any other PC. Three days later, all of a sudden, everything is fast again.)

Boss: “Well, [My Name], seems your complaints gave some results. Everything is fast again.”

Me: “Well, IT said they did nothing in the first place. They found nothing wrong on my computer. So technically, they fixed nothing by un-doing nothing. Are they really getting paid to do nothing?”

Boss: “I… I prefer not to answer that.”

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