Self-Insufficient

, , , , , , , , | Working | June 22, 2018

After a buyout, I’ve been temporarily acting as manager of a large group of employees. I’ve separated them into two groups, and each is coming to spend a week training at our headquarters. In preparation, I set up Google documents page with the training schedules, training reference information, maps, lists of contacts, information about the hotel, forms for travel reimbursement, and local information such as taxi services and restaurants. I then email each employee their specific plane tickets and hotel check-in information.

As I am in a supervisory role, this is not my job, but I choose to do this to make my employees’ training easier. Their point of contact for travel is a secretary at headquarters.

Almost immediately, I get the calls from people unwilling to glance through the documents that were provided. Two employees are specifically difficult.

[Employee #1] calls for every question on his trip. He has chosen to rent a car, and expects me to stay on the line with him and give him turn-by-turn directions around the town where the headquarters are located. Each time I tell him to use his company-issued phone for GPS, but he keeps calling. He also emails every morning asking me his daily training schedule. In response, I just keep re-forwarding the initial email with a note that information was already provided.

[Employee #2] just doesn’t read anything. He is scheduled to train with the second group, but having not read the email, doesn’t know that. Instead, he assumes he will be in the first group, books his own flight, and flies out to headquarters. I don’t realize there is an issue until he fails to show up at work on Monday. Then, I get a furious phone call from him complaining that he isn’t booked for a hotel. The secretary at headquarters manages to rearrange things so he can join training that week, but he takes to calling me for any question he might have. Over six days, this amounts to 49 different phone calls. Each has a question that was already answered in the initial email, or is local information he could easily Google.

Afterwards, the company brings on the permanent replacement manager. About a month later, the company decides to make cuts, and I am asked to work with this new manager to decide who will stay. After discussing our experiences, we decide that both [Employee #1] and [Employee #2] show the same lack of attention to detail and zero self-sufficiency in their normal workday that they displayed during the trip.

When they are let go, they have to turn in their phones. I know I made the right choice when I find out I was listed as “Queen Bitch” on [Employee #1]’s contacts!

Snakes, Why Did It Have To Be Snakes

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I am working at a wildlife clinic where we care for injured or orphaned animals brought in by the public. A somewhat anxious-looking woman comes in to the exam room, gingerly holding a small, sealed plastic sandwich bag away from her body. I can’t see what’s in the baggie, because it’s very thickly frosted on the inside with ice crystals.)

Woman: *drops baggie on counter, making a faint clunking sound* “I need you to take a look at this snake for me. It was in my garage.”

Me: *thinking she wants me to ID the species; something we’re asked to do sometimes when people are worried about venomous snakes* “Sure, no problem.” *starts to open baggie*

Woman: *screams and jumps back* “No! DON’T OPEN IT!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t see the snake well enough through all the frost to tell what species it is. I have to open it.”

Woman: “But it might get loose! It’ll bite me!”

Me: “Ma’am, the snake is dead. It can’t bite anyone, I promise.”

Woman: “You don’t know that! It might still be alive! What if it’s poisonous? How do you know for sure it’s dead?”

Me: “Well, for one thing, it’s frozen solid—”

Woman: *interrupts* “It could thaw out!”

Me: “Not instantly, ma’am; and aside from that, the snake itself appears to be half-flattened, and in four separate pieces. Trust me: it’s very, very dead.”

Woman: “It was under the garage door. I made my husband cut it up with the shovel. It could be poisonous! Be careful; it might still bite! Why aren’t you wearing gloves?” *points to the gauntlets we use for eagles*

Me: “Those aren’t for snakes, ma’am. Don’t worry; I’m a professional. Besides, this is a black rat snake, a baby one. It’s nonvenomous and completely harmless.”

Woman: “It’s not a black snake! It’s got diamonds on it! It’s a copperhead, I know it!”

Me: “Black rat snakes start out patterned; they don’t turn black until later. And copperheads are copper-colored, hence the name. This snake is silver. Copperheads are actually pretty rare in this area. This snake is harmless, I promise. Actually, some people like having rat snakes around because they keep the mice at bay!”

Woman: *suddenly angry* “Well, fine, then. You might be a big snake lover, but it could’ve been poisonous. I had to kill it! I could have died.”

Me: “Well, luckily, this one wasn’t! Have a nice day!”

(The woman leaves.)

Coworker: “What the hell was that all about?”

Me: “Uh, I guess she really doesn’t like snakes.”

Unfiltered Story #115156

, , | Unfiltered | June 19, 2018

Me: Hi, how are you today?

Customer: I’m happier than a moskeeter in a nudist camp! How are you?

Me: I’m pretty happy too.

Customer: You’re not that happy, are you?

911, How Can We Ignore You?

, , , , , | | Legal | June 16, 2018

(I come home from work at night to find a group of teenagers standing in the middle of the parking lot of my apartment doing drugs. Being a young woman with a small build, I feel immediately uncomfortable having to walk by these boys by myself at night. As I circle around to find a parking space, the boys keep glaring at me and approaching my car menacingly. I finally find a parking space on the opposite side of the lot, but still feel uncomfortable walking to my apartment alone. I call the police to see if they can come out to assess the situation.)

911 Dispatcher: “911. What is your emergency?”

(I go through the process of giving my address, stating that I need police, etc. I finally get on the line with a police dispatcher.)

Police Dispatcher: “What is your emergency?”

Me: “There is a group of teenagers doing drugs in the middle of the parking lot of my apartment.”

Police Dispatcher: “Can you describe anything about the vehicle they’re in?”

Me: “Um, they aren’t in a vehicle. They’re standing around the parking lot.”

Police Dispatcher: “Well, are they standing near a car? Can you describe it at all?”

Me: “I mean the boys are talking to another boy who is sitting with the door open out of a car, the rest are standing in the middle of the parking lot. I didn’t get a good look at the car because they started to approach me as I drove by them.”

Police Dispatcher: “So you can’t give me any descriptions?”

Me: “I mean, I can describe the boys. There are four of them, they are [race] and seem around [age range]. They are all wearing backwards ball caps and baggy shirts, and they are smoking joints and passing small pills between them.”

Police Dispatcher: “But you can’t describe the vehicle at all?”

Me: “There is no vehicle involved! One boy is sitting in his car talking to these guys, but the ones I’m having a problem with are literally walking around the parking lot. From the two seconds I looked at the car, while they were approaching my car, I saw that it was a small car, probably a sedan, in maybe silver or grey. But again, that has nothing to do with my call. I’m calling about the four boys walking around the parking lot doing drugs and hassling me. You can’t miss them! Look, I’m sitting in my car on the other side of the parking lot because they keep glaring at me and I don’t feel comfortable walking to my apartment alone in the dark with these boys here. Could you please send someone out to help me?”

Police Dispatcher: “I’ll try to send someone out to take a look.”

Me: “Thank you.” *click*

(I sat in my car for almost an hour until the boys finally decided to go inside an apartment opposite mine. No one ever came to help me. I called later to ask if something big had happened that prevented someone from coming out to help me. After finding the report the previous dispatcher made about my call, the operator told me a note had been made that the caller was “unable to give a full description of the other vehicle involved” and the call was deemed a low priority. I filed a formal complaint. I’ve always been the biggest supporter of the police department, still am, but I was furious that day at how my safety was completely disregarded by a jaded 911 operator.)

You Barely Occupied Their Thoughts

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 12, 2018

(My husband and I stop at a gas station on a trip to the beach. We both decide to use the restrooms. The doors on the individual stalls have unusually large — to me — gaps at the bottom, at least a foot high. While I am in one of the stalls, a woman comes up and tries to open the door.)

Me: “Occupied.”

Woman #1: *bangs on the door* “Somebody in there?”

Me: “Yes.”

Woman #1: *bangs again* “Helloooo?”

Me: “YES, OCCUPIED!”

(The woman bends down and peers under the door, not just looking at my feet, but she actually makes eye contact with me!)

Woman #1: “Oh. There’s someone in this one.” *to someone else* “This one’s being used.”

(She walks away and goes to the stall beside me. Another woman comes up and looks under again, this time without knocking or anything.)

Woman #2: “Oh, yeah. This one, too.”

Woman #1: “No, that’s the one I just told you about!”

Woman #2: “Oh.”

(When I left the stall, the second woman was still waiting. As I passed her, she huffed and said, “Finally,” under her breath. I wasn’t in there for more than five minutes! When I told my husband about my encounter, he said I should have winked at the women since they were so intent on seeing me.)

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