Open Your Ears AND Your Eyes

, , , , | Working | September 21, 2020

This happens a number of years ago, back when I am working for a national electronics retail chain.

As I’ve been there a couple of years and want to progress, I sign up to the company-sponsored Retail Workers Accreditation scheme; it’s been so long now that I forget what it was actually called.

We have an external overseer come in who has to monitor my in-store work from time to time. On this particular day, I happen to be working at the checkout and one of our semi-regular customers comes up to the checkout.

I check him out in absolute silence, making hand gestures and writing down his total for him before checking him out.

After he leaves, there is a momentary lull in customers, so the overseer comes to talk to me about my last transaction.

Overseer: “Why did you not speak to that customer or offer any of the addons as per policy?”

Me: “I did offer the addons. He bought an item and I asked if he wanted to buy the batteries for it.”

Overseer: “Impossible. How could you have done that without speaking to him? This doesn’t bode well for you passing this module.”

Me: “What would be the point in speaking to him—”

Overseer: *Interrupting* “It’s important to speak to the customers to make sure they’ve got everything they need, and you need to offer the addons.”

Me: “But he’s deaf, and I know that because he comes in every couple of weeks. If you’d been watching closely, after I scanned the item, I pointed to the batteries, and he declined.”

Overseer: “Oh. Well, that’s different, then. I’ll just go rewrite this assessment form. Good job.”

Needless to say, I passed the module.

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Tada – Data!

, , , , , | Working | September 16, 2020

I work as a data-entry specialist in a small company. Due to our company still being old-fashioned in some areas, we get various paper documents and PDF files that we need to enter into our database systems manually, rather than having any sort of direct feed. It would be more efficient to have it upload or scan automatically, but that would put me out of a job, so I’m not complaining about them being a bit behind the times. Still, doing the job right means making sure that everything we enter is accurate so that we don’t end up charging the wrong customer for a job or mislabeling what product a customer is requesting.

We have a new team member starting who has… issues with accuracy. She is slower to enter data, which is to be expected when starting out, but she also just keeps making mistakes with various fields — putting in the wrong date or the wrong ID number, or putting information into the wrong fields. Since we check each other’s work, the issues end up getting fixed, but it is still slowing everyone down. So, during one of the team meetings, our boss ends up making the following statement.

Boss: “Recently, we’ve been having a bit of an uptick in misentered data. I just want to let everyone know that it is a lot more important to be accurate than to be fast, so take your time to double-check what you are entering, as it will save time, in the long run, to get it right the first time.”

Non-judgmental and doesn’t name any names, right? Well, our new coworker doesn’t think so, as she apparently submits a complaint to HR about “harassment” and ends up bringing her copy of the employee handbook to the next team meeting and demanding that our boss read out loud the section about harassment not being okay. He does and immediately asks if she is being harassed.

Newbie: “Uh, yeah! I’m dyslexic and you’re singling me out.”

Boss: “Oh. I’m sorry; I wasn’t aware. I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable. What can I do to help?”

Newbie: “Be understanding!”

We thought the matter would be settled there, but the mistakes kept happening. Our boss tried to suggest accessibility software and even worked with IT to change the font in our menus to one that was supposed to be more “dyslexic-friendly,” but things still kept being entered wrong. And she kept submitting complaints to HR about “harassment,” which we found out about because she was the type of person to loudly announce when she was doing it so the whole office could hear.

Things ended up going to arbitration, but they felt that the steps being taken to try and accommodate her were more than sufficient, which she also ended up loudly complaining about.

Eventually, she left, and since we didn’t have her loudly shouting about her complaints in the office, we never found out if it was her choosing to quit or her getting fired. But, at the very least, it helped with all our jobs to not have to be cleaning up her mistakes. I will say that my boss was a lot more patient with her complaints than I would have been, because she honestly seemed like she expected us to just stop calling her entries “wrong,” rather than using the tools given to make sure they were right.

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Good Thing The Boss Didn’t Ovary-act

, , , , , | Working | September 9, 2020

I am a commercial electrician, which means I work on fairly large projects on a few acres of land or multiple-story buildings. We construction workers tend to screw around with green hands — new workers — often. Some of us dislike it — I particularly don’t like it — but this kid is on a new level.

We are having a slow day, mainly waiting on material.

Foreman: “Hey, [Green Hand], can you go check with [Supply Manager] to see if we have any fallopian tubes?”

A few of us stifle laughter but I am thinking there’s no way he’ll fall for that.

Green Hand: “Fallopian tubes? How many?”

Foreman: “One or two is fine.”

Green Hand: “Okay, I will be back in a bit.”

All of us burst out laughing after he leaves, even us who normally would stop it. It’s about a five-minute walk to the supply area. The rest of the story I am informed of later. 

Green Hand: “Hey, [Supply Manager], do we have any fallopian tubes?”

Manager: *Without skipping a beat* “No, I don’t think we do. You should check with [Superintendent]. He may have an idea.”

He walks to our super’s office, which is another five-minute walk.

Green Hand: “Hey, [Superintendent], do we have any fallopian tubes on order?” 

He asks this in front of a lot of higher-ups, and our superintendent normally doesn’t have tolerance for people screwing around, but [Green Hand] caught him on a good day. [Superintendent] sighs and grabs his radio.

Superintendent: “Who’s screwing with the new guy? Because I have to admit, that’s pretty funny.” *To [Green Hand]* “Hey, kid, when they ask you to get a part you’ve never heard of, Google it before asking anybody next time.”

[Green Hand] looks confused, pulls out his phone, and then pulls out his radio.

Green Hand: “Funny, guys. Very funny.”

Some people might find it mean, but the green hand learned two lessons: always check, and if it sounds stupid, there’s a 70% chance it isn’t a part or tool.

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New… To American Food?

, , , , , | Working | September 1, 2020

I am at a sub shop for lunch. 

Me: “Can I get a six-inch BLT with mayo, please?”

Employee: “A what? What’s that?”

Me: “It’s a sandwich with bacon, lettuce, and tomato.”

Employee: “I don’t know if we have that.”

Friend: “It’s one of the simplest sandwiches in the world. Just throw some bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on some bread!”

The employee looks like a confused puppy 

Me: “Can I speak to someone else, please? “

The employee got the manager, who then explained to her what a BLT is and what goes on it and showed her how to make one. He also apologized and told us that she was new.

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A Backhanded Way To Troll The Boss

, , , , | Working | August 23, 2020

I am a new hire as a network engineer. I am working on configuring a replacement switch with another new engineer and our superior. My laptop is connected to the switch and, due to a disability to my right arm, I have my laptop in lefthanded mode.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Cisco operating system, it is a command-line interface only system, highlighting text automatically copies it and right-clicking pastes text into the command prompt. Unfortunately, with my mouse buttons swapped, left-clicking is not the paste action.

My superior goes to check our work, but when he forgets that my mouse buttons are swapped and several times pastes a bunch of text into the command prompt. This either results in a bunch of error messages or possibly overwrites configurations with incorrect ones. After a few accidental left-clicks, he’s getting noticeably frustrated.

Superior: “God d*** it! Are you trolling me more something?”

Me: “No! I swear, I’m not a troll; I’m just left-handed!”

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