The Race Card Is Two-Sided

, , , , , , | Working | July 17, 2018

(As the administrative assistant, I hear a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that usually just makes me roll my eyes. We have a new hire that really isn’t pulling their weight, but they are still new, so most of us are hopeful. I end up overhearing this gem between the new hire and a worker who’s been here a while.)

Worker: “I don’t know… There’s just something about you that I don’t like.”

New Hire: *indignantly* “It’s because I’m black, ain’t it?”

Worker: “THAT’S WHAT IT IS!” *snaps fingers* “You’re racist!”

New Hire: *agape* “Why would you say that? How am I the racist?”

Worker: “I said there was ‘something’ about you… and you immediately jumped to race. I never said anything about your color. That’s racism. Honestly, as long as you pull your weight, I don’t give a f*** what color you are.”

(I did not hear the rest of the conversation… Probably a good thing.)


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Not Quite Excelling At Her Job

, , , , , , | Working | July 16, 2018

(We have a new person in the office who claimed to be an Excel expert when she applied. While her role doesn’t require using the software, one manager decided to take advantage of her skills and have her redesign an allocation sheet for one of his divisions. She agrees to help and spends an entire day working on it instead of doing her actual duties. I go up to her, asking if she wants a cup of tea. However, she looks quite stressed.)

Me: “Is everything all right?”

Colleague: “Yes. It’s just this allocation sheet. It’s very complicated and demanding. I think someone is going to have to pick up my work until I’ve finished.”

Me: “You should only be doing that once you’ve finished the work you are required to do. I think [Manager] would understand.”

Colleague: “Clearly you don’t understand anything. This requires a lot of concentration! I can’t just do an odd hour here or there.”

Me: “What are you trying to do? I’m quite good at Excel myself. Maybe I can help.”

Colleague: “No, it’ll be way above your head.”

Me: “Try me.”

Colleague: *sighs* “In this column here, I’m making all the boxes write in bold.”

Me: “Okay.”

Colleague: “And that’s very time-consuming.”

Me: “You’ve spent a day making all the cells in that column bold?”

Colleague: “Yes.”

Me: “And how have you been doing it?”

(She then selects a single cell, right-clicks it, clicks on “Format Cells,” then the “Font” tab, and then “Bold,” before clicking “Okay.”)

Colleague: “Understand why it’s taking so long?”

Me: “And you’ve been doing that one cell at a time? Why don’t you just select a group of cells at a time, or better yet, just an entire column?”

Colleague: *confused* “What?”

Me: *pointing at the column head* “Click there.”

(She does and her eyes practically bulge when the entire column changes colour. I then navigate her to the “Home” tab and tell her to click the “B.”)

Me: “Everything in that column will be in bold now.”

Colleague: “I… I need a break.”

(She gets up and turns. The manager she was making the sheet for has been stood behind us long enough to understand what’s just happened. He says he won’t be needing her help anymore, and she leaves for the kitchen.)

Manager: *whispering to me* “Even I know how to bold a f****** column.”

(This revelation spread like wildfire in the office, and while no one is outright bullying her, no one trusts her with a PC, resulting in her no longer being needed.)

A Giant Window Into His Sense Of Humor

, , , , , , , | Working | July 11, 2018

(It is my first week with a pretty nice restaurant. I learn quickly that my boss likes to joke around with a serious face so he can get people. I live up too true to my blonde hair.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss]! Where do I put the extra silverware? The bucket is too full.”

Boss: *completely serious face* “Oh, just take it upstairs. We have extra bins up there.”

Me: “We have an upstairs?!”

(Cue laughter from the boss and nearby coworkers who are listening. Now, fast forward a couple of hours, and it happens again)

Me: “[Boss], it’s really hot in here; can’t you turn the air down?”

Boss: “No, it stays on that setting, but here. Do this: open that window behind you.”

(This is a huge window, from ceiling to halfway to the floor, and stretches my height at least twice; I’m 5’9”. Pretty obvious it doesn’t open, right?)

Me: “Whoa, wait. It opens? I didn’t know that was possible!”

Boss: *stares at me for a moment before bursting out laughing* “You’re too easy, [My Name]!”

Doubling Down On Saving Paper

, , , , , | Working | July 10, 2018

(I’ve been training a new coworker to work the front desk. One of her tasks will be printing certain documents, most of them two-sided, because we’re trying to save paper. I come back to the desk, after leaving her alone for the first time for just a few minutes.)

Coworker: “I printed out those documents you said to do, but I forgot to do them two-sided like you said, so I did it again.”

Me: “You did it again?”

Coworker: “Yeah, I threw out the first ones and printed them out again double-sided to save paper.”

(She holds up the new prints, looking very proud of herself.)

Me: *barely stops mouth from gaping open like a fish* “Yeah, that’s… that’s not how saving paper works.”

The Epic Of Gary And Olga

, , , , , , , | Working | July 6, 2018

(I work for a small tech company as an admin and HR assistant. My mom also happens to work for the company, as the HR manager. Once a year, we hold yearly all-hands company meetings in a hotel in some nice location. This year’s meeting takes place in Las Vegas. We have a new employee, Olga, a woman in her mid-twenties who joined the company only a few weeks ago from a branch in Eastern Europe. All names are fake, fake, fake. The meeting goes well, Olga does her own short presentation very professionally, and everyone goes their own way in the evening. I have a quiet night in. The next morning around nine am, I’m going to breakfast with my parents.)

Mom: “Did you hear what happened?”

Me: “No, what?”

Mom: “I got an email a couple of hours ago from [Another employee], saying that Olga had an accident and had to be taken to a hospital.”

Me: “Oh, no! What happened?”

Mom: “I wasn’t given much detail, but the email said that she fell and hit her head early this morning. She was taken to an ER with a head injury, was admitted, and was there for hours. She seems to have amnesia.”

Me: “Oh, my God! How did that happen?”

Mom: “I’m not sure; they didn’t give any more detail than that.”

Me: *realizes something* “Wait a second. ‘Early this morning’? That sounds like she went to some bar last night, got completely drunk and then fell because of that. ‘Early this morning’ probably means one or two am.”

Mom: “No! No way… Really? You think that’s what happened?”

Me: “Yeah, totally.”

Mom: “No. I mean, I’m sure they’d have said something if that was the case. Anyway, Olga seems like such a sensible girl; I’m sure she’s not the type to do that.”

Me: “Okay, sure. Whatever.”

(I really don’t like to make terrible assumptions about people, but I am just going by logic. If, at nine am, Mom got this email a couple hours ago, and it says that Olga’s already been in hospital for several hours at this point, and the accident happened “early this morning,” that means it was barely after midnight. And otherwise, in all likelihood, how could a young woman have “fallen” and gotten a head injury shortly after midnight, on a Friday night, in Las Vegas? Especially without anybody claiming they were mugged or anything like that. The odds of it being anything else but extreme drunkenness are just not high. Some time later:)

Mom: “Olga’s out of the hospital; thankfully the amnesia was only temporary and she seems fine now. The hospital bill was quite high, though, and since she’s a new employee and only recently came to the US, of course she had no insurance yet, so our company had to pay all of her medical bills. But everyone swore to me and [Company CEO] that the accident had absolutely nothing to do with alcohol. Poor Gary, though – he ended up having to accompany her to the hospital and sit there with her all night.”

(“Poor Gary” is one of our long-time and highest-salaried employees, a quite good-looking guy in his early to mid-thirties.)

Mom: “Yes, poor Gary; he’s so harassed. You know how Olga has managed to recently get herself transferred to our lucrative project in the Silicon Valley? Meanwhile, she’s living in San Francisco – where Gary also lives – and she’s making him teach her how to live there, drive her around, and help her with absolutely everything since there’s no one else from the company living there. Poor Gary’s already so busy with work, and Olga’s bothering him with all sorts of nonsense and making him essentially take care of her. I hope he’s not feeling too overburdened.”

(Then, at next year’s all-hands company meeting.)

Mom: “Do you know what I learned about Olga? They swore up and down to me last year that her injury had nothing to do with drinking, but I found out recently from other employees that they were lying their pants off! They went to some Vegas bar late at night, she got severely drunk, she was dancing, and she managed to fall and hit her head on some table or bar end! The company paid so much money for her hospital bills for that! Ugh! If I tell [Company CEO] about this he’ll be spitting mad! Can you believe this?”

Me: *barely managing to keep my face straight* “Really. I’m shocked.”

Mom: “Poor Gary, having to deal with her and all her nonsense…”

(Less than a year later, Poor Gary quit without notice, in the middle of managing an extremely important project for our company, to take a very lucrative management job with a huge Silicon Valley company. Less than a month after that, Olga also quit without notice, abandoning the project on which she was the lead programmer, to take a programmer job with a different Silicon Valley tech giant. This seriously messed up the projects for our company, and our CEO was absolutely furious that they abandoned ship in this way after being treated well, getting high salaries, having Olga’s medical bills paid with no question, and setting her up on a project where the client was paying for nearly all the cost of her food AND her San Fran apartment’s rent, etc. Not too long after this, I did an Internet search on them out of curiosity, and one of the very first pages that popped up was Olga’s and Poor Gary’s upcoming wedding announcement site, gushing at length and in very saccharine terms about how happy and in love they were and had been ever since they met when Olga first moved to San Fran. “Poor Gary,” indeed. Terribly harassed, I’m sure.)

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