The Runner Is Running Into Your Job

, | Working | December 20, 2016

I have worked for 15 years at a law-firm. I am the person in charge of the computer network, and because I am also an assistant to the managing partner, I coordinate the monthly staff lunch and the monthly staff breakfast.

A very insecure coworker gets promoted to office manager, and she hires a girl to work as a runner/clerk. All this person’s duties involve is making copies, making coffee for the conference rooms, and running documents to the courthouse.

One month, I make the mistake of asking her to pick up the donuts for the monthly breakfast. She immediately goes into hyperdrive and takes over the breakfast with the permission of the new manager. Suddenly, she is ordering a ton of unnecessary stuff that no one even asked for, and arranging the donuts in weird ways.  We’ve always just sat out the boxes of donuts and bagels and cream cheese, with napkins, paper plates and plastic ware. Not on HER watch. Now she has them each on separate plates on big trays that she went out and bought and charged the company. There isn’t room on the counters in the lunchroom for the big trays so she places the trays of donuts and bagels on top of the garbage cans. Really appetizing.

She becomes particularly hyper about usurping anything I do and doing it badly. She starts trying to interfere and tell people what to do about software problems and countermanding my instructions on things — which she is in no way trained for.

Finally, she went too far on that and tried to fix one person’s computer while they were away from their desk, by deleting all the “clutter” on their C: drive to make it neater while completely failing to go to the courthouse with documents that were time-sensitive because she was too “busy” trying to do my job. She was not very competent anyway, and instead of making sure she had a job she could do, this office manager, apparently in order to mess with me, got her in so far over her head that she ended up out of a job entirely.

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Reverse Your Way Of Thinking

, , , | Working | October 2, 2016

(I work on towboat.)

New Hire: “Does the river always flow to the Gulf of Mexico?”

Me:  *face-palm* “No, we reverse it monthly to backwash it.”

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Wish You Could See What You’re Saying

, , , , , | Working | March 10, 2016

(A new colleague and I are screen-checking a film that is about to start and making sure people aren’t disturbing others or fooling around. The “strobe lighting” warning comes up on the screen to alert anyone who is sensitive to light effects that they are in the film. The warning is white text on a black background but no speech.)

New Colleague: “What’s that for?”

Me: “To warn people the film contains strobe lighting in case they need to leave.”

New Colleague: “Why would they need to leave?”

Me: “Well, strobe lighting can cause seizures in people with epilepsy, for example, so they put a warning on it.”

New Colleague: “Oh, okay.”

(Pauses.)

New Colleague: “There’s no sound on it.”

Me: “No.”

New Colleague: “What about the blind epileptics?”


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Freezes When She Gets To The Fridge

, , , , | Working | August 7, 2015

(Our regular cleaning lady, who’s also in charge of our cafeteria, mainly coffee machine maintenance, keeping the drinks refrigerator stocked, etc., is currently on a two-week holiday, and the agency we work with has sent a young temp to replace her. A couple of days into the temp’s stint, I walk into our usually spotless cafeteria to find the fridge a smelly mess, with drinks cans bathing in a puddle of spilled milk that’s gone off, and what appears to be a knocked-over bowl of soup on the top shelf adding a decorative dash of green. At that moment, our temp walks in, sits down, and starts browsing a newspaper.)

Me: “Good morning!”

Temp: “Oh, hi!” *continues reading*

Me: “Say, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the fridge seems to be in a bit of a mess. The milk’s gone off and has apparently been spilled all over the place, and there’s a knocked-over bowl of soup that’s seen better days.”

Temp: “Yeah, I know. That soup’s been there since Tuesday and it stinks.”

Me: “…”

Temp: “It stinks as soon as you open the fridge door, so you’d better keep it shut as much as possible.”

Me: *not quite knowing what to say to that* “So… how are you finding the job so far?”

Temp: *smiling* “Oh, it’s fine, really… A bit boring, though, as there’s not a lot for me to do. I don’t know how [Regular Cleaning Lady] does it, but it usually takes me only an hour or so to clean this place and restock the fridges, and the rest of the day I take it easy.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “Right, I see…”


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Baptism Of Red Fire

, , , , , | Working | December 8, 2014

(We are having our daily department meeting. I am training a new hire and it’s his first meeting. We often start out the meeting with small talk, and someone mentions that today is “Redhead Day.”)

Me: “Well, I’m a fake ginger, so I guess I wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate.”

Coworker #1: “And I’m a natural ginger, but I haven’t actually been one for a while now.”

Coworker #2: “You’re a redhead? No way!”

Coworker #1: *grins* “Yeah… I would prove it, but that might not be appropriate for the meeting.”

(The new hire’s entire face goes super red. After the meeting, I receive an email from [Coworker #1.])

Coworker #1’s: “Hey, did I traumatize the new kid?”

Me: “He’ll live.”


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