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There And Back Again: An I Don’t Work Here Tale

, , , , , , , , , , | Healthy | CREDIT: omgdoogface | November 26, 2022

About five years ago, my girlfriend was in the ICU of one of the largest hospitals in Sydney, Australia. It was a stressful time for me, but she’s all good now.

I was walking back from one of the hospital’s cafes to see my girlfriend when I was stopped in the corridor by a lady in her sixties.

Lady: *Politely* “Can you take me to the cardio ward?”

Me: “I don’t work here, but reception is that way, and I’m sure they can help you.”

Her Ladyship did not like this response.

Lady: “Don’t f*** around! I know you work here; take me there!”

Her sudden change in demeanour stunned me.

Lady: “Come along; I don’t have all day!”

I was wearing a full suit and tie combo as I had an unavoidable meeting later that day. Now, I like a navy suit as much as the next suave bloke, but the doctors in this hospital, when not in scrubs, mostly wore slacks and collared shirts.

Given the missus was a bit under the weather, I was sleep deprived, anxious, and had no patience for Her Ladyship being a jerk.

Me: “Okay, follow me.”

We started down the corridor, through some doors, and up a flight of stairs, her pacing grumpily behind me. I could see a sign ahead indicating that the cardio ward was to the right. So, unfortunately for Her Ladyship, left we went.

We went up lifts, down lifts, up stairs, and down again. A full ten minutes into our Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Tour, it must have occurred to her that I had no idea where I was going. A porter with a gurney stepped out of a side door and she immediately accosted him.

Lady: “Your staff member here is wasting my time!”

It was almost comedic the way he looked down at her, up at me, down at her, and then up at me. 

Porter: “Did you tell this lady you work here?”

Me: *Smiling* “No, mate, literally the opposite.”

The porter frowned.

Porter: “Where ya headed, luv?”

By now, she was quite exasperated.

Lady: “What is wrong with you people?! He should have taken me to the cardio ward. And don’t ‘luv’ me!”

The porter, trying to hide his smile, told her to follow him, and off they went. I overheard her grumble something about “staff complaint” as they left. Gosh only knows what my write-up would have said about me.

I hurried back to the ICU ward, happily armed with a humorous story to cheer up my girlfriend.

Seems Like This Is The Flavor Of The Month(s)

, , , , , | Right | November 18, 2022

Many years ago, I was the office manager at a mechanical workshop that converted cars to run on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) — both new cars (from dealers and private owners) and retroactively fitting to older cars.

Our normal schedule was booked about two weeks ahead with the odd appointment further ahead for people taking a day off to have it done.

The cost of petrol/gasoline shot up and our calendar filled up to a couple of months ahead. Then, the government offered a rebate to get cars converted that, in many cases, totally covered the cost of the conversion. That caused our calendar to fill up to six months ahead, at which point the boss closed the calendar. We’d reopen it one month before our last appointment.

I’ve got some great stories from that time, but one that sticks out was the guy who turned up to have his 4WD done. He claimed he’d booked in, but he wasn’t on the list.

This was May 15th, and then he dropped this line:

Customer: “You said July 15th on the phone, but I knew what you meant.”

I made a quick check of the calendar and, sure enough, there he was booked in for the 15th of July.

When I told him we actually did mean July 15th, he replied:

Customer: “Don’t be ridiculous! Who’d take a slot that far ahead?

Me: “Any of the five vehicle owners we’ll be doing each working day for the three-plus months after your appointment up to the point where we’ve stopped taking bookings.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “If you don’t want your appointment, I can fill that opening with probably two or three phone calls.”

He very quickly confirmed that he did still want his appointment, and two months later, he was back with his 4WD, looking a little sheepish as he dropped off his keys and filled out his paperwork.

It’s Genderally Unimportant

, , , , | Right | November 16, 2022

I’ve started my first job, working as a kitchenhand and tea trolley pusher in a nursing home. While the specific details of my gender aren’t important, my workplace assumes I am a cis male, and I have a relatively androgynous appearance, further accentuated by the hairnet and mask I have to wear.

It’s my first shift, and my coworker is showing me around the place as I do the tea trolley run — the oldies love their hot beverages — and introducing me to all the residents. It’s a fairly normal process (my coworker does most of the talking), until…

Coworker: *As we enter one of the rooms* “Hello, [Resident]! This is [My Name]; he’s our new hire!”

The resident in question is an elderly lady lying in bed. She squints, so I move a little closer, thinking she might not be able to see me well.

Resident: “Are… are you a lady or a man?”

Me: *Without thinking* “Uh… yes?”

Resident: “Oh, I see. Carry on, then.”

That’s The Bong Color

, , , , , , | Right | November 7, 2022

I work as a cashier in a supermarket. I’m working at the customer service desk that also sells cigarettes, lighters, rolling papers, etc.

Customer #1: “[Cigarettes] and a [Brand] lighter.”

I just grab the first lighter without looking, which happens to be a light brown colour.

Customer #1: “Nah, I hate that colour. It reminds me too much of the colour of s***. I can’t enjoy my bong.”

Customer #2: “Man, if that’s the colour of your s***, I’d be putting the bong down and seeing a doctor.”

I had to stop myself from laughing.

A Fifteen-Minute Drive Ahead Of The Bosses

, , , , , , , | Working | October 25, 2022

Years ago, I got hired by a company that had just been bought out by a much larger parent company that owned a lot of other sub-companies. The new management kept saying “nothing’s going to change,” but the more they said it, the more things changed. That was no big surprise, really; even as a newcomer, I could see that coming.

Six months after I joined, they decided to build a new head office for our city on the other side of the city, but they promised that the current branch would remain open (which actually did happen, what a shock).

Construction took about nine months from announcing their decision to being ready to move in. Halfway through construction, they announced that apart from management, one particular buyer would be moving to the new office, and a rumour went around that he might be taking someone to work with him from the old office.

Shortly before moving, everyone from sales, data processing, and a few other departments was called up one at a time to speak with the general manager. I presume everyone got a similar spiel that finished off with a request that “nothing gets discussed with your colleagues until we’ve spoken with everyone.”

The pitch was they wanted people to think about moving to the new office.

Me: “Yes, I’ll do it.”

General Manager: “No, you’ve misunderstood. We just want you to think about relocating.”

Me: “I get that. I’m saying yes.”

General Manager: “No, [My Name], you just need to think about it now.”

Me: *Laughing* “I have been thinking about the possibility since I saw where you were building the new branch. You’ll be a fifteen-minute drive or a twenty-five-minute push bike ride from where I live, as opposed to the hour or so of motorised travel or hour and twenty minutes on public transport to work I have at the moment. I’ve only been here for about a year, about a month or two before you arrived here. I get along well with my coworkers, but I’m sure I’ll keep in touch with them and make new friends and relationships at the new branch if I go. You’re providing parking for staff, which will be much better than here, where there’s no staff parking and street parking is thin on the ground. All in all, moving has lots of benefits and few losses, which is why I’m saying yes.”

General Manager: *Shocked* “I didn’t think anyone would have gone that far. Thanks for letting us know. We’ll update everyone soon.”

I didn’t tell him that I knew at least three other people who had mentioned in casual conversation that they would go if needed to but would rather stay where they were because, for them, staying would be easier.

Not soon after, I was offered a position at the new branch, and it came as no surprise to them that I accepted.

It’s funny when the “masters” get smacked in the face by the drones, thinking outside the boxes they’ve placed us in.