Gotta Have Balls To Work Here

| Working | January 19, 2016

(I’m fixing an extremely difficult article that I have co-written with a coworker, and currently plan to add a graph to it with two graphic artists. In Finland there is a saying ‘to throw the ball to someone’ which means that I’ve done what I can, and now it’s the other person’s turn to take action. There also is a saying ‘He’s lost the ball,’ when someone doesn’t understand something or doesn’t know what to do.)

Graphic Artist #1: “Now, what do these numbers stand for?”

Me: “I don’t know. They’re from [Coworker].”

Graphic Artist #2: “And how big is this graph supposed to be?”

Me: “I don’t know that either. I just have to throw the ball to the layout editor.”

Graphic Artist #1: “Well, throw the ball to her!”

(All three of us start looking for something that resembles a ball and end up making one of old wool socks found in a drawer.)

Graphic Artists #1 & #2: “Throw it! Throw it!”

(I throw the thing at her. She comes over.)

Layout Editor: “What are you doing?”

Me: “We were completely lost, so we decided to throw the ball to you.”

Layout Editor: “I don’t know. We need the news editor here.”

Graphic Artists #1 & #2: “Throw the ball to him!”

(I miss by a mile and the socks vanish somewhere under the desk.)

Me: “Well, now I’ve lost the ball.”

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Skirting Around Doing Any Work

| Working | January 7, 2016

(I am a rather young male editor and have worked in one of the biggest newspapers in the country for only a short while. I dress up very colorfully, and one day we find a blanket at the office that exactly matches my shirt colour. We make a skirt of it with a coworker.)

Our Boss: “Hey, [My Name]. If you go up to the cafeteria wearing that, I’ll buy you coffee and cake.”

Me: “It’s a deal.”

(I proceed to walk downstairs to the cafeteria, where the editorial chief is sitting.)

Editorial Chief: “Hey, [My Name]. If you go downtown wearing that you’ll get a free lunch and ice cream for dessert tomorrow.”

Me: “Wow, dressing up in this was a lucrative deal.”

Editorial Chief: “Report in my office after you have finished that coffee.”

(And in ten minutes I am in his office.)

Editorial Chief: “All right. You go to the nearest supermarket and buy me two oranges. Bring back the receipt, I’ll refund them, and you get the lunch.”

Me: “Actually, my new passport has just arrived and I should go pick it up. How about I go and get it from the police station?

Editorial Chief: “Okay, that’s fine. Take [Coworker] with you as an eyewitness. You may use the company car, but park it so far away that nobody will realize that this has anything to do with our newspaper. Hey, [Coworker], get your ass up here”

Coworker: “Yeah, boss?”

Editorial Chief: “[My Name] is going to pick up his passport from the police station wearing that thing as a skirt. You follow him and make sure that he does it.”

Coworker: “What, on company time?”

Editorial Chief: “In your contracts, it says that your duties may include other things addressed to you by your superiors. This is one of them. Just go.”

(Eventually we went to the police station to get my passport. The police acted like I would have been just an ordinary customer while my coworker was filming everything. All this took about an hour of company time, and I got the free lunch.)

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Bad Jokes Every Sunday!

, | Right | November 3, 2015

(I deliver flyers and the Sunday paper for the local newspaper company. As a common nickname, the Sunday paper is known as “the Sun.” I was delivering on a Sunday morning when I saw a customer who had recently moved in.)

Me: “Excuse me, would you like a Sun?”

Customer: “No, thanks, I already have three daughters.”

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Ask And You Shall Receive

| Right | May 5, 2015

(I’m the customer in this story. I’ve been trying to cancel my newspaper subscription, and have been transferred twice already. I’m starting to get a bit peeved.)

Customer Service Representative: “And how may I help you today?”

Me: “I’m trying to cancel my subscription.”

Customer Service Representative: “May I ask what made you want to discontinue receiving our newspaper?”

Me: “You want the real reason or the polite reason?”

Customer Service Representative: “Um, the real reason?”

Me: “We decided not to paper-train our puppy.”

Customer Service Representative: “…So, the fact that we’re moving from afternoon to morning delivery wouldn’t make a difference to you?”

Me: “Nope.”

Customer Service Representative: “All right then, I’ve got you cancelled. Have a good day!”

(Hey, she asked!)

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Can’t Stop The Presses

| Working | March 24, 2015

(48 hours earlier, a massive hurricane swept through our city, which is 250 miles inland. We’re all frantically working to keep assembling the city’s daily newspaper, even though we have to drive to another city and use their paper’s presses to print it. None of us have power, water, or heat. There are massive trees down, buildings leveled, power lines everywhere, and the National Guard directing traffic. We’re working away on the next day’s paper and idly griping about all of our hardships, when the new assistant managing editor, trying to play along says:)

Assistant Manager: “Oh, I know: Our cable reception is really fuzzy.”

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