C++ Code: The ‘C’ Means Contagious

| Working | September 14, 2015

(I work in IT Support for the staff of a small non-profit association. I get called to an office because someone is having an issue with their computer. Upon walking in:)

Me: “Oh, look, it’s the blue screen of death!”

Staff Mate #1: “What? Is it really called that?”

Me: “Well, that’s just the well-known slang term; it’s really called a Windows Stop Error.”

Staff Mate #1: “Why is it called the blue screen of death?”

Me: “Because it can mean that there’s something fatally wrong with your computer, but 99 times out of 100, it’s a minor driver error or something easily fixable like that.”

Staff Mate #2 *reaching for her computer monitor with a look of horror on her face* “Oh my god! Blue screen of death? How do I make it so my computer doesn’t catch it?!”

Me: “…it doesn’t work that way.”

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Not At Home With The Phone

, | Working | June 2, 2015

(I do some work in this organization while I am in college. I’ve been left alone in the office for the first time when the phone rings.)

Me: *picks up the phone* “Hello!” *I cringe when I realize the way I greeted the caller* “Sorry, sorry! I meant, um, [Organization], good evening.”

Caller: *between laughs* “First time with the office phone, uh?”

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An Interesting (Dead)Pool Of Applicants

| Working | November 24, 2014

(I work for a non-profit that mainly focuses on advocacy for middle to low income people. We work like a community union and I go out to find members to sign up by knocking in rougher neighbourhoods, going door to door. I should note I am a female in my mid twenties.)

Me: *knocks on door*

Male Voice: “I got it!”

(The door opens and a guy in a Deadpool hoodie that zips up into a mask is towering over me. I’m also a bit of a nerd.)

Me: “Oh, my god, I love it! Sorry, that was unprofessional, Deadpool. My name is [My Name], and I work for [Non-Profit]. We get people together to fight back and make change. Things we want are safer communities and better wages, but right now we want stricter punishments for bad landlords so we can have healthier homes. What do you think?”

Deadpool: “Cool.”

Me: “The city hasn’t been enforcing the by-laws because if they do they don’t get paid and they would have to give the money to the province. We want them to update the by-law because then they would actually have an incentive to do the freaking work. Can I get you to sign in support, Deadpool?”

Deadpool: “Okay. Do I have to put my real name?”

Me: “We will not tell your secret identity. We take our member confidentiality seriously.”

(He didn’t become a full member but he made my night.)

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Passed The First Test

| Right | September 20, 2013

(I work at a non-profit agency that runs licensing examinations for a certain profession. When you take our exams, you have a certain amount of time to pass all sections, and if you wait too long to retake a failed section, you end up having to take all parts again. In my time at the job, I’ve had a number of callers who waited too long, and when they find out they have to retake everything, without exception they have gone ballistic. I am taking a call from a young lady with questions about her exams.)

Caller: “Yes, I have some questions about my exams. I failed one section two years ago and want to see about retaking it.”

Me: “Well, let me look up your information.”

(I take her name and look her up in our system.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, you need to do [module] to reactivate your eligibility for the exams. But I’m sorry to tell you that you’re outside your eligibility period, and need to retake the entire exam, rather than just the portion you didn’t pass.”

(I am cringing at that point, waiting for the screaming and crying I’ve always experienced when breaking that news.)

Caller: “Really? Well, that’s annoying, but if I gotta, I gotta, right?”

Me: “Uh… really?”

Caller: “Well, yeah. I waited too long; I do it over again, right? It’s a pain, but it’s what I have to do, right?”

Me: “Ma’am, thank you SO much for being reasonable! I’ve had others in the same position as you and when I’ve broken the news to them, they’ve bitten my head off!”

Caller: “Why would they? It’s not your fault!”

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As Clear As Gay, Part 2

| Working | May 17, 2013

(I’m at a job retreat, and am having an interesting conversation with my co-workers. Note: I am an out lesbian.)

Coworker #1: “You know, I didn’t think I’d like the movie Tangled, but I did like it. It was cute.”

Me: *laughs* Oh, man. My girlfriend is totally like Rapunzel. The blonde hair, the bubbly personality, the singing. She’s totally her Disney princess.”

(By this point, everyone seems to get that I’m gay except one coworker.)

Coworker #2: “So, is your boyfriend like the Flynn Rider guy?”

Me: “N… no. I said my girlfriend.”

Coworker #2: *blank stare*

Me: “You know… girlfriend.”

Coworker #2: *blank stare*

Me: “…I’m gay, dude.”

Coworker #1: “I think everyone got that.”

Me: “Not everyone, apparently!”


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