Sub-standard Operating Procedures

| Mechelen, Belgium | Working | October 24, 2012

Me: “Hi, can you please assist us? Our email is not working.”

Service Desk: “Please send an email, as per standard operating procedure.”

Me: “But I can’t send an e-mail. Our email is not working.”

Service Desk: “We cannot act on a phone call. We need an email to start a ticket.”

Me: “I don’t think you understand: my email is not working, and it is the same for my coworkers.”

Service Desk: “No, you don’t understand. As per standard operating procedure, without an email, we cannot open a ticket.”

(This continued for awhile, but neither I nor my coworkers got anywhere. Finally, one of my coworkers was so fed up with it that he went home and sent an email from his personal address!)

 

The Mother Of All Comebacks

| Santa Clara, CA, USA | Working | October 23, 2012

(One of my sexist coworkers has been unsuccessfully trying to convince me that men are the superior gender. After I shoot down various arguments, this happens…)

Coworker: “Well, you know that male superiority is built directly into the language we speak.”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

Coworker: “Everyone knows our language is referred to as the King’s English.”

Me: “Are you talking about our mother tongue?”

Coworker: *sputters in frustration and walks away, mumbling*

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Our Faith In Humanity Is Sinking

| Fort Nelson, BC, Canada | Right | October 17, 2012

(I hear two younger girls—maybe 16 or 17—in the hallway talking right outside my office. One of the girls sees a poster on the wall that has something to do with the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.)

Girl #1: “Oh, wow, it’s been 100 years since the Titanic sank. I didn’t know it had been that long.”

Girl #2: “Really? Leonardo DiCaprio sure doesn’t look that old! He must have a lot of work done…”

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Health Condition: Impossible

| NY, USA | Working | October 13, 2012

(I am a data entry person who works the 4-12 shift. One day on my way to work, I become suddenly and violently ill in horrible pain. I end up in the ER and eventually am admitted to the hospital overnight. While on the gurney in the ER, I ask the nurse to call my boss.)

Me: “Here’s my boss’s number at work. Would you call and tell her I am in the hospital and won’t be in to work today?”

Nurse:  “Okay.”

(The next day, I am released from the hospital after recovering from a kidney stone attack. I am told to take it easy for a few days and come back if I have any further problems.)

Me: *calling boss on phone* “Alice, did you get the phone call yesterday about being sick?”

Alice: “No.”

Me: “I got really sick and had to go to the ER yesterday afternoon. I was admitted to the hospital for further testing and observation but was released today. While in the ER, I gave a nurse your phone number and asked her to call to tell you I was sick. No one from the hospital called you?”

Alice: “No one called.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry about that. Anyway, they ruled out appendicitis and a few other really serious things. They think I had a kidney stone attack based on the severity and location of the pain. I was told to take the rest of the week off from work, but I should be back next week.”

Alice: “Okay…”

(Fast forward a few months to my periodic employee review.)

Alice: “Well, you are an excellent worker. Your speed and accuracy are among the top in the office. You finished your training in two days when most people take two weeks. You are always punctual for work and always work overtime when I ask. I noted that when you had to take a day off to attend your college roommate’s wedding, you worked an extra day shift to make up for it. You’ve also done a great job as the nighttime first aid person. However, I can only give you the minimum raise because I had to write you up for an unexcused absence.”

Me: “Huh? What are you talking about?”

Alice: “There was that time you were absent but didn’t call in sick.”

Me: “Alice, I was in the ER at the hospital on a gurney with an IV in my arm in panic and fear and excruciating pain, not knowing if I had appendicitis. Even in my pain and fear, I asked a nurse to call you to let you know I wouldn’t be in. I can’t help it that she didn’t call. Still, I called you the next day as soon as I got released from the hospital.”

Alice: “It doesn’t matter. You should have called me personally to let me know you wouldn’t be in to work!”

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Abject-Oriented Programming

| UK | Working | October 12, 2012

(Note: I am the only programmer in an office full of graphic designers. A few of my colleagues understand programming, but my boss REALLY doesn’t. He often gives me ridiculous deadlines, but for once I am given a whole 3 weeks to make a complex program.)

Boss: “[My name], the presentation has moved to this friday lunchtime.”

Me: “What?! I wont even have a prototype available this week!”

Boss: “You will or you’ll be out of a job. Jeez, how hard can it be? You’re just typing!”

Me: “I’m… what?”

Boss: “You’re just typing! Everyone else around here has to do crazy graphic stuff… now that looks complex. You just need a copy of Office and you’re set.”

Me: “You can’t use Office for pro—”

(At this point, one of my colleagues interrupts.)

Coworker: *to my boss* “Are you being serious? You only told him about the program this morning!”

Boss: “And he should be able to do it in a week!”

Coworker: “Look, I know a little bit of programming, not enough to build it or anything, but it takes ages to make stuff like that! Give him a break, eh?”

Boss: “You’re just nerds! Nerds and geeks! All nerds stick together… oh yeah, sure!”

Me: “I… what?”

Boss: “You’re just trying to make me look bad! Have that d*** program ready for me within a week!”

Me: “Actually, I have a month of holiday left, and according to my contract I have to use it all if I leave. I’m handing in my 30 days notice. I wont be coming in tomorrow!”

Boss: *gets mad and leaves the room*

(I did indeed hand in my notice, and went in the following week for a goodbye party, which my boss conveniently forgot to attend. However, they now outsource all their programming to me anyway, and I work from home and charge twice as much!)

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