Too Bad His Coworker’s Brain Doesn’t Have The Same Problem

, , , , | Working | September 17, 2020

My husband is the go-to tech-savvy guy of his office. It’s important to know that his coworkers are all developers, testers, coders. To be short: it’s a digital world out there.

My husband receives an email.

Coworker: “Hello, [Husband]. Can you please resize the attachment to a smaller format? It’s too big right now.”

Husband: “Hello, [Coworker]. I want to help, but there is no attachment in this email?”

Coworker: “Yes, I know. It was too big to be sent along.”

My husband once received a sign as a joke with the text, “If an error appears, hit your keyboard with your head until it disappears.” That’s how he felt at that moment.

1 Thumbs

When Parents Worry Their Kids Will Become Coke Addicts

, , | Related | September 17, 2020

This happened early in my career. One morning, one of my coworkers arrived at the office, opened her purse, and dropped an empty package of chips, and an empty soda can in her trashcan. We were curious and one of the nosier coworkers finally asked why.

Coworker: “Oh, my parents were out of town over the weekend and my mother cannot know that I treated myself to chips and a coke. I’m not allowed to have them.”

She was also to be home before ten and not allowed a boyfriend. She was twenty-six years old.

1 Thumbs

Tada – Data!

, , , , , | Working | September 16, 2020

I work as a data-entry specialist in a small company. Due to our company still being old-fashioned in some areas, we get various paper documents and PDF files that we need to enter into our database systems manually, rather than having any sort of direct feed. It would be more efficient to have it upload or scan automatically, but that would put me out of a job, so I’m not complaining about them being a bit behind the times. Still, doing the job right means making sure that everything we enter is accurate so that we don’t end up charging the wrong customer for a job or mislabeling what product a customer is requesting.

We have a new team member starting who has… issues with accuracy. She is slower to enter data, which is to be expected when starting out, but she also just keeps making mistakes with various fields — putting in the wrong date or the wrong ID number, or putting information into the wrong fields. Since we check each other’s work, the issues end up getting fixed, but it is still slowing everyone down. So, during one of the team meetings, our boss ends up making the following statement.

Boss: “Recently, we’ve been having a bit of an uptick in misentered data. I just want to let everyone know that it is a lot more important to be accurate than to be fast, so take your time to double-check what you are entering, as it will save time, in the long run, to get it right the first time.”

Non-judgmental and doesn’t name any names, right? Well, our new coworker doesn’t think so, as she apparently submits a complaint to HR about “harassment” and ends up bringing her copy of the employee handbook to the next team meeting and demanding that our boss read out loud the section about harassment not being okay. He does and immediately asks if she is being harassed.

Newbie: “Uh, yeah! I’m dyslexic and you’re singling me out.”

Boss: “Oh. I’m sorry; I wasn’t aware. I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable. What can I do to help?”

Newbie: “Be understanding!”

We thought the matter would be settled there, but the mistakes kept happening. Our boss tried to suggest accessibility software and even worked with IT to change the font in our menus to one that was supposed to be more “dyslexic-friendly,” but things still kept being entered wrong. And she kept submitting complaints to HR about “harassment,” which we found out about because she was the type of person to loudly announce when she was doing it so the whole office could hear.

Things ended up going to arbitration, but they felt that the steps being taken to try and accommodate her were more than sufficient, which she also ended up loudly complaining about.

Eventually, she left, and since we didn’t have her loudly shouting about her complaints in the office, we never found out if it was her choosing to quit or her getting fired. But, at the very least, it helped with all our jobs to not have to be cleaning up her mistakes. I will say that my boss was a lot more patient with her complaints than I would have been, because she honestly seemed like she expected us to just stop calling her entries “wrong,” rather than using the tools given to make sure they were right.

1 Thumbs

This Is As Awkward As Mayonnaise On White Bread

, , , , , | Working | September 15, 2020

In the mid-1990s, “diversity” became an important buzzword in our company. As used by human resources, it meant that having persons of varying backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities together lead to better solutions in groupthink situations. The team I supervised, however, almost never made group decisions. Instead, we all acted as individual contractors, working alone on technical problems for clients. Diversity to me meant hiring the person who had the best demonstrated technical abilities and being sensitive to cultural differences when interacting with them one on one. It did not mean going out of my way to ensure that we all looked different.

As a supervisor, I had to attend a Diversity class. The problem was that getting the instructors to define the word was like nailing jello to a wall; it kept changing all the time. After repeatedly telling us that Diversity was more than counting noses and that it was deeper than that, I gave them an example. In a previous job, I had been in a small group with two other workers. One of us was a Catholic from mid-America suburbia, one was a Jew from a large rust belt city, and one was a Protestant from a small town in rural New England. I called this group diverse by their definition, but suddenly, things changed and the fact of our all being white males trumped the rest.

The fun part came when we were asked to describe what made us diverse individually. We were in the central valley in California, so there were a lot of stories about Latino immigration, working on farms, and the like. Then, it was my turn.

I am a glow-in-the-dark straight white male WASP. My father’s family traces back to the Mayflower — at least nine lineal ancestors on the boat — and other migrations from England and Scotland in the 1600s and 1700s. I was raised in an upper-middle-class household and went to exclusive private schools for high school and college. I went over this in detail. 

Surprisingly, that wasn’t what they were looking for.

1 Thumbs

They Edited Out Their Financial Situation

, , , , | Right | September 13, 2020

Editing is an important service in the path from great idea to published book. Freelancers spend nearly as much time trying to drum up clients as we do editing, and after a long dry spell, I put out the word all over the web, including sites having nothing to do with writing or editing. Eureka! I got a nibble!

Client: “How much would you charge to edit a novel?”

Me: “Depends on the size and difficulty. What did you have in mind?”

Client: “300,000 words.”

Me: “That’s huge! Send me a sample chapter and I’ll be able to give you a bid.”

The client sends a sample chapter; it’s interesting but a mess. I edit a couple of pages and send it back.

Me: “I can do this in [length of time] for [amount].”

Client: “Wow, you do incredible work! This is great. I’ll get in touch when I get some money.”

Me: “…”

1 Thumbs