Dad Jokes Aren’t All Greek To You

, , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I’m currently in a weekly planning session with my coworkers. Due to the recent health crisis, we’ve been primarily working from home, and today, some of our team are back in the [City] office to socialise for the first time in months. They’re discussing their plans for lunch and where they’ll be going.

Colleague: “Well, it was a fifty-fifty between Greek and Thai, but we decided to go with Greek.”

Me: “So, what you’re telling us is that you had a Thai-breaker?”

The entire team groans.

Team Leader: “How can you have such bad dad jokes without having any kids?”

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Stubbornness Will Be Your Downfall

, , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I’ve trained one of my coworkers to use some software. It’s not exactly hard, but you need to do things in precise order or the software won’t work quite right.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], just noticed a few blips in the data you sent over.”

Coworker: *Abruptly* “Well, I did it right!”

Me: “I’m not saying it’s wrong; it just maybe needs looking at, tweaking maybe. Let me show you.”

She sighs dramatically. I try to show her on her screen but she does all she can to not look. It’s a bit pathetic and more like a child being told off than a forty-something woman.

Me: “Instead of copying the data from there, if you copy from here, it will be formatted properly.”

Coworker: “Yeah, yeah.”

I leave it there. I don’t need her rudeness. She has had as much training as me; I shouldn’t even need to train her. The next week, more data, more issues.

Me: “Could you please resend that data? It’s not formatted properly.”

Coworker: “No. If you want it a certain way, then you do it.”

Me: “Okay, fine. Don’t say I haven’t made every effort.”

She mutters something under her breath. I ignore it and manipulate the data by hand. It’s not a big deal but annoying and time-consuming. I jot down everything she said and the times and dates for everything, because I know what is happening next.

The following week, I am on holiday. The reason I deal with the data after [Coworker] is that it is needed by a senior manager. I tidy it up more as a favour to him as we get on well, and that I know he is stupid busy.

I come back in from holiday to find several emails from my boss.

Boss: “[My Name], what is this mess of data? I know you help me out, but half of it isn’t even spelt correctly.”

Boss: “Sorry! Just saw that you’re on holiday and this didn’t come from you. I will address this with the right person.”

The third and fourth emails are to my coworker but I get copied.

Boss: “[Coworker], this data is not up to the standard that is expected; there are a number of basic mistakes that are not acceptable. Please redo this immediately and send this to me by the end of the day.”

The next day:

Boss: “I didn’t receive the data yesterday, despite making it clear that it was needed. Please send this ASAP or I will have to discuss this with your boss.”

[Coworker] took a few days off due to “stress” following this. Of course, she blamed me for it all. No one believed her, as I’ve trained many others without issue, and the fact that I documented everything just was the icing on the cake.

She continued to blame me and refused to be trained by me. As I was the trainer for many of the tasks, this just meant she couldn’t learn anything new. In one case, I had to train someone solely to train her. As all pay rises are directly linked to performance and the number of tasks able to be completed, she was just hurting herself.

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I’ll Keep Doodling; You Keep Projecting

, , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I like to draw. I’m not very good but I enjoy doodling, mostly landscapes. If the weather is miserable, sometimes I take my break at my desk and draw.

Out of the blue, my boss and another manager approach my desk. They don’t look happy.

Boss: “Can we see your book?”

Me: “Err, no. It’s my property.”

Other Manager: *Sternly* “Come with us.”

They march me into an office. My boss motions for me to sit down. The other manager seems to be trying to be intimidating, but it’s not really working.

Boss: “A coworker has made a complaint about your drawing; they say you have been making fun of them.”

Other Manager: “That counts as bullying and we won’t stand for it.”

Me: “I just doodle; I don’t draw people.”

Boss: “Okay, but we cannot prove that without your book. We can’t force you to show it, but we might need to investigate, and that might mean suspension.”

Me: “Fine, whatever. Here, take the book.”

They search the book and find nothing, of course.

Other Manager: “He might have ripped out the page.”

Me: “Count them if you like; there should be 300 pages.”

They look at me, I guess to see if I’m being serious.

Me: “Go on. I haven’t taken any pages out; you can check.”

Other Manager: “I need to take this.”

Me: “No, that’s my personal property. If you want to count the pages, you can, but you do it in front of me.”

Boss: “I told you [My Name] wouldn’t do it. You can count the pages if you like but I’m getting a coffee. [My Name], you want one?”

I drink a coffee with my boss while the other manager sits and counts the pages. He finally finishes.

Other Manager: “Okay, 300. He was telling the truth.”

Me: “Look, I don’t know who complained, but it could have gotten me suspended. What are you going to do to them?”

Other Manager: “I guess I can have a chat with them.”

Boss: “No, you wanted to interrogate [My Name], so we do the same to them. After all, [My Name] might want to make a complaint, too.”

Other Manager: “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. We can do it now.”

I had a good idea who complained anyway, but it was confirmed when they took the office busybody away into a room. I couldn’t hear what was said, but it looked like a loud conversation.

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Dogs Bring EVERYONE Together

, , , , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I’m a bubbly, gregarious woman who’s been with the company for over four years. Last year, an older man came and joined our team. He’s a lone wolf who works away quietly in his office, only joining us to eat his lunch silently while the rest of us chat. He has a service dog that he keeps in his office and, one rough day, I ask him if I can pet his dog for comfort. He invites me in and I sit on the floor for his Schnauzer to come console me. This starts to become a semi-regular occurrence where I go in to visit his dog right before home time.

At first, we don’t talk past the pleasantries, but after a few weeks, I begin talking to him. It is one-sided talk about stock market issues, which I was just dipping my toes into, or a huge hack that has just happened. A few weeks after that, he begins to respond and my soliloquies become a pleasant back and forth where I learn that he has a full and interesting life. We begin sitting together at lunch and I start dragging him into the group’s conversations.

Months later, as I sit with his dog smushed bodily against me, he quietly thanks me for inviting me into the group.

Me: “What? No. Of course. Everyone thinks you’re great.”

He lowers his head as he confesses to me that he was let go from his last two jobs because of harassment claims from women.

Coworker: “I’m on the spectrum, so I have a really hard time interacting with people. I can’t read people so I can’t really tell if I’m being inappropriate or something. I figured it would just be best to stay quiet here so I wouldn’t upset anyone.”

Me: “Man, that’s horrible. My dad’s on the spectrum so I guess you kind of remind me of him. Everyone here likes you, and listen, I’ll let you know if I see you’re making anyone uncomfortable, okay?”

He smiled and nodded as I extricated myself from under his adoring dog so we could all go home.

He’s doing great and feeling safe in our group. I think it helps that I grew up with an autistic father. I subconsciously keep him focused on a topic, but not bogged down. I also make sure he’s heard but doesn’t overwhelm the discussion. Other coworkers have started doing the same thing.

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Oh, We Bet Bay-You Do

, , , | Right | June 1, 2021

I’m scheduling an inspection for a customer.

Me: “And can I have your address, please?”

Customer: “Sure! It’s 44 Bay-you Street.”

Me: “I’m sorry, did you say, ‘Bayview,’ or, ‘Bayou’?”

Customer: “Well, some people call it, ‘Bayou,’ but I say, ‘Bay-you.’”

Me: “I see.”

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