Copen With Coworkers

| London, England, UK | Working | September 7, 2012

(I am sitting at work talking to one of my coworkers. Note: I am originally Danish.)

Coworker: “So, you speak Danish, right? That’s not the same as Dutch, is it?”

Me: “No, Dutch people are from The Netherlands.”

Coworker: “Oh, okay. So, if you speak Danish, are you from Finland then?”

Unicorns, Goats And Squids, Oh My

| CA, USA | Romantic | September 4, 2012

(I’ve recently started dating a coworker. We communicate throughout the work day using an IM program. I’m away from my desk when he asks a question about movie and dinner plans we have for later. For reference, there are a lot of wildfires nearby and, being in a valley, it’s been smoky for a few weeks.)

Boyfriend: “What time is this dinner happening?”
Boyfriend: “Does [friend] know I’m coming?”
Boyfriend: “Will there be enough meat?”

(At this point, he realizes I’m not there at the moment.)

Boyfriend: “Why is there so much smoke?”
Boyfriend: “What causes waves?”
Boyfriend: “What happens when we die?”

(10 minutes later, I get back to my desk and find this list of increasingly silly questions. Naturally, I try to answer them all.)

Me: “Dinner’s at 6, and he knows you’re coming.”
Me: “The atmosphere is breaking down and it’s causing smoke from space to steep into our air.”
Me: “Giant squids. They cause waves.”
Me: “When I die, I’m going to be reincarnated as a unicorn. You… we’re undetermined as of yet. Maybe a goat.”
Me: And most importantly, there will be enough meat.”

Really Fond-a Of Rhonda

| Cleveland, OH, USA | Right | September 3, 2012

Receptionist: “Hi, this is (company). May I direct your call?”

Caller: “Yeah, I need to speak to Rhonda.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, but we don’t have anyone here by that name.”

Caller: “RHONDA! RHONDA! I need to talk to Rhonda!”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there is no one here named Rhonda. What department were you trying to reach?”

Caller: “The newsletter girl! I want to talk to Rhonda!”

Receptionist: “Oh, Sue is in charge of the newsletters. I can transfer you to her right now.”

Caller: “Why did she change her name?!”

Bigotry Begins With The Boss

| Seattle, WA, USA | Working | September 1, 2012

(Note: I’m half-Scottish and half-Native American.)

Supervisor: “Which one of your parents is Japanese?”

Me: “What?”

Supervisor: “It says on your resume you speak Japanese. So, which parent is it?”

Me: “No, I just study it because I get a scholarship for it. But I’m not Japanese.”

Supervisor: “Well, what are you, then?”

Me: “Um… Scottish?”

Supervisor: “Stop lying to me! You don’t have freckles, so you can’t be Scottish. You’re definitely not really white.”

Me: “My dad’s Native. ”

Supervisor: “Ah ha…”

(My supervisor wanders off and returns five minutes later.)

Supervisor: “We need to move you to another desk.”

Me: *surprised* “Why?”

Supervisor: “I don’t want you fraternizing with the other employees. They need to stay on task, and you’re distracting them. Natives have problems with authority and steal things!”

(Incredibly, my supervisor’s boss agreed with her. I was fired soon afterwards, but thankfully I have since moved abroad and now have a bigot-free job in a large international firm.)

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Email Fail

| Houston, TX, USA | Working | August 26, 2012

(The following conversation takes place between the office manager and myself.)

Office Manager: “Is your internet down?”

Me: “Yes, yours too?”

Office Manager: “Yes, I sent the IT department a message.”

Me: “Did you email the message?”

Office Manager: “Yes, why?”

Me: *waits patiently*

Office Manager: “Oh, crap! I’ll go call them.”

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