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A Sickening Lack Of Cover

, , , , | Working | August 25, 2017

(There is a bug going around town that most of us in the office have either caught or are coming down with. Several employees are out, and the rest of us either have just gotten over it, are feeling like we’re coming down with it, or have had family members who have had it. My department has three of us: myself, Coworker #1, and Coworker #2. I work early morning until three, Coworker #1 from late morning to six, and Coworker #3 (our part-time person) from midday to six. Coworker #1 and I are both feeling unwell, but since it’s the slowest day of the week, we’re both thinking we might leave early — provided Coworker #2 is feeling well and can cover the phones when we leave. Coworker #2 arrives, extremely chipper and bubbly. Everyone who has the bug is very sluggish, and you can tell, but she has no signs of feeling sick at all.)

Coworker #2: “Hi, everyone! How’s it going?”

(Cue series of not-so-energetic responses from us.)

Coworker #2: “Oh, dear, you don’t seem like you’re having a good day!”

(She proceeds to continue on about how great her morning has been. About an hour later, Coworker #1 returns from lunch.)

Coworker #1: “You know, I’m still feeling bad… I may have to go home. [Coworker #2], you might have to cover this evening by yourself. I’m sorry!”

Coworker #2: “Oh? Wait, you’re leaving?”

Coworker #1: “Maybe. Going to see how I feel but I might.”

Coworker #2: *visibly deflates* “You’ll leave me by myself?”

Coworker #1: “I don’t want to, but if I need to, yeah. I’m just feeling really bad.”

Coworker #2: “Oh… [My Name], you’ll be here though, right?”

Me: “No, I get off at three like usual. Plus, I’m also feeling kind of sick so I’ll probably head out a little early if we’re not busy.”

Coworker #2: “Oh… you know, I don’t feel very good either… I’m going on break, though. See you in an hour! Bye!” *dashes off*

(An hour later, I get a text from Coworker #2.)

Coworker #2: “Hey, I’m sick. Can’t come back in today.”

(As our manager is out sick himself, I show it to Coworker #1, who frowns.)

Coworker #1: “She was fine until she heard I might leave early!”

Me: “Do I need to call her on it? I mean, I’m not the manager, but he’s out sick, too…”

Coworker #1: “Nah, I think I’m good. I’ll just hope we’re slow! And if I really have to go, I’ll call [Manager]. Maybe we can close up early.”

(I end up staying a little later than three to make sure Coworker #1 was okay, and she stayed until her normal shift ended. Thankfully, we were both feeling better the next day — and hopefully that situation won’t occur again, because even though I feel bad to say it, I’m not sure I trust Coworker #2 to come through for us if it does!)

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The Best Stories Are Told At 3am

, , , , , , | Right | August 17, 2017

(I take a second job working the overnight shift at a 24-hour gas station and convenience store. It is my first time ever working third shift. Around three am, while preparing coffee and pastries for the morning rush, my mind starts to wander.)

Me: *thinking to myself* “I wonder what some of these customers stories are. Like, what’s going on in your life that you wander into a gas station at three am on a Tuesday morning? It would sure be interesting to get to know some of these people.”

(Then, just as I turn around and face the front of the store, a rusted out, windowless van pulls up to the gas pumps. What appears to be a little old lady climbs out and approaches the store. As this person gets closer, it becomes clear that this is no lady. This is a man, with full beard (in other words, not even trying to fool anyone) in a thrift store dress, sensible ladies shoes, white gloves, and your grandma’s purse draped over his arm.)

Me: “May I help you?”

Customer: *in the sweetest little old lady voice* “Just a coffee, regular, please.”

(He was very polite. I didn’t get the sense that this was some sort of prank or anything. Just seemed like that’s what he’s into. I’m not bigoted in any way and support all kinds of lifestyles, but remembering what I was thinking just before he walked in, I now thought “I REALLY want to know this dude’s story!”)

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Burning The Midnight Lube

, , , | Working | August 17, 2017

(I work at a big farm in Romania. My boss is French but he’s been living here for about 20 years, so he speaks Romanian. As we are a rather large, we also have an irrigation system that usually works non-stop. This particular night, one of the pipes that supplies water for our irrigation system doesn’t work. The pipe is owned by a different company. The following conversation happens between my boss and the executive of the said company, at midnight.)

Boss: “Hi, we have a problem with the pipe [reference] for the fields [reference], and—”

Executive: “It’s midnight. I don’t know what you are doing in France at this hour, but here we f*** our wives!” *hangs up*

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A Professor That Gives You The Time Of Day

, , , , | Learning | August 7, 2017

(The gene my research group is studying is time-of-day sensitive, so I’ve been in the lab since four am. I haven’t had time to eat anything, and my period started about an hour ago, so by the time my research professor gets in at nine, I’m hangry, cramping, in a foul mood, and only moderately coherent. Thankfully, we’ve worked together long enough that he speaks my language.)

Professor: “Another early day? How are you doing?”

Me: “I’m full of blood and rage, and I wish to kick the a** of everything that expresses genes or respirates aerobically.”

Professor: “That bad, huh? The munchkins arrive at noon, and the department meeting is at three. Think you’ll make it?”

(I’d totally forgotten that a local science summer camp was coming by today to see ‘real scientists at work!’ and I groan, mumbling incoherently about murder and chemical dilutions.)

Professor: “I kinda figured. I’ll make [Lab-Mate] show the kids around. In the meantime, go grab the emergency lab sleeping bag out of my office, and for the love of Sagan, go take a nap. I’ll finish this up. There’s a new bottle of extra-strength Tylenol in the top left drawer of my desk if you need it, too.”

Me: “…the terms of treaty are acceptable, and the a**-kicking of you and the rest of the lab have been down-graded from potentially imminent to purely theoretical.”

(When the kids arrived, I was crashed out on one of the common area couches, using the emergency lab sleeping bag as a blanket. My lab-mate told me later that he laughed, and told them this was also an important part of being a scientist — learning to sleep where and when you can!)

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The Key To Avoiding Overtime

, , , | Working | June 28, 2017

(I work as a pharmacy technician. As a rule, we aren’t allowed to carry non-clear bags (i.e. purses, backpacks, etc.) into the pharmacy, and as a result hand carry in valuables like phones, keys, and wallets. Early on, the lead technicians and managers had figured out I would stay later if asked, sometimes up to two hours after my shift had ended. This would usually end in my girlfriend or some other friend calling me at the pharmacy worried to see if I was still there or had gotten home yet. To stop from being asked to stay later, I start sneaking out of the pharmacy through the side door, which is one way. It is after a shift with at least one coworker who has a reputation of trying to talk me into staying later, and it is a busy night. I slip out the side door, am grabbing my things to leave, when I realize I left my keys in the pharmacy. Unfortunately, the only way to get into the pharmacy is through the front half-door. I try to get back in unnoticed by my coworkers, which doesn’t work at all. As I’m grabbing my keys, my coworkers stop me.)

Coworker #1: “What, you left without saying goodbye?” *standard procedure so that we know which areas of the pharmacy aren’t covered*

Manager: “Yeah, we were just discussing that. You do that a lot.”

Me: “If I say I’m leaving, you guys usually try to make me stay later.”

Coworker #2: “See? I told you she’d say that!”

Coworker #1: “Yeah… I probably would’ve asked you to stay later.”

(I can’t say I wasn’t asked to stay later after that night, but at least since saying something in front of the manager, the lead techs would give me at least a few hours notice of wanting me to stay later.)

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