Going On Ad-Museum

| Alphen a/d Rijn, The Netherlands | Working | August 5, 2017

(The history park has a small museum near the entrance. Every school day, one Roman Age employee is sent there to intercept the incoming school groups, in order to make sure that they all have a tour through the museum. Our director, who is clearly not the most reasonable and socially adept person in the world, insists on this, even when the teachers don’t want it. When the teachers refuse, he has a tendency to blame the employees for not following his orders. He is nicknamed “the Village Idiot” This morning, I’m the one on museum duty. However, I am also scheduled to do a group tour at 10:15 am, which leaves me very little time for museum duty. This is obviously a schedule error, but I decide to follow it, so that the school class is not without a guide. That school turns out to be the first one to arrive.)

Me: “Good morning. I believe your group will be split in two and one half has a tour this morning. Is that right?”

Teacher: “Yes, indeed.”

Me: “Good. I will be your tour guide. Before we start, the group is invited to visit our [Museum]. It starts out with a little documentary. After that, you can also decide to take a look in the museum halls.”

Teacher: “All right. Seeing the video is nice. But I don’t think we need to go that long into the museum. That way, we can start on time with the tour.”

Me: “That’s fine. I’ll accompany our half to the Roman Age. The other half could stay and look around here if you like.”

Teacher: “Thank you, but I think it would be better for them to start out in the park too. They have assignments to do, you see.”

(I decide not to argue and comply with their wishes. After all, they are our clients and I can’t force them to do something they don’t want to. Several minutes later, I take my group to the Roman Age part of the park. I start doing the tour. However, in the middle of my first story, the Village Idiot arrives by bike, as he always does, and interrupts.)

Village Idiot: “Where’s that school you were with in the museum?”

Me: “That’s the one here. They have a tour.”

Village Idiot: “No, the other ones! The other half!”

Me: “Oh, they went into the park on their own to do assignments.”

Village Idiot: “No, no, they can’t! They’re supposed to stay at the museum for much longer. You should go back there, [My Name].”

(It is as I feared. The tour is getting in danger of being interrupted and messed up by him. I know that if I obey, the group will stay here without a tour guide, while the Village Idiot won’t look for a replacement, leaving them to figure it out themselves. Instead he will just blame the planner for “doing things wrong.” So, contrary to my obedient nature, I decide to stay firm and do the wisest thing.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t leave. This group has a tour now.”

Village Idiot: “No, you have to go back to the museum right now!”

Me: “No, I can’t. This group has a tour and they paid for it!”

(That last argument is exactly the one thing he can be sensitive about: money. The man does what he usually does when realising he can’t win an argument: turn around and push off without a word.)

School Kid: *jokingly* “Oh, dear, we have to leave now?”

Me: “Not at all. The man shouldn’t be meddling with us.”

(In the meantime, I see the Village Idiot cycling towards a colleague of mine.)

Village Idiot: *stressed out* “It’s all going wrong already!”

(Rest of the day I felt triumphant for finally standing up against that fool who calls himself director but always messes up schedules without caring about the consequences, and blaming people for his own stupidity.)

Weeding Out The Dishonest Employees

| PEI, Canada | Working | July 17, 2017

(I’m a janitorial worker at a national park, meaning one of my jobs is to pick up litter around parking areas and walkways. I’m picking up trash near a parking area while a coworker is circling the wooden walkway, when under the lower branches of a pine tree I find one of those ziploc-type bags with a valve that allows them to be vacuum sealed. As I pick it up, I notice it’s full of a sizable amount — I’d guess at least a dozen, maybe more — of what are very obviously marijuana buds. At the time this story happened and as of the time of this writing, marijuana was not legal in Canada. As such, I bring it to my coworker because she is carrying the radio that I would need to report the discovery.)

Coworker: *on seeing the bag* “Wow. Are you going to smoke all of that?”

Me: *assuming she’s joking* “No, I was thinking I’d just throw it in the dumpster.”

Coworker: “Can I have it, then?”

Me: “I, um…”

Coworker: *takes bag* “Thanks! I was just thinking I was going to need to replenish my stock.”

(She puts the bag in her backpack and we drive back to the staff room for lunch break. Over the journey, I manage to convince her to report it to our supervisor. When we arrive at the staff room, most of the other staff are back, but the supervisor hasn’t returned yet. Coworker tells the other staff about the bag and shows it to them in the meantime.)

Coworker #2: “Can I have some?”

Coworker #1: “Nah, [My Name] convinced me to turn it in to [Supervisor].”

Coworker #3: *half-jokingly* “Not cool, dude.”

(Coworkers #2 and #3, as well as several others, try to convince Coworker #1 not to report the find, unsuccessfully. When our supervisor returns she turns the bag over to him.)

Supervisor: “So you just found this on the ground?”

Coworker #1: “Well, [My Name] did. He convinced me to report it.”

Supervisor: *to Coworker* “Do you want it? You could just keep it.”

Me: “What?”

Supervisor: “Just, you know, don’t tell anyone. We could all lose our jobs over this.” *to me* “That goes for you, too.”

Coworker: *happily* “Okay!” *skips off with illegal drugs*

(It was at this point I just gave up on trying to get people to report and turn in the drugs, although apparently Coworker #1 eventually did turn them in to some higher-up or other. I, however, didn’t learn about that fact until two or three months later, when we were all commended for it during the annual performance reviews.)

It’s Going To Be A Dog-Day Afternoon

| Chicago, IL, USA | Related | July 7, 2017

(My mother has a fear of dogs as a result of being chased by one as a little kid. Today, my mom has taken my twin brother and me to the park where my girl’s soccer practice is located. My brother — a lover of all living creatures — points out a man with three large bulldogs running around without leashes. Note that my brother plays baseball on the weekends, and that my mother insists on walking us into everything: school, sports practice, hangouts, etc.)

Mom: *pulls my brother’s bat out of the trunk*

Me: “Mom, what’re you doing with a bat?”

Mom: “In case the dogs come to chase us.”

Brother: *apparently only hearing the word ‘dogs’* “Aren’t they so ADORABLE, Mom? I bet they’re purebred—”

(Brother turns around.)

Brother: “Mom, what’s the bat for?”

(My mom opens her mouth but one of the dogs bark loudly, making her jump back and hold up the bat.)

Brother: *getting it* “Mom, NO! You can’t just carry a bat around to hit dogs!”

Mom: *pulls baseball out of the trunk also* “There. Now you can be practicing your hit while [My Name]’s in soccer.”

Brother: *whispering to me* “I thought I was leaving after you get dropped off?”

Me: *shrugs*

Brother: “Keep her away from the dogs. Please.”

(My mother did not have to hit a dog.)

Scoring All Over The Awesome Spectrum

, , , , | Hopeless | July 4, 2017

(I have both ADHD and Asperger’s. Thankfully, both are relatively mild. I’m attending my friend’s son’s sixth birthday party. My friend has previously mentioned that he is worried his son might have ADHD and is planning on getting him tested. So as we’re watching the children play, I ask him if there’s been any reply yet. It turns out that his son does have ADHD, but is also on the autism spectrum. I ask him how they’re coping, and he responds with this:)

Friend: “The big thing is that I have to adjust what I picture for him. My mental image of the man he’d grow up to was, to be honest, a younger version of me. That’s not really in the cards now, and I have to accept that. So we started thinking of what we wanted for him, and we thought of you.”

Me: “Um, wow. Thanks.”

Friend: “You’ve got this stuff to deal with, but you never let it control you. You’re smart. You’re creative. So, yeah.”

(I’m not sure he even realized that he’d just given me the greatest compliment in my life!)

They Don’t Smell A Rat… Until You Tell Them

, , , , | Friendly | June 23, 2017

(I keep fancy rats as pets. Occasionally I’ll take them out for walks riding on my shoulder (with leash and harness). They are very friendly and inquisitive and would never bite, but unfortunately conversations like these happen often.)

Stranger: “Awww, what’s that on your shoulder?” *pets rat, who is licking their hand*

Me: “This is [Rat]. She’s very friendly!”

Stranger: “Awwww, what a cute name! I really love hamsters! They’re so sweet!”*keep in mind they’re still petting her*

Me: “Actually, she’s a rat.”

(The reaction is immediate. They leap back in shock, staring at me and my rat like I just killed a child, and then look at their hand.)

Stranger: “Oh, my God, how could you?! That’s disgusting! It could kill you! Get rid of it!”

(Yes, even though they were just stroking her and singing the rat’s praises, as soon as they found out she was a rat they instantly hate her. Plus, during this whole conversation the rat’s tail was clearly visible. I don’t know how you could mistake her for a hamster…)

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