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It’s Not Baldur’s Fault He Has No Thumbs!

, , , , , , | Learning | May 17, 2022

I’m half of a therapy dog team, and one of our regular gigs is a reading program at the local library. It’s to get kids ages six to twelve to come to the library where they sign up for sessions to read to a dog, and it’s a pretty popular activity. My German shepherd partner, Baldur, adores kids and is very affectionate; we call him the Kissing Bandit at home. It’s a habit I try gently but firmly to discourage.

After a little girl finishes her book, she lies down on the mat next to Baldur and begins talking to him, and of course, he is licking her face all the time. Note that one of the guidelines for therapy dog handlers is that unless it’s absolutely necessary, we shouldn’t physically correct the dogs when we’re with clients.

Me: “You know, it’s perfectly okay to let him lick your ear or your hand, but you don’t want to let him lick your face.”

Girl: “It’s fine! I like it. I let our dog at home give me kisses all the time!”

Behind her back, her mother is grimacing.

Me: “Yes, but remember that a dog uses his tongue to wash himself. EVERYWHERE.”

The girl thinks about this for a few seconds, and then:

Girl: “Eeeeew!”

Her mother silently mouthed “thank you” to me.

When Even Mother Nature Is Telling Them To Shut Up

, , , , , , , | Right | May 17, 2022

I am selling British-style fish and chips at the beach. They are very popular with the beachgoers… and the seagulls! I warn everyone to be careful around the critters when walking away with their food, but there’s always one person…

Customer: “A seagull stole my fish!”

Me: “Yikes! Yeah, they do tend to do that.”

The customer just stares at me.

Me: “Was there anything else, ma’am?”

Customer: “Well? Aren’t you going to do anything?”

Me: “Would you like to buy another fish?”

Customer: “You need to give me another one for free!”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but it’s a natural hazard for being on a busy beach. You need to watch out for the seagulls.”

Customer: “You work on the beach! The seagulls are part of the beach! Therefore, they’re your responsibility, and you owe me another fish!”

At this point, a seagull has landed close to the moaning customer and started honking super loudly. Another customer in my line speaks up to the moaning customer:

Customer #2: “When I can’t tell the difference between a honking seagull and an entitled blowhard like you, then you should take the hint. Go away!”

The moaning customer, shocked into silence for a moment, was about to kick off again when yet ANOTHER seagull flew down and started honking. Realizing she was defeated, she harrumphed and stormed off.

The birds followed her.

Kitty Just Likes A Little Support

, , , , , , , | Working | May 16, 2022

After two years of working from home, I return to the office. I see a coworker whom I haven’t seen in real life in that same time, and we start chatting near the coffee machine.

Coworker #1: “And how is Robin doing?”

Me: “Oh, Robin is fine. The only odd thing is that he’s lately very obsessed with my bras. He keeps on sniffing the one I wore that day. I tried giving him an old one to fool around with, but no, it has to be the one I wore that day.”

Coworker #1: “And he never did that before?”

Me: “No, but I guess as long as he doesn’t rip them, I’m okay with it.”

Coworker #2: “[My Name], how could you?!”

Me: “Eh… excuse me? Oh, hi, [Coworker #2], didn’t see you.”

Coworker #2: “How old is Robin now?”

Me: “Eh… seven years old?”

Coworker #2: “And you just let this happen?! You should put a stop to this, right now! Sure, it may be bras now, but what’s next, panties?! And you’re just okay with that? [My Name], you of all, people, I expected more of. How can you be okay with this? And don’t go saying, ‘Boys will be boys’! What does your husband say about this?”

Me: *Pauses* “[Coworker #2], you do remember that Robin is my cat, right?”

I’ve never seen anyone turn that red. [Coworker #2] quickly left; she must have remembered that my husband and I don’t have any children. And while I am looking into my cat’s behaviour, I doubt a seven-year-old, neutered, indoor cat will be the world’s next danger for women.

This Office Has A Rat

, , , , , , | Working | May 16, 2022

I work for the IT department of a rather big company as a first-level tech. My job is to answer the internal IT-Desk helpline, open a ticket, make a first assessment of the caller’s problem, if possible, solve it if it is minor, and forward it to the right expert if it isn’t.

I answer a call with my usual greeting, which clearly states that the caller has reached the IT help desk, but I am interrupted before I even get to it.

Caller: *Loud and upset* “You need to come here right now! There’s a rat in my drawer!”

Me: “Pardon me? There’s what?”

Caller: “A rat! There’s a rat in my drawer!”

Me: “I think you’ve got the wrong number; this is the IT helpdesk! You want maintenance. Let me get you—”

Caller: *Interrupting again* “No! I need help! This is the helpdesk! There is a rat in my drawer! Now come and help me, you lazy f***!”

Me: “And what am I supposed to do with your rat? Does it need software updates? You want a new casing for it or maybe a mousepad to make it cosy in your drawer? I can’t help you, madam! Call maintenance!”

The caller falls into expletives, yelling ugly derogatives at me before I can even try to give her the number for maintenance.

I don’t have to stay on the phone with abusive idiots who don’t understand that IT doesn’t have to play nice here, so I just disconnect the call and block her number for thirty minutes so she can’t immediately hassle a colleague. I am now lost as to what to put into the ticket I have to write for every call for documentation. Finally, I just put, “Caller tried to report a rat in her drawer. Directed her to maintenance.”

Every employee has a personalized caller ID that automatically attaches their tickets to their individual call in the system, auto-filling their names and positions as well. I don’t write in about the swear words and derogatives in detail as I think she was just scared of the rat, but I flag her as getting abusive anyway and hit the button to save the recording of the call which would otherwise be deleted as soon as I closed the call.

The next day, I get called into my boss’s office. Inside is a smug-looking woman leering at me, one of the department heads, and my boss.

Boss: “Well, we’re here to clear up an accusation against you. Mrs. [Caller] here insists you’ve cursed at her, belittled her, and refused to help her with a simple issue. Can you clear that up for us? I would have looked up your logs, but [Department Head] insisted on talking through that issue.”

Me: “Well, I insist on listening to that call right now; I saved it to the ticket just in case. Before that, we’re not talking about anything.”

I see Mrs. [Caller]’s face go pale, and she opens her mouth, but before she can say anything, my boss, who must have pulled the ticket with her name already, hits play, and the call recording blasts from his speakers.

After the whole fiasco plays, everyone is silent until my boss turns to the woman and says sweetly:

Boss: “So, what was it you wanted from us for your rat? The hardware or the software update?”

The department head is red as a tomato. Between clenched teeth, he apologises and shoos the woman out of the room. My boss is grinning from ear to ear.

Boss: “Sorry for that scene. I would not have allowed this to happen to anyone else, but I know you can take it. That moron, [Department Head], is just newly promoted and already trying to push his weight in a really inappropriate way. His whole department nowadays behaves as if they’re everyone’s bosses, and they need a little pushback. And I needed a witness.”

I assured him it was all okay and agreed to go on and put in a complaint against both with Human Resources along with my boss. The next time I got that woman on the line — this time for an actual IT issue — she was very meek and subdued.

HR listened to the call, and I know she got a warning not to treat colleagues that way.

During the next meeting with my boss, he dropped that the department head was demoted again. He hadn’t even lasted a month.


Theft? What?

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2022

I am working late at a veterinary hospital and a note was left for the doctor. The phone rings, and I answer.

Me: “[Veterinary Hospital], my name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Owner: *Politely* “Hi there. I left a note for the doctor this afternoon and I haven’t heard back yet. My pet’s name is [Pet] and my last name is [Owner’s Last Name]. I was wondering if we could fill antibiotics for my pet?”

Me: “Okay, let me look that up for you!” *Typing* “Oh, I see the doctor won’t be in until tomorrow. Sorry about that. My coworker should have let you know! She’ll get back to you tomorrow, but I’ll let you know that standardly the doctor does require a recheck exam prior to filling antibiotics, especially since it’s been a couple months since we’ve seen the pet!”

Owner: *Silence*

Me: *Pauses* “Ma’am, did I lose you?”

Owner: *Suddenly angry* “No, I heard you, but that’s theft.”

Me: *Shocked* “What?”

Owner: “That’s theft to demand a recheck!”

Me: “Ma’am, I was letting you know so you have a realistic expectation of tomorrow’s call with the doctor and to see if you wanted to make the appointment.”

Owner: “That’s theft!”

Me: *Sternly, getting back my senses* “No, it is not.”

Owner: “Yes, it is!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you continue yelling at me, I will have to hang up.”

Owner: *Yelling* “I’m not yelling!”

Me: “Yes. You are.”

Owner: “I’ll talk to the doctor tomorrow!” *Hangs up*