Smoking Will Kill You

, , , , , | Right | March 30, 2019

(So far, the refund of a faulty petrol-powered hedge trimmer has been going normally. The item has been deemed faulty by an expert, and the customer has his receipt and has been pleasant throughout. However, there is a problem: for legal reasons we cannot accept the hedge trimmer until the petrol has been drained out it. This has to be done by the customer offsite and into a fuel can for safety reasons. I explain this to the customer, and he appears to understand and walks off. I’m just serving the next customer when, out of the corner of my eye, I witness this customer pouring petrol into a PAPER CUP, which is in turn balanced precariously on top of the cigarette bin at the entrance to the store.)

Me: “Stop! Stop! For the love of God stop!”

Customer: “Why? What am I doing?”

Me: “I said for you to empty that offsite into an appropriate container! And look what it’s on!”

(The customer begins to slowly read the words, “Please extinguish your cigarette here.”)

Customer: “Oh. I didn’t realise what you meant.”

(After this, we now make sure that customers take such items away before serving the next customer.)

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A Rags To Rashes Story

, , , , | Healthy | March 12, 2019

My dad likes to share this story of when he worked in a science lab.

There were massive security protocols in place for everything, but one day, a pile of what looked like rags was left in a high-traffic area. People were basically forced to step on the rags to walk through. Nobody seemed to be paying attention to them, or be concerned that they were just lying there.

My dad saw them when he arrived for the day and was finally the one who followed protocol and called it in.

Apparently, the response was something to behold. The lab was shut down. Nobody in the entire lab facility was allowed to leave until they went through thorough decontamination; since it was a high-traffic area, basically everyone had to be considered “exposed” to… whatever it was. Their clothes and shoes were confiscated. People in Hazmat suits came, collected the rags, shut down the wing for decontamination, and left everyone sitting around for hours, unable to do anything or leave.

At the end of the day, an all-clear was given: “We’ve determined that there’s no contamination or exposure from the rags. However, if anyone develops a fungus-like infection or rash, please report it immediately.”

My dad commented, “That’s so comforting to hear.”

The entire staff got to be dragged in for a refresher on safety protocols and “why we don’t just walk through a potential contamination hazard.”

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Not Watching The Projectiles Is Actually Even Less Safe

, , , | Right | March 1, 2019

(I work in an open-air museum. During the summer, we always have a visit from a British living history society, who bring reconstructions of Roman artillery pieces with them, which they actually use for demonstrations. However, most people don’t seem to understand how dangerous these things can be if used incorrectly. Every day, when doing such a demonstration, we have to get all visitors to the safe side of the field where the demonstration is being held. And every day, we have the same discussion with at least one person:)

Me: “Would you all go to the far side of the field, please? Just for your own safety!”

Visitor: “Oh, I’m not going to watch the demonstration.”

Me: “You don’t need to watch it. You just have to get out of this area, because otherwise you might get killed by a projectile.”

(Not to mention all the indignant faces people make when you tell them to get out of the danger zone.)

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Spoon Fed That Bomb Joke

, , , , , , | Right | January 22, 2019

I was the stupid customer in this one. We were in the security line at the airport, waiting to get through. We had to fly across the country because my grandmother had just died, and we needed to be there.

We made it to the other side, but our stuff, including my backpack, hadn’t. So, we waited. And we waited. And waited. Finally, an airport worker walked over to us and asked if any of us might have brought a metal spoon. We shook our heads, and he walked away.

About two minutes after he walked away, I had a sudden realization. Two weeks before I had been on a youth retreat of sorts where we decorated spoon handles with clay. I had used the same backpack on that trip. I remembered putting the spoon in the side pocket, but not taking it out. Normally for a trip like this, I would have emptied out all of the pockets. However, because I was still reeling from the news of my grandmother’s death, I hadn’t been thinking clearly. Thus, emptying out my backpack had simply slipped my mind.

I flagged down the same airport worker and explained my theory. He took my backpack out and handed it off to his female coworker. She took it to the side to search through for the spoon. Along with the tangled mess of charging cords and headphones, she pulled out the clay-handled spoon. At the sight of the silly [Popular Cartoon Character] handle, she started to laugh. When she saw my confusion, she explained. Their software had detected metal surrounded by organic material surrounded by wires. They’d thought that the only thing that it could be was a bomb. I began to laugh, too, and she put everything back into my bag.

I’ve always heard horror stories about the TSA, but they didn’t act anything like I would’ve expected. While it did slow us down, I got a good laugh during a week where there hadn’t been much to laugh about.

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Not Having His Day Means Neither Is Anyone Else

, , , , | Working | January 11, 2019

(At our reception, we work with a team; not everyone is working every day. We have a decent system, like a log, so people know what happened the day before. One of the team members, [Coworker], never uses the log and doesn’t do most of his responsibilities. He once left an accidental spill unattended for hours, instead of calling for cleaners or cleaning it up himself — regular cleaning mopped it up for us in the evening. We mentioned this to him and our manager, but there is little change. Because we are understaffed, management can’t let him go. One morning, I enter the building for opening up. The door is unlocked. The blinds are up. The heater –which should never be left unattended — is still blazing. Important documents are spread out over the table, right in the open. A few minutes after cleaning things up and checking the log — no entry — management comes in.)

Me: “Excuse me, [Manager], who was on duty yesterday?”

Manager: “[Coworker], why?”

(I manage to hold back a “Why am I not surprised?” and tell him how I found things. The manager sighs.)

Manager: “He already mentioned yesterday he wasn’t having his day. When I noticed [chore] hadn’t been done yet, I asked him if he needed help. I hadn’t seen him yet and boy, he looked awful. He got beaten up due to mistaken identity and he said he wasn’t feeling good. But even so, he should’ve done his standard chores.”

Me: “Or asked for help? Or mentioning it beforehand?”

Manager: “I’ll talk about it to him… again.”

(I know we are understaffed, but this is seriously not working. I’ve requested if he can be transferred to another department, with fewer responsibilities. You simply can’t leave an office unlocked, with a fire hazard burning!)

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