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We Hope He Gets Snow Down His Pants

, , , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2023

For my first studio job out of college, I worked at a high-end video production company doing animation and motion graphics. My coworker and I would go above and beyond, working so much overtime. (And we didn’t get paid for it. If I knew then what I know now…)

Our studio was working on a huge live event, doing multiple giant screen graphics, and we had worked for twenty-four days straight. Twenty-four days. Straight. (Never again.)

The event wrapped, we did solid work, and everyone was happy! I had the audacity to ask for a few days off in the middle of the week for my coworker and me.

Creative Director: “No. Just in case something comes up.”

We literally had no projects on the docket. Then, [Creative Director] came at me.

Creative Director: “I need you to do some motion work for [Video] by tomorrow morning.”

I was a little miffed but got right to work on it. I stayed late to get it done.

The next morning, I went to hand in the file to him. He was nowhere to be seen. 

Me: “Hey, where is [Creative Director]?” 

Other Coworker: “He went snowboarding.”

I had murder in my heart.

I Ain’t Afraid Of No School Children!

, , , , , , , | Learning | January 1, 2023

I’m a substitute school bus driver, filling in for my full-time coworkers when they get ill, take a vacation, drive a field trip, or are absent for whatever reason. Most students don’t really care as long as I get them to where they’re supposed to go, and they simply get on without comment beyond perhaps, “Is this [Route]?”

One bright spring day, though, an elementary student got off the bus with a wave and a big, friendly smile.

Student: “Thanks for the ride! Your hair is so pretty! I love it!”

I smiled and thanked her.

Student: “You look like a Ghostbuster!”

Me: *Confused* “Th-thank… you?”

She nodded confidently.

Student: “It’s a compliment.”

I was too confused to ask for further clarification as she skipped down the road to her home.

I’m a white woman with dark, curly/wavy hair and a body type between Sigourney Weaver and Melissa McCarthy, so maybe she meant one of them? I’d be happy with either. I just hope she didn’t mean I look like Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, or Harold Ramis.

Ah, Yes, The Greed Song

, , , , , , , , | Working | December 19, 2022

I’m in the break room at work, having lunch. A coworker is listening to music on her phone. Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” comes up on her playlist. I really dislike the song, but I’m content to say nothing… until she asks for my opinion.

Coworker: “Oh, I just love this song! Don’t you love it?”

Me: “It’s… not my favorite.”

Coworker: “But you like it some, right?”

Me: “Honestly, no. I’m not a fan.”

Coworker: *Scoffs* “That’s so racist.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Coworker: “Just because the singer is black, you don’t like it?”

Me: “No! I don’t like the lyrics. I think they’re trite. Taylor Swift could sing it and I wouldn’t like it. Eartha Kitt had an amazing voice and was a wonderful actress. This particular song isn’t one I like.”

I don’t know if she believed me or not, but I also don’t care that much. She didn’t use logic to reach her conclusion, so I couldn’t very well use logic to convince her otherwise. For whatever it’s worth, both of us are white women, and while I don’t like that one song, she is always the one to vocally complain about our Asian coworker’s “smelly” lunches, while I don’t mind at all.

Bigger Than A Spider, But WAY Better

, , , , , , , , | Working | December 15, 2022

I used to work as a nanny. One evening after the mom got home, I was chatting with her about the kid’s day as she poured herself a glass of wine. Suddenly, she gasped and jumped back from the counter. I thought she’d seen a big spider and looked around for a glass to catch it in. Then, I noticed that the bag of chips near her wine was rustling. The house got some big spiders in it sometimes, but none that big.

We sprang into action: the girl I watched ushered my toddler out of the room. I handed my baby to the mom. The dog… had an accident. I grabbed a blanket from the nearby couch and shut the door and went looking for the source of the rustling. I stepped on something squishy and looked down, fearing I’d just killed some small animal. It was “just” the dog’s mess. (Yay?)

Then, a blur of movement! Carefully, quietly, I peeked under the couch and the table. Another blur of movement! This time, I caught a tiny, furry animal in the blanket. I carefully opened a little bit of the blanket to see what it was. 

And that was the day I learned that flying squirrels live in the woods of the Seattle area! I carried the bundle to the porch, opened the blanket, and we all got to watch the little creature jump off the blanket and glide away into the trees.

Ten years later, a flying squirrel remains the most unusual animal I’ve seen at any job.

Twenty-Four Hours, Zero Brain Cells

, , , , , , , | Working | December 13, 2022

I work IT for a retail company. A few years ago, before lockdowns and global ick, we moved into a new office building. This building was still in the downtown Seattle area but instead of being near Westlake, it was more in the business district. And they seemed to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what twenty-four-seven means — which our service desk support is. There were several issues in the immediate move, but the most hilarious one for me was my first Saturday after the move.

I got off the train and tried to go in the entrance I normally used, but it was locked because of the weekend. It was a face-palm moment for me, but I hiked up to the regular entrance and then couldn’t get in. I swiped my badge a couple of times and nothing. I tried every door I could see with a scanner and nothing.

Now, I’m female, and at the time, I was about twenty-seven, I was wearing a black backpack, jeans, and a bright red sweatshirt, and my hair was blue and purple — probably not the most threatening picture, I’ll admit.

I was walking back and forth between these scanners, in full view of the security guard. And he did absolutely nothing. He didn’t come and tell me to take a hike, didn’t even call for help, just half-stared at me.

I finally managed to get a hold of one of my coworkers upstairs, and he came down and pointed around the corner to the door we were supposed to use. I’d already tried it, but I headed over and tested it again, and it still didn’t work. He opened the door and double-checked a few things. I didn’t have the badge next to another one, for example, or next to my transit pass; we had discovered that if those badges were even touching something else that could scan, they’d throw a fit and not want to behave.

Coworker: “[Manager] is aware. Luckily, this isn’t affecting everyone’s badges, but when you get up to your desk, send him a message. He’ll give you the next steps. You can use mine if you need to leave for lunch.”

Me: “Sounds good. I didn’t call [attendance line] yet, though. Do you think there’s going to be an issue since I’m like half an hour late?”

Coworker: “Nah, just tell [Manager] and probably stay a little late. You’ll be fine.”

Before I could respond, the security guard had finally gotten off his butt and come over.

Security: “Hello.”

Coworker & Me: “Hi.”

Security: “How can I help?”

Coworker: “We work in the building — [Company] up on fifteen.”

Me: “Yeah, my badge didn’t work so he came to get me.”

Security: “Well, the badges only work Monday through Friday.”

[Coworker] and I kind of blinked at him.

Me: “Uh, well, we’re a twenty-four-seven helpdesk, so that’s not a good thing. And he was able to get in just fine.”

Security: “Well, they don’t usually work on the weekends.”

Coworker: “Our manager is already aware of the issues and is working with the building.”

Security: “So, are you guys going to be here all day?”

Coworker: “Uh, yeah. Someone will be on the floor all day. We are a twenty-four-seven helpdesk.”

By this point, we’d gotten to the elevators and pressed the button. While we were waiting, security kept watching us.

Security: “Well, the badges usually don’t work on the weekends.”

Coworker: “Our manager is getting that fixed.”

The elevator finally arrived and security left us alone. When I left at the end of my shift, the guard was gone, but every Saturday after that he would be there in the morning and he always seemed to watch me a little more. I’m not sure if it was just me or the rest of my coworkers and I just didn’t notice because on weekends we were lighter staffed and usually pretty staggered on shifts, especially early morning.

Our manager finally got the badges working for everyone. He had to explain to the building multiple times that twenty-four-seven meant that we had people who needed access all the time, but it finally somehow got through.

I still don’t understand why that guard just sat there while I was trying to figure this out. I’d even waved at him a couple of times and gotten nothing. Again, I acknowledge that I’m not really all that threatening, but, uh, why not offer to see if there’s a problem?