Managers Will Drive You Crazy (And Nowhere Else)

, , , | Working | January 29, 2021

Ten years ago, my sister worked in our capital city, in the sales office of a big production company which is some 100km away. The headquarters have all the high-level managers, and they have one middle-level manager heading the sales office in the capital.

After about two years of her working there, a new head manager arrives in my sister’s office and nobody is taken with him. When my sister was hired, they specifically asked her if she had a driver’s license, because her position meant she would use a company car. That car never materialized, and she would use cabs and let the company pay for the invoices.

Six months after the new head manager arrives, she quits. Headquarters asks her to come in for an exit interview with the CEO. He is interested in one point specifically and it looks like the main topic for the interview.

CEO: “Can you tell me why you have so many cab fare invoices?”

Sister: *Dumbfounded* “Well, [Old Manager] told me to bring invoices to the company whenever I went to meetings. I hope that is okay. We all did it that way.”

CEO: “Yes, but why do you have so many invoices now?

My sister, trying to find sense in his questions, starts explaining the arrangement, which is extremely common in our country, once more. 

The CEO, just as lost as she is, finally manages to ask the right question. 

CEO: “Why aren’t you using the company car we sent you?”

Sister: “I… was never sent one?”

CEO: “Yes, you were, just when [New Manager] was sent over.”

My sister is very calm, but also more confused by the second. 

Sister: “No, I have neither heard about a car nor seen one. You can call anyone at the office, and they will tell you the same.”

At almost the same moment, both my sister and the CEO remembered what kind of person the new manager was. The CEO just broke off the topic and my sister left the interview. She later learned that the new manager had simply given the car to his wife. He was never punished in any way because he was the son of a high-level manager. This kind of issue was exactly the problem and reason why she left the company. She now earns about double what the highest-level manager in that company makes.

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Is That Inches Or Centimeters? Just Curious.

, , , , , | Working | December 28, 2020

My husband is a senior partner in a big law office. I call him up so he can measure a specific thing on his face for a snorkeling mask I need to buy. Still on the phone with me, he walks up to a secretary, takes a ruler from her desk, nods at her, and disappears into the bathroom; he needs a mirror to measure.

He comes out brandishing the ruler and she hears him speak to me.

Husband: “Eleven, it’s eleven.”

Almost at her desk, he stops as I explain to him that he measured wrong.

Me: “No way is it eleven. Even my measure is above eleven.”

Husband: “It is eleven.” *Pause* “No, it’s not longer.” *Pause* “It should be longer?” *Pause* “But it is eleven.” *Pause* “Oh, I should measure from there.” *Pause* “Okay, let’s do it again.”

He walks back to the bathroom and comes out again.

Husband: “Okay, now it’s thirteen and a half. Is that okay?” *Pause* “Okay.” *Pause* “Byeee!” 

And he left the ruler at the desk of a completely shocked woman. He only realized what had happened once he was back at his desk. It was one of those things where going back and explaining only would only make things worse.

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Having A Meow Meow Pow Wow

, , , | Right | February 24, 2020

I was in a pharmacy with two pharmacists working. I was waiting in the left line while in the right there was one of “those” customers, a woman who wanted a “spray that heals cuts.” There was previously an antibiotic spray on the market which did something similar but it’s not available anymore.

The pharmacist explains and explains and the woman says that’s not even it; this spray she is talking about basically heals the injury instantly. (NASA would love to have those, probably!) They go back and forth for a long time.

We all watch with sympathy as the scene unfolds. Since I can be a bit of a complicated customer, I also watch and think, “Whew, there you go. You are not the worst one; that one is definitely crazier!”

As I get called up to the pharmacist on the left, I tell her what I need and she turns around to get it for me. I sort of stare into space and get lost in thought and start quietly singing to myself, “Meow, meow, meow…” to the tune of an ad jingle. Before you ask, I have no idea why.

The pharmacist turns around to see me quietly meowing to a melody to myself and, as our eyes meet, I can just see her thinking, “The crazies are everywhere.”

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From One Parent To Another

, , , , , | Hopeless | October 6, 2018

My child has a health problem. Recently a lab has popped up in the US which has a very important diagnostic test offered as a cheek swab for 250 USD, whereas previously this was a very lengthy and invasive procedure costing thousands.

I contact the company to learn how I can get the cheek swab kit from them, and how I can ship it back, since I am in Europe. A friend from the US is coming over soon, so we decide that they should ship it to her. However, they are in Philadelphia and she is in Chicago… and the cheek swab needs to be delivered back to them a maximum of 24 hours after it is taken.

When I receive this bit of info via email, I start sputtering, “But… But!” to myself, and all my hopes drop. It’s simply impossible. But no, they have a solution; the person emailing with me says that he will personally drive to any closeby airport such as JFK or NJ, as long as I can find someone who will bring it with them, and take the sample from this person. This makes it possible, since my city has a direct flight to JFK, and I can surely find someone I know who will be going some time soon.

When I ask why they would do this, and say that I have never seen this level of service before, the man writes that he has a child, too. I cry my eyes out. He will be getting a nice gift with the sample, too.

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Wronged By Squatter’s Rights

, , , , , | Legal | August 22, 2018

(I live in a dense and popular neighbourhood where a lot of gentrification has been going on — old houses coming down and flashier new ones going up. I live next to a house which has been gutted in preparation for tearing it down. It is locked, since it is really old and the floors are collapsing, so it is very unsafe to go inside. I have detailed knowledge of the house structure and condition, since one of my cats constantly climbs up on the roof. We have to get a climbing crew in to get him down, since he only has one eye and no depth-perception, so he gets scared to come down. We do this about once a week. One day, I look out of my window and see a man forcing the way in with a crowbar. That door is about three metres from my window, so I see it very clearly. I call the police:)

Me: “I am calling to report someone breaking in into my neighbour’s house.”

Police Officer: “And how do you know he us breaking in and not just going in regularly?”

Me: “Well, you know when you watch someone breaking into a house in a movie? They do not have to caption what is happening for you to know.”

Police Officer: “Well, I would not like to come over and then have that be a good friend of the owner.”

Me: “He is opening the door with a crowbar.”

Police Officer: “Maybe he has the permission of the owner?”

(I do not recall what I said, but I managed to convince them to come out. They did come out, but by that time the wannabe squatter was inside and had closed the door behind him. The police stood around idly for a few minutes and decided all was good. I did not want to come out because I was scared the squatter might be aggressive, so I just seethed from my window. Apparently, somebody else called them again and they came out and so did the owner. They went in and took the squatter outside, and I could hear the discussion. The squatter saying it was open, and the policemen kept saying they had no clue who the real owner was, the squatter or the owner, and “they were not the court to decide that.” Having had enough, I went outside and told them that I saw him open the door with the crowbar and that I knew for certain that the door was locked because otherwise I would go and take my cat down on foot and not call climber crews every week. The police, however, just shrugged and moved on. The owner gave the squatter a look and told him that the house would be coming down in a few days, with or without him in it. After that, I always tell people not to be afraid someone will rob their home, but rather that someone would just come in and not leave.)

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