Frustration Rising One Floor At A Time

, , , | Working | March 30, 2018

My office building has lifts with touch-buttons, which are very sensitive; one light touch and the floor is selected. Furthermore, the buttons sit flush with the wall.

It was lunchtime and the lift was crowded with my colleagues. More people got on, and one of my colleagues found himself pressed against the wall. Unbeknownst to him, he was leaning on the lift buttons, and they started lighting up.

We quickly told him to move away from the buttons, but it was too late. Most of the buttons were selected, and we could not do anything about it. When we arrived at the ground floor, we saw a large crowd of people waiting for the lift. My colleague then walked out nonchalantly and said to the crowd, “Good luck,” before quickly moving out of the building.

We did make a hasty escape, as well, and got away before the grumbles started. The good thing that came out of this was that we can now undo our selection by double-tapping it if we press the wrong buttons.

Pretty Sure One Of Those Will Have A Power Converter

, , , , | Working | February 24, 2018

(I have recently moved to Singapore from the USA and brought a small electric drill with me. The voltage in the USA is 110, and in Singapore it’s 220, so I know I can’t plug the drill into the wall or it will burn out. I stop at a local hardware store and speak to the elderly owner:)

Me: “Uncle, you got sell transformer ah?”

Shop Owner: “Got, got.”

(He came back out with a DVD with giant robots on the cover.)

A Scrabble To Get The Scrumble

, , , | Right | February 23, 2018

(We are a fairly small bookstore.)

Me: “Welcome! Is there a book you would like to purchase?”

Customer: “Yes, please! I can’t remember exactly what it was called… um… Something like… Scrabble?”

Me: “Well, Scrabble is a board game, but we have the children’s book Scumble, by Ingrid Law.”

Customer: “What? You stupid b****, I’m looking for the book Scrabble, not a board game.”

Me: “Well, ma’am—”

Customer: “I can’t believe you think I’m so stupid to the point where I can’t tell a game from a book! Ugh!”

Me: “Ma’am, are you buying this for a friend?”

Customer: “Yes! Here, let me get my son to send a picture of the book.”

(A minute or two goes by, while she gets a picture of the book.)

Customer: “Here it is!”

(She shows me a picture of “Scumble” by Ingrid Law.)

Me: “Ma’am, this is the title of the book I just told you we had in stock.”

Customer: *sputter* “But… but… Whatever! Just give me the God-darned book!”

In A Rush To Make A Fool Of Himself

, , , , | Friendly | February 1, 2018

(I am standing in line at a fast food place that recently started taking contactless payment. My student card, thanks to my university’s contacts, is able to make such payments, so I usually have it on me. Suddenly, a well-dressed man cuts in front of me just before I can make my order at the cashier. Being a quiet person, I simply wave off the cashier who wants to serve me first instead of the man. There is no one else behind me, because it is after the lunch rush. The man, without an apology, rattles off his order and makes sure to mention that he is “in a rush.” Yet, when it comes time to pay, he discovers that he does not have enough paper and metal currency to pay for his meal upgrades. Irritated and mildly ashamed, he steps to the waiting line next to him. I step up to the cashier.)

Me: “Afternoon! I would like set six, no upsize.”

Cashier: “That will be $7.99, miss.”

Me: *holds up student card*

(To the man’s surprise, I only had to pay with a tap of my card, and quickly joined him. He kept his head down as I waited patiently behind him, noticing how the cashier had a big smile and was trying to hide her amusement. The man’s order came, and he quickly rushed out of the restaurant, forgetting his fries and sauces. Since he didn’t come back by the time my order arrived, the cashier placed my order on his tray, with a meal coupon tucked under my burger. Hope he reached his work on time.)

Facts Versus Opinions: The Never-Ending Debate

, , , , , | Working | January 30, 2018

(I work in a vaccine development company making viral vaccines. We usually write quantities of viruses in “log ten” units because the numbers are huge, e.g. six logs is a million. My colleague in charge of the process development team is giving a report. I’m in the assay development team, and she doesn’t get along with any of us.)

Colleague: “You can see that the total amount of virus in this run was twelve logs in the raw harvest and went down to nine logs in the purified batch. So, it’s only a twenty-five percent loss, which I think is pretty good.”

(Twelve logs is a trillion and nine logs is a billion.)

Me: “You can’t calculate percentages on log values. That’s not correct.”

Colleague: “How can you say it’s not correct? Twelve minus nine is twenty-five percent loss.”

Me: “You can’t do it like that. You have to convert to linear [regular numbers] first.”

Colleague: “This is my data! I can choose how I want to present it! You have to respect my opinion!”

(We end up arguing over secondary school maths for about five minutes before the boss, annoyed, stands up and points at the slide.)

Boss: “That is not a 25% loss. That is a 99.9% loss.”

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