Don’t Even Start With Me

, , , | Healthy | June 15, 2018

(I work in IT for a medical laboratory, and part of my job is to troubleshoot connections between medical devices and our software. The medical devices themselves are not ours to manage, however. I get this call one morning:)

Lab Tech: “Hi, my machine is not working. Could you help me, please?”

Me: “Sure! What device, and what seems to be wrong?”

Lab Tech: “It’s [Device], and I don’t know; it’s just doing nothing.”

Me: “Okay, let me check.”

(I see nothing wrong with my monitoring. However, our connectors have a tendency to need regular reboots, as they’re quite old and tend to give us trouble, so I’m expecting it to be something wrong with our equipment.)

Me: “Can you please reboot the connector? The one behind your machine.”

Lab Tech: “Sure, give me a sec.”

(My monitoring starts showing its usual shutdown and boot-up messages.)

Me: “Okay, looks good. Can you try the device again?”

Lab Tech: “Nope, still nothing.”

(I try every trick in the book to get the device to work, including having her reboot the medical device itself, which is kind of a last solution, since they’re not ours to troubleshoot. Nothing ever seems wrong on my end, but the lab tech still says it’s not working. This goes on for FIVE HOURS! I’m way past desperation point, when I ask her to walk me through every step of her process to see where exactly it hangs.)

Lab Tech: “Well, I put my samples in the tray…” *pause*

Me: “Yes, and then?”

Lab Tech: “Well, that’s supposed to be it…” *pause* “Oh, wait… I didn’t press the start button.” *pause, then my monitoring starts flooding with orders* “Now it’s working.”

Me: *screaming internally but somehow managing to keep my cool* “Well, there you go. Have a nice day.” *hangs up*

The Bourne Mystery

, , , , | Related | May 30, 2018

(I’m having lunch with my mum, who is telling me about a movie she and her best friend watched the weekend before. Both my mum and her friend are in their late 70s, love serious movies, and never ever watch any violent, naughty, or blockbuster-y types of movies.)

Mum: “So, the other day, [Friend] said there was this movie we really needed to see. It was supposed to be great and she got it especially for us: The Bourne Identity!”

Me: *nearly spits out my food laughing* “Oh, no! That is totally not your sort of movie! How did it go?”

Mum: “Well, the first quarter of it was in the dark, so we didn’t see anything that was going on! Then we had no idea who was who or what was happening. There was a car chase, sex, and gunfights!”

Me: “Why did you continue watching it?”

Mum: “We kept hoping it might all be explained!”

Achieved Nothing

, , , , | | Romantic | May 20, 2018

(I usually look after the house and shopping on weekends, but today, I’ll be busy working during shopping hours while my husband will be in charge of the house and our seven-year-old son. I leave him a short list of things we need, and insist he has to at least get cat sand so we can change the litter boxes. It’s Saturday, and pet shops are closed on Sundays. I come back from work seven hours later and have this conversation:)

Me: “So, how did the day go?”

Husband: “Good! We went to the swimming pool!”

Me: “Cool! Did you do the shopping? Did you forget anything?”

Husband: “Nothing.”

Me: “Really? You even got the cat sand?”

Husband: “No, we got nothing. We just went to the pool.”

(I had to run out and get food. Cats will have to wait till Monday for sand.)

Internalizing The Problems With The Workforce

, , , , | Working | April 6, 2018

I had just graduated university and was hunting for my first job, exclusively for entry-level positions and internships. On every online job platform, I selected the “entry-level position” filter. Most of these advertisements even had “entry-level” in their title. I believe many companies do not understand the concept. I would inevitably stumble on positions with a combination of — if not all — these requirements:

  • Minimum one to two years experience
  • Must have [very specific degree not required for low-level administrative work]
  • Must speak German, French, English, and Spanish/Italian/Dutch, etc. fluently
  • Must be willing to work overtime and irregular schedule
  • Must be currently enrolled at university or recent graduate with experience
  • Unpaid

I finally found an internship without crazy requirements, but have always wondered if these companies found their amazing quadrilingual recent graduates with experience who’d be willing to work for free (most internships in Switzerland are paid). Interns do valid work and deserve to be compensated.

Some Off-The-Cuff Remarks

, , , , | Friendly | February 17, 2018

(It’s my first time at my friends’ place. They are keeping cute little corn snakes as pets. I love snakes, but I’ve never had the chance to meet one, not counting zoos, so my friends offer to let one snake crawl on me.)

Friend #1: “[Snake] is very friendly; just try to be calm.”

(Inexperienced as I am, I worry that the snake might fall easily if I don’t offer my arms as “tree branches” quick enough, while it curiously crawls onto me. It grabs my first hand and arm and looks for the next point to hang on, so I quickly offer my other hand as well. As the snake wiggles around my hands, I notice that it wasn’t such a clever move on my part, as even such a small snake is quite strong, and now it clings to my wrists, holding up its cute little head between them with a proud face that says, “Me is best handcuffs!”)

Friend #1: “He’s a captivating personality, isn’t he?”

Friend #2: “You two really are bonding!”

(For those who wonder, the snake released me after due admiration, and we spent the next few days observing each other curiously.)

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