They Can’t Worm Their Way Out Of This One

, , , , , , , | Working | November 21, 2017

(I am with my mum and some friends of the family at a restaurant. We have ordered our meals and they just arrived.)

Mum: “OH, MY GOD!”

(Everyone looks over to see some form of worm or larvae inside the duck she ordered.)

Mum: *not in an angry tone but more looking to help out* “Excuse me; there are some worms in my meal.”

(The waiter walks over and inspects the duck.)

Waiter: “I don’t see anything.”

Everyone At The Table: “What do you mean?”

Waiter: “I can take it back to have it inspected.”

Mum: “That would be great.”

(After a short wait the manager with the waiter come back.)

Manager: “We inspected the duck and found no worms.”

Mum: “We all saw it.”

(Everyone nods and agrees.)

Manager: “We can’t do anything; if you’d like a free meal or refund, we aren’t giving you one!”

(At this point the manager is yelling.)

Mum: “We told you to let you know that maybe your supplier has a problem, and that it should be checked up.”


Mum: “We only want to help; we don’t want any refund or free meals.”


Mum: “Are you seriously getting angry at us for making a suggestion to change suppliers?”

(We left and filed a complaint to health services.)

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Hard To Accept The Hard Drive

, , , , | Working | November 20, 2017

(I work at a computer store in the repair section. I’ve just diagnosed a customer’s computer and called them to say what needs fixing.)

Me: “I found that the email program wasn’t loading due to a corrupt file caused by bad sectors on the drive. My recommendation is to replace the drive.”

Customer: “Can I have some time to think about it?”

(This is normal and usually means the customer is considering buying a new machine rather than repairing their old one. When they ring back:)

Me: “So, have you decided to go through with the repair?”

Customer: “My nephew just Googled the problem and it couldn’t be a faulty hard drive.”

(I was dumbstruck at this point. They were waiting for my response and I didn’t know what else to tell them. Apparently my answer, based on evidence and backed by 20 years experience, held less weight than an answer from a relative who spent five minutes on Google. I wanted to just tell them to fix it themselves, but then I would still have to charge the diagnosis fee. In the end, I did what any self-respecting worker would do: I handed the problem off to the other tech to deal with.)

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For An Hour You Were Cat-atonic

, , , , , , , | Related | November 9, 2017

My family knows me to be absolutely in love with cats. One day, my mom asked me to take out the trash and I was stopped by our cat.

My mom came out later to inform me that I was out there for an entire hour, cooing over a cat.

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A Slight Wrinkle In The Definition

, , , , , , | Learning | September 29, 2017

(I’m talking to some of my students in a tutorial. The conversation goes from the topic of the course, Markov chains, to population genetics, an application of Markov chains, to experimental testing of population genetics, to a rather neat result where colonies of bacteria oscillate between being free-living and forming colony mats on the top of the nutrient solution. These colony mats are known as “wrinkly spreaders”.)

Me: “If you want to learn more about this, do a web search on ‘wrinkly spreader.’”

Student: *with disgust* “I am not Googling ‘wrinkly spreader’!”

Me: “Um, that interpretation had not occurred to me.”

(The student need not have worried; I’ve just tried the web search, and gerontological p*rn was completely absent.)

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What Came First, The Idiot Or The Egg

, , | Right | February 17, 2011

(After scanning some eggs I open the box look inside and close it again.)

Customer: “Why are you looking it the egg carton?”

Me: “I’m checking to make sure there are no broken ones.”

Customer: “Oh, I thought it was to make sure people weren’t stealing stuff by hiding it in the eggs…”

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