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Kitty Just Likes A Little Support

, , , , , , , | Working | May 16, 2022

After two years of working from home, I return to the office. I see a coworker whom I haven’t seen in real life in that same time, and we start chatting near the coffee machine.

Coworker #1: “And how is Robin doing?”

Me: “Oh, Robin is fine. The only odd thing is that he’s lately very obsessed with my bras. He keeps on sniffing the one I wore that day. I tried giving him an old one to fool around with, but no, it has to be the one I wore that day.”

Coworker #1: “And he never did that before?”

Me: “No, but I guess as long as he doesn’t rip them, I’m okay with it.”

Coworker #2: “[My Name], how could you?!”

Me: “Eh… excuse me? Oh, hi, [Coworker #2], didn’t see you.”

Coworker #2: “How old is Robin now?”

Me: “Eh… seven years old?”

Coworker #2: “And you just let this happen?! You should put a stop to this, right now! Sure, it may be bras now, but what’s next, panties?! And you’re just okay with that? [My Name], you of all, people, I expected more of. How can you be okay with this? And don’t go saying, ‘Boys will be boys’! What does your husband say about this?”

Me: *Pauses* “[Coworker #2], you do remember that Robin is my cat, right?”

I’ve never seen anyone turn that red. [Coworker #2] quickly left; she must have remembered that my husband and I don’t have any children. And while I am looking into my cat’s behaviour, I doubt a seven-year-old, neutered, indoor cat will be the world’s next danger for women.

It Costs Nothing To Be Nice, Dude

, , , , , | Friendly | May 8, 2022

I live in an apartment building. I call the elevator to go up to my floor. Heading in before me is a girl around seven years old, and coming in right behind me is a rough-looking dude with a rottweiler dog. The moment the man enters the elevator, the little girl screams and frantically grabs my arm.

Me: “Hey. What’s wrong?”

Girl: *Stammering and near panic* “D-dog!”

The dog is well-behaved and just sits there patiently, so there is no real danger, but I have an irrational fear of spiders, so I get it. I place myself between the man with the dog and the girl and give her a reassuring smile

Me: “No dog here is going to hurt you. I’m right in between.”

Suddenly, the man speaks up rather aggressively.

Man: “Don’t do that! My dog ain’t bit anyone, ever, and you’re just encouraging her to be afraid of dogs!”

Me: “I’m just trying to not scare a little girl and to keep her comfortable, sir.” 

He mumbles something about bratty kids and exits the elevator on the third floor. I have to go up to the fifth and the girl on the seventh, so I’m left behind with her for a second.

Me: “Are you all right now?”

The girl nodded shyly but still seemed shaken. I got off and wished her a good day. I found out later that she was part of a refugee family that had just moved here from Syria. Her fear of dogs and aggressive men is now somewhat explained, and I hope she doesn’t run into the man again.

It Takes A Village Idiot To… Wait…

, , | Working | April 30, 2022

I used to work for this complete self-absorbed jerk who was completely whimsical and lacked any form of patience, empathy, modesty, or gratitude. While my direct supervisor wasn’t very proactive or professional, I was very happy with him, since he at least provided a good foil for the owner, often by talking him out of stupid or even dangerous ideas or at least sheltering us from the “village idiot,” as we called him. I shall never forget the legendary words my supervisor said after I told him I got certain instructions from the Village Idiot.

Supervisor: “No, absolutely not. There’s a reason we put it out like that; we’re not gonna change it. Just wait here. I’ll be the one having that discussion.”

People like the Village Idiot, however, have this kind of instinct to know who is easier to intimidate. So if he wanted to force some whim through after all, he simply waited until a day in the week where the supervisor wasn’t around and tried to bully people into going along anyway.

At some point, the Village Idiot wanted to completely reform our department without any thought about whether his vision was realistic or not. As I said, he didn’t have patience, so what he called a plan was more like a vaguely defined goal that we all had to do NOW! (Or even faster.) But somehow, of course, he knew that our supervisor wouldn’t go along. His solution? He waited until the week when the supervisor was off on holiday and then had a meeting where he told this to everyone — and, of course, heard their ideas only to ignore them. Yeah, it didn’t really go anywhere, but not only because of his lack of developing a plan.

See, his poor planning skills and his lack of empathy often didn’t make him realise or care about employees having a life. So what happens if you announce a meeting two days in advance? Exactly. Six people show up — out of twenty-five or something. And that’s what you get for thinking that the whole world revolves around you.

We Don’t Know What A Baguette Party Is, But We Want In

, , , | Working | April 29, 2022

I work as a developer for “personalized accounting software”. Part of my job is to test the new code I just wrote. Today, I am assigned to work on a bug for a big bakery chain in the Netherlands. It involves the invoice system. 

I find the bug, patch it all up, and start testing. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but somehow the feature “test as live” is on. This feature is always off, and this is the first time I did not check it. So, as you can expect…

The bakery first gets an invoice for 666 spoons.

The bakery then gets an invoice for one tomato bagel.

The bakery then gets an invoice assigned to Mr. B. R. Ead (B. R. Ood).

The bakery then gets an invoice for several items for a Baguette Party

Since I’m on a roll, I test the system about thirty times, before my manager hurries to me. He asks me what I’m doing and for how long, while he has his phone ready. I explain it and he turns to the phone. 

Manager: “Yeah, all is well. My developer is testing things. You may ignore all the invoices from the past hour.”

I look confused, and my manager points to that dreaded checkbox. My manager is laughing with whoever is on the other side of the line while I turn beet-red. 

Turns out the bakery thought it was funny and, “Ah, things like that can happen,” and you can rest assured that I will triple-check if that box is on from now on. 

The worst thing is that I sometimes shop there. I’m too ashamed to return, even if they don’t know it was me.

She’s Gone Totally Walnuts

, , , , | Friendly Right | April 29, 2022

My husband and I have recently moved to a lovely little farm. We have a few horses, a beautiful garden, and a lot of gorgeous old trees. One of those trees is a gigantic walnut tree, and in one afternoon, I have already picked up several pounds of nuts. After all this hard work, I am relaxing on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book by the hearth fire.

Suddenly, I hear the sound of a car coming down our driveway. I am not expecting anyone, and our house is pretty far off the main road, so this is strange. I get up to go to the door, but before I even make it there, the car honks loudly. I can hear my horses run around the field, startled. When I get outside, I see a large BMW standing half in my garden. Deep tire tracks in the grass indicate that the car completely ignored the large gravel area and chose to turn over my lawn, instead. I should already be angry by now, but honestly, I am too flabbergasted to get angry.

As I stand there gaping, a woman gets out of the passenger side. She’s middle-aged with short hair, bright clothes, and a permanent sneer on her wrinkled face.

Woman: “I am here to buy walnuts.”

Note the complete absence of any kind of greeting.

Me: *Confused by her audacity* “Did you speak to my husband?”

Woman: “No, but I know you have them. I was here last year. I want thirty-five pounds.”

Me: “Oh, well, we just moved here. I am sorry if the old occupants did not inform you, but they moved away and my husband and I live here now.”

Woman: *Impatiently* “I need thirty-five pounds of your walnuts.”

Me: “I literally just harvested them. They are not even dried yet and I haven’t decided what I want to do with them yet.”

Woman: “That’s fine. I’ll just dry them myself.”

Me: “No, I’m not selling at the moment. I want to give them to my friends and family first. If I have a lot left over, I might take them to the local market or put a stand next to the road. Maybe keep an eye on that.”

Upon hearing this, the woman stomps off to her car without another word. I assume that is the end of it and go back inside to process what just happened while internally kicking myself for remaining so polite when I should have just told her to pay for the damages to my lawn and garden and eff off. Retail instincts, I guess…

However, after a little while, I realise the car is still there, and just as I am about to go outside to tell them to get lost, the car honks again. I go outside and out steps the woman again, this time with a little notepad and a pen.

Woman: “I will give you my number and you will call me when you have thirty-five pounds of nuts for me.”

Me: “I really don’t think so. I’d like you to leave now.”

She starts writing her number down.

Me: “Now, please, before I decide to make you pay for the damages you did to my garden.”

Woman: *Outraged* “There were already tire tracks there!”

It is true that there was already one tire track in the grass all the way at the back of the garden from when the vet tore through there in great haste to get to my horse that had seriously injured itself a week earlier (the idiot is fine now) but this track is small, only just visible, and most importantly, nowhere near this huge BMW still standing half on my grass!

Me: “Not those! You come here onto private property, destroy half my garden, spook my horses, and make demands. Is this really how you usually get things done? Because at this point, I’d rather throw those walnuts in the fire than sell them to you at any price. Now get lost, please. This is the last time I’ll ask nicely.”

Woman: “But I need those walnuts and you will sell them to me!”

Me: “Have you not been listening to me? I really won’t!”

Cue lots of ranting and angry noises that I’m not listening to because I am dialing the police.

Operator: “You’re through to the non-emergency police line. How may I help?”

Me: “Good afternoon, officer, I’d like to report trespassers on my property at [Address]. Could you send a car over, please? They refuse to lea— Oh, look at that, there they go!”

Operator: “Will you still be needing police assistance, ma’am?”

Me: “No, thank you, officer. I think we’re all good here. Have a lovely day.”

Operator: “Thank you, and you, too, ma’am.”

While I was on the phone, the woman practically ran to her car, and after some angry shouting and gesturing between her and the driver, they sped off, never to be seen again.