Concentrate Before You Assume

, , , , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2017

(A coworker and I are looking at the schedule.)

Coworker: “[My Name], your last name is unusual. Where’s it from?”

Me: “Germany, but—”

Coworker: “Oh, so your family were Nazis, huh? Going to lock me up for being gay? You guys suck!”

Me: “I don’t know if my family were Nazis; let me ask my ancestors. Oh, wait! I can’t, because they were killed in camps. What I was trying to say is that my last name is German, but we come from Poland. My family are Ashkenazi Jews. Hmm, Jews, huh? Still think my family were Nazis? You need to watch what you say!”

Coworker: “I am so sorry!” *quickly walks away*

(I didn’t think it warranted being reported to HR, but I told the supervisor who had a talk with her.)

Will Need To Sweet-Talk Your Way Out Of This One

, , , , , , | Working | November 23, 2017

(It is about 30 years ago, when I am starting out as a food chemist, and I have been invited to give a talk to the FDA in Washington, DC. After the talk, I am shown around one of the labs where they are doing some toxicity testing on aspartame, a synthetic sweetener about 200 times sweeter than sucrose. I have never heard of it, so I ask to take some back to my lab to analyze. They give it to me in a little unmarked plastic bag. After I land in Toronto, I have to go through Canadian customs.)

Customs: “Do you have anything to declare?”

Me: “No.”

Customs: “Any food?”

(I think for half a second, pull the unmarked bag of white, powdery aspartame out of my coat pocket, and say:)

Me: “Yes.”

(I have never seen armed men come that fast. They put me in a back room and a few minutes later a border agent comes in.)

Border Agent: “What are you doing with this much cocaine?”

Me: “What?! No, this is aspartame. It’s a sweetener.”

Border Agent: “Never heard of it. What is aspartame?”

Me: “You know, I don’t really know.”

(I open the bag and dip my finger into it and lick it.)

Me: “Good God! That’s sweet!”

(The border agent also tastes it and agrees it really is a sweetener. But before they let me go, the border agent makes a comment.)

Border Agent: “Makes sense it wasn’t cocaine; I don’t think anyone would be stupid enough to pull out a bag of cocaine when asked if there was anything to declare.”

It All Boils Down To Stupidity

, , , , , | Right | November 20, 2017

(I am working in customer service, taking calls from customers with questions about our product line, how to cook, etc. A woman calls to complain about our BREADED chicken fingers.)

Me: “Good afternoon. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I want to complain about your chicken fingers. They’re awful; even my dog won’t eat them!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Which product did you purchase?”

(The caller gives me the product code, etc. They are breaded chicken fingers, meant to be baked or deep-fried only. The instructions are clearly on the box.)

Me: “Which method of cooking did you use?”

Caller: “I boiled them!”

Me: “Excuse me, boiled? In water?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Ma’am, they are breaded chicken fingers; you can’t boil them. They are to be deep-fried or baked only.”

Caller: “Well, I boil everything.”

Me: “I’m sorry. You cannot boil chicken fingers, because the breading will come off and turn to mush.”

Caller: “Well, you should say that on your product boxes.”

Me: “…?”

Oh The Eye-rony

, , , , | Healthy | November 19, 2017

(I walk into my optometrist’s office and find a new secretary. I’m curious about what happened to “Jane,” the last one, especially since “Jane” and the doctor were married! I’m the only one in the office right now so I decide to be nosey:)

Me: *after the preliminary sign in conversation* “So, Jane is no longer here?”

New Secretary: “No, she’s gone.”

Me: “I’m surprised considering her relationship with the Doctor.”

New Secretary: “It was all very awkward, Jane needed to start wearing glasses but she refused to. The doctor had to fire her because she was giving out the wrong prescriptions to people and messing up things like that.”

Me: “Ooh, that’s not good. Wait, she was married to an optometrist and worked in an optometrist’s office and refused to wear glasses?”

New Secretary: “Yup. I shouldn’t say this but I believe it was a case of vanity gone wrong. They’re getting divorced now, too.”

Me: “Gee, I wonder why?”

Not Someone You Hire At The Eleventh Hour

, , , , , | Working | November 17, 2017

(I work at a clothing store. My supervisor and I are looking over possible new hires. All new hires have to fill out a form online and answer a few basic questions.)

Me: “I like this guy.”

Supervisor: “Look at what he put for his starting salary.” *we normally expect minimum wage, which is $11.40*

Me: “$25 an hour!”

Supervisor: “Let’s call him, anyway. Maybe he’s joking.”

(We called him. He wasn’t. He didn’t get the job.)

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