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Not Fluent In The Language Of Love

, , , , , , | Right | July 15, 2021

I am a lawyer practicing in a pretty diverse area. I speak English, Sinhala, and Tamil, and I take meetings in all three languages.

I had this couple come to meet with me. The husband spoke Sinhala as his first language and had a smattering of English, but the wife spoke Cantonese as her first language and spoke decent English. It was very confusing. I still have no idea how they managed to get married without being able to communicate without a translator. A lot of pointing, I suppose?

The meeting went okay, with me relaying things in Sinhala and English and translating where necessary, but the final moments of the meeting were the most surprising.

Me: “So, is there anything else we need to discuss?”

Husband: *Looks bashful* “Um, would you mind telling my wife I love her?”

Me: “No?”

Someone Owes You Another Massage

, , , , | Healthy | July 5, 2021

A few years ago, I had my annual physical done, including all sorts of samples to be handed in. The next day, I went to my massage therapist and had extensive work done on my shoulders, neck, and back. Feeling much more relaxed, I went outside and found a voicemail on my phone.

Voicemail: “This is the receptionist from [Doctor] calling. He says he’s gotten your test results in and wants you to come in as soon as you can.”

Instantly fearing the worst, and undoing the stress-relief from my massage, I manage to book an appointment for that same afternoon.

Doctor: “It’s nothing major; your fluid levels are just a little low. I want you to drink more water and it should correct itself.”

Thanks, receptionist. And yes, drinking more water did help.

Don’t Be A Boob; Be Sweet, Instead

, , , , , | Working | April 16, 2021

This happened over ten years ago. I worked in a call centre. We had a coworker whose son used to be the Operations Manager at our call centre. Why is he no longer the Ops Manager, and in fact no longer employed there at all?

[Son] was not liked at all. He was smug, superior, and dismissive of everyone at or below his level in the call centre. His mother used the fact that her son was the Ops Manager to bully people. If you scored well when you were having a call monitored, you could earn a bonus. She scared all the supervisors into always giving her the bonus, even on days when she didn’t really deserve it.

One day, [Son] needed to speak to one of our supervisors. He called out to her, “[Supervisor #1].” She ignored him. He called out again, “[SUPERVISOR #1].” She continued to ignore him.

[Supervisor #1] had an ample chest, and when she crossed her arms, they tended to rest on top of her chest, so seeing her arms crossed, [Son] took his pencil and turned it around with the eraser end out and poked [Supervisor #1] in the side of her chest just under her arms. “[SUPERVISOR #1]!” 

Up until that point, the company had never made us watch anti-workplace harassment videos, which included a segment on how to recognize sexual harassment and what to do if there’s sexual harassment in your workplace. Because of what [Son] did to [Supervisor #1], we all then had to spend one day watching that series of videos and signing forms stating we understood what we just watched and agreeing to abide by the anti-harassment rules. [Son] was, of course, fired for sexual harassment.

Since her son was fired, [Coworker #1] had far less power, but she was still d***ed intimidating and some supervisors remained afraid of her and gave her high marks anyway, whether she earned them or not. She was bitter about [Son] being fired like that and made it clear all the time.

One day in my phone cubicle section, where a group of people on the phones would be managed under one supervisor, I got to sit with a really lovely lady we’ll call [Coworker #2]. She was funny, intelligent, and really nice. She had brought a bag of hard candies to work and went up and down our cubicle section, laying a piece of sanitary, individually-wrapped candy at every station so that every person would start their shift with a little bit of happiness. She made sure to give a piece of candy to our supervisor, [Supervisor #2], too. She then went to her locker to go put the candy away and get ready for work.

It was just me and [Supervisor #2] when [Coworker #1] walked up, and I saw she would be in our section. I secretly groaned. [Coworker #1] picked up the piece of candy at her desk and her eyes grew wide. She then suddenly barked out, “Who did this?!” waving the candy menacingly. I gave her an “I don’t know” face and looked away. There was no one else at our section yet and [Coworker #2] was still back at her locker, so [Coworker #1] marched up to [Supervisor #2].

Coworker #1: “Who did this?!”

Supervisor #2: “Who did what, [Coworker #1]?”

Coworker #1: “Who put candy at my desk?!”

Supervisor #2: “I don’t know, [Coworker #1]. I wasn’t here when it happened.”

He knew better than to say anything or [Coworker #1] would go on a rampage after [Coworker #2].

Me: “There’s a piece of candy at every desk. I don’t think someone was trying to bother you.”

[Coworker #1] narrowed her eyes at me and then ignored me.

Coworker #1: *To [Supervisor #2]* “This had better not happen again! Do you hear me?!”

She then threw the candy away in the trashcan under [Supervisor #2]’s desk and went off to the bathroom, out of sight. In that time, [Coworker #2] came back to the section and my face was nearly splitting in half from trying to hide my laughter. She asked what was so funny and I filled her in entirely on [Coworker #1]’s reaction. [Coworker #2] got this evil, Grinch-like smile on her face, took the piece of candy she meant to keep for herself, placed it on [Coworker #1]’s desk where the original piece had been placed, and waited, schooling her expression to be everyday-bored like most of us had while working there.

More people had begun to show up in our section, so it wasn’t really obvious who put the candy back on [Coworker #1]’s desk. When [Coworker #1] came back, her eyes popped out of her head so widely I’m surprised they didn’t push her glasses off of her face. She picked up the new candy piece, SHAKING WITH RAGE. She marched right up to [Supervisor #2] and began barking at him louder while waving the candy right in his face.

Coworker #1: “You know what this is, [Supervisor #2]? Do you know. What. This. Is?!”

Supervisor #2: “No, [Coworker #1]. What is it?”

Coworker #1: “This!” *Shakes it more violently* “This is sexual harassment!

[Coworker #2] and I were about to DIE but we kept our faces straight as best we could. [Coworker #1] had so focused her anger on [Supervisor #2] that she didn’t even notice us anyway.

Supervisor #2: “No, [Coworker #1], this is not sexual harassment; it’s a piece of candy.”

Coworker #1: “No! It is sexual harassment!”

[Supervisor #2] had had enough by this point.

Supervisor #2: “You either need to sit down, [Coworker #1], or you can go home and we will mark you as a no-show, but this stops now.”

She finally shut up, sat down, and got ready to work, but she grumbled the whole rest of the day.

[Coworker #2] and I had the best break time ever that day, secretly snickering about all that.

Fresh Tomatoes Are Really Exciting

, , , , , , , | Healthy | April 8, 2021

Many years ago, I was shopping in a Canadian grocery store. As I wandered down the veg aisle, a lady in front of me started making weird, guttural noises. Then, her knees went all funny and I leapt in, caught her, and helped her to a bench.

Her face was red and she was sweating and, having just finished my first ever first aid course, I was sure she was having a seizure, so I checked her pulse — rapid — and prepared to call her an ambulance. But as I went to rush off, she grabbed my sleeve and told me not to.

I tried to explain that she was having a seizure and that she needed help.

I. Was. Wrong.

And this woman was so embarrassed that she accidentally told me the truth.

A friend of hers had given her something called a “love egg” and told her that it would give her a mild “happy” while she did the groceries. Instead, she went full O-face in the salad aisle. That explained the noises she was trying to suppress and that was why her knees had failed.

I was barely twenty at the time and had no idea what to do so I got her a glass of water and legged it. I hope that she learned from this experience, but I’m also kind of jealous; I mean, I have never once, in all my years, enjoyed a shopping trip that much.

Burst Pipes And Expectations

, , , , , | Right | April 1, 2021

I work for a computer and telecommunications company in downtown Toronto as a records manager. Although we do have electronic records, we keep paper copies for legal purposes.

A pipe bursts on the twelfth floor of the building and causes a considerable amount of water damage to offices on the floors below. None of the paper records are damaged, but it will take over five months before repairs to the damaged offices are completed. During that time, my coworkers and I are displaced and relocated to our branch office in the west end of the city.

Only two days after the “flood,” I receive this phone call.

Me: “[My Name], how can I help you?”

Caller: “Thank God you answered your phone! I left you a voicemail yesterday and you didn’t respond!”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. I only just got settled in at my new desk, and I didn’t have a phone until late afternoon.”

Caller: “I need to borrow the [Vendor] file.”

Me: “Okay, I can send you an electronic copy.”

Caller: “No, I don’t want an electronic copy. I need to see the paper copy.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the paper copy. I’m working out of another office at the moment.”

Caller: “Why? I thought your desk was on the tenth floor?”

Me: “It was, but I’ve been displaced because of the water pipe bursting.”

Caller: “The water pipe?! I’m on the eighteenth floor and I haven’t moved!”

Me: “Yes, but I’m on the tenth floor and our office was badly damaged.”

Caller: “I need that file; can you get it for me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “Well, because I’ll be working out of this office for the next few months until the damage is repaired. I can send you an electronic copy.”

Caller: “No! I absolutely must look at the paper copy. This is very urgent! Can’t you come over and get it for me?”

Me: “I don’t think I can do that.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “First of all, it would take me more than an hour to get there from where I am now. I would need to take a bus, a streetcar, and the subway. Plus, the tenth floor is closed off and under construction. It would be a health and safety risk if I tried to get in.”

Caller: “I’m on the eighteenth floor; the water pipe didn’t cause any damage up here!”

Me: “Yes, well, since water flows down and not upward, I’m sure it didn’t. But it has caused damage to my office and I don’t have access to the paper copy. I can send you an electronic one if you’d like.”

Caller: “Oh, just forget it! I’ll take a look at the paper copy when you come back!”

I hope her request wasn’t too urgent. We were displaced for over a year and a half!