Your Beaver Sets The Room On Fire

, , , , , , , | Working | June 21, 2018

I used to work in a very international office. There were two classes of workers: analysts — mostly Canadian-raised — and phone researchers — mostly international. For whatever reason, the analysts almost all bought their lunches. I was the only analyst who consistently brought lunches from home, and I ate them with the researchers in their lunch room. I was the only native English speaker who ate there.

One of the researchers was from France. He was friends with a neighbour of his, a fellow who was into hunting. One day, my French colleague came in very excited. His neighbour, the hunter, had gone on a hunting trip and had brought him some cooked moose meat and beaver meat, figuring that he’d never had them before. My French colleague brought the meat to work to share with the rest of us.

I found out about this as I was on my way to the lunch room when my French colleague yelled down the hall, “Who wants to eat beaver with me?”

I had to explain to everybody in the room why that was both completely inappropriate and hilarious.

He was so flustered after that that he put the beaver meat into the microwave still in the tin foil, which caused sparks and made the meat explode all over the inside of the microwave — so none of us actually got to taste the beaver meat. We did all share the moose meat, though, and it was fine.

It’s Not Gossip When It’s True

, , , , , , , , | Working | June 18, 2018

I work in the security industry, as a concierge in a condominium.

A few years back, a coworker was told to train a new guy who was rather dimwitted, slow to learn, and annoying. I know because I had him for training for one shift.

[Coworker] told me later that he got tired of training the new guy and went to the condo party room to watch television, leaving the very inept trainee to manage the lobby desk by himself. I warned [Coworker] that the party room looked out onto the back patio where the BBQ grill was, and that the curtains were very see-through. If a resident went out on the back patio and peered through the windows, they’d see it was a security officer sitting there watching television, which we were obviously not paid to do, and would complain, getting us all in trouble. He laughed and waved it off.

He told me the next day that he was forced to continue training the same inept guy, so he ran off to watch television again. I warned him, again, not to do that.

The next time he bragged to me about watching television on duty, I just contacted my Client Service Manager — the security company manager responsible for our team — and told him what [Coworker] was doing. I’d reported other security officers for risking the team with their own personal antics. I don’t like being a snitch; I like having a stable work place where fellow officers aren’t screwing it up for us by being selfish d**ks.

Apparently, [Coworker] was called into the office and when told to explain himself, said that yes, he had been watching television, and then went on to say that I was spreading crazy gossip about him to anyone who would listen, and that I was mean, so wasn’t that worse than his television-watching offense? For the record, I had never gossiped about him, nor was I ever mean to him. I just asked him to stop risking our jobs with his unprofessional behavior, and he blew me off.

I got called into HQ the next day. That manager had a form for me to sign. “[My Name]? Why does it seem you like to backstab other officers? [Coworker] told me about you gossiping about him, and I see you’ve reported other officers who needed disciplining. That’s why I’m having you sign this form where you acknowledge that you’re a gossip, and you swear to never be caught for gossiping ever again, or more serious consequences will happen. This will go into your permanent file. Do you understand?”

I argued that I had never gossiped about [Coworker], and those other security officers had been problems, and my manager said, “Oh, really? Because [Coworker] said you have. Why would he come in here and lie to my face? He sounded very sincere every time I’ve had to speak with him, and you have been involved with the disciplining of several officers. No… I think you are the one lying because you enjoy getting other guards in trouble. Sign this or face disciplinary action.”

I was so floored and cowed that I stupidly signed the d***ed thing just so I could get the hell out of there.

Thankfully, not long after, this manager was fired for being caught on camera cheating on his wife with residents in buildings when he was there for manager meetings. No one cared he was cheating. They cared that he was there for a meeting with the building’s property manager but instead was seen feeling up a resident of the building. Other officers said he would sometimes touch female officers, too. My company finally got fed up and fired him, but not before he did a ton of damage to many innocent officers.Thankfully, I got out of that company, and I am now working for a much better local security company. I will never forget what that a**hole manager did.

A Transformative Incident

, , , , , | Right | June 5, 2018

(We’re performing spring maintenance on one of our outdoor lighting systems. This involves cleaning fixtures, changing lamps, and a general tidy-up of the system. One of our new hires accidentally breaks a fixture that we don’t have parts to repair.)

Me: “I’m sorry about the damaged fixture. At the moment, we don’t have the proper parts to repair it. But I can make a note of it on the invoice and we can send someone back as soon as possible to fix it.”

Client: “Oh, that’s no problem. I’ll have my electrician look at it. I guess someone forgot to mention to you that those fixtures aren’t part of your system; you don’t have to worry about servicing them today.”

(We finish up, and as she said, we don’t do the other fixtures. I still make note of the broken one on our paperwork just to have record of it, along with what she said about having her electrician fix it. Fast forward a couple weeks, and I’m working a day with our service tech. He has a work order for the place with the broken fixture, saying the system isn’t working at all now, along with a bunch of accusations about our shoddy work. We arrive and I notice the fixture we broke has been repaired. I take it out of the ground and immediately see the problem.)

Me: “Hey, [Tech], I found the problem. Remember how she said her electrician would fix this? Well, whoever fixed it crossed the wires and shorted the system.”

Tech: *laughing* “Yeah, that’ll do it. Let’s find the transformer so we can reset it.”

(I fixed the wiring and we reset the system. Everything worked perfectly. The tech made a note on the invoice for this visit that it was not our work that was faulty and therefore wasn’t under warranty. She later called to complain that she had to pay and claimed nobody else works on the system besides us, despite the four of us that were there that day stating she told us her electrician would fix it. The office ended up crediting her account just to shut her up. From now on, I plan to get this sort of thing in writing.)

You’re Fired Fox

, , , , | | Right | May 17, 2018

(A recent Firefox update has caused an error message to appear when users try to install our software. There is a complicated fix that we can walk our customers through over the phone in order to get it installed. Many of them, including this particular gentleman, are not entirely comfortable on computers.)

Customer: *after we get the software working* “Can I tell you something? I would rather set myself on fire than do this tech thing again.”

Me: “Actually, I completely understand. I have been repeating this workaround to people literally all day.”

Customer: “Really? Wow.”

Me: “Yep.”

Customer: “You’ve been really pleasant, but I think you should take my advice and find another job.”

GOOGLE… TRANSLATE… SLOWER… AND… LOUDER!

, , , | Right | May 15, 2018

(I work reception at a veterinary clinic for small animals. A non-client walks in this morning looking to make a purchase.)

Man: “Do you carry this product?”

Me: “What product are you looking for?”

Man: *holds out cell phone* “This.”

(The cell phone display shows Google translate. The window on the right is in a non-English language, and the left window is set to English, showing two words: “dog” and “donchoengso.”)

Me: “You’re looking for something for your dog. Unfortunately, ‘donchoengso’ isn’t an English word, so I’m not sure what you’re looking for.”

Man: *points to cell phone screen* “I need this. For the dog.”

Me: “Unfortunately, because ‘donchoengso’ isn’t English, I really don’t know what you’re needing.”

Man: *presses button for Google translate to read words*

Google Translate: “Dog. Donchoengso.”

Me: “That’s still not English.”

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