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A Memorable Voice(mail)

, , , , , , , | Working | November 2, 2022

I have a medical condition that sometimes causes sudden episodes of hoarseness. It does not respond to water, but sometimes it responds to extreme throat-clearing. I work in a vet’s office and I am calling customers to confirm tomorrow’s appointments. This client’s answering machine picks up.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] with—”

Cue the most severe episode of hoarseness I’ve had in years. After using up a lot of voicemail time trying to clear my throat, I manage to force out the rest of my message in a voice that sounds like a bad case of laryngitis.

Me: “I’m so sorry, this is an awful message, but I have [Condition] and it hit really suddenly. I’m just calling to confirm [Pet] for 8:00 tomorrow.”

The next morning, the client came in laughing and told me they were glad my voice had recovered.

Ceiling Cat Is Watching You Fail At Maintenance

, , , , , , | Working | September 9, 2022

I work for a vet. We rent clinic space in a small strip mall. We are responsible for interior fixtures, but the physical building, including the dropped ceiling, is the responsibility of the management company that “maintains” the property.

We need some plumbing work done, which necessitates shutting off our unit’s water, and the shutoff valve is in the ceiling. The plumber drops the ceiling tile he moved to access the shutoff valve. Being about thirty years old, it breaks, leaving a hole in the ceiling.

We immediately contact building maintenance and inform them that we need a replacement tile ASAP. No response.

We contact them again a week later. No response.

Another week later, we point out that there is a serious danger of a cat getting up there and being incredibly difficult to retrieve. They finally respond.

Building Maintenance: “Oh, we’ll get maintenance right on that.”

Maintenance never even came by to look at it.

About a month later, the maintenance guy came by, not to replace the ceiling tile, but to ask if we’d heard anything about a new management company because he’d heard a rumor but nothing concrete. I reminded him that we needed a new tile to keep cats from escaping into the ceiling. He said something vague about putting it on his list and left without doing anything.

Today, I got to send three voicemails and an email to the building manager saying that the thing we’d been warning them might happen for a month had happened, and there was a semi-feral cat running around in the ceiling instead of being spayed.

THAT they responded to. They came out in about half an hour to measure and cut a new tile for the space where the broken one had been, and they made plans to replace several other damaged tiles we had asked them to replace last year, as well.

The cat got away from my coworker on the way to being sedated for an exam and had not come out yet by the end of the workday, probably because she was already scared and the noise of an active vet clinic seems even scarier. We set up a trap on the cabinets near the hole overnight, with a bowl of water and some incredibly nasty-smelling warmed sardines as bait. Hopefully, she will be safely contained in the trap when we arrive tomorrow morning and we can proceed with her now heavily discounted spay.

Food Is Food, Apparently

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | August 11, 2022

I fully admit that I am a perfectionist and a control freak. I like to do things myself as then I will know that they are done right. It is doubly true when I have done the task before and know its difficulty level.

Unfortunately, like so many people, I get knocked out by the global health crisis and I am unable to go to the grocery store for the week. First, I attempt the pickup method, but for whatever reason, it takes my card information (that was not on file prior) and not the order. I figure it is because my order is small and consists mainly of soup.

I try again with delivery this time. I add a few more things like bread and cheese to my order, and I add a five-dollar tip because I live less than a quarter-mile from the grocery store, and again, the order is small.

When I get my order, I discover that I have soup, all right — a single can of lentil soup, compared to the six cans of chicken noodle and tomato soup I ordered. Additionally, all of my other food is substituted for the weirdest things, like avocado for bananas. And everything was packed in its very own plastic bag, down to each individual avocado.

I almost think I got the wrong order until I go onto the site and confirm that the shopper really did make all of those substitutions.

So now, I am sitting here, sick, wondering which one of us is higher — me on cough syrup, eating lentil soup, or the guy who delivered my order thinking hummus is the same thing as cream cheese — and whether I should bother trying again.

Man, This Really Pops My Corn

, , , , , | Working | April 15, 2022

I have a coworker who simultaneously plays the part of a self-declared germaphobe and the office “lunch thief”. And by lunch, I mean opened and unopened packages of personal snacks that are often on or in desks that are not her own.

We are in a global health crisis when I find chocolate missing from my desk. Thoroughly disgusted that someone who was JUST bragging about how careful she is being stole a half-eaten chocolate bar, I decide to merely deep clean my desk and let it go. I have no real proof of it anyway.

Then, my bags of popcorn start going missing, so I hide them in a coworker’s office. They end up going missing from there, too. This time, I have proof.

She makes the fatal mistake of bragging to her pet-of-the-week that she is so dedicated to the job that all she had for lunch is a big bag of popcorn! So, I copy both her and our boss on an email innocently asking if she saw my popcorn as it had walked off from under my desk. She eventually cops to it after some light banter between our boss and me about who would steal popcorn, and I lightly chide her by telling her, “If it isn’t in the communal space, it is not for the community.”

I think this is the end of it as my food finally stops going missing! 

But wait… there’s more.

I have just restocked the entire office with a bunch of sweet snacks and plan to get more healthy options but am hesitant due to worrying about how they will be received. My boss is on the same page.

Boss: “I love all the sweets, but do we have any healthy options?”

Me: “I was thinking about that. Apples and oranges would be good. Same for carrots. They will all last for a couple of weeks just fine. Right now, all we really have is pita chips and hummus.”

Boss: “Isn’t the hummus yours?”

Me: *Confused* “I brought it to share.”

Boss: “But you scolded her for taking your food earlier.”

I mistakenly think he means my “work-wife,” who I teasingly complained ate said pita chips and hummus off my plate the day before.

Me: “Oh. That is just because she didn’t respect the pita to hummus ratio. [Work Wife] knows she is allowed to eat my food without asking.”

Boss: *Hinting* “I remember an email exchange about it.”

Me: “Oh! No. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t mind ‘sharing’. It was just that [Coworker] was removing food from my desk and sequestering it in her office for herself. As long as it isn’t in anyone else’s desk, or otherwise marked, that is fine.”

That witch had generously shared her stash with him and then made him feel guilty! She is definitely a wonder.

We Wish We Could Fire Her For You

, , , , , , | Working | March 11, 2022

There is a manager at the company who is… interesting… to say the least. At fifty-nine years old, she refuses to take accountability for ANY of her own actions. Instead, she blames anyone and everyone else or denies it completely. Unfortunately, because the owner of the company feels indebted to [Manager], she can practically get away with murder, so she has a mile-long list of ethics violations and complaints of unprofessionalism from employees, prospective new hires, and clients alike.

I file a complaint about [Manager] with our boss as she is repeatedly trying to get me to do her work while I am on vacation on top of sexually harassing me. While speaking to him about it, a lot of other sort of abuse at her hands ends up coming out, and I explain how she often will blame our boss for crossing boundaries if I attempt to set a boundary with her.

He agrees that we need to have a group conversation where we discuss how [Manager] is to respect my boundaries moving forward and promises to speak to her in the meantime.

[Manager] takes the “talking-to” in a completely different direction and to outer space. She decides to complain to another coworker about me. This coworker reaches out to me via text.

Coworker: “Hey. I heard that [Owner] said that you were being too sensitive about what [Manager] said?”

Me: “Wait… What?”

Yep, [Manager] decided that when [Owner] said, “Respect her boundaries,” and, “Stop making comments about her reproductive system,” he meant that I was just being “sensitive” and should be blown off. She also decided that it wasn’t my opinion, but [Owner]’s. Not only that, but she decided to gossip about it with another coworker, which is an interesting choice when your professionalism is being called into question.

To be this devoid of reality must be a treat.