Doesn’t Even Sound Good On Paper

, , , , , , , | Working | April 18, 2018

I work in a small, open-plan office in a fairly small company. The husband-and-wife owners of the company don’t seem to want to update anything or invest any money in the company; the windows don’t fully close unless someone pushes on them from the outside, the blinds are damaged so you can always see in, and the computer system is over some early version of Windows with limited processing speed, which crashes on a weekly basis.

One day my boss gets an email — they can’t work out group emails — to say the wife has decided we are using too much stationary, she refuses to buy any more, and she wants us to be a paperless office. This is all despite us lacking the resources to be paperless, and the husband’s insistence that we keep a physical paper trail of every order, invoice, or query the customers have.

We make do as best we can, but eventually I bite the bullet and buy a pack of paper, pens, and a few nice post-its, etc. It’s not much, but when you are earning minimum wage and buying resources which work should be providing, it’s more than I want to spend.

I put all my stationary in my desk the next morning. I come back from lunch to find all of it gone, including a monogrammed pen my mum bought for my birthday. I eventually track it down to the female owner’s office, where she is happily using them. When I confront her about it, she repeats, “Paperless office,” like she is a parrot who has learnt a new phrase. I bite my lip and ask how we are meant to be paperless when we are also expected to keep written notes and print records of all our work. She eventually relents that she might, maybe look at a stationary order, “if it’s such a big deal.” I thank her, take my monogrammed pen from her hand, and walk out her office.

The next day, I replace the stationary and replace the lock on the desk, secure it before I go for lunch, and come back to find my coworkers giggling. Apparently, the female owner had heard I had more stationary and spent five minutes trying to pry open my desk before snatching the post-its from my desktop, screaming, “PAPERLESS OFFICE!”, and storming out.

Not Quite Climbing That Intelligence Ladder

, , , , | Learning | April 18, 2018

(We are an all-girls school with a uniform that includes optional black tights. As part of the policy, if you wear black tights, they must NOT have ladders or holes. My best friend is known for not having much common sense. She and I have just returned from a PE lesson, both very tired and out of breath, and are getting changed back into uniform, when I notice that she has a ladder in her tights.)

Me: “[Friend]! There’s a ladder in your tights; you might get coded.”

Friend: “I’m sure no one will notice. It’s fine.”

Me: “No, we have [Strict Teacher, notorious for random uniform checks] next period. Just go without. You have shorts to wear under your skirt, right?”

Friend: “Yeah, but it’s fine. Watch this.”

(She begins to turn her tights the other way out, so that the label is on the outside, and puts them on again.)

Me: “Wha… What are you doing?”

Friend: “See? I turn them inside out, and the ladder will be on the insi… Oh.”


Friend: “I’ll go without.”

There’s A Real Buzz About This Delivery

, , | Right | April 18, 2018

Customer: “I sent my [item] off to you over two weeks ago for repair and still haven’t received it back. I want to know when I will get it.”

Me: “Let me just have a look at your details.” *pause* “Okay, it seems we sent it via courier last week and it is meant to be next-day, so I will just check the tracking for you.” *pause* “It says that the courier was unable to deliver, as you were not in, so they would have left a card, instead. They made a second attempt, but unfortunately, they were unable to deliver for the same reason.”

Customer: “That is a lie. I am unemployed, so I am always in, and I have not received any notes through my door.”

Me: “I am very sorry about that. Could I just check that the driver was in the right place? The photo they have taken shows a block of flats with three floors, a blue door, and [road sign]?”

Customer: “Yes, that is right, but they did not turn up.”

Me: “It may be that they had trouble getting in or finding the right door. Is it a standard buzzer system, or is there a specific way you need to get in?”

Customer: “We have buzzers, but mine is turned off as I do not like to be disturbed.”

Me: “Ah, that may be why, then. If you like, I can rearrange delivery for tomorrow, and if you give me an email address or mobile number we can ask them to send you a message with an hour time slot in the morning.”

Customer: “Can you tell them to come at 12:30?”

Me: “Sorry, we are not involved with planning the routes; as they make so many deliveries a day, it just depends on where you live compared with the other customers. That is why they give you an hour slot in the morning, so you aren’t stuck waiting all day.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. If I give you my landline number, can you get them to call me when they are outside? I do not want them having my mobile or email address.”

Me: “I don’t think they are able to do that, as the only customer details we are able to put in are mobile-format numbers and email addresses. But if you would be able to turn your buzzer on tomorrow, then you will be able to get it back.”

Customer: “I already told you, I don’t want to be disturbed, and I am not turning it back on for them to deliver it. Get me back my [item].”

Me: “If you are unwilling to turn on the buzzer so that the courier can request to be let in, I can either rearrange it for tomorrow and you will need to stare out of the window all day or call us to ask for the new delivery slot and watch out for them.”

Customer: “I am not calling you again to find out when they are coming. Make them call my landline.”

Me: “Again, I am unable to enter landline number; it must be mobile-format. If you do not wish to do that, then you can go to their depot.”

(Her depot turned out to be ten miles away, but she decided that, as she had a car, it would be easier for her to go there, rather than turn her buzzer on to let the delivery driver in.)

Have Low Egg-spectations Of Their Staff

, , , , , , | Working | April 17, 2018

(I’m eating breakfast in the café of a well-known supermarket chain, chatting with an extremely friendly elderly couple at the next table over who still seem to be waiting for their meals. One of the staff comes over with two jacket potatoes and I am treated to this exchange:)

Waitress: “I’m sorry, again, about having to change your order; unfortunately, we just can’t provide scrambled eggs.”

Wife: “It’s fine; don’t worry! We were happy with the breakfasts, otherwise, though… My husband just cannot eat fried eggs!”

Waitress: “I know. I’m very sorry. I couldn’t tell you the reasons, but it’s an issue of Health and Safety. We’re not allowed to poach or scramble eggs. We can only fry.”

Me: *leaning over* “But isn’t it easier to safely scramble an egg than fry one?”

Waitress: “I know; it’s just what we have to do.”

(I think [Supermarket] needs to revisit their risk assessments if their catering staff aren’t officially trusted with an egg!)

The Trump Burger: Well Done With Ketchup

, , , , , | Related | April 17, 2018

(I live in Scotland. My little sister and I are playing charades using an app on an iPad. We are playing the food category and the words come up. It is, “American _____,” so my sister decides to split the dish to make it easier. Here is how our crazy conversation goes.)

Sister: “Okay, the first word. Think of a big country.”

Me: “Russia?”

Sister: “No, no, like, think Trump.”

Me: “America?”

Sister: “Yeah! Then—”

Me: “[Sister], you’re eight! Where did you learn about Trump?!”

Sister: “I don’t know. I heard a lot of people talking about Donald Trump, the President of America. Anyway— OH, MY GOD! YOU ONLY HAVE TEN SECONDS LEFT! WHAT DO YOU CALL PEOPLE FROM AMERICA?”

Me: *panicking* “Um, um, BURGERS!”


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