There Snow Problem Like Snow Problems

, , , , , | Related | March 15, 2018

(My mother is very easily agitated and complains at length about mundane things. This conversation occurs a few days after we have had a major snowstorm. No one was injured, but my mother has been ranting for a half an hour — no exaggeration — about how the grocery store was crowded before the storm, and about how she and her neighbors had to shovel the snow afterward. I had the same experience — crowded store and a lot of shoveling — but I took it in stride. She finally breaks her tirade to ask me:)

Mom: “So, how about you? How are you doing?”

Me: “I’m doing fine.”

Mom: “HOW ARE YOU DOING FINE WHEN EVERYBODY ELSE IS PASSING OUT IN THE SNOW?!”

(I was tempted to ask her to name one person who passed out in the snow, but she had already gone back to complaining.)

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The Finer Details Are Foggy

, , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

(We are under a fog advisory; you can barely see the vehicle in front of you. I have to get up pretty early, partly because of the fog, but mostly because I live about an hour away from where I work. The road I take to work is under construction. I stroll into work — kind of late because of the fog and the extra time on my commute — and get settled at my desk, and I mention how bad the fog is near me. I am not the only one who lives outside of the city, but I am one of two who drive an hour or so to work every day. Everyone else drives 15 to 30 minutes, tops. The moment I mention how bad the fog is, I almost instantly regret it. I have one coworker who thinks EVERYTHING is a competition.)

Coworker: “Well, it’s worse over where I live. I live in the country!”

Me: “I mean, I kind of do, too. My town is in the middle of nowhere. You couldn’t even see two utility poles in front of you.”

Coworker: ” Yeah, but it’s still worse in the country.”

Me: “I know. There’s road construction in my town, remember? I have to take back-roads. I mean sure, the main road I usually take is still a country road, but I have to drive quite a while on gravel, now. And that’s terrifying in the fog.”

Coworker: “So what? I have to drive gravel every day.”

Me: “Not in fog.”

Coworker: “But I still have to drive on gravel every day!”

Me: “You live much closer to work. You also have to remember, I drive an hour every day.”

Coworker: “What does that have to do with it? I have to drive 25 minutes every day! Do you know how foggy it is?”

(Of course. Because 25 minutes is much worse than an hour. I should have stopped the conversation long before.)

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Psychic Like The Night King

, , , , , | Related | March 12, 2018

(The local schools are being dismissed early due to bad weather. As soon as they let out, I call my sister to make sure she’s actually taking the bus home, since she usually walks, no matter what the weather is like outside.)

Sister: “How did you know that we were getting out early?”

(I look outside the window. If the blizzard raging outside were any worse, there’d be White Walkers hanging out in the driveway.)

Me: “I’m psychic.”

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Life’s A Beach

, , , , , | Working | February 5, 2018

(I work at a swim shop near the beach.)

Manager: “It’s been raining for two hours; no one’s going to come today. Let’s close up early and head for an early dinner.”

Me: “But the weather app says it’ll stop by four.”

Manager: “Those things are never right. I’m closing up!”

Me: “Did [Boss] say it’s okay?”

Manager: “I’ve been working here for five years. Trust me; I know what [Boss] wants.”

(We closed up, and guess what? By four it was 80 degrees and the beach was booming. The boss was really upset to lose out on such a good business day.)

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It’s Not Policy To Keep Our Workers Alive

, , , , , , , | Working | January 31, 2018

(A major highway leads to the mall where I am store manager. I’m driving to the store in the morning during a freezing cold and icy day, when all local schools have been cancelled. Normally, I plan to be at the store a half-hour before my employees. This day, my GPS tells me that the entire highway is blocked off ahead of me due to an accident. I quickly reroute to go around the blocked highway, but spy thousands of cars stuck in standstill traffic across four lanes. I then find myself navigating slippery back roads, passing cars that have slid off onto the shoulder. Traffic is slow or stopped along the back roads, too, as commuters avoiding the highway overwhelm the smaller streets. Finally, I get to the store, a half-hour later than anticipated, and find that two employees have arrived before me out of my opening staff of 19. I send one of my employees a few doors down to a doughnut shop for two dozen doughnuts and a large box of hot chocolate. Then, as employees arrive, I assure each of them that I will be overriding their late clock-in, and I sweeten the deal with coffee and donuts to calm frayed nerves. We manage to get the store open ten minutes before our first customer arrives, and all my employees are in great moods despite the miserable morning. It seems fine… until corporate calls.)

Corporate: “You had a seventeen people come in late, and you overrode every single one. Explain yourself!”

Me: “We had dangerous driving conditions.”

Corporate: “And?”

Me: “And I was later than I anticipated, as well.”

Corporate: “And?”

Me: “And I bought them all breakfast.”

Corporate: “What?!”

Me: “Look: I want my people to know that they should be safe. Their lives are more important than being on time.”

Corporate: “Well, that’s not corporate policy!”

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