Do You Know What “Volunteer” Means?

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 3, 2021

I used to take part in clinical trials for a little extra cash. The trials were easy; they usually involved visiting the clinic for about an hour a day over a week, testing different lotions on our legs to see how well they moisturized. Everyone who participated had to fill out a form at the very beginning. Apart from the usual disclaimers, it said that we were volunteers and we would be paid a certain amount of money for our time. As far as I was concerned, I was being paid grocery money to do next to nothing, and I was glad for the opportunity.

One day, about halfway through the trial, one of the other participants suddenly spoke up.

Participant: *Loudly* “You know what I just realized? We’re only being paid [total] for [time] hours. That’s not even minimum wage!”

She looked around the room with a self-satisfied expression, obviously expecting us to agree with her. No one said anything. In fact, we all pretty much pretended that we hadn’t heard her. Irritated by the lack of response, she said:

Participant: *Even more loudly* “They’re taking advantage of us! We should ask for more money!”

Along came a clinic employee, and I inwardly cringed. I’d done several of these trials, and I’d seen this lady before. She had NO tolerance for fools.

Employee: “I understand that you have a complaint?”

Participant: “Uh… Well, you’re not even paying us minimum wage.”

Employee: “That’s right. Remember that form you signed which said that you’re a volunteer? Volunteers, as a rule, don’t get paid, but we are paying you [total].”

Participant: “…”

Employee: “So. Do you still have a complaint?”

Participant: *Meekly* “No.”

Employee: “Good.”

She walked away, and I didn’t hear another peep from that participant.

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You Have To Remember To Take Your Brain To The Meetings

, , , , , | Working | June 23, 2021

My coworker is a nice lady but clueless. One day, we are both in a meeting with our boss.

Boss: “[My Name], there’s a huge problem with [System] and I need you to fix it as soon as possible. This will be your top priority. Call me in an hour to let me know how it’s going.”

Me: “You got it, [Boss].”

I return to my desk and start working on the problem. [Coworker] returns to hers right next to mine.

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name], have you noticed [incredibly trivial issue]?”

Me: “Hmm? No.”

Coworker: “It’s really annoying.”

Me: *Not really listening* “Uh-huh, I’ll bet.”

Coworker: *After an expectant pause* “So, I’ll need your help.”

Me: “Sure, I can help you later.”

Coworker: “What’s wrong with right now?”

Me: “Um, I’m busy.”

Coworker: “Doing what?”

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Pool Your Brain Cells Together

, , , , , , | Working | May 19, 2021

I have a coworker who fancies himself a handyman. The trouble is, because he leads a very busy life — in addition to having a full-time job, he’s the father of two young boys and coaches junior-high soccer — he has trouble finding the time to handle construction projects.

One day, he announces that he is going to install an in-ground pool at his house himself. All of his coworkers are a bit worried, because that’s a huge job. He waves away our concerns.

Coworker: “I can do it, and it’ll be a lot cheaper than hiring a company.”  

At the beginning of the summer of 2014:

Coworker: “I’ve started working on the pool.”

At the end of 2014:

Coworker:  “I didn’t manage to finish the pool.”

At the end of 2015:

Coworker: “Still working on the pool.”

Mid-summer 2016:

Coworker: “I finished the pool!”

Mid-summer 2017:

Coworker: “My pool is leaking.”

At the end of summer 2017:

Coworker: “I fixed the pool.”

At the beginning of summer 2018:

Coworker: “My pool is leaking again.”

At the end of summer 2018:

Coworker:  “I fixed the pool.”

Then, one day, a few months later:

Coworker: “My wife wants to put in new front steps, and she wants to hire a company to do it. I keep telling her that I’ll do it. Why on earth would she want to hire someone?”


Coworker: “Shut up.”

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Reply All, Also Known As “The Party Button”

, , , , , | Friendly | March 29, 2021

Pre-health crisis, my friend sends out an email to a large group of people, inviting them to a party. He includes me on the list.

Me: *Replying to the email* “Sounds great! Can’t wait.”

I hit send and then realize too late that I selected “Reply All” by mistake.

Me: *To myself* “Aw, crap. Well, can’t be helped.”

Two minutes later, I get an email from someone I don’t know.


It turned out that she was married to one of the other email recipients. Rather than realizing that I’d accidentally replied to the entire group, or scrolling down to see the original email, she immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion. I made sure to avoid her and her husband at the party.

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It’s A Gamble If She Makes Her Way To Your Restaurant

, , , , , , | Right | March 24, 2021

I’m an employee in a casino’s food and beverage department. One morning, I go to the in-house fast food chain for a coffee on my break. The cashier takes my order but needs to run to the back for a moment and leaves the counter alone. An old woman walks up in a huff.

Customer: “Well? Aren’t you working right now? Don’t you work here?!”

Me: “I don’t work for [Fast Food Restaurant]; I’m also a customer here right now.”

Customer: “NO! DO. YOU. WORK. HERE?!”

Me: “In the casino or [Fast Food Restaurant]? I work in the casino’s restaurant. They just lease the space; we don’t share staff.”

Customer: *Rolling her eyes* “Well. No one is taking my order!”

Not a second later, the cashier returns in full [Fast Food Restaurant] uniform and cheerfully apologizes for the wait. She hands me my coffee and quickly begins taking the old woman’s order when she’s immediately cut off.

Customer: “Hold on! I don’t know what I want! Do you have [Famous Item from another fast food chain]?”

I shot the cashier a sympathetic glance and returned to my work area as fast as I could.

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