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Get Your Brain Out Of The Binary

, , , , , , , | Working | May 23, 2022

Our manager retired recently, and a new manager was assigned to take her place. On his first day, he tries to meet with everyone, but it’s apparent that he’s doing so more to learn faces than to build connections, and he’s not putting in any effort to be friendly. Still, I decide to put up with him at first, knowing everyone else well enough to at least direct him when he’s looking for someone.

[Coworker], who is non-binary, is on holiday at this time (approved well in advance), which leads to this exchange when [Manager] goes looking for them.

Manager: “Hey, [My Name]. Where could I find [Coworker’s Full Name]?”

Me: “They’re on holiday today. Sorry, I should’ve mentioned—”

Manager: “They? It’s just the one.”

Me: “I know. They’re on holiday.”

Manager: “Who’s ‘they’?”

Me: “[Coworker].”

Manager: “Then don’t say ‘they’! Is it a him or a her?”

Me: “[Coworker] goes by ‘they’.”

Manager: “That’s not a valid answer.”

Me: “It’s not a valid question. [Coworker] goes by ‘they’. When you’re talking about [Coworker], you say, ‘They are on holiday,’ or, ‘They’ll be back tomorrow.’”

Manager: “Who the h*** are they?!”

Me: “[Coworker].”

[Manager] wrote me up for giving him attitude. I immediately informed his boss as to what was going on. By the time [Coworker] got back, we had another new manager.

Luckily, It Probably Went A Mile Over The Students’ Heads

, , , , , , | Learning | May 23, 2022

We have a new second-grade teacher hired from another state. She puts up a bulletin board to spotlight student work and to highlight their successes. She’s from Denver, and she titles it with a phrase popular in Colorado.

Later, the administration had to politely ask her not to title her display of classwork “The Mile High Club.”

That Pronunciation Seems Fishy

, , , , , | Related | May 22, 2022

I had a coworker who showed me her son’s school essay; the assignment was to write about their families. Her son mentioned something about his grandmother making “simon crocketts” for dinner.

Me: “What are simon crocketts?”

Coworker: “They’re fried patties made from canned fish.”

I looked at her for a moment.

Me: “You mean salmon croquettes?”

She stared at me blankly. 

Coworker: “My family has always called them simon crocketts.”

The Voice Of Reason Says It’s Time To Find New Bosses

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: Walkerg2011 | May 20, 2022

I have worked in retention, first-party collections, and accounts receivable for a rural Internet provider for seven years now. I consistently get 100s on quality assurance calls. They even use my calls as training material. However, I have a unique voice. Customers tell me all the time I should do radio, be an announcer, or should be a game show host. It isn’t just me on the phone; this is me in casual conversation, as well.

Today, however, I get a call from my manager telling me she has a sensitive matter she needs to discuss with me. One of the owners of the company advised her that he doesn’t think that my voice jives with the view the company wants to project of itself. As I said, we’re a rural Internet company. Our clientele is basically lower -to middle-class rural folks in Texas. He told her to tell me I need to change my voice but didn’t give any specifics.

I asked if it was my tone. No, apparently, it’s great because I’m upbeat and show a willingness to help. Is it my talking speed? No, my speed tends to match the customers’. Maybe my cadence? “I don’t know,” but it needs to change, apparently.

I have been here for seven years, and only now does it become a problem. I am furious. I am absolutely livid. I am also mildly embarrassed, because I know I’m different. I shouldn’t be embarrassed, but it’s hard not to feel this way. I was already planning to abandon the ship, but it seems the timetable has been sped up. After dealing with horrible callers, incompetent rotating management, inconceivable rule changes, and an overall poor experience, this is just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

It’s Breast To Think Before You Speak

, , , , , , , | Working | May 19, 2022

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Years ago, when I was working at a deli/bakery, a regular customer came in. We were chatting a bit while I took her order and she commented on the pink ribbon I was wearing, asking me what it was for.

Me: “Oh! It’s for Breast Awareness month.”

She kind of looked at me funny, and then I realized what I had said.

I was mortified.

Me: “Breast CANCER Awareness!”

She started laughing! (Thank goodness!) I, too, laughed.

Me: “So… are you aware of your breast?”

That really got her giggling! I was so glad she was such a good sport about it.