Following The Rules To The Letter

, , , | Working | October 26, 2020

I am the watch-stander in Damage Control Central on the midnight watch on April first. Damage Control Central is the primary communications point for any emergency aboard the ship and is manned around the clock. As a result, the watch-standers routinely get sailors wandering in at all hours to ask some extremely stupid questions, like, “What time are eight-o’clock reports?” and, “What deck is the weatherdeck on?”

Since it is April Fool’s Day, I decide to try to limit the Stupid Question Parade by putting a sign outside the door suggesting we’re busy with an emergency situation. In an attempt to avoid getting in trouble for false reporting, I make sure the sign is totally accurate but misleading to anyone not paying attention.

All is well — and blissfully Stupid-Question-free — until the Chief Engineer happens to drop by DC Central to print out a report he’ll be needing first thing in the morning. He is less than thrilled about the sign and yells at me, but he acknowledges that the sign is both accurate and pretty funny.

The sign I posted says, “DC Central is dealing with seawater intrusion in the firemain system. Emergencies Only!”

For non-Navy readers, the firemain is the system that provides fire-fighting water in the event of a fire. On Navy ships, the firemain is constantly pressurized with seawater.

I receive some mild punishment from my Division Officer, but I follow it up the next April Fool’s Day with a different sign: “DC Central is dealing with a Class Bravo Fire in #2 Boiler. Emergencies Only!”

A “Class Bravo” fire means the fire source is a flammable liquid. The ship’s boilers burn diesel fuel, so there is always a “Class Bravo” fire in the boilers when they’re running.

I get in trouble again, of course. For the rest of my tour aboard that ship, I am specifically prohibited from standing any watches on April first.

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Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind, And Out Of Patience

, , , , | Working | October 26, 2020

My sister and I arrive two hours early for our theater show, and we decide we have time for a nice dinner before the show. We walk to a sports bar/cafe that does a full dinner menu about a block away and tell the hostess that we are there for dinner.

Hostess: “There is about a fifteen-minute wait for tables. Is that okay?”

Me: “Sure, that’s fine.”

We settle in to wait, and about ten minutes later they seat us in an area they don’t normally use for dinner. They seat another couple nearby, as well.

No one comes by to take our orders, not even just the drink orders. Fifteen minutes after we have been seated, with no luck flagging down a server, I get up and try to grab who I think is the floor manager, but as soon as he sees someone approaching, he runs away to the kitchen. We resume trying to flag down a server to find out who is supposed to be covering our section, but they are all “too busy” to bother with a table that isn’t theirs.

By the time we’ve been sitting there for a half-hour without even a glass of water, I’m just done. We’re approaching the point where, if our orders aren’t in the kitchen, we won’t get our food in time to make our show. 

We decide to leave, and I stop to talk to the hostess on the way out.

Me: “Look. We’ve been sitting where you put us for a half-hour and no one has even come by to take our drink orders. We’re just going to leave and go somewhere else. Someone needs to check in with the other couple, too.”

Hostess: “Wait. You can’t leave without ordering once you’ve been seated; it will throw off our numbers on the computer.”

Me: “Not my problem.”

And with that, we left, went around the corner to a quick-serve place, and managed to make it to our show on time. This was the final straw — they had also recently changed the menu and the new offerings were less to our taste than the old ones — and we haven’t been back since.

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Can We Get A Refill On Your Brain Prescription?

, , , , | Working | October 26, 2020

I drop off a prescription at my pharmacy. Instead of giving me a number, they’re slow enough to tell me I can just queue up again after twenty minutes and it’ll be ready. I give it thirty, and when I get back in line they have several customers ahead of me who all have difficult problems, meaning by now they certainly have had enough time to fill it. Finally, it’s my turn.

Me: “Hi, I’m picking up a prescription.”

I give the relevant information.

Employee: “Okay, let me look that up… It says you don’t have any refills left.”

Me: “Uh, yeah, that’s true. I brought in a new prescription.”

Employee: “What was the last name again?”

Me: “[My Last Name].”

Employee: “First name?”

Me: “[My First Name].”

Employee: “Picking up [medication]?”

Me: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Employee: “You don’t have any refills left. See?”

She shows me the computer screen, which indeed is telling me I have no refills left.

Me: “I know I don’t have any refills left. That’s why I went to my doctor and had my doctor write me a new prescription, and then I brought that prescription here to be filled.”

Employee: “You brought in a new prescription? When?”

Me: “About… forty, maybe forty-five minutes ago at this point.”

Employee: “Who’d you give it to?”

Me: “Uh… Whoever was at the drop-off counter; I don’t really remember who it was.”

The employee leaves for another five minutes and finds my prescription.

Employee: “Okay, we found it.”

Me: “Great.”

Employee: “It’ll be twenty minutes before it’s ready.”

Me: “Of course it will.”

Fortunately, this time, they actually filled it.

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You Have To Use Your Brain Periodically

, , , , | Working | October 26, 2020

I am working the front desk at a gym. For reference, I am a twenty-six-year-old female and my manager is male and twenty-four years old. A female member approaches us.

Member: *In a lower voice* “Hi there. I’m super embarrassed, but my period just started and I’m not prepared and don’t have any change on me. Can you help me out?”

Me: *Lowered voice* “Absolutely! Don’t worry about it; it happens all the time. Let me grab someone to get the key to the dispenser in the locker room.”

My coworker who is also a female walks up and I ask her for the key. My manager overhears.

Manager: “The what? What’s going on? What dispenser?”

Me: “There’s a dispenser in the women’s locker room that has tampons and pads.”

Manager: “Oh, we don’t have one of those in the mens’.”

All three of us look at him blankly.

My coworker is able to help the member out, and after they leave, my manager comes back up to me.

Manager: “Well, that was a really weird request, wasn’t it?”

Me: “No, not really.”

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No Pay, No Way

, , , , , | Working | October 26, 2020

I work for a company that is often visited by journalists. As I am the spokesperson for the company it’s my job to show them around, explain things, organize media conferences, etc.

There are sometimes weeks with no visits at all and then days with three journalists wanting to visit, meaning long days for me. I am fine with that but this also means that I use my car quite a lot. No worries, I like driving my car and I get a certain amount of money per driven kilometre that more or less covers the cost of the gas I use.

Since the company desperately needs to save money they decide:

Boss: “No more money for car trips inside the country; use public transport. We’ll pay for the yearly bus ticket.”

Me: “I probably won’t be able to make as many appointments. Also, if you count the cost of the bus ticket plus the additional time for travel it’s bad maths for you.”

Boss: “I don’t care.”

Fine with me. I cancel the contract for my parking spot which I had to pay for myself anyway, so I can save some money.

The new rule comes into effect, I have my bus ticket and start coming to work by bus. On the second day I do this one of the project managers I am organizing a media conference for walks in.

Project Manager: “I changed plans for tomorrow. You need to pick up a few things before the press conference.”

Me: “Sure thing. Since the conference is quite early can you send our intern with me to pick it up?”

Project Manager: “Why? It’s not that much to pick up.”

Me: “I know but it’s too much to carry by myself. Since I’ll have to change buses at least once it’d be a lot more efficient, and the conference is too early to make the trip twice.”

Project Manager: “Just use your car.”

Me: “Since you won’t pay for gas anymore I will not do that. Plus I cancelled my parking spot here already.”

Project Manager: “Do you really have to start your green experiments in a month like this?”

Me: “Go talk to the boss. It’s his decision, not mine, I told him this would happen.”

Two days later we are back to getting money for gas, but the project manager had to use his own car to go get those additional things. Since my parking space was already rented out to another person I still came to work by bus and if there were a lot of appointments I just had them pay for the daily parking as well!

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