As Clear As Gay

| London, UK | Working | June 14, 2012

(After going away on holiday, I return to work with a diamond ring on my left hand. My colleagues are coming over to congratulate me, when I’m approached by one of my senior managers.)

Manager: “Congratulations on your engagement! When is the happy day?”

Me: “Depends when we can book the venue, but both April and I have always wanted to get married in December.”

Manager: “Wait, you and April? You’re marrying a woman?!”

Me: “Well, the law stares that it’s a civil partnership, but to us it is a wedding.”

Manager: “You’re a lesbian…since when?”

Me: “Um, all my life. I’ve been with April for six years. Did you really not know I’m gay?”

Manager: “I’ve never seen indication that you were.”

Me: “So, after being a member of the LGBT network, appearing in the staff magazine explaining the rights policy, and coming into the work a month ago sun burnt from the Pride Festival, you really didn’t realise I was gay? Who did you the think the woman I brought to the Christmas party was?”

Manager: “I thought she was your sister.”

(My colleague, who has been listening to our conversation from across the room, chimes in.)

Colleague: *to my manager* “If you think that was her sister after you saw them kissing under the mistletoe, I have some questions about your family.”

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I Heard That You’re An Idiot

| Brooklyn, NY, USA | Working | June 13, 2012

(I’m waiting online for a ride with a nine-year-old autistic boy that I babysit. His father and grandmother are with us. The boy starts to enter the ride before all of the people have exited.)

Me: *to autistic boy* “Sweetie, come back here, please. Come back. You need to stay back here.”

Employee: “He can’t be in there.”

Me: “I know, just give me a moment. ”

(The employee grabs the boy by the arm and takes him back outside the gate and points to the other employee.)

Employee: “You can’t go in there until the lady says you can. Okay? Do you understand me?!”

Father: “He’s autistic. He isn’t going to answer you.”

Employee: “I know, but you still have to talk to them!” *to autistic boy* “Do you understand? You wait until the lady tells you you can go in. Understand? Understand?!”

Father: “I just said he was autistic!”

Employee: “BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO TALK TO THEM!” *walks off to the ride he actually works on*

Me: *to father* “Did that just happen?”

Father: “He probably yells at deaf people, too.”

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Just Call Me Lay-Z

| Shreveport, LA, USA | Working | June 13, 2012

(I mainly work the electrical department of my store. I pass by a coworker who is unloading a palette.)

Coworker: “Hey, [my name], do you think you could take the lighting stuff off of this palette before I take it over to garden?”

(I couldn’t help myself.)

Me: “You need to get rid of some electrical stuff? That’s too bad. I got 99 problems and a switch ain’t one of ’em.”

Slow ‘Em Who’s Boss

| The Netherlands | Working | June 13, 2012

(I have a summer job on a construction site sweeping work areas, sorting materials and such. One day my coworker and I—both underpaid temps passing time until college classes start again—have been asked to sweep the floor in an area where the construction team is installing the air conditioning system.)

Boss: *to my coworker and me* “You need to be careful because we don’t want dust in the system, so work slow.”

Coworker: “You won’t have to tell us twice, sir. We can do slow!”

(We start sweeping the area slowly. After some time, the boss comes by.)

Boss: “Guys, you really need to go slower. There is too much dust in the air.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there are a lot of people working here. We are taking it really easy, but we can’t tell the dust to get on the floor.”

Boss: “Well, just slow down. Take it REALLY easy!”

Me: “Sure, we can slow down!”

(We take it down even further as the boss leaves. After all, when the boss tells you to work slower you don’t say no!)

Coworker: “This is the first time I’ve ever heard someone apologize to the boss for not slacking off enough!”

(Soon after, the boss comes back again to check up.)

Boss: “There I still too much dust in the air. You guys really need to go slower!”

Me: “Well, I think that if we go slower you need to make a time lapse video to see us moving. Are you sure about this?”

Coworker: “Yeah, not that I’m complaining, but we aren’t exactly the only ones here who can stir up the dust. We should probably sweep the whole area before the day is over.”

Boss: “No problem. Just get as far as you can get, but make sure you go really slow this time.”

(The boss leaves again, and we are trying to figure out how we can slow down even further and still actually do anything. Once again, as the boss finishes his rounds, he checks up on us again.)

Boss: “Well, it’s getting better, but can you please slow down even more?”

Me: “I am honestly not sure if I can do that. We are barely moving as it is, and I think we were just passed by a snail.”

Boss: “Well, try anyway. It’s getting better, so keep up the good work!”

Coworker: *after the boss leaves* “I love this job.”

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Underneat It All

| Working | June 13, 2012

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