Bad boss and coworker stories

The Pilgrim’s Lack Of Progress

| Working | June 20, 2012

(Once a month, we close the clinic early and go out to lunch as a group. I haven’t lived in town very long when we go to a local restaurant called the Mayflower.)

Coworker: “If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?”

Me: “Pilgrims!”

Coworker: “Huh? That’s a joke. The answer is ‘June bugs’.”

Me: “Oh, I had heard that joke differently. Hey, look at these placemats with the story of the Mayflower on them: ‘Once upon a time, there were people called Pilgrims?’ Do they think we’re in first grade or something?”

Coworker: “I don’t know this story.”

(I tease her, thinking she’s kidding.)

Me: “Were you asleep during social studies in elementary school?”

Coworker: “Hey, we’re not all as filled with USELESS KNOWLEDGE as you are, okay? Sorry if I concentrate on actual important stuff and don’t know about this PILGRIM business!”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry.”

Coworker: *changes the subject* “This weekend, I’m going to visit my family!”

Me: “Oh, that sounds fun. Are you very close?”

Coworker: “To be honest, not really. Ever since I got my college degree, they don’t want to talk to me because I’m so much smarter than they are!”

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Rent In Peace

| Working | June 20, 2012

(My grandmother has just passed away. We are cleaning out her apartment, which is in a complex for senior citizens. This takes place at the dumpster outside the apartment as I am throwing her hoarded belongings away. A custodian approaches us.)

Custodian: “Do you have a grandparent living here?”

Me: “Well, my grandmother lived here, but she passed away yesterday, so we’re cleaning out her apartment. ”

Custodian: “I’m sorry, but you can only use this dumpster if you or a family member live here.”

Me: “Well, she did live here, but she just passed away.”

Custodian: “So, you don’t have a grandparent living here right now?”

Me: “Well, no, I don’t.”

Custodian: “So, you can’t use this dumpster.”

(At this point, my dad comes by to find out why it’s taking me so long to throw out a bucket of garbage.)

Dad: “What’s taking so long?”

Custodian: “Do you have a family member living here?”

Dad: “My mom has an apartment here.”

Custodian: “So, she does still own the apartment?”

Dad: “The apartment is still in her name, yes.”

Custodian: *to me* “Why didn’t you tell me your dead grandmother still owns her apartment?!”

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Taking The Raise Out Of Praise

| Working | June 19, 2012

(I am an assistant manager at a gas station, where I have worked for over a year. My manager has just finished my six-month review for my promotion. I find out the next day that she scored me incredibly low in several areas, so I ask her why.)

Me: “You’re always telling me what a great worker I am. Why is my review so low?”

Manager: “Oh. Well, I was mad at you for not getting the delivery order finished yesterday.”

Me: “I was scheduled by myself the entire shift, so there was no time to get it in. And one bad day shouldn’t affect my entire review.”

Manager: “Yeah, you’re actually a good worker. I was just mad when I filled out the review!”

Me: “Well, can you change it before you send it in?”

Manager: “Sorry, I faxed it off right after I finished it. I knew I shouldn’t have scored you so low, but I was just mad! Don’t worry, there will be another one in six months!”

Me: “What happens to me because of this review?”

Manager: “Oh, you just don’t get a raise this time. But don’t worry, I’m not mad at you anymore. You really are a great employee!”

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In Feigned English

| Working | June 19, 2012

My boyfriend and I stop at a pancake place while I am on vacation with him in Florida. He is American and I’m English. Our waitress seats us and took my boyfriend’s order with no problems. However, she looks confused when I ask for iced tea and blueberry pancakes.)

Waitress: “What did you say?”

Me: “Iced tea please, unsweetened, and some blueberry pancakes.”

Waitress: “What?”

Me: “Iced tea. Blueberry Pancakes. Please.”

(The waitress continues to stare at me, looking totally confused. She then turns to my boyfriend.)

Waitress: *to my boyfriend* “It’s such a shame that she can’t speak English. Where is she from?”

Boyfriend: “She’s from England.”

Waitress: “What language do they speak there?”

Boyfriend: “English.”

Waitress: “But not like our English.”

Boyfriend:Our English?”

Waitress: “Yeah, our American English.”

Boyfriend: “It’s essentially the same language. American English is still English.”

Waitress: “But not what we speak. We speak different English, not English English!”

(She then turns to me and talks to me REALLY LOUDLY, as if I’m about 3 years old.)


(Giving up, I try speaking with an American accent.)

Me: *in an American accent* “Sounds good, but make the tea unsweetened, please.”

Waitress: “No problem. I’ll get it for you now!” *walks off*

Boyfriend and I: *stunned*


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Timelines Are Of The Essence

| Working | June 19, 2012

(I’m calling the travel agent’s customer service. The flight I booked from Dalian, China back to the U.S has been put on hold due to an error.)

Travel Agent: “Hello, how may I help you today?”

Me: “I just booked a flight from China back to the U.S for July 31st. I received an email about an error?”

Travel Agent: “Ah yes, Miss, I believe I know the one in question. You plan to leave Dalian at 1PM on July 31st, is that correct?”

Me: “Yes.”

Travel Agent: “…and then you will transfer in Japan, arriving in Tokyo at 5PM on the 31st, correct? You will then leave for the U.S at 12AM on the first of August…wait, and arrive in LA on the 31st of July? Ma’am, are you spending a year in Japan?”

Me: “What? Oh, no. You see, the plane will be crossing the international dateline, which is between Japan and the U.S, so while it will in fact be the first in Japan, it will still be the 31st in LA.”

Travel Agent: “What?” *long pause* “No, that can’t be right…”

Me: “…”

Travel Agent: “Wait a moment…wait a moment…one moment.”

(The ‘hold’ music comes on while he leaves the phone. When he comes back on, I hear laughing in the background, and he is obviously embarrassed.)

Travel Agent: “I am so sorry. You are perfectly right. Your ticket has been approved.”

Me: “Thank you so much for your help!”

Travel Agent: “So, what time is it in China?”

Me: “It’s morning on the 20th.”

Travel Agent: “Wow…”

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