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Bad boss and coworker stories

A Call For Common Sense

| Working | November 6, 2012

Operator: “Thank you calling [cellphone company]. My name is Paul. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hi, I lost my phone this morning. It slipped from a pouch on the back of my bike I forgot to zip up. I was calling it, hoping somebody would find it and answer, but now it’s going straight to voicemail.”

Operator: “Any chance the battery just died?”

Me: “I don’t think so. It was fully charged. At first it was ringing out, but now it looks like somebody’s switched it off; it goes straight to voicemail. I’d like to get the number blocked so they can’t use up all my call credit before I get the number transferred to a new phone.”

Operator: “And are you calling from the phone in question?”

Me: “Wha… yes. Yes, I am calling you right now from the phone I’m reporting stolen.”

Operator: *finally gets it* “Okay, and… oh! Right!”

A Cut Below The Rest

| Working | November 6, 2012

(My sisters are getting their hair done, but they’re given a rather ditzy stylist. She finishes with one and starts on the next.)

Stylist: “So, how do you want your hair done?”

My Sister: “Can I get my bangs angled and my hair layered?”

Stylist: “What?”

My Sister: “I said, can I get my bangs angled and my hair layered?”

Stylist: “I don’t know what you’re wanting!”

(My mom comes over.)

Stylist: *to my mom* “I don’t know what she’s wanting!”

My Mom: “She wants her bangs angled and the rest of her hair layered.”

Stylist: “I don’t know what that means!”

(My other sister comes up.)

My Other Sister: “She wants her bangs cut at an angle and her hair layered.”

Stylist: “Well, why didn’t you say so?”

(Unfortunately, when we finished, she had angled AND layered her bangs!)

Giving Customer Service A Bad Name, Part 3

| Working | November 6, 2012

Employee: “May I have your name for your order?”

Me: “Jing.”

Employee: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Jing. J-I-N-G.”

Employee: “What the h*** is that?!”

Me: “I’m Chinese. My parents never gave me an English name.”

Employee: “That won’t do. You are in America. Give me an English name.”

Me: “What?”

Employee: “For God’s sake, just give me an English name!”

Me: “Fine, Jenny.”

Employee: “That’s much better!”

(When I spoke to the manager, it turned out the employee had been warned previously for the same racist behavior. Thankfully, she was fired.)

Time For Career Path Resuscitation

, | Working | November 5, 2012

(While we’re driving, an old man has fallen over onto the road right in front of our car, pulling his elderly wife down with him. We screech to a halt, just barely managing to avoid running them over. My mum and dad are both emergency consultants and are high-ranking doctors who command emergency wards. Mum jumps out of the car to stop other traffic and my dad heads to the downed couple to help them off the road. The woman is visibly shaken, but the man is incoherent and unable to stand. My dad quickly gets me to call an ambulance and sets about helping the man as best he can. Eventually, the ambulance arrives. A paramedic jumps out and zeroes in on the old man.)

Paramedic: “Okay, every thing’s all right now.” *to my dad* “Sir, are you the one who called the ambulance?”

Dad: “Yes…”

(My dad proceeds to give a doctor-handover to the paramedic, including symptoms, current stats, and his diagnosis, which is basically that the old man’s heart keeps skipping a beat and he needs to go to hospital right now. The paramedic doesn’t look at my dad the entire time.)

Paramedic: “If you’ll step aside, sir, I can examine the patient.” *to the semi-unconscious man* “Sir?  What’s your name?”

Dad: “His name is [Name]. I just told you. He’s having trouble talking, but his wife told us.”

Paramedic: *to my dad* “Sir, I need you to step away so I can do my job. I know this is scary and you think you’re helping, but—”

Mum: “Oh, my God, are you being serious?!”

(My dad gives Mum a look that tells her to let it go.)

Dad: “Okay, let me help you set up your equipment.”

Paramedic: “No, it’s really very complicated. I’ll do it…”

(My dad steps back to let the paramedic work, thinking that the old man will get to the hospital faster if he just goes along with it. However, the paramedic is fumbling and confusing his equipment and generally wasting time.)

Dad: “Let me help you with that.”

(Before the paramedic can say anything, my dad kneels down and fixes the equipment. Within about a minute, the entire thing is set up and attached with about a dozen wires to the old man. The paramedic finally looks my dad in the eyes.)

Paramedic: *gasps* “You’re [Dad]!”

Dad: “Yes.”

Paramedic: *looks a little pale* “I’ve gone to your lectures! I—”

Dad: “—”worked with me on a few retrievals, I know. Are you ready for a handover yet?”

Paramedic: *embarrassed* “Yes, sir.”

(My dad proceeds to tell the paramedic exactly what he told him when he first arrived. This time, however, the paramedic is following and nodding.)

Dad: “Oh, and one last thing: when you arrive and someone starts speaking like a doctor, listen to him, or at least look directly at him to check if he’s your boss. Now, get this man to the ED before he dies and we’ll talk about this more later.”

Paramedic: “Yes, sir!”

Let Us Phone Over To The Other Side

| Working | November 5, 2012

(I work as the lead singer at a church. There is a phone system connecting the singer’s area, the priest’s area, and the organist up in the choir loft. We are on cordial terms with each other, but the phones are mainly used to coordinate last-minute details about the service, so communication is businesslike. A few minutes before the service is supposed to start, the organist calls me to tell me something about the music. I hang up, and immediately the phone rings again, this time it is the priest calling.)

Me: “Yes?”

Priest: “Hi! Uh… it’s nothing really. I just realized that I’ve never called to that side, and I wanted to see what it was like.”

Me: “…And was it everything you hoped it would be?”

Priest: *happily* “Oh, yes!” *hangs up*