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    Cheering Up And Dumbing Down

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Coworkers, Language & Words

    (I work with a woman whose first language isn’t English. She speaks with a strong accent and has good skills but doesn’t realise that customers don’t always get the grasp of what she is saying. I often find myself butting in to translate for customers. Another staff member has let me know that it’s upsetting her because she thinks I think she is stupid. She definitely isn’t. After one such incident, she’s walked off and I can see she is upset so follow her to explain.)

    Me: “[Coworker], I am sorry if I upset you by butting in on your customer.”

    Coworker: “It’s okay.”

    Me: “No, I realise I upset you by doing it and need to explain. I know you are very smart and while I understand what you have said perfectly, sometimes the customers don’t.”

    Coworker: “Huh?”

    Me: “Yes, You explain things to them like they are intelligent adults, but need to realise that most of them are actually dumb. You often can’t work out how to dumb it down. I speak perfect dumb which is why I butt in.”

    (My coworker burst out laughing and hugged me.)

    Give This Bedside Manner The Cold Shoulder

    | Australia | Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I have recently had a baby, and am having a conversation with the nurse.)

    Me: “I’m a little terrified. I mean… what if I drop him or something?”

    Nurse: “Babies are relatively parent proof. You could drop him from waist height and you’d be fine! From shoulder height you may have a problem, though…”

    Me: *clings to newborn*

    Can’t Talk You Back

    | NJ, USA | Bad Behavior, Coworkers, Theme Of The Month

    (I have been working for a particular client for many years, during which time we develop a host of personality conflicts. It is rare that we do not have some kind of major disagreement. Frankly, I keep the job simply because it is regular work. Finally, I can’t take it anymore, and quit. She counters by offering incentives to stay.)

    Client: “How about this: if you stay, you don’t have to talk to me for two months?”

    Me: “Or, I could not talk to you for the rest of my life.”

    Good Management Has Logged Out

    | East Sussex, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners

    (I’ve just transferred to a supermarket from a convenience-format branch of the same company. Whilst about 80% of the procedures are the same, there are a number of key differences in how I’ve been trained due to the difference in shop-floor and warehouse size across formats. I’m busy stacking shelves when my new manager approaches.)

    Manager: “[My Name], do you know how to do waste scans?”

    Me: “Yep, but I’ve not done it here yet. Could you give me the store login?”

    Manager: “Oh! We have individual logins here.”

    Me: “Okay. So, could you set me up with the privileges to do that?”

    Manager: “Um, no. I’m a bit busy right now. Tell you what, you do the wastage and then come find me to help you afterward.”

    Me: “How am I do to the waste scan without a login?”

    Manager: “Erm… Find somebody else and borrow their card. Tell them I sent you.”

    (I go and do this, I’ve just finished scanning waste and I’m getting on to reducing the damaged goods that are salvageable when my manager approaches me again.)

    Manager: “[My name]! Stop! What are you doing?!”

    Me: “Well, I finished the wastage. I’m on reductions now.”

    Manager: “How did you log in?!”

    Me: “With [Colleague]’s card, like you suggested.”

    Manager: “I can’t believe you’d borrow somebody else’s card! That is not allowed!”

    Me: *speechless*

    Dying To Get The Job

    | Kirkland, WA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, New Hires

    (I’ve recently interviewed at a local wholesaler for a position on their order and delivery team. Despite being told they would be in touch with me the following day to let me know when I could begin training, I haven’t heard anything from them for over a week so I give them a call.)

    Me: “Yes, hello. I wanted to check in again about the position I applied for. You were supposed to call me back, like, six days ago.”

    Employee: “Really? Let me check with the hiring manager.”

    (I get put on hold for several minutes. When the employee gets back he sounds noticeably uneasy.)

    Employee: “Okay. So, I don’t quite know how to say this, but apparently the hiring manager threw out your application.”

    Me: “What!? Why? You made it pretty clear I had the job when I last spoke with you!”

    Employee: “Well, here’s the thing: after that, he read in the obituary column of the local paper that someone with the same name as you passed away recently. He thought it was you and therefore decided to toss out your papers.”

    Me: *stunned* “Umm… Well, is there a way I could correct that? I mean, seeing as we’re conversing, I’m obviously not dead!”

    Employee: “I’d advise you to come in again and meet him face to face. He’s still not entirely convinced this isn’t some sort of prank.”

    (I did go back in and managed to give the hiring manager quite a shock when he stepped out of his office to see me looking alive and well. Even better? I checked the obituaries afterwards and found the guy who’d passed away was clearly stated to be in his 90s – I just barely turned 30. The manager had no explanation for why he thought a geriatric was applying for such a physically demanding position.)


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