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    Getting Over Your Rules Is Overruled

    | Robinson, IL, USA | Bosses & Owners, Family & Kids, Geography, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (My grandmother has just passed away. She lived in Georgia, so I can’t afford to travel for the funeral, and neither can some of my other family members that live near me. This happens when I call in to request bereavement time.)

    Me: “Hi, I’m calling to say I’m not going to be coming in to work for a few days. I just found out that my grandmother passed away.”

    Personnel Manager: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Where’s the funeral going to be?”

    Me: “It’s in Georgia.”

    Personnel Manager: “Oh, really? And you’re going to be travelling that far?”

    Me: “Well, actually, I’m not going to be able to make it to the funeral, but I was hoping to spend some time with some of my other family members that also can’t go.”

    Personnel Manager: *condescendingly* “Sweetie, I can’t approve this. Bereavement time is only for people who have to travel for the funeral.”

    Me: *shocked* “What!? But [Coworker]‘s grandfather died a few months ago and he lived in [next town over] his whole life, and he got bereavement time.”

    Personnel Manager: “Sorry, but I don’t make the rules.”

    (Apparently she did make them up as she wanted to, because when I called the corporate office, they were just as stunned as I was. I ended up getting the full bereavement time, but was so stressed out over the whole ordeal, I barely even left my house.)

    Either That Or ‘Rabbit’

    | Rittman, OH, USA | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful

    Telemarketer: “What’s your name?”

    Me: “Jessica.”

    Telemarketer: “Oh, then you are Jessica Alba?”

    Me: “No…”

    Telemarketer: “So, what’s your last name?”

    Me: “I don’t give that out.”

    Telemarketer: “Okay, well, I need a last name for our records.”

    Me: “Fine. Just put down ‘Alba.’”

    Telemarketer: “Okay, then. So you are Jessica Alba?”

    Me: “Sure, why not?”

    Tell Them ‘NO’

    | NC, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Language & Words, New Hires

    (As the assistant manager of a game store, I joke that we need to make sure our employees know their alphabet, as we could never find what we were looking for (usually misplaced on the shelves). One holiday season, I am helping a seasonal employee, who incidentally is a high school senior, work the shelves:)

    Seasonal Employee: “Hey, [My Name], does ‘R’ come before or after ‘V?’”

    Me: “Uh… before. You know, there’s even a song about it.”

    Seasonal Employee: “Yeah, but after I reach ‘M’ I just fake it.”

    Me: “…?”

    You Have Failed For The Last Time

    | Italy | Bosses & Owners, Geeks Rule, Theme Of The Month

    (We are a team of about 40 people. We have four supervisors, one of which is very nasty to us and the occasional customer who asks for escalation to managers. I have music on in my unit room. The playlist moves to the Star Wars Imperial march.)

    Coworker #1: “You’re so tempting fate.”

    (As if on cue, the nasty supervisor enters the room.)

    Supervisor: “[Coworker #2], next time you escalate such a dumb b**** to me, I’m going to strangle you!”

    (The supervisor made a pretend strangle motion and exited, oblivious to the background music. We all cracked up, and nicknamed her Darth henceforth.)

    Dealing With Gross, Point Blank

    | Australia | New Hires, Pets & Animals

    (I work casually at a local vet clinic as a kennel hand, whilst studying to actually be a veterinarian. There is very little that grosses me out. We occasionally have work experience students come in and shadow the staff. It’s the weekend, so we are literally a skeleton staff: me, a vet, and a receptionist; no nurse. I arrive at work to be told there is a student coming to shadow me, because she is thinking about training as a vet nurse.)

    Me: “So what made you think about becoming a nurse?”

    Student: “Well, I really love animals, and I’m not smart enough to be a vet. The studying is just too hard. So a nurse is the next best thing.”

    (I’m a little taken aback, as training to be a nurse isn’t easy either. This girl also seems to have very little interest in what I am doing, duties often done by nurses. She seems to be squeamish about getting her hands dirty as we work, which includes cleaning litter trays and picking up after dogs. During the morning, the vet comes up to us to inform us that a dog has had a rather messy accident in the consult room, and needs us to clean it up. It’s the perfect opportunity. I proceed to go clean up while she watches.)

    Student: *who at this point still has not actually gotten involved helping me* “I don’t know how you do that, like touching it and stuff. I don’t think I could handle it.”

    Me: *biting my tongue* “This is fairly normal for a nurse or kennel hand to deal with. And it can be much, much worse. You get used to it pretty quickly.”

    Student: “So you really deal with a lot of stuff like this? Like, all this gross stuff?”

    Me: “Nurses deal with it daily.”

    (I then get her to hold open a bin liner so that I can throw away all the contaminated paper towels and other disposables. The smell of the cleaning chemicals we used is strong enough that you can’t smell anything else, but she is still gagging and carrying on about how she can’t handle it, and she’s doesn’t like blood, and so on. It takes all my self control to not say anything. By the end of my shift, I am exasperated and in disbelief, although I still suggest she come and shadow the trained nurses for a better idea of the job. After she leaves, I turn to the receptionist, who is well aware that I am annoyed.)

    Receptionist: *grinning* “You’re not sure she’ll work out as a nurse?”

    Me: “Oh, she’ll do great, if she can find a nursing position that involves cuddling puppies and kittens all day and deals with absolutely nothing else whatsoever.”

    Receptionist: “That bad?”

    Me: “Who the hell is squeamish about seeing blood and decides they want to work in a vet clinic?!”


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