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    You’ve Been Blindly Designated

    | Oakland, CA, USA | Employees, Food & Drink, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I have a medical condition that makes drinking alcohol potentially fatal. I’m also legally blind. I can see a little, but use a white cane for dark areas. My coworkers and I are celebrating the end of a long week at a bar.)

    Waitress: “And what can I get you, hun?”

    Me: “If I could just get a soda? I can’t drink booze.”

    Waitress: “It’s a two drink minimum.”

    Me: “Really, I can’t drink. At all. Just a soda, please.”

    (The waitress looks at me, my white cane, and my almost milk-white eyes.)

    Waitress: “Okay, so you’re the designated driver? Cool.”

    This Lip Balm Is The Bomb

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Employees, Tourists & Travel

    (I am male. I am going through airport security when they’re talking about putting small containers of liquid in a bag. I realize that the lip balm I brought with me might be seen as liquidy enough to meet the restrictions. My TSA agent is female.)

    Me: “What about lip balm?”

    TSA Agent: “Lip gloss… Lip gloss goes in the bag.”

    Me: “Uh, it’s just lip balm.”

    TSA Agent: “Lip gloss goes in the bag.”

    Me: “But it’s lip balm!”

    TSA Agent: “In the bag.”

    (As a guy, I was very confused about her calling it lip gloss… until I realized that I use a regional pronunciation that doesn’t enunciate the L in words like “balm,” and she was trying to stop me from essentially saying “bomb” in airport security. Though grateful, I always look back on this incident as very weird. Couldn’t she have called it lip moisturizer or something?)

    Needs To Install Some Intelligence

    | England, UK | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Okay, if you could just try coming out of the software and going back into it I’ll see what happens my end.”

    (Long pause.)

    User: “Okay I’ve uninstalled it. Now what?”

    Playing Them At Their Own Game

    | Europe | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Ignoring/Inattentive, Technology

    (I work in a startup company with a boss who treats it like her own personal toy. While it may seem irrelevant, the fact is that her husband made enough money so that she could pretend to be an entrepreneur with no real consequences. We are creating a new “Facebook” for fitness instructors that would lead the Internet. While I am working and my coworker is creating 3D models, this conversation happens. She enters on Monday:)

    Boss: “Hey, yesterday I saw this really cool thing that you can move in front of your TV and it sees it. We should make a game about fitness!”

    Me: “Ah, that is probably Kinect. Well, while it is possible, I really doubt we can pull it off. Games are made by big companies with experience, but we have a three people team and two of them know nothing about programming and such… “

    Boss: “Well, have you looked into it? Why do you always dismiss it. If we made it, it would be BIG and you have to start thinking BIG!”

    (I stop talking and let her go on. After a while and to my surprise, my coworker, who is always quiet speaks up.)

    Coworker: “Actually, this sounds like a great idea. I am not sure how they do it, but we could probably do it.”

    (My jaw drops. My boss is happy and leaves.)

    Me: “Why in the world would you say that?”

    Coworker: “Well, you will have to join me in this “research.” I take it we will need about a week or so to realize it is not really possible and report to her accordingly.”

    (So we played with motion detection game for a week and while I was a little nervous about how we are going to tell her that it’s not that easy, she had already forgotten about that by Friday.)

    In Receipt Of Bad Instructions

    | USA | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (My manager is very nice, but either doesn’t know how to run a hotel or has never worked in one. He’s completely clueless. One day, he’s training me, a new hire.)

    Manager: “Okay, so at 3:00 you have to print out the customers’ receipts, and then leave the desk and go up the elevator and deliver them by pushing them under each door.”

    Me: “I have to deliver them? I will be working by myself, right?”

    Manager: “Yes, you’ll be alone.”

    Me: *fretting* “But, what if the phone rings or the customer comes down and I’m not there?”

    Manager: “Don’t worry, that rarely happens. Just do what I say, ok?”

    Me: “Okaaay.”

    (Everything goes well for a few weeks, and then it happens: I’m away delivering the receipts, and a customer calls and calls the desk. Getting no answer, he goes to the desk, only to find no one. When I get back, he yells at me. Then he complains to the manager, who calls me over the next day.)

    Manager: “You’ve gotten a complaint. This guy called and called last night, and no one answered. The phone must be answered.”

    Me: “I was away delivering the receipts.”

    Manager: “I know, but I HAVE to write you up. Sign this.”

    Me: “WHAT?!”

    Manager: “It’s ok. It rarely happens.”

    (I started looking for another job the following day. Managers may need to be nice, but they need to know how to do their job, too!)

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