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    Category: Coworkers

    Forward-Time Is Backwards-Progress

    | USA | Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (I am a hospital lab scientist. During morning runs, the engineering department is running a generator test. Nurses send us lab samples through a pneumatic tube system in the walls; however, this is not on generator power as it is not essential to hospital operations. The generator test is scheduled to start at 4:00. At 3:50, there is a PA announcement to not put anything in the tube system, because anything in there when the generator test starts will not be able to get to its destination until full power is restored at 5:30. I get a phone call from a nurse at about 5:15.)

    Nurse: “Hi. I sent down some labs at 3:45, and I haven’t seen results, so I was wondering what’s happened.”

    Me: “I’m sorry about that. Let me see if I can see what happened. What patient and what labs did you send?”

    (She lists off some labs, one of which is EXTREMELY time sensitive. Because of that, they are always run immediately after arriving in the lab. I search around the lab for a bit before realizing that the samples are not in our computer system.)

    Me: “I am sorry. It seems that we haven’t received those samples yet.”

    Nurse: “Well, I sent them a long time ago.”

    Me: “Let me go check something.”

    (I go talk to our lab assistant who logs samples into the computer as soon as they arrive. She has not seen any samples for this patient.)

    Me: “Nope. They haven’t gotten here. Most likely, they didn’t make it out of the tubes before the power went down. So, we will get them when the power comes back but as one of them has a fifteen-minute expiration, that one will need to be redrawn.”

    Nurse: “This is ridiculous. I put it in the tubes. I saw them go up into the tube system.”

    Me: “I’m not arguing that they didn’t go into the tubes. I’m just saying they didn’t come out.”

    Nurse: “I need results.”

    Me: “I understand that. But the samples are in the tubes. And the tubes are much too small for me to climb into to retrieve the samples. We’ll get them when power is returned, however we are going to need a new [time-sensitive test].”

    Nurse: *huffs* “Well, I’ll get you some new ones. But this is ridiculous.”

    (I feel for her, and for the patient that will have to be redrawn, but know that it was probably her fault for cutting it too close to the time that the tubes would turn off and she hoped that they’d make in time so she didn’t have to walk to the lab with them. Sure enough, when the tubes come back on the samples pop out. Interestingly enough, the samples are labeled as being drawn at 0350, not the 0345 that she claimed, which means that either she was forward timing the samples to get them an extra five minutes on the time sensitive ones (which is STRICTLY against protocol), or she put the samples in the tubes AFTER engineering had warned her not to. At about 5:35 she calls back.)

    Nurse: “I still don’t have results.”

    (I frantically look around for the redraw, and realize with horror that we haven’t gotten those ones either.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have them yet.”

    Nurse: “This is ridiculous! I don’t understand how you only lose MY samples. You are all against me. That girl who sounded like she has four more years in high school told me that the first ones got lost.”

    Me: “It was me who talked to you the first time, and though I know I sound young, I’ve been out of college for two years, thank you. And, they were not lost, they were simply in the tubes because they’d been put in there too late. I understand your frustration. I really do. However, I don’t understand how I am expected to give you results on a sample that I DO NOT HAVE.”

    Nurse: “You have a vendetta against me.” *I don’t even know her*

    Me: “I understand your frustration. But I don’t understand what you want me to do about this.”

    Nurse: “All right, I’ll redraw them again, but I’m walking them down this time.”

    Me: “That sounds like a good idea.”

    (Two minutes after this conversation, we receive the second set of samples, which are labeled 0500, but we still need a new one of the time sensitive ones. After this is all resolved, our lab assistant points out an important point.)

    Lab Assistant: “Wait. If she didn’t know that the samples were put in the tubes too late, then why did she redraw at 0500 when she hadn’t talked to you the first time until 0515? She back-timed them to make it seem like she had been waiting longer than she had!”

    (The next day, after the nurse complained to the lab manager, the lab manager asked me to relate the incident. The lab assistant is again there. When I said that finally the nurse decided to just walk the samples there, the lab assistant chimed in that she hadn’t. She had tubed them the third time as well.)

    Pray There Is No Weekend Expansion

    , | Montreal, QC, Canada | Awesome Workers, Coworkers, Geeks Rule, Technology

    (A friend and I are chatting at work. Note that we met through ‘World of Warcraft.’ This happens in the morning when we both log in to chat.)

    Me: “Welcome to the world of work! WoW: boring edition!”

    Friend: “WoW, like you’ve never seen it before! Grinding (to keep your job). New skills: copying, scanning, and sorting mail. New quests: copying, scanning, and sorting mail. New dailies: copying, scanning, and sorting mail. BUY IT TODAY!! Bonus: PHONES! WoW:RLE (Real Life Edition). Play today!”

    (Awesome way to start a Monday morning.)

    Our Resident Idiot

    | Jensen Beach, FL, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (We are dining room servers preparing for the dinner rush. Because the residents can be demanding and we are pressed for time I try to have their specific requests on the table by the time they sit down to eat. This has led to the residents feeling accustomed to this type of service, and my newer coworkers somehow being under the impression that I am the only one qualified to serve things such as salad and wine. It is ten minutes into the dinner when my coworker approaches me for this conversation.)

    Coworker: “Hey, [Resident] says you forgot his wine. How do I give it to him?”

    Me: “Oops. There are glasses in the back of the kitchen, and wine is in that cooler.” *points*

    Coworker: *blank stare* “Okay?”

    (He doesn’t move, and appears to be waiting for further instructions.)

    Me: “Go get a glass and pour in the wine. Serve the resident.”

    Redirection Deflection

    | England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Transportation

    (Part of my job is ordering equipment.)

    Boss: “Where is that package from [Supplier]?”

    Me: “I’ve spoken to them; apparently they shipped it last week.”

    Boss: “That’s not good enough! Ring them again!”

    Me: “If they have shipped it, I’m not sure what anyone can do.”

    Boss: “Just sort it!”

    (I ring them back and low and behold, they have shipped it already and can do nothing. Speaking with our stores team I find that there is a problem…)

    Me: “Hey boss, Just found out that the company has been redirecting our mail, so that package is probably at the other site. I will—”

    Boss: *interrupting* “No! No, you don’t understand. They don’t do that. You’re making excuses again.”

    Me: “Yes, yes they do. Look.” *I hand him an old envelope* “When a letter or parcel is sent to us it automatically gets redirected.”

    (There is a large ‘redirection’ sticker on the front with the other address on it.)

    Boss: “No, you don’t get it. This is something else.”

    Coworker: *overhearing* “Yes, that’s the case. There was an email sent out all about it.”

    Boss: *irate* “Look, they do not redirect our mail! That is only when you put the address on wrong.”

    (I lean over plucking the letter from the old envelope still in his hand.)

    Me: “Seems okay.” *read out address; it is perfect*

    Boss: “Whatever. Just get me that package!”

    (If he had let me finish I would have told him that I had asked the store-man to pick it up. The package was dropped off less than an hour later.)

    Not The Boss Of Knowledge

    | TX, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers

    (I share an office with three others, including my boss. A coworker comes in and looks disappointed at seeing my boss’s empty chair.)

    Me: “Looking for [Boss]?”

    (My coworker nods and looks at me expectantly.)

    Me: *after a pause* “…I don’t know why I asked that. I have no further information about his location.”

    (My coworker and officemates burst out laughing.)

    Me: “I didn’t think that through, did I?”


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