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    Category: Language & Words

    A Caustic Sense Of Humor

    | ON, Canada | Coworkers, Language & Words

    (We are re-doing our annual safety training including PPE, chemicals etc.)

    Instructor: “So does anyone know what caustic means?”

    Coworker: “Yes, that’s the good one, right? The one we all want?”

    (Everyone is laughing.)

    Coworker: “No, I’m sure that’s the good one.  My mom calls me caustic all the time. It’s a good thing.”

    Boss: “You are, and it’s not.”

    What Came First, The Pun Or The Egg

    | England, UK | Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers, Language & Words

    (I am talking to some colleagues about a job some of us have been put on.)

    Me: “I hope it doesn’t eat into the weekend.”

    Coworker #1: “I can’t let it do that.”

    Coworker #2: “You have plans?”

    Coworker #1: “Well, it’s a friend’s birthday and we’re doing an Easter Egg hunt. I missed last weekend when she was making the eggs because of work so I can’t miss this weekend as well.”

    Coworker #2: “No, you should definitely go.”

    Me: “It sounds great.”

    Coworker #1: “Yeah. Now all we need is a pun to go with this.”

    (We fall silent for a few seconds.)

    Me: “Well, if you let them cancel this weekend as well, you’ll just be egging them on to cancel all your weekend plans.”

    Coworker #1: “Exactly! This kind of punning ability is why you’re going to go far!”

    Too Early For Proper English

    | Shippensburg, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (In my first semester of college, I have an eight am class clear on the other side of campus. I am not once on time. One particularly bad morning I am walking to class, for my eight am midterm, at around 8:35. I stop in at my usual coffee spot on the way with my usual elderly coffee lady.)

    Me: *apparently speaking in what I assume is poor German for no apparent reason other than fatigue* “Ich möchte eine tasse kaffe, bitte.” *German for: I would like a cup of coffee, please*

    Coffee Lady: “Eine große oder kleine?” *German for: Large or small?*

    Me: *very much confused* “Did I ask for coffee in German?”

    Coffee Lady: “Yes.”

    Me: “Oh. Uh, große, bitte.” *German: A large cup, please*

    Coffee Lady: “Coffee’s on me. You’re going to miss your test.”

    (I run to class. As it turns out she is from Germany and was just as surprised as I was that I ordered in German! After my midterm I came back and chatted with her and we have been friends ever since! And she’s bought more than a few cups of joe for me!)

    Can’t Quit Good Grammar

    | IN, USA | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Crazy Requests, Language & Words

    (I recently moved from Indiana to Denver, Colorado. Before my move I worked in a small retail store in a small town. The manager of said store had a hefty amount of bias toward me for having tattoos and piercings, even though she said that they would not be a problem during my interview. She even hired me right on the spot. I turned in my notice that I was quitting and worked even fewer days at the store. One night I was on break in the stockroom and I found a note full of complaints about the employees at the store. One was about me.)

    Customer: “I see that you have a young lady working at your store. I don’t like her. I checked out the other day and she didn’t smile at me while I was standing there. She’s so ungrateful! She should feel lucky that she even has a job! I am really disappointed with your service.”

    (After reading that, I see a note underneath it addressed to me from the manager.)

    Manager: “[My Name] Not acceptable!!!! You been here to long.” (sic)

    (Annoyed by the consistent, shallow complaints against some of my coworkers and me, and fully knowing I was not going to be working for this woman much longer, I proceed to scribble out a little message for her.)

    Me: “[My Name] comma Unacceptable!” *I then slash the excessive punctuation marks* “YOU’VE or YOU HAVE been here for TOO long.”

    (I gave her a generous B minus for a grade and proceeded to add my own thoughts:)

    Me: “No kidding. Tell me about it. That’s why I quit.”

    Don’t Leave Me Floating

    | UT, USA | Bosses & Owners, Ignoring/Inattentive, Language & Words

    (I am working in an office where we each have a caseload of clients that we work with. A few people in the office are what are called ‘floaters’ and do not have caseloads of their own, but rather help out those who are behind or have called out sick. They get paid the same per hour, but have no option for commission, so it is considered a lower position. I had recently started taking some very intense classes toward my major at the university nearby, and thus my mental energy has started to slip at work.)

    Me: “[Manager], as you know I’ve been taking some classes at school, and they’ve been really difficult for me. I was wondering if the next time the caseloads get reorganized I could take a voluntary demotion to floater?”

    Manager: “Sure. I should have that through in about two weeks.”

    Me: “Thanks.”

    (Over the next two weeks, my ability to complete everything I need to in a week really starts to slip, but I hold on as much as I can to the thought that I would be a floater soon. At the end of the two weeks, the new caseloads come out.)

    Me: “Uh, [Manager]? Why do I still have a full caseload? I thought I was going to be made a floater, but it looks like you made [Several Coworkers] floaters.”

    Manager: “Oh. Well, I’ve noticed your work has been slipping a little bit lately.”

    Me: “I know. I’m sorry about that, but that’s why I was asking to become a floater in the first place.”

    Manager: “Well, I decided not to do that because I need to be able to keep a better eye on what you’re doing. If you’re a floater, I can’t track your work as easily. You might just be sitting around!”

    Me: “If you’re tracking my work, you’ll see that I’ve been working through my lunch and after closing WITHOUT PAY to try to keep up on all of this. This is why I need to be a floater.”

    Manager: *shrugs* “I need to be able to monitor what you’re doing. So until you’re handling your caseload better, you can’t be a floater.”

    (I go back to my desk, dumbfounded and furious. I clock out for lunch and meet up with my husband. After some discussion, we agree that my classes are more important right now and I decide to quit. I go back to the office and put in my two weeks’ notice. Two weeks later…)

    Manager: “You know, I think I might be able to move some things around and get you on as a floater if you stay.”

    Me: “Can you get it to be that way by Monday?”

    Manager: “No, we’d need you to keep your caseload for another month or so while we get it all sorted out, but I’ll definitely get it moving for you!”

    Me: “Yeah, thanks, but I think today is still my last day.”

    (After quitting, I was able to make very good grades in my classes and get closer to my degree for my dream job!)


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