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    Putting The ‘Y’ Into ‘Why Did I Hire You?’

    | CA, USA | Employees, Language & Words

    (One of my employees is on the phone:)

    Employee: “Systolic… that’s “S” as in Sam, “Y” as in Wyoming…”

    Will Soon Be Jobless

    | Paris, France | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I need help finding the right office in a large public administration. There is an information kiosk with clearly posted hours (10:00 – 18:00). I walk up to it but it is closed with no sign or anything to explain it being closed. While standing there, another man comes up and asks me if I know why it is closed. I tell him I do not and we talk briefly (and quietly) about how to find what we need. Suddenly the door to the kiosk flies open:)

    Worker: “You need to be quiet. We are trying to get work done in here.”

    Me: “We are looking for information.”

    Worker: “Just be quiet. You are keeping us from doing our job!” *slams the door*

    Unhealthy Set Of Questions

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Employees, Geography

    (I am visiting Canada as part of my vacation, which, yes, I am taking solo. I come into Vancouver on the train from the USA. The Customs official asks me fairly normal questions like where I was born and when I’m departing, until…)

    Customs Official: “And what is the purpose of your visit?”

    Me: “Tourism. I’m on vacation.”

    Customs Official: “Do you make a habit of vacationing alone?”

    Me: “Um, yes, I suppose I do. I usually vacation alone once a year or so. I like my ‘me’ time.” *laughs*

    Customs Official: “Well, that’s weird. How do I know you’re not trying to cross the border for free healthcare?”

    Me: “Well, I’m in generally good health, so I don’t think that’s a concern unless something sudden and unexpected comes up. To your direct question, I live all the way on the other side of the US, so I suppose if I were trying to cross the border just for free healthcare, I would most likely fly directly to Toronto or Montreal rather than go all the way across the country first? I’ve already shown you my return train ticket for a few days from now, and I have my return plane reservation to go home a couple days after that, if that helps. Besides, I have insurance with international coverage. I’d probably pay more in Canada than the US with that insurance, but I’m happy to show you my insurance card, too.” *takes out insurance card*

    Customs Official: “Yeah, I guess that makes sense, but it’s just weird that you’re traveling alone. It’s suspicious, you know.”

    Me: “I guess you maybe don’t see a lot of people traveling alone for vacation, but I promise you I’m just on vacation. I met up with friends in other US cities on this trip before I came here, and am now spending a little down time alone to relax and do what I want. Taking a few days alone isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoy it!”

    Customs Official: “I don’t know; you seem awfully suspicious to me.”

    Me: “I know many people don’t vacation solo, but I promise I’m just spending a few days solo to relax.” *light bulb* “Hey, maybe this would help? Ask me what I do.”

    Customs Official: “What? Okay? What is your employment situation?”

    Me: “I’m employed by the U.S. Federal Government. Here is my work ID, official passport, and, if you’ll note, my insurance is through the U.S. Federal Government employee plan. Please don’t scan my official passport; I’m only allowed to use that for work travel.”

    Customs Official: “Well, why didn’t you just SAY that? Welcome to Canada.”

    (The most frustrating Customs experience I’ve ever had. Never knew going to Canada for four days alone was so “suspicious!”)

    Email Fail, Part 4

    | WI, USA | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (I’m applying for unemployment after being laid off. I am required to register with a job center, and the job center has a required orientation. The first I hear of it is through an automated message, so I call for more details.)

    Me: “I got an automated call about the orientation, and it mentioned a letter. I never received the letter. Can you send the information in an email?”

    Job Center Rep: “Oh, we don’t send emails, because not everyone has ready access to a computer. It wouldn’t be fair.”

    Me: “Not even as an alternative option? Fine. What am I supposed to do?”

    Job Center Rep: “You need to log onto our website, go to [page], and print and complete the survey there. You’ll also need to download [form] from [other page] and have it completed before you arrive.”

    Me: “So everybody must access your website and print documents from it, but you still can’t send an email about this?”

    Job Center Rep: “They can use the library!”

    Related:
    Email Fail, Part 3
    Email Fail, Part 2

    Loan Some Compassion

    | Canada | Crazy Requests, Employees, Money

    (I borrow money from the government student loan branch but after my schooling find myself out of work for a year. The loan defaults back to two separate branches of government. The first, whom I owed the larger amount to are completely understanding of my situation and just advise me to notify them when I have employment. I next call the other branch for the smaller amount, which is less than $1000.)

    Me: “I was just calling to advise you that I have been unemployed for a while and am not able to make any payments. I was just wondering what kind of interest would be building on this while it sits?”

    Employee: *sarcastically* “I am sooo sorry to hear about your situation. But the fact is that the full amount needs to be paid immediately.”

    Me: “I can’t pay it right now. I can’t afford it.”

    Employee: “Do you know how many times a day I hear these kind of excuses from lazy deadbeats like you? I don’t understand why you can’t just pay your bill.”

    Me: “As I just explained, I am out of work right now and have been for some time. I’m living at home and have to borrow money from my parents just to put gas in the car to go job hunting.”

    Employee: “Well, just sell something you own.”

    Me: “I don’t own anything! I still live at home and I drive my mom’s car! I’m broke! Penniless!”

    Employee: “Well, just borrow the money from your parents!”

    Me: “I am talking to you right now out of the pure fact that I borrowed money and can’t pay it back and your genius solution is for me to borrow more money?!”

    Employee: “Well, just get a job!”

    Me: “Are you offering me one?”

    Employee: “What?! No!”

    Me: “Well, then I guess you’ll just have to wait on your money.”


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