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    Sensing A De-Motion

    | USA | Coworkers, Technology

    (I and a couple of coworkers are working the registers. We’re all roughly college age. Coworker #1 is playing with the motion sensor on the conveyor and notices that part of the plastic holding it on is broken.)

    Coworker #2: “Don’t touch it; you’ll break it. What is it, anyway?”

    Coworker #1: “It’s the motion sensor.”

    Coworker #2: “For what?”

    Coworker #1: “To make the belt move.”

    Coworker #2: “Wait. No way. It moves with a motion sensor?”

    (Starts playing with it, putting her hand in front of and away from the sensor, making the belt move.)

    Coworker #1: *laughing* “Yeeaaaah. Congratulations, you’ve figured out what most kids figure out in five seconds. How did you think it moved?”

    Coworker #2: “By weight! Like, it stops when there’s something on it. That’s why I always hit it to make it start moving again.” *she demonstrates* “See? It works at least.”

    Me: *laughing also* “Because your hand goes in front of the sensor! Have you really not known this?”

    Coworker #1: “And HOW long have you worked here?”

    Coworker #2: “…A year.”

    Shelving The Pay It Forward Part

    | Houston, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners

    (I work in an independently owned retail shop. My boss is being interviewed for a newspaper article about local business owners. She is currently discussing restoring the shop after it was flooded several years ago.)

    Boss: “So, I called these other business owners I knew, and they were incredibly generous and donated these shelves for our store.” *gestures around at the shelving*

    Interviewer: “That’s a wonderful point for me to make in my story: how they stepped in to help you when you needed it. How inspirational.”

    Boss: “Yes, for just the cost of the moving van and crew we were able to replace all the old shelves in the store, with lots more extra shelving tucked away in storage.”

    Interviewer: “Ready to donate to someone else in need?”

    (My boss just gives her this blank stare.)

    Boss: *scornfully* “Of course not, that for us to use.”

    Overtime Crime, Part 4

    | New England, USA | Coworkers, Crazy Requests, Overtime

    (My good friend works for a commercial cleaning company, works long hours, and has recently moved, so I hardly get to see her anymore. I tell her they work her too hard, but she accepts it, usually. Yesterday we were finally able to get together for a nighttime movie. We have just purchased our tickets and are about to go into the theater. Her phone rings.)

    Friend: “Hello?”

    Coworker: “Hi, [Friend]? Are you still in the area?”

    Friend: “Yeah, but I’m about to see a movie… Why?”

    Coworker: “Well, so, [Client] from earlier called back. Apparently we forgot to move her furniture back inside and she’s demanding we do it tonight before it rains.”

    (There’s an expectant pause on the other end.)

    Friend: “…Yeah?”

    Coworker: “Yeah, so I need you to go back and let the techs into the office for their equipment, in about half an hour. [Other Coworker] wants to go home.”

    Friend: “…I just told you I’m about to go into a movie. I bought the ticket already.”

    Coworker: “Well, yeah, but… can you leave in the middle of the movie and go let the techs in?”

    Friend: “…No?”

    Overtime Crime, Part 3
    Overtime Crime, Part 2
    Overtime Crime

    Natural Attraction

    | Honolulu, HI, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Employees

    (I’m shopping with some friends at the mall. At the moment, I am in a cosmetics store known for their handmade, all-natural products. It’s not really ‘my kind’ of store since I’m not especially interested in the all-natural scene, but my friends are shopping and I’m enjoying smelling the many products. It’s a busy day and there are many employees on the floor helping customers. I am wearing a necklace with an obviously hand-made ceramic pendant which I bought at a craft fair. I am browsing through shampoos with one of my friends.)

    Employee #1: “Hi, do you two need any help with anything?”

    Friend: “Oh no, we’re just browsing, thanks.”

    Employee #1: “Great! Let me know if you have any questions.” *to me* “By the way, I really like your necklace. Did you make it?”

    Me: “Oh, thanks! No, I didn’t; I bought it.”

    Employee #1: “Oh, I see. Anyway, it’s very nice!”

    (I thank her and my friend and I continue browsing through the products. A minute later we pass by two more employees while looking through soaps, and again we are asked if we need help. We explain that we’re just browsing, and then again:)

    Employee #2: What a neat necklace! I was wondering, did you make it?

    Me: “Thanks very much, but no.”

    Employee #3: “Ohhh, you bought it? It’s super cool. I like to make ceramics myself. I really like the glaze.”

    (Again I thank them, and go back to browsing. A few minutes later, I am looking through fresh masks and am approached by another employee. Again he asks if we need help, but we say no. Then, of course:)

    Employee #4: “I really like your necklace! What is it made of?”

    (By now my friend is starting to giggle.)

    Me: “Thanks… It’s made out of ceramic. I found it at a craft fair.”

    Employee #4: “Oh, neat!”

    (Both of us are amused at this point, but we simply go back to browsing, since our other friends are still looking for something. In the next five or ten minutes we encounter two more employees, who offer help then compliment my necklace! I accept the compliments graciously, but I think it’s pretty funny. When we’ve exhausted everything there is to look at and smell, we decide to head to the shop next door while we wait for our other friends to finish up. I’ve been complimented by six total employees, both male and female, so far. As we leave:)

    Employee #7: “Thanks for coming. By the way, I love the necklace!”

    Me: “Thanks!”

    (When we’ve left the store I look over to my giggling friend.)

    Me: “Of course in the ‘hippie’ store they all compliment my ‘hippie’ necklace! Watch, I’ll bet you that not a single other person will mention it today.”

    (We shopped for several more hours, visiting about five more stores and going out to dinner. I was right; although nearly every worker in the ‘hippie’ store noticed it, not a single other person we met said anything about my necklace!)

    Walking Fall

    | UK | Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners, Job Seekers

    (My store is giving every staff member appraisals before we move to a new building. I have mine with one of our store directors. Note: I have recently had knee surgery and so am moving around quite slowly, particularly on the stairs.)

    Director: “Okay, [My Name] so the last thing I need to ask is what your future goals are. Do you have any plans?”

    Me: “Well, I don’t really know. Finish university, I guess. Start walking like a normal person, maybe?”

    Director: “Oooh, can I put that you want to get up the stairs faster than an old lady?”

    Me: *assumes she’s joking* “Sure, why not.”

    (When my manager gave me a copy of the appraisal forms a week later, I see that under the heading of future plans my director has actually written “Most important aim – Get up stairs faster than an old lady. Least important aim – Finish university.” I’m not quite sure she got my priorities right…)

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