Category: Extra Stupid


The Problems Are Racooning Up

| Montreal, QC, Canada | Extra Stupid, New Hires

(I work as a data-entry temp with three other women, assisting the merchandisers of a national retail chain with various paperwork. Some time before the end of our five-month contract, we’re asked to help a new French intern to learn some of our tasks, as she’ll be performing them when we leave.)

Me: *spends 45 minutes explaining the New Item form in detail* “You should really take notes; it’s a lot of information. We’ll still be there for a few weeks, so you can ask us anytime, but you’ll have to learn to do it on your own.”

Intern: “Oh, yeah, okay. What’s a SKU?”

(We’ve been referring to items as “SKU”s for the whole two weeks she’s been there already.)

Me: “Er, well it’s the unique code for an item, but we refer to products as ‘SKU’s usually.”

Intern: *seeming unsure* “Oh, okay.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I really don’t know how else to explain it.”

Intern: “Oh, no it’s okay. I understand.”

(We have to re-explain everything every single time she is trying to perform any of the tasks we’ve shown her. Our respective supervisors think we are exaggerating, until they have to repeatedly teach her things themselves. She does not comprehend the functioning of spreadsheet software, despite being apparently far enough in her marketing studies to obtain an internship overseas. She is also a bit naive.)

Intern: “So where can I find raccoons?”

(My coworkers and I look at each other.)

Coworker #1: “Why do you want to see raccoons?”

Intern: “Oh, well, I want to feed them!”

Coworker #2: “They’re wild animals, and they can be aggressive and carry disease. You shouldn’t try to feed them.”

Intern: “But I saw people do it on YouTube!”

Me: “That doesn’t mean it’s good idea!”

(I never knew whether she did find raccoons. When we left, she was still there, and our supervisors were pulling their hair out, wondering what to do with a worker than took more time out of their schedule than she was saving them.)


Someone Is Getting Fired

| USA | Employees, Extra Stupid

(I am a lighting intern at this theater, and only there a few days a week. The show has a very large, very realistic tree as a main set piece, and it is fixed to the stage floor. On my first day, this conversation happens:)

Me: “Wow, that tree is really big.”

Coworker: “Yeah… It looks like some of the branches get in the way of the fire curtain, though. Well, the scenic team will work it out if it’s a problem!”

(Two days later, I am back again.)

Me: “Wait… why does the tree look so sparse? Did they make it smaller?”

Coworker: *sighs* “They wanted to add more branches, so they sent someone in a cherry picker to weld some more on.”

Me: “Aren’t the leaves made of paper?”

Coworker: “Yep! So the ‘wood’ and the leaves caught on fire, and set off the fire alarm. The fire inspector came by, because there’d been an issue, and saw the branches that were over the fire curtain line, and made us trim them back — in addition to the branches that burned off.”


Not Properly Monitoring The Situation, Part 2

, | Evans, CO, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Technology

(We recently had a couple of computers move. To save manual labor on myself, I did not move monitors if there was a monitor already at the new location.)

User: “With the new screen, will my files still be there?”

Me: *hoping that I misunderstood the question* “Yes…”

User: “Are you sure? I don’t think they will be.”

Me: *inwardly dying because I know that I didn’t misunderstand* “Show me.”

(We go to the computer, she shows me a monitor that has stickers on it, where the one that used to be attached to the computer didn’t have stickers.)

User: “This isn’t my screen. This isn’t right. My files will be missing.”

(I turn the computer on, have the user login, and all of her files show up normally.)

Me: “The monitor is like a TV. Regardless of what TV you hook the DVD player up to, it will show the same content.”

User: “Oh, okay!”

(I go back to the office, and proceed to bang my head on the wall.)


Not Properly Monitoring The Situation


H2-Slow, Part 2

| York, England, UK | Employees, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I’m ordering lunch in a greasy take-away, but as I don’t like fizzy drinks I usually order a bottle of water with the meal deal instead of the cup of fizzy drink.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like the two-piece chicken meal with a bottle of water, please.”

Cashier: “We don’t serve bottles with the meal deal, only the cups.”

Me: *thinking they might now have a water dispenser, or are serving tap water* “Oh, okay. I’ll have a cup of water, then?”

Cashier: *proceeds to start filling a cup with [Soda #1] from the machine*

Me: “Uh, no. Not [Soda #1], water.”

Cashier: “We don’t do water, only [Soda #1].”

Me: “What? Yes, you do! You’ve got bottles of water in there!” *points to the fridge where the water bottles are plainly visible*

Cashier: *takes out a bottle of [Soda #1]* “No, see? It’s [Soda #1].”

Me: *pointing and getting exasperated* “NO, the WATER is THERE, above it!”

Cashier: “But… water is [Soda #2]?”

Me: *dumbfounded staring*

Cashier: *realisation hits* “OH! You want WATER!” *gets me a bottle of water*

(I have no idea what the confusion was about, as we both pronounced water the same way. I can only assume he was having a long day and isn’t used to people ordering water with their greasy food.)




Change Your Change Tactics

| Bavaria, Germany | At The Checkout, Employees, Extra Stupid, Money

(It’s late and supermarkets here in Bavaria have to be closed after 8:00 pm by law, so I have to stop at a gas station to run some errands. It’s only two things and I quickly calculate that they’ll cost me 11,99€. I prepare 22,00€ in a 20€ bill and 2€ in coins.)

Cashier: “That’ll be 11,99€.”

Me: “Sure, here you go.”

(I drop the 22€. I can see her punching in 20€ but don’t think much of it until I hear her getting coins out of the register.)

Me: “Oh, sorry. I actually gave you 22€. Maybe you’ve not seen the coins.”

Cashier: “Yeah, I saw. But it only costs 11,99€. The bill is enough.”

Me: “I know. I just dislike having too much coins in my wallet. This way you can just give me a 10€ bill.”

Cashier: “But you’ll only get 8,01€. Just look at the display of the register.”

Me: “Yeah, but that’s what the 2€ are for.”

(The cashier looks dumbfounded.)

Me: “Two plus eight are…? 10€.”

Cashier: “I’m not letting you scam me! Please take your change and leave!”

(She drops the 8,10€ on the counter and sternly looks at me. I, even though exceptionally bewildered, just take my coins and leave. The kicker? I’m pretty sure I saw that girl again some weeks later, heading into our local university!)