Category: Coworkers


I Just Don’t Have The Conservation Of Energy To Deal With This

| WA, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid

(While waiting for lunch to roll around, one of my slightly ditzy coworkers asks this question:)

Coworker: “Do you think if you were strong enough you could lift yourself up by your own arm?”

Me: “You mean one-handed pull ups?”

Coworker: “No, like this.”

(She then holds one hand in the air and grabs it with the other, while not actually holding onto any solid object.)

Me: “Um… no that wouldn’t work.”

Coworker: “Why not?”

Me: “Because… physics.”


It’s All Pennsylvania Double-Dutch To Me

| NY, USA | Coworkers, Health & Body, Language & Words

(I’m a patient-care technician in a very, very small hospital. Since this is rural hospital, we don’t really do much at night, but we have to stay open. Also on shift is a nurse from New York City, who really thinks she is all that and feels that we should worship her for deigning to work at this podunk hospital where she can spread her superior experience upon us. She’s sent to do intake on a nine-year-old boy brought by ambulance with a head injury after he fell out of a tree. She comes back to us, panicking:)

New Nurse: “Doctor, he doesn’t understand language anymore. He’s unresponsive to language.”

Doctor: “Really? That’s not good.”

(He asks me to come into the room with him to help, and the new nurse follows behind us. We enter the room and immediately realize that he is Amish. We quickly know the problem.)

Doctor: “[My Name], are his parents out in the waiting room yet?”

Me: “Yep.”

Doctor: “Go get them?”

(I go get the parents.)

Doctor: *to parents* “Can you ask him to count to ten, please?”

(The parents do so, speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. The new nurse sat there in with her eyebrow furrowed. After the doctor finishes he goes out in the hallway laughing.)

Nurse: “What is going on?”

(The doctor can’t stop laughing long enough to answer, so I do.)

Me: “He’s Amish. The Amish speak a different language called Pennsylvania Dutch — it’s a kind of Low German. At least in the community here, they don’t grow up learning English, and learn it as a second language when they’re in the early teens. He wasn’t responding to you for two reasons. One: he didn’t understand what you were saying. Two: he has been taught to be a little wary of non-Amish people, so he was afraid of you.”

Nurse: “Well, that’s ridiculous.”

Doctor: “Didn’t teach you that one in your fancy NYC hospital, did they? But you should have seen the look on your face.”


Putting The ‘D’ Into DeLorean

| Ashford, Kent, UK | Coworkers, Movies & TV, Rude & Risque

(I am on my break with a coworker. My mobile phone receives a text – my text alert is the sonic booms that the DeLorean time machine makes when entering a new time period in the “Back to the Future” trilogy. My coworker hears the phone noise.)

Coworker: “What on earth is that noise?”

(I explain. She gives me a blank look.)

Me: “Have you seen the Back to the Future trilogy?”

Coworker: “No, not my sort of thing at all.”

(Fair enough. How boring if we all liked the same things, but then…)

Coworker: “I would rather watch a porn movie!”

Me: “…”


Only A Temp-orary Problem

| USA | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful

(I work for a cafeteria inside a bigger business. At this time we are extremely short-staffed so we hire temps through an agency. They sign in and out and mark down breaks so that they are paid for the hours they work. The temp who was supposed to arrive to help with the breakfast rush has only been working with us a few days a week for about three weeks. She shows up an hour late for her shift; 10 minutes before the supervisor walks in. An hour after she arrives she decides to take a break. This happens 45 minutes later.)

Coworker: “[My Name], did you see where my help went?”

Me: “No. Maybe she ran to the bathroom.”

Coworker: “Naw, she went on break at eight and hasn’t come back yet.”

Me: “Didn’t she get here at seven? Must be nice.”

Coworker: “She told [Supervisor] she came in at six. I said that girl’s a liar and [My Name] will back me up.”

(Business starts picking up so I stop my own job to help him with the rush. Time passes and the temp is still missing. By now the supervisor has called the agency who tries unsuccessfully to contact the temp so we just assume she’s quit and gone home. My help (not a temp) shows up early and is asked to clock in to do my job until breakfast is over. At 10 my coworker and I begin breaking down the breakfast line when the temp walks in.)

Supervisor: “There you are! What happened?”

Temp: “Oh, I went out to my car to smoke and fell asleep.”

Supervisor: “Oh… okay. Well I’ve already called [Agency] and they’re sending out a replacement. I can work her someplace else if you’d like to stay and finish your shift.”

Temp: “I’ll stay. Just what should I put down on my sign-in sheet?”

Supervisor: “Just say you clocked out at 8 and back in at 10. However, you won’t get your afternoon break since you’ve technically already taken it.”

Temp: “So I’m not going to get paid for my full shift?”

Supervisor: “You want to get paid for falling asleep in your car?”

Temp: “Well, I’m supposed to get paid for an eight-hour shift. I worked two hours already and since you won’t give me another break I have four and a half hours left. That’s only six and a half hours. I should still get paid for that other hour and a half.”

Supervisor: “That’s not how that works. And if that’s how you feel you can just go ahead and head home. We’ve already replaced you, anyway.”

(The temp leaves.)

Supervisor: “I wish I could find a job where they’d pay me to sleep in my car.”

(I can only imagine the look on the temp’s face when she got the call from her agency telling her she was no longer welcome back at our business.)


Bouncing From One Subject To Another

| CA, USA | Awesome Workers, Bosses & Owners, Coworkers

(I work as a receptionist for a health agency. Months ago an email went out to all the departments letting us know we have a new director for the department. I did attend his reception, but never got a chance to meet him. In order for a person to enter my office, I press a button on my desk to let them in. Two months after the reception a rather large and tall man comes to my door and turns the handle to come in.)

Me: *I smile* “Good afternoon. Can I help you, sir?”

Man: *jiggling the door handle* “I’m here to see [Office Director].”

Me: *still smiling* “Very good. Is she expecting you?”

Man: *still jiggling the door handle* “I’d like to talk to [Office Director].”

Me: *gritting my teeth* “Yes, well, may I tell her who’s calling?”

Man: *again with the door handle* “I’d like to talk to [Office Director].”

Me: *tired of his rudeness and surly behaviour, I stand up, using the same tone he has used on me* “I’m sorry, sir, but I didn’t quite catch your name.”

(He straightens himself, and in a tone that leaves no question as to who he is, tells me:)

Man: “My name is [Man], and I am the new director of this entire department.”

Me: *I smile* “That’s nice. Won’t you come in?”

(I introduce myself, and one of my coworkers. She asks if there will be changes made and he tells her there will, and positive ones.)

Me: *I ask because I have been asking this for the past eight years* “Does that include a bounce house?!”

Man: *laughing* “Yes! I’ll even throw in a slide, and a box of donuts!”


Coworker: “Don’t tell her that! She’s been asking for one for years!” *to me* “You! Go find [Office Director]!”

(I do, and lead him to her office, then sit back at my desk. A bit later, after introducing him to folks in the back of the office, she brings him around to my desk.)

Office Director: “And you met [My Name], our receptionist.”

Man: *kinda smug* “Yes. She wouldn’t let me in.”

Office Director: *raising an eyebrow to me* “Oh?”

Me: *not to be outdone by this man* “He wouldn’t tell me who he was.”