Breakfast In Cougartown

, , , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

(I am about six feet and seven inches tall, 17 years old, and a guy, while my mom is about five feet and five inches tall, and 42 years old. My face is almost identical to hers, so it’s obvious we are related. My mom and I are going out to eat breakfast. Everything is going well; our server is attentive and our food is perfect. When it comes time to pay, this happens:)

Server: *looks at me with the check* “I’m just going to give you the check, if that’s all right. You are in no rush! You two enjoy!”

(I take a peek at the check, and it’s around twenty five or so dollars, not bad for the size meal we had. We finish up our meal and our server checks up on us one last time before we go to the register.)

Server: *gestures to me* “He’s paying right?”

(My mom always insists on paying for the check so she just laughs.)

Mom: “Nope! Not a dime this time!”

Server: *turns back to me* “Some lousy boyfriend you are!”

(It now dawns on both of us what our server was thinking: that my mom, at 42, would date a guy as young as I am. My mom and I both rush to explain and we all share a laugh about it. Later, when we’ve paid.)

Me: “Did… did she call you a cougar?”

Mom: “I guess so! Man, I like ’em young, don’t I?”

Your Leave Sheet Is Mud

, , , , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

(I overhear my boss on the phone. It is Monday.)

Boss: “Okay, thanks for letting me know. I’ll put it down on your leave sheet.”

(Pause.)

Boss: “Yes, it does have to go down as annual leave. See you on Wednesday.” *hangs up*

Me: “What was that about?”

Boss: “You know that [Coworker] has been at [Music Festival]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Boss: “Well, she booked today off and was going to come into work tomorrow, but when she and her friends sobered up this morning they realised that their car had sunk into the mud, so they won’t be able to set off before this evening at the earliest. I told her that tomorrow would be annual leave, and she asked if it had to be. It’s not sick leave and it’s not compassionate leave, so yes.”

Me: “And it’s rather difficult to be compassionate towards someone who voluntarily goes to stay in a muddy field…”

The Last “G” Is Silent

, , , , , | Working | October 19, 2017

(I am at a bagel place and have just placed my order.)

Employee: “Can I get your name for the order?”

Me: “Gregory.”

Employee: “We can only fit six letters. Can I put ‘Greg?’”

Me: “Sure.”

Employee: “Is there one ‘G’ or two in that?”

Me: “One.”

(A few minutes later:)

Other Employee: “Order for Gre! Order for Gre!” *he pronounces this “gree,” like “tree”*

Me: “Do you mean Greg?”

First Employee: “You said Greg with one ‘G.’ That’s what I put.”

For When Your Brain Just Goes Ker-Chunk

, , , , | Working | October 19, 2017

(I work in a small retail store, in which we have a manual “sticker gun” that we use to create price labels for merchandise. You set the price, pull a trigger, and a price label comes out. Due to the noise it makes every time you pull the trigger, my coworker and I start calling it the “ker-chunker” and the labels in it are always referred to as “doo-hickeys.” We always know exactly what we mean when one of us says to the other “hand me the ker-chunker,” but we get weird looks from customers, which is expected. My coworker calls the supply company to order more labels. She gets on the phone with the supply rep, and completely freezes.)

Coworker: “I need… some doo-hickeys. For my ker-chunker.”

Rep: *without missing a beat* “Oh. Labels for your price gun? What size?”

Coworker: *amazed* “How on earth did you do that?!”

Going Against Code

, , , , , | Working | October 19, 2017

(Back in 1978, I was just a kid working as a programmer for a large engineering firm. One day my boss hands me two stacks of listings. They are the source for a project, one from today and one from six months prior. My job is to go through them line-by-line and mark which lines have been removed, which have been added, and which have been changed. The stacks are at least six inches tall, and I look at them in dread, realizing that there have to be some 100,000 mind-numbing lines to read. The number of errors I am bound to make will be astronomical. Then I get the bright idea to write a program that can find insertions, deletions, and changes. One day, such tools will become commonplace, but in 1978, they are unheard of. In a couple hours, I have a working program and I run all the code for the project through it, print it out, and give it to my boss later in the day.)

Boss: *looking shocked* “It’s done?”

Me: “Yeah. I wrote a program that did all the dirty work.”

Boss: *getting a bit red and angry* “Who authorized you to write a program to do this?

Me: “I was hired as a programmer. I didn’t think I needed to ask about that. Besides, this is 100% accurate. If I did it by hand, think of all the errors that would be in it.”

(Since our stuff often needed FAA or military oversight, he realized I just helped him dodge a bullet, and he calmed down quickly. The remaining problem was that this little task was designed to keep me busy for two or three weeks while he came up with something else for me. But from then on, I was put on more interesting projects.)

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