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Melantrys’ Page » boring work story

Archive for the ‘boring work story’ Category

Today at work

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

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A regular customer insisted today that she had paid less for some plants yesterday. I told her that could not possibly be, as we only had one batch of them and they all had the same price.
As she would not believe me I wanted to call my colleague A. to verify what I was saying. Then I remembered he was still on his lunch break and said so.

“Oh no, I just saw him.”
I looked at the watch and realized that might be true if my colleague was being overly punctual, although I usually note his return. So I asked my colleague S. to go and get him from the “garden” (as we call the outside space with the plants and garden mould) where the lady said she had spotted him. S. came back and said he was not outside; only two customers.

:bigeyes: *brain between shutdown and overload* “Um, I just had two Turkish customers who went back outside to get some cypress trees. Maybe you mistook one of them for my colleague…?”
While I was saying that A. was approaching from the other side, which S. commented upon, which in turn kind of drowned out what exactly I had been saying there.
“See, I told you so. It’s not as if I tend to imagine things.” (like the prices of plants… :shifty: )

After she had left with her plants (paying the price I had told her they were…), A. had disappeared to somewhere, so I asked S. if she had asked him whether or not he had been outside.
“Of course I did. He wasn’t.”

:doh: This woman has been coming to the store for years. And she mistakes some stranger for A.? (I don’t recall having seen those two customers before.)

Oh, right, sorry, I forgot. One beer-bellied Turk in an ugly cardigan looks like the next slim Turk in another ugly cardigan… :bang:

Trip to Amman - Prologue

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

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I may be a little late in telling/posting but before and during my trip I just felt too preoccupied to sit down and write anything.

Everyone’s been asking the same questions, so here goes:

The story of me conceiving of the idea of going to Amman.

As I was having some spare money (well, not actually spare money as such *cough, cough* but accessible money ;) ) I had decided to treat myself to a real holiday this year, possibly in Turkey or somewhere. Sometime after my colleague A.’s and the boss’ vacation. Whenever.

Then I heard that aNarki-13 was not just staying in Amman for a short while but for weeks.
And Attawie was there as well.
About 20 unanswered yahoo offline messages, 10 SMSs - unanswered - and one threat to phone him (just to be silent at him) later the Kid confirmed that he’d be staying until around the end of August as well.

A quick calculation showed that even with the boss going on a three-week vacation it should be possible for me to go to Amman and still see all of these people.
Of course, with bosses things are never quite as straightforward as they seem to regular people, but after a couple of - long - days spent anxiously waiting for his final verdict things worked out the way I wanted them to. (You feel like a rather sorry sod phoning the Jordanian embassy asking about how long it will take them to put a visa into the passport that you have applied for three weeks ago and which should be arriving soonish while not even knowing whether the holiday is going to take place or not….)

Well, it was going to take place, and right after I got the ok from the boss I went to the nearest travel agency to book my flights.
Took the lady there some heavy wrestling but then she managed to include my meal request in the booking and to arrange for an earlier flight than the computer originally wanted to book for the first leg of the journey. The original booking would have left me with only one hour to change planes at Schiphol (Amsterdam) airport - with only one KLM flight from Amsterdam to Amman per night! Better having four hours to waste than the possibility of missing the flight and arriving in Amman a full day later.
She also - as per my request - tried to book me onto a later second flight for the return trip, but either the computer didn’t accept it or she made some mistake. She figured it might be because that would leave me with a stay of six hours at Schiphol airport. But she assured me that I’d have no trouble changing planes in the 50 minutes that the booking left me with. Well, what the heck, I thought, if I miss that plane, there’ll be several going back from Amsterdam to Germany on that day.

Even earlier I had ordered a load of traveller cheques and finally gotten myself a credit card, so nothing could go wrong anymore. :)

Unfortunately Caesar of Pentra went on vacation in Syria a tad earlier and could not make it to Amman, nor could the Average Iraqi (note: blog still “dead”, author happily not :) ) leave Iraq (Get a passport, you bozo!) but more and more people seemed to be flocking there, such as Morbid Smile, Treasure of Baghdad and 24 Steps to Liberty.

When I first started planning my trip to Jordan, my Turkish/Kurdish/Martian colleague A. was already away on his holiday. As he is constantly poking fun at me - or rather implying improper behaviour on my part - whenever he hears of me going to festivals or parties and sharing tents or bedrooms, another colleague and me were wondering what his reaction might be when he returned and heard of my plans. I laughed and said “I should tell him I’m going there to marry aNarki.” S.: “Do that!”

So the plan was born. On his first day back at work we kept dropping hints that he unfortunately failed to pick up on. What with him usually being “nosy as a goat” as we Germans say our only explanation for this was that he was still dreaming of his holiday.

Hints included
- me showing a picture of aNarki to a colleague, K., and practically bouncing up and down with joy while announcing that that was HIM by the way and her answering that he looked like a very nice person,
- K. inquiring whether I’d have to be veiled for the wedding.

Finally, a few minutes before my lunch break, I simply showed him the pic, asking his opinion. First he got sidetracked by the other people shown in the photo, then he too announced aNarki to be looking like a friendly person. When I told him that I was going to marry him A. totally disappointed us by merely saying “Congratulations!”

After both him and me had returned from our respective lunch breaks he asked another colleague, Ma., if that marriage story was really true. She said it was, so A. simply accepted it. Blast! S. and me had expected him to be sceptical and - once finally convinced the story was true - to try and talk me out of marrying a person I had never met before. Behind my back he apparently expressed some reservations but not to me, oh no. Actually, he was being so nice and helpful (giving tips for immigration and whatnot) that the joke wasn’t funny at all and I soon felt so bad about it that I prematurely cancelled it before S. was due to work that week.

But the joke stirred up something else.
Ma. started getting the idea that what with me meeting several young men over there I might end up marrying someone else. I don’t know what possessed her to get this into her head - she knew right from the start that the thing regarding aNarki and me was a joke to pay A. back for all his past comments on me and my male friends and nothing else - but she kept discussing it.

Kept discussing it first mainly as a joke as well but then with mounting concern, probably due to my replies. But how can you reply to someone who’s convinced that marrying an Arab - any Arab - automatically results in you ending up wearing hijab (or worse)? So I answered stuff like “Look here, if I were to marry any of the Iraqis I know and started wearing hijab they’d declare me insane cos none of them would want me to.” Somehow for her this seemed to imply that I might seriously be considering marriage.

She also told me to not get too involved with the locals when saying goodbye and wishing me a nice holiday. I didn’t even ask whether she meant actual Jordanians or the bloggers I was going to meet, as I felt it didn’t really matter anyway.
Camel drivers, the lot of them!

A neighbour only half-jokingly asked what I’d do if I got kidnapped into a harem, while his wife was more concerned with Jordan’s vicinity to Israel and Lebanon.

So, dear readers, I spent my entire holiday sitting in my hotel apartment and ordering pizza which I had them deposit in front of my door.
The weather was a steady 25°, thanks to the AC in the bedroom; the scenery got a bit boring though after two weeks of staring out into the same street.

What will they think of next?

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

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… Condoms with Santa on? On second thought… scrap that, somebody is very likely already selling ‘em…

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This is not only what it looks like, i.e. toilet paper, it also whiffs of spicy Christmas cookies.
We’ve been selling it from shortly before Christmas on, and I just felt like sharing it with you.
As it’s also cheaper than the other brands of paper we have, a couple of colleagues have bought it already. (Plus, we’re using it on our toilet at the store which is where I got my sample from… Unused, I might add.)
One colleague has a young son who still needs assistance on the toilet, um, afterwards. She told me she was wondering what took him so long, and when she went in to check he had rolled most of the toilet paper off the roll “to see if there was anything else but reindeers and stars printed on”. Ain’t children sweet?! At least he didn’t eat it. The smell is really convincing.

“If dysfunction(…), if dysfunction is a function, then I must be some kind of genius” (Pitchshifter - Genius) Man, I love this song. *sings along* *skips back to beginning*

Arrr, I’m fairly sure I wanted to say something else, but my brain seems to be on hold again. I’ll just do a second post should I recall what it was. :)

The end is nigh!!!!!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

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So only a few more days left of this year.

The fireworks sale starts tomorrow. Hooray. Not. Tomorrow we’ll have to start at 8:00. And our storage room from which we sell ‘em is so cooooooooooooold!!!
Oh well. I hope I will survive the two days to come. Stress, stress, stress, aaaaaaah!!

But then! Hahah! I’ll join the end of the annual LAM in Holland. Don’t fret, dear fans, even should I decide to not take my computer with me after all, I’m sure I will be able to use the host’s laptop.

Good night.

Bear with me, dear fans…

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

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….. for I have nothing much to say at the moment.

A. is in hospital with kidney stones, work is stressing me out, and on top of it I seem to have developed a weird allergy - apparently to work.
If there I break out in itchy welts and rashes, at home they disappear and I’m fine. Hm. And considering how the boss’s wife getting angry at me for taking off sick the afternoon (doctor’s orders….) stressed me out as well I suppose I’d rather vote for something at work being the cause (buggered if I know what though) than work itself, as much as I hate it these days.
(If you’re new to this here blog just read up on posts like “Damn them filthy thieving Arabs”, and you’ll get why I don’t like my boss’s… huh… policy much…)

Some random work story…

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

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… to - hopefully - keep my faithful readers entertained.

Admittedly it’s not really new, but most of you won’t know it. :D

There’s this black lady who is a regular customer at the store. (No, this is not another boss story! ;) )
She always does these weird things with her hair, like piling that incredible mass up or tying it up in a scarf of the American flag.

Anyway, she always smiled at me when seeing me at the store or elsewhere. Really friendly lady.
Only, since… er… two years ago she’s smiling even wider. Well, ok, not as much as the first few times, but I feel it’s still a bit more than it used to be.

The reason? I don’t know!

I was just returning from an annual festivity 30km from here. As I couldn’t have the car, I was going back by bus. And when I got on, there she was, riding home as well, giving me the widest smile ever and greeting me.

I am sure her reaction was totally unrelated to the fact that I happened to be wearing a mildly medievalish blouse, leather pants and no shoes and was carrying a sword and dagger….

My brain is meltinnnnnnnnggggggg!

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

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(*listening to “In taberna” by Corvus Corax*)

Apparently some misguided small child has lost his little fluffy Teletubby dolly in the store yesterday. When we started work this morning it was lying on a table near the register.

My colleague K., who was doing the till this morning, took some other stuff from the table to put it away and accidentally knocked the doll off.

Now, dear readers, please guess what I said to her!

“Ooooooah, Teletubby aua!”

If that looks like “Awwww, Teletubby ouch!” to you…. you are right. Isn’t this sad? But then again, the only appropriate way to comment on a “hurt” Teletubby, innit?

(From medieval music to noise: Disturbed - The game)

I don’t know what to do about Şişko

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

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I must have added up wrong last Saturday when getting the cash drawer all ready for Monday as my colleague K.’s count on Monday morning came up 1 Euro short.
In the afternoon Şişko was at the register; I was elsewhere in the store. I heard K. informing her of the missing Euro.

Şişko has this odd habit. Of course we don’t carry wallets when working at the till. But when buying something she always already rings it up, keeps the receipt and puts it in in the evening when she’s counting the money up at the office.

Now, I do know that she also occasionally puts money in when she didn’t shop and there’s money missing. Which is damn silly; we don’t have to. But not always anyway. Most of the times she just leaves the drawer like that, without even putting a note in, so that if you don’t count the money yourself in the morning you’ll think you lost the money yourself during the cause of that day… not that a note would really help in most cases because she frequently counts or adds up wrong.
And often when she has bought something and put the money in after the evening count, the drawer contains the standard amount of money in the morning. Which, sadly, is odd for her.

Well, on Monday evening she counted the money while I did the connected comp work. When she was done and had put in money from her wallet she announced that K. had been right indeed, and that the money came up 1 Euro short. I put the Euro in from the “petty money” in the safe.
So you can imagine my surprise this morning when I counted the money, and there was 1 Euro missing!
I only meant to find out where our counts of the different coins were off, and checked the paper she had done her adding up on yesterday. And guess what I found?
The total came up 1.32 short of what’s supposed to be in the drawer. Then she added what she had to pay for her shopping: 1.32 = standard cash drawer amount of money. Only…. she actually shopped for 1.35. I checked. Apparently she then remembered that there was supposed to be a Euro missing. So she crossed out the Euro on the paper and changed the total accordingly. And of course only put 0.32 Euros in.
Being the brilliant mathematician that she is she had also miscounted the 1 Euro coins by one. (That check I originally went up to the office to do showed that.) Had she not done that I’d never have wondered about the still missing Euro, but then of course she’d also have cheated the boss by “only” 3 Cents instead of 1.03 Euros…

I really don’t know what to do now.
The boss’s wife was shocked just last week upon finding out that Şişko had 8.03 Euros too much in the cash drawer without her noticing that in her evening count. Mrs G. kept brooding on that the whole day long and told her husband. Did anything happen? No.
Plus, Şişko is a world class liar. She already lied to my face about something that was concerning me, so she must have known I damn well knew that I was right.

Weekly filthy foreigners update?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

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Today a Turkish couple was shopping at the store.
Very, very regular customers.
Anyway, they wanted to buy four folding chairs, and I had a lot of fun already following their argument about whether to get blue or black ones.
While he was following A. into the direction of the cellar (and the chairs), she stood there, rolling her eyes, announcing to the world in general that blue chairs would not match anything in their kitchen at all.
Returning with the chairs he had to admit that his wife was right and that the black ones definitely had more style.

Then he asked me if he could leave the chairs at the register while they continued shopping instead of breaking his back with them. I told him that - quite on the contrary - he might even tone his muscles by carrying ‘em around for half an hour.
He said he’d rather pass, as he had seriously been having troubles with his back, and today was the first day that he felt able to attempt carrying anything again. “And already I have to carry these chairs; I think my wife is after my life insurance.”

When they were almost done, hubby stopped to look at a couple of watches. Like any undecided customer would do it. Handle this package, handle that one, approach me with a question about one watch (which I couldn’t answer the way I would have liked to, as the boss chose that moment to make an appearance; but the dude didn’t pick that watch then anyway, phew!), put that package back, stare thoughtfully at another one…..
… while all the while the boss was watching him very, very intently.

Yes, I know, even nice and funny people might attempt thefts. Even regular customers might attempt thefts. I just wish he’d stop watching every Turk, “Arab”, Russian, Sri Lankan or black person like a hawk…

A couple of months ago a former colleague was shopping at our place with her husband (both Russians), and he told me to follow them and make sure they didn’t steal. Hello?! All the time she worked there, there was never any reason to suspect her of anything. There just isn’t. She’s way too moral!

Bah, bah, bah…..

Still no sign of Orlando by the way; this is starting to worry me. ;)

What else is “new”?

I still don’t know what “asshole” means in Arabic; shame on the Kid for suddenly having to log off. As my sister put it, one should never miss an opportunity to broaden one’s horizon.

The mutilated knuckle of my thumb is red and swollen and hurts; I think I really deserve some pity here… *pouts*

Oh, and I’m bored, so some more senseless picture posting:

Behold Birger, the Saxon…

… teaching me a bit of swordplay

I’m working in a zoo….

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

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Was too busy yesterday to post but this is just too funny. Well, at least to me it is.

At the end of each work day the Warengruppenbericht (containing, among other things, the day’s earnings) has to be faxed to Central.
The regular fax machine is broken, so until it is fixed (erm, ok, until the boss manages to re-install it…..) we are using his own private rather ancient fax machine.
It has been explained to Şişko, and she has used it in the past already.
The boss left early on Friday, it was my afternoon off, but still… no worries. All the difficult comp work for the day had been finished by the boss.
On Saturday morning I checked the fax machine for the meter of requests from other branches and the spam we keep getting. And what else did I find? A copy of the Warengruppenbericht….
To fax, you insert the paper, printed side up. Then you pick up the connected phone and dial the number of the fax machine you want to send it to. When it starts beeping and screeching into your ear, you press the large “Start/Testkopie” button on the fax machine, then hang up the phone.
If you totally forget this rather extensive activity with the phone and just press the “Start/Testkopie” button the fax does what the button’s name suggests - make a rather ugly copy on fax paper.


The fax machine also prints a regular sending report (and luckily it had done so early yesterday morning) or I might have been moved to just destroy the copy (nice person that I am) and fax the Warengruppenbericht. But the lack of faxing activity shows up on the report of course, and the boss would wonder at that. And my love for that colleague really doesn’t run so deep that I’d destroy that report as well; the boss would miss it.
So I faxed the thing, made a note on the copy saying that I had, stapled it to the report and put it on the boss’s desk for his reading pleasure when he’ll be back on Wednesday…

Also - Şişko never tiring of telling the boss how lazy I am and the like (not true!) - I immediately informed A. and S. of what she had done.
That brightened up our day a treat. :)

Still no sign of Orlando….