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  • May 29, 2015, 12:47:40 AM

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I just recently had my mind blown by finding out that a phrase I think of as universal is actually a regional peculiarity.

In Southern Africa (SA, Zimbabwe, Botswana) when we say we're hoping for something (or wishing someone luck), we use the phrase "holding thumbs", much like the phrase "Cross fingers".

Person 1: So have you heard back about the test results yet?
Person 2: No, but we're crossing fingers and holding thumbs it's positive.


Person 1: I hope we get that contract.
Person 2: Holding thumbs for you!

Does that phrase pop up anywhere else in the world, or are we just wierdos down south here?  ;D

Food / Re: Do you get Marmite/Bovril/Vegemite in your country?
« Last post by WolfWay on Today at 12:39:37 AM »
Canadian here. Vegemite and Marmite are found in the international sections, and Bovril is very common and is found with the gravies and bouillon cubes. I've never heard of anyone making a hot drink from it. Or a sandwich for that matter. Maybe we need a Trans-Atlantic snack thread. :P
It's so odd for me to hear someone has never heard of using it in a sandwich when it's kind of my "flashback to childhood" happy comfort food (bovril and cheese sandwich) and when I asked around my FB page, a lot of other people who grew up in South Africa agreed with me. I love learning about all these random things that "everyone just knows" that are entirely local customs/habits.
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Last post by Katana_Geldar on Today at 12:37:29 AM »
I've heard of cats learning how to use touch lamps and waking their owners in the middle of the night.
On friendly work calls.  Yeah, I wasn't laid off but it appeared on my review. 
I genuinely like the customers I work with.  So, we talk in a friendly manner and joke.  What I think happened was that someone near me got in trouble for personal calls and they said "Well, (my name) makes personal calls all the time".
At my company we have fancy VOIP phones that you have to sign into with your own extension number. That also means you can route your calls to whereever you are in the building by logging into any phone in that particular office/meeting room you happen to be working in. It also means all phone calls that go through the system are logged to your individual extension number.

We had a lazy coworker who seemed to spend about half his working day (in an open plan office) arguing with his ex-wife's lawyer, trying to fix his broken scooter, or just generally arguing with people on his desk phone. Once he realised that they were tracking his phone usage from the desk phone, he starting asking nextdoor desk neighbor if he could use her phone. At first, she said yes, but then the calls started showing up in her name. So she insisted on logging out of the phone first before letting him use it. He wasn't happy about that, so he started waiting for her to be away from her desk before using it.

His phone usage was a major factor in his contract being terminated early.
This thread reminds me of the time I bought pasta salad at a grocery store deli to take to a work potluck. When I confessed to the deli employee that I was taking the salad to a potluck, she said, "Well, some people bring their own container for us to fill, so it looks home-made."
Anyway, it would have been constructive of the hostess to suggest something like this to the guy who apparently has difficulty figuring out what to bring.
I wonder if he's using the question about the email just as a conversation opener? Maybe he just wants to talk to you about something (anything) and the email is a good enough topic.  He might be flirting or he might just want a friend at work.

Not that this would excuse his behavior even if it were the case.  Making both of you waste time at work is not the way to go about making a new friend!  And everyone else has had good suggestions so far for how to  make it stop.

I got the impression from the OP that this was multiple people who all do the same thing. But I could definitely be wrong. Maybe the OP will check back in and let us know if it's just some lazy or flirtatious guy and not her whole work team  :)
I'm rooting for the -just one annoying guy- scenario ;D
OP here.

It's definitely not one guy. It's several different male and female colleagues, and I sincerely know I'm not that universally attractive!  ;D

It's sort of one instance of behaviour from Coworker 1 at 9 am, then another instance from Coworker 2 at lunch time, then Coworker 3 the next morning. I just got hit with about 5 instances in one week, so it got more annoying than usual for being clumped together.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I just need to work on being positive with my redirection.
Wow - what incredibly strange people!!

And I second the chain - or if they come back, step outside to the porch to speak to them.  When they demand to come in, tell them the place is a mess.

Well, I would never say that my home is a mess. Even if it is. I say, "I am not up to having company."  (Extra points if instead of company, she says "trespassers.")
I got $125 from the power company. They'd misread a bunch of people's meters (these are "smart "meters designed to be read remotely.) , so they'd guessed I suppose.
9 general / Re: Having a polite spine but not burning bridges
« Last post by Benni on Yesterday at 11:43:59 PM »
I would do a few things:

You have a contract, use a puzzled look and say "We have contracted for XYZ, not ABC."

"But, I don't understand.  Are you trying to change the contract?  We do not want to change, we want XYZ."

"The new offer will not work for us.  What works is in the contract."

Lather, rinse and repeat.  EllenS has suggested a good method, which I would employ.

"We do not want to change, we prefer XYZ.  How can you resolve this?" - then fall silent.

If all else fails you may be forced to notify the venue that the contract is a legal document and you will adhere to it and you expect them to also.  This does not have to be in person, in fact it is better in email as you then have a written record.  Do not say yes to their proposed changes that you do not want.  Say no.  Leave and then send the email outlining exactly what you expect and that you will not be accepting any changes to your contract.
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: When it's not a scam....
« Last post by AtraBecca on Yesterday at 11:39:29 PM »
I remember listening to a radio show, driving to work!

"Hi! This is Bob and Marley on Talk 92! You've just won 500 -"

"Not interested." *CLICK*

"...What just happened?"

"Bob, I think she thought we were scammers."

I laughed my bacon-fed knave off.
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