Author Topic: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt  (Read 1039129 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5940 on: November 30, 2012, 10:12:29 AM »
I have an employee who works out of an office in a different state.  She has back problems and the standard office chairs aggravate them and cause her pain.  So several years ago, she went through the corporate ergonomic assessment, tried several different chairs, and found one that worked for her. 

Since then, HR and all related areas (like health and safety, who do the ergonomics) has been outsourced, and the people she worked with are no longer at the company.  She was never given anything in writing about her chair.

Wednesday of this week, the facility manager at her office sent out an email stating that EVERYONE's chair would be replaced next week. If you were on a list that the department admin had, your chair would be left alone.  Of course my employee's name is not on the magic list, so she contacted the facilities manager to ask what she could do - she's perfectly willing to try the new wonderful chair, but she'd like to keep her current chair available for a few days or a week to be sure the new chair will work.

Facilities manager told her to contact HR. HR gave her the new health and safety contact.  Health and safety's advice is...try the new wonderful chair, and if it doesn't work, we'll work with you to find a new one.  Which sounds great, except that if the new chair doesn't work, she's stuck with potentially several weeks/months of back pain while the wheels grind through ordering a new chair, trying it for a few days, trying another one...all of which could be saved if they'd just let her keep her current chair.

I suggested hiding it in an empty office or storeroom, but Facilities Manager has made it very clear that they will be going into all empty offices, storage spaces, conference rooms, etc, to stamp out the evil that is Nonconforming Chairs.

I drive a station wagon so I'd clear it with my boss to take the chair home for a few days and leave the crappiest, most beat up chair I can find at my desk for them to take away when they leave the new chair.  Even if I was on the 'magic list', I'd probably do this because stuff always disappears, even when it isn't supposed to.
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Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5941 on: November 30, 2012, 10:12:46 AM »
I think this new Prudie gives some pretty bad advice in a lot of cases, actually. 

Shalamar

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5942 on: November 30, 2012, 10:20:36 AM »
Hmmm's post reminded me of a phone conversation I had when my husband and I were newly married. 

It so happened that we'd had a LOT of telephone solicitors call that day - at least five in the previous hour.  No idea why.  So, when the phone rang yet again, I was already ticked off and ready to yell at someone.

Me:  Hello?
Female Voice That I Didn't Recognize:  Hello, is Scot there?
Me:  Who's calling, please?
Her:  Is he there?
Me:  Please tell me who's calling first.
Her:  Look, is he there or not?
Me*getting mad*  I'm not going to pass over the phone until you tell me who this is!
Her:  It's JANE!  His friend from (previous job)! 
Me:  Oh.  One moment, please.

I felt very foolish, and she must have thought that I was some shrew that refused to let her poor henpecked husband have any female friends.

Dindrane

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5943 on: November 30, 2012, 10:37:53 AM »
Hmmm's post reminded me of a phone conversation I had when my husband and I were newly married. 

It so happened that we'd had a LOT of telephone solicitors call that day - at least five in the previous hour.  No idea why.  So, when the phone rang yet again, I was already ticked off and ready to yell at someone.

Me:  Hello?
Female Voice That I Didn't Recognize:  Hello, is Scot there?
Me:  Who's calling, please?
Her:  Is he there?
Me:  Please tell me who's calling first.
Her:  Look, is he there or not?
Me*getting mad*  I'm not going to pass over the phone until you tell me who this is!
Her:  It's JANE!  His friend from (previous job)! 
Me:  Oh.  One moment, please.

I felt very foolish, and she must have thought that I was some shrew that refused to let her poor henpecked husband have any female friends.

On the other hand, it's totally weird to refuse to identify yourself when the person answering the phone asks you to. Precisely because it's very much solicitor behavior to just insist on talking to the named person before giving any actual detail about the call.


gramma dishes

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5944 on: November 30, 2012, 10:47:16 AM »
Hmmm's post reminded me of a phone conversation I had when my husband and I were newly married. 

It so happened that we'd had a LOT of telephone solicitors call that day - at least five in the previous hour.  No idea why.  So, when the phone rang yet again, I was already ticked off and ready to yell at someone.

Me:  Hello?
Female Voice That I Didn't Recognize:  Hello, is Scot there?
Me:  Who's calling, please?
Her:  Is he there?
Me:  Please tell me who's calling first.
Her:  Look, is he there or not?
Me*getting mad*  I'm not going to pass over the phone until you tell me who this is!
Her:  It's JANE!  His friend from (previous job)! 
Me:  Oh.  One moment, please.

I felt very foolish, and she must have thought that I was some shrew that refused to let her poor henpecked husband have any female friends.

I don't know why YOU would have felt foolish!  Frankly, Jane was way out of line there.  Any time you call someone you really should identify yourself.  That "Look, is he there or not?" question was just plain rude.

Yvaine

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5945 on: November 30, 2012, 10:58:20 AM »
Major brain hurt with this Dear Prudie letter, "Should I tell my infertile Asian wife that I want all-white babies?"

SERIOUSLY?  I hope this guy has some seriously amazing redeeming qualities, or he's not going to be married for long  :-\

Why in the blazing heck did he marry her in the first place? Poor woman. What would he have done if she'd been able to conceive the old-fashioned way?

Elfmama

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5946 on: November 30, 2012, 11:21:25 AM »
Hmmm's post reminded me of a phone conversation I had when my husband and I were newly married. 

It so happened that we'd had a LOT of telephone solicitors call that day - at least five in the previous hour.  No idea why.  So, when the phone rang yet again, I was already ticked off and ready to yell at someone.

Me:  Hello?
Female Voice That I Didn't Recognize:  Hello, is Scot there?
Me:  Who's calling, please?
Her:  Is he there?
Me:  Please tell me who's calling first.
Her:  Look, is he there or not?
Me*getting mad*  I'm not going to pass over the phone until you tell me who this is!
Her:  It's JANE!  His friend from (previous job)! 
Me:  Oh.  One moment, please.

I felt very foolish, and she must have thought that I was some shrew that refused to let her poor henpecked husband have any female friends.

I don't know why YOU would have felt foolish!  Frankly, Jane was way out of line there.  Any time you call someone you really should identify yourself.  That "Look, is he there or not?" question was just plain rude.
I got the same kind of routine (and responded the same way!) from a woman who finally said in this snarky voice "I represent one of his private charities. Now let me talk to him.

It was the snark that let EvilMama out of the closet.  The caller got told "Look, lady, *I* write every check that leaves this household, and I know to the penny what money gets spent where.*  My husband does not HAVE 'private charities.'  Now you tell ME what charity you represent, and he and I will discuss together whether or not you get a donation." 

She hung up on me.  This was long before we had the funds for caller ID, or the ability to google phone numbers, so I didn't get the chance to tell whoever she worked for that they had lost any chance of ever getting a donation from us.

*Entirely true.  We were working on a very tight budget at that time.  The only money that I didn't know exactly where it was spent was DH's $10 weekly pocket money.  According to him that usually went to vending machines at work.  So if he was giving to a 'private charity' it was a couple of dollars a week max, something unlikely to generate such a phone call.
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Shalamar

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5947 on: November 30, 2012, 12:56:28 PM »
Thanks, guys!  I did think that she was rude, to be honest.

I have another phone story.  My husband and I used to have our mortgage with the Bank of Montreal.  We kept getting calls from the bank asking specifically for my husband.  At first, when he wasn't home or didn't feel like talking to anyone, I'd just say "He's not here, can I take a message?" - whereupon the guy would say "No, thanks, I'll call again."  One day, I got fed up with the calls, and I asked what it was about.  The guy said very snippily "I have to speak to (Mr. Shalamar) DIRECTLY.  It's about his mortgage."  (Emphasis mine.)

I said "Both our names are on the mortgage, so you can talk to me."

"No.  I have to speak to HIM, and only him."

Oh really?  I think not. 

I said politely "I'm the best you're going to get, so unless you're willing to talk to me, this conversation is over."

He hung up at that point and never called again.   8)

lilfox

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5948 on: November 30, 2012, 01:12:45 PM »
I have an office chair-related brain hurt, but one that turned out well.  I moved offices about 6 months ago - same company, entirely new building.  The chair at my desk was the reject chair for the area, as anything good from the desk had been harvested immediately after the previous employee left.  I was allowed to bring all the electronic peripherals from my previous desk, but chairs are Not To Be Moved Ever.

So I ask, what are the chances I can order a new chair?  I'm told zero chance, money is tight, chairs are a hot commodity, but maybe I can try the in-house ergonomics people and see about getting a special ergo-friendly chair.  Well, because I'm lazy and only was in the office once or twice a week, I put it off for a month or two.

Then I walk in one day and find that the powers that be had set up about 20 student carrel-sized work areas along the hallway with brand new chairs!  Why, I don't know since even if we had any new employees arriving, there were actual desks still available (with crummier chairs than mine).  And the carrel spots are about 3 feet wide with not even minimal privacy, just enough room to set up a laptop, so really not a desirable work location anyway.

But guess how long it took for every single one of those new chairs to magically turn into old reject chairs?   ;D  And 4 months later, not a single person has ever been seen working at the carrel spots.

Virg

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5949 on: November 30, 2012, 01:14:46 PM »
Hillia wrote:

"Wednesday of this week, the facility manager at her office sent out an email stating that EVERYONE's chair would be replaced next week. If you were on a list that the department admin had, your chair would be left alone.  Of course my employee's name is not on the magic list, so she contacted the facilities manager to ask what she could do - she's perfectly willing to try the new wonderful chair, but she'd like to keep her current chair available for a few days or a week to be sure the new chair will work."

Since you're on board with all of this and you know what's going on, I'll agree with Outdoor Girl on this.  Just have her put the chair in her car or take it home with her (or get someone who has a big enough vehicle to take it for her) before the replacement crew comes through.  That way, she'll get a new chair to try but if it doesn't work out she can simply put her old chair back in place without a big fuss.  Just to be sure she doesn't encounter any weirdness, you might give her a letter to show or call the receptionist so that when she rolls her chair off the elevator/out the door there are no misunderstandings.

Virg

Hillia

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5950 on: November 30, 2012, 01:29:09 PM »
That would be a termination offense.  I do not have the authority to let anyone remove any company property from the building - that's all under hte control of the facility manager.  We are trying to work through her to get permission to leave the chair in place for a week, but it's a large building with 1500+ employees, and they don't want to make any exceptions.

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Shoo

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5951 on: November 30, 2012, 02:02:28 PM »
Hmmm's post reminded me of a phone conversation I had when my husband and I were newly married. 

It so happened that we'd had a LOT of telephone solicitors call that day - at least five in the previous hour.  No idea why.  So, when the phone rang yet again, I was already ticked off and ready to yell at someone.

Me:  Hello?
Female Voice That I Didn't Recognize:  Hello, is Scot there?
Me:  Who's calling, please?
Her:  Is he there?
Me:  Please tell me who's calling first.
Her:  Look, is he there or not?
Me*getting mad*  I'm not going to pass over the phone until you tell me who this is!
Her:  It's JANE!  His friend from (previous job)! 
Me:  Oh.  One moment, please.

I felt very foolish, and she must have thought that I was some shrew that refused to let her poor henpecked husband have any female friends.

You should haven't felt foolish, Jane should have.  In fact, I probably would have hung up on Jane after the first refusal to identify herself.  That's just nuts.

snowflake

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5952 on: November 30, 2012, 03:23:42 PM »
Hmmm's post reminded me of a phone conversation I had when my husband and I were newly married. 

It so happened that we'd had a LOT of telephone solicitors call that day - at least five in the previous hour.  No idea why.  So, when the phone rang yet again, I was already ticked off and ready to yell at someone.

Me:  Hello?
Female Voice That I Didn't Recognize:  Hello, is Scot there?
Me:  Who's calling, please?
Her:  Is he there?
Me:  Please tell me who's calling first.
Her:  Look, is he there or not?
Me*getting mad*  I'm not going to pass over the phone until you tell me who this is!
Her:  It's JANE!  His friend from (previous job)! 
Me:  Oh.  One moment, please.

I felt very foolish, and she must have thought that I was some shrew that refused to let her poor henpecked husband have any female friends.

You should haven't felt foolish, Jane should have.  In fact, I probably would have hung up on Jane after the first refusal to identify herself.  That's just nuts.

Exactly.  The rule at our house is that the one who answers screens the calls.  So even the caller is asking for my husband, if they are trying to sell insurance, renegotiate our mortgage or talk to us about the upcoming election, they don't get to talk to him.  No sense in wasting his time or theirs.  He does the same for me.  I would probably have told her we weren't interested in what she was selling and hung up!

I don't bat an eyelash if a female calls.  Even if it's his ex-girlfriend because he stayed friends with her and I'm OK with that.  But I do think the proper way to call someone is to say, "Hello?  This is Jane, is Scot there?"

When I was a lowly office slave, I had several solicitors tell me that I had no business asking who they were.  My response was, "Dr. Boss pays me to do that.  It's business.  Have a nice day."  I had several people who claimed it was a "Personal call and I don't appreciate you asking." I was pretty sure that they were bluffing (I could hear the call center in the background) and told them they could leave a message.  They would say, "I'll call back later and hang up."

My boss, on hearing that would laugh and tell me I had permission to hang up on any of his mistresses who were that snotty.  (I knew he was being ironic about that.)

I'd also get calls from someone claiming to be Earnest Hemingway selling giant plastic lawn ornaments.  But I knew that was Boss's friend being goofy.

Adelaide

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5953 on: November 30, 2012, 03:34:44 PM »
Grad school is slowly but surely becoming more like elementary school as the days wear on. There's a guy here who's slowly and obviously become more interested in me throughout the semester. Today I walked into class and he and his buddies were clustered together in a circle, whispering. When I walked in they jumped like they'd been shot, fell silent, stared at me until went to my seat, and one of them (who I barely know) gave me a really weird, sheepish wave. So we all sat there in silence for 10+ minutes until class started.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5954 on: November 30, 2012, 03:49:11 PM »
In regards to the phone stories, once I had the exact opposite happen to me at work, when it was not the caller who got upset about being asked to identify themselves.

One of my co-workers decided to corner me in private and tell me that it was very rude to ask callers "Who may I  say is calling?" when the call was not for me but I had answered the phone.  She informed me that I was not to do this any more when calls came in for her, and furthermore, when I left messages for her, they were not to go on top of her desk, but on the keyboard tray underneath.

I was rather confused by this and asked our supervisor what to do.  Our supervisor was so stunned that she actually asked our HR person because she'd never heard of anything so bizzare.  The HR person had not either, and my co-worker was set right, and I was told that I had always done an excellent job of phone-answering and to continue just like I had been doing.