Things you hate to hear at work?

me: twenty minutes on ribs for your lead ticket…
them: what ribs?
it can’t go well from there

The sound of the phone ringing at 4:57 PM on Friday afternoon. No one calls anyone at 4:57 PM on Friday afternoon unless they have the sort of problem that takes 2 hours to fix. I like to call that particular ring “The Death Ring.” It has a distinct sound.

“The District Office has a plan…”


“Got a minute?”

Larry wants the report to read left to right instead of up and down.

“Well, I was listening to Dr. Laura/Dr. Phil/Miss Cleo and…”
(I’m a psychologist. I always feel like whipping out my trash can and saying, “Why don’t you just go ahead and empty your wallet into here? Thanks.”)

Can you meet me in Room 6?

You know you’re in trouble if you’re going to Room 6.

You have been selected for this opportunity.


I have a customer who needs to speak to a manager.

These numbers do not balance, people, and NO ONE is going home until they do!!

I’m a technical writer, so the things I hate to hear are like the following:

“The Software Department made a change in how it works. What, they didn’t tell you? Well, it won’t be too difficult to go back and change all the manuals, will it?”

And a personal favourite–the results of a content review read something like, “Page 42, paragraph 2 is wrong.” And nothing to indicate what would be correct.

If the reviewer had mentioned what the paragraph should have said, I wouldn’t have to waste the time of both of us, tracking the reviewer down and nagging him or her for the answer.

Retail monkey checking in.

“Debit’s down.” Considering that approximately [sup]1[/sup]/[sub]3[/sub] of our daily sales come from debit cards, this is an issue.

“Are you a manager?”, with a sneer.

“How much fat is there exactly in this entire meal?” (usually in reference to enough food to feed a family of six that is to be eaten by two enormous people)

“Do you have Quarter Pounders?” stupid freakin scrote muffins - props to the inventor

Why don’t you have Quarter Pounders?” - I actually had a fully grown, strikingly unattractively obese man ask me this once.

“Do you serve meat pies?” - again, asshats, read the freakin, two-feet-tall menu.

“Do you have any vegetarian meat patties?” - I actually said “We have vegetarian patties that have no animal products at all” and the reply was “No, I said, vegetarian meat patties?” “We have grilled chicken or fish patties.” “No! I said vegetarian meat!” “Get out of my freakin store you stupid fuckwit. You’re obviously too stupid to be let out of your cage.” - okay I didn’t actually say that but I so wanted to and my manager said something in equivalent but a lot nicer.

<Customer bends and sniffs counter> “These benchs smell.”*

*Actually this one’s just me but that’s another thread with the title: “Worst Work Experiences”

“I just bought these here and they have a scratch in them…”

I’m a sunglass guy. We make our customers inspect their lenses before we’ll sell them. We inspect too. If there’s a scratch, it’s because you dropped the damn things or handed them to your six-year old. It isn’t our fault.

That and, “I need sunglasses. What do you recommend for somebody like me?”

I’m not psychic. At the very least, tell me how much you’re willing to spend. There are about 5600 frames in here and at least a thousand will look okay on you.

Mine is not that bad, but here goes.

“You need to go to this meeting that starts at 7 am every Friday.” Argh! I am not a morning person.

What would I hate to hear?

[/]Bill Lumbergh [/]

Yeahhh…I’m gonna need you to…

[/] Bill Lumbergh [/]
Another would be, “We’re going to try to reshape the coporate image.” That one is never good unless you’re an outside consultant.

Each of my statements start with “I have a 20 page paper and…”

“…it’s due tomorrow at 9. Can you look it over?”

“…it’s due tonight and the professor requires a signature. Can you look it over?”

“…you only need a half hour for this, right?”

“…I didn’t do any formatting.”

“…I don’t know what format it needs to be in.”

“…I don’t remember what my professor told me to write about.”

“…can you re-write it for me?”

“…I live off campus and I’m real busy and I need to see you RIGHT NOW!”

“…can you come in on Sunday?”

Yeah… about that… I’m going to need you to come in and work this weekend.

“We just got a phone call from _____ (name of the Secretary of the University goes here)…”

The Secretary is the person who is the liaison between the University and the Boad of Regents. If she’s calling, it means a Regent wants something. Which always means loads and loads of scrambling for our office, and often (though this depends on the Regent asking) not much gratitude or appreciation when we’ve completed the task.

Oftentimes I hear expletives and other sounds of utter horror in my office, but usually these are occasions for glee rather than trepidation. It generally means someone has just heard some staggering shocking dirt. I fling myself out of the office door saying “WHAT? What?!?!”