So, sometimes it’s the little things in life that drive you nuts, right? Toothpaste not squeezed from the bottom. Dirty dishes in the break room sink! Toilet paper “under” rather than “over.” Lights left on. Dick Cheney.
As some of you have noticed, I try to be kinda precise about my language. And by that I don’t mean that I use profanity to get right to the point (although that may be true as well) BUT that when people use a wrong word, or the punctuation isn’t quite right, I’m liable to point it out. And heaven help you if you ask me to proofread something you’ve written because it will never look the same again!
Which brings me to some phrases I hear in my job that, over time, have kinda gotten annoying. So, here are some things people say that, I don’t ever need to hear again:
You look like you need something to do!
* Just because there isn’t a person already at my window / desk you automatically assume I’m slacking off?
Are you busy?
* I can’t win with this question. If I answer “No” they’ll think I’m even more of a slacker than they already do. If I answer “Yes” (which is generally the truth since I don’t normally just sit here waiting for the phone to ring) then they’ll feel guilty that they called.
Sorry to bug you!
* No, you’re not but that’s okay, I don’t mind. It’s kinda why I like being here. I get jacked up when people ask me for help!
* Yeah, right. The question is rarely quick and the answer will usually take a bunch of time to research before I can begin to make something up!
Do other people handle this the same way?
* This is a trick question. They already know that some people handle it differently and that’s why they’re asking. They just want me to make the other person do it their way! So, I usually just suggest that they call the other person directly and talk to 'em about it.
Can I speak to the manager?
* Based on my own experience as a manager at three different branches, this usually means they are under the mistaken impression that the manager has mystical powers that can fix most any problem, when, in fact, it’s usually the assistant manager that stands the best chance of knowing how to fix the problem. So, when someone would ask for “the manager” at my branch, they usually were directed to the assistant manager to increase the odds the problem would actually get fixed. Your mileage may vary . . .
We always used to . . .
* In other words, “back in the day before the procedure changed we used to . . .” That’s fine, except, well, the procedure changed, so we no longer get to do it that way!
It was my understanding . . .
* Changing this to “It was my “misunderstanding” would probably fix this one.
We were told . . .
* Unless they can name a specific person, I assume they “were told” by an imaginary friend because what they were told is usually wrong. This may also be an indication that the imaginary friend may be me, and that I made up an answer that has not proven to be wrong!
I’m not prejudiced.
* If you have to say it then yes you are.