AboutThe Guy She Tells You Not To Worry About
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My friend, Gavin, an air steward (a job that he had done for decades), told me about an incident at work. He said that (shockingly to me) passengers occasionally die on a flight (particularly long-haul), just as a matter of course. This can be because people sometimes travel to visit loved ones BECAUSE they are dying, people sometimes find travelling itself stressful (so it can exacerbate an existing medical condition), or simply that, if you took a large number of people and shut them up in a space together for some considerable time, some of them would pop off through sheer statistical probability. Cabin crew are, apparently, fully trained to deal within this eventually in a calm, almost routine manner.
This particular flight, Gavin was working with another gay man: Peter, who was actually a VERY funny personality. Camp, extravagant and loud, Peter really lit up the place. But naturally, when the very elderly male passenger in seat 38b died peacefully in his sleep halfway across the Atlantic, Peter acted (like the entire crew), with decorum and dignity. As per the protocol, all the lights in the cabin were dimmed. A hush fell over the passengers (Gavin told me that, although no announcement is ever made, the other passengers nearly always instinctively know what's happened, with the news spreading via the media of hushed whispers and nudges). Then, as per standing instructions, two of the crew carefully lifted the deceased out of his seat and gently carried him to the crew station where he was laid down on a bed for the remainder of the flight.
After the late gentleman disappeared behind the discreetly drawn curtain, you could have heard a pin drop. There was a demure pause during which, slowly, the lights went back up.
Suddenly Peter's cheery face appeared, poking through the gap in the drapes. He looked around, blinking brightly with curiosity at the seated passengers, and said, in a voice that echoed around the whole cabin:
"SO! Anyone else have the fish?"
He narrowly avoided getting sacked.10
I have been an expat since graduating and have been moving a lot. More than a decade ago, when I was still young, I was in a relationship with a woman, Sylvia, in a country where we both lived. Sylvia wanted to settle down but I was not ready to commit so young. We clearly had different expectations from the relationship. I did not know what to do and, well, I ghosted her. Over the Christmas break, while she was visiting her family, I simply moved out and left the country. I took advantage of the fact that I accepted a job in other country and did not tell her about it. I simply wanted to avoid being untangled in a break-up drama. Sylvia was rather emotional and became obsessed with the relationship, tracking me down, even causing various scenes with my parents and friends.
Anyhow, fast forward to now. I now work as a math teacher in an international school. I have been in other relationships since, so Sylvia is a sort of forgotten history. Sadly, till now. This week, I learnt that our fantastic school director suddenly resigned due to a serious family situation and had to move back to her home country over the summer. The school had to replace her. We are getting a new director. I read the bio of the new boss and googled her and was shocked to discover it is Sylvia. We have not been in touch and do not have any mutual friends anymore. I am not a big fan of social media and had no idea what she had been up to since the unpleasant situation a long time ago.
I have no idea what to do and how to deal with this mess. It is clear this will be not only embarassing but I will also be reporting to my ex. I am not in a position to find another job at present. There are no other international schools so finding another job in this country is not an option. Even finding a job elsewhere is not possible on such a short notice. These jobs usually open for school terms so I have to stay put for few months. But more importantly, I am happy and settled here so do not want to move. To make the situation worse, the expat community here is very small and tightly knit so teachers also socialize a lot.
Do you have any suggestions for me how to handle it and what should I do? I understand that this would not have happened if I did not ghost her back then, but I cannot do anything about it now. I gathered from the comments that readers usually have a go on people like me for “bad behavior” but I am really looking for constructive comments how to deal with the situation.5
I am the manager of a customer service team of about 10-12 members. Most of the team members are right out of school and this is their first professional job and their ages range from 22-24. I am about 10 years older than all of my employees. We have a great team and great working relationships. They all do great work and we have established a great team culture.
Well, a couple of months ago, I noticed something odd that my team (and other employees in the building) started doing. They would see each other in the hallways or break room and say “quack quack” like a duck. I assumed this was an inside joke and thought nothing of it and wrote it off as playful silliness or thought I perhaps missed a moment in a recent movie or TV show to which the quacks were referring.
Fast forward a few months. I needed to do some printing and our printer is in a room that can be locked by anyone when it is in use (our team often has large volumes of printing they need to do and it helps to be able to sort things in there by yourself, as multiple people can get their pages mixed up and it turns into a mess). The door had been locked the entire day and this was around noon, and the manager I have the key to the door in case someone forgot to unlock it when they left. I walked in, and there were two of my employees on the couch in the copier room having sex. I immediately closed the door and left.
This was last week and as you can imagine things are very awkward between the three of us. I haven’t addressed the situation yet because of a few factors: This was during both of their lunch hours. They were not doing this on the clock (they had both clocked out, I immediately checked). We have an understanding that you can go or do anything on your lunch that you want, as long as you’re back after an hour. Also, as you mentioned in your answer last week to the person who overheard their coworker involved in “adult activities,” these people are adults and old enough to make their own choices.
But that’s not the end of the story. That same day, after my team had left, I was wrapping up and putting a meeting agenda on each of their desks for our meeting the next day. Out in broad daylight on the guys desk (one of the employees I had caught in the printing room) was a piece of paper at the top that said “Duck Club.” Underneath it, it had a list of locations of places in and around the office followed by “points.” 25 points – president’s desk, 10 points – car in the parking lot, 20 points – copier room, etc.
So here is my theory about what is going on (and I think I am right). This “Duck Club” is a club people at work where people get “points” for having sex in these locations around the office. I think that is also where the quacking comes into play. Perhaps this is some weird mating call between members to let them know they want to get some “points” with the other person, and if they quack back, they meet up somewhere to “score.” The two I caught in the copier room I have heard “quacking” before.
I know this is all extremely weird. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write you because of how weird this seems (plus I was a little embarrassed). I have no idea what to do. As I mentioned above, they weren’t on the clock when this happened, they’re all adults, and technically I broke a rule by entering the copier room when it was locked, and would have never caught them if I had obeyed that rule. The only company rule I can think of that these two broke is using the copier room for other purposes, preventing someone else from using it.
I would love to know your opinion on this. I tend to want to sweep it under the rug because I’m kind of a shy person and would be extremely embarrassed to bring it up.25
I have a situation that is so out there I almost wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t happening to me. The company I work at has three branches and around 100 employees. The owner of the company has a brother who needs a liver transplant. Two weeks ago, a company-wide memo went out that all employees would be required to undergo testing to see if they were a suitable liver donor for the owners brother. No exceptions.
Last week at the branch the owner works out of most of the time, his assistant went around to schedule days off for everyone so they could go get tested. People who declined were let go. One of these people was born with liver disease and therefore ineligible to donate. She had a doctor’s note. Other people also had medical reasons as well and some were just uncomfortable with the request and didn’t want to do it. One was pregnant. They were still terminated. My employer’s assistant has said that because our employment is at will, he can legally fire us.
I’m in remission from cancer. I’m ineligible to donate and any kind of surgery would put a major strain on my system. Even if I was healthy, I would still object to possibly being forced into donating an organ just to keep my job. Soon they will be scheduling people’s days off for testing at my branch.
I know this situation is nuts, but I don’t know what to do. I know I could just go for the testing and then be declined, but I don’t think I should have to do that. I’ve had enough with hospitals. Other coworkers who don’t have medical conditions are afraid they won’t be declined because they will be a match. I’m looking for another job but in the meantime I don’t know what to do and I and many of my coworkers are really stressed out.26
I work in a small office (about five people) and probably once or twice a week, we will do a group order of delivery/take-out for lunch. I’m the most junior at the company, and often I end up asked to place the lunch order, so I put it on my personal card and have everyone pay me back. All of my other colleagues are quick to ask how much they owe and reimburse me, but on the occasions where my CEO joins the lunch order, he has never paid for his food or even offered to do so. I honestly don’t think it crosses his mind to wonder who paid for the meal, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s often because my other colleagues simply pay for him. (I have another sneaking suspicion it’s because he’s a white man who has had a great deal of wealth his entire life.)
After the meal there’s always a conversation, initiated by my colleagues, in which everyone ask me how much they owe. We are in an open office space with our CEO, but he seems to be entirely oblivious to these conversations. I would love to be able to simply Venmo charge him, but alas he has made it clear that he is “anti-Venmo” (what?).
I’m feeling very bitter that he is in a position where he doesn’t have to think about the cost of a $14 salad, and frustrated that my other (wealthier) colleagues are all willing to eat the cost to avoid asking him to pay. He knows how much I make, but how do I gracefully make it clear that he should be expected to reimburse me like everyone else (and ideally, should do so without being prompted)?5
I was Just college fresher who completed his Engineering. My first week in the office. And a system was provided to me, since it was support project so I was given direct access to production database.
Fresher + Production Database + Access of Admin credentials = Worst Possible Combination
So it was my night shift, I was told to update new tariff plan for our client (which was one of the largest telecom service in India) .
If someone recharges for more than 200 Rupee, that person will get 10% or 20% extra talk time. Which was only applicable for particular circle (Like Bihar and Rajasthan).
Since I was fresher, I was told to update given query from my senior employee which he shared on the shared folder. Production downtime was in the mid night, so at that time I updated that query on the production database.
Query successfully updated. I completed my night shift, went home and slept.
When I woke up, I saw my mobile it had 200+ missed calls from different locations of India. They were Circle heads of that telecom service provider who contacted me. I realized something unexpected is expecting me.
Then at that moment my team lead called me and he asked me to come office right away.
Reminding you I was a fresher, I was shivering. What have I done there?
When I reached office, I came to know that the query I updated on production bombarded.
Every person who recharged that day (duration from midnight to morning 10 AM) got 10 times or 20 times more talktime.
A part of Query was something like this where error was made:
TalkTime = RechargeAmount + RechargeAmount * 10/100; (Bihar)
TalkTime = RechargeAmount + RechargeAmount * 20/100; (Rajasthan)
But instead of this query, I updated below one:
TalkTime = RechargeAmount + RechargeAmount * 10;
TalkTime = RechargeAmount + RechargeAmount * 20;
In a span of 10 hours, that telecom service lost revenue of 6.5 crore Rupees. Thanks to recovery team they were able to recover 6 crore but still 50 lakh Rupees were in loss.
One small query, and approx 1 million dollar was on stake.
Aftermath of this incident
I should have taken those queries on mail. Or, there should have been mail communication regarding this.
Never ever do anything over oral communication. Senior employee who did this denied and said he provided correct query, and I had no proof of communication.
I told them, it was me who executed that query on production. Since I was fresher, and took my responsibility of that incident. My team lead rescued me from that situation.
Always test your query and code multiple times before you execute or Go live it on production.
Always have email communication for every action you take on production.
Power comes with responsibility. If you have admin credentials of production never use it for update/delete/drop until you are sure.
Don’t take your job lightly.
I was not fired from that Job, but I have learnt my lesson very well.
I just nailed an online interview for a job that I’ve been trying to get for ages
However, during the interview my dog just would not stop barking. I told the interviewer that I needed just a second to take care of it, and I got up to put my dog in another room.
Although I had a nice dress shirt on to appear professional, I didn’t think it was necessary to put on dress pants since only my upper half would be on screen, I instead opted for a pair of comfortable green athletic shorts and moccasins. I did not realize until after the interview was over that I had accidentally made a fool of myself by showing my entire outfit while walking to my bedroom door. I bet he will have a good laugh with his colleagues about that one.9