I have a question. = I have 18 questions.
I’ll look into it. = I’ve already forgotten about it.
I tried my best. = I did the bare minimum.
Happy to discuss further. = Don’t ask me about this again.
No worries. = You really messed up this time.
Take care. = This is the last you’ll ever hear from me.
Cheers! = I have no respect for you or myself!
Michael Ward, via mcsweeneys.net
As a Speech therapist, I was working with a preschooler on
body-part identification and the
k sound. To that end, I had him
use Play-Doh to make a sculpture
“Is that my neck?” I asked, trying to get him to repeat the word.
“No, that’s your chin,” he said.
He added more Play-Doh. “Is that my neck?” I asked.
“No, that’s your other chin.”
Ilene Smith, Milan, Michigan
While I was out to lunch, my coworker answered my phone and told the caller that I would be back
in 20 minutes. The woman asked,
“Is that 20 minutes Central Standard Time?”
Jamie Hindman, Lewisville, Texas
It’s amazing how a person can compliment and insult you at the same time. Recently, when I greeted my coworker, she said, “You look so gorgeous, I didn’t recognize you.”
Elaine Schyve, Cohocton, New York
The closest a person ever comes to perfection is when he fills out a job application form.
Businessman Stanley Randall
Client: Please remove the unnecessary circle at the end of the sentence.
Me: You mean … the period?
Client: I don’t care what you designers call it; it is unsightly. Delete it.
I’ve been working on my PhD
in engineering for the past five years, but my kids don’t necessarily see that as work.
As we were driving past Walmart one day, my son spotted a Now Hiring sign and suggested that I could get
a job there.
Hoping to make a point, I asked, “Do you think they’re looking for an engineer?”
“Oh, sure,” he said. “They’ll hire anybody.”
Christopher Fields, Fort Collins, Colorado
An insurance agent called
our medical office. One of our
doctors had filled out a medically necessary leave-of-absence form
for a patient, but, the agent said, the
patient had altered it. The giveaway?
The return-to-work date had been changed to February 30.
J. L., via e-mail
I supervised an employee who had a negative view of everything
I did. If I took a vacation day, I was “never there.” If I praised someone’s work, it was “too little, too late.”
He eventually took another job
but was fired six months later. Shortly thereafter, he contacted
me, hoping to return to his old job.
“Have you learned anything from this experience?” I asked.
“Yes, I should have stayed here,”
he admitted. “You’re too indecisive to have ever fired me.”
Terry O’Connor, Chantilly, Virginia
I guess this is what happens after you’ve worked at the same place for a while. I was eating at a fast-food restaurant when an employee began his shift by walking into the kitchen area and calling out, “Honey, I’m home!”
G. M., via e-mail
Before google, there were librarians. Here are some queries posed to the poor, suffering staff of public libraries:
• A woman wanted “inspirational material on grass and lawns.”
• “Who built the English Channel?”
• “Is there a full moon every night in Acapulco?”
• “Music suitable for a doll wedding to take place between a Shirley
Temple doll and a teddy bear.”
• “Can the New York Public Library recommend a good forger?”
Client to designer: “It doesn’t really look purple. It looks more like a mixture of red and blue.”
A woman called our airline
customer-service desk asking if she could take her dog on board.
“Sure,” I said, “as long as you provide your own kennel.” I further explained that the kennel needed to be large enough for the dog to stand up, sit down, turn around, and roll over.
The customer was flummoxed:
“I’ll never be able to teach him all of that by tomorrow!”
I spend three minutes every
day choosing a TV channel
to leave on for my dog. Then
I go to work, and people take me seriously as an adult.
After football fans in Philadelphia were treated to a particularly excruciating loss earlier in the season, a man phoned a sports-radio talk-show host to say, “Everyone should call in and give one word for that game.”
“What’s your word?” the host
“Bored out of my mind,” said the caller.
From Sports Illustrated
Librarians may be shy, but
their patrons aren’t. Look at their oddball requests:
A patron offered me $100 to steal
a cactus from somebody’s yard.
A patron wanted me to find a
book to teach her dog German.
A patron on his way to the casino asked to rub my red hair for luck.
A patron once asked me for my home phone number so she could call me with reference questions when I wasn’t at work.
Roz Warren, from womensvoicesforchange.org
For Martin Luther King Day,
I asked my fifth graders how they’d make the world a better place. One said, “I’d make potato skins a main dish rather than an appetizer.”
Manalapan, New Jersey
Scene: A radio newsroom.
Caller: I just wanted to let you know you’re off the air.
Host: Yes, we know. The engineers are working on it.
Caller: It would be nice if you put something on the air that says that.
Source: Overheard in the RADIO Newsroom
When my coworker answered his phone, the confused woman on the other end asked, “Who is this?”
“This is Steve. With whom did you wish to speak?”
After a pause: “Did you just say whom?”
“Yes, I did.”
The woman replied, “I have the wrong number,” and hung up.