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Old 01-30-2014, 02:52 PM   #41
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Years ago at MegaCorp we moved into new offices and the first rule was no photos in the cubicles except for those of the immediate family. We had a Mexican-American fellow working there who put up a photo of what can only be described as Hollywood's image of a Latino gang - switchblade knives, chains, bandanas, gang symbols, nasty tattos, etc. He was never questioned about it. Another guy had a photo of his wife (maybe? maybe not?) in a dress slit up to here and cut down to there.
I think I would have put up a picture of my "eccentric uncle":
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:03 PM   #42
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I had a tech support guy in a office for a SW problem on my PC. So I leave and go to the cafe for some tea ... come back and I "catch" him cleaning out the change in my desk drawer. Had a hand FULL of pennies stuffed half way into his pocket. All I said was "wow" and he ran away.

So I call the anonomous tip line and leave his name, my name and what I witnessed. 2 days later he was canned. Apparently tech services had been trying to figure out who was stealing office supplies (including unopened OS and SW packages) from the department for months. Crimes solved.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:16 PM   #43
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I've been trying to think of some that would be safe to tell and still protect the uh, innocent.

Here's one. I worked in a police department and as one might imagine when things got too slow a group of creative, energetic, young men are going to find things to do. The pranks were endless. The telephone on the desk staffed by the (usually) female desk clerks had a red button that immediately connected to the 911 call center.

On one especially slow night at about 3:30 AM one of the guys decided it would be funny to wake up the desk clerk who was clearly having trouble keeping her eyes open. So he left the station via a door she could see, walked down one level through the parking garage and entered via the basement door there. In his locker he had a couple of dozen bottle rockets and brought some of those upstairs via the stairway at the opposite end of the station.

Silently moving to a room adjacent to the office where the desk clerk was he laid them out on the floor aimed through a doorway at the unsuspecting desk clerk, and lit the fuses. The poor girl immediately punched the 911 button and informed the dispatcher that the station was under attack. It took a while for the chaos to clear and the laughter to stop.

The night shift commander was not amused.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:47 PM   #44
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Years ago I worked for a company that often had revealing advertisements but in the office the only pictures of people who were scantly clad permitted in cubicles had to be under the age of 2.

The EEO Feds came to audit and I was tasked with taking them on a tour. I told them that the only thing they would see that bordered on obscene were our ads. They smiled, took the tour, and at the end complained that they couldn't find the naughty ads.

That same employer had a blue collar workforce in one division that employed a lot of Asian refugees. Their bathroom stalls had graphics to ask them not to stand on the commodes.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:04 PM   #45
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Wow, where to begin!? When I joined Megacorp, it was at an ancient manufacturing site which was JUST beginning to hire research/development/QC types. My first lab was in an old production building (functioning steam pipes overhead and bare concrete floors.) Typical noise level was pushing 80 dbA. Needless to say, it did not look or feel "professional" - even compared to some of the old labs I was used to at my university.

Most of the technical staff was made up of long-service production operators - all male ca. 1970. So, as EEOC, et. Al. regs, etc. came into play, female staff were added to the lab(s) and to the production areas. The stories (personally witnessed as well as related to all willing to listen) would fill an entire thread.

After a few years, we had achieved some semblance of professionalism at the site (which led to a somewhat "us and them" situation - but that, too is another story.) By then, there were upwards of 250 professionals on site with perhaps another 1000 production workers.

At one of our quarterly meetings (more or less required attendance by all "professionals") our "big boss" as we often called our plant manager, was waxing philosophical about why Megacorp (upwards of 20,000 folks at the time) had not made "plan" for the quarter. He mentioned a number of belt tightening measures that would be instituted at our plant site. Nothing surprising: Restricted business travel, freeze on equipment purchases, moving approved purchases into the next quarter or year, curtailed team-building and on-site education courses, etc. etc. The USUAL. He finished with this: From then, forward, a log would be placed at all copy machines and each person making any copy(s) would be required to state the business reason for EVERY copy (including spoiled copies). The boss, not usually noted for his humor received a spontaneous and uproarious outburst of laughter which continued for many seconds - until the big boss's glower finally made the very last chuckler realize - HE WASN'T KIDDING. When you could hear a pin drop. He stomped out.

The new provision lasted about 6 weeks. We assumed that cooler heads had calculated the cost of documentation was far greater than the frivolous copies being made. Heaven knows, there are eight million stories at Megacorp. This has been one of them.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:43 PM   #46
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OK, I have another. . . .

While working for USDL I had occasion to audit a lumber mill. They had started hiring women in the production area so constructed a ladies' toilet... but provided a peep-hole from the men's toilet. When that was discovered there was a huge to-do. I don't know how many guys were fired or how they settled with the women but it wasn't pretty.

Then there was an HR Manager in a heavy manufacturing company who when asked why there were no Blacks employed said, "We hired one once and he didn't work out." To which I retorted, "How many Whites have you hired who didn't work out?"
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:02 PM   #47
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At MegaMotors, we had foot washers and also sink nose blowers. Evidently in some cultures, rather than use a Kleenex, you turn on the water in the sink and blow away. At the risk of being culturally insensitive, I found both practices .
It's more a poverty thing than a cultural thing. In many poor countries there's no money to buy toilet tissue. Imagine having to buy kleenex and paper towels.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:12 PM   #48
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Oh the stuff that happens in the lumber industry. I worked as a 'skidder' for a couple of years. Thats the guy that drags the logs/trees out of the woods after there cut. Think I was 17-18, not wise to insanity.

The insane guy that was the 'cutter'(fells the trees) was supposed to help getting the logs in the wire ropes, so they could be pulled out. He didn't do that, so he'd get way ahead of me. To kill time he'd go back in the woods to smoke a 'special' cigarette.

After that he thought it was funny to fell trees as close to me as possible. Not funny to me.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:42 PM   #49
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At MegaMotors, we had foot washers and also sink nose blowers. Evidently in some cultures, rather than use a Kleenex, you turn on the water in the sink and blow away. At the risk of being culturally insensitive, I found both practices .
Just walk down any city street. All kinds of mucus,-nasal, bronchial, and who knows what all on the sidewalks. I'd prefer they blow, hack whatever it in a sink somewhere. I'm sure not going to be tempted to go barefoot anytime soon. Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever seen anyone on a construction site with a handkerchief or Kleenex.

Ha
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:44 PM   #50
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Just walk down any city street. All kinds of mucus,-nasal, bronchial, and who knows what all on the sidewalks. I'd prefer they blow, hack whatever it in a sink somewhere. I'm sure not going to be tempted to go barefoot anytime soon. Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever seen anyone on a construction site with a handkerchief or Kleenex.

Ha
Ah, the pleasures of a center city abode!
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:20 PM   #51
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My job was such that I had to regularly meet with our client-business owners. On one such occasion, when I was still fairly new, I noticed the client pointing a sword at me.
(Actally he was proudly displaying one of his company's commemorative products, but I didn't realize that right away.)
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:52 AM   #52
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A couple. I worked a manufacturing job while finishing up my degree at night school. This was a huge floor and there was one restroom in the middle of the floor. Really was just plywood walls open at the top and bottom. This is back when the marked cartons with stencils. The stencil ink was the exact color as the toilet seats. Every couple weeks you would hear a scream followed by expletives and you knew someone had got "stenciled". This was permanent ink and you probably wore your brand for a long while.

The second was at MegaCorp. We were having a big snowstorm overnight and people were late getting in to work. Our division VP came out and asked if I could help him. He had shoveled his driveway and forgot his suitcoat at home. He was presenting to the company GM's at 8:30. He asked if I could find him somebodies coat to wear. Our sales manager weighed over 300 pounds and that day had worn a bright canary yellow and blue plaid sports coat. Our VP wore it to his presentation.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:47 AM   #53
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What I've always wondered is, what kinds of noises would the men have emitted if they'd noticed me?
I worked in France for many years. It was normal to be in the gents, standing at the urinal and doing ones business, when a cleaning lady would come in.

"Bonjour Madam."

"Bonjour Monsieur. Ca va?"

"Oui, ca va bien Madam."



Comme d'habitude, really.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:12 AM   #54
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At megacorps, we used to pull all-nighters prior to a review the following morning with the Board of Directors to show new products.

Drawings, along side the products, were displayed on large boards called 'A Frames'. These were quite large, 24 foot long by 7 foot high, and were shaped (form an end view) like the letter 'A' allowing us to use both sides. They were also enclosed on the ends so materials could be stored inside.

Following one all-nighter, a colleague and I were standing at one side while others were giving their part of the presentation when we noticed one of the end doors seemingly open by itself. There followed a pair of eyes peering out. The eyes disappeared back inside, and the door closed silently. After being up all night, one of the staff had decided to take a kip inside the A frame, had overslept, and the voices from the presentation had woken them up. How inconsiderate of us.

In a slightly funnier episode, we used to send staff all over the world to trade shows. When they came back, they usually gave a presentation to the other staff (mixed genders) on what was shown, complete with photos. We had one 'male member' (wait for it) who was giving such a presentation which also included shots of his hotel room. As is normal, hotel rooms have mirrors in them. Reflected in the mirror in one shot was a full length view of the 'male member' as he took the shot,......stark naked.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:29 AM   #55
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Another blinds story from the workplace...
I was hired to work as secretary in a very small office. I had one window and arranged my work area so I was facing it and could enjoy what limited view there was. The other woman in the adjoining office saw I had RAISED THE BLINDS! No, no, no! Anyone outside could see we had a COMPUTER! And promptly reached over my head and closed the blind. This seemed a bid of a violation of "personal space" to me and I mentioned the incident to the former secretary. She said, "Oh that's nothing. At the end of every day, she would completely rearrange my desk. I'm left handed, so every morning, I would have to arrange it back."

Just one of many issues that arose from a control freak coworker.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:58 AM   #56
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That same employer had a blue collar workforce in one division that employed a lot of Asian refugees. Their bathroom stalls had graphics to ask them not to stand on the commodes.
I've seen that same issue come up in a white collar office where the Asians weren't refugees by any means. We called them "dive bombers."
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:09 AM   #57
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Once DH and I jumped in a taxi at midnight in uptown Chicago and the driver was a very embarrassed Vice President at the 100 person company where I worked, where everyone knew everyone. He did not acknowledge me and kept his gaze straight ahead the whole uncomfortable trip. His taxi certificate was displayed in the backseat with his name on it, too. I never told anyone at the office about it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:52 PM   #58
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One of the EVPs at Megacorp had a list of 'forbidden words'. You couldn't use any of these words verbally, in documents, or comments in code(yea they scanned code for forbidden words in comments in QC). Doesn't sound too bad, obvious offensive words were verboten, but then there was his personal list.

The one that irked me was 'created', couldn't use that word ever. Why, because only God can create.
The DBAs explained SQL syntax for 'create table', they finally got an exception.

This had gone to and was backed by HR, EEOC police etc. Really you get a 7 figure bonus and are micro managing the non - offensive words people use, what a waste.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:17 PM   #59
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It's more a poverty thing than a cultural thing. In many poor countries there's no money to buy toilet tissue. Imagine having to buy kleenex and paper towels.
Poverty I understand. These guys were PhDs that had lived in the USA for years.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:45 PM   #60
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Poverty I understand. These guys were PhDs that had lived in the USA for years.
Old habits die hard.
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