Phrases I Heard At Work — That Still Make Me Smile

DSC_3637Work environments are as varied as the people in them, and over the years I have heard some great lines — most are R rated, but here are some PG ones that still make me smile.

So How Do You Think You’re Gonna Like It Here?

I was working hard manual labor (is there any other kind?) at a factory when an older man (50s, but it seemed so old when I was 25), asked me after a particularly hard shift, “so, how do you think you’re gonna like it here?”

“Not real sure,” I replied hesitantly, uncertain what his point was.

“How about  you,” I countered.

Oh, I’m really gonna like it here, he said smiling.

The phrase became a catchphrase there — whenever someone was reprimanded by a boss or simply had a bad day — someone would always ask the rhetorical question — and the reply was always the same: Oh, I’m really gonna like it here.

A Little Apathy Goes A Long Ways

This pithy saying appeared on a whiteboard one day at work. The board was strategically placed by management days earlier and was supposed to be filled with inspirational quotes or examples of good work (you know people being ‘caught’ doing something good). The phrase had its desired impact — the whiteboard went away.

That’s Not What I had In Mind

A co-worker was charged with the task of creating a metal workstation which consisted of framing out some metal, welding and then painting the creation. When my co-worker presented the finished project to the boss, who was an engineer, the boss said, “well, that’s not what I had in mind.” Despite being an engineer, the boss had never even taken a moment to sketch out a basic idea of what he was looking for. Needless to say, the co-worker never volunteered for a project like that again.

The Job has Evolved Since It Was Posted

I actually heard this one during an internal job interview. Although I can be quick witted, I had no comeback, just a realization that some rules (including Federal laws) can be overwritten during crunch time when someone else has already been promised the position.

Speaking of job interviews, one of the most uncomfortable and oddest interviews I ever experienced occurred when the topic at hand drifted to church (which seems like an area best to avoid in an interview). The interview went into full blown TMI when the man interviewing me, said, “Yeah, my first wife left me for the choir director at church.”

I mean, really, what can you do with a line like that — you just have to nod and smile.

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Categories: American Workplace

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