Regardless of what they tell you, work isn’t always a place filled with sane people making logical decisions. But it is that rare mix of protocol, organizational hierarchy and bizarre personalities that make work the greatest environment for one liners and funny phrases.
I’ve Never Bid on a Job Like That Before
While working manual labor in a factory, the company I worked for experienced an unusual slowdown in workflow. To compensate for the extra downtown, the Department Manager decided we could do maintenance work, like painting some of the equipment. But, the glitch in the system was the way work had been previously divided during the busy time.
When we were busy, the workflow went like this: First shift spent the day trying to finish their work and the work that third shift was unable to complete. Second shift (which I worked), did the 2nd shift workload and occasionally a small amount that first shift did not complete (since they were really trying to do the work of two shifts).
And for workers on third shift their main challenge was winning the nightly game of 500 rummy — or the euchre tournament.
Needless to say, first and second shift wasn’t overly thrilled to take on maintenance work. But our shift supervisor was tasked with the duty of selling the idea to his crew and asked us how long we thought it would take to paint a particular piece of equipment.
My co-worker, who I’ll call Ed, started in.
“So is this a bidding process? Does the low bid win?”
“I just need a time estimate,” the shift supervisor said (several times).
“Well, I don’t know,” Ed continued, “I’ve never bid on a job like this before. I just wouldn’t be comfortable placing a bid.”
We laughed, the supervisor did not, and even though no bid was ever placed, we, like first shift won the contract anyway.
Random Phrases I’ve Heard From Co-Workers
- I like to think I put the dead in dedication.
- Have a nice day — if not, try to ruin someone else’s
- You and I are the only smart ones here — and sometimes I wonder about you