Category Archives: Work

But He Says He’s Not Racist!

Office boy:  “My brother in law got a teaching job in a town with a lot of Sudanese people.  I told him, ‘I hope you like the smell!'”

Me (blatantly ignoring him):  “Jen, do you have the new number for the tenant in apartment #8?”

Office boy:  “There’s going to be a lot of immigrants, so I said to him, ‘I hope you like the smell!’  Mom, did you hear what I said to Jack?  ‘I hope you like the smell!'”

Me:  “Oh my god, yes, I heard you!  We all heard you.  I was giving you a chance to act like you never said it.”

Office boy:  “Wow, someone from the building on Davidson Street said that kids from the housing complex next door have been throwing rocks at her door.  Here’s the weird part, though – it was the white kids!  It wasn’t even the Somalian kids.  The white kids were doing it!”


Me to Boss Lady:  “Friends of your mother are helping a refugee family get acclimated in the area.  They applied for an apartment, but we haven’t offered it to them because of the lack of references.  However, they think it is because of their skin color.”

Boss Lady:  “That’s horrible!  We don’t discriminate.  Now I don’t want to deal with them at all.”

Me:  “Um, yeah, but here’s the real problem.  I went through the applications on your son’s desk.  There are applications there from over a week ago with references that have not been checked.  Those applicants are clearly not originally from this country.  Other, American-born applicants from the past few days have been checked.  We may not be discriminating against this particular family, but a case can be made on a larger scale based on this trend.  I’ve gone over this repeatedly with him for years in every way I can think of – nice, stern, mean, logically, emotionally – and yet it keeps happening.”

Boss Lady:  “Well, can you go over it with him again?  Make it a teaching moment and make sure you aren’t being mean.”

For the sake of the Old Lady Boss and her social life, and also to counteract Office Boy, I offered the apartment to the refugee family the next day.

Office boy:  “I can’t believe we let those people use the race card to get an apartment.”



Boss Lady Steps Up

Boss Lady:  “We need to transfer some money to the savings account to keep it active.  I filled out the deposit slip for you.”

Me:  “Thanks…wait, this isn’t the account number that I have in my computer.”

Boss Lady:  “It’s not?  Hold on, I wrote down a long string of numbers that I saw on the last statement….Here, is this not right?”

Me, looking at statement:  “No, it’s here, the number listed after the word ‘Account.’  It’s a mistake anyone can make.”


Boss Lady, coming out of her office with a huge grin:  “Do you know what I just realized?!  Today’s date is 12-12-12!!!”

Me:  “…..You do know that it is 2016, right?”


Boss Lady:  “It is so weird that all these electric bills are for the same exact amount as last month.”

Me:  “They did?  I didn’t notice that.  I can take a look at those bills?…..OK, no, they are not the same.  Were you looking at the previous billed amount and then the amount paid instead of the new balance?”

Boss Lady:  “Where is that?  Oh… yes.”

(The utility bill format has not changed in years.)



Boss lady walks into the office….

Me:  “Welcome back from your walk.  What’s up?  No crises out there?”

Boss lady (eyes huge):  “I did find a crisis.  The gate to the dumpster at the Wall Street building won’t open.”

Me:  “I’m not sure that fits the definition of crisis.  Not good, but crisis seems a bit overdone.”

Boss lady:  “It IS a crisis.  People won’t be able to throw their trash away.  I’m calling maintenance before trash starts building up at the door.”

Boss lady on maintenance radio:  “Hi, Carl?  The trash gate door won’t open at Wall Street.  I pushed with both hands and couldn’t get it to budge at all.  Can you go up there right away and fix it?”

Carl on radio:  “Yep, can do, but I can tell you right now that it won’t open no matter how many hands you use to push it since it is a pull door.”

Boss lady on radio:  “….. Oh…. um…. it may be all set then.  Thanks.”

And people wonder why I am going crazy

Caller:  “I can’t find the building.  What does it look like?”

Me:  “It is a red brick building with green doors.”

Caller:  “Is it the yellow house?”


Me:  “Do you have any landlord references?”

Caller:  “What is that?”

Me:  “Can you get a reference from someone you’ve rented an apartment from before?”

Caller:  “No.”

Me:  “How about an employer reference?”

Caller:  “What is that?”

Me:  “A job reference… Have you ever had a job?”

Caller:  “Um… not that I know of?”

Me:  “I don’t think I can help you.”


Me:  “How many people will the apartment be for?”

Caller:  “One, as far as I know.”

Me:  “Oh… are you calling on the behalf of someone else?”

Caller:  “No.”


Caller:  “I’m calling you back with my old landlord’s phone number…. here it is….555-555-987.”

Me:  “That’s not enough numbers.  Can you read it again?”

Caller:  “Oh.. 555-555-987…  I guess I’m missing a digit.  Let me call her and find out what it is.”

Calls that aren’t meant for me

Me:  “Hello, Northeast Rentals.”

Woman on phone:  “Hello?  Is this U.S. Cellular?”

Me:  “No, it is not.  You must have the wrong number.”

Caller:  “Oh, sorry about that.”

Me:  “That’s ok.  Have a nice day.   Bye.”

(Three seconds later.)

Me:  “Hello, Northeast Rentals.”

Same woman on phone:  “Is this U.S. Cellular?”

Me:  “No…. This is still Northeast Rentals.”

Woman:  “Is this 555-4430?”

Me:  “Yes, it is, but we’re not U.S. Cellular.  You must have the wrong number.”

Woman:  “Oh, sorry.  Thank you.”

(A minute later)

Me:  “Hello, Northeast Rentals.”

Same woman:  “I called 411 and they said this is the number for U.S. Cellular.  Is this U.S. Cellular?”

Me:  “No ma’m, this is not U.S. Cellular.  You still have the wrong number.”

Woman:  “Then why did 411 give me this number?!”

Me:  “I can’t answer that question.  All I can say is that we’ve had this number since before the existence of cell phones.  If 411 gave you this number, they were mistaken.”

Woman:  “Are you sure?”

Me:  “….”

Woman:  “I’m calling 411 back.”

Me:  “Yes, that is a good idea.”

(I then also called 411.  Although similar, I verified that my number and the local U.S. Cellular store phone were not the same.)


Me:  “Hello, Northeast Rentals.”

Caller:  “I’d like to request a prayer.”

Me:  “…. What?”

Caller:  “I’m calling in a prayer request.”

Me:  “Umm… this is an apartment rental company.  I think you misdialed.”

Caller:  “I’m sorry… the church newsletter has this number printed for the prayer hotline.”

**Turns out a church actually DID print my office number in that week’s newsletter.  Only one parishioner called all week.**

Muses with the Old Man

Old man boss:  “I got rid of all my belts and bought a whole bunch of suspenders!  They are so comfortable, you just attach them to the pants like ‘clip clip’ and they stay up!  No fuss!  Look!  What do you think?”

(He opens up his sports jackets to reveal the suspenders.)

Me:  “They look very nice, but I think that wearing them does not excuse you from zipping and buttoning up your pants.  You need to take care of that before you go back out into public.”


Old man boss:  “I need to call those people about getting my money for the furniture they sold for me.  They were supposed to call me and haven’t yet.”

Me:  “That’s a good idea, they took the furniture almost six months ago.  Why don’t you go upstairs to your office to make the call?”

Old man boss:  “I can do that, but I don’t know their phone number.”

Me:  “We can look that up.  What is the name of the business?”

Old man boss:  “I don’t know.  There might be a guy there named Joe.”

Me:  “Um… can you tell me where they are located?  Maybe a street name?”

Old man boss:  “Yes…. the place was on a street that runs next to one of the big streets through town.”

Me:  “It’s a bit of a big town, sir… let me see your wallet.  Maybe they gave you a business card…… Hmmm, there’s nothing in here that is helpful.”

Old man boss:  “I counted all my money.  If there’s any missing, I’ll know you took it.”

Me:  “No you didn’t and I didn’t, so we’re even.  Is there any chance that there’s information on your desk about the place?”

Old man boss:  “I dunno.  Go look.”

Me:  “Ok….  no, there’s nothing up here, either.”

Old man boss:  “Well, I guess I’m done working for the day.  Give me a yell on my phone when you find their number.”


Old man boss:  “Do you know any swear words?”

Me:  “Yes, sir, I do.”

Old man boss:  “Oh.  Do you ever say them?”

Me:  “Yes, I do.”

Old man boss:  “But not here, right?”

Me:  “Usually not, but sometimes it can’t be prevented.”

Old man boss:  “Oh.  Well, I guess that’s ok.”

Me:  “Besides, I only use the swear words that you taught me.”

Old man boss:   “I know swear words?  I guess so… I don’t say them that much, but none of us are the angels we used to be.  You know, back when I was a young mutt, we couldn’t have sex until after marriage -”

Me:  “And we’re done here.  Coffee break time.”

Seriously people….

Caller:  “I was told that I need to call before my appointment, but the number you gave me to call doesn’t work.”

Me:  “My phone number doesn’t work?”

Caller:  “Yeah.”

Me:  “You’re calling me to say that you can’t call me.”

Caller:  “Um…”

Me:  “Nevermind.”


Caller:  “I’m calling to confirm my 3:00 appointment.”

Me:  “Ok… yes, 3:00 at 85 Wall Street.  She will meet you at the apartment building then.”

Caller:  “What time can I see the apartment?”

Me:  “…The appointment is at 3:00.  She’ll be there at 3:00.  Are you still able to be there at that time?”

Caller:  “I can go there now and call when I get there.”

Me:  “No.  We made the appointment for 3:00.  Will you be there at 3:00 or not?”

Caller:  “Oh, I guess so.”


Caller:  “I’m supposed to see the place at 62 Park Street at 10:30.”

Me:  “We don’t actually have an apartment at 62 Park Street.  We have one at 62 Key Street that we are showing at 10:30.”

Caller:  “Whatever, it’s the same thing.”

Me:  “Yes, except for the part where they are completely different.  Will you be there at 10:30?”

Caller:  “Yeah, I’m going.  When I get to the street, do I take a right or a left?”

Me:  “That depends on where you are.  Just look for the building that has 62 written on it.”


Social worker on phone:  “I called earlier and was told that my client doesn’t qualify for an apartment because she has an eviction on record.  However, she is here now and she is telling me that she has never been evicted.  Where are you getting your information?  You need to disclose your source when you are making decisions based on false information.”

Me:  “Hold on one moment.  I did not speak to you earlier.  Let me pull out the application that we have….”

Social worker:  “I want to get this straightened out immediately.”

Me:  “I understand…. ok, here it is.  On the application we ask the question, ‘Have you ever been evicted?’ and your client wrote ‘Yes.’  That appears to be our source.”

Social worker:  “Oh.”


Caller:  “We have the appointment at 2:00 and you said the address is 9 Washington Street, but there’s no 9 Washington Street.  The apartment must be on 9 Washington Ave.  You have to call the woman showing the apartment to say we’ll be late because you got the address wrong.”

Me:  “No, the apartment is at 9 Washington Street.  If you go to Washington Ave, you will be in the wrong place.”

Caller:  “Well, I don’t see a number 9.  You got the building number wrong.”

Me:  “Wow.  Are you for real?”