Today’s post is by Technical Support Specialist Chris Martin.
“Hi. I would like to apply for the application.”
The kind, courteous voice of the female administrative assistant continued, “You may come in and apply any time Monday through Thursday between the hours of nine to eleven AM or two to three in the afternoon.”
“Is it all right if I bring in my own application?”
“Do you mean resume? Yes.”
The male caller started to reply with a slight drawl in his speech, “No, I don’t know how to write one of those. But, it would be easier if I brought in my own application.”
“…Ok. Actually we have applications for you to fill out when you come in to apply.”
“I will bring my own.”
The administrative assistant took a deep breath and with much slower controlled speech went on, “Sir, I believe you are confusing what an application and a resume are so just come in and we will take care of you.”
The man replied, “I went to school and know what a resume is. I just don’t know how to make one, so I will bring my own application. Where are you located?”
“We are located at 303 Lynnhaven Parkway, Suite 100, in Virginia Beach.”
The man went on, “That is what I thought. I was looking in the window there over the weekend and the sign says, ‘Reliance Staffing Accepting Apps.’ I am bringing my own.”
“Uh….” Deep breath, “Sir…”
The man started laughing, “I am just joking. This is Chris with COATS. I just wanted to welcome you aboard with Reliance in a way that you wouldn’t forget me.”
Yes, we both laughed about it and she handled herself very well. The conversation was too close to what many have experienced in her position to even question whether it was real or not. Even today, we sometimes remind ourselves of that first introduction.
Office jokes and pranks almost never go off as intended. I came from a long line of practical jokesters in my family and am very cautious and reserved when it comes to pranks at this stage.
An example of one going wrong was back in the mid-90s. I had a meeting with Daniel Snyder and a number of his staff at Snyder Communication at their office outside of Washington, D.C. For those NFL fans, you might recognize Daniel Snyder as the current owner of the Washington Redskins. This was before he bought the team.
I worked in IT at the time, implementing and supporting networks for clients in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C and Maryland. Before leaving the office in Richmond, Virginia, I put a “Blue Screen of Death” screen saver on one of our companies servers as a joke. To prevent anything from seriously going wrong, I let one other person in the office know what was done. He never got called out of town, ever, for anything… until that day.
You all have seen that blue screen with the white lettering describing the critical errors the system is not able to recover from… without rebooting. Well this screen saver was set to come on after 15 minutes of idleness and wouldn’t go away unless you hit a key on the keyboard. It would not affect production or our networks in any way and would be noticed only if someone was standing in front of the server’s monitor or remotely logged into it.
After several hours and more than 150 miles away from arm’s reach, I received quite a few pages on my beeper (90s flashback) in a short period of time from a few different people at the office, all of them above me on the corporate ladder.
I was soon to learn that the division director, over the programming department of our company, had shut the server off at the switch numerous, numerous times until he determined that it was a screen saver and not an error that prompted him to take down our company’s file server. To his own embarrassment, and soon to be mine, the file server was shut off at the switch so many times in a way that could, but thankfully didn’t, cause harm to the company’s files or the server itself. It was not a good day for me, my boss who was called in even though he was home sick, or the company.
Again, office jokes and pranks almost never go off as intended. Think ‘restraint’ come April first before you are sacrificed by your own coworkers.