So tell me: Carpoo

My talented brother Joe is launching his new business:  Blue Times Blue Web Design, Web Development, and Logo Creation.  Check it out!  Nice work, fair prices, and such a nice young man.

In the meantime, he started driving a taxi to bring in some cash.  He sent us this list of memorable quotes from his first day driving:

(1) At the intersection of 27th Avenue and Indian School:

“Ooh. Ooh. Come on, light. Come on, light, turn. I do not want this baby to be born at 27th and Indian School.”

(2) Woman who has just picked up her daughter from school, and is on the phone with said daughter’s father:
“So you know what I want you to do for me? I want you to kiss my mutha f—- ass. Can you do that for me, n—-?” (to me:) “Yeah, here’s good. Thank you so much!”
(3) Lady with a walker:
“And he said, ‘Do you like gypsies?’ and I said, ‘No, I do not like gypsies. I hate gypsies.'”

(4) Guy from in front of the barbecue place:

“So when they came in to bust up her identity theft stuff, they found my little pot farm too.”
And my favorite:
(5) Guy on his way to court:
“So I took the golf club and, you know, just kind of a reflex, I bashed in the side of his van.”

When I was telemarketing (shut up, it was a tough economy.  Don’t you judge me!)  I had a list of names that cracked me up so bad, I totally blew my chance to convince them take advantage of the opportunity to have their carpets deep-cleaned for a low, introductory price.  One guy was named “Orestes Anastasia.”  It that doesn’t sound funny, just imagine that it’s really hot, you’re 17, and you’ve eaten nothing but black coffee and Mike and Ikes all day.  FUNNY!

One woman got very offended at my offer, and huffily informed me that the only proper way to clean one’s oriental rug was to wait until it snows, to lay ones carpet face down on said snow, and to pat it.  I have to admit, that sounded better than sending over one of our alert, uniformed attendants.

One guy just told me, “Um, sorry, this is actually an answering machine.”

And then there was the time (fairly close to my last day, as I recall) when I tried to say “carpet shampoo, ” and it came out “car poo.”

Didn’t make that sale.

So tell me:  what do you remember from past jobs? Did you carry around a slip of paper so you could write the weirdest parts down?  Tell tell tell!


  1. Well, as a nurse, I could tell you about diaper blowouts that would Blow Your Mind (and I know you have tons of kids). Not to mention the sad-funny things people with dementia do.

    But instead I’ll just ruin hotels for other people and say that when I worked as a receptionist I was always totally appalled at just how many adults will thoroughly soak a bed if they’re drunk, and then lie about it.

  2. Sorry no funny job stories. But about the woman who pats her oriental rg in the snow, I’d have been tempted to ask her: “So how do people in hot, snowless climates clean their oriental rugs?” Not much snow in many of the places those rugs originate.

  3. I worked as a “supervisor” at the campus recreation facility while in college. There was no slam dunking allowed on the basketball hoops. The college football players liked to play basketball there in the offseason. They liked to dunk. I decided I was not paid enough to go tell them to stop it.

    One summer I worked on a survey crew. We were working on a bridge replacement and I had to go down in the muck near the river and hold the level rod. One of the guys on the crew loaned me his rubber boots, which slipped on over my work boots. Unfortunately, he had small feet, and one of the boots got stuck on my foot and I could not get it off once I was finished. I had to sit there on the seat of the survey van while two grown men pulled at that muddy boot until my big ol’ clown foot was freed.

  4. I wasn’t surprised to see that Rebekka had a funny hotel story. My impression is that hotel employees have LOTS of stories. I got this impression after a friend of ours recently got locked out of his hotel room completely naked. When he went to the front desk to get a new key (motioning to the girl at the front desk from behind a trash can) she was all nonchalant about it and said that it happens all the time. I’m still not clear on how, exactly, this could possibly happen.

    I once worked at Foley’s (now Macy’s) and came in one day to hear that someone had crapped in the changing room and used some white Calvin Klein shorts as toilet paper. Evidently this, also, was fairly common.

  5. I also did telemarketing for a few weeks one summer. They put my on selling pantyhose the second week. Yep, we were calling past clients of a pantyhose-of-the-month type club. My script actually contained the phrase ‘revolutionary butt-lifting panels’.

    Anyway, a lot of those calls were sad because the client was deceased – the list we were working from was about 11 years old. But some were just strange. I can’t tell you how many woman told me, ‘honey, i’m retired. i’m never wearing pantyhose again’. LOL. But the strangest was when I called for E. Smith and asked to talk to Mrs. Smith, the man at the other end of the line wouldn’t let me, said his wife’s name didn’t start with an E and she had never been a member, nor had any woman in their family. But his name was Ed, as I found out just before he hung up. That made me raise an eyebrow. 😉

  6. Doesn’t exactly fit the category, but it is a funny work story.

    One summer I worked as the receptionist for the distribution center of the Polly-O string cheese company in Queens. Part of my job was to buzz the people in. There’d be the occasional crack fiend, whom I was supposed to ignore. Basically I let in truck drivers who were going in and out to drop off cash deposits from their deliveries to bodegas.

    At the end of my very first day, there was a clean cut guy at the door, so I buzzed him in. First thing I see is the guy has a gun in his hand. I jumped under the desk. The guy leans over the desk, and says in a completely calm and disinterested voice, “Brinks guy. Here for the daily pickup.”

    Who knew the Brinks guys are required to have their guns drawn when picking up cash?

  7. I am currently working in a hotel as a night auditor. So, yeah, I see the drunks and the things they do. I’ve never had a naked individual but our weekend auditor has. I work during the week when business people cheat on their spouses.

    I used to work customer service for a large, national cellphone company that supposedly never stopped working for you, including if you were on the toilet. People would call in and be doing their business. You’d hear suspicious sounds and suddenly, a toilet flush. Then there were the people I worked with there including one woman who sat behind me who was in technical support. I remember one day she had an elderly person on the phone who somehow ended up with a Blackberry that they had no idea how to use. (I seem to remember the story being that her son thought it was a good idea for her to have this particular Blackberry.) As the call got more and more frustrating for the technician, she muted herself out and said, “God, just take me now!” A second technician who was listening in on the call backed away and said, “God I know I’m connected to her through the phone, don’t miss and take me.”

  8. I worked at a grinders and pizza shop in college. After we would take someone’s order at the counter or by phone, we would pin it up and yell “Order up!!” so that someone would come fix it. Well, during a particularly hectic shift I grabbed the ringing phone and screamed “Order up!!” into the receiver and then hung up. Then I realized what I had done and totally avoided the phone for the rest of the shift. LOL

    The most asinine thing I ever encountered was at my last paid position when my supervisor told our section (of which I was the head) that we were doing our jobs (payment entry) too well so we were ordered to stop doing our job for three weeks. It had something to do with how much money the company could borrow from the bank. Then after three weeks they told us that we had to make up all the work within one week because the plan had backfired. It’s no wonder they were shut down by the FBI for Medicare fraud (after I had quit thankfully).

  9. I worked in the toy department of a nice department store several years ago. We had a big display of Barbies that were staggered up and down step as if it were a Miss America pageant. A little girl accidentally tipped the top Barbie and they fell like dominoes. I didn’t want her to feel bad, so I set them all up again and then did it myself while laughing and talking to the family. The mother looked at me like I was insane, even though we all laughed about it.

    The family went on to shop in other departments, but a while later I heard the little girl say to her mom as she past me again,”Mommy, I want to talk to the funny crazy lady again.”

    I loved selling toys!

  10. My brother, my then-future-husband, my college roommate and I all worked a temp job one summer transferring Workman’s Comp. paperwork to computer files. Dr. Shashi and Dr. Murthy kept appearing, and though not particularly amusing names on their own, we riffed them into a weird “Dr. Frothy Murthy, Shashi Murthy, Hashi Frothy Murthy Furthy” deal that seemed rather funny at the time.

    I worked at McDonalds for years as a teenager and I think I’ve blocked a great deal of that out to stay sane. The people I worked with were stranger than the customers. There was one seemingly sweet, reserved, pretty lady in her mid 40’s who I thought was really nice. One day she brought in a picture of herself and her husband in their Halloween costumes. They were dressed as a prostitue and a giant condom. It was as convincing as it was shocking.


    And tell Joe that I really like his logo. And tell him I’ve designed quite a few logos myself in the past, so that should mean something special to him. Tell him that and a quarter will get him a cup of coffee somewhere where they still sell it so cheap.

  12. Some of the earlier comments have reminded me of other stories. I was teaching public speaking at a local community college. A student told me she wanted to give her speech on creating a personal web site. I had no idea how personal the web site was, so I said , “yes”. She proceeded to show to my class herself in varying stages of undress. what was so funny was that my colleague was teaching female anatomy on the other side of the classed in class room. When class was over, we laughed so hard about the best visual aids for her class coming up on the screen in mine. I have ever since told my students that all speeches are “G” rated!!!

  13. I also used to work as a telemarketer, and once had to call a “Bud Wiser.” Being 19 and silly, I thought that was hilarious. The strangest thing for me, though, was when I worked in a bakery and had – almost every day – elderly customers come up to us and ask us to scrape the frosting from doughnuts and brownies because they were diabetic.

  14. I’m a nurse who works in the ER in an urban hospital every weekend. The strangest patients we get are the ones who DON’T have a strange story/background/disease/family etc. They’re one in a thousand!

  15. I worked at an invention marketing company, which gave me plenty of weird work stories. I now work in social science research, where among other things I get to assign numeric codes to people’s jobs (what’s a “floor person”?) and psychotic delusions.

    But my job with the most weirdness per hour was one summer in college, when the office where I was doing clerical work loaned me to their affiliated laboratory for two days of extreme filing. The mad scientist in charge of the lab saved and filed EVERYTHING, including the ads that came with his credit-card statements, flyers for events that had already happened and weren’t related to his work or interests, and paper napkins with both equations and gravy on them. One of his file cabinets was underneath a leaking pipe, and rust had eaten a hole through the top of it, but he still wanted stuff filed in the wet folders in there. (The lab was studying the effectiveness of various paints for steel, so perhaps it was an experiment?) The lab coffeepot sat on a shelf below a row of identical brown glass jars with black-and-white labels saying things like, “calcium carbonate,” “muriatic acid,” and “non-dairy creamer,” and the guys would reach up there for creamer without looking.

    Good luck to Joe!

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