Employees on Reddit were asked: “What is the most ridiculous thing you have ever had to explain to a superior at your job?” These are some of the best answers.
1. My old idiot boss actually asked me if Jews celebrate Thanksgiving.
2. My boss (knowing I’m gay) asked me this: “So, if it’s a matter of the sexual satisfaction of putting one, um, thing inside another, um thing. Why not just use a woman’s, um, thing?”
3. Had to explain to a coworker that English is spoken in the majority of Canada. He had thought that French was the native language. Every time he talked to a Canadian he informed them of the perfect English they spoke.
4. I once had to explain to a supervisor that, despite my native Michigan being pretty far north, I am in fact an American citizen, and not Canadian as he had thought.
5. Telling a manager that mixing bleach and ammonia might not be the best option for cleaning the floor of a crowded restaurant. She threatened to fire me for not doing so. Needless to say, her boss called her an idiot.
6. I work in IT. My former boss asked me to set up a new computer for some weird project. I asked what operating system she wanted on it. She had no idea what an operating system was. She was the IT manager. I was honestly offended at the fact that she was the one in charge.
7. Former boss thought the word plot could only mean a place to bury a body. When I told her it had many definitions and showed her on dictionary.com, she called me an idiot and said that she doesn’t need to look up words she already knows.
I’m still plotting my revenge.
8. My current manager didn’t know what the holocaust was [and] just last week asked what Christianity was. In an altercation I had to explain what I meant when I threatened constructive dismissal and she accused me of making it up. She’s been a manager for ten years.
And by far my favourite, had to be told, at the age of 35 that dragons didn’t exist after she exclaimed “it’s funny how you don’t see them” and then “but didn’t they hang around with dinosaurs?”
9. A crew chief on a job of mine last week asked me if my girlfriend was still working with “authentic” kids. I informed him that yes, my girlfriend is still working with autistic kids, and no, none of them are fake.
10. No sir, I do not have to save more than once, for good measure. And the reveal codes don’t print. They help you see your mistakes. You can center the text, you don’t have to hit space a hundred million times. If you use a table, then your figures stay organized. No, Microsoft doesn’t hate the working man. I seriously doubt that they are out to get you because you didn’t upgrade to 2010.
11. In my time as a cashier/dish washer (at a restaurant/grocery store) I needed to mop the floors everyday but my boss refused to let me stay an extra 15-30 minutes after the store closed to mop. This meant that I had to mop while customers were still wandering around.
This, predictably, does not have the desired effect. They would have been better off having me mop the floors never. After a week of this type of mopping my boss calls me into the main office.
Boss: The floors aren’t getting cleaned properly.
Me: I know, I asked if I could stay after and you wouldn’t let me.
Boss: Blank, clueless, witless stare
Me: If you let me stay after I could mop the floor after everyone leaves.
Boss: You know the floors haven’t been getting cleaned properly?
Me: Yes. . . Yes I know. If you let me stay longer. . .
Boss: We can’t pay you overtime.
Me: Then the floors can’t. . .
Boss: The floors need to be cleaned better.
My boss just repeated the problem at me until I felt dejected enough to just leave.
12. Pristine. I used the word pristine discussing backing up some files…as in “the files will be in pristine condition.” He stopped the meeting. Got angry. He thought I was making the word up. Said he never heard of that word before. Told me not to use made-up words in a meeting or I’d be written up.
13. While reading a local newspaper report that the police were not able to immediately tell the sex of human remains found in a wooded area of our city, my boss wondered “Why don’t they just count the ribs?” to know if it’s a man or a woman.
It took some time to explain that no, men do not have one less rib than women.
14. I had to explain to my boss that light, does not in fact “create” dust but does “attract it.”
He was completely convinced that overhead lights for the concession stand created the dust that settled on the machines and registers. I explained this to him after he said to me “this light makes a lot of dust you need to wipe it off.” To which I was like “what.”
I explained to him the conversion of mass, how matter can neither be created nor destroyed, only altered and he came back with “If light doesn’t create dust then why is my front porch dustier than my back where the sun is less.” I said “Then explain how dust gets in your attic where there IS no light.” He was stumped.
He didn’t believe me and got haughty and annoyed that he was being schooled by someone half of his age. To this stay he still doesn’t understand it and continues to tell employees to “wipe off the dust that the light created.”
15. My boss has lived in Portland, a city famous for its pride in its microbrews, his entire life. One Friday our company went out to a pub that, as it turned out, exclusively served microbrews. Our boss, despite his upbringing, only drinks Coors Lite. Only. Exclusively. If a place only has Bud Light, he doesn’t drink it.
But this time he said “what’s the lightest beer you have,” and the waitress described “the lager” they had on tap. Our boss had never heard the word “lager” in his life, and we had to explain that the drink he imbibed almost every day was just that.
Not extremely ridiculous, but strange for someone in his mid-40s who claims to love beer.
16. My boss is a very sheltered, very conservative man from a very small town in Wisconsin. He was preparing to take some potential clients out to lunch who were Jewish, and was freaking out about where to take them. He said he had to make sure there was no pork on the menu because he didn’t want them to have, “an allergic reaction or something”.
I froze and slowly looked at him like this before explaining to him the fact that their bodies can actually eat pork, but make a conscious choice to not eat it. I had to literally explain the biblical origins of following a kosher diet to him before he understood. I helped him find a restaurant that had a kosher menu and all was right in the world, but I was left shocked that he didnt understand something like that.
17. I had to explain to my boss that it wasn’t expected nor typical for every single meeting to also include a small buffet of food. She had a PhD and zero work history and only had her orientation as a reference point for meetings. She would have me put out coffee, tea, cookies, half sandwiches and desserts for every single meeting we had, even if it was only us. Gotta love academia!
18. My boss swore up and down that helium was explosive. I had to explain to him in a room full of engineers the difference between helium and hydrogen. He has a PhD in stats and has been in manufacturing for YEARS.
19. Last week i had to explain to our general manager that the “little paper clip on the email thingy” is used to attach a document. Then I had to explain what it means to attach a document. He is allowed to run a store that profits upwards of 3 million a year.
20. My boss thought that Iraq and Afghanistan were the same place. Goof ball started some messy stuff in Iraq from that one. He’s not my boss anymore, but the guy who’s been in charge for the last few years hasn’t fixed it yet.
21. My manager actually thought you could get AIDS from shaking hands with someone. Then again, I was in high school and she was my manager at a shoe store.
22. Just last week I had to explain to my boss that me having two computer monitors does not use “more internet”. I couldn’t keep a straight face during that conversation.
23. Going to school in Colorado, from North Dakota, had to explain to my boss that no, it’s not always snowing in ND. And despite the movie (“Fargo”, where I’m from) not everyone talks like that.
24. My former boss was a raw vegan (though he didn’t start that way… that was a development while I worked there). So through his progression from vegetarian to vegan, he would tell us that he just couldn’t eat eggs because they were chicken abortions.
The first time he told me this I was just like “yeah yeah ok whatever.” But after he mentioned it a few more times, I finally explained to him how chicken eggs are not abortions, because they’re unfertilized to begin with, and through his reasoning, that meant that I, as a female, essentially have an abortion every month.
He still refused to believe me, even after I explained the process.
25. Last boss at my last fast food job was 19 and… ignorant. We’ll just leave it at that.
After interviewing someone who I believe would have been a great employee, he threw the application in the trash because the candidate had (extremely well-cared for) dreadlocks.
His reasoning: People with dreadlocks don’t wash their hair, therefore they do not shower and are unhygienic. I argued with him and he told me that I was the idiot. I provided facts (I loathe ignorance) and he still refused to believe me.
I quit not long after. I regret nothing.
26. I once had to explain to my boss that the numbers 5-75 and the notches in between on the walls of our pool represented the feet in 25 yards. I’m a lifeguard, he’s the pool supervisor and coach of a college team.
27. Working in a retirement home my Boss says to me, “People who spit in burgers you know, that’s awful – that’s how you get AIDS.”
While we can all agree spitting in someone’s burger should be punishable by death, having to explain to a 50 year old man that you don’t get AIDS that way was pretty incredible. I was 17 at the time, so all of our sex ed in 2001 was basically AIDS – how you can and can’t get it.
His wife was famous for saying she could ‘feel’ the mental-boost from Smart H20 (remember that stuff?) and when someone made shoe prints on the ceiling, she asked who walked in the ceiling.
28. I’m gay. My manager once asked me if I got turned on when I saw myself naked in the mirror. I had to explain to him that it simply doesn’t work like that.
29. Last week, my supervisor asked me over to her desk, saying there was a problem with her outlook and maybe I can help. Just so you know, I’m not in IT or anything, I just know more than her about computers.
I go over there and ask what the problem is, and she says a bunch of her folders in outlook disappeared a while ago and now she needs to use them “for filing things” and doesn’t know how to get them back or if they’re gone forever.
“…click that plus sign next to your inbox.”
Yeah. Her inbox needed to be expanded. She was so happy when all of her folders magically reappeared.
30. While waiting around for other people to show up I saw my boss staring intently at a table with a bunch of tortillas on it (We were at the food section of some store). He just stood there and kept on staring. I assumed he had spaced out or was thinking of something. After a few minutes he turned around and asked, “Is this food?” We then had to explain to him what a tortilla is.