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    Category: Family & Kids

    The History Of Photography Doesn’t Quite Click

    | PA, USA | Family & Kids, History, School

    (I have a paid internship at a small, obscure history museum and battlefield. This site is so unknown that most locals don’t even know what war was fought here. A visitor comes in with her bored-looking teenage daughter.)

    Visitor: “Hi! My daughter’s history teacher gave her an assignment to come to a local historical site, and we thought we’d come here!”

    Me: “Great! It’ll be $5 a piece.”

    Visitor: “So, this is a Civil War battlefield, right?”

    Me: “Actually this battlefield was a part of Pontiac’s Rebellion, a Native American uprising that occurred in 1763, after the French and Indian War. If you follow me, I’ll take you back to our 13-minute video about the battle, and Pontiac’s Rebellion. It’s a great synopsis of the history surrounding the museum.”

    Visitor: “Wonderful!”

    (Our theater area is located at the very back of the exhibit, in an area that has blown-up photos of our annual battle re-enactments. I turn the video on.)

    Me: “I will be happy to answer any questions at the end of the video.”

    (At the end of the video, the visitor starts pointing at the re-enactment photos on the walls.)

    Visitor: “So, these photos are from the actual battle?”

    (The visitor’s daughter starts laughing.)

    Me: “These are actually from our annual battle re-enactment held every summer.”

    Visitor: “Where are the photos from the battle?”

    Me: “Photography would not be invented for about another 80 years or so. Actually the first American war with any photographs was the American Civil War.”

    Visitor: “Oh. When was the Civil War?”

    Me: “1861-1865.”

    Visitor: “When was this [battlefield's] war?”

    Me: “1763.”

    Visitor: “So, what war was this?”

    Me: “The French and Indian War.”

    Visitor: “So, how long was this war before the Civil War?”

    Me: *facepalm*

    Adopting An Apologetic Attitude

    | Boise, ID, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

    Me: “Thank you for calling [clinic], this is [my name]. How can I help you this evening?”

    Caller: “Hi, I just needed to speak with a nurse about my son; he’s been coughing really badly this week.”

    Me: “Sure thing!”

    (I get her son’s details, and pull up her son’s account in the computer.)

    Me: “Alright, I will have the nurse give you a call back in the next 20 minutes. Is this the best number to reach you back at?”

    (I read her the primary number on the account.)

    Caller: “That is his biological parents’ phone number, but I’ve adopted him and have primary custody. Can you call me back at [this number] tonight?”

    Me: “Of course! Alright the nurse will call you shortly.”

    Caller: “Actually, can you remove that number and put mine as the primary contact number, please?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot do that for you this evening. I do not have access to any of the legal paperwork you would have on file, and I would be uncomfortable changing the information on the account at this time. But I will have the nurse call your number tonight. You can call back in the morning during regular office hours and speak with my supervisor to get that done.”

    (The caller immediately flies into a rage.)

    Caller: “I can’t believe this! I should be the primary contact for the child that I have full custody of! This is absurd! Why can’t you just replace the d*** number?”

    Me: “I’m very sorry. It has to do with the privacy laws surrounding your protected personal and health information, as well as the legalities of custody agreements. I wish there was more I could do, but I am just a receptionist. I have very limited access to your records, and have no way to verify who you are. But for tonight I can definitely have the nurse call you at your own number about your son.”

    Caller: “Whatever. Fine.”

    (The caller hangs up, but calls back again about five minutes later.)

    Caller: “Hey this is [name] again. I’m really sorry about being so short with you earlier. I realized that you were just protecting yourself, as well as my son and his information. You guys do a great job, and we really like coming to your clinic. So, I apologize. I’m just very stressed out with my son being so sick.”

    Me: “Wow, thank you for your apology! But I totally understand where you are coming from.”

    Caller: “It’s just been a rough few days. But thank you for your help, and being so kind while I yelled at you. Keep up the good work!”

    Some Kids Are All Work And No Play

    | Huntsville, TX, USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (I work as a hostess. A family of four walk in, and I seat them. The nine-year-old son leaves the table and comes up to the host stand.)

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “Do you like your job?”

    Me: “Sometimes it gets a little crazy, but it’s all good! Do you need some extra crayons or something?”

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “No. Are you tired of your job yet?”

    Me: “No, I’m doing all right.”

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “Because if you’re tired, I’ll take over for you. Just come tell me at my table.”

    (I laugh.)

    Me: “Thank you very much, but I have to stay up here and work until the end of my shift!”

    (His older sister comes over.)

    Nine-Year-Old Son: “I’m serious! If you’re tired, I can take over!”

    Older Sister: “Come on, let’s go!”

    Emerging Non Emergencies Reaching Emergency Levels

    | AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I work at the check-in counter for the ER. A patient comes in, dragging her very embarrassed teenage daughter behind her.)

    Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

    Patient: “Yeah, I’m bringing in my daughter.”

    Me: “And what brings you to the emergency room today, ma’am?”

    Patient: “My daughter.”

    Me: “I see. What is wrong with your daughter that brings you in tonight?”

    Patient: “Her monthly is irregular.”

    Me: “So, you want to bring her to the emergency room for irregular periods?”

    Patient: “Duh!”

    Me: “Have you taken her to her family doctor?”

    Patient: “No!”

    (As we’re not legally allowed to turn away any patient, I begin the registration.)

    Patient: “And me, too.”

    Me: “You want to check yourself in, too, for irregular periods?”

    Patient: “No! God!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. What are we checking you in for?”

    Patient: “Can’t you see it?!”

    Me: “Ma’am?”

    Patient: “My face!”

    (She shoves her face up close to mine.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but you’ll need to be a little more specific.”

    Patient: “I got ‘the zits’!”

    (Her face looks fine. I see one blemish that doesn’t even look like a zit.)

    Me: “So, you came to the… emergency room… for adult acne?”

    Patient: “YES! God, what are you, stupid?”

    Me: “And have you seen your doctor about this?”

    Patient: “No! This is my doctor!”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is the emergency room. We treat emergencies. We are not your regular doctor.”

    Patient: “Yes, you are. FIX IT!”

    Snob-less Not Jobless

    | Austin, TX, USA | Family & Kids, Politics, School, Top

    (I’ve just taken an order from a well-dressed woman and her daughter, who is wearing a uniform from a private school. The woman is berating her daughter about her grades.)

    Woman: “If your grades don’t improve, you won’t get into college. You’ll end up in some dead-end job like her.”

    (The woman gestures towards me.)

    Me: “Actually, I’m a college graduate.”

    Woman: “Yes, well I mean a real college.”

    Me: “I graduated from the University of Texas with two degrees, and my teacher’s certification.”

    Woman: “You evidently didn’t do too well if you wound up here now, did you?”

    Me: “I wound up here after our state legislature cut funding for public education. My husband also holds a Master’s in engineering, but has been laid off for similar reasons. We’ve taken these jobs to survive so we wouldn’t have to depend on public assistance.”

    (I hand them their drinks.)

    Me: “Never judge a book by its cover.”

    (The woman goes over to the condiment bar without another word, but her daughter smiles and fist-bumps me.)

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