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    Apparently Bad Parenting, Part 2

    | Houston, TX, USA |

    Customer: “I need to pick up my daughter. She’s in the eighth grade.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. The eighth graders are testing right now and they’ve only been testing for about forty five minutes. I don’t think she’s done.”

    Customer: “But we have a plane to catch!”

    Me: “Well, why didn’t you just not send her to school? I mean, what time is your flight?”

    Customer: “8:45!”

    Me: “Ma’am, that was thirty minutes ago. I don’t think you’re making it anyways.”

    Customer: “But it’s central time zone!”

    Me: “We’re in the central time zone, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Don’t correct me! I don’t care if she fails. I just don’t want to lose my dignity!”

    Related:
    Apparently Bad Parenting

    Not Just For Kicks

    | New York, USA |

    (I am an instructor at a Chinese Martial Arts school. An American teenager comes in.)

    Boy: “So, do you teach all kinds of Chinese martial arts here?”

    Me: “Yes, courses are mainly in Chinese, but we can translate for you. There are quite a few Americans that learn here. What are you interested in?”

    (He names several fake martial arts from novels made into television.)

    Me: “Um… you’re joking, right?”

    Boy: “Oh, do you not teach those?”

    Me: “You’re serious?”

    Boy: “Oh yeah, I love watching them on TV and I want to learn it myself!”

    Me: “You know they’re not real martial arts right? It’s all made up in the stories.”

    Boy: “You just don’t want to teach a foreigner, do you?”

    Me: “No, it isn’t real. None of us here know them.”

    Boy: “Oh, I’ll go somewhere else.”

    Me: “No one can teach those. They’re fake.”

    Boy: “Oh I get it. You think it’s fake because you don’t know it yourself. I guess the manuals are lost and someone needs to find them. Don’t worry, I’ll be that person!”

    (The boy leaves and comes back a minute later.)

    Boy: “Hey, could I have a look at all your weapons?”

    Me: “Why?”

    Boy: “Maybe the manuals are hidden in them. At least please show me your swords and sabers. Just clash them together.” (He’s referring to a plot in one of those novels.)

    Me: *understanding that reference* “It was already recovered long ago in the Yuan dynasty, remember? They’re empty now.”

    Boy: “Oh, sure, now I’m going to find the new hiding place. Thanks for your time!”

    Can’t Handle The Screening Process, Part 2

    | Illinois, USA | School, Technology

    (I teach college computer courses part time. I am introducing my students, who are 18-60 or so, to Windows and a GUI for the first time.)

    Me: “Okay, everyone use your mouse to point at the icon and double-click on it. Once in the program, go ahead with the exercise.”

    (A student raises a hand.)

    Me: “Something not working?”

    Student: “The mouse doesn’t seem to work. I point at the icon and double-click and nothing happens.”

    Me: “That’s strange. Try it right now and let’s see what happens.”

    (The student grabs the mouse, picks it up off the desk and points it at the icon like a gun and double clicks.)

    Student: “See? Isn’t that little arrow supposed to follow too? Anyway, it’s broken, doesn’t work.”

    Me: “Ah, well, see you actually use the mouse here on the mouse-pad like this.” *I demonstrate*

    Student: “Oh my, I get it now!” *grabs the mouse and successfully launches the program*

    (A few minutes go by as the students are working on the exercise, the same student raises a hand.)

    Me: “Getting along with the exercise okay?”

    Student: “I was, but now I need a bigger mouse pad.”

    Me: “Why would that be?”

    Student: “Well look at it. I have the mouse all the way to the right side of the mouse-pad, but I need to make the arrow go even further to the right on the screen. I need a bigger mouse-pad.”

    Me: “Well, you can pick the mouse up–”

    Student: “You told me not to do that.”

    Me: “Right, but in this case–”

    Student: “You’re confusing me.”

    Me: “Let me see if we have a bigger mouse-pad…”

    Finals At Hogwarts

    | Australia | School

    (One of my students was absent the day of a test and she has had just handed it in.)

    Me: “Okay, class. Now that [name] has done the test, I can give you them back.”

    (I hand out the test papers.)

    Student: “Where’s mine?”

    Me: “You just did yours today. I’ll have it back to you tomorrow.”

    Student: “But you just said!”

    Me: “How was I supposed to mark it in 5 minutes?”

    Student: *completely serious* “Doesn’t it just automatically mark itself?”

    Ah, Mothers, Part 6

    | New Jersey, USA | Family & Kids

    (The child I’m working with is crying, so I go outside to talk to the mother.)

    Me: “Your child seems to have some separation anxiety, ma’am. It’s against the rules, but I could let you stay and watch her work so she’ll feel better.”

    Mother: “Oh, I think she’ll be fine after awhile. See, she’s been upset since we moved here from Chicago.”

    Me: “Yeah, that’s difficult for a child sometimes.”

    Mother: “But don’t tell her we moved, okay? We told her we were only going on a vacation. She has no idea we’re not going back.”

    Related:
    Ah, Mothers, Part 5
    Ah, Mothers, Part 4
    Ah, Mothers, Part 3
    Ah, Mothers, Part 2
    Ah, Mothers

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