Category: School

Passed The First Test

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Awesome Customers, School

(I work at a non-profit agency that runs licensing examinations for a certain profession. When you take our exams, you have a certain amount of time to pass all sections, and if you wait too long to retake a failed section, you end up having to take all parts again. In my time at the job, I’ve had a number of callers who waited too long, and when they find out they have to retake everything, without exception they have gone ballistic. I am taking a call from a young lady with questions about her exams.)

Caller: “Yes, I have some questions about my exams. I failed one section two years ago and want to see about retaking it.”

Me: “Well, let me look up your information.”

(I take her name and look her up in our system.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, you need to do [module] to reactivate your eligibility for the exams. But I’m sorry to tell you that you’re outside your eligibility period, and need to retake the entire exam, rather than just the portion you didn’t pass.”

(I am cringing at that point, waiting for the screaming and crying I’ve always experienced when breaking that news.)

Caller: “Really? Well, that’s annoying, but if I gotta, I gotta, right?”

Me: “Uh… really?”

Caller: “Well, yeah. I waited too long; I do it over again, right? It’s a pain, but it’s what I have to do, right?”

Me: “Ma’am, thank you SO much for being reasonable! I’ve had others in the same position as you and when I’ve broken the news to them, they’ve bitten my head off!”

Caller: “Why would they? It’s not your fault!”

He Got Burned

| England, UK | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, School, Top

(I am appointed as a volunteer marshal at college. The college hosts a book launch, and the fire alarm goes off. Most people follow directions to the fire exits, but one guest is sat there drinking his free champagne.)

Me: “You can bring your drink if you like, sir, but we have to go outside and wait for the fire brigade to tell us it’s safe to re-enter.”

Guest: “No, I shall stay here. It’ll be a false alarm.”

Me: “I have no way of knowing if it’s a real fire or a false alarm, so please come with me to the assembly point, sir.”

Guest: “I’m not taking instructions from you! Who do you think you are?”

Me: “Just a voluntary fire marshal, sir.”

Guest: “Just a student, then.”

Me: “Yes, I’m a student here. Sorry about this, sir, but there’s a formality I have to conduct.”

(I take out my phone and start the video camera. I point it at him.)

Me: “It’s 12:57 pm. The fire alarm is sounding. I’m instructing you to follow me to the fire exit.”

Guest: “Pathetic. And I’m refusing. What’s the point of that little charade? To show it to your friends on Youtube?”

Me: “No, sir. If it proves necessary, to show it to the coroner at your inquest.”

(I turn and leave. The guest waits until I’m turning the corner, and then follows.)

Translation Kollaboration

| NY, USA | Language & Words, School

(Campus security has stopped a lost visitor, and is trying to work out where he wants to go. The visitor speaks very poor English, but the officer is trying his best.)

Visitor: “I want go, skink labatree.”

Security: “You wanna go where?”

Visitor: “A skink labatree.”

Security: “Oh, that’s, like, a little lizard. Reptile lab? Lizards? Snakes?”

Visitor: “No, no, a skink labatree. Kell skinky.”

Security: “Kill? Like, animal disposal?”

Visitor: “No, no! I want call my daughter, but…”

(The visitor holds up a cell phone.)

Visitor: “No battery!”

Security: “Ahh, okay. Wanna try mine?”

(Security offers the visitor his phone.)

Visitor: “No, no, I don’t know she kell. No battery my kell.”

Security: “Hold up a sec.”

(Security points to his cell phone.)

Visitor: “Kell phone, no battery!”

Security: “Kell laboratory?”

Visitor: “Kell labatree!”

Security: *scribbling on a piece of paper* “Skink?”

Visitor: *overjoyed* “Yes! Skink labatree!”

Security: “Okay, let’s go!”

(On the paper: “SCIENCE.” I later learned that the visitor had taught himself English almost entirely by reading, and assumed all ‘C’s were hard ‘K’s.)