PEBCAK, Episode VI

| MO, USA | Learning | March 11, 2013

(I am a student worker at a college IT department. Most of our calls come from older professors who often have trouble with their machines. This call comes from a student.)

Me: “Hello, this is [school] IT department. What can I do for you today?”

Student: “Hello, yes, I’m trying to give a presentation in [classroom] but the projector won’t connect! It won’t show any image, you have to come right now!”

Me: “Thank you for calling, I’ll be right over.”

(I go to the classroom, and indeed, the projector says it can’t find any source. I check all the wiring, double check the projector, all while the class is waiting and the student is ranting.)

Student: “I can’t believe this! IT never gets anything right! I’m going to send out an email to the whole school about this! Why can’t you get it to work? I have to give this presentation!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but everything is hooked up correctly, it should be working.”

Professor: “Well, I guess we’ll just have to push all the presentations back.”

(I suddenly realized I just assumed that someone my own age would know how to operate a computer, so I fall back on what I would do if this were a professor problem and go to open the cabinet where the computer tower is. I start to laugh as I realize the computer isn’t even turned on! I press the power button, and sure enough, the projector shows the start-up screen.)

Student: “You got it to work! What did you do? What was wrong with it?”

Me: “You didn’t turn on the computer.”

(The rest of the class laughs and the student sheepishly thanks me and logs on to the computer as I leave.)

Related:
PEBCAK, Episode V

What A BS Degree

, | The Netherlands | Learning | March 11, 2013

(I’ve been helping a student from China get her books for her Master’s programme. Her English is fine, but she has a strong accent. After I’ve finished helping her, the next customer steps up.)

Customer: “If that’s how she speaks English, she’s going to have serious trouble with Dutch. She’ll be useless in class!”

Me: “Actually, her courses are all in English, so she won’t have to learn Dutch.”

Customer: “What? That’s ridiculous! They’re making all these courses in English to let lazy foreigners get in easily. What about us, hmm? We have to put up with having to speak a foreign language in our own country just so she can come here and basically get handed a place at university by the stupid management. I bet she’ll get a job here, too. Everyone seems to think it’s more prestigious to hire some foreigner than someone who actually knows the language and the culture and everything!”

Me: “… Anyway, let’s get your books. What is your major?”

Customer: “International relations.”

Ink And You’ll Miss It

| Gainesville, FL, USA | Learning | March 11, 2013

(Our university has been around for a while. As such our mascot, Albert, has changed a bit over the years. I overhear an amusing conversation at a register next to me, the Sunday after a big win. Customer #1 is buying a shirt with the old-style Albert on it.)

Customer #2: “Man! The old style Albert is so lame looking!”

Customer #1: “Dude, what about the one on your butt?!”

Customer #2: “Oh, yeah!”

Coworker: *laughing* “Yeah, right.”

Customer #2: “Nope!”

(Customer #2 pulls down his pants just a bit, but at this time I can’t see it.)

Coworker: “I thought you were joking!”

(Customer #2 laughs and moves over to my register, as I’m now free.)

Coworker: “Wait, can I see that tattoo again?”

Customer #2: “Sure!”

(He pulls his pants down a bit again, and this time I can see the ‘old style’ Albert indeed tattooed on his butt.)

Customer #2: “Yeah, never get a tattoo while drunk.”

Defiance Is The Best Teacher

| Vancouver, Canada | Learning | March 11, 2013

(My friend, a former coworker, comes in on a Saturday to say hello. She is standing by the counter chatting with me when a regular customer comes in. I immediately go to serve her.)

Customer: “I’ll have a latte.” *looks at my friend* “You’re wearing that to work?!”

(My friend is wearing ripped jeans, a local band shirt, and boots you could kick through a wall with, as well as her nose stud and four rings in each ear.)

My Friend: “I don’t work here any more.”

Customer: “Well, no wonder if you started showing up like a hooligan! Young people have no sense of professionalism these days! If I met you in the street, I’d think you were going to mug me!”

My Friend: “Actually, I quit because I started a new job.”

Customer: “Doing what, exactly? Scaring children?”

My Friend: “Sort of. I’m a kindergarten teacher.”

Customer: *gasps, grabs her latte, and runs out the door*

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You Just Got Schooled, Part 3

| AZ, USA | Learning | March 11, 2013

(I worked in the tech repair department of computer electronics retailer. I walk up to the customer service desk to do an inspections for a coworker and a customer making a return.)

Coworker: *to me* “Hey, this customer is doing a return and we need the product inspected.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I inspect it and passively listen as the customer and coworker reminisce about the days when he was her soccer coach in a public high school a couple years back.)

Customer: “…yeah, things on the team aren’t like they used to be. With that recent rule change, they’re letting homeschoolers join our sports teams now too. The nerve of them taking positions from kids who are enrolled at the school and actually learning something! Those parents are uneducated idiots to prevent their kids from getting a good education.”

Coworker: “Wow, sounds like there are some issues to be worked out.” *looks at me* “Hey, weren’t you homeschooled?”

Me: “Yes I was, for six years into high school. My mother has a Bachelors in Teaching and father has a Bachelors in Science. I received four tech certifications before working here, and just graduated with a bachelor in Computer Information Systems.”

Customer: *stands their quietly, looking away*

Me: *to the customer* “Everything looks good. You can go ahead with the return.”

Related:
You Just Got Schooled, Part 2
You Just Got Schooled

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