Po-tential K-atastrophe Averted

| New York, NY, USA | Learning | March 26, 2013

(I’m cleaning up from a project in the chemistry lab when a tour comes in.)

Guide: “…and this is one of our chemistry labs. This particular one is used mostly by chemistry majors who are working on their—” *to young boy who wanders off* “Excuse me, please don’t touch anything. This lab has some dangerous chemicals in it.”

(I’m currently cleaning up some of those ‘dangerous chemicals,’ so I look up. A younger boy around age eight has broken off from the group and has picked up some glassware and turned on a sink.)

Mother: “Oh, don’t worry about him. Daddy’s a chemist, so he’s used to playing in the lab.”

Guide: “Uh, well, it’s school policy that I have to ask the tours not to touch anything.”

Mother: *smirking* “That’s nice, but I REALLY think that being in his daddy’s lab has—”

(Suddenly, a professor barges through the doors to the lab and goes straight for the young boy.)

Professor: “WHAT THE H*** ARE YOU DOING?!”

(The professor TACKLES the young boy, which obviously enrages the mother.)

Mother: “What the f*** is wrong with you?! Nothing in this this tiny lab is worth so much that—”

(Suddenly, the sink explodes. After a few seconds of stunned silence, the mother finally speaks up.)

Mother: “Your wretched lab could have killed my son!”

Professor: “No, your wretched son could have killed himself and the rest of the tour!”

(They continue to yell at each other while the tour guide frantically calls security. The son wanders over to me.)

Son: “Daddy never lets me have that much potassium metal! Do you have any more?!”

Me: “Nope, that was, uh, the lab’s entire supply.”

(Security arrives and defuses the professor and the mother, who threatens to sue. A week later, instead of a lawsuit, we receive a letter informing us that if we need any more potassium, ‘Daddy’s lab’ will be happy to provide it to us for free.)

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My Tuition Is Free, But I’ll Never Be

, | NYC, NY, USA | Learning | March 25, 2013

(The coffee shop is staffed and run by students.)

Student: “Hi, can I have… uh, something with coffee that I can get quickly?”

Barista: “Got an exam coming up?”

Student: “Yeah… real soon.”

Barista: “How about the ‘exam special?’ Extra caffeinated, two bucks if you’ve got a [school] ID.”

Student: “Perfect. Can I bring a few with me? I told my friends I’d get them coffee, too.”

Barista: “Sure, we can seal them up and box them. A lot of students have asked for that.”

Student: “Sure. Can I get 11?”

Barista: “11 exam specials, ASAP!”

(Two other staff members jump into action and start assembling drinks.)

Student: “My debit card won’t go through.”

Barista: “Uh oh. It’s been working fine. Try it again.”

Student: “No luck. Let me see if I have cash.”

(Suddenly, the clock tower nearby chimes the hour.)

Student: *visibly shaken* “Oh, um, is it two o’clock already?”

Barista: “Yeah… when’s your final?”

Student: “2:10. I, uh, I only have ten dollars.” *under her breath* “S***, Doctor [Name] is going to kill me…”

Barista: “Did you say Doctor [Name]?”

Student: “Yeah.”

Barista: “Chemistry?”

Student: “Yeah…”

(The barista shoves the box of coffee into the student’s hands.)

Barista: “Leave your ten dollars and run! Run like your life depends on it!”

Student: “Auugh!”

(The student takes the coffee and flees. Now it’s my turn to order.)

Me: “I take it you’ve had Doctor [Name] as a teacher?”

Barista: “Yeah, for 20 years. He’s my dad.”

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Don’t Speak Your Native Ach-tongue

| Hungary | Learning | March 25, 2013

Me: “Hi, I’m interested in learning to speak German.”

Teacher: “In that case, you should stop speaking English.”

Me: “Haha, okay—”

Teacher: “RIGHT NOW!”

Me: *alarmed* “Uh…”

Teacher: *stares at me angrily*

Me: “Um…”

Teacher: *slowly passes me a schedule, still looking furious*

Me: *in shaky German* “… Thank you?”

Teacher: *suddenly calm, also in German* “You are welcome. Have a nice day.”

(It turns out he was a nice teacher – albeit one with a very unusual sense of humor!)

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Smoke-And-Tell

| Arizona, USA | Learning | March 25, 2013

(I am a fourth grade teacher and there is a guest speaker in our class talking about the dangers of tobacco.)

Speaker: “Do any of you have family members at home who smoke cigarettes?”

Student: *to boy behind him* “My dad smokes EVERYTHING!”

You Just Got Schooled

, | Chicago, IL, USA | Learning | March 12, 2013

(This happens to a coworker after having an issue with an order.)

Customer: “That took long enough. This is why you should have gone to college!”

Coworker: “I’m only 16.”

Customer: “Well, you shouldn’t have dropped out, then!”

Coworker: “I didn’t. I’m still in school.”

Customer: “I… uh… have a nice day.” *leaves embarrassed*

 

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