Home Doesn’t Always Work

| Midlands, UK | Learning | March 11, 2013

(I am a year 5 class teacher. I’m dismissing my class of nine and ten year olds at the end of the day when a mother approaches me.)

Mother: “My son’s not been doing his homework!”

Me: “I know. He hasn’t handed his homework in for several weeks now.”

Mother: “Well, I’m not very happy about this!”

Me: “No, nor am I.”

Mother: “So, what are you going to do about it?”

Me: “I can’t make him do his homework. His homework is to be completed at home.”

Mother: “Why?”

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.)


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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