Listen Here, Sugar…

, , , | Learning | September 10, 2018

(This happens during training for Customer Service Representatives at a large online store.)

Trainer: “For this exercise, I’m going to need five people.”

(I raise my hand, as do another four people.)

Trainer: “Your challenge is to make me a hot tea with the things in this kitchen. You only get ten seconds to discuss how and ten seconds to do it.”

(We discuss and quickly decide each of us gets one task. I get putting the sugar in. [Person #1] grabs a cup. [Person #2] asks about the flavor and runs for the tea. I see him go for the tea, so in the meantime I pour the sugar in. [Person #2] comes back and puts the tea bag in. [Person #3] pours the hot water. [Person #4] walks the cup over to the trainer while mixing in the sugar.)

Trainer: *looks at the rest of the class and points to me* “What did she do wrong?”

Everyone: “She put the sugar in before the tea.”

Trainer: “Exactly. That is not how you do it.”

Me: “Why? That’s how I do it at home.”

Trainer: *taken by surprise* “Because… you don’t.”

Me: “Did it not mix?”

Trainer: *smug look* “Class, what is she doing wrong now?” *no answer* “Here in [Online Store], we always do things like the customer wants it.”

Me: “So, if a customer wants his small purchase to be put in giant box with packing peanuts, but the peanuts have to be put in last… can we actually do that?”

(I know I got a little defensive, but I don’t like being singled out. And much less for something so irrational.)

Batteries Can Be Used At The Same Time, Though

, , , , , | Learning | September 10, 2018

(I go to an all-girls school. It is my third year, and I am sitting in French class. My French teacher is new to the school, and is known for being strict and never cracking a smile.)

French Teacher: “Girls, can anyone tell me what the French word is for ‘battery’?”

(Everyone looks at each other, clueless.)

French Teacher: “I’m sure you all know it; it’s a very popular brand of batteries. It begins with a D.”

Student: “DUREX!”

(Here in Ireland, Durex is a condom company.)

French Teacher: *trying to refrain from laughing* “Eh, no, [Student]. It’s Duracell.”

Centering On The Wrong Thing

, , , , , , | Learning | September 8, 2018

(I’m in year two of primary school. My teacher has basically said my work is rubbish — all because I spelt “centre” with an “er” instead of an “re” — and has called my parents in.)

Teacher: “We can’t have this sort of mistake. If we don’t pull him up on it now, then he won’t learn.”

Mum: “Is that all? Two letters the wrong way round from a seven-year-old? Considering using ‘er’ is actually a correct way of spelling ‘centre’…”

Teacher: “Not in this country.”

Mum: “No wonder everyone calls you a dragon if you get so picky over something so minor, even if it’s correct to begin with.”

(Thankfully I moved up to year three soon after and never had that trouble again.)

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Pranks For The Concert!

, , , , , | Learning | September 7, 2018

(It is tradition for seniors in secondary school to have a senior prank day at the end of the school year after their leaving exams. This normally means that on a day agreed upon with the school’s administration, seniors storm the classrooms in the middle of the day, chase everyone out into the schoolyard, and then force the teachers to compete in silly games, with some smaller pranks pulled, as well. My senior class has won a schoolyard concert by a popular music group in a radio competition. The administration decides to allow the concert on the condition that we count it as our senior prank. The day of the prank is supposed to be kept secret from the students, but word tends to spread. As we’re hosting a popular band, word spreads even faster, and by the time workers arrive to set up the stage at the start of first period that day, everyone knows what will happen. I am one of several seniors in the yard supervising the setup during the break between first and second period. A group of girls starts throwing looks our way, until one of them finally approaches us.)

Girl: “Hey, are you seniors? We have a problem we hope you might be able to help us with. We have English class with [Strict Teacher] next period, and she told us that she will not allow us to leave and come here for the concert. She said her class is too important to let us go for what is only a concert. I understand that classes are important, especially since we will graduate next year, but we would miss only one hour, and we would really like to see the band play! Is there anything you can do?”

(The administration has promised us that the usual rules of the senior prank day still apply, including that all classes end at 11 on the dot, with no exception. I want to take the girls to the administrations office, but a friend of mine has another idea. She assures the girls that we will take care of it and then calls over another senior. This girl has a reputation for being bold and not scared of any teacher, and has huge problems with the strict teacher in the past.)

Friend: *grinning* “Hey, [Other Senior]! [Strict Teacher] does not want to let her students leave her super important class for something as minor as our little concert. Do you want the honor of storming that floor?”

(The other senior just grins in a wicked way. At 11:10, I am making my rounds through previously stormed floors, checking if all classrooms have been emptied out, when I hear loud cheers coming from the floor above. Seconds later, I see students running down the stairs towards the yard, including some of the girls I saw earlier. I stop one of the running students.)

Me: “Hey, are you [Strict Teacher]’s English class?”

Student: *grinning gleefully and giggling* “Yup!”

(I never found out what [Other Senior] did, but the class made it to the yard in time for the concert. From what little I heard, it must have been epic. That teacher should have known better than to mess with an event hosted by students that already have their diplomas in their hands!)

Teaching Sport As Performance Art

, , , , | Learning | September 6, 2018

This happened to my uncle.

A while ago, when fresh out of school, he was hired to give classes at a local secondary school. He arrived to the school and announced himself as the new teacher. The person at the school gates welcomed him and said he was going to direct him to where he was giving classes.

Now, it should be noted that people in this side of the family tend to be muscular, but also this uncle used to do weight lifting and as such, at this point of this life he was built like a truck — his friends nicknamed him Bamm-Bamm! — so the person assumed he was going to be the new PE teacher and took him to the school gym.

I can only imagine his shock when the muscular guy in front of him said, “Wait. You got it wrong; I’m here to give art classes!”

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