In A Hurry To Be A Jerk

, , , , | Learning | March 4, 2020

(I work in a university library. Most patrons are students and teachers from our university but students from other universities can access the library, as well. They just need to register and pay a small fee the first time they do. I just finished adding a student from another university into our database. He has been kind of rude so far, but nothing too bad.)

Student: “So, how can I access Wi-Fi?”

(I explain how to access Wi-Fi and then I add the following.)

Me: “Unfortunately, since I just added you to the database, you won’t be able to access Wi-Fi immediately; it can take up to a couple of hours. In the meantime, you can use the library computers. There are plenty of them.”

(The student does not look convinced at all.)

Student: “Are you sure about that? I really want to access Wi-Fi on my personal computer.”

Me: “Yes, I’m sure. Our system needs to update with your information first, and it can take a couple of hours.”

Student: “Well, maybe I should contact your IT department to ask them, instead.”

Me: “No, you don’t need to bother them with that; they won’t be able to speed it up for you. If you still can’t access Wi-Fi in 24 hours, then you can contact them.”

(He still doesn’t look convinced. One of my colleagues swings by the desk to grab something he forgot. The student suddenly stops looking at me and looks at him, instead.)

Student: “Hey, how do I access Wi-Fi immediately?”

Me: “I just explained that to you.”

(The student ignores me. My colleague clearly heard the last bit of our conversation.)

Colleague: “It seems my colleague already answered you.”

Student: “Yeah, but I thought maybe you would know better.”

Colleague: *coldly* “My colleague is just as competent as I am. If she already answered you, then I won’t say the same thing she did.”

Student: “But…”

Colleague: “No buts; you already got your answer.”

(The student then left without saying anything more. My colleague was pissed on my behalf and I’m grateful that he defended me.)

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Rising From The Ashes

, , , , , | Learning | March 2, 2020

(It’s Ash Wednesday, and I have an ash mark on my forehead from having gone to mass earlier in the day; it’s a once-a-year deal some Christians do at the beginning of Lent, a period of preparation before Easter. My next college class is about to start, and some students are laughing about a joke one told. The teacher calls the class to order, and the students are still snickering. We students have been in the same series of classes for three years, but the teacher is new and he doesn’t realize someone told a joke before he entered. He keeps shooting them stern looks while starting his lesson.)

Teacher: *sternly to the laughing students* “That is enough. I can’t believe you’re laughing about this; I expect you to be more adult.” *normal tone, to me* “[My Name], you have something on your forehead, and instead of quietly pointing it out to you, your classmates are mocking you.”

Me: “They’re laughing at a joke. It’s Ash Wednesday.”

Teacher: “You mean, you know it’s there?”

Me: “Yes, it’s on purpose. Thanks for looking out for me, though.”

Teacher: *turning red* “Everyone, never mind. Today’s lesson…”

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You Want Batman? Because That’s How You Get Batman

, , , , , | Learning | March 1, 2020

We happen to have bats hanging out in the attics of many of our older campus buildings. Many students aren’t aware of this, but if a person is quiet and patient, they can watch bats fly from behind some of the older buildings. Our library, in particular, has a problem and there are signs on doors, in the elevator, stairwell, etc., to not touch bats and inform staff if one is spotted flying around. Only the third floor is a quiet space; all other floors have community areas for groups to collaborate in and talk. 

One night, I’m up on the second floor with a bud when we notice squeaking after a while. It’s not bothersome and we figure it’s either bats or the A/C is janky. Whatever, the building is old. A group of athletic underclassmen, however, decide they want to know for sure. At first, it’s just one or two coming over and looking at a window. Even I get up and briefly look closer. I recognize the sound, figure it’s not worth my time or health to bother with, and walk away. 

My bud and I are tolerably amused as the investigations are becoming more common and with bigger numbers. They’re impressively quiet.

Eventually, some of them even begin trying to jump to reach the ceiling and dislodge a panel. They can touch it but not dislodge it. I figure that’s enough.

“Hey, man, you know those are probably bats.”

This, of course, just wins some “Oh, cool, I’ve never seen a bat before” looks and their efforts increase for a moment. 

“Do you also know bats are known for carrying rabies?”

“Oh, s***, man. Really?”


I know that bats are not significantly more likely to carry rabies than other mammals, but this stopped the investigations for the night. We did tell the staff.

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You Don’t Need To Breathe To Learn, Silly

, , , , , | Learning | February 29, 2020

I’ve recently developed asthma, so it’s still pretty minor. My school has four floors in total, and I have to take the elevator in order to move between floors when going up. My previous class was on the first, and my next class on the fourth. As I don’t have a doctor’s note yet since my asthma has only recently developed, I don’t have an elevator pass to let me on the elevator. 

Before today, I asked teachers to let me onto the elevators. Yesterday, the teacher I have on the first floor told me that she can’t keep walking me over to the elevator — on the other side of the building — every single day, so today I really didn’t want to bother her about it, so I try to catch the elevator when another teacher is getting on.

There are some other students waiting around the elevator; most of them don’t have elevator passes.

“Okay, everyone who doesn’t have an elevator pass, move along. Get out. Go to your classes.”

Several of the students reluctantly turn to leave, while one pulls a pass out of her pocket.

Student #1:
“I have a pass.”

“All right, you can stay. Everyone else, go to your classes.”

“Excuse me, I don’t have a pass yet–”

“Then you can’t get on.”

“But I have asthma–”

“No pass, no elevator. You can’t get on.”

I stand in stunned silence as she goes into the elevator with the student and the doors close behind her. Starting to cry, I start slowly going up the stairs to try to avoid an attack. Because of my combined stair climbing and crying, I end up having a full-blown asthma attack. By the time I get to my class, I’m just barely late and very loudly wheezing while trying to not sob as I try desperately to breathe. My teacher immediately sends me to the nurse’s office with my friend to help me get there and speak for me, since at this point I can’t even do that for myself. As we’re walking, one of the other students that was waiting by the elevator and was sent away passes by us in the hallway and sees and hears me wheezing and crying.

Student #2:
“She should have let you on that elevator. That f****** c*** should have let you ride; that b**** should get f****** fired.”

“What happened?”

The other student explains what happened, laced with very angry, colorful language as I’m sobbing and wheezing louder while struggling to breathe at all. We finally get to the nurse’s office and my friend explains what happened to the nurse, and they work together to get me to calm down. After I finally stop crying, my breathing slowly becomes more physically possible. My friend leaves to go back to class, and a while later I eventually stop wheezing — for the most part.

I don’t have an inhaler of my own yet, so that’s another big factor to all of this. After the nurse tries — and fails — to contact my mom about getting me to the doctor’s office to get me an actual inhaler and note so I can take the elevator, she sends me off with her elevator pass, for today at the very least, that I’m supposed to return at the end of the day. I send my mom a text about the situation to try to at least get some kind of message to her about the situation, and I head back to class.

I understand why the teacher had to send students away, since my school has a problem of people being too lazy to go up the stairs and hitching a ride on the two available elevators, but this teacher has seen me before bringing teachers to the elevator so I can get on for the past two days at least. I also informed her that I have asthma, so I’m more than a little upset that she couldn’t just let me on so that I could breathe while trying to get to class.

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Carefully Orchestrated Musical Mayhem

, , , , , | Learning | February 28, 2020

I am in band in tenth grade and at one of our school concerts, right at the last song of the set, one of the students comes up to the band teacher. She is one of our percussionists, but she broke an arm and can’t play.

Student #1:
“Mrs. [Teacher], there’s a call for you in the office.”

“Why are you telling me this? It can wait.”

Student #1:
“Mr. [Principal] said you couldn’t come to the phone, but they said it’s about your daughter.”

The teacher apologizes profusely to the audience and steps down to go into the school and take the call, which leaves several parents very upset. After about thirty seconds of waiting around and people grumbling angrily, someone speaks up.

Student #2:
“I don’t want to have to be here any longer than I need to! Come on!”

The first student stepped up, picked up the teacher’s baton, and conducted us through the last song of the night. But, instead of sitting around professionally, we were goofing off. If we weren’t playing, we were throwing things at each other, such as paper or erasers we had laying around. I even got into a “sword fight” with the other girl on marimba with our mallets. It generated a lot of laughs from the parents. We got through the song, and the first student set the baton back down and went to sit down about ten seconds before the teacher came back to explain to the audience what had happened.

Everything about it was rehearsed, from the “phone call” to the goofing off.

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