I Tremble For Our Children

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(A teacher calls me to her classroom. She is trying to project an image on a screen behind a student for a TV camera shot with the projector at eye level in front of the student.)

Teacher: “There is a shadow behind the student now. How can I get rid of that?”

Me: “You can’t. He is blocking the light from the projector from getting to the screen. You could put the projector behind the student, but the image would be smaller on the screen.”

Teacher: “Then what can we do?”

(I get the idea of holding a piece of paper over part of the lens of the projector to create a square area where the student stands where no light would shine. This gives the shadow a bit neater of a shape rather than a human shape.)

Me: “Here, hold this paper over the left side of the lens where the student is standing.”

(The teacher puts a piece of paper RIGHT IN FRONT of the students face.)

Me: “No, right by the lens so a square unlit area will be where the student is standing.”

(The teacher moves the piece of paper and puts it directly BEHIND the students head.)

Me: “No, here…”

(I put the piece of paper in front of the projector lens, leaving a nice square dark area on the screen where the student would stand.)

Teacher: “Well now there is a square there! There is no image directly behind the student, just around the student!”

Me: “Yeah, I know. There is nothing you can do about that, though. It’s the physics of light.”

Teacher: “What if I ask your boss? Think he could do it?”

Me: “No, he cannot bend light around objects.”

Teacher: “Why not?”

Me: “Because he’s not a black hole.”

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SpecifiCity, USA

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(I work at a sandwich shop. I have conversations like this every day. Mind you, he has a line of twelve other customers behind him. Also note that Hearty Italian only describes the type of bread.)

Customer: “I’d like a six inch hearty italian.”

Me: *gets bread* “What would you like on that?”

Customer: “Six inch hearty italian.”

Me: “What would you like ON it?”

Customer: “Hearty italian.”

Me: “What kind of sandwich is it?”

Customer: “Six inch.”

Me: *heavy sigh* “Oooookay then…”

Related:
DE TING, DE TING!!!

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Fun With Language Barriers

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(I worked at this little burger joint in Seattle. I’m white, but I’m bilingual. Our grill workers all spoke primarily Spanish, so I would talk to customers in English and call back orders in Spanish.)

Old Man Customer: “Now, what is a pretty young thing like you doing speaking the Dirty Man’s Language?”

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Old Man Customer: “You should be speaking English! Its only natural, here in America!”

Me: “It’s just fastest, sir. The language communicates more efficiently in an environment like this.”

(I was not about to tell him that the grill workers were mostly South American immigrants, after hearing his first reaction.)

Old Man Customer: “Have some pride in your country! SPEAK ENGLISH when you call back my order, do you understand?”

Me, knowing full well that his order wouldn’t actually come through if I did that: “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid it’s procedure.”

Old Man Customer: “I want to speak with your manager! This restaurant is just UNAMERICAN!”

Manager, who had been working the register next to me: “Si, señor?”

Old Man Customer: *storms out*

Related:
Welcome To People’s Pizza, Comrade

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Mission: Impossible, Part 3

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Customer: “Yeah I need some shelving.”

Me: “Sure, do you want the wall mounted kind?”

Customer: “Oh…no.”

Me: “Okay, so you want the free standing kind?

Customer: “No, that’s not it either.”

Me: “Umm, okay. Do you want it to hang from a ceiling or something?”

Customer: “No, I just want some shelving!”

Me: “Do you want it to levitate??”

Related:
Mission: Impossible, Part 2
Mission: Impossible

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The Fine Art Of Self Grossed-Outification

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(Note: we are VERY generous in offering frozen yogurt samples in those tiny paper cups that could fit on your thumb.)

Me: “Here you go, our six choices!” *offers samples*

(Customer takes samples and shoves the whole thing in her mouth and sucks contents out. When done, she puts the cups back on the counter with yogurt and a LITTLE bit of saliva dripping off the sides. She scoots them in my direction.)

Me: *stares back, thinking, are you serious?*

Customer: *stares back at me for what seems like forever*

Me: “There is a trashcan right below you that you could put those in.”

Customer: “Ew, I’m not touching those! That’s your job.”

(The customer walks away, leaving me staring at the messy glob of cups on our front counter.)

Me: O___o

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