He’s Not Quite As Quick As Lightning

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2019

(I work at an adult education program. I have to help answer phones for all the different classes. This customer is interested in the community golf class.)

Customer: “I’d like to take the golf class, but I travel for work and I need to know when the last class will be.”

Me: *despite the fact that the start date, length of class, and school holidays are in the brochure* “Let me check for you… The last class will be [date], unless we have to cancel because of weather.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Thunderstorms aren’t good with golf.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Lightning.”

Customer: “Really? Well, when will that be?”

Me: “The first class, they’ll give you the phone number to the clubhouse, and you can check with them if the weather looks bad. If we have to cancel, we’ll add a class at the end.”

Customer: “But when will that be?”

Me: “If the weather looks bad.”

Customer: “Yes, but when will that be?”

Me: *realizing he wants me to predict the weather two months from now* “I don’t know, sir, but you’re welcome to check with us any time.”

(I wonder to this day what job he had, and why he was allowed to drive.)

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The Training Is Waning

, , , , | Working | April 2, 2018

(I work at an adult education center. A coworker and I are told to attend a local training for four days. At the end of the first day, my principal calls me, tells me to skip the rest of the training, and to return to the school. She says she needs me back and I can do the training next year.)

Coworker: *leans over and says* “I just want you to know that I know you skipped out on the last three days of training. You are lucky I am not the kind of person to report you to the principal. You’d better be grateful to me.”

Me: “You are welcome to let the principal know I was not at the training for the last three days. Check the sign-in sheet and you’ll see exactly where I was.”

(The coworker slunk away. The next year, Hurricane Andrew hit during the training days, and by the third year, the training was obsolete. I never did get trained.)

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Absent-Mindedly Kidnapped

, , , | Learning | March 12, 2018

(I am a student at an adult learning centre, which is basically high school for adults. Unlike traditional high school, this school’s attendance policy is very strict, and one of my teachers is explaining this to the class.)

Teacher: “Here at [School], you are only allowed up to three absences without notice. If you miss more than three days without prior notice, you will be automatically withdrawn from my class. If you know you will be missing a class on a test day, you need to arrange an alternate test day with me.”

Me: “What if there are extenuating circumstances where I have to miss more than three days, including test dates, but I’m unable to give you any prior notice?”

Teacher: “In what circumstance could that ever be possible?”

Me: “Well, what if I got kidnapped? Even if my abductor gives me a phone call, I don’t think I would use it on school.”

Teacher: “Oh, that won’t be a problem. I’ll probably see you on the news, and I will accept that as notice.”

(It was foolish of me to challenge her wit. Many teachers handle bratty kids just fine, so a smart-mouthed adult is probably nothing in comparison.)

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Your Reasoning Doesn’t Add Up

| Learning | February 22, 2017

(Due to issues with my family, when it came to time to do my GCSEs — the last exams of mandatory education in the UK — I did far worse than expected. A few years later I’m trying to get the important two, maths and English, covered. English goes fine, but I had for some time strongly suspected that I have a learning disability called dyscalculia which affects, among other things, my ability with numbers and basic mathematics. My teacher has me see a specialist who confirms this. Then we have this conversation once we’d moved onto the maths.)

Teacher: “Hm, well, it seems like a lot of the problems you’re having are because you don’t know your times tables.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I told you that I’ve never been able to learn them.”

Teacher: “Well, we need to get you to learn them. Once you learn them, you’ll be able to do division with no trouble, and-”

Me: “Uh, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Believe me, I’ve tried to learn. Unless you have a magic wand-”

Teacher: “No, it’s fine. Here—” *she pulls some papers out of her folder; a times tables square and some basic times tables number puzzles* “Do these. They’ll help you to learn them.”

Me: “I’ve used things like this before. Over and over, in fact. It doesn’t help.”

Teacher: “Give it a go. It got all of my sons to learn their times tables.”

Me: *after a long pause of being too stunned to respond* “Do your sons have DYSCALCULIA?!”

Teacher: “No, but it worked on all of them! Give it a go.”

Me: “My parents had me use these before! They. Didn’t. Work.”

Teacher: “Do them. They’ll work.”

(My parents used to lock me in my room with nothing to do until I “stop being lazy and learn the times tables” with sheets just like these. It was like trying to decipher a foreign language with no context. It worked about as well at this point as it did in my childhood. This was when I stopped trying to get a better grade. The good news is that eight years later I’m training to be a counselor,  and nobody gives a d*** about my mathematical ability!)

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