Not Exactly The Soundest Counsel

, , , , , , | Learning | June 27, 2020

It was just before our final exams in school. In my country, you appear for these exams under a certain state or national “Board,” and these marks determine if you clear cutoff for colleges. The higher your marks, the higher your chances of getting into a good college, unless you have to sit for competitive exams.

Our stress was through the roof, all students studying harder than ever to either clear the Board exams or competitive exams because these would determine what our lives would be like. 

It was during this time that I had a severe heartbreak. A guy I used to like rejected me, then went on to have a friends-with-benefits relation with his previous crush who had rejected him. Worse even, this girl was one of my best friends; she had pestered me to share my sadness with her secretly, only to go and spill them all to my crush. They didn’t get into a relationship, which made it worse for me.

Meanwhile, I had to study for my exams and manage school events and ECAs, as I was the Head Girl and the sole one in my position.

Things got worse when my subordinate, the Deputy Head, left his post following some personal reasons. My crush — who was also a great friend until all this — made fun of my appearance and I got extremely lonely. The Friend-With-Benefits even went on to have some action (nonsexual) right in front of me. 

Basically, I was miserable.

So, I went to my school counselor, who also holds an important position in the school authority. We had worked together in organising many events. She also taught us Psychology. She had done many shrewd and outright b**** things, but she was the only one I could share my concerns with.

I wanted to tell you that I’ve been feeling very lonely lately,” I explained. “I’m sitting among my friends, yet I don’t feel like I belong there.”

Mind you, all the people I sat with are great friends even now.

“Now, now, you don’t come to school to talk to friends, do you?” the counselor asked.

“I mean, they are a very important part of my school experience,” I said. “I do look forward to their presence.”

“You are making a mistake,” she insisted. “You come to school to meet your friends. Recently your grades have gone down. You are doing poorly.”

There wasn’t any way she could tell that. We hardly had any tests before we went on study leaves.

“If you want good marks, you have to work hard,” she continued.

Then, she uttered the worst set of words she could come up with.

“If you want to score above 95%, get rid of your friends.”

I was horrified. These friends meant life to me. We did almost everything together, even walking back home together. We even got so late that at first our parents worried. But then, all the parents knew and even chatted amongst each other while waiting for us.

Apart from these friends, I had almost no one. I was already having trouble with two friends thanks to crushes gone wrong. Now, the counselor wanted me to get rid of all of them. I wanted to score well, but not at the cost of my mental health.

Needless to say, I ignored her advice. I could settle for a mere 80% but not lose my mental peace. Later, it turned out that I had anxiety and depressive phases, and my friends actually helped me through it.

Fast forward to the very exciting and nervous result day. I drew up my result, and it turned out, I topped my class, scoring more than 95%, actually, with full marks in two subjects — all this without losing even one friend. By then, I had already made up with my ex-crush and his fling and was seeing another guy. 

We went to collect our results and all the teachers congratulated me. The counselor came up, ignored me for some time, and then looked at me.

“I expected you to do better,” she said before walking off.

We went rolling on the ground hearing what she’d said.

1 Thumbs
249

Listening And Communication Are Also Options

, , , , , , , | Romantic | April 9, 2020

I’m a 12-year-old boy. I’m sitting at the dinner table with my dad and my stepmom, who are having a conversation about some details of their relationship. When they successfully finish the conversation, I speak up.

Me: “I don’t understand women.”

Dad: “You’re twenty years ahead of the game, then.”

Me: “What?”

Dad: “Men cannot understand women. The best you can manage is to be loving and kind to them.”

Stepmom: “He’s right. Don’t bother trying to figure us women out. Just give us cuddles and listen when we speak.” 

Dad: “And if you’re ever tempted to argue with one, just remember that the woman is always right.”

I filed that advice away and have had great success in my romantic relationships by following it.

1 Thumbs
273

It’s Not Big Easy Staying Alive

, , , , | Right | December 8, 2018

(In 2012, I’m getting ready to move to Louisiana with my boyfriend, and as the moving date gets closer, I’m excited enough that I’ve started yapping about it to customers every so often. Most of them have fairly generic, “Good for you,” “Have fun,” and, “Aw, romance,” type responses. Some of them suggest specific restaurants and attractions I should visit if I’m in the right area. However, one guy’s advice sticks out to me in particular.)

Customer: “Stay away from New Orleans. That’s a murder city.”

(My now-husband’s father lives in New Orleans, and we visit him regularly. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been murdered yet.)

1 Thumbs
291

Boomers And Job Hunting Is Almost Adorable

, , , , | Related | October 4, 2018

(I’m trying to find a job, but there aren’t many positions in my area that I’m qualified for. Throughout the process, my mom has kept up a steady stream of “advice.” All of it is either decades out of date, irrelevant to my situation, or just plain wrong. If I don’t take her advice, she accuses me of not trying hard enough. I’m on the phone with her.)

Mom: “Oh, I almost forgot! I wanted to tell you how my new coworker got his job!”

Me: *mental sigh* “How did he get his job?”

Mom: “Well, he’s Native American, so he went to this job fair for Native American job seekers.”

Me: “Okay…”

Mom: “So, you know. It’s a thought. You could try it.”

Me: “Yeah… That’s not going to work for me.”

Mom: *getting mad* “Why not?”

Me: “I don’t know if you’re aware, Mom, but I’m not Native American.”

Mom: “Well, you could just… you know…”

Me: “No, I don’t think I do know.”

Mom: “You don’t need to be so difficult about this! Really, you’d have a job by now if you could be more flexible.”

Me: “Does flexible mean pretending to be Native American?”

Mom: “Just listen to your mother and look into it!”

(She hung up after that. I did not look into it.)

1 Thumbs
381

This Job Literally Encourages Drinking

, , , , , , | Working | May 21, 2018

(I’m a front-end supervisor at a high-volume store. I notice one day that my manager has scheduled me to close the front end and open the next day.)

Me: “Hey, I saw the schedule and I noticed that I only have eight hours between shifts. I know that it’s legal, but I live 45 minutes away and there is no way I can fall asleep right when I get home. Can this be changed?”

Boss: “Okay, so, here’s a secret that I learned. What you do is take a capsule of Zzzquil, then open a bottle of wine. Do not stop drinking the wine, and you will fall asleep.”

(I didn’t take that advice.)

1 Thumbs
391