Domestic Violence 101

, , , , | Learning | January 3, 2018

(I teach at a small high school and have taught the same group their freshman through junior years. The juniors are my first group of the day. They have a reputation for being pretty obnoxious. There are known drug dealers and other tough kids in the class. One Monday, I come to work with the entire right side of my face bruised, including a black eye.)

Me: “Okay, folks. I know I don’t normally sit when I teach, but I’m a little achy today, so bear with me.”

(Hands shoot up, and I call on one of toughest kids, who is currently wearing an ankle monitor from his last time in court.)

Student: “Ms. [My Name], what happened to you?”

Me: “I’m fine; I just tripped on my top step and took a nose dive off my deck.”

(I try to go back to my presentation, but the same student is quietly but obviously talking with some of his friends. I’m about to tell him to stop when his hand goes up again.)

Student: “Uh… Ms. [My Name], are you sure that’s what happened? Or do you have a boyfriend the guys and I need to talk to?”

(I reassured him that I am just that clumsy. Things like this are why I continue to teach where I do. Many of my students who are often in trouble can also be some of the sweetest, in their own ways!)

He Kids You Not

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2018

(I am the head store manager. One of the department supervisors has recently gone through a rather dramatic divorce. For a few months, he has gossiped to all of us about his ex, who claimed he was irresponsible, much to his anger. With the holiday season approaching, we have a meeting of all management and supervisors one Sunday night. I’m out front handling some customers when one of my employees comes out. The supervisor has arrived an hour early and has his kid in the back stockroom, which is against the rules; it’s full of palettes, boxes, and machinery. I head to the stockroom and find the child climbing on a rack with no shoes on, his father nowhere to be seen. I ask the kid to sit, and ten minutes later the supervisor appears from the break room.)

Me: “You know you cannot let non-employees in the back, especially not a minor!”

Supervisor: “He’s just playing. I have custody of him this week, so I had to bring him with me.”

Me: “You can’t bring your kid to a business meeting.”

Supervisor: “It’s okay; there’s lots of girls around the shop to keep an eye on him.”

Me: “Absolutely not. You need to arrange a babysitter, or miss the meeting and take the write-up.”

Supervisor: “Hey, I’m just trying to be a parent.”

Me: “You’ve known about this meeting for a month. Most of the management are parents; they’ve all found babysitters ahead of time.”

Supervisor: “Ugh, I’ll try calling my sister.”

(He calls. I agree to let them stay in the break room until his sister arrives, and head to my office to prepare for the meeting. Fifteen minutes go by, and I hear the supervisor talking to one of our security guards, then he knocks on my door.)

Supervisor: “Hey! My kid is hungry.”

Me: “Yes, and?”

Supervisor: “You got any graham crackers or goldfish or anything in your purse?”

Me: “No.”

Supervisor: “My mom and my ex always have food for him in their purse, but you’re, like, the third female I’ve talked to, and none of you have anything!”

Me: “I don’t carry food for your kid.”

(The supervisor shrugs and leaves. His sister arrives just before the meeting starts and we can hear an argument as she picks up the kid. The rest of the management team is gossiping while we wait on him.)

Coworker: “He asked if his son could play with my phone, because he didn’t want the kid accidentally breaking his!”

Supervisor: “Hey, sorry I held up the meeting. My sister was being a b**** because I didn’t have shoes or a coat for my kid.”

(Since then, we have had no problems seeing why his ex thought he was irresponsible!)

Gotta Hand It To The Honest Son

, , , , | Right | January 2, 2018

(I work in a self-serve froyo store where customers can put toppings on their yogurt themselves. Despite the fact that every topping has a spoon in it, many people reach in and grab toppings with their hands. This was the case with a woman and her son. It was the mother that reached in with her hand while she was right in front of me.)

Me: “Ma’am, please use the spoon for the toppings.”

Customer: “I am using the spoon!”

Me: “Ma’am, I just saw you use your hands.”

Customer: “No, I didn’t!”

Customer’s Son: *nodding apologetically* “Yeah, she used her hands.”

Customer: *glares at her son*

Fuuuuuuuudge For Dessert!

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2018

Years ago I worked at a summer camp run by the church. One of the rules was that all music played by the staff had to be kid-friendly, which made sense. However, the kitchen staff were let off a bit, as they usually worked when the kids were out doing activities. This particular kitchen staff had two playlists: a non-kid-friendly one for prepping meals, and a kid-friendly one for mealtime. It’s important to note that you could see and hear into the kitchen from the dining hall.

One night, while the kids were still in the dining hall, one of the kitchen staff turned on the stereo and walked away to start cleanup duties. However he didn’t realize that the non-kid-friendly playlist was still cued up from earlier. I was in the kitchen asking someone a question, when suddenly I heard loud drums, electric guitar, and a growling heavy metal voice start to scream: “FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU– “

Immediately, the staff member who turned on the stereo dove across the room and unplugged the system to kill the music. The rest of us just stared at him in shock and then started to laugh hysterically. Fortunately, the camp director wasn’t around to hear the “F-bomb” near-miss, but for the rest of the summer, the kitchen staff were very careful to check the playlist before turning on any music!

Things Are Going South

, , , , , , , | Related | January 2, 2018

(My husband and I are playing with our toddler and he’s excitedly jabbering away at us. Suddenly, he very clearly says the “N” word.)

Me: *gasps* “No, no, [Son]! That’s a rude word! Never say that!”

Son: *shaking his head* “No, no!”

Husband: *frowns* “I wonder where he heard that? I know we don’t say it, and none of our friends do. No one even says it with an ‘a’ on the end.”

Me: *scowling at him* “Well, obviously it was from your mom and step-dad or some of their friends at their church.”

Husband: *scoffs* “Why would you say that? How do you know that he didn’t hear it from your parents or some of your family?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know. It could be the fact that your mom said some of her neighbors proudly told her that they had run a—” *leans over and whispers [ethnic slur] then resumes normal tone of voice* “—out of their town a few years before your mom and step-dad moved in. And she still tries to say that they’re good, nice people.”

Husband: *shocked* “What?!” *shakes his head* “And she claims that living in the South hasn’t rubbed off on her.”

Me: *glares*

Husband: “I’m not saying all people from the South are racist, but that’s how my mom used to think, and she always swore that living in the South wouldn’t make her ‘like those people,’ as she used to say. Seems she’s become one of the people she swore she’d never be.”

Me: *sighs* “We’re going to have to have a long talk with your mom and step-dad, and it’s going to be a long time before he stays with them again.”

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