That’s Not Going To Cruci-fix This

, , , , , | Healthy | June 5, 2018

(I work in the dementia section of a senior living community. We have one resident who is known for her paranoid delusions and her visions of a religious nature. When dementia patients express beliefs that diverge from reality — e.g. that their long-dead spouse is waiting for them in the car, that they are the owner of the facility, etc. — it’s rarely helpful to correct their delusion, because it just makes them more agitated. We just try to keep them safe and calm, and redirect their attention if possible. Sometimes it’s not possible, though.)

Resident: “Did you see them?”

Me: “Did I see what, [Resident]?”

Resident: “The babies. They’re all dead. Satan killed them all, and they’re outside my window.”

Me: “No, I didn’t see them. But I wasn’t looking out the window. Say, [Resident], would you like to join the others in the rec room? We’re having a snack and a singalong.”

Resident: “Attack? Why would I attack you?”

Me: “No, a snack.”

Resident: “No snakes!”

Me: “Okay, how about the chapel? Should we go to the chapel? You could pray for the babies.”

Resident: “Yes, the chapel, that’s good. Let’s go to the chapel.”

(We go to the chapel, which has been known to have a calming effect on this resident in the past.)

Me: “Okay, let’s just have a seat and pray.”

Resident: “TOOL OF SATAN!”

(I turn, just in time to duck the three-foot-long, brass crucifix that is being swung towards my head. The resident, a small, frail lady, apparently snatched it from the altar, and is wielding it like a pick-axe, and her face is contorted in a red ball of rage.)

Resident: “Out! Out, you tool of Satan! You have no power here!”

Me: *knowing that saying, “I’m not a tool of Satan,” isn’t going to convince her of anything* “Oh, s***.”

(I turned and ran. My coworkers heard the commotion, and laughed heartily at the sight of a 6’2″, 250-pound man fleeing from a crucifix-wielding woman half my size. For the rest of my time there, one coworker refused to address me as anything but “Tool of Satan.”)

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No Need To Voice Your Concerns

, , , , | Working | June 4, 2018

(I recently finished a project for a children’s educational facility. Some people don’t know that programmers often have to develop such things before any artwork is created. We make placeholder graphics and sound — anything from stick-figures to images and sound stolen from the web — until proper media can be made. One such item is a short phrase I spoke that plays randomly every few minutes. For the final stages before a major event at the facility, I have to show up onsite to tweak a few things. It is technically my day off, so I show up unannounced when I feel like it. There is a young lady at the entrance desk, and there are gobs of children running around all over the place who are nominally monitored by a few parents and teachers.)

Me: “Um, hi. I’m [My Name], looking for [Colleague] regarding one of the exhibits.”

Receptionist: “Oh, yes. He’s not here right now, but let me give you his cell phone number.” *she calls off the number*

Me: “Thank you.”

Receptionist: “No problem. Here’s a visitor’s badge, and let me find the key to the unit.”

Me: “Thank you?”

(At this point I’m bewildered. These days, venues with small children are almost guarded like Fort Knox — thankfully — and she is giving me, a mystery middle-aged guy, VIP treatment without asking to see any ID. I look at her strangely.)

Receptionist: “That thing kept playing a message at random all day the other day, so I recognized you by your voice and figured you were here for that.”

Me: “Oh! Sorry about that.”

(I laughed when I realized just how crazy my non-stop message must have made her. It was the first and only time I had ever been positively identified by my voice. Removing the random message was one of the final requests made for the project. Good riddance to it.)

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No Red Alerts For This Red Light

, , , , , | Legal | June 4, 2018

(I pull up to a red light next to a police officer.)

Officer: “You want to race to the next light?”

Me: *surprised* “Sure!”

(I won! No, I didn’t get pulled over; we were both on bicycles. Possibly the first and only time a police officer has challenged someone to a road race.)

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Gender Is Less Fluid, More Stodgy

, , , , , | Learning | June 2, 2018

(An exchange I hear when switching classes:)

Student #1: *at full volume* “WHAT’S YOUR GENDER?!”

Student #2: *just as loud* “TOASTER STRUDEL, B****!”

(The lack of context was thrilling.)

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The Company Has Been Purchasing Real Estate Lately

, , , , | Working | May 31, 2018

(Apropos nothing:)

Boss: “What’s that island we own?”

Me: “I don’t think you and I own an island?”

Boss: “No, not us, someone else.”

Me: “Shouldn’t that be, ‘They own an island’?”

Boss: “No, because they would mean someone else. We own it.”

Me: “What, this company?”

Boss: “No, don’t be ridiculous; why would the company own an island?”

Me: “I really don’t know. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

Boss: “BANFF!”

Me: “I think that’s a mountain. I’m pretty sure it’s not an island.”

(Three days later, I’m hosting a training session for several employees when the boss comes rushing in, proclaims, “We own Baffin Island!” and rushes back out. My coworkers all look at me:)

Coworkers: “We do?”

Me: “We don’t. I think he meant Canada owns it, but I’m really not sure.”

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