Keeping Pulling At That Thread

, , , , | Friendly | February 2, 2019

(When I am young, I go to a summer camp every year that is mainly staffed by people from overseas, primarily England. Being a bunch of middle-schoolers that rarely meet anyone from another state, never mind another country, we don’t quite get that it is rude to insist on hearing someone speak with an accent, but the counselors are mostly patient with us. Sometimes though, our ignorance gets a little too much for some…)

Us: “What’s your name?”

Counselor: “Pull.”

Us: “Huh?”

Counselor: “Pull?”

Us: “What?”

Counselor: *slightly pleadingly* “Pull?”

Us: “What kind of name is that?!”

Counselor: *with a resigned sigh and an exaggerated American accent* “PAAWWL!”

Us: “Oh! Paul!”

(Sorry, man! I promise I’ve learned to better understand accents in the twenty-plus years since!)

The Need For Dash-Cams And Knowledge Of The Law

, , , | Legal | December 27, 2018

(We are camped at a state park. We have been out for the day, including a party at the home of some friends. I had a couple drinks much earlier in the evening, and by the time this happens, I am stone-cold sober. I’m a former EMT. I never drive with the slightest amount of alcohol in my system! As we enter the campground and approach the registration booth, I see another vehicle approaching on another road. I stop immediately, as does the driver of the other car. We both sit there for a couple minutes, and I proceed to the booth. The other car comes up behind me; it is a park cop, and he puts on his emergency lights. He and his partner approach my car, one on each side. This is the weekend after Labor Day, the beginning of the slow season in this park.)

Cop: “You almost ran into the side of me.”

(That’s not true in the slightest; we’d never been closer together than ten inches or so.)

Me: “I’m sorry, officer.”

Cop: “You had a stop bar there.”

Me: “A what?”

Cop: *points to the white line painted on the road* “That’s the same as a stop sign.”

Me: “I didn’t know that. I’m very sorry, officer.”

(I am pretty sure that the white line isn’t the same thing as a stop sign, but I’m not stupid. I don’t want any trouble from this guy.)

Cop: “Well, be careful.” *leaves*

(I have since checked with a couple cops I know. That white line isn’t the equivalent of a stop sign. The cops I spoke with agreed with me, that the park cops were bored and were hoping to get a DUI arrest so they’d have something to do. While I was pretty peeved at his lying to me and his inappropriate actions, I did what I needed to do to avoid any trouble.)

Allergic To Common Sense, Part 14

, , , , | Healthy | December 18, 2018

(We had a summer camp cook that was a legitimate threat to our health and safety. Counselors came early to camp to help prepare for the coming kids, and the cook was responsible for feeding us. Just two of her sins were: 1) Food was chilled several degrees above the temperatures required for food safety. 2) She saw nothing wrong with storing raw, dripping meat above uncovered lettuce because the lettuce was going to be rinsed off, anyway. Counselors complained multiple times, but the higher-ups refused to fire her because she had faked her training in food preparation and continued to insist that she knew better, and the counselors didn’t know what they were talking about. Then, there was an incident that couldn’t be ignored. Two counselors were hospitalized with life-threatening conditions. Why?)

Cook: “There’s no such thing as allergies! It’s all in their minds! They’ve been allowed to be picky all their lives, instead of being forced to eat their ‘allergens’–” *actually makes air quotes with her fingers* “–until their body is forced to stop reacting to it and then you can eat it like everyone else! That’s how you get over allergies!”

(Fortunately, the police were very interested to hear that she had been made fully aware of the allergies of everyone at camp, and even MORE interested to hear that she had deliberately slipped the allergens to the unsuspecting counselors. The cook was arrested. As for the rest of us? We have been keeping documentation of the times the higher-ups failed to take action against our many complaints. We have a sizeable file to give to the lawyers of the two counselors who were hospitalized.)

Allergic To Common Sense, Part 13
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 12
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 11

Maybe They Should Adopt The Ability To Listen

, , , | Right | December 15, 2018

(I work in the creche at a family camp during the summer. We have a strict “no photo” rule as part of our safeguarding policy. The day before the creche opens, parents come to register their children.)

Me: “Hello! Welcome to the creche. Have you filled in the registration form?”

Mother: “Yes. It’s really important that nobody takes any photos of [Child], because he’s adopted.”

Me: “That’s fine; we never take photos in the creche.”

Mother: “I don’t just mean that the photos can’t go online; even for internal stuff, he can’t have his photo displayed.”

Me: “I understand. We won’t take any photos.”

Mother: “Even if he’s in the background, you’ve got to delete the photo. Can you make sure all of the staff know?”

Me: “Yes, nobody will take any photos. We never take photos in the creche; it’s part of our safeguarding policy.”

Mother: “Because it’s really important that we keep [Child] safe.”

Me: “Yes, I understand. Now, does [Child] have any medical issues or allergies we need to be aware of?”

Mother: “He’s adopted.”

Me: “Yes…”

Mother: “So it’s really important that he’s not in any photos.”

Me: “If you go to the next desk, my colleague will give you an ID card so that only people you’ve authorised can pick [Child] up.”

Mother: “It could be really dangerous if any photos of [Child] were published.”

I Eat Up Counselors Like You For Lunch

, , , , , , , , | Learning | November 21, 2018

(I often go to a day camp in the summer. I am a very thin child. When my parents pack me a lunch for the day, I typically get a sandwich, a snack — usually strawberries or grapes — and money for either one or two drinks. All of these things, from the plastic baggies holding each item to the brown paper bag they were stored in, have my full name on them. One of the female counselors sees me stashing the remaining half of my sandwich.)

Counselor: “[My Name]! Don’t waste food!”

Me: “I’m not.”

Counselor: “I saw you throw that sandwich away!”

Me: “It’s in my backpack. I’m full now. I’ll eat it later.”

Counselor: “You’re just going to throw it in the trash!”

(She grabs my bag, rips it open, pulls outs the brown paper bag with my lunch, drops the plastic baggie with my sandwich in her hand, shreds the plastic, and hovers it over my mouth.)

Counselor: “EAT!”

Me: “I’m not hungry!”

(This loops a few times, and the other counselor is just as useless. With no one in my corner, I get worn down and start eating the sandwich. Surprise, surprise, “I’m full,” means, “Don’t put any more food in my belly right now or I’ll vomit!” The good news is I don’t see her for the rest of the day as she is too horrified by what I’ve done to her sneakers. The bad news is what she says as she leaves.)

Counselor: “Don’t let him do anything for the rest of the day! He made himself vomit just to be a jerk!”

(The following day, come lunch time, before I even have a chance to put the bag down and open my soda, she’s already on me and takes my lunch out of my hand. She tosses my sandwich onto my lap and then holds up my grapes.)

Counselor: “You can have the grapes back when the sandwich is gone!”

(Remember when I mentioned my brain always tells me “Stop eating!” in this circumstance? Yeah, that happens again here. So for the rest of the week, I don’t get my snack. At all. During the first activity after lunch each day, starting today, I get to see her pull my snack out of her bag and hear the same line.)

Counselor: “Since you didn’t want these at lunch, they’re my snack now.”

(I figure I need to talk to the director of the camp about this, but I am not allowed to directly approach him, so I devise a plan. After yet another day of this counselor’s lunch ritual, just as I start racking my brain for ideas, I see an odd bulge from the tree not too far from the lunch area that wasn’t there when I started camp this year. I go to examine it, and I notice it’s a hive. We have some fresh wasps! By itself, the hive isn’t a problem. At a lunch area, with sugary sodas lying all over, now we have some intruders. A splash of soda here, a few little cream filling there, and they are all over my area.)

Me: “OH, MY GOD!”

(I bolt from the table, my lunch in hand.)

Counselor: “It’s not going to hurt you! Go eat!”


(I’m not really.)

Counselor: *mumbling* “You big baby.”

(She takes me by the hand into the visitor’s center and directly into the director’s office.)

Counselor: “[Director], we have a nest of wasps near the lunch area. [My Full Name] is claiming he’s allergic to wasps. Could you pull his allergy warnings and get someone to clear the nest?”

(One scan of the cabinet later…)

Director: “Nothing about wasps. [My Name], are you sure you’re allergic?”

Me: “No, I just needed to talk to you, and this was the only way [Counselor] would let me do it.”

Director: “Oh?”

Me: “She’s been stealing parts of my lunch every day since I started here this year.”

Director: “Excuse me?”

Counselor: “He’s full of it! I’ve never even touched his food!”

Me: “Then empty your bag.”

Counselor: “NO! Why should I?”

Director: “Because I’m your boss and I told you to.”

(Amazingly, it never crossed her mind to take my snack out of the plastic baggie with my overtly male and distinctly not-hers name on it.)

Director: “[Counselor], wait here until I get back. [My Name], get your grapes and I’ll walk you back to lunch.”

(The following day, my group had two new counselors.)

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