Work Smart, Not Hard, And Fly Under The Radar

, , , , , | Learning | January 2, 2021

I studied computing at a local college as my secondary school didn’t have a sixth form at the time. One of my friends and I went to the same school and then went and studied the same topic at college and were put in the same class. We ended up working together on a lot of projects even when we were not really meant to.

This was especially true in programming; one of us would build the program (usually [Friend], as he was the better programmer) and one of us would do the program documentation (usually me). Then, we would switch and change it to match our personal style and method.

We always made sure they were as different as possible even though they essentially solved the same problem the same way.

We never once got caught for “plagiarism”. However, one day, everyone else in the class of twenty to thirty was called into the office of the head of computing.

They were given a first and last warning over copying, as the rest of them had found an example program online that solved the same problem and had just copied it with some minor tweaks to the source code.

They all had to redo their assignments on their own time as well as having their grades capped at a pass, while my friend and I both got 80%.

For those saying we cheated ourselves, etc., I knew I wasn’t going to go into programming — I just didn’t have the knack — and [Friend] could do the documentation, but we preferred to save a few hours a week and go partying, instead. 

He works at a university doing robotics and AI while I work as a digital marketing consultant, so I think we both did all right.

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I’m Not Sure You Can Fix This Much Stupid

, , , , | Learning | December 10, 2020

I’m taking chemistry. In an effort to motivate the class, our teacher has announced that if you turn in homework early, you’ll get extra credit points. Chemistry is not my strong point, so I start doing this to help boost my grade. She puts all graded homework in a “pickup” bin where we grab it before or after class. One day, I go to the bin and my homework isn’t there.

Me: “Hey, Mrs. [Teacher], my homework from last week isn’t here.”

Teacher: “That’s odd. I have your extra credit noted right here.”

She flips through her grade book.

Teacher: “Yep, graded and bonus points added. I probably just set it down and forgot to put it in the bin. Go start on the lab. I’ll run it over to you when I find it.”

I go back to my table and start setting up the lab. My lab partner, a known slacker, is furiously scribbling on a piece of paper.

Me: “Hey, you ready?”

Lab Partner: “Hang on. Just gotta finish the homework.”

Me: You are actually doing the homework?

Lab Partner: “You people doubt me!”

Me: “Because you never do the homework.”

Lab Partner: “I’m turning over a new leaf! Gonna try and do better this quarter.”

Me: “Wow. That’s great!”

I notice a piece of paper with very familiar handwriting sitting next to him. He looks at it, fills out a question, and squints at the paper.

Me:Hey!

Lab Partner: “This handwriting is terrible.”

Me:You took my homework!”

I reach over and grab the paper. He grabs it back.

Lab Partner: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

Me: “That’s my handwriting and my name at the top, dumba**!”

Lab Partner: “No, it isn’t!”

Me: “Oh, really? Watch this.”

I raise my hand and my teacher comes over.

Me: “Mrs. [Teacher], [Lab Partner] has found my homework.”

He tries to shove the homework under his book. My teacher intercepts him and hands it back to me.

Lab Partner: “I didn’t do anything! That’s mine.”

Teacher: “[Lab Partner], are you really going to try this?”

Lab Partner: “I found it in the pickup box, so it’s mine now!”

My teacher facepalms and sighs.

Teacher: “Good grief. [Lab Partner], you get a zero. Try that again and it’s in-school suspension for you.”

She walks away.

Lab Partner: “Well, that was stupid of me.”

Me: “You think?!”

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Time To Bite The Bullet, Part 2

, , , , | Romantic | November 6, 2020

As there was another story about Potong Jalan recently, I feel that I should submit my own story on it.

Through the two years of mandatory military service (NS), most of us have lost our girlfriends. There are the lucky ones, like me, whose girlfriends were decent enough to formally break up before gallivanting off, but the majority of the guys only find out that they’ve been Potong Jalan-ed by mutual friends or social media telling them that their girlfriends are cheating on them.

Less than a month before the end of NS, one of the only two guys in my platoon who still has a girlfriend receives a text message from his girlfriend.

It is an invitation to her wedding. To another man. Who she has been seeing for a year. Oh, and she is pregnant with his kid.

Yeah. Ouch. By this point, we’ve assumed that any relationship that has survived is basically inviolable. After all, there are only three and a half weeks left until we end NS.

Needless to say, my platoon mate doesn’t believe it. He immediately calls her, only for her to tell him that she is serious. Oh, and that she expects a nice wedding gift.

My platoon mate immediately breaks down weeping, and the rest of us completely fail at consoling him. In fact, my attempt to convince him to let go and move on ends in me having to physically restrain him. A knife may or may not have been involved.

And that went loads better than the last guy with a girlfriend’s attempt to cheer him up.

I can’t tell you that one. It got classified by our bosses.

Eventually, we got the officers involved and they calmed him down and got him to go shower and sleep. Thank goodness they were trained as breakup counselors.

The rest of the fallout is another story altogether, but needless to say, that was the worst Potong Jalan I have ever had the misfortune of seeing happen.

Our guy basically got the rest of his last month in the army waived by our bosses under compassionate leave. But yeah, that was one traumatic breakup. And by traumatic, I mean traumatic. Even the rest of us were traumatised by it.

Related:
Time To Bite The Bullet

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Making A Clean Getaway

, , , , , , | Romantic | October 27, 2020

Two other people and I are a team that clean people’s houses for my maid service job in a very affluent neighborhood. The thing about The Help is that we overhear a lot of things because we’re often invisible.

I’m cleaning the place up. [Client] is home, puttering around while I dust the high places and such. [Client]’s husband calls her cell phone and she answers. The discussion is in a normal tone of voice.

Thirty seconds later, [Husband] calls the home phone. The discussion becomes heated, and from what I can overhear, [Husband] thinks [Client]’s cheating and was making sure she was at home where she claimed to be. [Client] slams the phone down and fumes.

I clean house basically every two days, so I come back. [Husband] is now on a “business trip” and I am asked to do a little straightening in the bedroom. My team and I strip the bed and then I go to take fresh sheets out of the linen closet… but the door won’t open. I can’t even turn the knob.

Me: “[Client], the closet door in the bedroom is jammed.”

Client: “Let me try it.”

She tries, but she can’t get it open, either.

We all ponder briefly, and then [Client] gets the idea to call [Husband] about the stuck door.

She hits the dial button… and the phone rings from inside the closet!

We all turn to look at each other, disbelief in our eyes, as we can actually hear fumbling sounds coming from inside the closet.

I try the doorknob and the door opens without resistance. [Husband] practically falls flat on his face, the now silent cell phone in hand, at my feet.

The whole lot of us, the wife, my team, and I, are just staring at him.

Husband: “Oh… Uh… Hi, honey.” 

There’s lots of awkward fumbling as he gets to his feet, and he won’t look any of us in the eyes.

From what I glean from the following nuclear explosion, [Husband] still thought [Client] was cheating on him and pretended to go on a business trip, when in reality he was hiding in random areas in the house where neither of them normally go to try to catch the supposed side boyfriend in the house.

Naturally, the maid service is invisible to this dude, so it never occurred to him that those clean sheets happen because the servants do go into those places, until like, the very last second. He’d panicked and grabbed and held the doorknob to keep me from opening it the first time.

[Client] basically chases him out of the house entirely and he flees for his life.

Her very next call is to a divorce lawyer.

Sometime later, I show up for another appointed house cleaning and find the woman seething while on the phone with her bank. She has apparently discovered that their joint bank account is $4,000 short and she’s trying to figure out where it went.

Where else? [Husband]. [Husband] apparently bought plane tickets to another country shortly after he fled the house and withdrew the rest for cash on hand. Not suspicious at all! I was left thinking about the husband, and about pots and kettles both being black.

Client: “I have plenty of money in my account, so I promise that I can still pay you, so your services can continue as normal.”

At this point, I shyly suggest she call my home office. She can ask for a referral from the cleaning company for some trustworthy house movers to remove [Husband]’s personal effects from her home.

The house movers and cleaning company sometimes share job requests and bounce off of each other; they often carefully pack up entire households and then leave the place to us to clean the carpets, clean shelves, etc., and prepare the house for new families moving in. It’s a very beneficial arrangement for both of us and we refer clients back and forth.

Less than half an hour later, four big guys arrive at the same time her lawyer does — when you have big bucks, response time can be measured with a hand timer, apparently — and they go room by room. The lawyer notes everything that is slated as [Husband]’s, which the movers take down and carefully pack. My team and I coordinate with the movers and clean up behind them so that there aren’t even dust rings left behind where the removed things used to be.

The lawyer makes careful inventory of everything and its condition when removed so [Husband] can’t complain about breakage. [Husband]’s things are then taken to a storage facility.

Details are sketchy from here on, but [Client] now has a different last name and is very happily living her life as a divorced woman.

I’m just left shaking my head. I’m used to some odd stuff that is accidentally discovered, overheard, or observed, but so far, this takes the cake.

On the plus side, with half the stuff gone, the house is much easier to clean!


This story is part of our Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Read the next story in the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

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Not Just Impostors, But Cheaters Are Among Us

, , , , , | Friendly | October 19, 2020

I’m playing a certain online game where one player is given the objective of killing the others in secret while the others have to figure out who the killer is and vote them off before it’s too late. Players are not allowed to communicate with each other during normal gameplay except during a meeting, and dead players are not allowed to communicate at all.

In this particular game, I get assigned as the killer. I get a few decent kills in, and then one player calls a meeting.

Player #1: “It’s [My Name]! They just killed my friend! He just texted me.”

Player #2: “Okay.”

All the remaining players immediately vote for me without regard to the blatant cheating. I hold off on my vote, though, so I can object.

Me: “Dude, that’s f****** cheating!”

Player #1: “[Player #5] is my friend. They said you killed them. RIP.”

Player #3: “How is it cheating?”

Player #4: “Yeah, [Player #1] figured out it was you.”

Me: “Only because their friend texted them.”

Player #3: “So?”

Me: “Communicating outside the game isn’t allowed.”

Player #1: “Says who?”

Me: “Says the creator.”

Player #2: “Show us where exactly it says we can’t text each other.”

At this point, the vote timer ran out and I got voted off before I could respond. I immediately left the lobby and searched for a new one. The next lobby wasn’t much better. After I got chosen as the killer again, the host banned me from the lobby out of spite just for killing them.

Not all my games have been this bad, but it still felt pretty sour to get two scummy lobbies in a row.

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