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Guess You’ll Just Have To Find Someone Who Actually Works Here

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Tallchick8 | November 14, 2022

When I was at university, I took a Woman’s Studies course. We had a paper to write about gender differences within the toy industry and early childhood development.

My childhood dream of spending three and a half hours in a toy store was way less fun when I realized it as an adult.

For our paper, we had to go to a toy store and make a detailed map of the entire store  — which sections were next to which other sections, etc. Then, we had to go and find two items in each section and rate them on four different criteria. Finally, we had to go and ask a store employee to give advice on what toy we should get for a fictional four-year-old boy/girl.

I went to a now bankrupt big box toy store. I had a clipboard, and I first went around and made a detailed map of the store. Then, I went back and created my itemized list and started categorizing two toys per section in each of the four criteria. As you can imagine, this took quite a while.

Occasionally, as I was doing my task, people would ask me questions. Since I had just made a map, I was able to answer quite a few of their questions.

Me: “The stuffed animals, ma’am? That’s aisle four, right next to the doll houses.”

Me: “You’re looking for a microscope? That would be in educational toys in the far right corner of the store, next to the grow-your-own crystal set.”

One customer asked:

Customer: “Where are the tricycles? And the bicycles?”

I promptly told them the difference between each section. They went to look and came back.

Customer: “Can you get me a different color from the back?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t actually work here. I’m just a student doing a project.”

They rolled their eyes and left in a huff, and I could tell that they thought I was just a lazy employee with a clipboard.

Wish You Could’ve Phoned It In, But No Phones Allowed

, , , , | Learning | November 13, 2022

I am taking accounting for my business degree, and my teacher is probably the most uptight teacher I have had in years. He is a stickler for language and has a “no phones allowed in class or you are buying me doughnuts” policy — the usual signs of a migraine-inducing professor.

This beginning-of-semester assignment takes the cake, though.

He tells everyone that we have a MANDATORY meeting all the way across town for a business convention and that we need to have a “very good reason to not attend”.

This meeting is an hour’s drive away at 6:00 pm. He keeps talking about how important it is, and I stress about dressing nice and appearing on time ready to answer questions.

The day comes.

I show up and there are a total of ten booths, most of them trying to advertise their tax companies to us.

I spend five minutes there and get my pamphlet and myself put on the grade, and then I leave.

I missed out on a lot of homework time for this.

His Career Is Over Before It Even Starts

, , , , | Learning | November 11, 2022

I attend university for animation. At the moment, I’m in my senior year, which means senior capstones are in full swing. Senior capstones (senior thesis films at some schools) are a big deal. We had to do official pitches for our films. Then, some were “nominated” and we had to assemble teams of ten students to work on films for the next year. 

It is a hefty process, and there was a mad scramble in the week we had to “recruit” or be recruited. A lot of films were not greenlit due to a lack of people, and a lot of students were either rejected from films or were on those teams that were dissolved too late to join another film.

Enter [Classmate]. During the “recruiting” week, [Classmate] was on one film and then jumped ship onto another. 

When the director/pitcher of the first film announced that they were no longer trying to be greenlit and had decided to try to let their team find new members in a group chat that all of the rising seniors were in, [Classmate] went into the group chat and publicly said:

Classmate: “Oh, no, I’m so sorry! I only switched films because the film I’m currently on had more opportunity for me to animate characters! Is there any way to rejoin your film if this one doesn’t work out?”

This was not received well by the group chat.

Fast forward to now. We are now two weeks into the new school year, in preproduction, and working on getting everything ready so we can actually begin animating. At this point, we have all received important information such as deliverables and assigned roles, and we generally have a lot of important work done on our films.

[Classmate] suddenly messages after months of inactivity in the group chat:

Classmate: “Is it possible to switch capstones?”

The ENTIRE chat immediately erupts in disbelief. Many people ask him how he has the audacity to be so disrespectful to ask this kind of question publicly.

The reason he has decided to try to jump ship (AGAIN)? The team he was on made a plot change that he didn’t like. 

Keep in mind that we have spent YEARS at this point having classes where almost all the professors have drilled one thing into our minds: “Your professional career doesn’t start when you leave [University]; it starts now. These are going to be your professional peers.” 

And yet, in a chat with over 300 people in it, here [Classmate] goes, advertising not once but TWICE that he is unreliable and will jump ship at the first sign of something not going the way he wants it to.

We’re barely two weeks into this year-long film, and [Classmate] has already managed to ruin his professional reputation among all of the students that are about to graduate, be his peers, and be people who can recommend him to jobs.

Yikes.

Like A Firefist-Cyclops Combo

, , , , | Healthy | November 9, 2022

A few months into my freshman year of college, something very strange happened. Out of the blue, whenever I touched my eyes or the area around them, they would sting and burn painfully. I first noticed when I was taking out my contact lenses. After finally getting the lenses out, I tossed them straight into the trash and washed my hands thoroughly.

The next morning, I got a new pair, but when I put them in, I got the same burning sensation. Even after swimming laps in a chlorine pool, showering, and washing my hands several more times, the phenomenon persisted.

I ended up wearing my glasses instead of my contacts for a while. Even after a few days, when I’d experimentally get a finger close to see if I could wear contacts again — because my eyesight is really bad, and peripheral vision is nice — I could feel the heat starting. As the X-Men movies had come out recently, I started joking that I must be developing superpowers.

Fortunately, I ended up making that joke to a friend who remarked that my symptoms sounded like I’d been exposed to pepper spray or something similar. He asked if I carried any, and I produced my keychain bottle of the same. But I hadn’t had a need to use it, so why would it be on my hands? He took the bottle, smelled it, rubbed it, and finally solved the mystery.

Friend: “The pepper spray is leaking. You’ve been getting it on your hands every time you grab your keys. Throw it away, wash your hands again, and wait another couple of days before trying contacts again.”

So much for superpowers…

Not The Most Animated Classmate

, , , , , | Learning | November 2, 2022

I study 2D animation. My university doesn’t require a portfolio to apply, only grades. This results in some people who don’t know how to do art but have good grades applying to art school and then dropping a year in because they thought the degree would be easy before realizing how incredibly rigorous the school’s workload is, even with relearning fundamentals — or in some cases, straight-up having to learn fundamentals for the first time — for a full quarter. The sophomore population can drop dramatically within a year.

Enter [Student]. [Student] is a 2D animation student with a minor in illustration. He is also horrible at taking feedback. I don’t mean that he throws a hissy fit; he is actually fairly nice outside of classes. I mean that he doesn’t actually apply critique or feedback to what we need him to do. 

In my very first project with him as a team member, we were taking an effects class and needed to animate a flaming arrow flying through the air and landing in the water, leaving a smoke trail — within three weeks. 

I was assigned the role of the group leader. In assigning tasks, having seen [Student]’s projects up to that point, I wasn’t super trusting that he could do the other effects and gave him the arrow. 

He gave back a file where the arrow slowed at the end when it hit the water. I liked where it originated, so I asked if he could make it a bit quicker at the end and give us a new version. This was a very simple task by any animator’s standards; you would remove a few drawings at the end.

After two days, [Student] gave us a file that moved far too evenly throughout. Checking, he had actually added frames to the rest of the file. Maybe he had somehow misunderstood. I told him that while I appreciated it, I actually had just meant to take out a few drawings at the end. Explicit instructions. Surely this couldn’t be messed up?

Nope. He added drawings. The arrow was also too stiff. These changes took him another two days. At this point, we were actually behind since we needed the arrow to do any of the other effects, and we had a very short time to get this project done. I asked him to please hand over the file, and I gave it to one of the other animators to redo.

This task also took him another day. At this point, he’d wasted almost a whole workweek on what was supposed to be the simplest part of the animation — which the animator who fixed it did in an hour.

He never attended a single one of our supplementary meetings, either. Not one. 

The professor complimented us on how well our final had progressed from the original version she’d seen and how she liked the path of the arrow and where it originated from. So, it seems like she gave credit where it wasn’t due.

However, something [Student] had missed on the day that the final was assigned (because he was conspicuously absent) was that the group leader was always in communication with the professor… including a final report after the project had ended, giving an explanation of what each team member had done.

Guys… that email might’ve been professional, but it was absolutely brutal. I gave honest and glowing reviews to my other teammates, who absolutely knocked it out of the park with both the amount of work they did and the quality. 

To give you an idea of how it looked, I was saying stuff like, “[Classmate A] did a super job with communication! [Classmate B] made it to all of our extra meetings and redid an entire section of the animation after feedback! [Classmate C] was proactive about saying she had nothing to do because she was waiting on [Classmate B] and asked if there was anything else she could do!” in my intro sentence for each classmate.

Then, I got to [Student], and that segment started with a, “[Student] finished the work, but…” 

This project was worth fifty percent of the grade. It was a big project because it was supposed to show just how much we’d improved from the start of class.

[Student] didn’t fail — some professors are too nice and grade it solely on whether they fulfilled the criteria here — but he didn’t pass with flying colors, either.