No Baby-Talking Here

| CA, USA | Friendly | April 21, 2017

(Overheard walking on a college campus:)

Girl #1: “The baby doesn’t like anyone else except me.”

Girl #2: “Aww, cute!”

Girl #1: “No, it’s not cute! I don’t like babies!”

Uh… Uhm… Title

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Learning | April 20, 2017

(This story takes place in the class “Programming I”, where we are learning how to code in the programming language known as C#. I am typing away at my work, when I hear a faint “uhm” come from a fellow student seated beside me. I turn over, and see them looking my way, pointing at their screen. For clarification, this person is very clear and fluent in English… when not focused on work.)

Student #1: “Could you… uh… check… code…?”

Me: “Sure. What’s wrong?”

(Leaning over, I start to analyze their code. I don’t see anything wrong, and no errors pop up when they run the program.)

Me: “What is the problem?”

Student #1: *waving their hand around aimlessly in front the screen* “Code. The uh… you… the… euh… ehh.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Student #1: *pointing at the now running program* “Just… eugh… ehhelp…”

(Confused, I test the program a few times, eventually realizing that the two possible results are mixed up. Note, this can be VERY EASILY SOLVED by changing a single character.)

Me: “Oh, the results are switched around! You just have to switch them out for one another, or change the ‘greater than’ symbol with the ‘lesser than’ symbol!”

Student #1: *continuing to wave hands about and point at the screen in arbitrary place* “Huuuh? But… no… the… hu… eeh… euhh… mmmmh…”

Me: “Everything else is fine. I can’t help you if I don’t know what the problem is!”

(After trying to reword what I mean several times, they eventually go silent and flat out ignore me. After getting back to my work, they call over Student #2, and speak in the same slurred way.)

Student #2: “What’s the problem?”

Student #1: “Could you…” *points at screen* “…the…”

(Student #2 then goes through every single line Student #1 made, mumbling to himself about what each piece of code does. Student #1 sits back and blankly stares as Student #2 works it out.)

Student #2: “You just need to switch the two around.” *turns around and walks away*

Student #1: “Okay, good. Thank you! That helps.”

(Screaming internally, I continued to work on my own programs. For the rest of class, Student #1 just stared at the screen, didn’t actually change anything, and eventually procrastinated on their phone.)

Tackling The Issue Promptly

| AZ, USA | Working | April 19, 2017

(I get hired to work in the computer labs on my college campus and am being given a “here’s your duties, etc.” speech by head boss. This is ten-plus years ago and I am a 19 year old girl, probably 130 lbs.)

Boss: “If someone steals any computer equipment you are responsible.”

Me: “Sooo, like, I should tackle them, right?”

Boss: “…no! No! You just need to keep an eye on people and make sure they know you are present.”

Me: “Okay, but what if someone just walks in and takes something? You said I was responsible., I don’t want to get in trouble or lose my job.”

(I was actually serious. I didn’t think it was weird to ask if I should tackle someone in the process of committing a crime; I have no idea why. I was a teenager.)

Boss: “No… No tackling, don’t follow, just… just call campus police, okay?”

(No tried to steal anything on my shifts. Also, before the year was out, a full policy had been put into place and panic buttons were installed in all computer labs. Apparently my offer to “tackle thieves” had conjured up such a strong mental image in the boss that he took fairly swift action.)

Touching My Body Of Music

| Perth, WA, Australia | Learning | April 19, 2017

(This story comes from the beginning of this century. Our lecturer told us the following story to keep us from trying to hide radios, mp3 players, etc. under our desks and listening to them through ear-buds:)

Lecturer: “[Student], I can see you bopping your head to the music! Turn it off.”

Student: “I swear I’m not listening to music.”

Lecturer: “You have one hand under your desk and a big smile. If you’re not playing with a music player, what are you playing with?”

Your Boobs Are Glitching Again

, | ME, USA | Friendly | April 18, 2017

(My friend is sitting on the lower bunk playing a rather glitchy, pornographic videogame. I am on the upper bunk, so I can’t see his screen. I am female.)


Me: “What are the boobs doing?”

Friend: “Oh, no, they stopped… NO! THEY’RE DOING IT AGAIN!”

Me: “Well? What are they doing?”

Friend: “I… I don’t know. I don’t know what to call it. It’s just…”

Me: “Boobs shouldn’t do it?”

Friend: “Exactly.”

(A few moments later.)

Me: “You know, you should probably tell me what the boobs were doing so that I can keep mine from doing it when I’m around [Boyfriend].”

Friend: “No, yours couldn’t do it. They’re too small.”

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