The Machines Are Aware…

| Working | March 31, 2017

(I am meeting my boss at a conference. I keep him updated on my whereabouts by text message.)

Me: *by text* “I’m at the corner of [Street #1] and [Street #2].”

(I arrive at the venue.)

Me: “I’m here.”

(After waiting in line for a long time:)

Me: “Still in line.”

(I make it through the line and find my boss seated at a presentation. There’s little room and I’m late, so I have to sit two rows behind him and he doesn’t see me. So as not to interrupt the presentation:)

Me: *by text* “I’m two rows behind you.”

(He takes his phone from his pocket and looks at it, so I assume he’s been receiving my texts. After the presentation, we meet.)

Boss: “Good to see you here. But I wish you’d let me know you were going to be late.”

Me: “I did. I was texting you all the way through.”

Boss: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah! Look at my texts!”

Boss: “I haven’t received anything from you… Here, I’ll send you a text to test.”

(I receive a text from another number. Then it clicks.)

Me: “Wait a minute… I was texting the OFFICE number on your business card, not your cell phone!”

(The poor receptionists at the office had to hear a horrifying robotic text-to-landline progression of someone coming up the stairs, culminating in “I’m two rows behind you”!)

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X-tra Stupid

| Learning | February 14, 2017

(While finishing my Master’s in 2009, I am volunteering at an academic conference. My job is to make sure organize the presenters’ files, and to run our audio recording software that syncs with PowerPoint. It is the lunch break.)

Me: “Hello, everybody. I’m sorry but we are having a problem with our recording software. It doesn’t work with the newer PPTX format so could you please convert your slides into PPT and re-submit them? Thank you.”

(Shortly afterward, another student comes up to me.)

Student: “I was trying to convert my PowerPoint into PPT like you said, so I deleted the X at the end of the filename, but now it won’t open at all.”

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Google Your History

| Working | October 31, 2016

(My coworker and I are talking about one of the famous scientists at this conference who happens to have the same name as an American burger chain, although the scientist is from South Africa.)

Coworker: “You would think parents would at least Google their kids’ names.”

Me: “Think about what you just said. She’s a middle-aged lady.”

Coworker: “[Burger Chain] has been around for a long time. I would guess it still existed then.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure Google didn’t!”

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Curse Of The Irish Accent

| Friendly | September 2, 2016

(I have a terrible “social memory.” I’m rubbish at accents, names, faces, and remembering details about people’s lives. I meet a guy at a conference who works in my industry. I’ve known him for over a year; we get on really well and usually have a drink or ten at overnight conferences. We are chatting at lunch.)

Me: “What part of England are you from again?”

Guy: *looking shocked* “I’m from [same IRISH town as I’m from]! Come on, I’ve told you that before.”

Me: “Was I drunk at the time, though?”

Guy: “But… could you not tell from the accent?”

Me: “I never noticed you had an accent. Oh, that’s probably because it’s the same as mine.”

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Not Presenting The Best Version Of Themselves

| Learning | August 17, 2016

(My colleague and I are filling out registration forms to give presentations at a conference.)

Colleague: “What did you put for “Title”?”

Me: “I put ‘PhD student.’”

Colleague: “I put ‘Miss.’”

Me: “Well, I guess we’ll find out which one was correct.”

(Some time later our supervisor comes out of his office struggling not to laugh.)

Supervisor: “I think where they asked for ‘Title’ they meant the titles of your presentations…”

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