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Attention Means Different Things To Different People

, , , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2022

My high school experience was an exercise in frustration for everyone involved. I was in a lot of high-level classes because my test scores were excellent, especially in languages. I never got less than an A on any language test — English, Spanish, or French. Even scoring under a 95% was a rarity.

However, most of my language teachers found this irritating rather than encouraging because I “didn’t pay attention in class” — I drew during lectures  — and my homework grades were abysmal due to me almost never handing anything in. In hindsight, I think many of them believed I had to be cheating, especially the one who refused to give me a bonus point on a test that would have tipped my average to an A for the quarter because I was “not an A student” due to my study habits, according to her.

My mom tended to have to sit on me during the last week of each quarter and force me to complete my backlog of missing assignments just so I didn’t completely tank my otherwise good grades. Like I said, frustration for everyone involved.

I had exactly one Spanish teacher who I was able to convince that I really was learning in class, regardless of what my pencil was doing at the moment. And it was completely by accident.

One day, she asked a general question of the class. I was the only one to raise my hand to answer. I did so, and she replied in a somewhat stunned tone that I was correct. Why so surprised? Because at no point in this process did I look up from the drawing I was working on with my other hand. I don’t think she figured out that the drawing was actually helping me pay attention, but she at least realized it wasn’t hindering anything and stopped admonishing me when she caught me doodling instead of taking notes.

Fifteen years later, guess who was diagnosed with ADHD-PI?

“Not an A student,” my left buttcheek.

The Pissy Attitude Was Bad Enough!

, , , , , , , | Right | March 29, 2022

In the early 2000s, I was a delivery driver at a locally-owned pharmacy. Most of our customers had been with us for years or even decades and never gave us any problems.

However, there was this one guy who seemed to thrive on being a jerk. He repeatedly refused to pay the $2.00 delivery fee and often called the store to complain that they had gotten his prescription wrong (which they never did).

The one time he actually came to the store, he asked to use the bathroom. He couldn’t get in there because the doorway was too narrow, so instead, he peed from the doorway in the general direction of the toilet. His aim was less than perfect.

Finally, the owner of the pharmacy wrote this guy a letter to the effect of:

Owner: “It is obvious that nothing we do will ever satisfy you. As such, we have decided to no longer accept your business. You are not to contact us again under any circumstances.

And because he knew how much crap I had taken from that guy, the owner made sure I got a copy of the letter.

Thieves Are Full Of Haterade

, , , , | Right | February 14, 2022

I’m working the register at the grocery store. Two guys come up with some assorted snacks; they’re a little scruffy-looking but otherwise unremarkable. I start scanning their stuff, exchanging platitudes with one of them. The other one, however, walks off toward the store entrance.

At the entrance, there’s a big palette of Gatorade. I’m watching the guy out of the corner of the eye just in case. He picks up a bottle and walks back toward the register. I assume he’s going to give it to me to scan, but instead of that, he just stands at the end of the till and makes a very forced attempt at looking “inconspicuous.” He’s glancing around, tapping the bottle on the till, and scratching his head. It is painfully obvious that he’s trying to steal the Gatorade.

Me: “Did you want to buy that?”

He looks at me, surprised.

Customer: “Uh, what?”

Me: “The Gatorade. Did you want to buy that?”

He stutters a bit, eyes darting around.

Customer: “Uh… no?”

Me: “If you don’t want it, could you give it to me?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “If you don’t want to buy it, I need to put it in my return box. Please hand it over.”

He grumbles and passes it over to me, and I deposit it in the return box under the till.

Customer: “I wasn’t gonna steal it.”

Me: “Didn’t say you were.”

He pouted while his friend paid for their shopping and they left. I watched him carefully on their way out to make sure he didn’t grab anything from the Gatorade display, though I have a feeling even if he did, he probably would’ve started juggling or something with it. I don’t think that guy knew the definition of the word “inconspicuous.”

Now Listen Here, Buddy!

, , , , | Right | January 27, 2022

My phone buzzes with a new message from a popular messaging app.

Unknown Number: “Where the h*** is the driver? I’ve been waiting out here for an hour!”

Me: “You got the wrong number, pal.”

Unknown Number: “Don’t f*** with me. I’m not in the mood! Where is the f****** driver?”

Me: “Seriously, you have the wrong number. This isn’t a business.”

Unknown Number: “You just lost yourself a customer for good. Look at my purchase history and see for yourself how much money I’ve spent over the last few years!”

Me: “I’m sure they probably won’t miss you all that much. Either way, you have the wrong number. Have a good one!”

Unknown Number: “What is your name and employee ID?”

Me: “Buddy Holly, ID [random number].”

Unknown Number: “What’s your real name, not your nickname? Or is Buddy actually your real name?”

Me: “They’ll know the name.”

Unknown Number: “Good… because I’m sure they’ll be happy to know you’re the reason why I’ll never use the services again.”

Me: “You know that’s a lie! ‘Cause that’ll be the day when they die!”

Unknown Number: “Dude… you are so fired!”

Here’s Hoping Your Desserts Aren’t THAT Dry!

, , , , , | Learning | December 30, 2021

I teach technology and this particular class is eighth-graders. Before we get into computer stuff, I always start the year off with a “Getting to Know You” questionnaire I have the students fill out about themselves. It’s the easiest grade they’ll get all year and it helps me get to know them. It’s all fluff questions like what their favorite color is, favorite class, something they’d like to learn, etc.

A student raises his hand.

Student #1: “Miss? I don’t have a favorite desert.”

Student #2: *Shouting out* “Mine’s the Gobi!”

Me: “Uh… guys… the question is, ‘What is your favorite dessert?’ You know, cake, ice cream, cookies?”

Cue three other students frantically erasing.