Cubic Confusion

, , , , , , | Related | January 16, 2020

(It’s no secret in my family that I’m very good at mental arithmetic. As a result, I’m frequently used to calculate any number of things going on in their lives under the pretense of “save me from finding the calculator.” Usually, it’s just a minor inconvenience in my day. Then, my dad says the magic words.)

Dad: “So, it measures 7 feet, by 7 feet, by 4 inches. How many cubic feet is that?”

Me: “16 1/3.”

Dad: “No! That’s too small!”

Me: “You said 7 feet, by 7 feet, by 4 inches, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “And there’s 12 inches to a foot, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “So, 4 inches is equal to 1/3 of a foot, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “So, 7, times 7, times 1/3. That’s 16 1/3.”

Dad: “No! You have to convert it to cubic inches first!”

Me: “Really?! You’re making me do it that way?”

Dad: “Yes, that’s how you do it.”

(Groaning and shaking my head, I do this considerably longer calculation.)

Me: “That’s 28,224 cubic inches, so… 16 1/3 cubic feet. Again.”

Dad: “What?! How did you turn 28,000 into 16?!”

(I grab a pencil and paper and walk him through every step of my work. We arrive at 28,224 just fine, and then we get to converting.)

Me: “So now we divide by 1728.”

Dad: “No! There are only 12 inches to a foot!”

Me: “It’s a CUBIC foot, Dad. That’s a cube measuring 12 inches, by 12 inches, by 12 inches. That’s 1728 cubic inches to the cubic foot. Or are you going to tell me that you think the answer is 2352 cubic feet?”

Dad: “You did something wrong!”

(He storms off, right towards the calculator. Meanwhile, I’ve pulled out my phone and found a source that proves there are 1728 cubic inches to a cubic foot, just in case I still need it, which I do. By the end of this encore of a needless conversion, we have, once again, arrived at 16 1/3.)

Dad: “THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT!”

Me: “Why don’t you show me what I’m calculating?”

(He leads me to the backyard and shows me a big, rectangular hole.)

Dad: “This is for the shed. I dug it out, and I just need to smooth it out. Tomorrow, I’m going to fill it. I need to know if I’ve got enough bags of cement. If it’s 16 1/3, I’d only need one bag, but I’m definitely going to need more like 30.”

(I see one of the bags he has out, and I start reading it to make sure all of his numbers are right. The bag says it’s good for 20 cubic feet of concrete, so by all outward appearances, my math is sound. Then, as I ponder why my dad insists he’s going to need 30, the gears in my head start winding.)

Me: “Dad, you are going to use concrete, right?”

Dad: “Yes!”

Me: *realizing how poorly I phrased my previous question* “Walk me through it. You empty this bag into the… whatever, and then?”

Dad: “Then I add the water until it’s the right consistency.”

Me: “That’s it?”

Dad: “Well, then I pour it, smooth it out, and build the shed.”

Me: *facepalming* “Oh, my God.”

Dad: “What?”

Me: “You don’t know the difference between cement and concrete, and you’ve done work on this house.”

(At least now we knew what the problem was. Now to figure out how many of his fixes around the house have to be redone.)

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Some Dry Humor Could Have Saved The Day

, , | Right | January 16, 2020

(I’m the stupid customer in this story, unfortunately. I buy a mascara from a large retail store but when I get home and open it, it is completely dried out. I go to return it.)

Me: “Sorry, I bought this mascara yesterday and it’s completely dried out.”

Sales Person: “I’m so sorry! Do you have a receipt? Let me have a look and get a refund for you.”

Me: *hands over receipt and mascara*

Sales Person: “…”

Me: “…”

Sales Person: “This is a microfibre mascara.”

Me: “I don’t care what kind it is; it’s dry.”

Sales Person: “Um… it’s not an actual mascara. It’s microfibres that you apply to eyelashes along with mascara to add volume.”

Me: “But it’s dry.”

Sales Person: “It’s microfibres. Not mascara.”

Me: “…”

Sales Person: “Do you still want a refund?”

Me: *properly embarrassed* “No, it’s fine. I’ll keep it.”

(Fun fact: now that I actually know what it is and how to use it, it’s fantastic! My eyelashes look amazing when I use it.)

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You Can Knot Be Serious

, , , , | Learning | January 16, 2020

(This happens in eighth grade, so we are about fourteen. During class, we are doing a writing assignment when my friend asks me:)

Friend: “Wait, do you spell ‘neck’ with a K?”

Me: “Yeah.”

(I looked at her paper; she spelled it “kneck.”)

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I Use Office For Office  

, , , , | Right | January 15, 2020

(I recently started working for the tech department of an office supply chain store, and I quickly started to learn that the customers who need to buy software and hardware for their computers aren’t always the brightest bulbs of the bunch.)

Customer: “I am looking for MS Office.”

Me: “Sure, right this way.”

(I start to lead the customer toward the software section.)

Me: “Just out of curiosity, what are you going to be using it for? For work, or for college…?”

Customer: “HP.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: “On an HP laptop.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. My mistake. I was actually wondering what you were going to be using it for?”

Customer: “MS Office.”

(I almost facepalm and rub my eyes as I sigh, trying to hide my frustration.)

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Communing With Sandwiches Of The Future

, , , | Right | January 15, 2020

(I work in a sandwich shop, and occasionally, a customer will just tell me what kind of meat they want and then stare at me as if I somehow have all the information I need. Today, one customer takes it further.)

Customer: “Ham.”

(I try to ask follow-up questions so that I know what bread to put the ham on, but she interrupts me.)

Customer: “Ham.”

Me: *tries again*

Customer: “Ham!”

(Finally, she lets me speak.)

Me: “A six-inch or footlong?”

Customer: “Six.”

Me: “On what kind of bread?”

Customer: “White bread.”

(As I turn around and retrieve a loaf of white bread from the cabinet, I hear her speak again.)

Customer: “Toasted.”

(While I cut the bread and start to place ham on it, she repeats herself two more times.)

Me: “Before I toast it, what kind of cheese do you want?”

(She paused, looked over the cheese for a couple of moments, and then pointed and said, “Cheddar cheese.” I try to help the customer get the sandwich they want, but it’s hard to do so when they shout commands that I can’t do yet.)

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