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“R” You Serious, Teach?

, , , , , , | Learning | April 13, 2022

The “add to dictionary” function was half-turned-off on the computers at my school. The option was there, you could click it, and the red squiggle would disappear, but that would only last until you logged off. The next time you opened the document, the squiggle would be there again; ditto if you submitted it electronically and the teacher opened it on their computer.

This wouldn’t have been a problem except that my name always gets that red squiggle. Let’s pretend my name is Sanda, for simplicity and anonymity. In Year Eleven, I got the one teacher who was really pedantic about spelling mistakes; we’d lose marks for every red squiggle in our electronically submitted work.

So there I was losing marks for my name, while this other kid whose work I had to peer mark was using “to” instead of “too,” but I was told I was not allowed to deduct marks for that. There was no red squiggle, so clearly “to” was a word, and therefore, no mistake had been made. (Thank everything this guy was not an English teacher.) Being, I think, understandably frustrated, I tried to argue about how I lost points every time just for having a weird name.

My teacher told me I was spelling my name wrong. Uh, no, I was not. I think I know how to spell my own name. He showed me the register on my computer, and where my name, Sanda, should have been, Sandra was there instead. Someone in the receptionist’s office had spelt my name with an R when there was none. While this explained why I had to correct every single teacher on how to pronounce my name, it didn’t help my current issue with this particular teacher thinking I couldn’t spell my own name.

Thankfully, I was able to get my name fixed before GCSE certificates would name me Sandra permanently. The teacher did give back the name marks after I got it sorted, but he didn’t change his method of checking spelling/grammar beyond those red squiggly lines.

Times It’s Okay To Use The F-Word

, , , , , | Right | March 30, 2022

A customer is checking out at my register and reads my name tag.

Customer: “[My Name]. You know what I think of when I hear that name? A girl riding bareback on a horse. Naked.”

I respond before I can stop myself.

Me: “What the actual f***?!”

The customer looked shocked, stammered something or other, and then hurried out of the store.

Today, On “The World Is Too Big And It Scares Me”:

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2022

I work as a receptionist for a healthcare company that often helps people get started with disability, Medicaid, SSI, etc. We have locations across the entire country, with thousands of employees. The phone rings about fifteen minutes to close.

Caller: “Hi, I received this letter that says someone by the name C. [Somewhat Uncommon Last Name] is handling my application. I need to talk to them.”

Me: “No problem, one moment.”

I search by the last name in my directory and find four matches, three of whom have a first name that starts with C. I transfer the caller to the [Customer Service] representative on my list. The other two are in IT and Accounting, so they’re unlikely candidates. Two minutes later, the phone rings again.

Caller: “Yeah, I just talked to you. No one answered; I just got a voicemail. Can you get that person on the phone? It’s C.—” *Spells the last name*

Me: “Ma’am, I have three C. [Last Name]s in my directory, I sent you to the one I believed to be the most likely person. Do you have any other information, such as the department they are from? Is this regarding a Medicaid or Disability appli—”

Caller:Three?! But it’s an uncommon last name!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, it is, but we have multiple people working for the company with that last name. We have offices across the country, so there are bound to be some similar names.”

Caller: “But it’s such an uncommon last name! It’s [Last Name]!”

She spells it out again.

Caller: “I got this suspicious letter, and I need to find out what’s going on with my application!”

Me: “Let me send you to our general resolution line, and anyone there can at least pull up your information in their system and see what’s going on.”

Caller: “You can’t do it? Or get C. [Last Name] on the phone?”

Me: “I’m a receptionist and don’t have access to any client information. Let me get you over to someone who can help you.”

I transferred her before she could argue. As I hung up the phone, a delivery person arrived, so I left my desk to unlock the door and let them in. When I returned to my desk, I saw a missed call from the same lady. She left a very similar voicemail that I then forwarded to the rep. Sorry that some people within a nationwide company might share a last name?

You Sure You Wanna Have Kids With Her?

, , , , , , | Romantic | March 13, 2022

I am agnostic and my girlfriend is an atheist. My last name is Chan.

I was just hanging out with my girlfriend and talking when, somehow, the topic of what we would name our theoretical future children came up. Neither of us took it at all seriously, and we were both trying to come up with the worst possible names we could give the poor kids.

Girlfriend: “Oh, oh! I’ve got the perfect name: Christopher!”

Me: “Why’s that perfect?”

Girlfriend: “Because we would be raising him to believe everything we believe, of course.”

Me: “So?”

Girlfriend: “So, he will be the only Chris Chan I’ve ever met that doesn’t believe in God!”

As I recall, I ended up throwing a French fry at her for that one. Years later, she is now my fiancée. No news yet on any Chris Chans, though.

Common Sense Has Passed Away

, , , , , | Right | March 8, 2022

This took place through email, over the span of several days.

Mailer: “I hereby let you know that my client, Mr. John, passed away. Please remove my name and email address from your data.”

Me: “I am so sorry to read that. My condolences. Could you please give us his address and date of birth, so we know which Mr. John passed away?”

Mailer: “With his passing, I am no longer connected to Mr. John. I hereby once again request you remove me from your systems.”

Me: “I will certainly do that, but which Mr. John are we talking about? May I please have his address and date of birth?”

Mailer: “I hereby ask you for a third time to remove my data and to never contact me again. If you do, I will file a complaint with [Government Complaint Agency].”

I go to my manager, at a loss.

Manager: “How many Mr. Johns do we have on file?”

Me: “At least five hundred, excluding different spellings. If it was a less common name, I might have been able to find it out myself, but this is a needle in a haystack.”

Manager: “Well, maybe that person will contact us again when we send him an automated letter or something. Or maybe his children will contact us. You did your best; just let it go.”

Three weeks later, a son mailed us to let us know Mr. Johnson (yes, the mailer had the last name wrong) had passed away three weeks earlier, and lo and behold, the in-file correspondence address was the same as the person who mailed us. We deleted that address with glee.