Valar ēdruta qringaomagon

, , , , , , | Learning | December 11, 2017

For a literary theory class, we had to give a presentation about the topic we were planning to write our research paper on, so the professor could green-light it. I was really excited that a girl was going to write about feminist agendas in A Song of Ice and Fire, because I’m a huge fan of the franchise. However, it started out bad with the professor, who was also the chair of the department, stating that he thought “fantasy [was] crap,” and it only got worse from there.

Besides writing several names wrong (such as “Rob” instead of “Robb”) and mentioning several characters that only exist in the TV show, the student portrayed the fairly empowering books as the most sexist piece of fiction ever written. It soon became very obvious that she had only seen (at best) a few episodes of the TV show.

At the end of the presentation, several other students and I tried to correct the mistakes, but the professor rejected them all regardless, as the presentation reinforced his beliefs that fantasy is garbage.

Through a mutual friend, I later heard that the girl got an A for her research paper. I took note, avoided that particular professor, and when I wrote my master’s thesis on a similar topic, my supervisor told me that this professor had been trying to get the university to boycott research into fantasy literature for years.

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Unfiltered Story #101619

| Unfiltered | December 11, 2017

It’s between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and, as this restaurant is near/on-campus, it’s almost empty. I receive my food and head to a small, secluded area around a corner when I see a employee with cleaning supplies sitting there playing with her phone.
Me: “Did you already clean here? I could go sit somewhere else then.”
Rather than answering she just gives me a dirty look. I like that spot and it doesn’t appear recently cleaned so I sit down nevertheless, take off my winter clothes and start eating when I notice her clearing her throat.
Employee: “You need to eat somewhere else. I’m cleaning here right now.”
Me: “I’m sorry? I’m certainly not going to stack my food back on the tray and balance it to another table with my winter clothes in my arms while my burger falls apart. That’s why I asked you before sitting down.”
Employee: *calling around the corner* “[Manager]?”
Manager: *comes around the corner shortly afterwards* “Yes?”
Employee: “This customer ignored me when I told him that I’m currently cleaning here! Can you throw him out?”
I’m just about to respond when the manager interrupts me.
Manager: *to employee* “Firstly, we don’t throw customers out just because they are sitting somewhere we want to clean and we most certainly don’t call a manager to discuss such an option in front of the customer. But as we’re already here: Cut the c***. Everyone here knows you’re sitting around the corner your whole shift, playing with your phone and pretending you’re cleaning. Honestly, we only let you get away with it because the only thing worse for business than you doing nothing all day is – evidently – you dealing with customers. We were just waiting for you to do something stupid which. I’m happy to say: You just did. You can go home now. We’ll call you tomorrow about your termination.” *to me* “I’m sorry about all that. When you’re finished you can come to the counter and get free dessert or a hot coffee if you like.”

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The Color Of Incompetence

, , , , , | Working | December 8, 2017

I am draftsman in a construction company. I recently did a project modernizing a school. Since it was a public school, our client was the city’s planning department and the person in charge was a civil servant with degrees in architecture and engineering.

Right at the start, things got out of hand. After submitting our ground-plans I got a call from the civil servant. She explained to me that she didn’t like the colours in the plans. I politely explained to her that the colours were determined by a standard and that there was nothing I could do about it. Submitting plans not according to standard can be a huge hassle, since they can be rejected, and we’d have to start over with the approval process. Nevertheless, she insisted we change the colours, so I told her I’d talk to my boss about it.

He told me to propose to her that we’d change the colours under the condition that they pay the entire price for the planning twice as overhead. He hoped that this would make her back down, since that’s a lot of money for essentially ten minutes of work. The civil servant, however, immediately agreed to it.

From there on, it only went downhill. Turns out the architect had planned a server farm in a heritage-protected attic made out of extremely flammable 200-year-old wood. No way we could weld or solder up there without a 24/7 fire-watch person. We proposed a solution to the engineering lady: Using plastic tubes instead of the steel tubes, which would not only be cheaper but also last longer. The lady in charge immediately declined and said we should hire a fire-watch at their cost.

As you can imagine, the project soon went over budget and we had to stop working midway through, since there were no funds left. By then, we had installed all the tubes and cables, but the actual server farm and cooling units were still missing. Four years went by like that and the legal warranty for our work expired.

The city soon took note of that and pleaded to the state government for securing more funds. They got barely enough money to finish the project. However, engineering lady had another plan and used the money to extend the warranty for another four years… for a system not running. Always glad to see my tax dollars well spent.

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Fat Chance Of Caring

, , , | Working | December 4, 2017

(I recently bought a new sweater; it is white with bold red writing on the front which reads: “Sorry if I looked interested. I’m not!” I think it is funny, so I wear it to work. All my other coworkers find it funny, too. But one doesn’t. He is NOT an a**h***! But he always has to voice his opinion, whether anybody wants to hear it or not.)

Coworker: *looking me up and down* ”You look fat in that sweater.”

Me: *pointing at front of said sweater* “You might want to read this again.”

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Looking For Someone To Help, 18+

, , , , | Right | November 27, 2017

(An older customer enters the shop. He’s from somewhere in the Balkans and doesn’t speak German very well. Usually he just walks past our counter to enter the 18+ section, for which we have to ID people. This time, however, he stops in front of the counter and pulls a sheet of paper out of his jacket. It’s a letter from the town council that says he has been approved to employ somebody to help him in his home. He points towards the part where he’s circled the salary.)

Customer: “Look, here.”

Me: *glancing at the letter* “Umm, what about it?” *wondering if he needs something explained*

Customer: *looks at me expectantly*

Me: “I’m not sure what you want me to do.”

Customer: “Would you do that?”

Me: “Are you asking me if I would work for you?”

Customer: *nods*

Me: *taken aback* “No.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because I have a full-time job here that I really like, and I’m not looking for anything else. Besides, I’m not even qualified. I think you have to go to the job-center or one of the social services agencies.”

Customer: “But you did… social?”

Me: “No, I didn’t. Ever.”

(I have a former coworker who was in training as a child-care worker, with whom he has probably confused me, but I’m not in the mood to point that out.)

Customer: “But you could still…”

Me: “No. I’m neither qualified nor interested. I can’t help you with that.”

Customer: *looks crestfallen and shuffles towards the 18+ section*

(I don’t know what’s worse: That he just asked a random person without proper qualification to work for him and take care of him, or that he actually expected me to knowingly work for a horny old man who reeks of baby powder and watches p*rn regularly.)

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