Don’t Even Starch With Me

, , , | Working | June 11, 2017

(Our office recently switched from Styrofoam to packaging material made out of starch. Even though it looks much like Styrofoam, it’s edible. Also, while the working atmosphere here is generally good, there is one rather lazy woman that has it in for a tomboy who — justifiably — prides herself on her very strong work ethic. In fact, she’s constantly trying to badmouth her.)

Lazy Coworker: “Yesterday I was on my way to meet some friends so I drove by the office and guess who still was here at 8:30 pm. Right, [Hard Working Coworker]?”

Me: “Okay?! Yes, she had an important deadline yesterday. Looks like she finished that project, though.”

Lazy Coworker: “It’s not just yesterday. I mean… [Hard Working Coworker] should get a life already! Some more months and she’ll move in here. She never even goes to lunch break with the rest of us.”

Me: “If you say so. She does good work and that’s what counts, right?”

Lazy Coworker: “Still, doesn’t she—”

(Suddenly said coworker comes through the open door behind our desks. The lazy coworker isn’t sure whether our coworker heard her rant, so she quickly switches her play.)

Lazy Coworker: *deceitfully* “Hey, we were just talking about you. Do you want to grab some food with us? Or should we bring something for you? We were thinking about kebab.”

(Hard Working Coworker grabs a nearby carton of starch packaging material and starts eating it like chips while keeping a straight face. The lazy coworker, who, by the looks of it, doesn’t know it is edible, looks at her in shock.)

Coworker: “No, thank you, but since I’m apparently planning to move in here, I need to make do with what I can find inside the office.”

(She walked away, still eating the packaging material. I immediately burst out laughing. Fortunately, this led the lazy coworker to ignore me for quite some time.)

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Where Lazy Meets Lucky

, , , | Learning | June 9, 2017

(In Germany, we have to get a few weeks of work experience during our school time. We are also obligated to make a complete folder about it, with several chapters (introducing the company we work for, the workers themselves, writing essays about at least two days of work and taking tons of pictures). I, being the s**t-head I am, am not looking forward to it and don’t do a thing until it is two days after the deadline. I write the whole thing in about two and a half hours, before I have another lesson with the teacher supervising our working experiences. Since I am in a bilingual class, we have to do half of the folder in English, too. This is the feedback I get for it:)

Teacher: “And here are your folders! I’m sorry it took such a long time to grade them. As always, the results are varied, but I was more than pleasantly surprised by one of your works.”

(Starts handing out folders, talking briefly to everyone about their grades.)

Teacher: *to me, loudly* “And [My Name]! Your folder was a little special, wasn’t it?”

(I’m basically expecting to get scolded for turning it in late and being sloppy. I didn’t even proofread the thing, for Heaven’s sakes.)

Me: “…it was?”

Teacher: “Yes! In all my years as a teacher — and that were a lot of years, as you all can see — I have never seen a single work that was this good! This is the first time I gave anyone a A+. You wrote the whole thing in English, your grammar and spelling were perfect, the way you wrote was creative and entertaining, the order of the pictures was great and complementing the story, and honestly, I am more than happy that I got to read this. Thank you. This really showed me that after all these years of teaching, I still love my job.”

Me: *sincerely* “Thank you, Mr. [Teacher]. I put a lot of effort and work into it.”

(That man was one of the kindest teachers I ever met, and eventually was the first person I gave one of my short stories to. At that point, he only had three years left before he retired. He wasn’t the best teacher in the world, but he sure was one of the best people. Unfortunately, he passed away before he retired and could take his trip around the USA to live out his passion for photography. Thank you for always being positive and nice, even though you had to deal with lazy dip-s**ts like me.)

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Good People Are Noticed When Bad Things Happen

, , , , , | Learning | June 2, 2017

In this school, while the pupils have lockers, these are not big enough to keep all your things in them. So the pupils put their coats on hangers in the classroom. Usually, the classrooms are supposed to get locked up during recess, but the teachers don’t always follow through with this rule.

So, one day, my daughter comes home, having an amount of money stolen from her — near to 100 €. Due to the circumstances, it is certain none of her classmates could be the thief, as they all go to another, specialised classroom while another class uses their room, as is not uncommon in German schools.

It’s all her pocket money, saved up, and while it really wasn’t the best decision to take so much money to school without any need to, it still is theft. She reports the theft to the responsible teacher. The teacher tells her to wait a few days while the class teachers will announce to the involved classes the story of the theft and their policy of “all will be forgotten if you return the money.”

But, only a day later, I find a letter in our postbox, addressed to my daughter but having no stamps nor a sender address. When she opens the letter, she finds in it the amount stolen from her and an unsigned card, saying “This is for you, even if the stolen money turns up again.”

Since she doesn’t know who gave her the money, on the next occasion, she makes a thank you speech in front of class and treats everybody, including her teacher, to a popsicle, because she’s so overwhelmed by this.

Due to some hints in the letter and the card, we’re pretty certain guessing which of her teachers gave the money.

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Getting Heated About The Lack Of It

, , , | Right | May 10, 2017

(In our store, you can have your sandwich toasted before adding vegetables. It’s below freezing temperature outside.)

Customer: “This is outrageous! I bought a sandwich here half an hour ago and when I got home, it was cold! I want my money back!”

Me: “Sir, did you by any chance walk home?”

Customer: “Yes, but that only takes fifteen minutes! You should be able to guarantee that it will still be warm when I want to eat it!”

Me: “It’s 30° F outside. The sandwich is bound to get cold and there is nothing I can do about it. You could always eat your sandwich in here, though.”

Customer: “That’s horrible customer service! I want my money back or I’ll complain about you!”

Me: “You do that, sir. Have a nice day.”

This story is part of our Chilly Weather Roundup!

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Blue In The Face Over The Dino

, , , , , | Learning | September 25, 2015

(My fourth-grade teacher is a huge sourpuss and hands out lots of busywork so she can take breaks from hands-on teaching. This time, she hands out simple prints of dinosaurs and announces that we will be coloring them in, working in pairs. I grab a blue crayon and start adding stripes on the back.)

Girl: *who I’m working with* “What are you doing?!”

Me: “I’m making stripes.”

Girl: “But that’s wrong! The teacher said that dinosaurs are brown or green. You’re not supposed to use blue!”

Me: *shrugging* “So what? It’s just coloring.”

Girl: “But dinosaurs aren’t blue! They’re green or brown! The teacher said!

Me: “How do you know what colors dinosaurs were? People have only ever seen their bones anyway, so we have no idea what color their hides were.”

Girl: “I’m telling! You’re going to be in trouble!” *raising her hand* “Mrs. [Teacher]! She’s coloring her dinosaur blue!”

Teacher: *rolling her eyes and heaving a sigh* “[My Name], you can’t color your dinosaur blue. They are either green or brown. Look, everyone else is coloring their dinosaurs the right way.”

Me: “What was the point of giving us a whole box of crayons, then?”

Teacher: “[My Name]! There is no talking back! If you can’t color your dinosaur the right way, then you can sit out the activity. It’s all right, [Girl]; you don’t have to work with her.”

Me: “Fine. There’s no point in doing it anyway.”

Teacher: “Excuse me?”

Me: “I’m not going to sit here and color in a dinosaur solid green or brown because I’m told to. It’s boring and a pointless waste of time.”

Teacher: “[My Name], go to the principal’s office now and wait there! I will come to deal with you later!”

(The other students giggle and mock me as I leave the room. I wait on the bench outside the office for a long time before my teacher comes down and goes into the principal’s office. They talk for several minutes before I am called in.)

Principal: “[My Name], your teacher here tells me that you were being very disruptive during a class activity, that you upset your classmate, and then when you were told to behave you talked back to her and called the assignment stupid. Is that true?”

Me: “Yes, but—”

Principal: “No buts! There is no possible excuse you can make for this behavior. These kinds of transgressions can be punished with suspension, and your teacher does not want you to return to the classroom and ruin her lessons. You will wait until your mother comes to get you and we will all have a talk.”

(The teacher gives me a smug look as I go back outside to wait on the bench in the hall. My mother works outside the base, so it is over an hour before she shows up, looking angry. She checks in with the secretary.)

Mom: “[My Name], what did you do this time?!”

Principal: “Oh, good, you’re here. [Secretary], please call her teacher and let her know this student’s mother has arrived so that we can discuss her behavior. [My Name], why don’t you tell your mother why you’re in trouble?”

Me: “I’m getting suspended for coloring my dinosaur blue when apparently, they’re only supposed to be green or brown.”

Mom: “Seriously?”

Principal: “And what else?”

Me: “And then, the teacher told me I wasn’t allowed to color if I wasn’t going to do it right, so I said it was stupid to even give us crayons if we were only allowed to use two colors and that it was a waste of time anyway. Then she sent me out to the office.”

Principal: *giving my mother a look* “You see? We simply cannot have this behavior. We’re afraid she might be a bad influence on the other children.”

Mom: “Are you KIDDING ME? You kept my daughter out of class for almost two hours, called me out of work, and made me go through all those checkpoint gates because SHE WASN’T COLORING LIKE A GOOD LITTLE ROBOT?! WHAT THE H*** IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”

Principal: *stammering* “Uh, w-w-well, we—”

Mom: “And how did you say you were planning to punish her?”

Principal: “Um, ahem, well, because of the way she spoke to her teacher, we are looking at a minimum of a three-day suspension.”

Teacher: *walks in, looking pleased* “That’s right. And she made the classmate she was assigned to work with cry.”

Me: *sarcastically* “Sheesh, she actually cried?”

Teacher: *smiling at my Mother* “You see what we’ve been dealing with? And then she told me I was wasting her time.”

Mom: “Good for her. She was right.”

Teacher: “I- I beg your pardon?”

Mom: “First of all, she’s ten. I don’t know about your other students who cry like babies over their dinosaur being ‘colored wrong,’ but she is way too old to be coloring with crayons as a class activity, especially if it’s just an exercise in conformity.”

Teacher: “Uh, well, that’s not the point! The lessons are about following steps and instructions—”

Mom: “Pfft, give me a break. It was COLORING, not science. Don’t give my daughter crayons if you don’t want her to be creative, don’t waste her time with crayons and call it teaching, and don’t waste my time and call me out of my job because you can’t do yours. I’m taking my daughter back with me today, and I will be looking into a new school for her.” *to me* “I can’t believe you have to put up with this.”

Me: “Me, neither.”

(We left the teacher and principal red-faced and speechless, and later, my mom bought me a giant box of crayons.)

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