Black & Blue Friday

, , , , , , | Right | November 29, 2019

(It’s Black Friday, a few minutes before the store opens. The employees are all in their specific departments waiting for the rush of customers that are lined up outside. The store is set up so that whatever department someone wants to go to, they have to line up in that department. We’re trying to keep it from being a free-for-all. I work in the service department, which is near the door, so we have a direct line of sight, but there is a huge line of carts that sits between the doors and us. The line of carts is about three wide and goes back about twenty feet or so from the wall.)

Coworker: “This is my favorite part; we watch the idiots that try to skirt the system fail.”

(As if on cue, the doors open and a flood of customers comes in. Most immediately see how the set up is and go to the departments they want product from. One, though, sees he won’t be able to just go straight into the computer department and will have to wait in line. He then sees the line of carts. He takes a running start and tries to jump the three-wide line of carts. He actually clears the first cart, but lands face-first on the second and falls to the ground. A few police officers that were hanging around due to the size of the line outside rush over and arrest him.)

Coworker: “See? Idiots like that guy.”

(My coworker then went back to doing his work like nothing had happened.)

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It’s The Teachers That Need To Be Graded

, , , , , , | Learning | November 29, 2019

My friend is a teacher at a private high school. He’s one of two science teachers, as the school is pretty small. The other science teacher has been there for years and is very set in her ways. She believes there’s one way to teach, and if students don’t pick up on the material, too bad for them. She prides herself on the fact that “only a few students get As” in her class. Apparently, the teacher who was there before my friend also had a similar mentality, so it was very difficult for most of those students to get good grades in science.

My friend, on the other hand, believes that everyone is capable of getting an A if they’re willing to put in the effort, and is willing to help students during free periods and after classes, while the other teacher is not. My friend is new to teaching, so after he submitted his first-quarter grades, he got pulled into a meeting with the principal and the other science teacher. Apparently, the students in my friend’s class had “too many As” and he was being reprimanded for not making his class rigorous enough. The whole time, the other teacher kept giving him smug looks and making comments about how some people just weren’t cut out for teaching, if they didn’t have a firm enough hand for it. Basically, it came out that when his class’s grade average was way higher than hers, she threw a fit insisting it must be because he was giving his students easy As, because there was no way that many high schoolers could master the sciences to that extent.

He asked for a copy of her tests for the next units they were going into, and said he wanted to administer those to his class, since she thought his weren’t rigorous enough. The principal agreed and told my friend that he should use this as a learning opportunity, so he could “determine the level of difficulty” he should be striving for.

My friend taught that unit the same way he taught every single unit prior to it. He took time with students who were struggling, was always willing to repeat and review difficult concepts, and made himself available for whenever they could meet with him for extra help. At the end of the unit, both he and the other teacher administered the same test. 

In his class, the average grade was 92%. In the other teacher’s class, the average was 76%. The principal called him back in and checked that he hadn’t given extra credit or special help during the test. My friend swore he hadn’t, and then, in the most respectful way possible, told the principal that he thought that maybe the problem wasn’t that his class was too easy.

The other teacher is currently being retrained.

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The Blackest Of Fridays

, , , , , | Right | November 29, 2019

(It is Black Friday, 5:30 am, and I am one of the first shopping in the store. As I am standing in the very, very long line, I see a woman come in and rush towards the back. Behind her are her husband and her son, moving a bit slower.)

Mom: *yelling* “Hurry up! I have a schedule to keep to today. We have to be at [Other Store] at six!”

Dad: “Did you schedule standing in line in your plan?”

Mom: “NO!”

(I was so glad I wasn’t going to be with that family at 5:30 pm.)

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More Speaking Up Is Required, In Fiction And Real Life  

, , , | Right | November 28, 2019

(I am a short girl with scoliosis, meaning my spine is bent. I am given permission to use a stool occasionally by management. My coworker, who is black, is talking to me about a book we’ve both read.)

Coworker: “I’m just saying, the main character was kind of dumb. She could have spoken up.”

Me: “One of the biggest problems with the book was a lack of communication between the characters. That’s why everything went to h***.”

Customer: “Young lady, can you help me?”

Coworker: “I will.”

Customer: “I’d prefer it if she did.” 

Me: “What do you need?”

Customer: “I need you to reach something for me on the top shelf.”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m not allowed to climb ladders. I have a bad back. My coworker can help you, though.”

Customer: “I overheard you talking about [Book], and I absolutely agree with you. The main character was as dumb as a rock and it was a waste of my time. Now, are you going to help me or not?”

Coworker: “She can’t climb ladders, but I can. What is it you need?”

Customer: “Is there a white person who can help me?”

(This catches the attention of everyone in the vicinity, including our supervisor.)

Coworker: “Sorry, you’ll have to deal with me. What did you need?”

Customer: “I need one of those ceramic pumpkins. Are you sure she can’t help me?”

Me: “As I told you before, I have a bad back. My coworker can help you, however.”

Customer: “No, I’ll find a white person to help.”

(The customer went to our supervisor, who told her that my coworker could help. She threw up her hands and left the store. My supervisor later commended the two of us for keeping a level head and not losing our tempers.)

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Be Thankful They Are Leaving

, , , , , , , | Related | November 28, 2019

(Every year for Thanksgiving, we have several family and extended family members come to our house, since we have a big dining room and a good-size living room, so there’s space for everyone to sit and eat. One year, my brother gets married and his wife invites her mother and her younger siblings to our home for Thanksgiving, giving me about two days’ notice about the six extra guests. Usually, I’m pretty informal about dinner, but on holidays, I insist everyone put away all technology and actually interact with each other while we eat. My sister-in-law’s youngest brother comes up to me.)

Youngest Brother: “I’ll take my food into the garage and play video games during dinner, thanks.”

Me: “No, you can’t do that. We all sit around the dinner table for dinner.”

Youngest Brother: *starts throwing a fit*

His Mother: “But we are your guests and you should accommodate his little quirks.”

Me: “He will eat at the table, or play games and not eat. His choice.”

(She storms out of the house with her children in tow.)

His Mother: “We’ll never come back!”

(Unbelievably, for two years we really don’t see them again even though they live less than thirty minutes away. My sister-in-law occasionally mentions that they would really like to come back for Thanksgiving and finally gets around to actually asking if they could come this year.)

Me: “I never banned them from the house or from celebrating with us. They are welcome but will be expected to eat at the table like the rest of us.”

(She says that is fine and invites the brood back. The youngest brother sits at the table, looks around at the food, and announces:)

Youngest Brother: “I want [Fast Food Place], instead.”

(I expect his mother or my sister-in-law to point out how ridiculous that is, but they are looking at me like this is a perfectly reasonable request.)

Me: “You can eat what is in front of you, or ask your mother about [Fast Food Place].”

His Mother: “But we’re your guests and you should accommodate us!

(She’s apparently really fond of that phrase! I give up on being polite at that point and simply say no.)

His Mother: “What do you mean, no?!” 

Me: “You’re a native English speaker. I’m sure you know the meaning of the word.” 

Youngest Brother: “My teeth hurt and I can’t eat anything but [Fast Food Place] chicken nuggets.”

(That is such an absurd statement I don’t even acknowledge it. His mother is busy turning a really alarming reddish-purple color and doesn’t say anything, either. Finally, after a few minutes of silence, the boy starts whining.)

Youngest Brother: “My lips hurt and I can only eat [Fast Food Place]!” *then yelling* “My whole mouth is hurting and I need chicken nuggets!”

(His mother is glaring at me as her son begins to really pitch a fit.)

Sister-In-Law: “[Fast Food Place] is open; you should just go out really quick and get him chicken nuggets.”

Me: “You’re welcome to go yourself and take him with you. I’ve cooked for two days and I’ll be d***ed if I am going to give in to this brat’s whining.”

(At me calling the boy a brat, his mother again stormed out with all her children in tow, including my sister-in-law. I have never been happier to be called a terrible host in my life, and I was so very relieved when my brother divorced that woman.)

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