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Signing Yourself Up For Friendship

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 8, 2020

(My two preschool-aged children and I are taking the bus home. Both have speech issues, so we use some sign language as well as their gradually-improving English to communicate. The speech therapist says that signing is a great way to help them out; rather than not communicating at all, they just have trouble talking, which is resolved a few years after this story happens. I’m signing to them when two young men catch my eye and start signing to me. The following conversation takes place in American Sign Language. In ASL, it’s common to have name signs to avoid spelling out a person’s name every time you need to reference it.)

Young Man #1: “You three sign? Is one of you deaf?”

Me: “No, we’re hearing, but the kids are still learning to speak, so we sign in the meantime. I learned to sign in school, so at least this way they can tell me what they need!”

Young Man #2: “Oh, I see. Good thing you sign. It’s nice to meet you; we almost never see people signing!”

(Both young men spell their names and show their name signs.)

Me: “Nice to meet you, too!”

(I introduce both of my children by spelling their names and giving their name signs, and I introduce myself by spelling my name.)

Young Man #2: “Do you have a name sign?”

Me: “Huh. No, they just call me ‘Mom.’ I haven’t needed a name sign!”

(We didn’t come up with one for me and I still don’t have a name sign, but the young men and I got a good laugh out of my neglecting to think of one.)

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Password Blurred

, , , , | Right | February 2, 2020

(I work as a service coordinator at an MSP in Honolulu. We reset passwords, work on networks, etc., for dedicated companies)

Client: “Hi, I deleted my file with all my passwords in it and I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, we can recover that file for you.”

Client: “Oh, no, that’s too much trouble. I just want to know what to do if I forget my password.”

Me: “You want your password reset?”

Client: “No, I know my password but what if I fall asleep and forget it?”

Me: “Well, we can always reset your password, or we can recover the file with your passwords on it so that you have a copy of your password.”

Client: “No, I want to know what I should do if I forget it. I’m really afraid I’m going to fall asleep and wake up and forget the password.”

Me: “We can reset your password in that case.”

Client: “But then what if I forget that one, too? What if I fall asleep and the next morning I can’t remember it?”

Me: “Let me transfer you to a technician, ma’am.”

(He ended up resetting and advising her to call in when she forgets it.)

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A Signature Example Of Babying

, , , , , , | Learning | December 19, 2019

For eighth grade, I went to a Catholic school that babied the students. Every day, we were required to have our parents sign our notebooks. These notebooks held our daily grade, a little note about the day, and nothing else. If our parents didn’t sign it, the teacher would lecture us and call our parents. If the parents didn’t answer, they would hold us after school until our parents arrived to get us, even if you were a straight-A student with no discipline problems.

My mom knew I was an A and B student, and hated this policy. She did not care about signing the book at all. After the first few times, Mom just initialed it without reading it. My teacher seemed to accept the initials. I had As and Bs, after all.

I ended up forging mom’s initials half the time; we’d both forget and it was just easier.

One day, my mother received a nerve conduction study — the way I explained it, “the doctor shot electricity up her hand.” Her initials were super shaky that day. My teacher opened the book and accused me of forgery. “Of all the days,” I thought to myself. My teacher called the English/history and the math/science teacher, and they all had a loud whisper conversation where they discussed how “that wasn’t a real carpal tunnel test,” how weird it was that someone would initial the book, and how I’d been totally forging it from day one. They called my mother and told her that only a face-to-face meeting would suffice.

Mom was not happy. She explained the nerve conduction study better than I could, and told them how ridiculous their “nanny book” was for a good student. It became a rather heated affair.

In the end, the teachers demanded that she sign the book instead of just initialing, and I learned how to forge my mother’s full signature.

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Got This Parenting Thing Licked

, , , , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(My coworker tells me this story almost immediately after it happened to her. A young boy comes up to her, silently sticking out his hand for her to shake. Bemused, she lets him take her hand and shake it. He stares wordlessly at her for several seconds while doing so, and then runs his tongue up her arm. His mother comes running up, mortified and apologizing.)

Mother: “I’m so sorry; he just saw The Boxtrolls in the theater.”

(My coworker hadn’t seen the movie, so after I got over my bout of shocked laughter, I confirmed that yes, the boy had been imitating the main character a little TOO closely.)

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Born Angry

, , , , | Friendly | September 19, 2019

(My husband and I are out shopping with our toddler during our first day on vacation, stocking up on essentials for the week. We’re standing in the yogurt aisle, trying to decide whether to get a quart of yogurt or a couple of individual sizes for our son. Finally, we settle on a quart, pick it up, and go to move on to the next aisle when we notice a man standing next to us, glaring.)

Angry Man: *as we move past him* “FINALLY!”

Husband & Me: *exchanging confused looks* “Oh, sorry?”

Angry Man: *muttering under his breath but plenty loud enough to hear* “F****** oblivious. I’ve been waiting here for five f****** minutes waiting for you to move. F****** ridiculous…”

Me: *snorting in disbelief*

Husband: *murmuring to me* “He could have said something…”

Angry Man: *shoves past my husband, banging his cart and shoulder* “Move your a**!”

Husband & Me: *left in disbelief that this just happened*

(But the story doesn’t end there! Later that day, my husband was driving up to a stop sign on a side street. He had to pull up over the crosswalk to see whether it was clear to turn onto the main road. When a man came walking up with his dog, my husband reversed to allow him to cross. The man started making rude gestures and angry faces toward our car and the crosswalk, clearly trying to articulate, “How dare you be on the crosswalk, I’m trying to walk here, what is wrong with you,” etc. As he got closer, I recognized his face. I kid you not, IT WAS THE SAME ANGRY MAN. There’s no way he recognized us behind our tinted windows. He was just that rude to everyone!)

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