They Have A Degree In Being Nuts

, , , , , | Working | April 1, 2020

(It’s lunchtime at the biotech company I work for. Pretty much everyone in the company has a biology degree, with at least an essential grasp of immunology, including allergies. Most folks have finished eating their lunch, but someone has put out a bowl of mixed nuts to share while we shoot the breeze.)

Colleague #1: *casually* “You know I’m allergic to almonds?”

(I glance down at the bowl of nuts — including almonds — that we’re all snacking from.)

Me: “Oh, geez! Do you need us to take it away or something?”

Colleague #1: “Nah, don’t worry; it’s not that bad.”

(There’s nothing weird about that; plenty of people are safe to be around foods they’re allergic to, as long as they don’t actually eat it. But just about as the conversation is about to move along naturally, [Colleague #1] picks up and eats a handful of nuts.)

Me: “Uh…”

Colleague #2: “Uh, you know there are almonds in there, right?”

Colleague #1: “Yeah. Don’t worry; I’m only allergic to some almonds.”

([Colleague #3] is also allergic to almonds.)

Colleague #3: “Really? Like, just certain sub-varieties, or something?”

([Colleague #1] just shrugs and pops a couple of almonds in his mouth. My other coworkers and I exchange glances.)

Me: “So, like… is it a cooked/uncooked thing? Or something to do with… seasoning or something?”

Colleague #1: “I dunno. I’m just allergic to some almonds.”

Colleague #4: “How can you tell?”

Colleague #1: “I can’t, until I’ve eaten them.”

Colleague #2: “Is it like, just a mild allergy, then? Like, some itching…?”

Colleague #1: “Oh, my throat closes up and I can’t breathe.”

Colleague #2: “What? That’s really serious!”

Colleague #1: “I mean, when it happens, sure.”

Me: “Do you have an epi-pen on you?”

Colleague #1: “No, it’s not a big deal.”

Colleague #5: “Who even brought these almonds? Maybe we should put them away.”

Colleague #1: “They’re mine. I brought them!”

(He proceeded to snack on another handful of them. The next five minutes saw an entire table of biology professionals trying to convince [Colleague #1] to stop eating food that apparently causes him to stop breathing. We couldn’t, and despite having a biology degree himself, he didn’t seem to understand what the big deal was.)

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Hamburgers Are The Cure

, , , , , , , | Right | April 1, 2020

I was talking with the waiter at a restaurant yesterday about how crazy the people are being about buying supplies due to the panic buying. My local grocery store was out of expected items such as water, toilet paper, and paper towels. The cheap eggs were gone, but the more expensive eggs were untouched. More unexpected to me, at least, was that shelves were bare of other basics like hamburgers.

The waiter indicated they have been having problems too: people were stealing the toilet paper from their restrooms. I can just imagine the next customer in the restroom…

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We’re Nut Going To Do That

, , , , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(I work at a grocery store bakery. We have a very small selection of nut-free desserts that we get in, and because we have desserts with nuts, we tell customers we can’t guarantee that any of the cakes we make won’t come into contact with nuts. Most customers are understanding about this.)

Customer: “How long in advance do I need to order a cake? And I need one nut-free.”

Me: “You need to order a cake 24 hours in advance, and we cannot guarantee our cakes have not come into contact with nuts.”

Customer: “Can’t you just have a special area for it and one person just for the cake?”

Me: “We still wouldn’t be able to guarantee it.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because we use nuts here and can’t guarantee they won’t come into contact with your cake.”

Customer: “Well, that’s stupid. [Other Grocery Store] does it for me. Aren’t you guys the same company?”

Me: “No, we aren’t. You’re thinking of [Grocery Store Company that bought out Other Grocery Store a few years back].”

Customer: “Whatever. I’ll just go to [Other Grocery Store], then.”

(I think, “Oh, good, you can be their potential lawsuit.”)

Me: “All right. Have a good night.”

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Guard Gone Goofy

, , , , , | Working | March 30, 2020

(I have a birth defect, spina bifida, which caused my legs and feet not to grow properly. Though I can stand and walk some, it is immediately exhausting and I can only walk with support. I use a wheelchair and drive with hand controls. I have a van which I put my wheelchair in from the back passenger door. One day, I drive up to a shopping center, park in a handicap spot, and start getting my chair out. I notice a security guard looking at my handicap license plate. That’s cool, no problem; you can’t tell I’m in a wheelchair right away and I hate when people park illegally. I get into my chair and smile at him. This is not some cheap hospital wheelchair someone might use to pretend they are handicapped; it is an expensive custom fit chair.)

Guard: “Ma’am, do you have your placard for this spot?”

(I look at the license plate he was just looking at, and then I look down at myself.)

Me: “Um… no, I have my license plate.”

Guard: “Oh… Well, I just want to make sure; people steal these spots from people who need them a lot.”

(I look down at myself, and then look at my license plate.)

Me: “Uh-huh…”

(The guard walked away after looking at me blankly for several seconds. I don’t know if he thought the chair meant I didn’t really NEED a close spot, thought I was faking it, or was just on automatic.)

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Time To Socially Distance Yourself From Such Ideas

, , , , , , , | Learning | March 30, 2020

(This is with one of my before-school music groups. The students are nine to eleven years old. Panic buying has started, even though no cases have been reported in our county yet, although other areas of Florida have had it.)

Girl #1: “You know there’s not going to be any more toilet paper or hand sanitizer.”

Girl #2: “Really?”

Me: “No, not really. Let’s get back to practice.”

Girl #1: “But they’re closing every school and store. You can’t buy anything anymore and they’re even closing factories because people can’t touch things.”

Girl #2: “Ew! I don’t want their hands touching my toilet paper!”

Boy #1: “Yeah, because they have to cut each sheet individually.”

Me: “That’s not how it works and that’s not what we’re doing right now. You can research how toilet paper is made on your computers later. But they’re not closing anything near us, so stop talking, stop trying to scare others, and let’s get back to playing. Now.”

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