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What If There’s A Fire?!

, , , , , , , , , | Learning | October 4, 2021

My school was overcrowded. We had around ten times as many students as the building was originally built for. This led to some issues.

One issue was that students were always late to class. The building was built in a cross shape. Students were continually funneled from one side of the building to another, and the only way through was a narrow four-way intersection hallway that was built when kids were skinnier; it was wide enough to fit two skinny kids, one and a half normal kids, or one big kid.

Worse, freshman lockers were on the top floor and our classes were all on the bottom floor. Senior lockers were on the bottom floor and their classes on the top floor. Regardless, everyone was going to the bottom floor because there was no intersection between the four lobes of the school on any floor but the first floor.

We used to be able to go through the library on the second floor, which was much wider, in my first year. They locked the “back” doors to the library to stop students from doing that, making the traffic jam much worse.

The administration’s solution was to increase time between classes. My first year, they gave us five minutes to get from one class to the next. By the time I graduated, we were given fifteen minutes.

Another side effect of this overcrowding was that the cafeteria was too small to fit all of us, and the lines were too long for all of us to get fed. To help with the fitting problem, they broke lunch into two different forty-five-minute lunches my first semester. They still couldn’t fit everyone in, so they broke it into three different thirty-minute lunches in my second semester. That didn’t work, either, so they broke it into four different fifteen-minute lunches, year two and on.

Remember the cross shape of our school? The cafeteria was in the basement, and the stairs into it were right by the four-way intersection.

The funniest, most hilarious result of this was the fire inspections.

We had more students per room than were allowed. We had more chairs per room than allowed. Each room had several folding chairs hidden in the storage closets that had to be taken down between classes and reopened when the students came.

Some students carried their own cloth folding chairs through the hall, like people use for fireworks or sporting events.

Fire inspection days were marked on the calendar. The whole student body came together the day before to empty most of the chairs out of the classrooms and get them to the chair storage room in the basement next to the cafeteria.

Then, on the actual fire inspection day, each classroom would have maybe twenty to thirty students instead of the seventy to ninety they usually had — the larger classrooms usually kept sixty of 200 or so — and a student-teacher or a temp would lecture the kids actually in the classroom, who were usually the highest-graded students.

The actual teachers and remaining kids from each class were taken to the bleachers around the football field, the bleachers in the gym around the basketball court and hockey rinks, the swimming pool bleachers, the wrestling bleachers, the bleachers around the track, the bleachers around the soccer field, and the baseball bleachers, and they would hold classes on those precarious structures. Even the tennis court bleachers would be filled with students and teachers!

I always wondered if we could get enough space to actually fit all our students if we got rid of the more than ten different sports complexes we had.

Don’t Expect To Learn Communication From Her

, , , , , | Learning | October 2, 2021

While I was in college to earn my bachelor’s in Elementary Education, we went into the local school to get experience in a classroom the semester before we actually started Student Teaching. During that semester, our professors would come in and observe us and give feedback. We had to teach a lesson on our own when they observed.

During my first observation, the professor sat in the back looking extremely angry and eventually pulled one of the kids from my lesson and worked one on one with him without saying anything to me. Throughout the lesson, I got more and more nervous trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and analyzing every little word and movement I made. By the end, I was a nervous wreck and was sure I had utterly failed the observation.

Two days later, we met to go over my observation together, and beforehand, I prepared myself for the worst. I went into my professor’s office and sat down.

Professor: “First off, I want to say you did an excellent job and it’s obvious you really care about the students.”

I was completely confused and sat through the rest of our meeting in a daze. I kept trying to match all the positive comments she was giving me with her body language and attitude during my lesson and couldn’t figure it out.

That observation taught me that when I’m being observed I should just continue my lessons like the person isn’t there and not look at them. I’ve never had a bad observation, but that professor made me feel like a complete failure before I had even started. All I can think is that I’m so grateful she was never my teacher in elementary school.

Getting A Psy-Kick Out Of Psyching Out Your Coworkers

, , , , , , | Working | September 20, 2021

I’m a paid tax preparer. I have a habit of making educated guesses about clients and, when I’m correct, saying that I’m mildly psychic.

One of my coworkers is very “anti-phooey,” to use his own words. He often gets very upset with me and tries to lecture me on how I cannot possibly be psychic, how it’s all fake, and how I should just admit it and stop pretending.

He’s right that it’s fake, but… frankly, it entertains the clients, it’s none of his business, and some of the choice words he uses in his hours-long lectures upset me.

I have a wide web of contacts, so I arrange for one of my coworkers to come to me as a fake client. Since she’s in on the joke, I have a great deal of fun with her, pretending to read her palm and explaining my “charms” to her — I wear some jewelry just for that day. I can see my angry coworker seething in the next cubicle over as I work my charms on a knowing victim.

Finally, I peak by “psychically intuiting” the amount of her W2 and entering it into the computer without opening her letter.

This triggers my angry coworker, and he barges into my cubicle.

Coworker: “There is no way. There is no way you can psychically gather someone’s W2 information. None. This is all wrong. You’re going to have to delete it and redo it. Do you want to come work with someone who isn’t a charlatan, ma’am?”

Me: “But wait! Before you call me a charlatan, check the numbers!”

Of course, they are spot on; we downloaded her W2 from the company website, and I entered it that way while pretending to be psychic.

My angry coworker splutters, quite flummoxed.

Coworker: “What?! How?!”

Me: “Magic.”

It was totally worth the resulting trip to human resources after my angry coworker’s frustrated bellowing attracted the attention of the entire office. All three of us got written up.

Weird Rehearsal, Good Wedding, Right?

, , , , , , | Related | September 13, 2021

I am a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding, and we are at the rehearsal the night before the wedding. It’s a fairly laid-back atmosphere and the officiant is just walking us through the steps of the ceremony.

Officiant: “All right, so then it’s time for the vows. Repeat after me: I, [Groom].”

Groom: “Hello!”

We all laugh; typical [Groom], a bit of a goofball.

Officiant: “Right, okay, let’s try again. Repeat after me. I, [Groom]…”

Groom: “’Sup.”

Now comes general confusion.

Officiant: “[Groom]. Repeat after me. I, [Groom]…”

The groom looks incredibly confused.

Bride: “Oh, my God, [Groom], say it back!”

Groom: “Hi, [Officiant]!”

Wedding Party: “NO!”

It turns out [Groom] was somehow hearing, “Hi, [Groom],” not, “I, [Groom],” which led to the confusion. We all laugh about his obliviousness and move on. As the rehearsal progresses, we come to the ring exchange.

Officiant: “Now, I know you have the rings in boxes right now, but tomorrow they’re going to need to be out of the boxes when you hand them to me. So, you’ll need to practice that. Okay, so, may I have the rings?”

The best man immediately hands over the rings in their boxes. We all groan. The bridesmaid next to me leans over

Bridesmaid: “Is that [Groom]’s brother?”

The answer, dear readers, is yes. It must be at least a little genetic. The wedding went wonderfully, though. This is why you have a rehearsal!

Their Bark Is Worse Than Your Bites

, , , , | Right | September 6, 2021

I work in a pretzel shop; we make soft pretzels and soft pretzel bites. It is in a mall, so occasionally we get quite busy. I have a couple in the store and the husband tells me they want a box of bites with garlic and parmesan on them. Both he and his wife watch me make their order, and then they pay and leave.

About ten minutes later, the wife comes back and cuts in front of at least six people.

Customer: “This order is wrong.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Can you tell me how I can fix it?”

Customer: “I need plain bites; my kids don’t eat this garlic and stuff.”

Me: “I apologize, but you and the man you were with ordered a box of garlic and parmesan.”

Customer: “Why can’t you just give me plain bites?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but could I have you wait in line to make a new order if you want plain bites? We have quite a few customers waiting.”

Customer:No! I was a customer I will wait right here!”

I am trying to finish up other orders while hoping she understands that she needs to wait.

Customer: “Why can’t you just give me three or four plain bites?”

Me: “You want three bites?”

Customer: “Yes, I will not leave until I get what my kids will eat!”

I literally put three bites — each bite is about an inch by an inch, so this is ridiculous— into a cup and handed it to her. She stomped away saying she was going to report me.