Stuck In The Middle

, , , , | Working | March 1, 2016

(I’m getting my first driver’s license at 16. My mom sends me in with the required stuff — birth certificate, social security card, etc. — and waits in the car for me. I have an unusual middle name, with a small difference between it and something more traditional, like “Kinderly” instead of “Kimberly.”)

Employee: “Number 26!”

Me: *approaches counter with form filled out, which I pass to the employee. All my documentation is in a folder I am holding* “I’m here to get my first driver’s license.”

Employee: *looks over form, pushes it back to me* “You spelled your name wrong. You need to redo this.”

Me: *shocked pause* “…I’m sorry. What?”

Employee: “Right here. Your middle name. That should be an ‘m’, not an ‘n’.”

Me: “…No, it’s correct. My middle name is spelled with an ‘n’.”

Employee: “No, it’s not.”

Me: *completely unsure how to respond to that* “Uh… but… it is, thou—”

Employee: *interrupting* “Go get a new form and stop wasting my time!” *shoves form back across the counter at me* “Number 27!”

(In a daze, I walk out to the car and explain what happened to my mom. She’s FURIOUS. She takes my form and folder of paperwork, marches up to the counter, and interrupts the employee with the next customer. Luckily, the customer sees how pissed she is and just steps aside.)

Mom: “Did you tell my daughter that she spelled HER OWN NAME incorrectly on this form?!”

Employee: *stone-faced* “Yes. Because she did. That should be an ‘m’, not an ‘n’.”

Mom: *whips out the copy of my birth certificate & social security card in the folder* “So, I guess these are wrong too, then?!”

Employee: *glances at the certificate and card* “Yep.”

(I see the customer we interrupted stifle a giggle. My mother looks like her head is about to explode.)

Mom: *pulls it together enough to manage a very tight…* “Manager. Now.”

Employee: *rolls her eyes and hollers for a manager*

(The manager comes over, and my mom relays the story. The manager looks completely baffled.)

Manager: “Did you seriously tell this girl she doesn’t know how to spell her own name?”

Employee: “It’s supposed to be with an ‘m’!”

(I never put my middle name on forms anymore – just the first initial, just in case.)

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You Shall Not Pass This Iceberg

, , , , | Learning | October 7, 2015

(I teach English as a second language. In my conversation class, we’re talking about movies.)

Me: “What’s your favourite movie, [Student]?”

Student:Lord of the Rings!”

Me: “Oh, I love Lord of the Rings. The hobbits are so cute!”

Student: “What?”

Me: “The hobbits. You know, the little short people with the hairy feet.”

Student: “Huh?”

Me: “Um, why don’t you tell me what Lord of the Rings is about.”

Student: “There’s a man and a woman and they fall in love on a boat, but the boat sinks and he dies and it’s very sad.”

Me: “…Titanic. You mean Titanic.”

Student: “Yes! That one.”

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Racially Aware Of What He Was About To Say

, , , | Working | August 17, 2015

(I work for a food bank. We are doing a large re-packaging run at a local food security agency. Several members of a nearby First Nations community have come to help but we are still short of bodies to do the work.)

Supervisor: *to me* “The main problem is that we have too many chiefs and… never mind.”

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Getting The Message Across

, , | Working | August 8, 2015

(My dad works at a company that designs and produces light fixtures. His division is him, two other people, and the boss, a loud Irish man well-known for his bad language.)

Boss: *storms in and shouts* “One of you, e-mail [Client] and tell him to F*** OFF FOR A BIT!”

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Can’t Be Possible

, | Right | July 28, 2015

(During a call with an irate customer.)

Customer: “Don’t you know you can’t use the word ‘can’t’ in customer service?”

Me: “Okay, then, it’s not possible.”

Customer: *expletives*

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