Dad Doesn’t Take Care Of His Charge

, , , , | Related | March 18, 2019

(When I am in high school, I have this crappy little netbook that I take to class to take notes. One day, I notice that the battery refuses to charge. I have this conversation with my Dad.)

Me: “Hey, Dad, my netbook isn’t charging.”

Dad: “Well, I can take it to the shop and have them look at it. Probably just a bad battery.”

(Since I still need to take notes, I end up running the battery down by the time my dad takes it to the shop. He comes back and says that there is an issue with the connection from the cord to the battery. I can’t remember what it is, just that the battery works fine and the charging cable is fine; it is the connection between. My computer has a very easily detachable battery.)

Me: “Hey, Dad, do you think it’s possible for the shop to charge the battery for me? I want to try to save some of the files on my computer that didn’t get backed up.”

Dad: “Yeah, sure. We can go this weekend.”

(A week passes.)

Me: “Hey, Dad, when are we going to be able to go to the shop? I would like to get the files off my laptop.”

Dad: “I don’t know. Probably in the next couple of weeks.”

(A few weeks pass.)

Me: “Dad, can we go to the shop this weekend? I really want to get those files off my computer.”

Dad: *condescendingly* “Well, sweetie, you do realize that that shop isn’t going to able to do that, right? File recovery is a difficult, expensive operation. You’re going to have to let those files go.”

Me: “Dad, you do remember that we just need to charge the battery to get those files, right? The computer works fine; it just can’t charge the battery. My battery is even made so it can be taken out of the computer and recharged.”

Dad: *silence*

Me: “You were the one who took it to the shop! Don’t you remember them telling you this?”

Dad: *long pause* “We can go next week.”

(That weekend my netbook was sitting on my desk, fully repaired. I still don’t know what was going on in my dad’s head.)

The Amount Of Laziness Could Fill Up Pages

, , , , , , | Learning | March 18, 2019

I am a college professor and my university uses [Educational Software] to check for plagiarism. The program cannot read documents in .pages format — Mac’s word processor — which shouldn’t be a problem because my university offers Word free for students, but since Apple has all kinds of programs to get students their products cheap, most students have Macs. I warn the students in the syllabus, essay prompts, PowerPoints, and verbally in class to not submit essays with .pages because the plagiarism checker can’t read it, but there are always a few that slip through the cracks. When this happens, I give the students a 0 and ask them to resubmit, with no punishment; the 0 is to get the student’s attention since [Educational Software] has an app, and most students have it, so they get notified when a grade is updated.

This last semester, I had a lazy student who frequently came to class late or not at all, and who was missing several assignments. He turned in his first essay as a .pages document by mistake and I gave my typical response; I gave him a 0 and asked him to resubmit, no punishment. He took almost a month to resubmit, but since I had over 120 students that semester, and since I believe in mercy for students, I still didn’t punish him, even though it was well in my rights to do so.

Cue the end of the semester. I warned my students time and time again that I do not accept the final paper late because my school only gives us five days to turn final grades in, and I’m usually finished in three days or less so I can get to my break. Late work is simply not acceptable.

This same student turned his final paper in 20 minutes before it was due… and it was a .pages document. I followed protocol; I gave him a 0, notified him, and asked him to resubmit, which I technically shouldn’t have done because I said no late work. But, as I said, I believe in mercy.

Three days later, I had all the rest of the grades calculated and I still hadn’t heard from this student, nor had he re-submitted his essay. Since he didn’t have a great grade, anyway, I shrugged it off, thinking he just didn’t see it as worth his time. I submitted the class grades, awarding him a failing grade for the missing essay.

Two days later, he emailed me claiming he had only just now gotten my notifications and had re-submitted his paper… twenty minutes after my final grades were supposed to be due, and two days after I had already submitted them. He begged me to grade the essay.

I informed him that not only was his essay now five days late, but I had already turned in grades and I could not change his.

He fired back with, “But final grades weren’t due until today, right? You still have time.”

I still refused, reminding him, again, that grades were already turned in.

Two months into the next semester, he challenged his grade, demanding I grade his very late essay and give him a passing grade. I was seriously annoyed by this point because this meant I had to document everything that had happened and submit it for review, wasting valuable time.

To double-check his end of things and cover all my bases, I downloaded his original submission and used a converter to open the document in Word, to make sure the original submission matched his resubmission. Having a converter still does not make it okay to submit .pages documents — it still can’t be read by [Educational Software] — but at least I could have the document ready for review.

The .pages document, however, came back blank.

I tried two other converters. Still blank. I sent it to my brother-in-law who owns a Mac. Still blank. I tried downloading the .pages document from his first essay to test the converter and I didn’t have any problems converting it.

Then, I smiled gleefully and sent the information to my department chair, along with this note:

“Golly, Dr. [Department Chair], I was just checking to see if these essays matched, and for some reason, the first submission is coming up as a blank document. Can we have our IT guys look into it?”

Apparently, the student thought he could submit a blank essay to give himself extra time to submit the final essay because he thought I couldn’t open it. Needless to say, the student’s request for a grade change was denied and he’s now on academic probation for dishonesty.

Brake Break

, , , , , , , | Related | March 16, 2019

My truck has started making a weird noise. Since my dad used to be a mechanic, I ask him about it, but he can’t hear it and insists that I’m imagining it. A few weeks later, the noise is worse, and the truck has started acting weird when I use the brakes. If I just barely touch the brake pedal, the truck reacts as if I’ve slammed on the brakes, and the brakes also let go at unexpected times.

When I try to tell my dad about it, he actually makes fun of me. He says there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my truck and kind of bullies me for not wanting to drive it. I tell him that if he’s that sure, he can drive it. He seems to think it’s hilarious, but he does agree and we swap keys.

The next morning while I am at work, I get a text from dad.

“Don’t drive your truck anywhere.”

It isn’t until I get home that I finally get an explanation. He tried to drive my truck as we agreed. He got halfway out of the driveway, only to realize that he’d left one of the brakes behind!

It had rusted completely in half, but since he’d only been pretending to look at them he didn’t think there could be any problem… until one of them fell off completely.

Dad wonders why I don’t trust him anymore.

A Throwaway Conversation

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(I’ve recently started working at a fast food chain located mainly in Texas. I’ve been working for about a month and a half and I have managed to learn most of what my job entails and how to run the register. But, like everyone, I mess up orders on occasion. This story occurs after I mess up an order for a drunk girl.)

Drunk Girl: “You messed up my order.”

Me: “I’m so sorry about that.” *she gestures for me to take it* “Again, sorry, but we aren’t allowed to take them back. You can either keep it or throw it away.”

(The girl is about a foot away from a trash can. She would have to turn 90 degrees and she’d be able to throw it away.)

Drunk Girl’s Friend: *reaches for the messed up order*

Drunk Girl: “No! Can you throw this away?”

Me: *thinking the friend might want it* “You can keep it if you want.”

Drunk Girl: *angrily throws the burger on her wrapper and storms up to my manager* “Hi. He messed up my order, and I asked if he could throw it away, and he said no. If you knew anything about customer service, you’d know that was rude!”

(I have major social anxiety and this is my first rude customer; I freeze up.)

Manager: “So sorry about that.”

(She walked ten feet to go talk to my manager when she could have turned 90 degrees to throw her burger away.)

Doing A Disservice To Community Service

, , , | Legal | March 7, 2019

(At our thrift store, we take in people who have been court-ordered to do community service. The local court is willing to extend deadlines as long as Community Service Workers can show they’ve been making an effort. On our part, we are normally quite happy to give them a photocopy of their partially-completed hours served to show that they are, in fact, making an honest effort to get through it. Then, this woman comes in. Her stint with us is basically a battle from start to finish. She huffs and puffs and twirls her hair around her finger while telling the supervisor that she simply “doesn’t do that,” and she’s “too good to be stuck doing this.” She complains about having to sweep the floor, then pushes a broom around for three minutes before putting the broom away and claiming she did the whole store.)

Lead: “You’ve been here for four hours and you haven’t gotten a single thing done, so I’m afraid I cannot credit you for the time. I think you need to go home and think about whether doing your community service with us is right for you. There are other businesses that will help you work off your hours.”

Community Service Woman: “Whatever.”

(She leaves. The next day, the phone rings.)

Community Service Woman: “Yeah, so, I need you to send the court a completed record of my hours.”

(I get her information and find the notes.)

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. You are supposed to fulfill forty hours. It says you didn’t even come in the first two days, and the third, you refused to do anything for four hours.”

Community Service Woman: “Well, I need you to send a completed copy of the form to the court, now.”

Me: “Ma’am, if you want a completed form, you have to actually do the work.”

Community Service Woman: “Well, I’m not going to do that, so what you are going to do is fill it out and sign off that I did it.”

Me: “No, I don’t think I will.”

Community Service Woman: “Listen to me very carefully. You will fill out my form, you will sign off on it, and you will send it to the court. You will do what I tell you to!”

Me: “Nope, actually, I won’t. I’m not going to lie to the courts. But I will be happy to pass you off to [Supervisor who had to deal with her before], and let you tell her what you need.”

(I put her on hold before she could say anything and gave the supervisor a summary of what she’d tried to pull with me. The supervisor answered the phone, listened, and sweetly promised to submit all the “appropriate” paperwork to the courts. She hung up and asked me to write down, as accurately as possible, my conversation with the Community Service Woman. Instead of a completed hours form, the court got a detailed report from the supervisor and me about how she tried to fudge her paperwork and bully me into lying to the court. We never saw her again, but I doubt things went well before the judge.)

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