Sick Of Customers Just Picking Fights

, , , | Right | September 12, 2019

(I am walking through a science center with my family when a worker suddenly stops me.)

Worker: “Excuse me. Would you mind walking around?”

(I look down and there is a puddle of puke he is guarding until someone can come to clean it up. I think nothing of it, but a man and a woman feel like giving this guy the business for no reason.)

Man: “This is a health hazard; why aren’t you doing anything?!”

Worker: “I am, sir. I am keeping people away until it can be cleaned up.”

Man: “But what else are you doing?! NOTHING!”

(Another patron walks over with a chair to cover the area.)


(The poor worker just stands there and takes it. I’ve had enough.)

Me: “Hey, man, I appreciate you for saving me from that puke. You’re doing a great job and anyone who has ever served the public would be able to appreciate that.”

(The other man and his wife glared at me. I happily glared back as the worker mouthed a simple “thank you” to me. It’s not hard to just be silent, people!)

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Human Produced Alcohol Would Be The Yeast Of Your Worries

, , , , , , | Learning | September 11, 2019

(I am taking Biology 12. Biology 11 was focused on basic principles — plant, animal, fungal biology, principles of evolution, cells — and Bio 12 is Human Anatomy. We are reviewing basic principles when the teacher asks the class:)

Teacher: “Think back to last year; when cells use sugar, they make ATP and…?”

Student: *cautiously answers* “Alcohol?”

Teacher: *without missing a beat* “No, no, sweetie. No, you’re not a yeast.”

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The Atmosphere Suddenly Got Acidic

, , , , | Learning | September 2, 2019

(I work in a cancer research facility. For some background to the story, we are not a learning center, but a fully-functioning research building. We do have students, but they are at least in the third or fourth year of college, and some are even working on their thesis. We have a rule: if you have to use the equipment and do not know how, DO NOT touch it and ask for help. This rule is in place to protect the insanely expensive equipment, such as high-resolution microscopes, centrifuges, and cytometers, because if something happens to them, the hourly fee for a qualified technician runs in the hundreds of dollars. This rule applies to every machine, not only the expensive ones.)

Student: “Hi. I need to measure the pH of this solution.”

Me: “No problem. Here is the pH meter to do that. Do you know how to use it?”

Student: “This one is different than the model I know.”

(All pH meters work the same. You know how to use one, you know them all. pH meters have a crystal electrode that you introduce in the solution, and the machine gives you the pH measure automatically. However, you have to clean the electrode before using it to wash away the conservation solution — KCl — and to not contaminate your own solution with it.  I take her answer as she doesn’t know where the Off/On button is, so I turn it on for her and resume my work. The student takes the electrode, pulls it out of the conservation solution, and plunges it into her solution, which is the same color and texture of blue ink.)

Me: “Did you wash the electrode?”

Student: *confused* “Was I supposed to do that?”

Me: “Well… yes. Because if not, you just cross-contaminated your solution. Unless you know for a fact that your solution contains potassium chloride.”

Student: *alarmed* “Oh, no!”

(She proceeds to take the electrode out of her blue solution and plunge it again into the conservation solution, which turns blue immediately and now will have to be disposed of and replaced. I look at her, speechless. Suddenly realizing what she just did, she says:)

Student: “Oh, oh, what a mess I have made! Oh, my! I will have to do the solution again! I will be back to measure the pH later!”

(And without another word, she ran out of the door. Obviously, I had to clean up the pH meter and the counter and replace the conservation solution for a new one. She has not come back yet to measure the pH of her solution.)

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Destroying The Scientific Method

, , , , , , , | Learning | August 30, 2019

(I’m visiting my sister and we’re picking her kid up from school. While we’re there, I learn that the students are learning about biology. I’m a microbiology PhD student, and the teacher excitedly tells the students that I’m a scientist. When considering their questions — and my answers — please bear in mind that I’ve studied two classes of bacterial genes for the past three years and just about nothing else.)

Child #1: “Ms. [My Name], if lily pads were blue, would frogs be blue?”

Me: “I, uh, maybe, but frogs spend time with other plants, too, so–”

Child #2: “Ms. [Almost My Name], if I fed a tadpole a little bit of salt every day, could I make a frog that lives in the ocean?”

Me: “Not right away, but if you kept feeding lots of tadpoles a little bit of salt over hundreds of years, maybe!”

Child #3: “Ms. [Definitely Not My Name], what’s ‘serviette’ mean?” 

Me: “Oh, that’s just a fancy word for a napkin.”

Child #1: “Ms. [My Name], when there were dinosaurs, were the frogs really big?”

Me: “Well, they wouldn’t be frogs, but they might be ancestors of frogs that–”

Child #3: “So, why did they used call Russia the serviette union?”

Me: “–ancestors of frogs… that… They used to call it the Soviet Union. ‘Soviet’ is a Russian word for… farmer, I think.”

(It’s not. But I couldn’t remember what it did mean, because…)

Child #2: “Only I have a bucket of tadpoles, and I gave then a little salt, and they’re all okay, except the ones Henry ate.”

Me: “Henry… ate..?”

Child #2: “Like this!” *baring her teeth* “Raar raar raar!”

Children #1 and #3: “Raar raar!”

(A bell rings, and they disappear. I go talk to the teacher.)

Me: “So… biology. Lot about frogs, I guess?”

Teacher: “Oh, no. We’ve been talking about trees. But I brought a frog to class and it jumped onto a student’s head, and they still haven’t stopped trying to make it happen again.”

Me: “Also, this might be important. Who’s Henry?”

(The teacher points to a small boy who’s hitting a pencil with another pencil.)

Teacher: “Oh, also, that’s the name of the principals’ cat. Why do you ask?”

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How Many TIMES Do I Have To Tell You?

, , , , , | Right | August 26, 2019

(I work as a cashier. Sometimes, if people have more than one of the same item, they will only put one up on the belt, and I can change the quantity manually. This customer has seven juice containers but only gives me one to scan.)

Customer: “And times this by six.”

(I look in her cart and see that she has a total of seven items.)

Me: “You actually have seven of these.”

Customer: “No, I said times it by six.”

Me: “But you have seven. Or did you want to put one back and only buy six?”

Customer: “I don’t think you understand. I said times it by six!”

Me: “Okay…”

(I scan the item, change it to six, and put it behind me with the items to go back on the shelf.)

Customer: “What are you doing? I want them all!”

Me: “You said you only wanted six.”

Customer: “No, I said times it by six. You don’t even understand what I’m saying! I want all of them!”

Me: “So, you do want all seven of them?”

Customer: “Oh, my God, this is ridiculous. Listen to me. You scan that item, and you times it by six!

Me: “But you have seven of them. If you want all seven, then I have to charge you for seven.”

Customer: “Have you been listening to me at all? You times it by six; this isn’t complicated.”

(The customer has been sighing and rolling her eyes at me the whole time, like she can’t believe my stupidity. I decide to stop trying to explain it to her, scan the seventh item, and put it in her bag. She looks confusedly at the screen showing her order for about two minutes, making me worry that she’s going to yell at me for charging her for seven, before finally paying.)

Customer: “My God! Just ridiculous!”

(She stormed out in a huff, leaving me to wonder when counting to seven became so difficult.)

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