Holding On To That Bakers’ Dozen

, , , , , | Working | October 25, 2019

(I am a young team lead — 20 — that frequently runs the building alone on the weekends. We have a recent hire that’s a bit older than me — 32. We are trained that for clients that are out of area, we have to charge them two dollars for every mile outside of the service area they are for the trip there and back. So, for example, our service area is 25 miles. If the client lives 30 miles away we charge them $2 x 5, so $10 total. I’m just finishing up an escalation report when I hear this new hire talking to her cube mate.)

New Hire: “Can I borrow your calculator? Mine is broken.”

Cube Mate: “Sure, here you go.”

(A minute later.)

New Hire: “I can’t believe it; yours is broken, too!”

Cube Mate: “Are you sure? I just used it for an extra-long trip and it worked fine.”

New Hire: “Yes, it’s giving the wrong answer!”

Cube Mate: “Here, let me see.”

(A few moments later.)

Cube Mate: “It’s working fine. What are you trying to figure out?”

New Hire: “Six times two.”

Cube Mate: *pause* “That’s twelve.”

New Hire: “No, it’s not!”

(Cue me leaning out and watching with interest.)

Cube Mate: “Yes. Yes, it is.”

New Hire: “No, that’s what they are saying, but I know it’s not true. It’s 13!”

(The cube mate looks at me and we both just stare for a moment before they motion, helpless, for me.)

Me: “No, [Cube Mate] is correct; six times two is twelve, not thirteen.”

New Hire: “No, it isn’t; I know math!”

(I am thinking, “Then why did you need the calculator?”)

Me: “Six and two are both even numbers; when you multiply them you can only get another even number, right?”

New Hire: *rolls her eyes* “Well, duh, everyone knows that. That’s why it’s thirteen, not twelve.”

Me: *open my mouth closes it and shakes my head* “Just put in the payment for $12, please.”

New Hire: *all but screaming* “You are both just trying to get me fired!”

Me: *internally sighing* “Put in the payment for $12 and say I approved it. Give me the job number and I’ll notate it myself so if anything comes of it I can take the full blame.”

(She finally entered in the payment. Unsurprisingly, nothing ever came of that payment. Now, her, on the other hand… I could write a book on.)

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With A Poof And Boom, Water!

, , , , , , | Learning | October 24, 2019

Our science teacher was pretty relaxed and mellow. In the four years he tried to teach us the principles of chemistry and physics, I only saw him mad two times. One of them involved another teacher.

He entered the classroom seething mad and told us [Other Teacher]’s key to the cupboard and storage room with chemicals and materials had been taken away and he was never ever to touch the school’s equipment again. 

He did say some things not to be said about other teachers, especially not to your teenage students, but he was beyond mad. The show was not around at the time, but what happened could have figured in a Seconds Before Disaster episode. 

[Other Teacher] performed a small experiment regarding the electrolysis of water, basic stuff. This means an interconnected two-tube system was hooked on to a generator, sending a current through the water and splitting it into its components: hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases amass at the top of each tube. First of all, the generator used for the current was set on AC instead of DC. No harm done at this stage, if he remained vigilant. 

The chemical formula for water is dihydrogen oxide, meaning that for each oxygen molecule, there are two hydrogen molecules. As a consequence, in one tube should be twice as much gas as in the other tube — invisible but you can see the “void” space. [Other Teacher], however, failed to notice that due to the AC, the volume in both tubes was the same. The next step — students are fond of this — to prove the hydrogen, you are supposed to tap some of the gas in an upside-down test tube — hydrogen is lighter than air — and to light the gas. It will result in a small “poof.”

[Other Teacher], for some reason, did not take a test tube and let the gas escape from one of the tubes and lighted it directly. If you hold a flame next to hydrogen and oxygen, they want to come together, resulting in a “boom” rather than a “poof.” As the tube contained a mixture of both, an expensive piece of equipment made out of glass exploded… onto the first two rows of students, who luckily remained mostly unharmed or had only minor scratches. He was lucky.

For some reason, our very strict principal did not see it as a reason for dismissal but [Science Teacher], who was also responsible for the material, revoked his privileges. He had to fight the principal but he won that one.

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Tutoring Is A Science

, , , , , , | Learning | October 7, 2019

(I go to a religious private school up until high school. Then, I go to a public school, instead. To supplement my religious learning, my parents hire a private tutor. As I really enjoy math and science, I don’t particularly enjoy most of the sessions as a lot of the material is just based on raw memorization. The following dialogue often happens whenever my tutor asks something that I get stuck trying to answer.)

Tutor: “Come on, this isn’t a hard question. It’s not like this is rocket science.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s the problem.”

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Surprised You Haven’t Gone Loony Already

, , , , , , | Right | October 3, 2019

(I work near the United States border at a business which mainly caters to Canadians. I wish I had a loony for every time this exchange took place.)

Me: “Okay, your total is $5.00.”

Customer: “Hmm, how much is that in Canadian?”

Me: *already wary* “If you have $7.00 Cdn, that will cover it.”

Customer: *hands me a $10*

Me: *deep, calming breath* “Okay. This Canadian ten is worth seven US dollars. You owe us five US. So, I’m going to give you two US in change. Okay?”

Customer: *thinks*

Me: *thinking* “Please understand it… Please understand it… Please understand it…”

Customer: “But you owe me $3!”

Me: *wishes we had conquered Canada back in 1812*

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If Europe Did Math There’d Be No Brexit

, , , , , , | Right | September 30, 2019

(I am waiting in line to change some money, and I overhear the following.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to change £500 to Euros.”

(The customer hands over notes. The clerk counts twice in front of her.)

Clerk: “This is only £480.”

Customer: “Oh, I was sure I counted £500; let me check in my bag.” *no luck* “Okay, it’ll have to be £480, then.”

Clerk: *starts to count out money*

Customer: “Oh, can it all be small notes? They won’t take anything big.”

Clerk: “Okay, but it will be a couple of minutes, then.”

Customer: *sounding grumpy* “Fine.”

Clerk: “Okay, so this is €528.”

Customer: “€548?”

Clerk: “No, €528.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Clerk: “Yes.”

Customer: “But when I was going to change £500, it was €550.”

Clerk: “Yes, but you’re only changing £480.”

Customer: “But that’s more than €20 less.”

Clerk: “Yes, because you’re paying £20 less.”

Customer: “But euros are less than the pound so it should be more than €530.”

Clerk: “No, £20 is about €22, so you’re getting €22 less than €550, because you’re paying £20 less.”

Customer: “Hmm…”

(She did eventually take the money, but still sounded unconvinced. I’m pretty sure she went away to tell everyone about the “clerk who tried to cheat her out of her money.”)

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