The Theory Of Everything Silly

, , , , , , , | Related | October 15, 2018

(My kids and I are leaving the book fair at their school. My youngest is named Stephen. My oldest, age ten, has a book about scientists.)

Oldest: “This book doesn’t have Stephen Hawking in it!”

Stephen: “CAW! CAW! CAW!”

Me: “Stephen! What are you doing?”

Stephen: “I’m ‘hawking’! I’m Stephen Hawking!”

No One Gave Them The Gift Of Math

, , , , , | Right | September 7, 2018

Me: “That’ll be $21.49.”

Customer: *hands me two dollars and lets me ring it up before handing me a gift card*

Me: *swipes the card* “Excuse me, ma’am, there’s only 51 cents left on your card. Would you still like it back?”

Customer: “How is there only 51 cents left on a $20 gift card?!”

Me: *shows her the receipt* “Well, ma’am, you gave me two dollars and 21 minus 2 is 19—”

Customer: “No, sweetie, you just don’t understand.” *snatches her card back and leaves*

A Different Kind Of Yard Sale

, , , , | Right | September 6, 2018

(I work at a popular fabric store that sells by the yard. Customers bring the full rolls of fabric to the counter and we cut off what they request. The prices on the rolls are the per yard prices. I was working this counter when a customer who had already been to us and gone to the check out came back with a cashier.)

Cashier: “This lady says the fabric she got was suppose to be 50% off.”

(I look at the cutting receipt and see that it was indeed 50% off, but the customer had gotten two yards of material, making her total the same as the regular per-yard price of the fabric.)

Me: “Ma’am, it is 50% off.” *pointing at the receipt* “See, this here is the price per yard of $5, regularly it’s $10 a yard.”

Customer: “But right there it says $10. That’s the price on the tag and the sign says 50% off.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but you bought two yards. The tag price is per yard, so you got your 50% off, it’s $10 because there’s two yards instead of one.”

Customer: “But, it should be $5 because it’s 50% off.”

Me: “It’s $5 per yard, you got two yards.”

Customer: *long pause* “I don’t get it.”

(I can’t think of any other way to explain it so I pull a calculator out from under the counter.)

Me: “Okay, you have this fabric that’s normally $10 a yard at 50% off.” *I type ten multiplied by zero-point-five into my calculator while she watches* “This is the per yard price, now you have two yards so I have to multiply this by two to get your total.” *I type two into the calculator and show her it comes out to ten* “So your total is now $10 for the two yards. Do you understand?”

Customer: “No.” *long pause* “It shouldn’t be that much because it’s 50% off.”

Me: *long pause and I try to think of any other way I can explain this to her*

Customer: “I was suppose to get a damage discount.”

Me: “Oh, I didn’t know.” *turning to cashier* “Can you adjust that at the register?”

Cashier: “Yeah! I can take care of that.”

(They leave and I think it’s all straightened out. Ten minutes later my manager asks for me over the headset.)

Manager: “Hey cutting counter, I have a lady that is telling me she didn’t get 50% off on her fabric. It rang up $10 but she says it’s supposed to be $5.”

Me: *exasperated* “[Manager], it’s $10 because she bought two yards. I explained this to her twice and showed her on a calculator. I have no idea how to explain it any other way.”

(Later, the fabric came back to the counter. Apparently she decided she didn’t want it.)

I Calculate A 100% Chance Of Failure

, , , , | Working | August 20, 2018

(I work as an accountant and have a very… interesting coworker. I take her calculator and try to make my coworker count in her head.)

Me: “What’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “I can’t count without my calculator!”

Me: “Just try, what’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “6?”

Me: “What’s 6 plus 6?”

Coworker: “12.”

Me: “So what’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “8.”

Me: “And what’s 8 plus 8?”

Coworker: “I can’t do it without my calculator!”

Me: “I won’t give it back to you unless you tell me.”

Coworker: “16.”

Me: “So what’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “9.”

Me: “Okay, and what’s 18 plus 9?”

Coworker: “I. Can’t. Count. Without. My. CALCULATOR!”

Your Teacher Is Fuming

, , , , , , , | Learning | August 15, 2018

(I am part of the Gifted/AP program at my school. This conversation happens in fourth grade, with my Gifted teacher for that year.)

Teacher: “Well, kids, this weekend I learned a very important home safety lesson. I was deep-cleaning my bathroom, and after I used [Ammonia-Based Cleaning Product] on the floor, I decided to bleach the tub–”

Me: *gasps* “Are you okay, Mrs. [Teacher]?!”

(She stares at me.)

Teacher: “Um, yes, [My Name], I’m just fine… I started feeling lightheaded, so I stopped cleaning. We opened all the windows and ran the fans…”

(She then explained to the class that she read the cleaning product label, and when ammonia and bleach are used together, it can create toxic fumes. I was the only kid who knew. The teacher asked me later how I learned that, and I told her my mother taught me. I’m pretty sure that teacher thought we were a family of mad scientists.)

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