Might As Well Explain It To A Robot

, , , | Right | December 13, 2017

(I work at a small museum for a university. We have an exhibit on robotics that has nothing hands-on. The text panels are very technical and, to someone who has not studied robotics, rather dry. The exhibit is designed for older students and adults. However, many people want to bring their young children, anyway. I have this conversation over the phone.)

Me: “Hello, [Museum].”

Caller: “Hello, my son is in kindergarten and loves robots. I see on your website that you have a robotics exhibit. Do you think that coming to [Museum] would be a good way to introduce him to robotics?”

Me: “We do have a robotics exhibit; however, it is more about the history and development of robotics. There is nothing hands-on, and we recommend it for middle-school age to adult audiences. Lots of people do bring younger children, but some of the technical stuff on the text panels might be a little over his head.”

Caller: *her voice absolutely dripping with disdain* “It would not be over his head.” *hangs up on me*

(So, she basically called to ask a question to which she had already decided the answer. Unless that kid was a robotics prodigy, he was not going to get anything out of those text panels! She would have been better off buying a basic robotics kit to start him off. This was not the first or the last visitor who believed they had a genius child.)

That’s Not Very Big Of You

, , | Working | December 8, 2017

(One of my coworkers is a really small guy, clearly under 160 centimeters. One day we are doing small talk in the staff room. Another coworker, who likes to make witty wisecracks, is there, too.)

Coworker #1: “You know, when I was little…”

Coworker #2: “What? Yesterday?”

Mass Extinction Can Wait For After Lunch

, , , , , , | Learning | November 27, 2017

(I volunteer as a tour guide for a group of six- and seven-year-olds in a natural history museum that has a famous dinosaur collection. Before lunch, the kids visit a temporary exhibition, and after lunch it’s time for the dinosaurs. During lunch, one of the kids is impatient and wolfs down his lunch so fast that his teacher needs to remind him several times to take smaller bites. At the same table, there’s a girl that’s eating very calmly, and she’s one of the last to finish. The boy insists that she eats faster.)

Teacher: “[Boy], give [Girl] the time to eat. There will be time enough to visit the dinosaurs.”

Me: *jokingly* “Yeah, don’t worry; the dinos won’t run away.”

Girl: *in an “I can’t believe I need to explain this” voice* “That’s because they’re dead.”

Got You Dead To Rights

, , , | Working | November 10, 2017

(The museum is about to close and my colleagues are conducting final checks on galleries. We are keeping contact via radios. I have just asked [Colleague #1] to check our Ancient Egypt gallery.)

Colleague #1: “Yeah, it’s all fine; the gallery is completely empty.”

Colleague #2: “But the artefacts are still there, right?”

Colleague #1: “It’s empty of people.”

Colleague #2: “But the mummies are still there, right?”

Colleague #1: “It’s empty of living people.”

Me: “But you’re still there, right?”

Colleague #1: “I’m dead on the inside.”

Unfiltered Story #89056

, , | Unfiltered | November 1, 2017

(I’ve been working at this place for a few months. A few times, I received a call from the planner on my mobile phone about covering for sick coworkers. Nothing strange about that. But the owner himself tends to be chaotic and impulsive, making decisions and requests at the last moment. One early morning during summer, this happens: I’m in bed, slowly waking up on a day off. Suddenly, there’s a knock on my door. It’s my dad, in his pyjamas. In his hand he carries the wireless house phone. Apparently someone called the number, so the phone in my parents’ sleeping room rang.)

Dad: “It’s [Museum], asking if you’ll be coming today. They said they sent a text message but didn’t receive an answer.”

Me: “Oh, all right, I can come.”

Dad: *to the phone* “He’ll be coming.”

(Later, before I leave.)

Me: “By the way, who was on the phone?”

Dad: “I don’t know, he didn’t say. He talked in a very neat tone.”

Me: “I guess that was the owner.”

(That was more than six years ago. Up until today, I never received his text message, which he obviously sent to the wrong number, so he just decided to wake up my parents during their summer holiday.)

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