Banded Together To Get Their Answers

, , , , | Learning | June 2, 2017

(Due to a scheduling mishap, a required math class conflicts with several other classes. The math class is split into two sections and I am assigned to TA the new section.)

Professor: *reading off a test* “—so we can see on question four, I asked you to describe what’s wrong with the analysis—”

(A student raises her hand.)

Professor: “—in which we have three populations of mice, and we’re trying to see how much they weigh—”

(The student starts wave her hand.)

Professor: “—but half our mice are—”

Me: “Uh, professor, you have a question.”

Professor: “Oh! Sorry, sorry. In the future, if I don’t see you, don’t be afraid to call out and let me know!”

(He answers her question and goes on.)

Professor: “—but it seems like most of you missed part two—”

Student #2: *hand raised* “Professor…”

Professor: “—but I think that’s because the wording wasn’t clear in—”

Student #2: “Professor!”

Me: “You’ve got another question.”

Professor: “Ah! Sorry. I’m half-deaf; you may have to make some noise. Yell. Blow a whistle. Don’t be shy!”

(The next class, the TA’s can all tell that something’s off. The students are fidgeting and far too focused for a math lecture. But they’re paying attention, so we don’t complain.)

Professor: “—but of course this won’t work if they’re all the same height. Now if we have two populations.”

(A student raises his hand.)

Teacher’s Assistant #2: “Oh, s***.”

Student: *quietly* “Professor?”

Me: “What?”

Teacher’s Assistant #2: “One of the classes that conflicted with the old lecture time was band practice.”

Professor: *still oblivious* “If the populations are—”

(At this point, “When the Saints Come Marching In” roars out of the back of the classroom as half the marching band stands up. The professor happily waves his pen to conduct them and claps when they’re done. However, he did institute a rule that future questions cannot be preceded by more than three instruments or more than one second of music.)

They’ll Be Back, Mark Your Calendar

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2017

(I’m working as a cashier after the holidays and a woman with three young kids and a basket full of stuff comes up to me to check out.)

Customer: “Um, excuse me, but I would just like to mention that this will be the last time I will ever come into your store. I have been treated terribly by the staff here and considering I’m spending a lot of my hard-earned money here today I find that unacceptable.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but that’s of course entirely up to you.” *I start to ring her out*

Customer: “It’s the stupidest thing… I ordered a calendar here six weeks ago and never received a call that it came in. Now today when I came to pick it up it isn’t here!”

Me: “Well, we don’t hold onto orders for more than two weeks for customers that haven’t pre-paid, unfortunately.”

Customer: “I know THAT, but I also would’ve known if it was in if someone had bothered to call me! The person who I asked even had the nerve to check that the phone number on my account was correct, as if I would ever give you clowns false information!”

Me: “I’m sorry you weren’t able to get it. I understand the inconvenience.”

Customer: “And then that jerk wouldn’t even check in the system to see if my calendar had been shelved and was still available in the store! She went and helped someone else. How dare she brush me off like that!”

Me: “Well, since it’s already into the new year and most of our holiday stock is gone, we no longer have any calendars in the store.”

Customer: “But she wouldn’t even CHECK!”

Me: “I get that you’re frustrated.”

Customer: “I think I’d better receive a discount!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I deserve to at least not have to pay so much after the way I was treated.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m unable to authorize any sort of discount.”

Customer: “Ugh, I knew you’d say that. Well, how about on these?”

(She waves a bunch of colored pencils she’s buying in my face.)

Customer: “At least discount these; the tips are all broken off of these.”

Me: “Erm… okay. I’ll discount them 10% on account of them being damaged.”

Customer: “Only 10%? Wait, that only covers the tax on these!”

Me: “Well, seeing as how they can be sharpened and repaired all I can really do is the 10%.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine. Just finish ringing me up; I’m so done with this terrible place.”

(She ended up paying with three gift cards and only ended up spending about $10 of her “hard-earned” money. I never found out which coworker had treated her with such contempt, but I did try to learn who it was so I could hug them.)

Will Show You Where To Put That Needle

, , , , | Learning | June 1, 2017

(I am blind and am going to a non-special education school for the first time. I have a seeing eye dog, as well as technology, like being able to use the eye-sight help apps on my phone during the school day. I am also exempt from the sewing class, and instead work on homework during the two weeks we have it. Some variation of this happens everyday, as the school can’t keep a teacher’s assistant.)

Teacher’s Assistant: “Why isn’t she sewing? She should be sewing!”

Teacher: “She’s [My Name]? Surely you remember having to go through training again?”

Teacher’s Assistant: “Oh, she’s that one? I still think she should be sewing!”

Teacher: “SHE CAN’T SEW!”

Teacher’s Assistant: “I’ll get her a needle!”

(It’s a wonder I survived that year.)

Purple Raises Some Red Flags

, , , , , | Right | May 29, 2017

Customer: “I am looking for a [Type] wine I tried the other day.”

Associate: “Was it red or white?”

Customer: “It was purple, dumb-a**.”

Wasn’t Done In A New York Minute

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2017

(I work at a very large church in NYC that’s also a popular tourist destination. We’re known not just for our grandeur, but also our programming, both liturgical and secular, which brings a lot of people through our doors. I work in the gift shop, which is also something of a reception area. In the middle of a busy day, I get this phone call.)

Me: “[My Church] Visitors Center. This is [My Name].”

Caller: “Hi, there’s an organ concert happening at [Church on the other side of town] next week and I’m coming into Penn Station to hear it.”

(Please note, we have organ concerts, as well, so I’m thinking this has something to do with our organist.)

Caller: “How do I get there?”

Me: “From [My Church]?”

Caller: “No! From Penn Station! Can I walk to Madison Avenue and then take the Madison Avenue local?”

Me: “Walk to Madison Avenue from Penn Station? It’s kind of far.”

Caller: “But can I walk it?”

Me: “I suppose you could walk the entire way if you wanted to.”

Caller: “But I want to walk to Madison Avenue and then take the local up!”

Me: “This isn’t [Church across town]. This is [My Church].”

Caller: “I know! But no one was picking up over there!”

Me: “I can try to help get you directions, but we’re not affiliated with that church, so I’m not familiar with where it is.”

Caller: “I know you’re not! I’m just trying to find out if I can walk to Madison Avenue and take the Madison Avenue local up!”

Me: “To get across town your best bet is to take the shuttle at Times Square.”

Caller: “I don’t want to take a shuttle! What subway should I take!”

Me: “The shuttle is the subway you should take. It runs from Times Square to Grand Central and back.”

(This goes on for far longer than you’d think it should, after I’ve given him explicit subway instructions with him questioning me at every direction. He doesn’t believe me that there’s no subway line on Madison Avenue. He doesn’t believe me that the closest subway stop is four blocks and two avenues from the church, and he’s getting increasingly frustrated that I don’t know the exact address and location of a church I don’t work for. My line is growing and my colleague — who is not required to answer phones, by the way — offers to take the call so I can get back to our visitors.)

Me: “I’m going to pass you on to my colleague, because I have a line of customers here who need help, but she will help you find the best way to get there.”

Caller: “Customers? What’s going on there? Is there an event?”

Me: “No, no event today.”

Caller: “Then what customers do you have?”

Me: “We have tourists visiting here every day.”

Caller: “Is this the gift shop?!”

Me: “Yes. I’m passing you on to my colleague now.”

(She takes the phone while I apologize to our paying customers. I can overhear her telling him basically the same things I said and apparently getting the same backlash. Ultimately I hear her say, “We don’t work for the MTA or that church, but the MTA’s website has a function to help you find the best route,” and shortly after that the call is over and my line has died down.)

Me: “What did he say when you told him you don’t work for the MTA?”

Colleague: “He said, ‘But you’re New Yorkers!’”

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