Not Very Closed-Minded, Part 35

, , , , , | Right | July 1, 2020

It’s 10:10 pm, and I’m managing a fast food restaurant that closes at 10:00 pm. A few minutes ago, I locked all the doors and turned off all the exterior lights, the road sign, the dining room, and the drive-up menu board.

A car pulls on the lot. A customer gets out of her car, walks up to the vestibule-type entry, yanks on the door, and finds it locked. She walks to the other side of the vestibule, yanks on that door, and finds it locked. She walks around the building, to the door on the other side and — you guessed it — finds it locked. 

She then proceeds to walk up to the drive-up window, bangs on it until I come over, and then asks, “Are you open?”

Related:
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 34
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 33
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 32
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 31
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 30

There’s No Accounting For The Kindness Of Some People

, , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2020

I had to buy a new-to-me car when mine gave up the ghost. Happily, I found a three-year-old used car at my favorite dealership and started all the necessary paperwork. I had enough money for a sizable down payment but was still going to need the three-year plan to pay the car off.

When I sat down with the dealership’s “number’s guy,” he had one of the best senses of humor I’d ever seen in an accountant.

I have many acquaintances who are accountants and not one has a grain of humor in their being. I apologize to accountants on this site who are actual humans. I know you exist; I just haven’t met any of you.

We finally got to the nitty-gritty of the monthly payments and he quoted me a price that stunned me because of how low it was.  

Then, he said, “Oh, wait. I’m supposed to offer you [Product]. Do you want that?”

Truth was, I did want that. So, with the product added, the low price went up considerably, but it was still within my budget.

The accountant looked at it for a minute and shook his head.

“Gosh, I forgot you were in last week looking for the car when we were offering the discount. I’m such a klutz.”

“Um… I only just came in two days ago,” I said.

He said, rather sharply, “No, no, I distinctly remember discussing this with you last week. I know car shopping is stressful, but surely you remember coming in last week and discussing the discount.”

It took me a minute, but then I said, “Oh, right. Sure. Last week.”

He applied the discount, which reduced my payment below the original monthly payment he had quoted me.

That is one of the reasons I keep going back to that dealership for service and will probably buy my next car there, as well.

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A Teacher Devoid Of Common Sense

, , , , , , | Learning | July 1, 2020

A very long time ago — in the 1970s — I was taking a general science course called “Physical Science”. This was a required course, so the classroom was very large and packed full of students, most of whom were only present because it was required.

The instructors of two adjacent Physical Science classrooms frequently opened up the temporary wall between the classes and held joint class sessions, especially when reviewing material for examinations. The instructors had very different teaching styles; [Popular Teacher] was popular with students and always cheerful, while [Strict Teacher] was very formal and was widely reported to have never smiled. 

Even in my early teens, I was very interested in science. I frequently read science and engineering journals at the school library — which irritated the head librarian as those journals were intended for the teaching staff. As a result, I was usually bored to tears in the Physical Science class. The material presented was intended for a general audience of people unfamiliar — and often uninterested — in science, specifically to give students a basic understanding of what science was. I was enrolled in [Strict Teacher]’s class and often clashed with him when he put out material from the required curriculum which was outdated and/or inaccurate. 

“There are three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas,” [Strict Teacher] explained.

“Excuse me, Mr. [Strict Teacher]?” I interjected. “I read an article in Scientific American which says plasma is a fourth state of matter.”

“I read the same article,” the teacher explained, “but I have to teach what is currently in the course textbooks.”

Since I was usually right, we would have a brief discussion in class about the new information which hadn’t made it into the course materials, and my grade never suffered for challenging his authority.

[Popular Teacher], on the other hand, did not enjoy being questioned by students. He was popular with most of his students because he encouraged those with no interest in science to tease and mock those who wanted to learn. Oddly, [Strict Teacher]’s students tended to have higher test scores in all manner of scientific subjects than the students in [Popular Teacher]’s classes.

During one of the joint class sessions, while discussing scientific terminology, [Popular Teacher] mentioned that the suffix “-oid” was used to describe something similar to the root term. A couple of students asked about hemorrhoids, which [Popular Teacher] said didn’t count. Another student asked about asteroids, at which point [Popular Teacher] began to mock the students questioning him, calling them “nasty kids.”

[Strict Teacher] went rigid with anger, because [Popular Teacher] was belittling students who were at least interested in the material, encouraging their uninterested classmates to bully them. Because he was unwilling to confront [Popular Teacher] in front of the students and thereby diminish [Popular Teacher]’s authority in the classroom, [Strict Teacher] held his tongue, but he looked annoyed.

I raised my hand, and [Strict Teacher] called on me.

“Excuse me, Mr. [Popular Teacher],” I said. “’Hemorrhoid’ is a medical term adding the ‘-oid’ suffix to the Greek word for ‘vein’. ‘Hemorrhoid’ basically means, ‘little vein.’ So that was a valid question.”

“All right, smart guy,” said [Popular Teacher]. “What about ‘asteroid’, then?”

“Also valid,” I confirmed. “’Aster’ is the Greek word for ‘star’, so ‘asteroid’ means ‘little star’.”

[Popular Teacher], slightly taken aback, just said, “Okay, whatever.”

As [Popular Teacher] tried to get his lesson back on track, I noticed [Strict Teacher] turn quickly away from the class… to hide his smile.

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Not Exactly Fall-Down-Laughing Delivery

, , , , , | Working | June 30, 2020

I’ve always had a reputation for being a joker; I love to make people laugh, and because of that, I answer questions in unconventional ways.

I was working at a multi-level pharmacy with the restrooms in the basement. I was standing at the registers with a coworker who was sweet, but a little… dim.

A customer came up and asked where the restrooms were. I explained:

“They’re on the lower floor. Down the beer aisle is the stairs. Walk down that way and when you fall down, that means you’ve found them.”

My coworker thought it was pretty funny. Not hilarious, but it usually gets a chuckle. 

Ten minutes later, another customer asked my coworker where the bathrooms were.

“Walk over there and fall down.”

Cue headdesk.

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Praise To The Lamb(ing Sheds)!

, , , , , , , | Related | June 30, 2020

I suppose I should start with a mild warning as this story, while funny, is also kind of gross. Welcome to my life.

Allow me to start with a little back story. My father’s wife appears to have done all of her research on how to be a Step-Mother in certain children’s books. I don’t mean she could be a little grumpy; I mean she got cease and desist letters from The Mouse.

On the Sunday evening in question, I had just gotten home and was trying my d***edest to get out of my boots, an effort hampered by the fact that, despite being fifteen, I had worked thirty-six hours in the lambing sheds that weekend and was so tired I had walked home, right past the motorcycle I had ridden to work.

As soon as she heard the front door, she started in on me through the door that separated the kitchen from the front hall, screeching at me that I hadn’t done my chores and I had better get caught up right now or no supper for me.

I said, “I’ve been at work all weekend; you know that. You insisted I take the job.”

As soon as I said the words, I knew it was a mistake, and sure enough, she ripped the door open and took a deep breath to engage in her favourite pastime: berating me for being a waste of skin and air.

Sadly for her — but not me — she took the deep breath after she opened the door.

After thirty-six hours in the sheds, I was covered in… I’m not going to be specific, but suffice to say that if it was liquid and could be found inside a sheep, I was wearing it. (I ended up having to throw all of my clothes out because even a boil wash couldn’t get the smell out.)

Her eyes bugged out, she went green, and she dived past me to throw up in the downstairs bathroom. I finished undressing, threw my clothes and boots out the front door, and went upstairs to scrub myself down with Swarfega: proper manly, gritty cleanser.

You’d think that would be an end to it, right? Wrong.

As I fell asleep — passed out — it was to the sound of her howling at my father because he wouldn’t let her wake me up to vacuum the downstairs and do the dishes.

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