Needs To Reverse That Reversal

, , , , | Working | October 17, 2017

In college I had a summer job in a shop, installing refrigeration units on semi-trailers. Several other college and high-school kids performed the same job as I, although with varying degrees of mechanical aptitude.

I was working on a trailer one day when one of them came asking for help. “I’ve been trying to drill a hole in this frame rail for an hour and it won’t go through,” he said.

I replied, “Okay, let’s have a look.” We walked over and got under the trailer he was working on, where I could see a dimple in the rail and lots of heat-blistered paint. “Let me see your drill.”

I looked at the heat-discolored bit in it and realized he’d been trying to make his hole with the drill in reverse. I told him, “It’s because the drill is going the wrong direction.” He said thanks and I left him to continue.

Another half-hour passed and the bell for lunch rang. As I walked past his bay, I saw him under the trailer, with the drill still in reverse, trying to punch the hole from the other side of the rail.

There’s Something About That Trick But You Can’t Put Your Finger On It

, , , , , , , | Related | October 17, 2017

My maternal grandfather had an accident with a power tool when he was younger, leaving him with three partial fingers. His pinky was the shortest, ending at the first knuckle, his ring finger was cut off between the knuckles, and his middle finger at the last knuckle.

One thing he loved to do was wait until a kid was watching him, then start picking his nose with his index finger. After a while he’d switch to his next finger, then the next, watching the kid’s eyes get wider and wider. If you didn’t know he was missing parts of his fingers, it looked like he was shoving them farther and farther up his nose. He would finally move on to his pinky stub, making it look like he had an entire finger shoved up his nostril, while the kid’s eyes bugged out of their head.

Chocolate Cures Everything

, , , , , , | Hopeless | October 14, 2017

I used to be a girl scout. Cookie season rolled around, and my troop was scheduled to sell them outside of a convenience store sometime very early in the year. Of course, this meant it was very cold outside.

Not many people bought cookies or even walked into the store, and we were freezing, tired, and miserable.

After a while, I went into the store to go to the bathroom and warm up a bit. When I came outside, my troop leader was holding several steaming cups of hot chocolate.

I asked her where she had gotten them, and she said that she didn’t buy them. Apparently, a woman had seen us outside the store and decided to buy them for us from a nearby fast food joint. I completely missed her!

Thank you, random woman! You made my dreary day much brighter, and the hot chocolate was delicious.

There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch… Oh, Wait

, , , , , | Friendly | October 14, 2017

Many years ago, I had a weekday off from work. I was out running some errands, and I swung by an ATM to get $10 to pay for lunch at a cash-only pizza place with a great lunch buffet. I had a great lunch; I even saw an old acquaintance from high school waiting tables and it was nice to say hi. I finished my errands, went home, and had a relaxing afternoon and evening.

The next day I was at work, and I decided to go out to lunch again. I checked my wallet to see how much of my $10 I had left over, which would determine where to go and what to get for lunch. I had the whole Hamilton in there, and nothing else. It took me a minute to put together what I had done. I’ve never been back to that pizza place.

Their Writing Is A Write-Off

, , , , , | Learning | October 14, 2017

I am a writer for a magazine with a large, general audience. We publish a lot of profiles of college professors, and we always send them the final draft for “source review.” They can make sure their information is correct and that they are okay with any speech quotes that we’ve included. Many forget that the magazine’s writers are not their students and return the drafts without doing what we ask, but instead leaving comments, adding citations, and applying academic styles.

One took the cake, though.

I sent the profile for his review and he returned it with large sections completely cut, others rewritten to match his diction, footnotes added, and longer quotes from him that constituted half of the piece. It was essentially a list of block-quotes with a few citations and PhD-level vocabulary. To top it off, he sent me the document in an email that said, “Don’t be worried about using my writing; I don’t mind!”

We did not use his writing, his footnotes, or his giant block-quotes.

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