Only Engineering Confusion

, , , , , | Related | October 1, 2019

(I am staying with my parents while looking for a new job. I’ve finished another day of looking for positions and sending applications and am ready to kick back and relax, when my mom comes over to me.)

Mom: “I think I’ve found a job for you. Go to this website.”

(She shows me a piece of paper on which she’s written a URL. I navigate to it and read the listing.)

Me: “Mom… this is a civil engineering position.”

Mom: “Yeah, so?”

Me: “I majored in computer engineering. I can’t apply for this.”

Mom: “Why not? It’s an engineering job. It shouldn’t be too different.”

Me: “Look at the description. They want someone who can design and maintain roadways. I’m good at designing and maintaining computer systems. I’d have to learn from scratch.”

Mom: “What were you doing in college, then?!”

(My mom gets up and walks away.)

Mom: “It’s all engineering! You should be able to do that!”

(I didn’t apply for the civil engineering position. Thankfully, I managed to find a job within my field of study, and my mom dropped the matter.)

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Not Job-Seeking Out Your Advice, Dad

, , , , | Related | September 30, 2019

(At the end of summer break before my second year of college, my father arranges for me to spend two weeks working as a receptionist in the small private company where he works, while their regular receptionist is out on vacation. I’m just meant to answer the phones, get the mail, and maybe make copies for people in the office. However, I must still interview with the company owner first, which I do. He asks me about the regular things, including past work experience; at this point I have none, and I’m honest about it. I’m a college student with one year of classes and good grades, I can use a computer, and I’m willing to work diligently and do anything they ask; that’s about all I have to say for myself. I do not try to prevaricate about anything – I didn’t even know how back then, and Dad didn’t tell me to try. The owner seems fine with it and hires me on. He actually comes off a lot nicer and more reasonable than I was expecting; the entire time my father’s been working for him, both my parents have gone on and on nonstop about this man always yelling at everyone, throwing tantrums, and seemingly having serious mental problems. I wait for my father to finish work so he can drive us home. Then, in the car, he decides to start in on me out of nowhere:)

Dad: “You know, [My Name], [Owner] is actually a very clever man. I spoke to him after your interview and he made clear that he sussed you out! Yes, he figured you out with ease and could tell right away that you don’t have any work experience at all!”

(I stare at Dad in extreme confusion about his saying something so obvious, but apparently, he misinterprets it to mean that I didn’t understand him. He then even starts shaking his finger at me in emphasis while talking.)

Dad: *as if he’s teaching me some great lesson* “Yes, [Owner] is a very smart, quick-witted man! He could tell very easily that you have no work experience! None whatsoever! It was extremely generous of him to agree to hire you anyway, and you are very lucky, since he could just tell that you have no experience! At all! He cottoned on to the fact that you haven’t ever worked anywhere before! You see, he just saw right through whatever you told him!” 

(And on and on and on in this vein while I’m just flabbergasted. While I almost never argue with my parents, finally, I’ve had enough:)

Me: “Why yes, Dad, I’m quite sure that he could figure out my lack of work experience pretty easily, seeing as I plainly told him about it myself as soon as he asked me! I didn’t try to lie to the man! What exactly is your point here?!”

Dad: *abruptly shuts up, turns away, doesn’t answer me, and keeps silent the rest of the drive home, sulking*

(He never mentioned my lack of work experience again. I still can’t figure out what his deal was. I never let him set me up with a job again, in any case. This stint turned out to be extremely unchallenging and underwhelming; they had so little work for me that I was just sitting around bored for most of eight hours per day.)

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Listen Here, Doll…

, , , , | Related | September 29, 2019

(I’m at a big retail store when the following occurs.)

Little Girl: “I want this one.”

Mother: “Are you sure?”

(I glance back. A small white girl with blonde hair is holding a black Barbie doll with an Afro. Her mother is also blonde.)

Little Girl: “Yes! She’s so pretty! I love her hair!”

Mother: “Are you sure? I’m not returning this.”

Little Girl: “Like I said, I love her!”

Mother: “Well, okay. I guess you can have her. But are you sure you don’t want the doll with the really long hair?”

Little Girl: “No, I want this one! Grandma got me the Rapunzel one last time!”

Mother: “Well, okay. But I’m not returning her.”

Me: *thinking* “Just get her the doll already!”

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Smells Like Teen Rhythm

, , , , , | Related | September 26, 2019

(I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and get excited when I can talk about stuff I’ve learned, even though people are rarely interested. My father does not share my enthusiasm for random facts and sometimes says that he needs a dictionary to talk to me. It’s about 8:30 pm and my brother and I, both teenagers, have just finished packing our school lunches for the next day.)

Dad: “Ugh, I feel old. You two can stay up until all hours while I’m already tired now.”

Me: “Actually, it just means you have teenagers! Children and adults usually start feeling tired around nine pm, but when you’re a teenager, your circadian rhythm shifts two hours later, so we usually start feeling tired at eleven. When you’re an adult, your biological clock shifts back to nine pm.”

Dad: *turns to my mother, who has heard the entire conversation* “Honey, she’s making sense again!”

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When 105% Isn’t Enough

, , , , , | Related | September 25, 2019

(When I’m growing up, my dad is very strict about the grades I receive in school. He always wants to see what I get on my tests and homework, and frequently belittles me if they aren’t to his standards. During high school, I receive the highest score out of the entire class on an exam that is worth a decent portion of our grade. I get 100% on the exam, plus 5 extra credit points. My teacher even praises me on how well I did because the average of the rest of the class is a C. Elated, I can’t wait to show my dad how well I did. This is what happens when he gets home from work.)

Dad: “Did you get your exam back yet?”

Me: *beaming* “Yes!” *hands him my exam* “I got the highest score in the whole class!”

Dad: *barely glances at it* “Anything you could have done better?”

Me: “I… I got 100 %. Plus all of the extra credit, so actually 105%. There was nothing more I could have done. Most of the class only got Cs. A few got Bs. I’m the only one who got everything correct.”

Dad: “Well, I’m sure there was something you could have done better.”

Me: “But I got the highest grade! I thought you’d be proud of me.”

(He just walked away from me and I was crushed. He completely broke my spirit and unfortunately, I pretty much gave up on trying so hard in my classes anymore because I figured that if I was going to get the same response from him no matter what grade I got, it wasn’t worth it anymore.)

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