Mmm, Strawberries And Meat-Cream

, , , , , , , | Right | October 12, 2019

(I work at a store where we’re told in training to bag each different kind of raw meat separately. For example, if you had ground beef, pork chops, and strawberries, they would each get their own bag for food safety reasons. I have a customer come through my line who wants paper, which holds more, but we are out so I am filling the plastic bags as full as I can get them except for her several kinds of raw meat.)

Me: “Do you have our store card?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Do you wan—”

Customer: *as she’s rearranging all of the bags I packed, including the raw meat which ends up in a bag with cheese and produce* “Just as a precaution, you’re supposed to bag cold stuff together. Customers are trying to keep their food cold while they drive home, so cold stuff needs to go with cold stuff. You should try to keep them together.”

Me: *thinking* “Thanks for telling me how to do my job; enjoy your salmonella!” *speaking* “Have a great day!”

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An Alarming Lack Of Preparation

, , , , , | Learning | October 5, 2019

I teach third grade. On the third day of school, a fire alarm was pulled during lunchtime as a prank by a student! 

Because it was so early in the year, we had only practiced leaving the classroom for a fire drill; we hadn’t yet practiced what to do when you were somewhere else, like the cafeteria, so the kids didn’t know what to do or where to go. 

One of my students that year had epilepsy; she couldn’t look at the flashing fire alarm without setting off a seizure, so she just covered her eyes and put her head down and cried. 

I was waiting to use the restroom when I heard the alarm go off. I didn’t know whether there was a real fire or not, so I sprinted from the restroom to my scared kiddos in the cafeteria. I found my student who was crying and picked her up, and got her and got the rest of my class out of there, along with another teacher’s class.

Once outside, I put her down and realized that sometime during the trip she had stopped crying and started laughing; she thought it was hysterical that I was carrying her “like a baby”!

Most kids barely got to eat their food, and they were all either thrilled with the excitement, or pretty upset at missing out on a big chunk of their lunchtime. That afternoon, we had “second lunch” during what was supposed to be math class. We all went outside to have a picnic and practice a geometry dance on the blacktop. 

The school quickly drafted a letter to send home to the families so they would know what had happened, and also that there hadn’t been any real danger.

It was a crazy day… but also a sign that we needed to have a better plan in place for managing unpredictable situations! 

My favorite part was that several of my kiddos wrote about it in their first writing assignment of the year, “The Best Day At School Ever!” I’m glad they (mostly) enjoyed it in the end… and that it never happened again!

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Exams That Pull An All-Nighter

, , , , , | Learning | September 28, 2019

This was some years ago. I was taking the AP exam toward the end of the day, when the fire alarm for the school went off. Who schedules a fire drill during college entrance exams? At any rate, we had to leave the building. It took so long to end the drill that by the time we got back, the amount of time allotted for the test had passed, and it was the end of the school day and we needed to go home.

But that meant we weren’t allowed to finish our exams. The Powers That Be decided that we would go home, promise not to do any studying, and pick up the test the next day.

The other schools in the district found out about this and protested. We had to sign affidavits saying we did not study overnight, did not communicate with anybody about the test, etc.

And when it was all over and done with, I got my score — a four — with an asterisk next to it:

*School reports a disturbance during examination.

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Would Rather Be Alive Than Late

, , , , , | Learning | September 22, 2019

(My sister works as a nurse at an elementary and middle school. One day, they are running a lockdown drill, a practice simulation for if a dangerous person is on campus. The instructions are to lock yourself in a room, turn off any lights that are visible from the outside, and make as little noise as possible. My sister has two students with her when the drill starts, one of whom has already been physically ill, so she decides for them to hide in the attached bathroom. She has her cell phone and her staff radio on hand with her. Throughout the simulation, multiple people come and try to open the door, or knock on it asking if anyone is in there. Following her instructions, my sister does not respond and turns off her radio whenever she hears footsteps approaching. This continues for some time until an assistant principal she is friendly with approaches:)

AP: “[Sister], it’s [Assistant Principal]. Here is my employee ID.” *slips it under the door* “I am here to tell you that the simulation is over. Please come out.”

(She opens the door.)

AP: “So, you were in there! We’ve been trying to find you for half an hour!”

Sister: *exiting the room* “I had my phone;  someone could’ve–” *phone beeps showing several messages* “Huh, I guess the bathroom is a dead zone for cell service.”

(Turns out the lockdown had been over for a while but they couldn’t find a way to inform her of that. She exited to a frustrated staff and a mother who was there to pick up her sick child. Her principal was ready to scold her but quickly relented when my sister argued that she was following procedure.)

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A Very Testing Environment

, , , , , , | Learning | September 13, 2019

When I’m in high school, my school undergoes a campus change due to various issues with the current campus, mainly size. The change from the fifty-year-old original campus to the brand new campus occurs partway through my sophomore year, but we are still at the old campus for the first half of my sophomore year.

I’m taking a test in World History class around November when the fire alarm blares. My class dutifully leaves their tests and we exit the building. A fair bit of us are grumbling, since it’s pretty cold and breezy out and most of us are just in jeans and long-sleeved T-shirts. After a few minutes, we get the okay from the teachers to go back inside. We return to our tests and assume that’s the end of it.

We’ve barely warmed up when the fire alarm rings again. We grumble at getting interrupted again — most of us really just want to finish the test — leave the classroom, and go sit outside again until we get the okay to go back inside.

After we get back inside, it’s not five minutes before the fire alarm rings again.

We complain and go to leave the building, but fewer than half of us are out the classroom door before one of the other teachers calls out, “For goodness’ sake, go back to class!”

Everyone finishes the test on time and we get the fire alarm fixed so we won’t have drills every five minutes.

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