Those Instructions Don’t Float With Me

, , , , , , | Learning | December 1, 2019

I have Asperger’s and take instructions very literally.

My infants’ school had its own swimming pool, so we had mandatory swimming lessons as part of PE. In one of the first lessons, we had to do an exercise where we were told to hold on to one edge of the pool, and then push off from it and glide across to the other side. The teacher repeatedly emphasised that we were not allowed to paddle or kick. We had to keep our arms and legs completely still and just glide across from the initial push.

I made it about halfway across before I started to sink, but I did exactly what I was told and kept my arms and legs completely still even when I was almost at the bottom of the pool. A fully-clothed teaching assistant had to jump in and rescue me.

Funnily enough, the school never thought to tell my parents about this. They only found out years later — when I was no longer at that school — when something reminded me of it and I told them the amusing story of that time I nearly drowned.

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Frozen: The Sequel

, , , , , , | Working | November 26, 2019

(I work in a supermarket and whilst I know situations happen that can affect stock badly — i.e. broken fridges, dodgy ovens on the hot counters, etc. — I know not to have conversations about it in front of customers. I’m at a different supermarket run by a different company, as they sell a particular product I want. I’m waiting for a supervisor to check on the stock level of the product and I’m stood by the customer service desk and cigarette kiosk. The two colleagues seem pretty oblivious to my presence, despite saying hello to me minutes earlier.)

Colleague #1: *to kiosk colleague* “So, did you hear about the freezer thing?”

Colleague #2: “No?”

Colleague #1: “Well, the freezer on the shop floor that has the chicken in it broke. All the chicken thawed overnight. The next morning, they got it fixed quite quickly. And apparently, they just decided to put all of the previously thawed chicken back in the freezer to sell.”

Colleague #2: “Ew. Why?!”

Colleague #1: “Not sure. I hope our customers like salmonella!”

(At this point, I had been informed by the supervisor that the product I wanted was out of stock. The next day, after I enquired through their website for a stock update on the product I wanted, a survey popped up about my experience and I was honest about what I’d overheard. A manager ended up emailing me about the two colleagues’ conversation, apologising for what I had overheard. I made a mental note to never buy frozen items from that particular supermarket!)

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Incompetence  

, , , , , , | Working | November 14, 2019

(I work at my college bookstore. We’re a central location and people often come to ask for assistance not related to the bookstore. I am working on my own when this happens, but two of my coworkers are there killing time between classes.)

Student: “Uh, hey, you know that cigarette thing outside? I think it’s on fire.”

Me: *thinking this is outside my pay grade* “Oh, okay, thanks. I’ll call someone.”

(After conferring with my coworkers and peeking out the window, we determine it is a small, manageable fire at the bottom of one of those tall ashtrays )

Coworker: “Okay, I have a bottle of water. We’ll go put it out while you watch the store”

(My two coworkers then proceed to run full speed out of the store screaming:) 

Coworkers: “WEE WOO! WEE WOO! OFFICIAL BOOKSTORE FIRE DEPARTMENT BUSINESS! WATCH OUT!”

(I watch out the window as they empty the water bottle into the smoldering cigarette bin and a huge cloud of smoke erupts out of it)

Coworkers: *running back in, panicked* “Oh, God, I think we made it worse. This is not okay!

Me: “Uh, yeah, it may be time to hang up your fireman’s hat. I’m going to call maintenance…”

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These Steel-Capped Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 11, 2019

(My dad is a truck driver for a company that has offices and a warehouse on site. The warehouse worker’s canteen is inside the warehouse but away from the loading and unloading bays. My dad and his workmates are having lunch when a man in a hard hat and carrying a clipboard comes in. They don’t recognise him but he has a shirt on with the logo of the company.)

Man: “I’m the new health and safety officer here, guys, and I wanted to let you all know that as of now, you are all in breach of this site’s safety regulations as you are not wearing your hard hats in the warehouse.”

(My dad and his coworkers are a bit surprised by this but don’t say anything. The guy looks annoyed by this.)

Man: “I’m serious, guys! There are consequences when you don’t follow the rules; it can get you suspended or even fired. All of your attitudes are terrible. You should be grateful that I’m telling you this now, so you can avoid being written up for violations.”

(My dad raises his hand.)

Man: “Yes?”

Dad: “Are those steel toe cap boots you have on?”

(He points to the man’s shoes, which are clearly just black loafers.)

Man: “Of course not.”

Dad: “You have to have steel toe cap boots on when you are in the warehouse.”

Man: “Oh.”

Dad: “You should be grateful I’m telling you this. You could get written up for violations.”

Man: “Well, never mind. We are in the canteen after all.”

Dad: “Since you’re new, you can get us all a coffee.”

Man: “But there are 12 of you.”

Dad: “Well, use a tray, then. Safety first!”

(Needless to say, he didn’t stay long in the job.)

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Their Parenting Has Taken A Dive

, , , , | Right | October 27, 2019

(I am swimming at a public pool. I have just come up from under the water, and I hear a woman berating a lifeguard by the diving board.)

Lifeguard: “Ma’am, I’m just trying to keep people safe.”

Woman #1: “Show me where it says in the rule book! It doesn’t say! People were doing it yesterday and no one said anything!”

Lifeguard: “I wasn’t here yesterday, so I don’t know about what happened then. But I know our training covers that this is not allowed.”

Woman #1: “Show me where it says in the rule book! If it’s against the rules, it should be posted!”

(After a few more minutes of arguing, the lifeguard goes to get the rule book. The woman beside me shares a look with me.)

Woman #2: “I saw the whole thing. Not only did they have someone waiting in the pool to catch the kid, they had someone else on the diving board because the kid was too small to really jump! If your kid is too young to be on the diving board himself, what makes you think it’s a good idea to throw him off?”

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