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So Much For Going Postal

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 13, 2021

Many, many years ago in the 1990s, when GPS, smartphones, online bill pay, and other such commodities were but a sci-fi dream, I was a teenager, and my parents and I took a family trip to California. Since we would be gone for a few weeks, my mom had brought the checkbook and was staying in contact with our house sitter who was opening our mail so that she could pay any bills that came in during our trip. So far, so good.

One morning, after staying in a motel in San Jose, we went in search of a post office to buy more stamps and mail out the bills. This was a suburban area, so we stopped at a gas station, filled the car, and went in to ask the cashier where the post office was. He stared at us in puzzlement.

Cashier: “Post office? I don’t think we have one of those.”

After assuring him that he absolutely did have one — otherwise, the mail would not arrive — we moved on in our search.

A short while later, we saw a traffic cop. Aha! Surely a police officer would know where the post office is. We parked off to the side and walked up to him. We explained how the gas station cashier thought there was no post office and laughed. He laughed with us.

Police Officer: “No, of course, we have one! It’s… It’s…”

Oh, dear. We sensed trouble.

Police Officer: “No, we do have one, I just… don’t think you can get there from here.”

Stymied by how a post office could be located in a place unreachable by humans, we left him at the corner.

In the end, we decided to wait another day to mail our letters. Thankfully, San Francisco had the foresight to install a post office and roads that led all the way to it.

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Listen To Your Kids

, , , , , , | Related | December 14, 2020

My spouse, son, and I have flown from the east coast to attend an extended family gathering. The day of the gathering is big and energetic, and we all have fun catching up with each other.

Around eight pm, my son comes to me and asks if he can go back to our hotel room, and since he looks tired and I saw him talking and playing with the others all day, I let him. I inform my spouse that I am taking our son back and I think nothing more of it.

My dad thinks otherwise, however, and comes to me the next day.

Dad: “Where were you and [Son] yesterday? I only saw [Spouse] at the gathering.”

Me: “We were there. I was talking with our relatives and [Son] was playing with his cousins.”

Dad: “You sure? I tried looking for you at ten and you were nowhere to be found.”

Me: “Oh, we were in our room by then. I think he came to me around eight and asked if he could go back, so I went with him.”

Dad: “Why didn’t you stay longer? You know we only see everyone else every few years, right?”

Me: “Yes, but [Son] was tired. He was playing and talking a lot yesterday and was clearly at his limit.”

Dad: “He’s too young to be saying he’s too tired! You should have made him stay until everyone else was done!”

Me: “Yeah, but [Spouse] didn’t return until midnight. I really don’t think [Son] would have made it until then.”

Dad: “[Son] is going to be lazy if you keep coddling him like this!”

My dad walked away after that. The funny thing is that I’ve been very attentive to my son’s desire to stay at gatherings as my parents always stayed long after everyone else left and my siblings and I were beyond tired and irritated while our parents chatted. I just don’t want my son to become discouraged from going to social gatherings like I was for a while.

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Maybe They Should Hire His Wife

, , , , , , | Working | August 25, 2020

A coworker and I were conducting an interview for an open position with a man who had applied for the job. As the interview progressed, we both noticed that his answers tended to be vague and evasive — not as though he had something to hide, but more like he simply had trouble making up his mind. For example, we’d ask about a time where he had to get information from someone who was uncooperative, and he’d start to answer, and then backtrack and say that probably wasn’t a good example and give him a moment to think of a better one.

Finally, in exasperation, my coworker tried to see if she could better understand his decision-making process: “If we were to offer you this job, what process would you use to decide whether you wanted to take it?”

He hemmed and hawed for a couple of minutes, and then said, “Well, I’d probably have to go home and ask my wife about it.”

He didn’t get the job.

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This Doesn’t Mean I’m Sharing My Cake!

, , , , , | Learning | July 31, 2020

In my Statistics and Probability college class, there are over thirty students in a six-row-by-six-column desk setting. The day starts with a fun lesson on the probability of two people having the same birthday, month and day only, not including the year.

A girl on the opposite side of the room says there’s no way that’s possible as there aren’t enough people. The professor tells her to watch and see. He goes up and down the columns of students, asking them for their birthdays and writing them on the chalkboard. When he gets to the second column and a student says their birthday, we hear a shriek come from the farthest side of the room.

The girl who had proclaimed disbelief earlier is now wide-eyed and has her hand over her mouth. “That’s my birthday!” she exclaims, and the class erupts in laughter.

I looked up the statistic and there’s a fifty-fifty chance with only twenty-three people!

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The Only Time Cakes Make You Blue

, , , , , | Right | April 28, 2020

My coworker and I work at a cafe that serves sandwiches, coffees, and various baked goods. The most popular of these are our blueberry scones that just smell heavenly after they come out of the oven.

Coworker: “So, I had this customer come in the other day complaining about our blueberry scones.”

Me: “What did she complain about?”

Coworker: “That they were molding.”

Me: “What? We bake our scones daily.  How in the world were they—”

Coworker: “It was the blueberry crumbles. She said that they were moldy and demanded we exchange for another one.”

Me: “Did you?”

Coworker: “Yeah, apparently, they were molding also.”

Me: *Blinks twice* “Seriously?”

Coworker: “I know, right? Usually, people complain about not getting enough blueberries. Eventually, I gave her one that barely had any blueberries on it and she went off on her merry way, perfectly fine.”

Me: “Who orders a blueberry scone and doesn’t want blueberries on it?”

Coworker: “People who don’t understand that blueberries are blue, apparently.”

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