Wash That Virtue Signaling Right Out Of Your Hair

, , , , , , | Learning | March 20, 2020

(My friend at school is black and I am white. I’ve recently befriended a new girl, who is also white. We’re all three hanging out at lunch, talking about a hair appointment.)

Me: “So, what shampoo do you use? I mean, I’ve never really thought about it, but because you’re black–”

New Girl: *interrupting* “Oh, my God! Don’t say that! She’s African-American, aren’t you, [Friend]?”

Friend: “Uh… I’m not African or American; I’m a Caribbean British person. And yeah, I’m black…”

(The new girl went off in a huff and didn’t talk to us for a few days. I mean, I know appropriate language differs country to country, but she had the same accent as us, so she’s definitely British, too!)

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Those Counselors Made Some Poor Computations

, , , , , , | Learning | March 16, 2020

Years ago, I attended high school in a very small town. This was when computers were just becoming commonplace in schools. Seeing the writing on the wall, I decided to take a typing class.

My guidance counselor denied my request. His actual words were, “You’re on a college track; you’ll be able to hire someone to type for you.”

Remember, this was a small school in a small town. The counselors’ advice was considered infallible. I couldn’t get his denial overturned.

So, I went off to college totally unprepared for the growing need for computer skills, the most basic of which is typing.

The other guidance counselor denied my request to go to the vocational school for automotive training. I believe he said it was because I was a girl and it was an unrealistic goal. I love cars, had watched my dad and uncles do maintenance and repair, and could diagnose problems by feel, sound, and smell. That counselor denied me pursuit of my dream career.

I hope guidance counselors today listen to kids and advise accordingly. Those two men cost me dearly.

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He May Have Rhythm But His Grandparents’ Tone Needs Work

, , , , , | Right | February 17, 2020

(I work in a music school that, among other things, offers classes for babies and toddlers. I get this phone call today.) 

Customer: “Hi. I had a question about registering my grandson for your baby class. I have a coupon from your ad, but can I use that if I register online?”

Me: “Sure, there will be a part in the online form to put your coupon information from the ad.”

Customer: “Oh, great! I’m so excited to get him started! He’s always wiggling and moving around when he hears music. His mother and I never moved like that. It must be from his father; he’s one-quarter black.”

Me: *speechless*

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Just Wait Until They Start Playing “Monopoly”

, , , , , , | Learning | February 14, 2020

(I teach English to Chinese students online. The company I teach for uses a computer program with cute characters and games. In this particular lesson, I’m teaching the students how to haggle and bargain in English. One scenario has a character haggling for toys. The toys are around the $20 range.)

Me: “Okay, so, [Character] wants the toy train, but it’s too expensive. What should he say to lower the price?”

Student #1: “How about one dollar?”

Me: *laughs* “Okay, he can try that. Not sure if he’ll be successful.”

(I turn to another student)

Me: “Okay, [Student #2], now [Character] wants the toy plane. What should he say?”

Student #2: “How about zero dollars?”

Me: *laughs* “Okay, you’re right, but again, I don’t know if he’ll accept that.”

(The other students followed suit and most of the other “offers” through the rest of the lesson were either free or a few cents. While I’m glad that they understood the lesson and I got a laugh out of it, I hope they don’t try that in the real world. They’ll be completely disappointed if they do.)

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Sick Of This Pettiness

, , , , , | Learning | February 9, 2020

I am a teacher. One day, some years ago, I woke up with the flu: delirious from a spiking fever and only able to croak a few words. I was in no shape to teach, so I called in sick.

Half an hour later, a substitute teacher called me for instructions. I told her that I could barely speak but it was also apparent that I had no voice. I was probably rambling a little due to the fever but managed to tell her the lesson plans.

I then hung up and dozed off in feverish dreams. Twenty minutes later, she called again. She had lost her notes, and could I possibly repeat them? I croaked the lesson plans, hung up, and dozed off.

Fifteen minutes later, she called again. She had lost her notes. Could I repeat the lesson plans?

Wheezing and croaking, I went through the lessons for a third time, told her that if she lost her notes again she would have to improvise as I had the flu and couldn’t talk. Just leave me alone.

Five minutes later, the principal called and wondered why I refused to give out the lesson plan to the sub.

He didn’t sound entirely convinced when I told him that I had. Three times in less than an hour.

The sub then called me again screaming that she’d lost the lesson plans and I’d better come to work and instruct her. I had a coughing fit into the receiver and hung up on her.

I was fuming, partly from the fever but also because the sub was trying to set me up. Her daughter was in my class, and a few weeks prior, I hadn’t fussed enough when her daughter was sick. I spoke to the teacher she had for the class after mine so that she would get home quicker, but that wasn’t good enough, and the sub had harassed me for quite a while.

However… My desk was opposite one of the school’s most senior teachers. This was a fabulous teacher who wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion on difficult matters. She was also the next-door neighbour of the sub, and the two hated each other. As the sub was in a foul mood, she fairly quickly began screaming at the other teacher, who in turn screamed back. The sub then began throwing stuff at them!

As they weren’t alone in the room, the sub couldn’t deny that she had begun the attacks, and she was banned from ever working at my school again.

During the screaming match, the sub bragged about how she had harassed me that day and in the previous weeks, so I didn’t end up in any trouble despite her scheming.

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