Barred From The Card

, , , | Learning | November 27, 2018

(I am in a class with around twenty other girls who all get along pretty well with each other. However, there is this one girl that constantly gets on everyone’s nerves. She is the most self-entitled and annoying person I have ever met. She loudly complains about every tiny little thing that does not go exactly how she wants. During our second year, when one of our classmates is getting married, we all agree to buy her a wedding gift, and for that purpose, everyone of us is supposed to give a small amount of money to fund it. On a day that we know this classmate will not be in class, I am the one tasked with collecting the money from everyone. I have also gotten a nice congratulations card that the students all sign. Everything goes perfectly well until I get to the annoying girl.)

Annoying Girl: “Hi, [My Name]. Is that the card for [Classmate who is getting married]? Can I sign it?”

Me: “Hey, sure. Do you have [small amount that we all agreed to donate for the gift]?”

Annoying Girl: “Um…Wait. Do you mean to tell me I have to pay if I want to sign this card?!”

Me: *a little surprised* “Well, that is kind of the point, isn’t it? We are collecting money from everyone in class to buy her a wedding gift.”

Annoying Girl: *getting angry* “That is just outrageous! You can’t just expect people to give you money like that! That is super rude!”

Me: “But… that’s what we all agreed on. [Class President] talked about it to the whole class, remember?”

Annoying Girl: “I don’t remember such a thing! I never agreed to pay you money just to sign a stupid card!”

Me: “Well, sorry, but that is how everyone else agreed to do it. If you do not want to, you don’t have to give anything, of course.”

Annoying Girl: “But then you won’t let me sign the card?”

Me: “No, because that would not really be fair to everyone else who has given something, would it?”

Annoying Girl: *turns around and stomps away* “Unbelievable! They really want to force me to give them money just to sign a card!”

Me: *meekly after her* “No one is forcing you, you know.”

(It is really just a very small amount that everyone gives. We are all still students, after all, and no one is expected to give something they could not afford. The next day in class:)

Annoying Girl: “Hey! [My Name]!”

Me: “Yes? What is it?”

Annoying Girl: *briskly* “Here!” *hands me exactly half of the already small amount everyone else has given* “Now can I sign the card?!”

(I am simply too tired of her antics, so I let her sign the card just to shut her up. As she has just finished signing, another one of our classmates, who has heard about the whole issue, walks by.)

Other Classmate: “Hey, [Annoying Girl], why didn’t you want to give anything, anyway?”

Annoying Girl: “Well, if I was the one getting married, you probably wouldn’t have gotten me anything, either!” *stalks off*

Me: *thinking* “With that attitude, you’re probably even right.”

Loopholes In The Law Open Up Anyone To Be Accused Of Stalking

, , , , | Learning | November 11, 2018

(Over the past two years at my high school, thanks to some rumours, I have found myself with the reputation of a stalker. This has seen different groups of people at different points in time follow me around, steal my property, burn it, and continue to spread word of my supposed misdeeds. One morning, I am reading text messages on my mobile phone and standing out in a courtyard. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a boy who is particularly short, looking quite angry. As I finish my messages and turn to leave, he and his group of friends approach me.)

Short Boy: *calling out from the other side of the courtyard* “Stop taking photos!”

Me: *knowing what to expect* “Pardon?”

Short Boy: “Why were you taking photos of me?”

Me: “I was not taking photos of you.”

Short Boy: “Yes, you were! I saw you!”

Me: “No, I wasn’t. I was messaging my friends.”

(The short boy looks to his own friends for backup. They start murmuring amongst themselves to provide a nice background ambiance.)

Short Boy: *with renewed vigor* “You were taking photos of me; I know it!”

(This goes back and forth for a while, with me asking why I would bother to take photos in the first place, and him and his friends interrupting with the same sentence. Eventually, he switches it up.)

Short Boy: “Show me your camera roll!”

Me: “No, it’s my phone, and it’s private information.”

Short Boy: “That settles it! You took the photos and you’re not letting me look!”

(I walk away from them, and they don’t follow but shout insults from a safe distance. Now, I need to talk to friends about this, because my dealings with the popular kids always end well for them, and I’d like to tell someone my side of the story. I have my phone to my ear and someone on the line when they walk through the doorway.)

Me: “Oh, there they are now.”

Short Boy: “He’s deleting the photos!”

Me: *on phone* “As you’ve just heard, they’re giving chase.”

(They realise that I’m actually on the phone and back off, giving me an opportunity to end the call and run away… right into another friend. We move into a corridor and I explain exactly what happened, and we agree to see the dean as soon as we can, which is different from our usual tactic of ignoring and trying to keep a moral high ground. The doors open and in walk several people. It turns out that this kid is a part of a big clique at school, the same clique that tried to call me out for “stalking” at the start of the year, and also the same clique that bullied my special needs brother on the bus home both this and last year. This could not get any worse.)

Girl: “There he is; look!”

(They look. I am holding my phone.)

Short Boy: “I saw you taking photos! You’re deleting them right now!”

Me: “I’m telling you, I have not taken any photos of you! You’re all vain p***ks who are so paranoid that–“

(My friend pulls my arm and together we walk away.)

Friend: *hurried* “Don’t bother with them. Come on.”

(They follow, obviously. I see that one of them, the ringleader of the previous accusers, is pointing his phone at me. It does, in fact, get worse; I hate having my face recorded.)

Boy With Phone: “Why’d you take photos of him, huh? That’s called a breach of privacy!”

(I’m fuming at their hypocrisy, but remain silent. My friend makes a daring move and yanks the phone right out of the kid’s hands. It is recording on a popular messaging app that deletes messages after they’re sent, so she stops it, but before she can delete it the phone is swiped back and we scamper away. The bell rings and two classes go by, and in my interval period I take it straight to the dean. I’m asked to identify who the students are, and relay the names of some people, but I cannot name the short boy. By lunchtime, they’ve figured out who he is by association and the dean reaches a decision.)

Dean: “I’m going to come up with what’s basically a contract that says that you can’t talk to him and he can’t talk to you. I’m doing this early on so that it doesn’t escalate.”

Me: “That sounds a lot better than what’s happened in the past. Thank you so much.”

(I left, and found the nine-strong group waiting at my corridor, having turfed my group out. We moved constantly and they followed until classes ended. By the following day’s lunchtime, the “contract” had been drafted and the short boy had confessed and signed it. There were next to no loopholes: Neither of us could go near each other, or send our friends after each other, or discuss each other; the contract would no longer be in effect at the end of the school year. I happily signed, and Short Boy and I stayed well away. Unfortunately, they’ve been exploiting as many loopholes as they can; while Short Boy is not allowed to send his friend over, there was nothing saying that his friends couldn’t do it of their own accord. There wasn’t anything saying that the friends couldn’t talk about me of their own volition, either, leading most of that sort of population to go into a frenzy whenever I so much as hold my mobile. One of the new outcomes of the two-year-long saga is that I now become really anxious when I hear a [Popular Phone] camera. On the flip side, school’s ending soon and hopefully, after the exams and school holidays, by next year people will have forgotten about this particular incident.)

 

Only Cheating Themselves

, , , , , | Learning | October 19, 2018

(I am a highschool sophomore recently diagnosed with severe ADHD and depression. Both mean that I have terrible focus even though I am a gifted learner. Once I am diagnosed, I am allowed by the school to bring a small laptop to school, on strict orders that it is not to be connected to the school’s Wi-Fi and that the teachers have to watch me set up my laptop at the beginning of each class. It is the second day I have my laptop. This teacher is known to have the toughest class, with extremely few chances for extra credit.)

Teacher: *walks to the front of the class the moment it starts* “Can anyone tell me, for extra credit, what was invented during World War II in an effort to replace the dwindling rubber supply?”

Me: *opens laptop, then raises hand*

Student #1: “Hey, she’s cheating!”

Teacher: “Yes, [My Name]?”

Me: “Silly putty.”

Teacher: “That’s correct.”

Student #1: “She only knew that because she looked it up on the Internet!”

Student #2: *jumps up from behind me* “Yeah, I can see her laptop from here!”

Teacher: *walks over to look at my laptop, which is still on the log-in screen* “Doesn’t look like it. And it’s not connected to Wi-Fi.”

Student #2: “She just logged out when you weren’t looking!”

Teacher: “Mind logging in?”

(I do so, revealing that the laptop still needs to boot up.)

Teacher: “Thank you. [Student #2], we will need to talk after class.”

(He was the best teacher I had that year. Several years later, he is now the head principal of my old high school.)

Annoying The Class For Dummies

, , , , , , | Learning | October 17, 2018

(In my Spanish class, there’s this one student who does a magnificent job of annoying everybody, especially the teacher. Like most classes, this one lets us use the final minutes of the class to start our homework, which for this student is the peak opportunity for attention seeking. One day, I finally get fed up.)

Me: “Shut up, dumba**!”

Annoying Student: “[Teacher]! [My Name] just told me to, ‘Shut up, dumba**,’ and I’m taking offense to that!”

Teacher: “[My Name], in the future, please say, ‘Be quiet, dummy.'”

Very Artistic Plagiarism

, , , , , | Learning | October 16, 2018

(While I am enrolled in university, I do art commissions on the side. Another student at the university contacts me to do a painting for him, and we meet in a common area. He’s got a poster roll with him, which I initially don’t think odd. After introductions, we get to business, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see he’s already got a good idea of how large he wants the piece to be, some of the blocking, even a bit of the style. Then we hit a snag:)

Student: “…and I don’t want you overcharging me for supplies, so I bought them for you.”

(This isn’t itself unusual, even if rudely stated. Plenty of my prior customers had specific paint colors in mind, and bought them for me in advance. I look over the paints and canvas, and I’m relieved to find they’re quality — I’d been worried he had bought basic poster paint and cardboard.)

Me: “Well, this should be more than enough, yes. I can definitely discount you for them.”

Student: “Discount?”

Me: “Yes. From your description, I won’t even need all the paint, so I can return the leftovers, or buy them off you if I find them intriguing.”

Student: “Why only a discount? I bought everything you need!”

(He’s getting more than huffy at this point, almost pouting.)

Me: “I do need a little bit more than this, but most of it’s going to be due to how much time I need to complete the work. Don’t worry; my rates are [reasonable price for my skill and the complexity of the piece].”

Student: “But I bought everything! Why should I pay more on top of that?”

Me: “Because you didn’t buy any of it from me? I’ve still got my own bills to pay, too.”

(He snatches back the materials.)

Student: “You’re just being greedy! I already put out [slightly high price for the quality of the paints and canvas]; that should be enough!”

Me: “If you’ve got a budget, you might want to hit up some of the first-year students. I know that one of the professors assigns work very similar to your request, so they may be willing to do it for you in exchange for the materials.”

(He walked off at this point, swearing under his breath. I was surprised someone who knew enough to outline the commission so well would also try to talk his way out of paying for it, but I forgot him for a while. Later on, I found out that not only did he commission one of the professor’s first-year students, like I suggested, he himself was one. He’d tried to buy someone else’s work, pass it off as his own, and got called out by the professor when she noticed he’d tried to sign the piece over the real artist’s signature. This plagiarism counted as cheating, and he was expelled.)

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