Shattered That Claim

, , , , , , | Learning | October 2, 2019

One day, my dad’s class was given new rulers by the school to replace old wooden rulers. The old rulers had a problem with splinters, and may have had inches on them — Dad can’t really remember, as this was the 70s — whereas the new rulers were centimetres only. Perfectly valid reasons to replace the rulers. There was just one problem: the school made the mistake of choosing ones advertised as shatterproof, with the word featured prominently on the rulers themselves as if trying to invite the destructive curiosity it inevitably would.

Telling a room of teenagers, the intelligent and mischievous individuals that they are, that it’s impossible to do something has never been a good idea, nor will it ever be. No matter the generation, teenagers will put this sort of claim to the test, and that’s precisely what happened here. My dad and his classmates, taking the claim that these long, thin slabs of plastic were shatterproof as a challenge, started bending the rulers to just over a complete circle, forwards and backwards, to determine the claim’s truthfulness.

The rulers survived being bent forwards, but when they were bent backwards, the claim they were shatterproof failed the truthfulness test miserably. As a result of my dad’s class’s experiment, from what he tells me, shards of plastic shrapnel initially originating from the ridges flew all over the classroom, which was obviously far more dangerous than the splinters from the old wooden rulers. Only one ruler survived the mischief, and that was because it had been confiscated before its user could scatter its remains across the classroom by testing its structural soundness. Dad can’t remember since it was so long ago, but he suspects they went back to the wooden rulers until the not-so-shatterproof ones could be replaced.

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King Blames

, , , , | Right | September 28, 2019

(My cousin works at a Christian bookstore in the southern United States. There are certain members of the Christian faith who believe that the only “true” word of God is the King James Version of the Bible, and that all later translations are faulty or evil. My cousin relays this story of such a woman to me.)

Customer: “I’d like to return these five [other version] Bibles I bought.” 

Cousin: “All right, ma’am, and what is the reason for your return today?” 

Customer: “Weeeeellllllll… There just wasn’t enough King James in them!”

(My cousin said the best part of the whole thing was watching her manager laugh hysterically when she told him the reason for the return.)

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The New Disney Classic: America Is Broken

, , , , , | Working | September 27, 2019

(I am a teller at a credit union, working in the drive-up. My coworker and I are discussing the technically illegal things that people do out of ignorance, such as Person A signing a check made out to Person B after Person B has already signed it in order to deposit the check into an account that both of them are on. My coworker vents her frustration with people’s ignorance in a silly way so that she won’t actually be mad about it, and I like to be silly back at her to ease the frustration all the more.)

Coworker: *in a silly, sing-song voice* “Why are people so stupid? Why do people break the law? Why don’t people understand basic things about finances?”

Me: *in a very serious tone* “Because the United States educational system is thoroughly broken and doesn’t care anymore, so people aren’t taught the basic life skills that they used to be taught in order to become functioning adults and don’t know where to turn as adults to learn the proper rules. Thus, they inadvertently commit financial felonies.”

(There’s a pause as she looks at me, eyebrows up.)

Me: *now in a sing-song voice* “And also people are just really, really dumb!”

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Retail Staff Earn Oscars Every Day

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2019

(I am working behind the customer service counter when a customer comes up to complain about some policy.)

Me: *smiling politely* “I’m so sorry that we can’t do anything about it; we have to follow the policy, too.”

Customer: *crossly* “You don’t look very sorry!”

(I am a moderately good actress and can’t resist the opportunity. Instantly, I crumple up my face into an anguished expression, bring tears to my eyes, and, in quiveringly heartbroken tones, pronounce the following:)

Me: “I am so, so sorry! I am devastated to have to tell you this, but I honestly can do nothing. I wish—” *gulping hard* “—I could do something for you, but there is nothing I can do.”

Customer: *staring with a dropped jaw and bugged out eyes*

Me: *sweetly, in normal voice* “Is that better?”

(The customer closes his mouth, I start laughing, and he joins in.)

Customer: “Wow! You’re an amazing actress!”

(I smile and he grins back.)

Customer: “Well, I guess if you can’t, you can’t, but thanks for the laugh, anyway.”

(And he left with a smile on his face.)

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How To Tic Off The Customer

, , , , , , | Right | September 26, 2019

I somehow have inherited rather unusual quirks regarding the control around my right eye — only the right. Part of this quirk means I can make what is referred to as the lacrimal papilla twitch rapidly; imagine the location where girls put lower eyeliner, twitching towards the tear ducts. 

This also means I can make my eyelids twitch on command, so it looks like I’ve either been under stress or had to just deal with the stupidest request ever. 

This is great in retail with exceedingly ignorant or just plain irritating customers, because all I have ever had to do with an unreasonable request is smile brightly, act politely, add on the twitch, and they believe they have just been unbearable to the point of stress that they usually have backed right off.

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