At Least You’re Not Eating Garbage

, , , , , , | Learning | December 3, 2020

I have to take an art history class that is required for college. One evening, the professor takes note of the sweatshirt I’m wearing.

Professor: “Is that a Keith Haring shirt?”

Me: “Oh, no, but I guess it does kind of look like one, though.”

Professor: “So, what is the design, then?”

I’m embarrassed as h***.

Me: “It’s Danny Devito in his underwear stuck inside a piece of playground equipment.”

Professor: “Oh, I see.”

It’s a reference to “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

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At Least He Likes His Job

, , , , , , | Learning | November 28, 2020

I’m taking a class with a professor who LOVES his subject and is clearly delighted to have people to talk to about it. I’m not sure he even brings lecture notes; he just tells us to read something, and then in the next class, he comes in and talks about it for an hour and a half, barely pausing for breath. Since the subject is a bit esoteric and the professor is so disorganized, it’s hard to tell when something he says is important and when it’s tangential, so everybody takes reams of notes, frantically scribbling to keep up with him. As a result, people don’t speak up much. 

One day, I raise my hand, and the professor’s face lights up.

Professor: “Oh, a question! Wonderful! Yes?”

He looks so excited at this sign of engagement that I actually feel bad about what I have to say next.

Me: “Uh, well… it’s ten o’clock, and I have to go to my next class.”

Professor: “Oh. Yes, so it is. Class dismissed.”

He seemed slightly crushed, so I vowed to actually ask a real question next time.

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Maybe She’s Jealous

, , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: hayjaybirk | November 23, 2020

At my school, we really aren’t technically allowed to bring drinks unless it’s water in a clear bottle. But most teachers don’t really care.

Usually, if I want to eat breakfast or have a coffee, I’ll go to one of my teachers’ classrooms before first period.

My teacher isn’t in there today, so I don’t get a chance to drink very much of it. And honestly, it isn’t that special, just plain black coffee, so I don’t mind having to throw it away. I just don’t want to throw a full cup of liquid into a garbage bin where it’ll make a mess.

I’m walking down the hallway and the ONE teacher who gives a s*** sees me with it.

Teacher: *Hostile* “You can’t have that; you need to throw it away.”

Me: “I know. I’m just looking for a place to—”

Teacher: “No. You need to put it in a trash can now.”

Me: “Yes, but can I—”

Teacher:Stop arguing with me! If another word comes out of your mouth again, I’m giving you an office referral and detention.”

Okay. I take the full cup of black iced coffee and drop it in the garbage can sitting in her classroom. It makes a giant mess, and I walk away. She’s pissed.

Teacher: “The next time I catch you with a drink, you’ll be placed in in-school suspension.”

I go to the main administrator and ask him about this.

Administrator: “You can have drinks, just as long as they’re gone before first period.”

I brought another iced black coffee the next day and sat in my usual teacher’s classroom, and when she walked in and started griping at me again, I drank the whole d*** thing in front of her.

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Adorning Yourself With Malicious Compliance

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: TandyAngie | November 16, 2020

Our junior high dress code is a pain. Most teachers don’t care so long as kids aren’t distracting. The principal of the junior high, however, insists on enforcing every single rule.

A friend of mine wears a long-sleeve shirt under a tank top.

Principal: “You cannot wear that tank top; tank tops are against the dress code. Please take it off.”

Friend: “I can’t take off the tank top; the long-sleeve shirt is slightly see-through.”

That’s another violation. Instead of allowing her to simply wear the tank over her long-sleeve shirt, the principal sends her home.

I decide this won’t stand. I study every rule in the dress code to prove how stupid it is. I start off small and work my way up.

Dress Code: “No open-toed sandals.”

This one is easy. I wear open-toed high heels. There’s nothing in the rules against high heels, and the open-toed rule only applies to sandals the way it is written.

Dress Code: “Shirts must be tucked into pants. Belts must be worn through belt loops.”

I knock out two here by wearing a skirt. Skirts, or at least the one I wear, have no belt loops and aren’t considered pants so I am not required to tuck in anything or wear a stupid belt.

Dress Code: “Backpacks must be plain-colored with no pins or excessive accessories.”

I pick up a briefcase from a resale shop and slap it with every sticker I can find. Any random logo or inspirational sticker I have laying around gets slapped on it. Technically, a briefcase isn’t a backpack.

Dress Code: “No costumes allowed.”

I verify this; my school considers a costume to be anything only worn for a certain period of time or for a certain reason. If you wear it all day, it is an outfit, not a costume. I abuse this one so badly. Once a week, I dress up as a lawyer, a clown, a hippie, a Shakespearean actor, a superhero, a cameraman, etc., complete, of course, with as many accessories as I can handle. So long as I never take them off — this makes gym class interesting — they aren’t considered part of a costume. I end up letting classmates pick out what I will dress as each week.

Dress Code: “No crazy hairstyles.”

I keep my hair natural colors, and I keep the styles something that was at least popular at one point. The beehive takes forever but is the most satisfying. I give myself bonus points if I can find pictures of adults who are still wearing their hair like that currently.

Dress Code: “Shirts are not allowed to have logos or print, only patterns and consistent designs.”

“Consistent designs” is my loophole here. No print, fine, but consistent print made specifically to look like a design? At this point, the principal is going mad and she doesn’t let this one slide. She insists I change, which I expected.

Dress Code: “Gym shorts must reach students’ knees or as long as their fingertips.”

Guess whose fingertips reach about three inches below her butt? Me! I go from wearing a shirt that says, “Bite me!” all over it to an outfit that includes short shorts. But my shorts are still longer than my fingers. I even offer to change back into my other clothes.

At this point in the year, we are almost done with school. Other kids are following my lead, and we are driving the principal mad. I decide to kick it up a bit further. I attack what should be the most basic rules.

Dress Code: “No sunglasses.”

Rose-colored glasses aren’t considered sunglasses because you can easily see through them. Still, the principal jerks them off my face and insists that I won’t get them back until the end of the day.

Dress Code: “No tank tops.”

I wear a dress with spaghetti straps. It isn’t a shirt, so I’m not breaking a rule.

Dress Code: “Belts must be plain with no dangerous materials.”

Plain it must be, so plain I go. I wear a shoestring as a belt. I wear a braided yarn string as a belt. I even wear a spandex band sewn to my pants as a belt.

Dress Code: “No Crocs.”

Crocs are not the only rubber shoe, my friends. I find every off-brand Croc I can get a hold of.

Finally, at the end of the year, I wear one of my most outrageous outfits. I wear a see-through dress — like a bathing suit cover-up — over leggings and a shirt that barely classifies as a T-shirt. I wear shoes with a four-inch cork heel. I have on fake glasses — no lenses — and a four-inch-wide headband. I wear bangles up to my elbows and anklets on each foot. I have a box to carry my books in that is decorated with blinking battery-powered fairy lights. I walk right up to the principal and give her a smile.

Kids pause to see what will happen. I wait to see what the principal will say. We’ve had this conversation all year. She will point out the rule I “broke” and I will prove that I haven’t done so.

Principal: *Sigh* “Fine, but if even one teacher says you’re distracting to the class, you change clothes.”

We shake on it. The only thing I have to ditch is most of the bangles; they keep clanging while I write.

In the end, I ended up getting the dress code rewritten and amended, and the principal implemented a new procedure where dress code violations did not result in being sent home; they were noted and students had to wear a piece of duct tape indicating the specific violation. If you forgot a belt, you put a piece of tape on a belt loop.

Kids only started to get in trouble after three dress code violations in the same week. Since she lightened up on the dress code and how harshly it was punished, she stopped having trouble with kids breaking it all the time. It worked out for everyone.

Malicious Compliance, One Gram At A Time
Unloading Some Beautiful Malicious Compliance
REALLY Malicious Compliance
The Currency Of Malicious Compliance

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The Gift Of Using Their Eyes

, , , , , | Learning | November 13, 2020

When I am sixteen, I am a counselor at a summer camp. I have twins in my group. Let’s call them John and James.

John and James are identical twins. They are the same height and weight, have the same friends, and play the same sports. No one can tell them apart. Except for me.

The twins enjoy messing with the counselors and find it funny when they can’t tell them apart. Every few days, some counselors try.

One of them is convinced they have slightly different eyes. She usually guesses wrong.

Another is convinced that John is half an inch taller than James. This is wrong also.

Every time we play, I get it right. I also always get their names right when I have to call out to one of them. It baffles everyone.

On the last day of camp, the director comes up to me.

Director: “I have to know. How can you tell John and James apart?”

Me: “There are very subtle differences between them. It’s hard to notice.”

She starts laughing.

Director: “Come on, [My Name]. Tell me.”

Me: “All right. But you can’t tell anyone.”

She closes the door to her office and runs back to her desk.

Director: “I promise I won’t tell.”

I start laughing.

Me: “[Director], I don’t have a gift. It’s not a magic trick. John wears black sneakers and a blue bathing suit. James wears red sneakers and a red bathing suit. That’s how I can tell them apart, even in the pool.”

The director stares and starts laughing. 

Director: “THAT’S IT?! This whole time I thought you had a gift!”

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