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Stop And Think For A Period

, , , | Healthy | February 5, 2018

(In Australia, purchasing certain medications requires the cashier, by law, to ascertain for whom the medication is intended and whether or not they’ve used the medication before. It’s about half an hour before closing time and it’s been a busy day, so I’m running on autopilot, when a man comes up to the counter.)

Male Customer: “Can I have some [period pain medication], please?”

Me: “Sure. That’s just for yourself, and you’ve used it before?”

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They Can’t Worm Their Way Out Of This One

, , , , , , , | Working | November 21, 2017

(I am with my mum and some friends of the family at a restaurant. We have ordered our meals and they just arrived.)

Mum: “OH, MY GOD!”

(Everyone looks over to see some form of worm or larvae inside the duck she ordered.)

Mum: *not in an angry tone but more looking to help out* “Excuse me; there are some worms in my meal.”

(The waiter walks over and inspects the duck.)

Waiter: “I don’t see anything.”

Everyone At The Table: “What do you mean?”

Waiter: “I can take it back to have it inspected.”

Mum: “That would be great.”

(After a short wait the manager with the waiter come back.)

Manager: “We inspected the duck and found no worms.”

Mum: “We all saw it.”

(Everyone nods and agrees.)

Manager: “We can’t do anything; if you’d like a free meal or refund, we aren’t giving you one!”

(At this point the manager is yelling.)

Mum: “We told you to let you know that maybe your supplier has a problem, and that it should be checked up.”


Mum: “We only want to help; we don’t want any refund or free meals.”


Mum: “Are you seriously getting angry at us for making a suggestion to change suppliers?”

(We left and filed a complaint to health services.)

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Hard To Accept The Hard Drive

, , , , | Working | November 20, 2017

(I work at a computer store in the repair section. I’ve just diagnosed a customer’s computer and called them to say what needs fixing.)

Me: “I found that the email program wasn’t loading due to a corrupt file caused by bad sectors on the drive. My recommendation is to replace the drive.”

Customer: “Can I have some time to think about it?”

(This is normal and usually means the customer is considering buying a new machine rather than repairing their old one. When they ring back:)

Me: “So, have you decided to go through with the repair?”

Customer: “My nephew just Googled the problem and it couldn’t be a faulty hard drive.”

(I was dumbstruck at this point. They were waiting for my response and I didn’t know what else to tell them. Apparently my answer, based on evidence and backed by 20 years experience, held less weight than an answer from a relative who spent five minutes on Google. I wanted to just tell them to fix it themselves, but then I would still have to charge the diagnosis fee. In the end, I did what any self-respecting worker would do: I handed the problem off to the other tech to deal with.)

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For An Hour You Were Cat-atonic

, , , , , , , | Related | November 9, 2017

My family knows me to be absolutely in love with cats. One day, my mom asked me to take out the trash and I was stopped by our cat.

My mom came out later to inform me that I was out there for an entire hour, cooing over a cat.

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A Slight Wrinkle In The Definition

, , , , , , | Learning | September 29, 2017

(I’m talking to some of my students in a tutorial. The conversation goes from the topic of the course, Markov chains, to population genetics, an application of Markov chains, to experimental testing of population genetics, to a rather neat result where colonies of bacteria oscillate between being free-living and forming colony mats on the top of the nutrient solution. These colony mats are known as “wrinkly spreaders”.)

Me: “If you want to learn more about this, do a web search on ‘wrinkly spreader.’”

Student: *with disgust* “I am not Googling ‘wrinkly spreader’!”

Me: “Um, that interpretation had not occurred to me.”

(The student need not have worried; I’ve just tried the web search, and gerontological p*rn was completely absent.)

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