Superiority Complex, Unplugged

, , , , , | Learning | February 4, 2021

A short time ago, I became my college’s newest IT services person. I actually enjoy the job and honestly couldn’t be happier unless I got to play video games all day long. I have a desk, personal email, and job duties, but no timeline that “it has to be done in eight minutes or our necks are on the chopping block.” It’s just straight-up tech work.

The IT department is always on hand during the day to assist the professors in teaching their students. Most of the time, the professors are great. But I do get those once in a while who make me want to facepalm so hard. 

Anyone who has worked in IT will recognize the following story.

Professor: “This computer is not working and I have a class in ten minutes. I have to have my lectures off the computer, now!

Me: “Can I just ask some questions real quick to see if it’s an easy fix?”

Professor: “No! Get your lazy butt over here and fix it!”

Me: “All right, sir, I will be over there in a few minutes as your office is on the other side of campus.”

It takes about five minutes to get there. We are a small community college, so the furthest one would have to walk anywhere would be half a mile.

Me: “Okay, let us take a look at this com—”

Professor: “Well, it took you long enough to get over here. What is wrong with you, anyway? I have a class in five minutes and the computer still isn’t even… Hey, it’s coming on. What did you do?”

Me: “I simply plugged it back in. Looks like you unplugged your computer this morning when you plugged in your coffee pot. You should have no problem getting your files off your computer.”

Too bad he wouldn’t let me ask some basic questions over the phone. Sheesh!

He then pulls a thumb drive out of his pocket, prints the notes for his lecture from it, and then removes the thumb drive. I decide not to mention that he could have done this at any computer on campus and that there’s an open computer lab literally next door that he could have used his thumb drive in.

Professor: “Well, it doesn’t help that you took your time getting here! I know more about computers than you ever will, anyway. Let’s not forget who has a degree and who doesn’t!”

Me: “All right, sir, I hope your fragile ego gets better! Have a good day.”

I grinned and left before the professor could say another word.

This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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This Teacher Is Pure Theater!

, , , , | Right | February 3, 2021

I work for a university’s fine arts department. Our theater department is hosting a free matinee event for area elementary, junior high, and high school students. We’re thrilled to welcome hundreds of students to the event. I’m tasked with getting all of these students off their buses and escorted into the auditorium in an organized fashion.

Due to an error during pre-registration for this event, an elementary school is not recorded as attending. They show up with over 150 students. This is not a major problem at the moment, however, as the auditorium is more than able to accommodate this many extra people. We simply open the balcony, as the main floor is full.

We have intentionally left part of an entire row on the main floor open for random community members or parents who decide to come, people with mobility issues, etc.

While we’re opening the balcony, a high school group is escorted by a volunteer usher into the auditorium on the main floor but quickly sees we are short on seats. The usher tells the teachers and chaperones in the group that we need to redirect them up to the balcony and escorts them up the stairs.  

The following exchange happens a couple of minutes later. I’m on the main floor, watching for any problems with latecomers, “stragglers” in the lobby, etc. 

Teacher: “Ex-cuse me! Where is the elevator?”

Me: “Oh, ma’am, I’m sorry for any hassle, but this building actually doesn’t have an elevator yet…”

They are fundraising for a massive renovation project to fix this issue currently.

Me:  “…but we do have seating in—”

Teacher: *Interrupting and huffing condescendingly* “Well, my students were just sent to the balcony. I have lung disease and cannot do those stairs!”

I see the school logo on her shirt and know instantly to which students she is referring.

Me: “Of course! We would be very glad to get you a seat on the main floor; we have—”

The teacher interrupts again with a huff, a head jiggle, and an eye roll.

Teacher:If there are any seats left!

She must be having a whopper of a day to have so much attitude.

I wave over a volunteer usher.

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we do have a few seats available on the main floor, and this lovely person would be glad to show y—”

Teacher: “I was in the bathroom for two minutes and my class got sent up to the balcony without my knowledge!”

I know she is not the only teacher with these students, and I choose not to rise to the bait of the intended argument.

Me: “Ah, well, sounds like it was a case of poor timing, then.” *Friendly laugh* “But let’s get you to a seat before the show st—”

Teacher: “I just hope my students won’t cause problems!”

I again remember the other teachers who are with this group and our experienced volunteer ushers who will be monitoring the auditorium during the performance.

Me: “Do you have a concern about your students? Because we would be glad to—”

Teacher: “No, they won’t cause problems!”

She huffs loudly and walks off with the volunteer usher.

Me: “What was that?!

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Going Off The Rails

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 2, 2021

A physics professor walks by, pushing a piece of equipment on a cart.

Me: “Hey, [Physics Professor], what’s that?”

Physics Professor: “Railgun.”

Me: “Uh… whoa. What class is that for?”

Physics Professor: “None. Just wanted a railgun.”

About half an hour later…

Biology Professor: “Hey, [My Name], do we still have that old dartboard? [Physics Professor] wants to borrow it for some reason.”

This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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Agatha Trunchbull Has A Brother

, , , , | Learning | January 31, 2021

When I was in middle school, we got a new teacher who had terrible anger issues. He threw chairs, snapped clipboards in half, and threw a student‘s backpack out of the second-floor window for not paying attention. These are just a few examples; it was a long year. My experience with him was a bit more severe.

I was a disruptive child, to say the least — always talking, texting, passing notes, and playing around. For this reason, my angry teacher particularly disliked me. One day, as I was talking and distracting my friends, he snapped. He walked over to me, grabbed me up by my arm, yelled something, and then pulled me into the classroom closet and slammed the door. This closet was used for the Spanish teacher, so there was a chair, a little desk, and a desk lamp, but it was still very cramped. I figured he would let me out when class was over, so I waited. And waited. I started to get anxious, so I pushed on the door, but it wouldn’t move. He yelled at me to knock it off.

About an hour passed, and I heard the bell ring. I was so excited! I grabbed up all my things and started bouncing impatiently waiting for him to open up. Everyone left. He didn’t open the door. I started to cry and yank at the door but it wasn’t budging. Then, I heard a loud scraping noise and the lock turning, and three of my friends were there to help me escape!

When I walked out, none of them laughed or joked. They looked scared. I looked around and saw why. My teacher had locked the door and moved a shelf in front of it to ensure I couldn’t get out. He wasn’t in the room. He left me there. I would not have gotten out if not for my friends. 

I wish I could say I told the principal or my parents and something bad happened to this man, but I didn’t. I was a kid and thought I did something bad and didn’t want to get in more trouble. The most I can tell you is he lasted one more year before his temper finally got him fired.

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You Have To Be Smarter Than The SmartBoard

, , , , , , | Learning | January 19, 2021

My high school building is three stories tall and is old enough that the classrooms still have large windows that are meant to allow access to an exterior fire escape, which were removed before I got to high school.

SmartBoards are the newest must-have piece of technology in schools, so my school installs SmartBoards in every classroom during the summer before my tenth-grade year. Most of the teachers love their SmartBoards, but my tenth-grade math teacher… doesn’t. He is a severe technophobe and doesn’t even like electronic calculators, let alone computers and other “modern” technology. The school board and administration force him to accept the SmartBoard and do his best to figure out how to use it. For the first month or so, he does try really hard to get it to work, but he always ends up going back to his trusted chalkboard.

One day, our math teacher is trying to use a relatively simple drag-and-drop program on the SmartBoard but can’t get it to work, and he has finally had his fill of frustration.

First, he shouts some choice swear words at the SmartBoard, which prove ineffective in making it work the way he wants it. So he punches the SmartBoard, repeatedly, until it literally cracks and breaks.

He declares the SmartBoard broken and unplugs all the cables from it. Then, he tears it off the wall, carries it over to the window, and drops it.

His classroom is on the third floor.

He gets in a bit of trouble over it, but the school board and administration allow him to go without a SmartBoard for the rest of the year. He happily uses his chalkboard until the end of the year, and then he retires because the school wants to keep adding more technology, and he knows he won’t be able to keep up.

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