They’ve Been Around For Hundreds Of Years

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Learning | May 18, 2017

(I’m tutoring a high school student who is reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)

Student: “What does “spotted and inconstant” mean?”

Me: “What would you call a guy who flirts with a girl until she falls in love with him, then dumps her and chases after her best friend?”

Student: “A f***-boy.”

Me: “Well, yes, but if you write about him in your essay maybe you should say he’s fickle instead.”

This Administration Doesn’t Quite Add Up

, , | Phoenix, AZ, USA | Learning | April 13, 2017

(The office I work in accepts calls from out of state students in order to help them with their school work. Between scheduled appointments, I am doing some filing at my desk, when my coworker’s conversation with his student catches my attention. We work in the math, business, and statistics department.)

Coworker #1: *into his headset* “I… well, maybe our new president will do something for this country, ma’am. Yes. Perhaps. No, I don’t think the Bible means you have to love tyrants; I think it probably just means you should respect authority. Well, yes, it is true that the revolution had plenty of Christians in it, ma’am. That was a common religion then. Right. Um… no, I don’t think a revolt should be lead against the government. No, ma’am, I’m not at liberty to say which political party I belong to. No, thank you… Right. Now, did you have any other questions about your math homework? Okay. Right.”

Coworker #2: *nudges him* “[Coworker #1], it doesn’t seem like much math is going on; having fun?”

(Coworker #1 makes a face like he wants to die, and finishes his appointment.)

Coworker #1: “Next time the caller tries to start a political debate, can I transfer them to someone who specializes in poli-sci?”

Anything Could Happen In The Next Half Hour

| Australia | Learning | February 27, 2017

(I make tuition bookings for students. A parent of one student comes to see me in a huff because of the time of his son’s lesson.)

Parent: “You booked [Son] in for 3:30 pm tomorrow. We can’t possibly make it at 3:30 pm. I booked it at 4 pm. I don’t know why you booked it in at 3:30. You need to move it to 4 pm.”

Me: “I remember you coming to book in the lesson. You agreed to 3:30 because nothing else was avail—”

Parent: “You’ve made a mistake. You need to move my son’s lesson. We can’t make it at 3:30 and you’ve booked it in for 3:30.”

Me: “You booked it for 3:30. I remember the conversation… You even went out to the car to check with your son that it was fine for 3:30.”

Parent: “It’s in my diary at 4 pm, so I booked it at 4 pm. I don’t understand why you’re unable to just book him in at 4 pm.”

Me: “There is another student at 4 pm. She’s been there for more than 12 months, so that time was never available.”

Parent: “My wife told me it was booked for 4 pm, too.”

(At this point I’m shaking with a combination of rage and fear, but I know I’m right so I continue.)

Me: “Give me a moment and I’ll check the registration forms.”

Parent: “I know we booked it at 4 pm. Just move the other student.”

Me: “Give me a moment” *I walk away and find his son’s registration form*

(I hold the registration form out, still shaking, showing the parent.)

Me: “Is this your writing?”

Parent: “Yes”

Me: “Read out what it says under comments.”

Parent: “3:30 Friday.”

Me: “You booked the 3:30 spot. So that is what you have.”

Parent: “I still don’t understand why you just can’t move other students around…”

(Brain explodes.)

The Union Has Its Ups And Downs

| DE, USA | Learning | January 9, 2017

(We play puzzle a trivia games between lessons at our tutoring center. One of the older students is reading clues from a card.)

Eleven-Year-Old: “A protest against employers is called a ____ ?”

Nine-Year-Old: “I don’t know.”

Teacher: “Yeah, you do. When the workers stop coming to work because they don’t like what the boss is doing they go on a what?”

Five-Year-Old: “A roller coaster!”

Nine-Year-Old: “No, a strike!”

Me: *cracks up imagining disgruntled workers going to an amusement park*

Fired For Fire

| San Diego, CA, USA | Learning | December 17, 2016

(While I was in high school, I signed up to be a paid tutor for math, where we sit in a classroom and help people that come in. There is always one math teacher in the room along with the tutors. Note: The fire alarm was bugging out and going off every ten minutes or so. An alarm is ringing.)

Teacher: “Okay, everyone up. We need to go outside.”

(This happens several more times and every time he orders us all outside, disrupting work. Later, the alarm rings again.)

Teacher: “Okay, everyone up. We need to go outside.”

Me: “Can’t we just stay inside? Clearly the alarm has a problem and there is no actual fire.”

Teacher: “NO, that is illegal and against the fire code.”

(We go outside, and then he asks to speak to me in private.)

Teacher: “I swear, if you try and cross me again I will have you kicked off the tutor program.”

(Later the alarm rings.)

Teacher: “You know what, guys? Why don’t we just bring out the desks into the hallway.”

(The kicker: If it were an actual fire, that would be illegal for blocking the way out for other students in that building.)

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