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Handy With The Translation

, , , , | Learning | March 5, 2015

(I teach ESL students. For this project, each is required to give a short presentation about a borrower on a micro-loan site. This student is from Brazil.)

Student: “I have chosen a woman in Vietnam who needed a loan to build an outhouse. She used the money to buy material. Her neighbours helped her but because they don’t not money, they can only give her a hand job.”

Me: “WHAT?”

Student: “They help her build. With their hands.”

Me: “…manual labour. They can only give her labour. Hand job is something very different…”

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Judged By The Beast

, , , , , | Friendly | June 3, 2014

(One of my closest friends is a youth pastor, and he has asked me to come to his church to judge a talent show. Before the talent show starts, my friend takes me and three other judges to another room to instruct us on what to do. He also gives us each a set of signs with large numbers printed on them, so that we can hold up our scores for each performance.)

Judge #1: “Hey, I just realized I don’t have a 6 in my set of signs.”

Judge #2: “It’s not just you; I’m missing a 6, too.”

([Judge #3] and I also check our signs. We’re also missing the number 6.)

Judge #3: “Oh, I know why! Maybe [Friend] didn’t give us any sixes so we don’t accidentally hold up a 666!”

(This kind of makes sense, considering where we are, and the judges seem content with that answer.)

Me: “Or you know, you could just hold the 9 upside-down, and [Friend] was trying to conserve paper and ink.”

Judge #3: “Err… yes, that is also a possibility.”

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Every Cloud Has A Powdered Lining

, , , , | Working | November 30, 2012

(One day, two of my coworkers arrive late.)

Boss: “I am getting really sick of you two being late. This isn’t even the first time that this has happened!”

Coworkers: “We’re sorry.”

Boss: “Not good enough. I really need to punish you two this time.” *ponders* “Okay. Bring a dozen and a half donuts for tomorrow morning’s staff meeting!”

(The next day, [Coworker #1] arrives early with a dozen and a half donuts.)

Boss: “Good job [Coworker #1], nice to see you’ve smartened up. But where the h*** is [Coworker #2]!?”

([Coworker #2] eventually arrives, but 20 minutes late.)

Boss: “And just what do you think you’re doing, young man!?”

Coworker #2: “Sorry, sir. I was on my way to work, but then I forgot about the donuts.”

([Coworker #2] is holding a box of donuts. They’re not from the same shop as Coworker #1’s donuts.)

Boss: “Oh, for the love of– I told you guys to bring a dozen and a half donuts! I never told you to bring a dozen and a half each! We have three dozen donuts now! If you listened to me, we wouldn’t have so many donuts, and you wouldn’t be late!”

Coworker #2: “Um, can I redeem these donuts for some job security?”

Boss: *sighs* “All right, fine.”

(Unfortunately, [Coworker #2] didn’t learn his lesson. Surprisingly, he hasn’t been fired yet. Almost every week is a donut party now!)

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Defiance Is The Best Teacher

, , , , | Right | August 25, 2012

(My friend, a former coworker, comes in on a Saturday to say hello. She is standing by the counter chatting with me when a regular customer comes in. I immediately go to serve her.)

Customer: “I’ll have a latte.” *looks at my friend* “You’re wearing that to work?!”

(My friend is wearing ripped jeans, a local band shirt, and boots you could kick through a wall with, as well as her nose stud and four rings in each ear.)

Friend: “I don’t work here anymore.”

Customer: “Well, no wonder, if you started showing up like a hooligan! Young people have no sense of professionalism these days! If I met you in the street, I’d think you were going to mug me!”

Friend: “Actually, I quit because I started a new job.”

Customer: “Doing what, exactly? Scaring children?”

Friend: “Sort of. I’m a kindergarten teacher.”

Customer: *gasps, grabs her latte, and runs out the door*

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Dating Sheldon Cooper

, , , , , | Romantic | December 12, 2011

(I have been dating my boyfriend for a few months and want to tell him how I am feeling. My boyfriend is doing a PhD in math and is extremely, painstakingly accurate about everything.)

Me: “You make me really happy. I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve been spending together. I feel really strongly about you.”

(My boyfriend nods and smiles. I wait expectantly for a response, but he just looks confused.)

Me: “Well? Don’t you feel the same as I do?”

Boyfriend: “No.”

Me: “What?! Why not?”

Boyfriend: “Well, I feel analogous to what I perceive to be the way you feel. Since I am not you, and therefore cannot experience your feelings directly, I cannot say that I feel the same as you do because I can never know exactly how you feel. I feel that what I understand you to be describing as your experience is something that I agree with and relate to, but it would be inaccurate to say that I ‘feel the same’.”

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