Trouble Comes In Many Forms

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 19, 2021

When I was a teenager, I went to a boarding school for “troubled teen girls” for a short period of time. I was physically ill after finally being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, and my missing school was leading my grades to drop to the point where I was on the verge of being kicked out, so they enrolled me for a few trimesters as a way for me to catch up. A lot of the girls were suffering from severe behavioral issues and returning from wilderness camps, so it was a pretty intense group of kids.

Most Internet use was forbidden except in connection with schoolwork, and all of our computers in the computer lab faced inward so the teacher who was running the computer lab could see our screens. There were also very strict blocks that blocked almost everything except for educational websites. They’d never had any issues, until me.

I was annoyed at these restrictions and wanted to talk to my friends via email and post on forums. It was nothing malicious at all; besides my health issues, I was a pretty good kid. Unfortunately for the school, I was the first student that happened to know about using proxy servers to get around these restrictions.

I was constantly alt+tabbing, using tiny windows, and being on the lookout for when the lab monitor looked my way. This went on for months before a couple of students found out and asked me about it. I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to cause trouble, and I knew that everyone suddenly having access would be impossible to hide. Of course, that meant that they went and told the principal about it.

They had no idea how I managed to do it. Even the so-called IT people for the school had no explanation! Frustrated, the principal forbade me from entering the computer lab again until I told them how I managed to get around the restrictions.

Unfortunately for them, I was leaving the school soon after anyway, so it didn’t make a difference. Amusingly, they wound up calling my parents because of the “trouble” I was making and complained that I was being uncooperative.

I don’t remember if anyone else managed to figure out what I was doing, and years later, my mom admitted that she was so proud to find out that the “trouble” I was making was being the first person to outsmart the school just so I could check my email and post on some gaming forums.

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In A State Of Confusion, Part 8

, , , , | Right | September 30, 2020

I work in a tourist gift store, so most customers are tourists. The customer is paying for something with exact change and I notice that they hand me a Vermont state quarter.

Me: “Oh, did you want to keep this as a souvenir and give me another quarter? This is a Vermont quarter!”

Customer: “Vermont has its own currency?!”

I said nothing and took the quarter. 

Related:
In A State Of Confusion, Part 7
In A State Of Confusion, Part 6
In A State Of Confusion, Part 5
In A State Of Confusion, Part 4
In A State Of Confusion, Part 3

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Flee Before Biker Santa Claus

, , , , , | Friendly | July 30, 2020

When I was in middle school, my mother moved from Florida to Vermont to live with my step-father. My parents worked out an arrangement where I would visit her over long school holidays several times a year, flying as an unaccompanied minor.

I am, and always have been, the sort of person who is happy to have random conversations with strangers, so I would end up with a “plane buddy” by the end of every flight.

One such temporary friend was a — presumably — nice middle-aged man with whom I had chatted back and forth with for the entire three-hour flight about nothing much at all. We were leaving the terminal and walking together towards the baggage claim when I spotted my step-dad at the terminal entrance waiting for me.

I happily pointed and said, “There’s my step-dad!”

But by the time I turned back around, my companion had vanished.

When I asked my step-dad what happened, he said he saw me pointing and the man with me took one look at him, turned pale as a sheet, and then fled the other way.

I should point out that my step-father is a massive man whose appearance is best described as “biker Santa Claus,” and he is twice as strong as he looks. I have no idea if that guy had any unsavory intentions or if he was just afraid he would be accused of such, but I did get a light scolding from my step-dad about being too trusting of random men in airports.

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Is Not In Receipt Of A Calm State Of Mind

, , , , | Right | July 13, 2020

I am a shift leader at a popular donut shop, and for about two months our receipt printer has been on the fritz so we can never get the receipt. A customer comes through the drive-thru, since our lobby is closed because of lockdown. She is an elderly lady.

Customer: “Can I sample some bacon?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t do samples at the moment because of the health crisis.”

She is angry but decides to get some of the bacon anyway, along with tap water.

Customer: “I want the senior discount.”

Me: “We only do discounts on drinks.”

Once again, she is pissed.

Me: “The total is $4.25.”

Customer: “It’s ridiculous that I have to pay that much for a bottle of water and an eight-piece snacking bacon. I want my receipt!”

Me: *Calmly* “Our printer is broken, so I am unable to give you a receipt. I could hand write it for you?

Customer: *Screaming* “I want the real receipt!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the printer is broken.”

Customer: “I want to speak to the manager!”

Me: “That is me at the moment.”

Her jaw drops. She pays for it and I give her the hand-written receipt. Then, twenty-five minutes later, she comes back and starts to scream at me.

Customer: “I don’t want your f****** bacon and your water! I want my money back and my real receipt, and if you don’t give it to me, I’ll call the cops!”

She pulls up to the window, throws the food at me, and holds out her hand for the money. She paid with a credit card.

Me: “I’ll be happy to put it back on your card.”

Customer: “No! I don’t trust you and I want cash! I’m going through a hard time.”

I didn’t want to deal with her anymore, so I gave her the cash. She was still waiting for the receipt. I rolled my eyes and closed and locked the window and walked away.

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Failed The Smell Test

, , , | Right | May 22, 2020

A woman wanders into the store looking very out of it. She starts talking out loud even though there is no one close by to answer her. She wanders around the store for a bit before coming up to me holding a packet of scratch-and-sniff stickers.

Woman: “I have a question.”

Me: “Of course! What is it?”

Woman: “Where exactly do you scratch and sniff?”

Me: “Uh, well, you have to take the plastic packaging off first.”

The woman looks confused.

Me: “But then you just scratch the sticker.”

She attempts to scratch the sticker through the plastic and then holds it up to her nose.

Woman: “Hmm… I guess you have to take the plastic off first!”

Me: *Pause* “Yes.”

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