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Comments About Babies From The Mouths Of Babes

, , , , , , | Learning | December 3, 2021

I’m volunteering at my church’s Vacation Bible Camp during the summer, leading the first-grade group. This mostly involves wrangling wriggly children and preventing them from knocking down intricate butcher paper decorations.

At one point, we have to wait outside one station while the previous class is finishing up. To keep the kids occupied, I start asking them about their plans for the fall. One kid pipes up.

Student: “What grade are you going to be in?”

Me: “I’m actually out of school.”

Student: “So, what are you doing in the fall?”

Me: “Well, I’m engaged, so I’ll be getting married this fall.”

Student: “Oh, so, you’re pregnant.”

Luckily, none of the other teachers in this very traditional church setting were around to hear, and I quickly corrected him, but I had to wonder what order these things typically happened in his family for a six-year-old to reach that conclusion!

If It’s Closed, Leave It Closed. Simple.

, , , , , , , | Working | November 25, 2021

Several years ago, we had a tree fall on our house during a pretty bad windstorm. This happened in roughly February, and being that this was Washington state, it was pretty rainy and miserable, so while crews came out to get the tree off the roof and everything, we ended up with patches — mainly tarps — over the holes because it was too wet and rainy still to fix the roof immediately.

When the incident first occurred, we didn’t have a dog, but between the time of the tarps being added to the roof and the weather clearing up enough to allow them to start repairs, we happened to get a rescue lab-retriever mix. Now here’s the thing with that lovable goofball: when we first got him, he was still young enough that he could have hopped the fence. What we didn’t know was that he wouldn’t — that dork had some interesting quirks, but that’s a story for another time. So, when nobody was home, we’d leave him in the yard, but he’d be on a lead — it was like a ninety-foot thing so he had a decent run of the yard, but again, we were trying to prevent him from potentially escaping.

It was getting to the point where the repairs are starting, and our landlord had reached out to his insurance company about getting repairs covered, so they had to send out an investigator. He managed to show up while no one was home, so he just wandered around the back of the house examining everything. We had gates on both sides of the house, and we didn’t know it at the time, but he left one of them open — the one on the far side of the house that we never used.

I got home from school and was the only one home. The rule was: get home, let the dog off his lead, play with him for a bit, and then go do homework. When I went to go back inside, he didn’t want to come in, so I left him in the yard because he didn’t mind it, and I went off to do my homework.

Sometime later, my mom got home and the landlord showed up and wanted to take a look at some reports he’d gotten from the investigator. He and my mom went into the backyard and my mom asked me where the dog was. Any guesses? He’d managed to find the open gate and slipped out. Unfortunately, I had no idea how long he’d been gone. We started looking for him but couldn’t find him anywhere. My brothers and I were kind of devastated.

My dad called the investigator.

Dad: “Why did you leave the gate open and not say anything about it?”

Investigator: “Well, the dog was tied up, so I didn’t think it mattered.”

Dad: *Pissed off beyond belief* “Okay, first of all, do you think we just keep him tied up all the time? Second, forget the dog for a moment. You had no way of knowing if there were small children here. What if one of them had gotten out of that open gate and then gotten hit by a car?”

We lived off a street that intersected with a main drag, so we’d get people speeding down the street all the time.

Investigator: “Oh, well, I guess I never thought of it like that.”

Dad: “Of course, you didn’t. You’d better hope we find the dog; otherwise, you will be buying a new dog for my kids.”

The investigator started sputtering about that not being fair.

Dad: “Maybe keep that in mind next time you’re wandering around properties.”

It took a couple of days, but we finally found the dog. We got really lucky and one of the families near the school had managed to grab him. We had started putting up Missing posters, and then a friend called having seen a Found poster. We’d put the Missing on one side of the pole and the Found posted was on the other side; you wouldn’t see it unless you turned around.

We got our dog back, and I don’t know what happened with that investigator, but knowing my dad, there was definitely something to the guy’s manager.

What Happens In Cabo Doesn’t Stay In Cabo, Apparently

, , , , , | Working | November 18, 2021

I have a coworker who used to be pretty good but has now decided that things are still the way they were when he started working.

Our employer, like most, forbids alcohol on company premises — totally forbids it — because they’ve learned the hard way that many people will drink on the job and lie about it. Proving they’ve been drinking is a bit tricky, but simple possession is easy enough in most cases.

[Coworker] goes to Cabo San Lucas and brings our manager a bottle of a kind of booze that’s not available locally but is readily available in Cabo.

This is ethically questionable in the first place since it creates the appearance of trying to exert an undue influence on the manager; we’ve all had to take ethics training about things like this every year for at least ten years.

So, [Coworker] brings the bottle into work and hands it to our manager, completely unwrapped. The boss carefully explains that he can’t possess booze on company property, but he’ll let it slide this once, just don’t do it again.

[Coworker] complains to several of us. We all tell him that you can’t do that, reminding him of the ethics issues, and suggest that if he wants to ring the manager booze, he needs to meet the boss offsite and give him the bottle there. [Coworker]’s response is, “That’s stupid!” We all remind him that those are the rules, and the manager should have written him up for it.

Guess what [Coworker] does the next time he goes to Cabo? Yep, exactly the same thing. This time, the boss gives [Coworker] an official verbal warning, and [Coworker] whines mightily about it.

Some months later, [Coworker] goes back to Cabo. Lather, rinse, repeat. This time, he gets a formal write-up, and oh, the whining! This time, he gets very little sympathy, and only from people who don’t know the backstory.

After a couple more self-inflicted issues, [Coworker] retires.

Her Coping Mechanisms Rock

, , , , , | Friendly | November 12, 2021

My friend and I are travelling together and we pass by a New Age-type shop. Despite not being a New Age type at all herself, my friend is a sucker for these places because they usually sell the kind of jewellery she likes, so we go in. 

My friend is trying on rings with the help of the clerk, who’s making suggestions. All is going well, until…

Clerk: “Oh, I think this one would be absolutely beautiful for you. It matches your eyes and it’s got a wonderful energy.”

She points out a ring with a sort of blue-grey-green stone. My friend pulls away like she’s been offered a snake.

Friend: “Absolutely not.”

The clerk looks surprised.

Friend: “I, uh, I never wear labradorite. It, um… It’s brought me bad luck and I… don’t like its aura. It’s very pretty, but no.”

After we leave:

Me: “Since when do you believe rocks have an ‘aura’?”

Friend: “My ex once bought me a necklace with a labradorite pendant and lost his mind if I didn’t wear it every time I saw him. Since then, I can’t wear the stuff even though I do like the colour. But I’m not about to explain all that to a total stranger.”

Me: “What happened to the necklace?”

Friend: “I pawned it and gave the money to a homeless person. I figured it might as well do some good in the world.”

Multiple Levels Of “What The F***?”

, , , , , , , | Working | November 11, 2021

I used to work at the front desk at a furniture store. I had this coworker that I could never tell if she was delusional or just liked to make up stories to seem interesting. Supposedly, she’d been a flight attendant for many years, she’d been in the military as a nurse for many years after being a flight attendant (or maybe it was the reverse), she used to manage/own a business with her husband, etc. For her to have done all the stuff she claimed, there would have to have been either some overlap she didn’t want to tell us about or she was born before Jesus.

Another thing she liked to brag about was that she was some kind of martial arts master — we’re talking multiple-level black belt here. I was always skeptical of everything she said, especially the martial arts stuff, because she didn’t MOVE right in general (I worked in a studio when I was in high school) and there was just no way. I’d have bought maybe having started but definitely not some long-term level master.

Just before I started, a sales guy had been let go for various reasons, chief of which being that he was arrested after stabbing his roommate some ridiculous number of times.

The salespeople all had tablets that they were able to use in the store to check sales numbers and things like that. They weren’t technically supposed to bring them home, but every once in a while it would happen, and the sales guy had done so right before being arrested, so they were holding his last paycheck until we got the tablet back. For some reason, he thought it would be smart to ask the roommate — yes, the one he stabbed — to bring it in, and for some reason, the guy agreed to do it.

He finally came in and he was angry from the start. He stormed up to the counter.

Roommate: “I need to talk to this person, [Manager], now.”

Luckily, the manager was on the other side of the desk and heard him.

Manager: “I’m [Manager]. How—”

The roommate stomped over to her and brandished the tablet in her face.

Roommate: “[Sales Guy] told me to bring this to you. But you need to give me his money now.”

The manager was a smaller woman — I’m 5’5″ and she was shorter than I was — and this guy was just about six feet of skinny anger who was glaring at her. He wasn’t quite officially threatening/intimidating, but it was close. I stayed behind the counter but I was on my feet and moving in their direction slowly, just in case. The other three salespeople were in other parts of the store.

Manager: “A check will be mailed to [Sales Guy]. We can’t give it to you because it’s already made out to him.”

Roommate: “F*** that. He stabbed me.”

He pulled up his shirt to show some healing scars

Roommate: “I should get some kind of reward. I’m not giving you this f****** tablet until I get a reward.”

Now he was crossing the line from angry into vaguely threatening, looming over her and everything. It hadn’t quite crossed into calling the police NOW, but in hindsight, I should have gone to the back and called. I’ll admit that while the thought had crossed my mind, I was uneasy about leaving her alone. The other salespeople had disappeared for various reasons. I could tell [Manager] was anxious and she kept trying to back up but was stuck by furniture in the way.

Manager: “If you want a reward, keep the tablet. It’s fine.”

Roommate: “I don’t want the g**d*** tablet. I want a f****** reward. Give me a g**d*** reward!”

By this point, I was half a step from getting in the guy’s face when, all of a sudden, guess who sneaked up? [Crazy Coworker] kind of shuffled forward and half-cowered near the guy. Then, at one point, he put his arms down for half a second, so she skittered closer and grabbed his arm.

Crazy Coworker: “Hey, you need to watch your language.”

The roommate just glared at her out of the corner of his eye and she scurried right back to wherever she’d been hiding.

By this point, our warehouse manager had gotten back and he came up. He wasn’t all that intimidating, but he was older and he had a deep voice. The roommate got scared and scampered off. I still have no idea what kind of arrangement was made because I was there for another year and change after this and we never got that tablet. But the next day, all the salespeople were hanging around the counter chatting because we were bored out of our minds.

Crazy Coworker: “You know, if that guy from yesterday had been worse, I would have taken him down. But you know what? I had to call my teacher yesterday and tell him to be proud of me because I didn’t. I didn’t use my martial arts on him. I would have kicked him out of the store.”

One of the sales guys and I made eye contact and rolled our eyes. I don’t know about him, but I was thinking, “First of all, you were hiding up until the absolute last minute, and second, you ran without trying anything. And also, if you have to tell someone to be proud of you, maybe they shouldn’t be?”

Stories like that cropped up the entire time I was there. [Crazy Coworker] would often contradict herself; for example, she said she was a flight attendant at eighteen and stayed for ten years, but then she was in the army overseas at twenty-five and had quit being a flight attendant before that. I just started tuning her out.