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    Category: Staff

    Tea And Sympathy

    | Morgantown, WV, USA | Awesome, Food & Drink, Staff

    (I work at the international office at my university. New student check-in at the beginning of the fall semester is always the most strenuous time of the year for us. By mid-day my throat is getting pretty painful and dry from speaking to new students and I am just feeling terrible all-around when a girl comes by with her friend.)

    Me: *automatically* “Hi, new student?”

    Girl: “No, I just had a question. But first, this is for you.” *she holds out a large iced-tea* “I see you working here every time I come by your office for candy.”

    (She smiled and left after another coworker answered her question. I don’t know if she realized just how much she helped me that day and how grateful I was.)

    Turns Out Not So Great (Britain)

    | OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Staff, Top

    (My cousin, who was born in England but raised in the United States, is in the process of filling out college applications. Since there is a major university in our city, and I am a recent graduate of that university, he asks me to take him to campus so he can apply in person.)

    Cousin: “Hi. I’d like to apply for admissions.”

    Secretary: “Okay, hun. Here’s the packet you’ll need to fill out. You can use that table over there, and bring it back up whenever you are done.”

    (My cousin fills out the application, with me helping. When he’s done, he returns it to the secretary who takes it. She says someone will be in touch, and we turn to leave. However, just before we get out the door, she stops us.)

    Secretary: “Oh, hold on! There’s a problem here, hun!”

    Cousin: “Is there? Did I forget a section, or something?”

    Secretary: “No, that’s not it. It’s that you have your place of birth listed as Manchester, England.”

    Cousin: “Yes, that’s correct. I was born in England, but raised in the US. I’m a citizen, if that’s the problem. I have my social security card if you need to see it.”

    Secretary: “No, dear, that’s not the problem. I believe you are a citizen. It’s that all foreign-born applicants must take an English-language proficiency test. We don’t want you to get behind in class because you can’t understand what’s going on.”

    Cousin: “Umm… but, I was born in England and raised in the US. I ONLY speak English.”

    Secretary: “I’m sorry, but only applicants who were born in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are exempt from the test.”

    Cousin: “Oh, okay. That makes sense. I was born in the UK.”

    Secretary: “No, dear, you said you were born in England, not the UK.”

    Cousin:  “But, England is a PART of the UK.”

    Secretary: “Dear, we don’t like dishonest applicants. If you were born in the UK you would not have listed ‘England’ as your country of birth.”

    Cousin: “Okay. I see the confusion. British politics is a bit weird. But, England is a part of the UK. The full name is ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.'”

    Secretary: “Dear, I’m not stupid. I know that. You said you were from England, not Great Britain or Northern Ireland.”

    Cousin: “Ma’am, with all due respect, England is a PART of Great Britain which is, in turn, a PART of the United Kingdom.”

    Secretary: “You’ll still need the test to prove you can understand English well enough to be a student here.”

    Cousin: “I need a TEST to prove that I speak and understand English, the language I am speaking to you now, even though I come from the country the language is NAMED after?!”

    (At this point, I can see my cousin is about to scream or cry in frustration. I step in.)

    Me: “Ma’am, could you please get your supervisor?”

    Secretary: “I don’t see why that’s necessary.”

    Me: “Please, get your supervisor for me.”

    (She storms off for about five minutes. From the back we here ‘IT IS NOT!’ followed by ‘ARE YOU SURE IT IS?’ Then, a different woman approaches us.)

    Supervisor: “Don’t worry. Everything is taken care of. You won’t be needing the English-language proficiency test, and I’ll be sure to educate my staff better on the UK. Have a good day!”

    Grand Theft Automatically Declined

    | NM, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Staff, Teachers

    (I am an elementary education major. The elementary schools in my area require students to have a ‘blue card,’ which lasts through a student’s entire college career. I am in one of my major classes and my professor is explaining about blue cards.)

    Professor: “It costs about $47, and that covers a background check, fingerprinting…”

    Student: “So about the background check. What if you have a mark on your record? It’s nothing big: just stealing a car…”

    (The professor had a look on her face that looked like a cross between trying not to laugh and trying to think of an acceptable answer!)

    Universal Danger

    | Pullman, WA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Dorms, Staff

    (I have been hearing all sorts of scary stories about how dangerous it is at the college I am going to go to. Among the stories is ‘there were 15 rapes in 14 days there!’ I am quite gullible, and rather apprehensive about leaving home. When I check into my dorm, the following conversation ensues:)

    Resident Advisor: “Do you have any medical problems we should know about?”

    Me: “No.”

    Resident Advisor: “Do you have a car?”

    Me: “No.”

    Resident Advisor: “Do you have a gun?”

    Me: “Do I need one?!”

    Maybe He’ll Be A Late Bloomer

    | Staffordshire, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Geography, Staff, Students, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in my students’ union as a receptionist. The university has two main campuses in a city and a town about 20 miles apart. I’m sat at work and a prospective student walks in.)

    Prospective Student: “Hi. Where’s the… Oh, it starts with a ‘B?'”

    Me: “Brindley?”

    Prospective Student: “No, it’s not that.”

    Me: “That’s the only academic building on this campus that starts with a ‘B.’ What are you here for?”

    Prospective Student: “I’ve got an admissions Interview. I’ve got the letter here.”

    (He hands the letter over. Sure enough he’s supposed to be at the other campus, 20 miles away, in half an hour. At the top of the letter it has the full address of the department including the town. Further down it has the time of the interview, the building, and the town the campus is in. At the bottom of the letter in bold capital letters it says ‘please note your interview is at [town campus] not [city campus]‘.)

    Me: “Okay, so you’re at the wrong campus. You need to go to [Town]. Did you drive here?”

    Prospective Student: “No. How do I get there?”

    Me: “Well, you can get the train and then a bus which will be at least 40 minutes or the bus which will take an hour but drops you off right at the campus. The next bus is due in a couple of minutes though.”

    Prospective Student: “But I’ll be late.”

    Me: “Give me your name and the interviewer’s name and I’ll ring and let them know.”

    (The guy says thanks and runs for the bus stop. I ring the other campus and try to explain the guy would be late without blaming him too much.)

    Interviewer: “Let me stop you there. This guy went to the wrong campus, right?”

    Me: “Yup.”

    Interviewer: “I don’t know why we bother telling them the.campus in the letter. They don’t pay attention. Oh, well. I’ll see him but if he can’t follow simple instructions written multiple times then he better hope he’s some sort of genius at coding if he wants a hope in hell of getting an offer here.”


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