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    Wishing You Could Delete Them

    | VA, USA | Crazy Requests, Students, Technology

    (I work for a university IT help desk, and we give help to anyone for free as long as we can fix it at the front counter.)

    Me: “Hi. What can I do you for today?”

    Student: “I need you to back up my student ID and archive my emails for me.”

    Me: I’m sorry, could you repeat that again?”

    Student: “I said, I need you to back up my student ID and archive my emails for me.”

    (Note: your student ID is basically the username that lets you use the school’s online services, and is linked to all of your student information that the University keeps track of.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. Your student ID isn’t something that can be backed up, and only you can archive emails that you receive.”

    Student: “Well, I don’t want people to be able to read my emails, so I want you to print them all out for me and then delete them. And I want you to delete my student ID. I don’t want people hacking it.”

    (At this point I start looking around for my coworkers who are pointedly doing something else or hiding somewhere where she can’t see them. This is an immediate red flag for me.)

    Me: “There’s no way for me to access your account, much less print off every email in the inbox. And we can deactivate your student ID, but it can’t be deleted. It’s the university’s record of all of your information since you started attending the university. Legally they have to keep that information and aren’t allowed to delete it.”


    (At this point, I go get my boss, and he gets the head of the entire IT services for the school.)

    Boss #1: “Hello ma’am. What seems to be the problem?”

    Student: “Your employee won’t back up my student ID, or delete it, or archive my emails!”

    Boss #1: “It’s impossible for him to do any of those things, as only you have access to your email account and it’s illegal for us to delete your student ID.”

    (The next 30 minutes or so go by with the customer asking the exact same questions over and over even though both of my bosses keep telling her that what she wants is either illegal or impossible.)

    Student: “Where’s the lady that I talked to last time? She helped me much more than you two!”

    Boss #2: “She is my employee, and she would only tell you the exact same thing that I’m telling you, so I’m not going to waste her time with this.”

    (This eventually ended with Boss #2 telling her to leave, and then sending out an email to all of the workers saying that if she should come in again with any problems outside of our normal area, to give him a call and tell her to go to the side and wait. It turned out that the customer came in several times a week with varying crazy requests and he was tired of having to deal with it.)

    All Hail The Oxford Comma

    | Plano, TX, USA | Awesome, History, Language & Words

    (We are discussing the usage of the Oxford Comma, where a comma is placed before the “and” when listing words.)

    Teacher: “Okay, so for those of you not sure of whether or not to use the comma, here’s an example of where it would matter.”

    (He writes: “We invited the strippers, Hitler, and Stalin.” on the board.)

    Teacher: “Now, if we were to put the Oxford Comma in, like so, we will be having a great time with two of history’s worst men. But if we don’t—” *he erases the second comma* “—then our party will really suck.”

    Had No Brain Cells For The Alcohol To Kill

    | UK | Health & Body, Students

    (I am in a science lesson. We are discussing the uses of ethanol.)

    Me: “It’s in hand sanitizer, too.”

    Classmate: “Really?”

    Me: “Yep. ‘Cause it’s an alcohol. Two boys at my brother’s school found out hand sanitizer had alcohol in it and drank a bottle of it once.”

    Classmate: *gasps* “Really?!”

    Me: *unconcerned* “Yep. They were in hospital for two weeks!”

    Classmate: “Wow. Why would anyone do that?”

    Me: “Because they were stupid. Most people at that school are.”

    Mom Knows How To Make A Meal Out Of It

    | RI, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Parents, Students

    (I’m stopping by the main college building, where most of the offices and administration are, at the beginning of the school year. At the information/help desk, a mother and her freshman son are bombarding the student employee at the desk with questions. I stand nearby to wait my turn.)

    Mother: “Okay, so how do I check how many dining hall meals my son has on his account?”

    Employee: “Whenever he goes to the dining hall and has his card swiped, he can ask for his meal plan balance.”

    Mother: “No. I want to know how I, MYSELF, can check on his balance.”

    Employee: “…um, I don’t think we have a service like that. Only the student can access that, so you can ask him.”

    Mother: “But how am I supposed to check if he’s eating enough?! I want to keep an eye on his meal plan balance to make sure he’s eating well and often! How do you expect him to do that on his own?!”

    Son: *standing there embarrassed and looking like a kicked puppy*

    (I gave him a sympathetic look, and then decided I was better off coming back later!)

    Inappropriate Gaymes

    | ON, Canada | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    (My mom is a daycare teacher with kids aged two to five in one area of the centre. In another area there’s a before- and after-school program for kids aged six to twelve. They’re doing a games day, and are making signs for it. My mom goes to their room to talk to one of the teachers. A lot of the children had her as their teacher when they were little, so they know her.)

    Children: “Ms. [Mom], Ms. [Mom], come look at our signs!”

    (My mom looks at the painted banners, each with the name of a different game or event, e.g. Three Legged Race, Sack Race, etc. Everything is fine until she gets to the banner for the Capture the Flag game.)

    Mom: “Um… how did you make these signs, guys?”

    Children: “Well each person got to draw and colour in our letter.”

    Mom: *calls for the older kid’s teacher* “Did you proof-read these signs?”

    Other Teacher: “No. Why?”

    Mom: *points at the sign which should read CAPTURE THE FLAG, but is missing the letter ‘L.’*

    Other Teacher: “Oh, my gosh!”

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