Category: Ignoring/Inattentive

Blind To Your Blindness

| Retford, England, UK | Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive, Teachers

(No one likes the chemistry teacher because of her ignorance. We are currently doing an experiment where two chemicals are mixed together to make different colors. We are expected to remember what chemicals are mixed to get each colour.)

Student: “Miss, I’m colorblind.”

Teacher: “Well, just remember what it looks like, then.”

Student: “But they all look the same.”

Teacher: “Just remember, then!”


Their Understanding Of The Problem Is A Bit Floppy

| BC, Canada | Ignoring/Inattentive, Technology

(It is the mid ‘80s and I have just finished a two-year computer programming diploma program. I am on a short-term work contract with a provincial government agency to do a few projects for them. This is the days of 5-1/4 inch floppy drives. The computer assigned to me has a strange fault where periodically it makes an odd VRRT… VRRT… VRRT… sound and corrupts the diskette in the primary drive. I quickly learn to back-up… back-up… back-up… at about twenty-minute intervals. I also report it to my immediate supervisor.)

Me: “[Manager], my computer has a malfunction and periodically makes a strange noise and clobbers the diskette in the drive.”

Manager: “Are you sure it has a problem?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Okay, I’ll call someone to check on it.”

(About a week later I am supposed to show Manager my progress to date. Also, no one has come to check on the computer.)

Me: “All right, I’ll show you what I’ve got working so far.”

(I start running the skeleton program I’ve developed so far.)

Computer: “VRRT… VRRT… VRRT…”

Me: “Oh, rats. The disk just got clobbered. I’ll have to make a copy from a back-up and then show you.”

Manager: “Your work doesn’t look too promising, but I’m busy and I’ll check back with you later.”

Me: “Could you get someone to look at the computer?”

Manager: *making face* “I’ll check into it.”

(A few days later a special trainer is flown in from Vancouver to teach the clerks in the office how to use a brand new word processing machine. She is put up in the best hotel in town. She comes in on her first morning and is instructing the first group of people. They are using my computer as I have lowest priority in the office so I am just standing nearby watching. She has loaded the program and is about five minutes into the training.)

Computer: “VRRT… VRRT… VRRT…”

Me: “Um… Do you have a copy of that word processing program?”

Instructor: “Well, of course not; it costs $1800 per package and they are only going to give me one.”

Me: “Well… The computer just ate your program disk.”

Instructor: “Don’t be silly; computers don’t do that.”

(She tries to go to the next screen and the program crashes when it tries to read the drive.)

Instructor: “Don’t worry, ladies, this sometimes happens. I’ll just reboot.”

(Screen displays disk error when she tries to reboot.)

Instructor: *turning to me* “What is wrong with this machine?”

Me: “Did you hear it when it went VRRT… VRRT… VRRT…? That was when it was eating your disk. You will not be able to continue with your instructing.”

(I got a new computer.)


Back-Breaking Rule

| UK | Ignoring/Inattentive, Teachers

(My school has just past a ridiculous uniform rule, punishable by detention and letters home; you cannot wear your bag on your back indoors. It is fully agreed among most teachers and students that it serves no purpose, but senior staff are unusually strict about it. I am carrying in a very delicate art project and of course can’t carry my bag as well.)

Senior Staff: “HEY! You! Get that bag off your back now!”

(I struggle to put down the art project as I take off my bag, but cannot physically carry them both.)

Me: “Sir, I can’t carry them both without risking damage to my project.”

Senior Staff: “I don’t care about your project! You have to fit uniform standards. Take it off.”

(Shocked by this, I take off my bag and have no choice but to leave it outside by the door, just as another person from my class walks in holding another delicate project.)

Senior Staff: “Hey! What is it with you kids?!”

(When we got to class we were all late and had to stay behind all while having left our bags outside and this being England it starts to rain.)

Student #1: “Miss! Can I go and get my bag?”

Teacher: “NO! You have to stay here to make up the time you wasted getting here so late.”

Student #2: “But it was because—”

Teacher: “NO!”

(When we eventually got to our bags they were all soaked the way through, ruining all of our books. The senior staff never took responsibility and the head-teacher refused to admit the rule made things more difficult. A lot of us are still serving detention for “ruining school property.”)


Providing Some Medical Inattention

| Norway | Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

(I have recently moved from my hometown to attend university. Since I haven’t had a need for it, I haven’t changed my GP. However, I’ve recently had some stress-related issues, and my mum urges me to see a doctor. I go to the uni’s medical office. Note that we don’t pay tuition fees, but rather a small semester fee.)

Me: “Hi, I was wondering if it would be possible for me to see a doctor today?”

Receptionist: “Who’s your GP?”

Me: “Oh, I haven’t changed offices yet, so my GP is in [Hometown]. Is that a problem?”

Receptionist: “Well, to use our medical facilities it’s required that your GP is here. You can easily change that online.”

Me: “I didn’t know that. I could just as well talk to a student counselor, I suppose. It’s mostly anxiety related, anyway.”

(The conversation went back and forth like that for a minute, with her insisting that I needed to change GPs, and me saying that I didn’t know that, and that I only thought I would need this one conversation. I really like my current GP, and I still see her when I’m home if necessary.)

Receptionist: “I can see you’re not feeling too well. Give me your information, and I’ll set you up with one of our doctors today. And read this pamphlet telling you how to change GPs.”

Me: “Thank you. I’ll definitely look into that.”

(I went back to the waiting room, and decided to read the pamphlet. Pamphlet: “Every student who has paid their semester fee is welcome to use our medical facilities.”)


Not Playing Around With That Playground

| MD, USA | Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Teachers

(My school is for people with emotional and behavioral issues caused by their diagnosis, not people with intellectual disabilities. It’s for things like Aspergers and ADHD, people who will be able to live independently and go to college if they want, but the public school system can’t properly prepare them. There’s a playground out back with a basketball half-court that teachers take their classes to sometimes. One of the first days of ninth grade is nice, so my new class all heads out to the playground. Everyone else splits into a basketball game, and I head to the swings.)

Teacher #1: “Excuse me! You’re not allowed to be there!”

Me: “What? Me? Where? Why?”

Teacher #1: “You’re in [Teacher #2]’s class, right? High schoolers aren’t allowed on the playground.”

Me: “Why not?”

Teacher #1: “You’re too old. Regular high schoolers don’t have playgrounds, so in this school high-schoolers can’t use the playground.”

Me: “Yeah… but… he took us all out here.”

Teacher #1: “You can use the basketball court, but not the playground. When you’re a grown-up, you can’t do these sorts of things anymore. You’re going to have to learn this eventually.”

Me: “So what am I supposed to do?”

Teacher #1: “You can play basketball with your friends.”

Me: “The other students in my class harass and bully me. They don’t want to play with me and I don’t want to play with them.”

Teacher #1: “I’m sorry, but you can’t use the playground.”

(I spend the rest of the recess sitting on the curb by the blacktop. The next time the teachers bring us out, I grab my book.)

Teacher’s Assistant: “You can’t bring anything with you outside.”

Me: “I just want something to do.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “You’re going outside to get exercise.”

Me: “How can I get exercise when I can’t use the playground or the blacktop?”

Teacher’s Assistant: “You’re allowed to use the blacktop.”

Me: “Whenever I’m near them all the other kids mock and belittle me. I don’t want to be on the blacktop and have everyone just throw basketballs at me and shout about how I’m a crybaby r****d. That’s not something I should have to put up with.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “Then think of something else to do.”

Me: “I did.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “You can’t bring things outside with you.”

(Thankfully it got cold soon enough so we spent all of lunch inside.)

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