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    And After They Labored Over The Schedule

    | Japan | Coworkers, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (I am an American living in small town in Japan working as an English language assistant teacher. In one of the schools I work at a Filipino family has moved into town within the past year with three kids in the school system. The mother is currently seven months pregnant. They are fluent in English, but sometimes require a bit of translation for Japanese. I’m often called in to help explain paperwork, school procedure, or to be a go between the parents and the Japanese teachers. They have one child with special needs and the school has organized to have them tour a special needs school nearby. The day they are scheduled to visit the pregnant mother calls the school. They hand me the phone.)

    Me: “Hello?”

    Mother: “Hello. This is [Mother]. I’m calling to say we won’t be able to make it to the meeting today. I’ve gone into early labor.”

    (Concerned as the baby is so early and trying to get her off the phone as quickly as I can so she can get back to it.)

    Me: “Oh! I’m sure it will be fine. I will explain everything to them. Just focus on yourself and the baby and I hope it all goes well!”

    Mother: “Thank you!” *hangs up*

    Administration: *in Japanese* “Well? What did she say?”

    Me: “It looks like she has gone into early labor and they will not be able to make it to the school tour today. I hope everything goes well. She’s not due for another two months.”

    Administration: “WHAT?! She’s not going to make the tour?”

    Me: *thinking maybe my translation was off, I try explaining again* “No, she’s in labor… The baby is coming… right now!”

    Administration: “They can’t do this! We made arrangements! There was a schedule!”

    Me: *one last ditch attempt* “She’s in the hospital. She can’t come. Her family is with her.”

    Administration: “They can’t do this!”

    Me: *walks away*

    Out Of Control Birth Control

    , | MI, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (The health center at my school is notorious for being birth control pushers. I go in to get my sore throat checked out, since I am worried it might be strep.)

    Me: “Hi. I’m [Name] and I’m here for a 1 pm appointment with [Nurse].”

    Receptionist: “Oh, you must be here for birth control!”

    Me: “No, actually—”

    Receptionist: “The pill? Yeah, they can hook you up after a quick exam.”

    Me: “No. I’m here for—”

    Receptionist: “Or the nurse can teach you about spermicide! Or diaphragms!”

    Me: “Actually I’m already on—”

    Receptionist: “I think your best bet is the pill though. It’s the most effective and can be paired up with condoms!”

    Me: *hoarse yelling* “STOP. AS IT SAYS IN MY CHART, I’M ALREADY ON THE PILL. I’m here for a sore throat!”

    Receptionist: “Oh. OH. You’re [Name]! It’s my 1:30 who is here for birth control!”

    (They examined me and told me I had mono, which ended up being wrong. On my way out, I saw a very uncomfortable-looking girl.)

    Me: “Good luck.”

    Girl: “Umm… thanks.”

    Receptionist: “WAIT, [My Name]! DON’T FORGET A BAGGIE OF CONDOMS!”

    Killed By A Freudian Slip

    | Schenectady, NY, USA | Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Language & Words

    (I am on the phone with my supervisor.)

    Supervisor: “[New Employee I haven’t met] won’t be in today. She was in a fatal car accident.”

    (My heart almost stops.)

    Me: “WHAT?!?”

    Supervisor: “Yeah, she’ll be starting in a few days.”

    Me: “[Supervisor], you scared me. I think someone needs to tell you what ‘fatal’ means!”

    This Boss Makes Your Head Spin

    | Toyama, Japan | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (I’ve just been discharged from the hospital after being hit by a car, which rendered me unconscious for half a day. The next morning I call my boss, who is fully aware of the accident and hospitalization.)

    Me: “Hello, [boss?] I’m afraid I won’t be in to work today, I’m still feeling very dizzy and having vertigo. The lesson plans are all on my desk, so—”

    Boss: “Wait, you’re not coming in?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry but I can’t. I doubt I’ll be ready to come in Friday, either, but I’ll try to be back by Monday.”

    Boss: “But once you’re here, all you have to do is sit at your desk. Now the other teachers are going to have to do your work for you. Are you sure you can’t come in?”

    Me: “No… I just suffered a significant brain injury. I’m still dizzy and I can’t walk straight. I don’t think it would be safe for me to try to get into work in this state.”

    Boss: “If you cared about your job, you would come in! I can’t believe you’re so selfish!” *hangs up*

    The Seoul Believer Of That Conspiracy Theory

    | Incheon, South Korea | Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers

    (My friend and fellow language school teacher are walking the streets on the way to movie and pizza.  He’s makes an observation.)

    Coworker: “You seem to make all Korean people happy. ”

    Me: “…What?”

    Coworker: “All the Koreans that look at me kind of scowl, and then they look at you and smile.”

    Me: “That might be because you tend to scowl at people, and I tend to smile?”

    Coworker: “Okay, but our bosses get you tons of help. Like that vacation for your family reunion; you know you could have gotten a full ten weeks. And they’re practically trying to set up your love life. Why is that?”

    Me: “I do lots of extra stuff for them. Plus, I don’t tend to worry about whether the Koreans are plotting against me.”

    Coworker: “Huh. Maybe that’s it…”


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