Category: Math & Science


Has Only 500 Millibrains

| Laval, QC, Quebec | Employees, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

(I go look for an electric adaptor I need for an item I ordered from abroad. Upon my arrival, the girl working the floor asks me if I need help.)

Me: “Yes, thank you. I need a 5 amps adaptor, please.”

(She kindly shows me place where all the adaptors are and hands me a package.)

Employee: “This is what you need.”

(I look at the packaging, and it reads “500 mA.”)

Me: “Huh, miss, this is not 5 amps; it’s 500 milliamps.”

(Never mind the fact that I am a mechanical engineer and I am well versed in the use of prefixes, but I chose not to rub my education in her face today.)

Employee: “Sure it is; mA is a fraction of an A, and 500 mA is 5 A. It’s like in the kitchen. 500 milliliters is a full liter.”

Me: *after a few seconds speechless* “Sorry; I’ll go somewhere else…”


Knowledge Is Power

| UK | Employees, Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Technology

(The broadband Internet fails. I call the help line, which happens to be in India.)

Helpline: “Has anything moved in the house?”

Me: “Only the electrons in the wires.”

Helpline: “Can you put them back to see if that fixes the problem?”



, | ME, USA | Crazy Requests, Employees, Health & Body, Math & Science

(I work in the laboratory of a major hospital. Part of my duties as a lab assistant is to determine if a specimen is acceptable for testing. I’ve received a specimen in a pediatric tube with a testing request that can only be done with the amount obtainable in an adult tube. I call the floor to let the nurse know we can’t run it.)

Me: “Hey are you the nurse for [Patient]? We can run [Test #1] on the tube you sent but [Test #2] requires two milliliters more blood.”

Nurse: “Oh, geez. Okay, I’ll let the doc know and see if they still want it. Thanks.”

(At this point he hangs up. Not even five minutes later, the physician calls.)

Me: “Laboratory, can I help you?”

Doctor: “Yeah, why don’t you run [Test #2]?”

Me: “We can’t run it on this specimen; the minimum amount for the test is two milliliters.”

Doctor: “Well, can’t you LOWER the minimum? This is a child we’re talking about!”

(At this point I’m stunned. Yes, doc, I’m going to bend the rules of science just for you.)

Me: “I… no, we can’t lower a minimum. We need more blood to do this test.”

Doctor: “Well, it’s a child and they’re in critical care!”

Me: “I understand but we literally cannot work with this little amount of blood; I’m sorry.”

(He finally hung up in a fury.)


Dazed By A Dozen

Newport, Wales, UK | At The Checkout, Employees, Math & Science

(In the UK, stamps tend to come in books of twelve or six, otherwise known as a half a dozen or a dozen.)

Me: “Can I have half a dozen second class stamps.”

Cashier: “Er… we have only twelve or six.”

Me: “I guess I’ll have the book of six…”

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