Willing To Leave Over A Cup Of Coffee

| Australia | Coworkers, Job Seekers

(I recently took up an IT position at a school. As the previous guy left due to a family emergency, they had to advertise the job as temporary to get by to the end of the year. To keep the job for next year, I have to reapply. The job has been advertised in the local newspaper and a few of the other staff have noticed and been asking if it’s because I’m leaving.)

Me: *getting up from the lunch table while talking to a Coworker #1*

Coworker #2: “Are you leaving us, [My Name]?”

Me: “No… I’m just getting coffee. I’ll be back in a second.”

(Turned out she meant the job advertisement.)


Never Bug The IT Guy

| Australia | Pun, Technology

(I’m the only IT person in the school, and as I only work one day a week I don’t have a designated work area, so I work out of the staff room. Today I have a collection of laptops setup on a bench running diagnostic tests. It is lunch time and I am eating lunch nearby with a few of the teachers.)

Teacher: “Is that a cockroach?!”

(We all look over and see a cockroach crawling around on a laptop.)

Me: “Well, it IS my job to get bugs OUT of the computers.”

Stuff The Translation

| Japan | Coworkers, Language & Words, Lazy/Unhelpful, School

(I’m an American working as an assistant language teacher in Japan. I work with multiple JTEs, or Japanese teachers of English, in teaching English at junior high schools. I’m not allowed to speak Japanese during English class, so many JTEs take it upon themselves to translate my words for me when the students absolutely cannot understand and make repeated incorrect guesses. One particular JTE, however, is adamant about never translating for me, even when the students become so confused that the lesson cannot progress. This has been going on for a couple of months when this lesson takes place. The Japanese are, as a whole, very strict in terms of cleanliness and preventing the spread of germs and sickness.)

Me: *holding up a stuffed animal* “This is a dog!”

Students: *in Japanese, to one another* “That’s not a dog. That’s a toy.”

Me: “Correct! This is a stuffed animal. It LOOKS like a dog, but it isn’t a dog. What does “stuffed” mean in Japanese?”

(The students give various guesses.)

Me: “I’ll give you a hint.” *I rub my stomach* “Mmmm, I’m so stuffed!” *I place a bunch of books inside a basket and make a show of trying to squish them down to fit* “This basket is STUFFED with books!”

(After several awkward minutes of me trying to make them understand and not succeeding, I glance desperately at the JTE. The students, too, look to the JTE for an explanation. The JTE pointedly looks away, and that’s when I’ve had enough.)

Me: “Okay, fine.”

(I take the grammar worksheet that the JTE has made, wad it into an enormous ball, and without hesitation stuff the whole thing into my mouth.)

Students: “WHAAAAAT?”

JTE: *nervously* “Um… hold on…”

(I remove the ball, which has become a giant spit wad, and plonk it down onto the JTE’s desk, much to his utter horror.)

Me: “Get it now? I STUFFED the paper into my mouth! My mouth is STUFFED with paper!”

(Finally, it dawns on one of my students what I’m talking about.)

Student: *in Japanese* “…stuffed?”

Me: “YES! Thank you!”

JTE: “Um…”

Me: *already moving on to the next object* “Okay, next! What’s this?”

(The lesson continues without further incident, except that the JTE keeps staring at the spit wad on his desk. After class gets out, I throw the spit wad away then kindly wipe down his desk to remove the traces of spit. Maybe next time he’ll translate for me.)