...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Monday, March 28, 2011

parents, hug your children close...

The following is a verbatim exchange between a me and a customer I had the pleasure of helping today during my bookstore shift. The part of me will be played by me. The part where I said I had the pleasure of helping her is because, for the most part, I did because that's my job, but mostly it's because it feels like that's what I'm supposed to say. And then I'm supposed to try and sell you a discount membership.

On with the show!

Me: "Here you are, one copy of Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales. Is there anything else I can help with today?"

Customer: "I don't think so, no. Thank you for your help."

Me: "You're welcome. Please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with today!"

Customer: "You know, there is something you might be able to help me with."

Me: "I'll certainly try! What is it?"

Customer: "Is Beatrix Potter related to Harry Potter?"

Me: ".........."

Customer: ".........."

Me: "..........Um.........."

Customer: ".........."

Sidebar - I've been at this gig long enough to know I shouldn't even begin to doubt people are giving me a hard time when they ask me things like this. It's a little trick I've employed since the Great Request for MC Hammer's Greatest Hits Incident of Ought 7 (secondary sidebar - remember when I used to write all my posts in lowercase? good times. good, good times...), but honestly, when faced with this particular question, my mouth wasn't saying "Seriously?" but my face likely was.

Back to the show!

My face: "Seriously?"

Customer: ".........."

Me: "Well, no, in fact, Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter are not related when you take into account Beatrix Potter was a real person and Harry Potter is actually a fictional character."

Customer: "Oh! OH! Hahahahahahaha....ha...ha...um, so I guess I'm done in this area now."

Me: "Have a great day!"

My brain: "You're totally going to write about this, aren't you?"

Me: "Duh!"

And so I did, and you're all probably thinking that's enough, as well as "What a great story!" and "People are wacky!" and perhaps "Thanks for sharing!"

But wait! There's more!

Several minutes later, I was walking through the main sales floor when I spotted this particular customer at the cash registers, so I stepped over to ring out her purchases. As I was preparing to tell her her total, this is what she said:

Customer: "Oh, wait! I have this!"

This? This was one of our educator discount cards. Let me capitalize every letter in those three words for you to emphasize my point - EDUCATOR DISCOUNT CARD. Now let me put an exclamation point between each of those capitalized words to just be annoying - EDUCATOR! DISCOUNT! CARD!

She was an educator. An individual charged with educating children like yours and mine during a large portion of any given week day. And she was completely, absolutely not ironically unaware that Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter are not, in fact, related.

You're welcome, pretty much every other country in the entire world.


In a related note, when I asked my oldest son what he did today in his Careers class, this is what he told me:

My son: "We watched 'Dirty Jobs.'"

Me: "You did what?

My son: We watched 'Dirty Jobs.'"

Me: "Let me see if I understand this. You watched a TV show????"

My son: "Yeah. We've done that, like, three or four times. Hey, have you ever seen the episode where he makes pooh pots?"

YES! Yes, I have seen the episode where Mike Rowe, the host of 'Dirty Jobs' makes pooh pots because I have both a high school and college education (and I work for just over minimum wage at a book store, so hahahahaha, who's the self-important smart one writing this post, hmmm?), and because I'm not in school, a place where I assumed there's learning to be done and tests to be taken, I can sit down on a Tuesday night and enjoy an episode of 'Dirty Jobs' after all my work is done and there's not a grade hinging on it. Hell, if I don't get to an episode right away, I can store up five or six hours worth of it on my DVR and take what might likely be considered a masters course in it when I watch them all over a rainy Saturday afternoon (and if that's the case, I just wrote my dissertation on 'Desperate Housewives' last weekend)(also, why am I still watching 'Desperate Housewives'?).

My kid watches TV in lieu of learning things in school (sigh...) that will help him focus on his future career goals. Considering his dream is to be a NBA superstar, I guess I should stop complaining about the hours he spends watching 'SportsCenter.' He's obviously going to be my meal ticket when I'm older.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait...they aren't related?!? My whole world view is completely changed.

The only movie I remember watching in school was "Schindler's List" and since I had to leave the classroom because I was bawling my eyes out I'm pretty sure it's not quite as cool as "Dirty Jobs".

Monday, March 28, 2011 9:10:00 PM  
Blogger Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Oh my goodness. I don't know what to say.

Monday, March 28, 2011 9:28:00 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Well, obviously, she doesn't teach literature.

'Cuz it would just be way too scary if she did. . .

Monday, March 28, 2011 9:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

Maybe she teaches a technical class?

And I will give you a hard time about Desperate Housewives when I fully commit to never watching another episode of Private Practice (BTW I've stayed strong all season - so you may be hearing from me soon).

Monday, March 28, 2011 9:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kyddryn said...

The first books I learned to read were Beatrix Potter. I liked Squirrel Nutkin best, but Pigling Bland and Mister Fox were right up there.

I have learned a ton from Dirty Jobs...mostly which jobs I am happy I'll never have.

Your customer? Another reason I'm glad I home school.

Shade and Sweetwater,

Monday, March 28, 2011 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

heheh.. maybe she's the won larnin' yer suns klass, and he's'll grow up to be an edumakator?

Monday, March 28, 2011 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

Oh, and by the way... you mean they're NOT related??? Shattered me!

Monday, March 28, 2011 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

Wait... How does Colonel Potter from M*A*S*H* fit in to the relations?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 4:26:00 AM  
Blogger 1blueshi1 said...

My daughter's favorite part of her second grade curriculum is Martha Speaks. When she told me I thought perhaps her teacher had some sort of weird uber housekeeping fetish but no. Martha is a talking dog on an animated television show. I watched my dreams of her doctoral dissertation defense go up in smoke that day, FADKOG...maybe she'll be tall enough for the WNBA???

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:28:00 AM  
Blogger Bethany said...

Whoa. There is MORE than one branch of Potters out there?! Wow. An educator?! Whoa. Yeeks.
My kids have come home reporting that they watched Clifford, Curious George, and The Magic Schoolbus - which gets points for having the word school in it! Yahoo! The only day I don't mind movies is when it is around Christmas and they watch Polar Express and have cocoa.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 7:25:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

And don't forget miserly Mr. Potter from 'It's a Wonderful Life'. . . And I had a physics professor named Potter. . .

WordVer = 'ethoo'; an ethnic sneeze?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That educator? Scary. Glad my kids are over an done with school.

Speaking of which - when my kids WERE in school, they had the distinct honor of attending classes with one "Harry Potter" - fer reals. Kid's name was Harrison Potter. He is old enough to have been born & named before Rowling sprung HER Harry Potter on the world. Poor kid . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:48:00 AM  
Blogger tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

I totally want to do the whole Potter thing at a bookstore now.

With a straight face.

I am ok with tv for school but then again I homeschool and think that grades are for suckers.

But that's just me. ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:39:00 AM  
Blogger SciFi Dad said...

This post frightened me on so many levels.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Cat said...

I don't know about the US but here in the good ol' Province of Quebec, you're not allowed to fail a student anymore. The report cards are no longer allowed to have grading on them (so what they have on them now I have no idea. My guess? Cartoon photos of puppies, bunnies and rainbows.) So watching TV in class? I'm not surprised. Heaven forbid there be enough money to supply textbooks to all the children in a classroom.

That educator? She probably graduated from the new system in Canada where people aren't allowed to fail and are just admitted to the next grade with a smile and a nod. You should just be happy she could even read!

Meanwhile? This post really made me miss my bookshop days so badly. I wish I didn't need the money that my stupid day job barely pays me so that I could go back to my old store and deal with things like this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Logical Libby said...

I wish I could say I'm surprised. I really wish I could.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

Lets just hope she is a math teacher.

Or Sex Ed.

My oldest is at university. She posted ON TWITTER during class that they were watching random youtube clips in class while she taught her teacher how to use Twitter.

I want a freaking refund.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 1:51:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

Wait ... is there an ep of Dirty Jobs that doesn't contain pooh in some way, shape or form?

Friday, April 01, 2011 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger justmakingourway said...

"You're welcome, pretty much every other country in the entire world."

That line made me laugh out loud! After getting freaky about the educator thing, I needed that.

I love Dirty Jobs. Actually, I may just love Mike Rowe. Sigh.

Friday, April 01, 2011 3:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Bejewell said...

This whole post is just made of sad.

Sunday, April 03, 2011 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

You know, I realize there are plenty of really good teachers out there, but........my kids watch videos CONSTANTLY at school. My son's World History teacher literally only teaches one day a week. It's ridiculous.

Sunday, April 03, 2011 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger lime said...


dear god in heaven, this....THIS is one of the reasons i cannot seek employment in this field. i am a certified teacher but this is the sort of shit that would make me merely certifiable. i would have to bitch slap any colleague so stupid as to think beatrix and harry are related (and yes, i say stupid because ignorance denote mere unawareness, whereas stupidity denotes someone one who has had many opportunities to remedy ignorance yet has failed to do so....really? an author and a title character of a work of fiction? really? even if you've never read either one you ought to have the reasoning skills to figure that out and if you don't you have no business teaching children).

oh and the showing of hollywood movies as an alleged educational activity....don't...get...me..started...my kids can tell you how i can rant at length on that utterly lazy excuse for doing a job. yes i know dirty jobs isn't a hollywood movie but my kids have been subjected to way too many of them and it irks me no end. do your damn job, teachers. from one who left the ranks.

Sunday, April 03, 2011 5:03:00 PM  
Blogger WILLIAM said...

There is a character named Beatrix in the Harry Potter series. I can totally see how she would confuse them.

It is the same way I confuse Oscar the Grouch and Oscar Wilde

Monday, April 04, 2011 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

I was going to come here tonight and respond to each of you lovely people, but apparently, someone who shall not be named just got suckered into helping with the Andrew Jackson essay after all. I'm not saying who that someone is, but someone.

OK, if you guessed that someone is me, you're right. I am. Dammit!

But I'll hopefully be back...hopefully...for now, someone has to go google up some 411 on Andrew Jackson.

Monday, April 04, 2011 7:53:00 PM  
Blogger Bex said...

Beatrix Potter and I have the same birthday. But Renee Zelwegger does not. (that's just a cool factoid I almost never get to share).

As for that educator. My head shakes in shame.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 3:38:00 PM  
Anonymous louis vuitton replica handbags said...

I agree with you she could,nt teach them because she is much scary about that

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 1:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Princess Hippopotamus said...

BAHAHAHAHAHA best post ever. I work at a University Library and you wouldn't believe the stuff professors ask me. Then again sometimes they ask me for things and when I ask them to spell it they look at me like I'm retarded so I guess we all have our moments.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 3:54:00 PM  

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