The Dentist
I came in like a wrecking ball. Like a bad attitude in a bad suit. Like a minimum wage employee with minimum fucks to give. Casual employee – casual attitude. I’d worked at the airport for two years by this point, and took the news that I was transferring to a different store, over at the other end of the airport, with little-to-no interest. ‘A shitty leopard can’t change its shitty spots’ I probably said to myself, doing a wicked ‘grind’ on my ‘skateboard’ or something similarly indicative of rebellion in that show, Degrassi Junior High. I’ve never been on a skateboard, FYI.

On my first day in the new store, I discovered that Mega C (as the store was called) was actually an entirely different animal to Mega B. If Mega B was a shitty leopard, then Mega C was a gormless elderly cow who liked to lick electric fences and was scared of big flowers. Everyone was super friendly in Mega C. They made me feel welcome and inquired about my well-being. The manager invited me into her office to ‘get to know me’, rather than to yell at me for telling lies to businessmen. Our lunch breaks were sprawling hour and a half affairs. It was a weird utopia, which I gradually relaxed into, like someone who didn’t expect to be in a spa-bath, relaxes into their surprise spa-bath.

But it wasn’t to last: the entire reason I’d been transferred in the first place was as a vanguard for Mega B. Like an aggressive tumour, or a burst sewage pipe, Mega B was going to expand all the way around the airport until it had reached Mega C, swallowing it up and incorporating it into one super evil hybrid leopard-cow. The staff in Mega C were worried that things would change, and when they asked me what it was like in the other store, I would just stare into the distance, trembling.

And while that did actually come to pass, a freeway being built right through a sleepy farming community, Mega C was broken well before then – and it was because of me. Chatting one day in the tech department, I told the guys that I’d recently bought a Nintendo DS, and was looking forward to playing Pokemon on it. One of the guys was like ‘Oh, you know, I can put like, 200 games on one card for you, it will just cost you $50 for the card’. And I was like, ‘that’s great value!’

The next week, I walked into the store and wandered over and gave the dude the money, and wondered why he looked so uncomfortable. It was only when he was fired the next day for conducting illegal business transactions on the store floor, that I realised that what we were doing wasn’t actually a legal thing. The police got involved, and several more people were fired, as a black-market ring was apparently flourishing in several sections. The store was riven apart by suspicion and doubt. There were grim rumours of a ‘narc’ who had dobbed in all these people – these employees who nearly all supported large families and came from lower socio-economic backgrounds. But it wasn’t a narc, it was me. I was the gormless cow, gormlessly wandering in the crime pastures, sleepily ruining everything for everyone else. 



What? What? 
After years of suspecting I suffer a form of number-specific retardation, I’ve decided that I am actually the opposite of maths. Maths is all about creating unity and order and logical sense in a proceeding, and I’m about not understanding it. 
If Suzy has three oranges and boards a train at London, how many oranges will she have left in Paris if she eats one every four seconds and touches a penguin incessantly with her giant meaty hands?
3>4 + penguin = 100% ordinary.
I just don’t understand Suzy’s motivation – do I find myself moved? No. Am I intrigued? Well, yeah, it’s the classic story premise. Girl meets oranges, girl loses oranges. Girl crosses continents on a magic sea-crossing train in search of oranges, but finds love with an unhappy penguin instead. It’s a great film.
When sometimes A doesn’t equal B, and C is the answer you least expect…
Starring Jennifer Aniston as Suzy, Jack Nicholson as three oranges
and Hugh Jackman as ‘Steamy’ the unhappy train.
One of the more terrifying experience in my day to day life is having to pay for things. I have giant collections of coins because it is too hard for me to count in the necessary time. 
I used to have to do maths tutoring when I was in high school, because I could barely scrape through my class. One of them had a system where you played a bunch of computer games which were maths related. I think the idea was to appeal to Gen Y’s inability to focus on anything that isn’t bright and flashy and interactive, as if the problem isn’t a pathological inability to understand sequences and logic. But I remember the look of dull incomprehension on one of my tutors faces as I piloted my pixelated maths car off the cliff time and time again, because I couldn’t grasp what arbitrary system of logic they were working from. In what world does it make sense to utilise numbers in this fashion? Apart from ours, I suppose.
Strangely enough, the one type of maths I was any good at was algebra, possibly because there were a few letters thrown in to make me feel comfortable.
By the time I was in year 10, I quit maths, which usually involved a bunch of teacher/parent/principal related hoops to jump through. But strangely enough, everybody thought it was for the best.
I’m big enough to realise that the problem is with me, and not with maths. Thousands of people around the world probably have a great time adding and subtracting things, and god forbid, divide things. But not me. Nah, screw that. Maths is at fault and needs to shape up or ship out.
Meanwhile, there have been two cases in my life where people have honestly thought I was a special needs person, and this is the far less dramatic of the cases.
While working retail, a customer gave me a twenty dollar note and then, after realising however much the trinket she’d bought cost, then gave me an extra $3.50. The bauble was like, $8. I just looked at the money in my hands for about two minutes, before saying softly “I’m not equipped for this.” The customer went to complain to a manager, saying that they don’t mind equal opportunity etc, but I should have somebody with me to supervise.
I don’t really have any hilarious and witty stories about maths. I just suck at it. It’s a fact.
0.5/5  (I like bridges)