It doesn’t add up!

Maths equation = no dinner

The end of GCSEs is thankfully on the horizon for many, so in support of our teens going through it at the moment, here are three questions that always pop up in our grown-up world:

The Numbers Quiz

Okay, so maths has never been my strong point, but here’s an equation that just doesn’t add up, so can someone please explain: On Wednesday, Mary goes to the supermarket and spends up to £100 on groceries. The fridge is full and nodding matily to its friend, the snack cupboard, who winks back and give a thumbs up. But come Friday and the kids get home from school there is nothing left in the cupboard and Mary is scrabbling around at the back of the freezer trying to find something (anything! 😳) she has ‘prepared earlier’ (as if! She’s just not one of those mums, remember). 😭 Answers to this connundrum please on our comments page. (There will be a prize of a squishy brown banana for the best response.)

The ‘Odds-on This Always Happens’ Equation:

Take your bets, please, ladies and gents: in percentage terms, how likely is it that at exactly the moment your own kids are acting feral in public, you – harassed, red, sweating – will look up and see the perfect Von Trapp family with its cherub-like offspring giving you the snooty one-raised eyebrow treatment, a book titled Brain Games for Clever Kids smugly sticking out of Mother Dearest’s tote bag? (Aren’t all kids clever? They’re certainly manipulative!) We’ll give you the answer to this, as if you didn’t know: it happens 100% of the time. ‘Course it does.

The Aural Comprehension Test:

This is a listening exercise: try it next time you have to phone Apple Support, Amazon, or any technical department of a worldwide corporation. You’ve dialled up, tapped through the various buttons until you finally….FINALLY… get through to an actual human being to talk to. But hang on… is it an actual human being, or is it in fact a robot? Because first there’s the staccato speech. ‘HELLO-MAD-AM. YOU-ARE-SPEAKING-TO- *Indecipherable – possibly a code number* TODAY. HOW-MAY-I-HELP-YOU?’ And then after the sort of autoscript-you’re-not-sure-you’re-listening-to-a-recording-or-not voice, it throws you by asking a question. Oh, it IS a human voice, you decide, but then you make some silly mistake, faff about saying, ‘Oooh, the serial number? Umm, silly me, I don’t seem to be able to find that…er… let me just get my reading glasses…’ and there isn’t the affirmation of a sympathetic, or even fed-up human reaction. So you try to make a little joke. ‘A-ha-ha’ you might say in a jaunty tone, ‘I know those glasses must be in my bag somewhere… I know I had them only yesterday… trouble is, I need them to find them, a-ha-ha-ha… Oh! They’re on my head!’ Big fat nothing on the other end. Come on, even SIRI has the temerity to give you a bit of backchat. But no, these beings are polite, they deal with your problem, they are uncannily effective in sorting out your problem, they don’t tend to transfer you or put you on hold. And at the end of your call, no matter how much trouble you’ve been, in the same staccato tone, they tell you they really enjoyed speaking with you today and wish you a good day. And that’s surely the big giveaway isn’t it – for no mere mortal customer service operator is ever that happy to have dealt with you, surely?

Computer_says_no 2

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