The dumbest thing(s) your teacher/employer has ever done

I’m sure lots of people have stories about stupid things their teachers or employers have done. So out with 'em!

I had an English/world history teacher who was absolutely moronic. Whenever someone would ask her a question, she’d get that blank-stare-I-don’t-know-anything look on her face. Just a couple of things:

Once, in 2000, I answered a question with “eight thousand years ago.” Nope - she said the correct answer was 6000 BC (an approximate date at best).

She says that Anne Frank isn’t famous, because she died. :confused: And she didn’t mean famous during her life, either.

She’d bring a tape to class for us to watch, and fast-forward through nearly everything. Once she brought in Gladiator for us to see the battle scenes (this was in world history, obviously)…and then she skipped the fighting.

My supervisor for a job I worked in the mid 90s believed:

If you dont have it turned off at the breaker, or something pluged into it, electricity leaks out of electric plug in points. <ok, so it does at the quantum level…but that isnt what he means>

They call it going down south because sea level is lower the closer you are to the equator…

The way to transit into the sea north of the Bering strait and not get lost is to keep the constellation called the Southern Cross over your left shoulder…

All negroid and mongoloid babies can instinctively swim from birth and therefore can not drown, an any time you hear of one dying in a bathtub/swimming pool it was murder not accidental…

That all televisions with cable tv hooked up are actually transmitting the sound in the room back to a room where it is taped so the government can tell if you are plotting something…

That if he were to be dropped into communist china, and was in danger all he would have to do is use his spiffy secret grand hailing sign of distress and there would be masons there to help him no matter what boneheaded stunt he pulled…

Once, in my undergrad studies at the University of Pittsburgh, the chair of the Computer Engineering department said during the ‘computer organization’ class he taught, in response to a question:

We were astonished.

Jeez, if I worked for someone THAT stupid, I’d quit. The last thing I need is for my income and livelihood to be in the hands of an idiot.

My 9th grade Earth Science teacher liked to show us random pointless videos (such as Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and, I kid you not, for 5 straight minutes). One day, he was showing us something a little more on topic: a documentary on tornadoes. The narrator was talking about the damage caused by a tornado in Arkansas back in the 80s. At one point, he said “…the tornado ripped hundreds of homes, causing over half a million dollars in damages.” Which prompted my teacher, who was sitting right behind my desk, to comment: “Been there, done that.”


Of course, this is the same guy who, when telling the class to step outside for an experiment, would remark “…and the last one out gets a spanking.” One day, he added onto that, saying “Someone make sure Peggy [best-looking girl in the class] is the last one out!” You know, coming from any other teacher in the school, that would’ve merited a firing at the very least, and probably a lawsuit to boot. But since it was this guy, we pretty much chalked it up to “Yeah, Mr. M is on crack”, and left it at that.

Dang it…narrator’s line in the above post was supposed to read “the tornado ripped through hundreds of homes”. Maybe I need to start using the Preview button twice :smack:

This is an actual fact, twisted into bizarro-land… all babies (what the heck would race have to do with it?) instinctively know to stop breathing when underwater. However, they’ll still drown if you just leave them there, as they can’t get back above water. However, you can take very very young infants, put them fully submerged in a pool for a few seconds, and they’ll be fine.

(Can’t find a cite, saw it in the Human Body IMAX film, may have the details slightly confused.)

In my microbiology class, we were discussing hookworms, and how they can burrow in through your feet.
A girl in the class then asked, “so is that what ringworm does, too?”
I snickered.
Then, the professor answered: “yeah, it can.”
Another girl asks, “so ringworm is actually a worm?”
Professor says, “yes.”

I cried.

I know that infants do the breathing thing…i saw a program on giving birth in a hot tub. Heck with giving birth in one, I want one on my deck to relax in…

But he was serious, they could swim from birth and if they were drowned it was murder, never an accident…they had to be held under water <boggle>

I would guess that it is also inherent with the <ahem> female anatomy being sideways in oriental women…they jist ain’t like us reglar folkses…

FWIW, I could never understand why anybody would think that any of the 3 subspecies of humans would be anatomically divergent other than natural variation…though I would purely love a chance to sit down and talk with a true hermaphrodite with full sized, fully functioning genitalia of both types…variety is nifty=)

I once had a french teacher in high school that wanted to show us some Looney Toons dubbed in French. Thing is … she bought some Road Runner cartoons. The ones that have no dialogue. And the signs that they hold up … still in English.

So basically, we were just watching cartoons.

I remember me and several other of my sixth grade classmates explaining to our teacher what “sentience” is.

And there was the Human Sexuality teacher in high school who told us that blue balls doesn’t exists.

This thread is better suited for In My Humble Opinion. I’ll move it for you.

Cajun Man
for the SDMB

I once spent forty-five minutes trying to convince my sixth-grade teacher that the platypus is a mammal. I was in tears by the time she finally caved enough to go get an encyclopedia and look the damned thing up.

Rotating shifts. Not quite as black-and-white as an instructor not knowing material relevant to the course they’re presenting, but nevertheless hard to fathom why somebody thought that a good idea.

I was a reactor operator in a chemical plant where I’d signed on as a graveyard shift person. Then someone in management got the bright idea to put us on rotating shifts. One week you worked the 7 AM to 3 PM shift, the next you worked the 3 PM to 11 PM shift and then the next week you worked the 11 PM to 7 AM shift.

Everybody’s sleep cycle was thoroughly screwed, and the plant became a dangerous place as very sleepy people were operating cranes, forklifts and reactors. Ambulances became a common site.

When we were studying AIDS, our instructor directed us to a website that had “a great wealth of information” about the subject. If anyone cared enough to visit the website, more people would know that the U.S. government developed HIV to keep the too successful Asian population down.

Since then, I have never questioned anyone’s experiences at school.


I had a history professor who insisted World War II wasn’t that important when it came to discussing World History Since 1650.

The history professor before that (Before 1650) spent most of the class covering Scotland, because he was one of those Tubby White Guys Who Think They’re Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod. You know the type.

We didn’t have enough people on the floor, so the cashiers would page for assistance. Management decided this made the customers think we were understaffed. So cashiers had to page codes instead. We didn’t actually schedule any more cashiers.

They routinely hired Little Old Ladies for the jobs requiring lots of climbing up rickety ladders and heavy lifting and couldn’t understand why they all quit.

Sixth grade:
My teacher explained to us that the abbreviation B.C. meant, “Before Christ”, and that A.D meant, “After Died”. Most everyone in the class corrected him… all at once.

This is a very long story, but in a nutshell, our school wanted a new student management system because the old one sucked. One administrator in particular was interested in one particular program. Without researching whether this new prospective program would actually work for us, he went ahead bought it. The staff then proceeded to find out that they couldn’t use it and that it didn’t have the features they really needed.

So administration asked me to write a database that would have the features the staff wanted, so that they would have time to learn the new management program and eventually switch to that :rolleyes: . I wrote it and there was much rejoycing by the staff. A whole 2 yrs later, the staff is still using my program, but that one administrator is still trying to get everyone on the new system. What an idiot! :smack:

Well, I had one employer watch me unwrap a package and take an item in the package out of a rather large bag.

He commented, “You know, you could probably pretty easily kill yourself with that bag. Just pull it over your head and close it tight” (and started making strangling, bug-eyed faces to illustrate).

I must have had the same teacher! Well, they say we all have a double! …In this case, it is a bad thing! :slight_smile:

  • Jinx

I recall the series on sexuality and relationships (taught to 12th graders by a nun). We watched Fatal Attraction as an example of an unhealthy relationship.