A Noisy Neighbor
Barbara couldn’t take it any more. Her upstairs neighbor was blasting his stereo again. She had asked him twice already to turn the volume down. The first time she asked, he was surprised. He said he didn’t know that she could hear his stereo.
“Yes,” she said, “it’s just like your stereo was in my living room. I can hear every note!”
He said he would keep it down. She hoped that he was telling the truth. Of course, he wasn’t. The very next day, he blasted his stereo. She marched upstairs to remind him of his promise. He said the volume was so low that he could barely hear it. She asked him to turn it lower. He said he would try. Barbara could swear that when she reentered her apartment, the music was louder than when she had walked upstairs.
So, this was the third time. She took her baseball bat upstairs with her. She knocked very loudly on his door. When he opened the door, she screamed at him like a crazy person. She told him she would kill him if he didn’t turn the music down and keep it down. His eyes got big.
She went back downstairs. She couldn’t hear a note.
I can’t believe I said that, she told herself.
The New Realtor
Norma was discouraged. She was a new realtor. She had recently passed the state test on her first try. Then she joined a realty company. They offered training classes two to four times a week. Norma attended the classes faithfully.
But because English was her second language, she didn’t catch everything that the instructor said. When she asked the instructor to repeat something, he told her to see him after class. But when other students asked a question, the instructor answered the question right then and there.
To Norma, the instructor always said, “See me after class.” Then, when she tried to see him after class, he would say that he was late for an appointment. “How about next time?” he would say. He was always too busy to help her.
“He’s not too busy, he’s just too lazy,” her boyfriend said. “There are too many ‘instructors’ like that. All they care about is presenting their information. If the students don’t get it, that’s their problem. You have to be strong. These people are not going to help you. They want you to fail, because that means less competition for them. It’s a dog-eat-dog business.”
The Fire Alarm
Jennifer’s ears were “talking” to her. They were making little sounds, like little bubbles bursting. A “bubble” was bursting almost every second. It was not painful, but annoying. She knew the cause.
While she was cleaning the whiteboard after her class ended last night, the fire alarm went off. Instead of leaving the building immediately, she walked around to see what the problem was. The blaring alarm sounded like the busy signal on a phone, but 1,000 times louder. The school seemed to be empty. Then she walked by one room, and saw about seven students inside.
Just then the night supervisor came by. She told everyone to leave immediately. The students were packing their hair-care equipment into their bags. The night supervisor waited impatiently. Finally, after almost five minutes, all the students and their teacher left the building. They apologized for being so slow.
The firemen never arrived. Instead, a school police officer showed up. He walked around the area with the supervisor. It was a false alarm. The officer used his key to finally turn off the alarm.
But it was too late for Jennifer. She had listened to the loud alarm for too long. She should have known better. Even as she drove home, her ears felt strange.