Walk For A Mile… Away From Them

, , , , , | Healthy | July 3, 2018

(I am having a conversation with a rheumatologist.)

Rheumatologist: “One thing that you probably don’t want to hear is that it would help with some of your symptoms if you were to lose some weight.”

Me: “Yes, I agree. If you look here–” *I tap the relevant paragraph in the paperwork in front of her* “–I have detailed the years I have been struggling to lose weight and the steps I have taken, and have asked if you have any suggestions on how to try to tackle this issue.”

Rheumatologist: “It’s just that your back pain and foot pain will probably be lessened by weight loss.”

Me: “Yes, that’s one of the reasons I have been trying for so many years to lose weight.”

Rheumatologist: “Well, I would suggest you try going to a certified dietician.”

Me: “Here you can see the three I have visited, one of them a year ago, one three years before that, and one three or four years before that. I followed all of their advice to the letter and I did not lose weight.”

Rheumatologist: “Well, it’s still something you might want to try.”

Me: “Well, it isn’t covered completely by my insurance, and I am very poor, so I don’t think I’ll be able to go a fourth time right now.”

Rheumatologist: “I understand. But it might be worth a try, anyway.”

Me: “Well, I will go a fourth time when I can afford it.”

Rheumatologist: “Oh, you’ve been before?”

Me: “Yes. Three. Times.”

Rheumatologist: “Well, maybe you should try going to one via the doctor so that you know you are going to a properly-certified one.”

Me: “I will do this a fourth time when I have the money.”

Rheumatologist: “Oh, you’ve gone to one the doctor sent you to already?”

Me: “Yes. Three. Times.”

Rheumatologist: “Oh, all right. Well, what else have you tried?”

Me: “As you see here—” *tapping paperwork again* “—I have, over the past ten years, done the following: two years of sticking religiously to less than 1500 calories per day while also walking briskly for two hours each day, three attempts with professional dieticians via the doctor, the keto diet for eight months which I just stopped, three years of fasting for three days every couple of months, an intensified exercise program designed by a physiotherapist, and periodic further attempts such as ten months only drinking slim-fast for breakfast and lunch and then eating a minimal dinner. At the moment, I walk a lot and now that my sprained ankle will, after 11 months, finally allow it, I am starting my home fitness routine again, with a cross-trainer and resistance training as far as my back and other joint ills will allow.”

Rheumatologist: “You know what doesn’t cost money? Exercise!”

Me: “Yes… As I said — and wrote — I walk a lot and am working on starting my routine again. At the moment, I walk a minimum of one hour a day just in the normal way of things and I try to do more. I walk pretty fast.”

Rheumatologist: “I understand, but really, it’s not that hard to get started. Maybe just try with 20 minutes every other day and see how that treats you, then build up from there.”

Me: “I. Already. Walk. More. Than. One. Hour. Every. Day.”

Rheumatologist: “I understand. Well, I know you don’t want to hear this, but it sounds like you need to scrap all the fad diet kicks and just eat fewer calories.”

Me: “Yes, I just stopped the keto diet and I will now again do the calorie-counting, while walking more than an hour a day, but as I said, I have already tried reducing the calories and I haven’t had any luck so far. But yes, obviously I will be doing that; otherwise I would gain weight and I really don’t want to do that!

Rheumatologist: “Well, I understand why you wouldn’t want to do it; if you eat fewer calories, you will have to suffer feelings of hunger sometimes. I understand that this is difficult, so you might not want to do it, but it really is important that you try.”

Me: “Um… Here–” *tapping paperwork again* “–is where it says that I fasted for three days every couple of months for three years. I am not afraid of feelings of hunger.”

Rheumatologist: “Well, okay… I just think it would be good for you to give it a shot. Maybe start with 20 minutes of light walking every day, and see if you can reduce your calories a bit at a time. Maybe cut out desserts a couple of times a week; start from there. Anyway, obviously it won’t cure your fibromyalgia or anything, but if you could lose some weight it would help with the daily toll on your skeletal system, and with the amount of wear-and-tear you’re dealing with that would only be a good thing. Do you have any questions?”

Me: *giving up* “Nope. I’ll do my best.”

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Unfiltered Story #110683

, | Unfiltered | May 13, 2018

Customer: I’ll have the steak.
Me; Of course. Medium?
Customer: No, large.

Both Rooms Involve An Eventual Release

, , , , | Working | May 9, 2018

(We’re discussing possible activities for our annual team outing. We discussed the possibility of going to an escape room some days prior.)

Coworker: “Before it comes up again, I’m not going to one of those dark rooms! I’m not going, if that’s what we’re doing!”

Me: “[Coworker], I can promise you we will not be going to a dark room for our team outing. I’ll explain the difference between an escape room and a dark room later. On second thought… Maybe not.”

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Do My Dissertation For Me Kthnxbai

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2018

(I answer the phone.)

Me: *in Dutch* “[Institute]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Do you speak any Dutch?”

Me: *in Dutch* “Yes, ma’am, I do. You have reached [Institute]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “So, you speak some Dutch?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I am certified near-native, and I do translation work here at the institute. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Oh… kay, I guess. Well, I’m doing a huge dissertation; I mean a really big one.”

Me: “All right…”

Caller: “It’s about the war.”

Me: “All right…”

Caller: “So, my professor said that your library has a lot about the subject it’s on.”

Me: “That is very likely. You may come during [opening hours] and sign in to access the library.”

Caller: “I want to make an appointment.”

Me: “The library doesn’t work with appointments. You can just come sign in and go right in.”

Caller: “But I want an appointment.”

Me: “I’m sorry. The library doesn’t work with appointments, but you can simply come use it, and the archive. For free.”

Caller: “But I’ve never been there before!”

Me: “All right.”

Caller: *whining* “How will I know what to do?

Me: “There is always someone at the information desk in the library to help visitors navigate the books and archives.”

Caller: “And he will have the time to just work with me until I’m done?”

Me: “Well, no, we cannot provide step-by-step continual personal guidance for each and every visitor, but he will explain how the system works, and how to access the material and request documents, and he will be right there if you have any questions.”

Caller: “But you just said he’ll be there to help me.”

Me: “Yes. He is there to help all of the visitors to the library and archives.”

Caller: “But I need someone to help me! You said he’s there to help me.”

Me: “He is there to help you. He is there to help everyone.”

Caller: *whining* “But what if I can’t find something?”

Me: “Then you go to him.”

Caller: “So, basically everything is incredibly easy to find?”

Me: “Well, you need to use the system, which he will explain in detail when you come in.”

Caller: “I still think I should just make an appointment.”

Me: “The library does not work with appointments, and we do not have anyone on staff who can stop their important research work to spend several hours in the library with each visitor. Please believe me: the system is simple, and there is always someone there to help you.”

Caller: *outright sulking* “Well, I GUESS.” *big sigh* “FINE. I will come use the library. But I still think I should be able to make an appointment so someone can actually help me.” *click*

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Of Privacy And Patience

, , , , | Working | March 18, 2018

(I am the customer in this story. My husband booked a car online in his name, but we couldn’t find his credit card, so we used mine. Then, once we booked, we realised the credit card was meant to be in his name. We didn’t want any trouble when we collect the car, so we called the next day. This is an abbreviation of two days and over two hours of phone calls. Call #1:)

Me: “Hi. My husband made a booking last night for a car, but his credit card wasn’t working, so we used mine. I noticed the terms and conditions say the credit card has to be in the driver’s name. What can we do about it?”

Rep #1: “Ah, okay. Well, the driver must be the cardholder.”

Me: “I understand that. But we have made a booking, and my card has been charged. Maybe we can change the credit card number on file? Or add another one?”

Rep #1: “No. It is not possible to change the credit card on the booking once the credit card has been charged. In this case, we would need to cancel the booking, issue a refund, and redo the booking.”

Me: “Will that cost anything?”

Rep #1: “No, no, that is fine. It will not cost anything. But it’s a public holiday here in Germany, so that department is closed. You need to call back tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

(Call #2:)

Me: “Hi. I’m calling because my the credit card on file for my booking is not the main driver’s, and I was told to call back today to rectify this.”

Rep #2: “Yes, that is true; we need the credit card holder to be the main driver of the vehicle.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but I don’t want to be the driver; my husband is. That’s why I’m calling: to change the booking.”

Rep #2: “And you will not be there at the time to collect the car?”

Me: “Yes, I’ll be there, so will my husband, and so will both our credit cards.”

Rep #2: “Ah, okay, that is fine, then. Yes, you will be able to change to use his credit card when they print out the rental contract.”

Me: “Really? Even though it’s already been paid for?”

Rep #2: “Yes, that is correct.”

Me: “Great! Can you email me that, so I have proof when I go to the counter?”

Rep #2: “No, I don’t have an email here, but I will contact the German office to send you that in an email.”

Me: “Great. Thanks!”

(Six hours later, no email. I call again. Call #3:)

Me: “Hi, I just spoke to someone.” *explains the situation* “I never received the email. Can you confirm?”

Rep #3: “Well, I don’t know why she said that, but that is not the case. The main driver must be the credit card holder.”

Me: “Yes, I know that. That’s what I’m trying to fix. I was told that I could change the credit card at the counter.”

Rep #3: “No, that is not the case. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do. You will need to email customer service; they can help you.”

(I email customer service asking if they can confirm that I will be able to change the credit card upon arrival. They respond, “The driver must be the credit card holder. You can add an additional driver for €60.” Call #4:)

Me: “Hi.” *explains situation* “It is pre-booked and already paid for on my card. So, I would like to know what can we do about this.”

Rep #4: “That is fine. Yes, you can indeed change the credit card when you pick up the car.”

Me: “Really? Even though it’s already been charged? Because I’ve heard different things from different people. Can you email that to me so I have confirmation?”

Rep #4: “Let me check with my team leader.”

(I’m on hold for a while, then…)

Rep #4: “Unfortunately, actually, because the credit card has already been charged, we cannot change it. But we can change the driver to your name for €20. Otherwise, you can email customer service, and maybe they can help you.”

Me: “What?! But you just said I could! I don’t want to be the driver. Also, I shouldn’t be charged for being the driver, as that isn’t changing anything. I am the cardholder, so I am the main driver. And I was told I could cancel it for free. Okay, I will email customer service, but can you please get me the recording of my earlier call? I was told that it would be recorded, so I would like access to that, please.”

Rep #4: “Let me check.”

(After being on hold again…)

Rep #4: “I spoke to my team leader, and we cannot change the credit card number on file, as it has already been charged.”

Me: “That’s not what I asked for! I asked for the recording. It is illegal for an EU company to fail to hand over data about a customer if they request it.”

Rep #4: “No. The question is not whether this is illegal, but whether we can change the credit card for you, and we cannot do that. Please email customer service.”

Me: “This is illegal. I am requesting information, and you are refusing to hand it over. Please put me on to your supervisor.”

(More holding, then…)

Rep #5: “Hi. I understand you want to change your credit card details, but unfortunately we cannot change it, as it has been pre-booked. You agreed to the terms and conditions when you booked, so there’s nothing we can do.”

Me: “No! That is not what I asked. I am requesting information that you hold about me, and you are refusing. Agreeing to the terms and conditions did not waive my rights. If you cannot hand over the call records, I will have to take legal action.”

Rep #5: “If you want the records, you can email customer service.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that. But if they don’t come through, I will take legal action. All I want is to remake the booking with a different credit card, which I was told I could do!”

Rep #5: “Oh, I understand! Actually, as a gesture of goodwill, I can cancel the booking and remake it without charging you anything. And for your trouble, I can reduce the price a bit, as well.”

(I think they realised they were in trouble when I knew the EU data privacy laws!)

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