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Volume High, Intelligence Low

, , , , , | Friendly | September 6, 2021

I live in a flat near a woman who disturbs the whole block of flats with her very loud music. When we can’t stand it any longer, a group of us go to ask her to turn it down a bit. Because the music is so loud, it takes a lot of banging on her front door to get her attention. When she finally answers, we can’t talk to her because the music is still far too loud.

I push past her, go into her flat, and turn the volume down so we can talk to her. She looks very surprised.

Woman: “How did you do that?”

I’m a bit slow on the uptake here.

Me: “What?”

Woman: *Very puzzled* “How did you make it go quieter? I have been annoyed by it being too loud since I got it.”

I’m very perplexed, as we all are.

Me: “You just turn the volume control knob and it goes lower.”

Woman: *Even more puzzled* “What’s a volume control knob?”

After a demonstration, she finally came to understand that she could use the volume control to turn the loudness up or down. It appears that no one had ever told her that there was such a thing as a control to change the volume. She thought it was set at one loudness and she had to make do with it.

She still sometimes has her music a bit loud, but it’s nothing like it used to be, and now she can turn it down when we ask her to.

That’s One Heck Of A Deal

, , , , | Legal | September 4, 2021

Shortly after I move into my first flat, the two young men who share the flat immediately below me pay me a visit. I’ve already found out they are drug dealers. Since I don’t indulge in any drugs myself, I’m not particularly pleased they have visited me.

Dealer #1: “We have come to tell you the rules if you are going to live here.”

I remain silent but a bit curious.

Dealer #2: “We don’t sell drugs to any of the residents of this block, and we don’t allow anyone else to sell here, either.”

Dealer #1: “And we don’t allow anyone in the block to use drugs.”

At this point, I’m a bit mystified and not sure what they are telling me. I’m puzzled and trying to think coherently.

Me: “So, you are dealers, but you don’t sell in this block, don’t allow anyone else to sell in this block, and don’t allow anyone in this block to use drugs?”

Dealer #1: “Exactly! And you don’t ever mention it to anyone.”

I’m not really interested, and mainly, I just want them to go away, but my curiosity won’t let me get rid of them while I’m so bewildered.

Me: “Do you mind if I ask why, if you are so involved with the drug scene, you are making those rules? It seems that you are just throwing away customers.”

Dealer #2: “Well, you see, if there’s no drug activity at all in this block, it won’t attract the attention of the Drug Squad and we can run our business in peace.”

As they made their way down the stairs, I had to admire their business sense and reasoning, even though I thoroughly deplored their actual business.

Put That Racist Shovel Away, Lady

, , , , | Friendly | August 26, 2021

It is very common in blocks of flats in Zurich that the flats share laundry facilities. I am a Brit living in Switzerland, living in a flatshare that is very culturally diverse.

It is the morning after I have done the laundry and I am eating breakfast just before heading to work. It’s about eight when the doorbell rings. I think it is the postman, and I am trying to get an answer on the intercom downstairs when there is a knock on the door to the flat.

Standing outside is the crazy lady. Every block of flats will have one of these: too nosy for her own good and very controlling.

Neighbour: “Did you use the washing machine last night?”

Me: “Yes.”

Neighbour: “You left it in a mess! You need to clean up after yourself!”

She rants for a bit and I listen politely.

Me: “I will be more careful in the future.”

This is where it gets interesting.

She then starts going on about how the immigrants in the flat keep making a mess of things, including the “dirty Tamils” (by which she means the lovely Indian family on the floor below). Very uncomfortable at this stage, I try to extricate myself — I do need to leave soon for my train — but she keeps ranting on, and as she is standing in the doorway I can’t just close it. My boyfriend appears at this point wondering why I have been at the door for so long.

At some point, she notices my accent.

Neighbour: “Where are you from?”

Me: “The UK.”

She tries to backpedal.

Neighbour: “Oh, I am not talking about all immigrants, just the ones from outside Europe.”

She then notices my boyfriend.

Neighbour: “And where are you from?”

Boyfriend: “Brazil.”

She then goes on a rant about how dangerous Brazil is and how I must be glad the UK is so safe. My German flatmate pops his head round the door at this point to also ask what is going on. Suddenly, the lady realises she has insinuated that my boyfriend is one of these “bad immigrants” and backtracks further.

Neighbour: “Oh, I didn’t mean all non-European immigrants, just the ones from China.”

With perfect timing, my flatmate’s Chinese girlfriend appeared just as the lady finished her sentence. Looking at all these foreign faces, the lady realised the GIANT hole she had dug for herself. And without another word, she just turned on her heel and walked downstairs. I managed to close the door before everyone there burst out laughing at her stupidity and racism.

The punchline of the whole story? [Neighbour] isn’t even Swiss; she is a German immigrant. Sadly, she didn’t learn her lesson and later posted some quite racist remarks next to the lift. We reported her to the landlord and the police. From what I understand, she is on a warning, and if she pulls a stunt like this again, she will be chucked out for harassment with possible police involvement.

Convenient, But So, So Stupid

, , , , , | Working | August 3, 2021

I used to volunteer with my township’s all-volunteer first-aid squad. One day, we got a call to respond to a woman who had fallen on the second floor of her apartment and could not get back up. She was alone in the apartment. The complex was comprised of about sixty units. We arrived along with a police officer, which was standard practice for the township.

We located the apartment. Since we did not want to break anything to get in if possible, we started checking doors and windows, hoping something was open through which one of us could climb. There was nothing. We checked the back and considered climbing to the second-story balcony, but there was nothing to use for hand- and footholds. Since the woman was stable and still on the phone with 911, we spent a good ten minutes walking around and around the apartment building, desperately trying to find a reasonable way to get inside. It was then that a neighbor came to us.

Neighbor: “Is [Patient] okay?”

Me: “She’s called 911. We can’t find a way in without breaking a window. Do you know if a neighbor or a nearby relative has a key?”

Neighbor: “Well, actually, I happen to know that every key in the complex works on every door. They’re all the same.”

Cop: What?!

Neighbor: “Yes. Let me go get my key. You’ll be able to get into her apartment.”

I just shook my head in disbelief.

The neighbor got her key and, sure enough, we were able to access the patient without breaking anything. My partner, the cop, and I agreed to never mention this to anyone. It blew my mind that such a thing was allowed to happen. When someone moved out and a new tenant moved in, obviously, the lock was not changed. The new tenant would have simply been given the same. Old. Key.

Pink Ribbons Make Some People See Red

, , , , , | Healthy | June 24, 2021

I am a leasing agent at a senior apartment complex. I contributed to a breast cancer research fund and received a pink ribbon pin, which we are allowed to wear. My current applicant has been huffing and tutting as she fills out paperwork, and she makes a point of never looking me in the eye. When we are finished, she tries a parting shot.

Applicant: “You know, I had breast cancer, too, but I don’t advertise it.”

Me: *With a big smile* “I haven’t had it, thankfully, but my cousin died from it, so I do what I can to raise awareness.”

She turned a few shades of red, grabbed her paperwork, and hurried off.