She Must Be Thinking In Double-Dutch

, , , | Right | April 7, 2021

I’m eating at a fast food place in Belgium. A couple next to me is discussing something in English. When it is their turn, the guy orders in Dutch, the local language.

Girl: “Did you just now order in Dutch?”

Guy: “Yes.”

Girl: “You’re an idiot; they all understand English here.”

The guy shrugged it off and I tried to process what I’d overheard.

1 Thumbs

Welcome To The Corner Store California

, , , | Working | April 6, 2021

I enter a store and go directly to the corner where I know I’ll find the articles I am interested in. I make my choice and go to the counter. Nobody is there. I wait patiently, thinking the person who should be behind the counter needed a bathroom break or something. No one shows. I yell. No reaction. I try again a bit louder. Nothing.

Fed up, I go up the stairs toward the doors, leaving the things I picked up on the counter. The doors are locked. Now, I’m a bit claustrophobic and the fact that I can’t get out makes me feel like freaking out. I manage to keep my anxiety down by taking action — I usually can stop a full-blown panic attack by diverting my attention if panic levels are not too high — and start looking up the number for the local police station. Google to the rescue! While on hold, I hear something at the door and it opens. The store owner or attendant or whoever has the key enters. I hang up.

Owner: *Accusingly* “How did you get in?”

I’m a tad ticked off.

Me: “Through the door!”

Owner: “Which door? How did you find the back door?”

Me: “I entered through that door.”

I indicate the door she just opened.

Owner: “Well, why didn’t you tell me you were in the store?!”

I’m totally flabbergasted, with a lot of responses going through my head, varying from the less polite to the very much less polite.

Me: “Why didn’t you warn me you were leaving?”

Owner: “You should have told me you were in here!”

Me: “Well, in a minute, I no longer will be. You’ll find the articles I picked on the counter.”

I need to add that I was in an obscured corner in an otherwise open plan shop. No, I did not see her behind the counter — which is placed directly opposite the door — upon entering, but I knew there was usually only one person in the shop and, as I said, I thought she was on a bathroom break. Thinking back, she probably was getting her purse and coat in the back, and as I made a beeline to the screened-off part of the store, we crossed each other unnoticed. I do understand she was a bit shocked finding someone in what she thought to be an empty shop — I was in plain view when she entered –and I probably would have been more forgiving if she was more apologetic and less accusing. To this day, I have never returned and I don’t plan to.

1 Thumbs

I’m A Loser, Baby

, , , , | Working | March 23, 2021

I’m unlucky in games and lotteries. I once participated in a board game where everyone else finished and I never went beyond square fifteen, if I reached that one at all. Somehow, I managed to land on the “return to start” field, and when I skipped it, I was thrown back so I could try again. My nieces and nephews loved playing games with me when they were little. Whereas my brother had to cheat massively to lose a game or at least barely win it, they were almost assured the win when playing with me.

One day, I’m at a fair and a man with a lottery type of game approaches me with the “always win” slogan. The cheapest option has you drawing three tickets.

Me: “So every number wins?”

Seller: “No, ma’am, I couldn’t do that, but every draw has at least one winning ticket. Only numbers ending in [three different numbers, each with increasingly more valuable prizes] are winning.”

Me: “Not interested, thank you.”

Seller: “But ma’am, look at the fine prizes you can win.”

Me: “Not interested. Besides, I would be throwing money away since I’m not going to win anyway.”

Seller: “That won’t be happening; people never leave without at least one prize.”

Me: “People might. I won’t.”

He keeps insisting until I cave.

Me: “Okay, I will prove it to you. Give me three tickets and I’ll show you that I ain’t winning a thing.”

The man happily sold me the tickets. I drew three envelopes. First one: nothing. Second one: nothing. His jaw dropped as I showed him the final number: nope. To his credit, he awarded me the pick of one of the least valuable prizes. It wasn’t needed, but it was appreciated, so I guess I won after all.

1 Thumbs

Thanks For The Heart Attack, Officer

, , | Legal | March 23, 2021

I am in the movie theater when I get a call, and since I can’t pick up, it goes to voicemail. After the movie, I listen to the message.

Police Officer: “Hi, Mr. [My Name]. I am calling you about an incident with a car with the license plate [Mom’s license plate]. You are listed as secondary contact. Please call me immediately on [number] and ask for [Police Officer].”

At first, I think it is a joke, but I can’t get a hold of my mom, or my sister who is with her, so I call the number. I get a message saying that the police department is closed and to call the emergency services.

I freak out even more and call the emergency services number, and because I am in a different city from the officer that called me, I get transferred three times before I get a hold of him.

Me: “You called about an incident about a car with the license plate [Mom’s license plate].”

Police Officer: “Yes. It was just to let you know that we did a patrol on the carpool parking where your car is parked, and it’s just to let you know that you didn’t lock the doors.”

Me: “Okay, I will try to contact someone to sort that out. But just a small suggestion: next time lead with, ‘The doors are unlocked.’ Don’t leave a message about ‘an incident with the car, call back immediately.’ I have been worried sick about my mom and sister for the last half-hour.”

It turned out that my mom’s key fob wasn’t working anymore and she thought she had locked the car. My boyfriend said he’d never seen the color drain from a face as fast as when I was listening to that voicemail.

1 Thumbs

Taxing Faxing, Part 30

, , , , | Working | March 23, 2021

This happens before email was a thing, although it is on the brink of becoming mainstream. The fax machines in our office are replaced by a more sophisticated version; i.e. no more thermal paper, an internal memory, and a nice little display. However, it is not clear at first that the machine speaks English.

The first two weeks after they are installed, the remark, “Great, brand new and already broken,” is regularly overheard. The problem? When feeding the fax to the machine, it returns the message, “Storing,” which totally makes sense in English. In Dutch, however, the word “storing” can be translated as “out of order” or “not working properly.”

Taxing Faxing, Part 29
Taxing Faxing, Part 28
Taxing Faxing, Part 27
Taxing Faxing, Part 26
Taxing Faxing, Part 25

1 Thumbs