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

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A Sobering Reality

, , , , | Friendly | March 22, 2021

We are having a drink at work and a coworker is looking at the empty, used glasses.

Coworker: “D***, which one is mine?”

I point to one.

Me: “It is that one.”

Coworker: *Half-jokingly* “Are you sure?”

Me: *Dead serious* “Yes. Yes, I am.”

Coworker: “How can you be so sure it is mine?”

Me: “Because I am a woman and my safety and wellbeing can depend on tracking my drink, especially in a crowded room.”

He looked at me, processed what I said, quietly took his glass, and went to have it refilled. I know he was thinking of his young daughter.

This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of March 2021 roundup story!

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Bad Translations Will Undo Close-Knit Families

, , , , | Romantic | March 19, 2021

A knitting pattern and some wool I ordered arrive.

Me: *To my boyfriend* “Crap. The pattern is exclusively in French. Do we know anyone who knits and speaks French?”

Boyfriend: “Why? You speak French; just translate it yourself.”

Me: “This pattern is full of specific knitting terms and abbreviations. I have literally no clue what this part says.”

Boyfriend: “Then use a translation app. That will work.”

I put the text through a translation app and read it over.

Me: “I don’t think this is going to work. I’ll just find another pattern I can use this wool for.”

Boyfriend: “It can’t be that bad. I am sure you can figure it out with the translation.”

Me: “The translated pattern literally tells me to ‘End with your in-laws’ five times. I have no clue what they want me to do, but I am pretty sure the pattern doesn’t want me visiting your parents.”

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Needs More Assistance Than We Can Provide

, , , | Right | March 18, 2021

I work at a call center for roadside assistance. Weekend nights are generally fun, with the usual complement of drunk or intoxicated people, but this is one I’ve never heard before. My coworker takes the call, so I only hear his side of the conversation. Some excerpts:

Coworker: “No, sir, I need your license plate before we send someone out; we need to look up your contract information.”

Coworker: “Where do we need to go? Your address?” *Pauses* “And what is your address, sir?” *Pauses* “No, we don’t know your address.” *Pauses* “You don’t want to give it? Then we can’t send anyone to help you.” *Pauses* “Why not? Because we don’t know where to go.”

Coworker: “Could you give me your phone number so we can contact you if necessary?” *Pauses* “What do you mean, a conspiracy? A conspiracy using your cell phone? Sir, we just want to be able to contact you, nothing more.”

As if we’d sell his number to a telemarketer…

Coworker: “Well, then, do you have a home phone we could call?” *Pauses* “Your phone is tapped? And you don’t want people to hear your conversations?”

On a phone call. Which is recorded for quality purposes, as indicated at the start of the conversation.

And on and on… I was nearly doubled over laughing; my coworker not so much!

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This’ll Make You Clench Your Teeth

, , , | Healthy | March 4, 2021

I work as a secretary in the Medical Imaging department at a local hospital. We offer appointments for MRIs. When a patient checks in, we ask them to fill out a questionnaire. This is to check if they have materials inside their body that can be dangerous because of the electromagnetic waves of the MRI.

Sometimes people can’t fill in the questionnaire. Some forget their good glasses, some can’t read or write, some don’t speak the language. Whatever the reason, we offer to read the questions to them and fill it in.

A patient comes up to me and says he can’t fill the questionnaire in on his own. I go over the questions with him. One of the questions is about dentures and whether they are magnetic.

Me: “Do you have dentures, sir?”

Patient: “Yes.”

Me: “Are they magnetic?”

Patient: “No, they are fastened with hooks. Here, look!”

The patient proceeds to pull down his mask and pull out his dentures, and he tries to shove them in my face!

Me: “That’s all right, sir. I believe you.”

I have never been happier that we had plastic shields installed at our desks.

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