Bigotry Is Ugly In Any Language

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 11, 2018

My friend and I are taking the subway. We are both Mexicans and both look like Mexicans, but my friend asked me to talk to him exclusively in Mandarin, in which I’m fluent, so that he can practise.

A middle-aged woman gets on the subway and stares, giving us a strange look. I think nothing about it since it’s not common to hear a conversation in Mandarin in a Mexico City subway.

Suddenly, she suddenly says, quite loudly, in Spanish, “Damn Chinese. They’re everywhere! They come, open a restaurant, exploit their Mexican employees, and take all of our money back to China; they don’t even try to learn Spanish.” Then she goes, “Ching chang chun li,” trying to imitate Chinese.

My friend and I begin to laugh, which only makes her get angrier and turn blood red.

I respond to her, in Spanish, “Ma’am, we’re both Mexicans, and most surely can speak better Spanish than you do!”

A few people on the subway laugh really hard. The woman turns an even brighter shade of red, and suddenly remembers she has to get off at the next station.

How To Scam A Scammer, Part 7

, , , , , | Legal | December 7, 2018

(My mobile phone rings. I know it’s a spam call because I don’t give out my mobile number and it’s unlisted. I answer it anyway since I’m not doing anything important.)

Caller: “Hello, I’m [Caller] from [Made-Up Company]. I’m calling on behalf of your insurance company regarding a traffic accident in which you were the driver not at fault.”

(I’ve had this scam before and just hung up, but I decide to see how long he’ll keep going.)

Me: “I don’t think so; I don’t drive at all.”

Caller: “Oh, my apologies! I’ve misread. I see here you were actually the passenger, not the driver.”

Me: “Nope, I always take public transport.”

Caller: “Oh, yes! My mistake. I see it was actually a relative of yours who lives nearby who was the passenger in the car not at fault in a traffic accident.”

Me: “Nope. I’m the only member of my family in this city. The rest of my family is at least 200 kilometres away.”

Caller: *swearing*

(The call ended. If they ever call back, I’m going to ask them who my insurer is, since they’re calling on behalf of them.)

Drowning In Prank Calls

, , , , , | Right | December 7, 2018

(It is Sunday morning and I am opening the animal cages, which includes misting the reptiles, giving some lizards their morning veggies, etc. We have already opened, but things are slow. Suddenly my store phone rings.)

Me: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *pause* “Hi, yeah, um… My fish is like… floating on his side at the top of the water and um… Is there like… anything that could fix that?”

(I recognize the voice of the caller. Lately we have been getting calls with ridiculous stories from the same person; some are about his “drowning fish” or how “he took his fish out to play with his dog and his dog ate the fish.” It was a little amusing at first, but now it’s just annoying and time consuming, as my coworkers and I usually have work to do.)

Me: *trying to hide my annoyance, as I’m getting behind on work* “You know, I am pretty sure you called last week about your fish drowning. So, no, there is nothing I can do to help.”

(The customer is silent for a moment.)

Customer: “Oh… okay.”

(I can hear him stifling his giggles.)

Me: “Okay, thank you. Have a good day.” *hangs up*

(Fast forward to the end of my shift. I’m about to go clock out, but I am chatting with my two coworkers about the prank caller. They’ve dealt with him before. I quickly go clock out and come back to them. Suddenly, my coworker gets a call.)

Coworker #1: “Hi. Thank you for calling [Store]. How can I help you?”

(Her smiling face drops to blank emotion and then annoyance. She pulls away the store phone for a second and says it’s the same prank caller we were just talking about.)

Coworker #1: “It’s the drowning fish story.” *goes back to the phone* “I’m sorry, you say your fish has drowned?”

(The caller hangs up. Not two seconds later it rings again. She doesn’t have time to catch it that time, as a manager catches it. However, it rings again.)

Me: “Get me the number. We’ve got to do something about this.”

Coworker #2: “Pretend you’re with the police department and tell them to stop bothering us!”

Me: *laughs* “I don’t want that legal stuff on my hands, just in case. I’ve got an idea.”

(By now, the prank caller is calling us, and as soon as we pick up, he hangs up. He does this repeatedly, harassing us. My coworker reads off his number to me, and I quickly dial it using my personal phone.)

Caller: *long pause, then very sheepish and confused voice* “Hello?”

Me: *in a very thick, fake German accent with great emotion* “YES, HELLO, THIS IS DR. BETRUG WITH THE UNIVERSITY. I HEAR YOU HAVE A DROWNING FISH? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!”

(The caller immediately hung up, and we did not receive any more prank calls from him for the rest of the day! I made both coworkers’ days.)

No Need To Pardon This French

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 6, 2018

(My father and I are coming back home from church. We are speaking English because we attend an American church and just didn’t bother going back to speaking French. We’re both fluent and speak English with no accent at all. We take seats in the underground and go on with our conversation for a few minutes until I notice that the lady in the seat next to mine is glaring at us. Keep in mind that we’re in Paris, one of the cities with the most tourists in the world.)

Lady: *in French, to her friend, obviously thinking my father and I don’t understand* “These foreigners are way too loud! Why are they here? If they want to speak English, they should go back to their country. They should make an effort to speak French.”

(She keeps going on like that for quite some time. I tell my father, who was politely going to tell her to shut up that it’s not worth it, but her rant is starting to annoy me. At that point she’s speaking very loudly, and the other people around are looking at us.)

Lady: “Ils croivent qu’ils peuvent venir ici et nous envahir avec leur culture!” *They think they can come here and invade us with their culture!*

(There is an enormous grammar mistake in that sentence. Our stop is next, and my father is fuming by that time. I stand up and start towards the doors, but I can’t resist turning around to face her.)

Me: *in French* “Ma’am, you have been incredibly rude, and you’ve been disturbing the other passengers. If you don’t want to see foreigners, don’t live in Paris. Oh, and by the way, ‘croivent’ is not correct French, so maybe you should think twice before telling people to speak French, given that you are obviously unable to speak it correctly yourself.”

(She turned red, and some of the other passengers started laughing, including her own friend. I got off the underground with a huge grin on my face. My dad was laughing his a** off and ended up buying me a cookie on our way back.)

He’s Here To Listen… And Listen… And Listen…

, , | Working | December 5, 2018

(I recently discovered a paid service that allows people to redirect scam calls to an AI. The AI has pre-recorded conversations designed to keep the callers tied up as long as possible, costing them money, too. Eventually the callers figure it out, though; one even accused them of answering with a soundboard. While I don’t feel like affording that service at the moment, the soundboard accusation gave me an idea, one I finally got to use today. The area code is mine, but for a city I’ve never lived in, so I know all calls from that code are scams. Plus, it also isn’t anywhere near where the caller claims to be from, either.)

Credit Services Scammer: “Hello! Are you interested in reducing your debt?”

Dr. Phil Soundboard: “Hello?”

Credit Services Scammer: “Yes, hello! Are you interested in reducing your debt?”

Dr. Phil Soundboard: “Where you from?”

Credit Services Scammer: “I’m calling from Atlanta.”

Dr. Phil Soundboard: “What do you want from me today?”

Credit Services Scammer: “F*** off!” *click*

(Ah, at last these spam calls can be fun!)

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