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Once In Tech Support Always In Tech Support

, , , | Right | November 19, 2021

For seventeen years, starting in the mid-1980s, I worked in adult education. Among other things, I taught people how to use computers.

One evening, I received a phone call at home.

Me: “[My Name] talking.”

Caller: “Yeah, hi. I don’t think you remember me, but I took one of your classes a year and a half ago. My uncle recently bought a computer and he has a problem.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you there. I suggest your uncle contact the place where he bought the computer, or if it is a software problem, the company making that software.”

I had already learned that if you help someone with a computer problem, anything going wrong with that computer from then on would most likely be considered your problem. On top of that, I could not see how the caller thought it was appropriate to call me in a situation like that.

This was the exact moment I decided to get an unlisted phone number.

You’re Already Streets Ahead

, , , , | Right | October 18, 2021

I pick up four somewhat drunk men around the age of thirty in the centre of Copenhagen. After they get in the taxi, I ask where they’re going. 

Customer #1: “Just drive south along the coast. We’re getting off in four different places.”

Within a few minutes of driving, I’m asked by the computer running the meter, the GPS, and so on, where I’ll end up and when I expect to be there. Because of this and because some people do tend to fall asleep when they’re a bit drunk, I ask where the last one of them is going.

Customer #1: “I’m going to [City thirty-five km south of Copenhagen].”

Me: “Where exactly in [City]?”

Customer #1: “It’s a very small town outside [City] called [Town].”

As it happens, I grew up in that very small town and I still have family living there, my mother being one of them.

Me: “Where are we going in [Town]?”

Customer #1: “It’s a small street called [Street].”

He is going to the very same small street my mother lives on.

Me: “And which number are we going to?”

Customer #1: “It’s number seven.”

I then look at him in the rear-view mirror.

Me: “That’s the new wooden house, isn’t it?”

His lower jaw actually dropped and I could almost see him thinking something along the lines of “Rain Man.”

I didn’t tell him that I’d passed that house thirty-five kilometres away numerous times, while they were building it, when visiting my mother further down the street.

Welcome Home! Kind Of.

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 13, 2021

This happened to my friend’s parents around 1980. They lived in one of fourteen almost identical and fairly new apartment blocks at one end of four different car parks.

Fifty or so people from the area were going on a trip and had rented a bus for the day. All of them were picked up at the car park closest to where the aforementioned parents lived. The trip they went on involved quite a lot of drinking and they were far from sober when they got back home.

For reasons unknown, they were all dropped off at the neighbouring car park to the one they’d been picked up at. The parents in question didn’t notice and went to what they thought was their block of apartments. It wasn’t; theirs was four blocks away. They went into what they thought was their apartment, and only after having taken off their coats and shoes did they notice that they were in the wrong place.

The person living there was apparently a heavy sleeper because they managed to leave without anyone noticing.

I don’t know if the door wasn’t locked or if the key just happened to fit. There are more than 1000 apartments in those fourteen blocks and I’m sure there were a lot fewer different apartment key combinations installed back then.

Ugly Is In The Eye Of The Jerk

, , , , | Learning | December 23, 2020

I am doing a group project with three other women. They are all horrid snobs, and they’re all from fancy, influential families, whereas I am not. They think they have extremely good manners and like to correct me when I do things differently than them. My way of doing things is also considered polite, but they only know of two ways of doing things: their way or the wrong way.

I know that they actually know very little about manners as in Denmark, both then and now, the rudest faux pas you can make is to correct others in public. The second rudest is to brag, and if bragging was an Olympic discipline, they would be qualified to compete. Here is an example of their “perfect manners.”

One day, we are having a work meeting in [Woman #1]’s apartment. She has gone to the kitchen with [Woman #2] to get some tea and cookies.

Woman #3: “Well, well! Look at that!” 

She points at a hideous steel fruit bowl on the coffee table and bends over to pick it up. 

Woman #3: “I wonder if it is an original? The copies are sooo ugly! Oh! It is an original! Niiice!”

Me: “If the copies are so ugly, why did you need to turn it over to see the markings on the bottom to tell if it was original?”

Confused In Multiple Languages

, , , , | Right | December 11, 2020

I work in a café that attracts a lot of kids after school because of what we sell. They can be sort of a handful but they’re usually nice.

One day, a big group of kids from the multilingual school nearby drops in, and everything goes downhill from there.

They’re constantly talking over each other and trying to order at the same time, I’m constantly switching between languages and trying to remember who spoke what, they all want specially made orders, some pay together and some don’t, and every time someone orders, they disappear to talk loudly to a friend in the group and I lose track of them and get confused about who ordered what.

Every time someone pays, another one tries to order, and at one point, a girl doesn’t have enough money to pay and she has to run off to find a friend to pay for her, leaving me to remember who she was and what she ordered while multiple kids try to get my attention.

Finally, the last kid pays. I am very tired.

Me: “Sorry, I got confused here.”

Kid: “Yeah, that happened last time we were here, too.”

GEE, I wonder why!