Back Up The Backup Of The Backup’s Backup

, , , , | Working | November 1, 2018

(My brother’s external hard drive has crashed/malfunctioned. We take it back into the store to see if they can repair it, recover the data, or get a refund. This is before cloud storage is a common, affordable backup option.)

Brother: “This hard drive isn’t working anymore, and I was wondering if you could fix it or recover the data I had stored on it.”

Salesperson: “We’ll see what we can do, but remember, you should always have a backup of your data!”

Brother: “Well, this was my backup of the information stored on my computer.”

Salesperson: “Yes, well, you should always have a backup just in case!”

Brother: *to me* “Does she expect everyone to have a never-ending chain of backup hard drives for their backup hard drives?”

(Luckily, despite not being able to repair it, the store issued us a refund and let us keep the drive. We found someone else to extract the data from it!)

They’re A Crafty Bunch

, , , , | Friendly | August 16, 2018

Friend #1: “I didn’t know there were this many white people in Durban!”

Me: “We’re at a craft beer festival.”

Friend #2: “It’s, like, their habitat.”

Careful, They’ll Be Watching You

, , , , | Working | July 2, 2018

(In our weekly lab meeting, one of my colleagues is presenting a complicated experimental plan with a lot of procedures over the course of several days.)

Boss: “You’re putting yourself at risk here by having so many steps. Every step you take…”

Me: “Every move you make?”

Only Trafficking Excuses

, , , , , | Working | May 29, 2018

(I just moved to a new country and need to set up a bank account. The HR manager at my institution puts me in touch with a field representative of one of the major banks, who will meet me at work so that I don’t have to go the bank. The first time we are supposed to meet, she calls and says she’s running late because she’s stuck in traffic. When we meet, she has a bit of a strange vibe, very chatty and fake-friendly instead of just professional. She leads me to understand that it’s very complicated to set up a bank account for a foreigner. According to her, I need additional documentation to set up the account, so we have to meet a second time.)

Bank Rep: “I’m sorry; I’m stuck in traffic again.”

Me: “Okay, no problem.”

(Since I’m not familiar with the local traffic, I don’t make any assumptions as to whether or not it’s normal to have a jam in the midafternoon. She finally shows up 45 minutes late again. There are a lot of forms to fill out and she seems to be giving me conflicting information as to what documents I need, compared to the first meeting. While we are going through the forms, her phone rings:)

Bank Rep: “Hello! Yes, I’m sorry, but I’ll be late; I’m stuck in traffic.”

(She said this while we were sitting in a building, nowhere near her car or the road. That was the final straw. I took my documents to the nearest branch of the same bank and had an account set up in less than an hour.)

Not A Standardised Way Of Saying It

, , , , , | Learning | May 1, 2018

(In South Africa, the years in school used to be called, “standards,” like in Malaysian primary schools, but in the 1990s they switched to calling them, “grades,” like in the USA. My friends in this story are in their late 30s, so they would have been in school before the change.)

Me: “English is my home language; I only learned Malay in Standard One.”

South African Friend #1: “You have standards?”

South African Friend #2: “Hey, that’s not nice, to say she doesn’t have standards.”

Page 1/212