It All Sounds Like Not-Dutch To Me

, , , | Working | June 17, 2018

(I bring a pair of pants to the tailor to get the legs shortened. The lady at the counter is clearly foreign, but I’ve been to this shop a year or so before and have seen her there, so I know she’s been in the country for a while already. I therefore assume she knows enough Dutch to at least communicate well with customers.)

Me: “Hi! I’ve got these pants I need shortened. “

Tailor: *blank stare*

Me: “So, yeah, uh, just a few centimetres off the bottom, I guess. Can you tell me what it is going to cost?”

Tailor: *unintelligible mumbling*

Me: “I’m sorry, could you say that again? Didn’t quite catch that.”

(She takes out an appointment note and writes a figure on it, before handing it to me. I see she wrote down the costs.)

Me: “Okay, so [amount]? That works for me.”

(Cue another round of blank stares, while I’m hoping she picks up a professional demeanour somewhere.)

Me: “I assume you need to know how much you have to trim off, right?”

Tailor: *blank stare, then silently nods*

Me: “Okay, so, I go to the dressing room now, so can put it on and you can measure how much you need to trim, all right?”

(I do so, and once I emerge from the dressing room she almost jumps on me, taking the measurements and marking where she needs to trim. When she’s done, she gives me another stare, which tells me I can go change into my own pants again. Once I’m done:)

Me: “So, when can I pick it up?”

Tailor: *slides appointment note at me, still only with the costs scribbled there*

Me: “Tomorrow?”

Tailor: “Wednesday.”

Me: “Today is Thursday. So… almost a week? That can’t be right, can it?”

Tailor: *points at Friday on the appointment note* “Wednesday.”

Me: “That’s Friday. So, tomorrow then?”

Tailor: “Yes, Fri-desday.” *or something else resembling a Dutch mix of Wednesday and Friday*

Me: “Cool, see you tomorrow, then!”

(I hope that everything goes all right, and come back the next day. I show her my appointment card, which also contains a reference number. She says nothing but proceeds to get a pair of jeans from the rack that is clearly not mine.)

Me: “I believe you have the wrong one.” *spots my jeans on another rack* “I see it! The one with [number] is mine.”

Tailor: “[Different number]?”

Me: “No, [right number], the black jeans, third from the front on that rack there.”

(She gets it right and folds up the jeans.)

Tailor: “[Higher amount than we agreed upon], please.”

Me: “Hold on. You said [lower amount] yesterday. It’s even on the appointment card, see?” *I hand her the card*

Tailor: “Oh, silly!” *taps in amount on register* “[Incorrect, higher amount], please.”

Me: “I don’t think so.”

Tailor: *huffs* “[Correct amount], please.”

Me: “That’s more like it!”

(Surprisingly, my jeans were done just fine. But I swore I’m not going back there if I don’t have to! The other day I did have to, though, and she was still there — two years after the described incident — and her Dutch hasn’t improved in the slightest.)

Salty About Your Health

, , , , , , | Working | June 16, 2018

(I am finishing up my order at a sandwich shop.)

Me: “…and salt and pepper, please.”

Worker: *maybe 15 years older than I am* “Ooh, you have to watch your salt intake. It can be bad if you have high blood pressure.”

Me: *caught off guard and not sure how to react* “Um, my blood pressure is fine. Can I have salt and pepper?”

Worker: “Well, it’s fine now, but when you’re my age, you need to watch these things. You got cheese on your sandwich, too; can’t have too much of that when you’re older because of the fat and cholesterol.”

Me: “Okay?”

Worker: “Yes, you really need to be careful with these things. I know you’re young now, but—”

Customer Behind Me: “Wow, I didn’t know sandwiches came with health lectures now! Hope it doesn’t take too long; I’m hungry.”

Worker: *pause* “Let me ring you up.”

Me: *more to the customer than the worker* “Thank you.”

They Need To Be Sharper With Safety Hazards

, , , , , , | Working | June 15, 2018

(I am looking at some small items on a lower shelf in a craft store, and am therefore leaned over pretty far to get a good look. Suddenly I feel a heavy, sharp blow of the back of my head. Slightly dazed, I look around and see a package has fallen from peg on the shelf above where I was looking. Picking it up, I see it’s a package of several dozen thin sheets of copper-meant for embossing projects; it’s heavy and with a sharp, small edge. I take the package to the front of the store and approach a cashier.)

Me: “Hi, um… This fell off the shelf and hit me in the head…I wanted to tell somebody that you need to hang them differently or something.”

Cashier: *looking at package skeptically* “You’re saying this fell on you?”

Me: “Well, yeah, I was leaning over looking at something. See? It has a hanging tag on it, but a little tag like that couldn’t hold all that weight. It’s ripped in half, see? It ripped off under its own weight and fell.”

Cashier: *blank stare*

Me: “I just think they shouldn’t be displayed like that. Someone could get hurt. I mean, I got hurt, but someone could get really hurt.”

Cashier: “Hey, team lead!”

(The team lead walks over:)

Team Lead: “Is there a problem, ma’am?”

(I repeat the story, holding the package and lightly tapping it on the counter to show that it is, in fact, heavy, sharp sheets of metal. Both the cashier and team lead step back.)

Team Lead: “Ma’am, I’ll get the manager, but you need to calm down!”

(Baffled, I stand there while the cashier glares at me and turns her register light off. There are no other lanes open, and a line is forming. The team lead comes back and stands with the cashier. Neither move to open another lane or ring up any customers. Thinking I’m in the way, I scoot a few steps back.)

Team Lead: “MA’AM! You need to wait here for the manager!”

Me: “Look, I was just trying to tell you guys that there’s a problem. How long do I need to wait?”

(The team lead stomps off and returns with a flushed-looking older man.)

Manager: “Ma’am, I’m sorry you’re upset, but…”

Me: “I’m not upset. I’m just trying to tell you guys you have a safety hazard in your store…” *I repeat the story*

Manager: “And you’re saying that this fell and hit you in the head?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Are you bleeding?”

Me: “No, just a sore spot…”

Manager: “Do you need me to call an ambulance?”

Me: “No…”

Manager: “Then I’m not sure what you want from me. I’m not giving you that for free.”

(He grabbed the package and stormed off, muttering about me “wasting his time.” Baffled and ticked off, I went about my day. I was in that store again a few weeks later and, of course, they hadn’t moved or changed how they displayed those copper sheets. But there were several on the floor, leaning against the shelves, with the same torn hanging tags as the one that hit me. Here’s hoping no one gets really hurt.)

It’s Not The Postman Going Postal Today

, , , , , | Working | June 15, 2018

(A fellow I used to know had a bit of a feud going on with some members of his family at one point. What they were doing was repeatedly going to the post office and redirecting his mail, which, of course, was illegal. When he went to the post office to fix it, they wouldn’t do anything to fix the problem and even allowed it to happen again. He was at his wits’ end, so I coached him on how to fix the problem with the post office. First, I coached him on the importance of only doing it when there were a lot of people in there — an audience if you will. Here is the process I gave him.)

Postal Worker: “Good morning, sir. How may I help you?”

Friend: “Good morning.” *drops phone book on counter and open to a random page* “This person, here: I want their mail redirected to—” *flips phone book to another random page* “—this address, here.” *flips to another page* “And this person, here—” *again flipping page* “I want it sent here.”

Postal Worker: *aghast* “SIR! I can’t allow you to redirect other people’s mail! It isn’t legal!”

Friend: *loudly* “Why not? You’ve let other people do it to me four times in the last month. I should be able to screw other people over, too!”

(Other people waiting in line started to murmur. The upshot was that the station master was called to the front, and his mail was set up requiring picture ID to be presented before his mail could be redirected, thereby ending the problem.)

A Sauce Of Confusion

, , , , , | Working | June 15, 2018

(I am at a sandwich shop.)

Clerk: “What will it be?”

Me: “Footlong on white, please.”

Clerk: *butterflying the bread open* “Which meat?”

Me: “Before that, could you add some marinara on the bread?”

Clerk: *adds sauce only where the meat usually goes* “Sure, like this?”

Me: “Yes, for that side. Could you add the same to the other one?”

Clerk: *puzzled, flips the foot-long closed* “You mean on the crust?”

Page 1/9012345...Last
Next »