You’re Finnished

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 7, 2018

(I’m Finnish, but I currently work and live in London. Some of my friends are visiting from Finland and we go to a nice, small café near my flat. We are chatting and, obviously, we use Finnish since it’s everyone’s first language. A man maybe in his 50s has been sitting near us and now approaches our table.)

Man: *rudely* “What are you talking?!”

(We are a bit surprised by his tone, but I assume he is just wondering what language we use, since Finnish is kind of rare and a hard one to guess. He’s not the first one to ask. So, I answer politely that we are speaking Finnish.)

Man: “No! You have to speak English! This is London! Anyone can’t understand you!”

Me: “I speak English when I’m speaking with other people, but we are all Finnish, so we can, in fact, understand each other.”

Man: *speaking on top of me* “NO! You need to speak English all the time! All the time! Other people need to understand you!”

Me: “Look, mate. I don’t see that this is in any way your problem. We speak English with other people, but Finnish with each other. We have been understood perfectly well by everyone, since we speak English to the people who don’t speak Finnish.”

Friend: “Yeah, so, please leave us alone.”

(By this point the barista and everyone else in the café have noticed that something is going on.)

Barista: “Excuse me, but is everything all right?”

Me: “This ‘gentleman’ is kind of bothering us.”

Man: “They need to speak English! Otherwise, people can’t understand what you are saying! You could be talking about anything! You could be talking about me!”

Friend: “Why on earth would we be talking about you?”

Barista: “Sir, there is no law that says everyone must speak English all the time. Have they in any way indicated that they were talking about you?”

Man: “Well, no, but they might! I was listening, and I couldn’t understand them at all, not one word! They need to speak English.”

Barista: “So, your problem is that you tried to eavesdrop on their conversation, and now you are annoyed that you couldn’t?”

Man: *pause* “No… Well… No… Other people can’t… Need to understand them…”

(The man went back to his table, took his things, and left. We thanked and tipped the barista. My friends just thought the whole thing funny. I can’t understand how a person can function in a multicultural city with hundreds of different languages and millions of tourists with that attitude.)

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Making You Go Psycho

, , , , | Healthy | February 7, 2018

(I have a psychologist assigned to me at my hospital, where I am a frequent visitor and inpatient due to a chronic illness. She’s not very good at her job, at least when it comes to me; every conversation I have with her ends in frustration for me, and a completely warped assessment of my emotional and mental state for my doctor. Eventually, I get tired of it, and ask not to see her anymore, since I think she misunderstands and/or misrepresents my mental health. This is the last conversation I have with her, during a week-long hospitalisation.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but considering that I asked you not to come today, and you came anyway, and once again you haven’t really understood what I’m saying, I’m going to ask the doctors not to send you to me anymore.

Psychologist: “Oh… Well, I still have one more visit planned for the day before you leave.”

Me: “Please cancel it. I appreciate your help, but I just become too frustrated.”

Psychologist: “Well… if you change your mind, please let–

Me: “I’m not going to change my mind.”

Psychologist: “Well, if you do, just tell one of the day nurses and—”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to.”

Psychologist: “Well, just in case you do—”

Me: “I’m not.”

Psychologist: “I know you think that now, but I’ll be here if you want to chat.”

Me: “I promise you, I won’t.”

Psychologist: “Well, if you change your mind…”

(Then, she just stood there smiling. I stared at her in disbelief until she left.)

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Skirting Around The Real Issue

, , , , | Friendly | February 5, 2018

(My friend and I are both girls, and we both do cosplay. I am at her house and we’re both working on costumes for an upcoming convention. She has finished most of the skirt prior to me arriving, and she’s fussing over what is essentially a wonky seam on the petticoat.)

Friend: “It’s just not going correctly!”

Me: “When you put it on, is it visible?”

Friend: “I don’t think so?”

Me: “Put the skirt on.”

(She puts the skirt on. The bit she doesn’t like is pretty much right between her legs and hidden within the folds of the skirt.)

Me: “That doesn’t matter, hun.”

Friend: “But what if someone notices it’s not right?”

Me: “It can only be seen if someone sticks their head up your skirt and puts their face in your crotch. You would have bigger things to worry about than a wonky hem in that situation.”

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Some People Only Have A Shelf-Life

, , , , | Right | February 5, 2018

(I work in a small charity shop for a small, local animal shelter. Our prices are always pretty good. We have a shelf for 50p items: cheap stuff like generic mugs, small plates, little trinkets, typical charity bric-a-brac. I am manning the till when I see a regular troublemaker sidle into the shop. Today, she sneaks up to the area where things worth more than 50p are placed with price labels. I am subtly watching her as I tidy the counter. She browses, and then picks up a very nice vase, which is priced at £2.50. As I watch, she creeps — I do not exaggerate; she walks sideways, like a crab, so that her back is to me, “hiding” the vase — and pops it down on the 50p shelf. I sigh inwardly, because I know where this is going. She backs up about three feet, then swoops in and plucks the item from the shelf, exclaiming about how nice it is, before strolling over and placing it down on the counter.)

Me: “Just this one for you today?”

Customer: *all sweetness and light* “Yes, please! It’s quite a find!”

Me: “Lovely. That will be £2.50, please. Would you like it bubble-wrapped?”

Customer: “Oh, no. It was on the 50p shelf. See?”

(She points at the shelf, as though I am unaware of where the shelf is, literally five feet from the tills.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, but this item was out on the main shelves. Look.”

(I turn the item to show her the base, where the original price sticker remains.)

Customer: “Well, it was on the 50p shelf when I found it, so you have to give it to me for 50p!”

(Her nice tone is slipping to snappy now, as she and I have one of these arguments about once a fortnight, and she knows she won’t get her way.)

Me: “I am so sorry, but I can’t do that. It only went out today, so it has to be sold at the original asking price. After all, we are an animal charity; every 50p is another tin of dog food to us!”

(This “tin of dog food” speech is my greatest weapon against the customers who quibble over less than the cost of a pint on items in a charity shop, but today, she is not having it, and I brace myself as I see her visibly inflate with rage.)

Customer: “I AM A REGULAR CUSTOMER HERE. I SPEND MONEY IN HERE ALL THE TIME. YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT TO ME FOR THE PRICE I FOUND IT AT. THIS IS FALSE ADVERTISING AND I WILL HAVE YOU FIRED.”

Me: “Ma’am, I am a volunteer. They don’t fire volunteers in the same way. And, as such, I am free to tell you that no, I do not have to sell it to you at that price. It is not false advertising, as the price on the base is present and correct, and you were the one who moved it to the 50p shelf.”

Customer: *starting to go a faint shade of purple now* “HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME IN THAT MANNER, YOU IGNORANT LITTLE BRAT?! NO WONDER THEY HAVE YOU AS A VOLUNTEER. NOBODY WOULD EVER ACTUALLY HIRE YOU!”

Me: “I am sorry you feel that way.”

(I pick up the vase and move it out of her reach, on a bit of counter beside the wall.)

Customer: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! THAT’S MINE!”

Me: “It is not yours; you have not paid for it. I am refusing you service for insulting me.”

Customer: “HOW DARE YOU?! YOU CAN’T DO THAT! I’LL HAVE YOU FIRED! I AM A REGULAR! I AM NEVER COMING BACK AFTER THIS OUTRAGE! I SPEND A LOT OF MONEY HERE!”

Me: “Usually about 50p. Now, please, there is a queue forming.”

(Still ranting and raving, she storms out of the shop, all but shattering our elderly doors as she slams them.)

Me: *under my breath* “See you again next week.”

Next Customer: *puts down their genuine 50p-shelf purchases and grins at me* “So… How many tins of dog food do I owe you?”

Me: *laughing* “Five. Or I’ll take £2.50, instead.”

(The other customers were very understanding about the disturbance, and I am sad to say this was one of almost daily occurrences of trouble with the dreaded 50p shelf.)

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Even Numbers Means an Odd Donation

, , , | Hopeless | February 4, 2018

(I am in a queue of people waiting to be served at the only till that was open. There are three people in front of me. The shop is having a promotion for Christmas, asking people to donate £1 for a dog food in a local shelter for the holiday period. The three people in front of me all decline the request with a very short and abrupt ‘No.’ Then it is my turn.)

Cashier: “Would you like to donate to [Local Shelter] for a dog’s Christmas lunch?”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Cashier: “Oh, okay. Your total will be—”

Me: “I would like to pay for the three people who refused before me and one from me.”

Cashier: *surprised* “Wow, are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Cashier: “Er, that will be [total] plus your donation of £4.”

Me: “You know what? I hate even numbers. Make it £5.”

Cashier: “…okay. Your total is now [new total].”

Me: *makes payment*

Cashier: “Can I ask, why did you pay extra?”

Me: “We recently lost our own dog after 14 years. This is my way of helping others in remembrance of our pet.”

Cashier: “I understand and I will make sure the [Local Shelter] gets told about this for you.”

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