Ever-Increasing Heights Of Ignorance

, , , | Right | November 21, 2017

Customer: “Hi, where’s [Owner]? I haven’t seen him here for the past few days.”

Me: “He’s actually gone to Mount Everest. He wants to climb to the base camp for his 50th.”

Customer: “Oh, how exciting!”

(A couple of days later.)

Customer: “Hi, is [Owner] still climbing the North Pole?”

Me: “Uh… He’s at Mount Everest.”

Customer: *blank stare* “Yes.”

(She kept asking me whether he was “still at the North Pole” until he eventually came back.)

A Stroke Of Misunderstanding

, , , | Working | November 21, 2017

(My father suffers a stroke and we have to take him to the hospital. My mother stays with him and I go home in the morning, so I have to call in at his workplace.)

Me: *crestfallen* “Hi, I’m calling about [Father]. Sadly, he had a stroke last night, and we had to take him to the hospital. He won’t be able to come in until further notice.”

Secretary: “Oh, no! What did he do?”

Me: *repeating* “He had a stroke.”

Secretary: “Oh… No. I mean… like… medically.”

Me: *beginning to grasp after a few seconds of confusion* “Umm… I think you might be referring to the figurative meaning of the word, when people act stupid or funny. However, ‘stroke’ is actually a medical term describing when the brain doesn’t get enough blood.”

Secretary: “Oh, wow! I did not know that until now. Can you imagine? Anyhow, tell him to get well soon, to catch some restorative sleep, and to send in a letter from his doctor if it will take him longer than two days to recover.”

(Needless to say, it took him longer than two days. When I told my dad this story some days later, he had a good laugh about it, saying it was a good thing that secretary did not work in a medical office. Tomorrow, he’ll be starting work again after about a year.)

It Was A Woman, She Was Blue

, , , , , , | Right | November 21, 2017

Me: “[Company], how may I direct your call?”

Caller: “Someone just called me, but I don’t know who it was.”

Me: “Unfortunately, all of our calls come up as our switchboard number, so I’m not able to tell who it was, either.”

Caller: “She just called me, but I couldn’t understand anything she was saying.”

Me: “Unfortunately, unless you know the person’s name or what the call was about, I don’t know who to get you to.”

Caller: *as if this will clear everything up* “It was a woman.”

It’s Gonna Be One Of Those Years

, , , , | Learning | November 21, 2017

(I am on the phone with the local elementary school to find out what the cut off date is for kindergarten, so I can send my twins to school.)

Receptionist: “I am sorry, but [Twin B] can’t be enrolled until next year; his birthday is after the cut off. [Twin A] is able to start though.”

Me: “How is that possible?”

Receptionist: “Because January comes after December.”

Me: “Not in the same year. December 2006 comes after January 2006. Besides, if [Twin A] is old enough, then [Twin B] has to be old enough because they are twins and share the same birthday.”

Receptionist: “I don’t know what to tell you. [Twin B] can be enrolled next year because January comes after December.”

(This goes back and forth for about 15-20 min.)

Me: “Look, this is how a calendar works. January 2006, February 2006… November 2006, December 2006, January 2007. My kids were both born in 2006.”

Receptionist: *quiet as if thinking about this* “Oh, they are TWINS! Why didn’t you say so?!”

Me: “Seriously?”

At Least He Knows Africa Is A Continent

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 21, 2017

(At the end of my younger brother’s first semester away at college, he sends word that he has extended an invitation to an acquaintance at school to spend the holidays with our family because they cannot travel home for winter break. The person in question is a young man from Uganda. [Guest] has a couple things to wrap up after finals, so my brother is already home, but he drives back to his university to pick [Guest] up, and I go with him. I think my brother and [Guest] know each other already, but I sit in the back of my brother’s car listening to him getting to know this Ugandan international student for what seems like the first time. I make no qualms over my brother’s lack of social skills or etiquette. He’s no bigot, just a sad combination of clueless and uncouth. Thankfully, [Guest] is one of the most patient, gracious, and funny people I’ve ever met.)

Brother: “So, what country in Africa are you from?”

Guest: “Uganda. It is right on the equator.”

Brother: “Wow. So, it’s hot, huh?”

Guest: “Yes. So hot. This weather here is unbearable!”

Brother: “Like, hot enough to cook an egg on a rock or something?”

Guest: “No, man, meat. Just whole steaks, right there on the rock. Well-done in seconds.”

Brother: “Wow, really?”

Guest: “Oh, yeah. That hot.”

Brother: “So, did you grow up in a hut?”

Guest: “No, I sleep under the stars with a log pillow, next to the lions.”

Brother: “Oh, wow! Next to lions?!”

([Guest] cut him loose at that point and explained that his home city, Kampala, is a very normal, western-looking city with tall buildings and traffic. The rest of his stay with our family was awesome because the guy was laugh-out-loud hysterical in nearly everything he talked about, and I’ve always regretted not staying in touch with him all these years later.)