I Pronounce This Scammer Vanquished! For Now…

, , , | Working | June 3, 2020

Thanks to Not Always Working and the Internet, I’ve read about the “Your Windows Computer has a virus” scam, but I’ve never heard of it done in Germany.

One day, I’m home during the day when the phone rings. The caller immediately talks to me in English, which is very unusual here; while many people know some English, you don’t just assume they do.

Caller: “Hello, is this [bad pronunciation of My Husband’s Name]?”

Me: “Who’s asking?”

Caller: “Is this [bad pronunciation of My Husband’s Name, this time going so far as to spell out the ‘difficult’ German sounds]?”

I realize this could be good.

Me: *Pauses* “Okay, fine, yeah, that’s me.”

Caller: “I’m calling from Windows customer support—”

I start giggling because I can’t believe they’re actually trying this.

Me: “Really? Oh, dear.”

Caller: “Ma’am, why are you laughing?”

Me: “Sorry, sorry. I’m nervous; I’ve never talked to Windows support before. Please, do go on. I’m dying to hear this.”

Caller: “Well, we have noticed your computer has a virus and it’s important that you—”

Unfortunately, I burst out laughing at this point and decide that’s enough.

Me: “Thank you. So much. That made my day! I can’t believe you’re trying that scam in foreign countries now!”

I hang up. Later, I recount the scene to my husband. His first reaction:

Husband: “Oh… Um, but did they say which virus?”

Maybe it’s a good thing I answered the phone that day, or they might’ve just succeeded.

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Unfiltered Story #195814

, | Unfiltered | June 2, 2020

(I work security on a music festival once a year, usually in the ‘wavebreaker’, the steel barrier that keeps the crowd from pushing forward too much. As most guests already know, it’s forbidden to sit on each others shoulders within a few meters of the barrier, since people could smash their faces on it, if the bottom person falls over. If they do, we command them down, generally by gestures and short, loud commands, as it’s too loud and too busy to make a long story of it. A tall guy takes a girl on his shoulders, so she can see better.

Me: *shouts and points downwards* DOWN!

Guest: *stares at me blankly*

Me: DOWN! DOWN!

Guest: *confused* Who?

Me: You! Her! Down!

(I look in his eyes, and can actually see him realizing what I am talking about, as if he had instantly forgotten about the girl he just picked up a mere few seconds ago)

Guest: OH!! Right! *puts her back down*

Motoring Right On Through To Your License

, , , , , | Learning | June 1, 2020

When I am twenty-two, I decide to get a license to drive the second-largest motorcycle, which is the best I can do at the time. (A2, for you EU-citizens out there.) In drivers’ ed for a normal car, I had teachers that I would classify as “meh” at best, but for the motorcycle lessons, my teacher is awesome and knows exactly how to motivate his students.

While I love the driving lessons, the thought of taking the practical exam makes me very nervous as I failed several times when getting a license to drive a car. My teacher has already asked which spot I would prefer for the driving exercises as he has the possibility to make a suggestion to the examiner — unofficially, of course.

One thing that I am scared of most is one of the basic exercises: driving in a perfect circle. It’s not that I can’t do it technically; it’s just that the radius isn’t marked on the ground and I am terrible at guessing how many metres I am from the centre. This goes for motorcycling, biking, or horseback riding — I just can’t do it.

My teacher knows this and tries to calm me down by explaining that the examiner can choose from several exercises but he can only choose one, which means that if I am tested in, for example, stop-and-go, I won’t have to do the circle. I am good at stop-and-go, so I really hope we will do that one.

Fifteen minutes before the exam, we stop at a gas station to fill up and check the tyre pressure. Nervous as I am, I do something stupid and fall down with the motorcycle, hurting my knee — but not so bad that I couldn’t continue — and breaking the clutch lever! I can’t drive like this safely so we stop at the motorcycle dealership and my teacher calls the examiner to tell him we will run late. While the lever is being replaced, I am standing outside in tears. This is about as bad as it can get.

My teacher tries to calm me down. “Okay, so that is done now; it’s over,” he says. “Now you can focus on the exam and pass it.”

“I can try,” I say, shakily.

My teacher says confidently, “No! We’re not here to try. It’s far too expensive for that. You’re gonna do it!”

Cheered up only a little, I start the exam. For the base exercises, my teacher makes sure we go to the place I know best. Now comes the part I am so scared of; will the examiner make me drive in circles? I try to tell myself how unlikely that is when I hear my teacher over the radio making a subtle suggestion to the examiner.

“So, which exercise should we do first? Stop-and-go or—”

“Yeah, yeah, do that,” the examiner says.

I immediately cheer up over the little trick my teacher pulled, even if, on second thought, the examiner probably knew exactly what was going on.

And that’s how my teacher chose the perfect spot for the exam, saved me from the possibility of circle driving, and later even told the examiner that a line I illegally crossed was absolutely impossible to see with the wet surface of the road. I passed on the first try!

To this day, I think he is the perfect teacher and if I ever find the money to do the license for big motorcycles, I will definitely go to him! Even if I still have a guilty conscience about denting that motorcycle.

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These Situations Are Flour-ing Frequently

, , , | Right | May 30, 2020

I get a student job filling shelves in the morning. Normally, I’m done before we open, but sometimes, I have to stay a bit longer and people come up to me with questions. I’m just filling in the aisle containing everything from flour to canned goods. It is March 2020, so due to panic buying, we often run out of some items.

Customer: “Where’s the flour?”

Me: *Checking around* “The normal one is sold out. We still have this organic flour on the shelf above. I can go check in the back, though.”

The customer just… stares at me, so I take that as a yes and go into the back to check. Flour is one of the goods that’s gone frequently and we have no idea when it gets delivered next time.

Me: “I’m sorry, but the regular flour is sold out. You can get this one, instead.”

I point to the flour on the top shelf.

Customer: “But flour is 79 cents! It’s always here!”

Me: “That’s the other type. Unfortunately, that one sold out. This one is the only one we have right now.”

Customer: “But it’s always here!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Why is it not 79 cents? It always is!”

The customer leaves without looking at me again.

Colleague: “At least you weren’t accused of hiding it from him like I was last week.”

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A Mark Of Child Labor

, , , | Right | May 27, 2020

We’re managing flea markets. Our “customers” are people selling stuff they no longer need, and they have to pay a fee based on the length of their market stand, while children’s stands are free. This happens while we still have the DM rather than the Euro.

Collector: “All right, that will be forty marks.”

Customer:What?! I was told it’s ten per meter and that children are free. This should just be thirty marks!”

Collector: “Yes, that is right, and your daughter can sell her toys for free. However, your own market stand is over four metres long, so thirty is not enough.”

Customer: “Fine, here’s your money; this is robbery!” *To the daughter* “Give me ten marks; you have to chip in if you want to sell.”

Collector: “Uh, sorry, but as I said, your daughter’s table is free.”

Customer: “Mind your own d*** business!”

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