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This Is How They Resolve Things In Finland

, , , , | Legal | December 18, 2019

(I’m going to the grocery store close to where I work to get some lunch. As I enter, I see a guy in his twenties about to walk out, without paying, with a whole load of beer in his arms. The cashier is coming right after him and grabs him. I decide to help out, because I’m a large guy, and I don’t really think about it; it just happens. The shoplifter is putting up quite some resistance, right until the following exchange happens.)

Cashier: “Look, I’m not really fit enough to continue for much longer.”

Shoplifter: “Yeah, me, neither.”

(And the situation was resolved like that. The shoplifter stopped his resistance and waited until the police arrived. I’m glad they could come to a mutual understanding in the end.)

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Never Been So Un-App-y To See Cash

, , , , , | Right | October 12, 2019

(I work for the national railway company. A drunk customer approaches me, asking how she can get a ticket. They have not been sold on the train since June 2017.)

Me: “Tickets can be bought from the ticket machines over there, the kiosk over there, or with a mobile application.”

Customer: *demanding* “Help me with the application!”

Me: “Okay… Are you sure you don’t want to use the kiosk? It’s probably the easiest way and you can check out the application later with more time.”

(She is considerably drunk and her train is going to leave quite soon.)

Customer: “Yeah, yeah, just show me how it works.”

Me: *helps the customer download, install, and set up the application for the next five minutes* “Now all you need to do is to choose which ticket you need and your payment method.”

Customer: *chooses her ticket type and stares at her phone for half a minute before pulling out a 10€ bill* “So, where do I put this, then?”

(It took me all my mental strength to not tell her to put it where the sun doesn’t shine. After recomposing myself, I told her to just use the d*** kiosk, that her train was going to leave in a minute, and that the next one would leave in an hour. At least she sobered up a bit during the wait.)

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You Can Tell From My (Dial) Tone That I Can’t Speak

, , , , | Healthy | March 25, 2019

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

(I am working in an ER doing office duties, including admitting walk-ins. A phone rings.)

Me: “This is [Hospital] with [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: *absolute silence*

Me: “Sir or ma’am, are you unable to speak? Do you have a medical emergency?”

Caller: *still absolute silence*

(After about 60 seconds of silence, the caller hangs up. A few minutes later the phone rings again. The same thing happens again. I am getting really worried that this might be a bad emergency, like a stroke, that can leave a person without speak. I start wondering if I could communicate with the person using the phone’s dial tones and how to do it. But again, the person hangs up before I figure out a way to do it. The phone rings a third time. This time it’s the husband of a nurse, both of whom I know very well.)

Husband: “Hi, [My Name]. [Nurse] has really bad laryngitis. She can’t speak and can’t come to work today.”

Me: “Thank God. I was trying to figure out how to communicate with a person who can’t speak.”

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Sales Shoppers Attack In (Back)Packs

, , , , | Right | December 17, 2018

(I have gone to a sports and hiking store that has a big sale going on, and I figured they would have backpacks on sale, too. A couple of women enter the store, very fashionably dressed and looking quite out of place compared to the other customers. I overhear this conversation between them when passing them:)

Woman #1: “Hey, [Woman #2], what do you think I should buy? I just love sales!”

Woman #2: “I don’t know; just pick out something cute.”

(Most items on sale in this store can’t be described as “cute,” more like practical and comfortable, but I don’t pay any more attention to them after I have passed them. I notice a black backpack that I am looking for, the last one of that color. I examine the backpack and look at the price tag; it is quite cheap. I put it down on an empty shelf, still steadily resting my other hand on it, and flip my wallet open to check if I have enough money to buy it. Then I suddenly feel the bag being pulled away from under my hand. I look up and see one of the women from before, triumphantly holding the backpack up to check it out.)

Me: “Hey, I’m sorry, ma’am, I intend to buy that. Can I please have it back?”

Woman #1: “No! You weren’t holding on to it enough, so now it’s mine! Find another one!”

Me: “That black one is the last of its color, and I really would like to have it. I was just double-checking to see if I had enough money to buy it. And I was actually holding on to it. You snatched it out from under my hand.”

Woman #1: “Yeah, right! You’re just too poor to buy it, and you just left it there without even putting it back! You are the reason people hate working in retail because people like you never put anything back in its own place!”

(By this time she had raised her voice so much that she was drawing attention to herself from all the other customers, and I even saw a security guy on stand-by, ready to intervene. I decided to try to be firm but nice, so I wouldn’t come out looking like the crazy one.)

Me: *taking a non-menacing step forward and stretching out my hand* “Could I now please have the backpack back?”

(Even though my movement was relatively slow, the woman somehow took it as a threat and suddenly yanked me by the hair and gave me a push. I was totally unprepared for that so I crashed into a shelf, luckily not tipping it over.)

Security: “Okay, ma’am, you’re behaving in a threatening way and you attacked a customer. You need to come with me.”

Woman #1: “No! She tried to take my backpack! She probably can’t even afford it. Look at her! It’s my right to buy it!”

(She proceeded to rip down every display backpack from the shelf and tossed them on the floor. It didn’t take long for the security guy to overpower her and escort her out, while she was still screaming bloody murder.)

Woman #1: “This isn’t the end of this! I demand that I get to buy that backpack!”

(After the commotion, I got the backpack back and went to the check-out with it, where the cashier actually gave me a 30% discount on the already discounted price, to make up for the trouble I went through. I did catch a glimpse of the other woman outside the store, and she gave me an apologetic look and mouthed “sorry.” Well, the main thing is that I got my backpack, even though the process wasn’t exactly drama-free. Considering that the woman didn’t even know what she was going to buy when entering the store, she sure made up her mind in the end!)

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Let’s Finnish While We’re Ahead

, , , , | Right | September 4, 2018

(I’m the stupid customer here. I’m a Dutch tourist in Helsinki, having a particular nasty vacation due to not picking the right travelling companions. I’m at a kiosk looking at some souvenirs. I decide on a patch that says, “I love Finland,” and bring it to the counter. Because of my current situation, I’m very tired and quite grumpy. The clerk gives me my price, which I don’t pay attention to because he probably says it in Finnish, so I read it off the screen. I give him the money, and he says something else.)

Me: *low-key annoyed* “Sorry, I don’t speak Finnish”

Clerk: “Was that all today?”

Me: “I told you I don’t…” *suddenly clicks that he spoke English this whole time* “Oh… I’m so sorry!”

Clerk: *smiles* “Long day?”

Me: “Let’s keep it at that.”

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