Unfiltered Story #119047

| Unfiltered | August 27, 2018

(At the Military Memorial Park of Pákozd, where I worked, several old and modern military objects are displayed in the open. Amongst these are nonfunctional artillery, fargos and others; most of them can be freely accessed and “used” (kids love to climb and steer them). However, there is a tank from ’56, which is real, and since its injuries were real, too, it is dangerous to touch and climb. The edges are sharp, and the shell itself is bumpy. There are several forbidding signs with pictures and text “Do not climb” etc, around the tank, a barricade, and even a low chain fence. Despite these, several visitors climb the tank. Below is a small compilation of my experiences.)

Me: Please, do not climb on the tank. It is dangerous!
84 years old man: Young lady, I know it is dangerous, I used to drive these!
*slips, cuts hand* …sorry, do you have a bandage?

Me: Please, sir, get down from the tank. It is forbidden to climb.
Patron: I didn’t know! Girlie, you can’t tell me what to do!
Me: There are five warning signs. We were watching you looking at them. And yes, I can.
Patron: Well, I cannot read!
Me: They also have pictures. Down. Now. *setting my arms a-kimbo. While I’m petite, recently I trained a lot throwing grenades etc. for the park’s activities, and my army green shirt showed off my muscles. *
Patron *suddenly scared, realizing where exactly he is* Sorry, ma’am!
*scurries down*

Me: Please, kids, come down. It is a real tank, it is dangerous to climb. You see how sharp it’s this?
Older kid, about five: Ohh, I see! Sorry, miss! *helps his little brother descend safely*
Father *suddenly shows up*: How dare you shout at my kids? They are upset! They will cry!
Younger kid: Daddy, she didn’t shout…
Father *screaming*: Entitled little bitch, I’ll show you…
Other patron, who previously had a chat with me, laughing: Cool off, man, she was kind…
Me: Please, stop disturbing others, sir, or we will have to escort you out of the premises.
Father: You? That’s rich!
Other patron to me: Please, lieutenant, can I watch you kick his ass? Pretty pretty please!
Father *suddenly terrified, flees*
Kids: Sorry, miss!
Me to other patron: Thank you, but I thought I’ve already confirmed I’m not actually in military?…
Other patron: Yes, but I wanted to see his face, and you definitely look like you are! So… can you tell me more about the trenches?…

Me: Please, sir, do not climb on the barricade, nor the tank. It is dangerous. You are welcome to try the other artilleries, and we have a MIG-29 simulator inside…
Man in flip-flops: Shut up, bitch! I do what I want! *slips, sprints his ankle, starts screaming in pain*
Me: …would you like me to call you an ambulance, sir?
Man *sheepisly* No, sorry… can you call my wife here?… *points to a woman nearby*
I had the satisfaction on watching her chewing him out for his stupidity, and she even gave me a candy bar!

Me: Please, ma’am, climb off the tank. It is dangerous, and forbidden strictly.
Patron: Yeah, I saw the signs. I do what the fuck I want. Go away, little slut!
Me *smiling, pointing to another, new sign* And you don’t care about the wasps inside…?
Patron *screeches, takes off as fast as she can*

Me: Sir, please, do not lift your kids on the tank. It is dangerous.
Patron *doesn’t listen, continues to set his one-year-old baby right next to a big, sharp gash*
His kids have been actually listening, and started to carefully slip down. I helped one of them.
Me to the patron:  Please, sir, take your child off the tank. It is dangerous.
Patron *suddenly screaming* How dare you touch my children! I’ll call the police! I…
*my hunk coworker appears, with a stern face; the patron pales* … I’ll leave…
*takes his children, leaves*

Spotting someone climbing the tank was an everyday occurrence, but most of our patrons were sensible enough for not screaming at us for making them get off. Regrettably, we always had that one idiot (usually an adult) who decided they should ignore all warnings. One time someone decided to climb the tank while there was a protocol event. The actual soldiers took care of him fast!

Unfiltered Story #119045

| Unfiltered | August 27, 2018

The main building in the Military Memorial Park has several modern exhibits, amongst them one about aviation. I’m on duty in that station in this day, manning the MIG-29 simulator. The day is slow, and I’m starting to get bored, when a sweet old couple walks in. The husband looks at the simulator, which consist of a real cockpit with the booby-hatch from a MIG-27 plane, and a control panel in front of a big screen and cheers up.
Old gentleman: Honey, look at this! This seems like just the real deal! And I suppose you young miss are the pilot? You will take us on a journey?
Me, smiling: Almost, sir. I will assist you, but you will be the one piloting! I’m just a navigator for you. Would you like to take a seat? Or you, ma’am?
Old lady: Can we both try it? Is it even possible for old farts like us to do this?
Me: But of course! Fun has no age limits!
Old gentleman: And what happens if we fail? Will we crash and die?
Me: No, sir, I’d never let it! You see, I can operate the catapult here, so if I see that you are in danger, we just leave the plane… Would you like to try it?
Old lady: I think I will die from happiness! This is fantastic! Let me try!

They both tried it, screaming in childish glee, admiring the game’s realistic view and generally behaving like a kid in the candy shop. They both failed the mission first, but as it was a slow day, I confirmed with the receptionist, and let them play with the simulator as long as they wanted, helping them using the controls. After a while, both of them managed to safely land (not an easy feat for anyone)! They were really nice and genuinely happy, really cheering me up. Even just dealing with them already made my day, but later they came back with sweets and a small pendant for me. They insisted I have them, and the old lady even gave me a hug!

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I Calculate A 100% Chance Of Failure

, , , , | Working | August 20, 2018

(I work as an accountant and have a very… interesting coworker. I take her calculator and try to make my coworker count in her head.)

Me: “What’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “I can’t count without my calculator!”

Me: “Just try, what’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “6?”

Me: “What’s 6 plus 6?”

Coworker: “12.”

Me: “So what’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “8.”

Me: “And what’s 8 plus 8?”

Coworker: “I can’t do it without my calculator!”

Me: “I won’t give it back to you unless you tell me.”

Coworker: “16.”

Me: “So what’s 50% of 18?”

Coworker: “9.”

Me: “Okay, and what’s 18 plus 9?”

Coworker: “I. Can’t. Count. Without. My. CALCULATOR!”

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In Gulag We Eat Goulash

, , , | Right | July 18, 2018

(Our professor tells us this story about her student visiting Hungary and going out to eat.)

Student: “I’ll have the Gulag, please.”

Waiter: “Excuse me?”

Student: “Gulag.”

Waiter: “Oh, you mean goulash. You don’t want to say that other word again.”

(Goulash is a traditional stew. A Gulag was a Soviet work camp.)

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Hungary For Some Medicine

, , | Healthy | December 6, 2017

(When I left Germany for a semester abroad people warned me that every foreign student has at least one horror story to tell from their experience. This one is mine. I go to Hungary. All my classes are in English, and most of the people I interact with are fluent in either English or German, so while I only know the most basic Hungarian — introduction phrases, greetings, how to order food — my Hungarian is not good and I communicate in English most of the time. Two months into my stay, I wake up with massive pain in my ears, and they are wet, like liquid is coming out of them. I call my mother, a nurse, who tells me it might be a middle-ear inflammation and that I need to go see a doctor immediately. But since my European insurance only covers emergencies, I have not been to a doctor so far and have no GP in town. I start searching online for an English-speaking doctor I can go to. I eventually find out that my best bets are the so-called “emergency centres” of each town district, apparently some kind of doctors’ offices where you pay cash and later are reimbursed by your insurance company. I decide to call the centre of my district. The person who answers the phone hands me over to the doctor on call. I describe my symptoms and my suspected diagnosis and she tells me to come to them right away. I take a cab to the office, where I only find a nurse unable to speak English.)

Me: “Hi! I called earlier; I am here to see the doctor.”

Nurse: “No doctor!”

(With both of us using translator apps, we end up establishing that the doctor is not here and I will have to wait two hours. So, I wait in pain, cold, with my nose running like crazy, in the “waiting room,” a room completely empty except for one metal bench. The doctor arrives more than 90 minutes later. While she gathers her tools, I describe my symptoms again. As soon as I mention pain in the ears, she stops and turns around.)

Doctor: “You are in the wrong place. You need to see a specialist.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what? I told you all that on the phone; you told me to come here!”

Doctor: “No, you need to go to the hospital.”

(She gives me a paper that I hope describes the reason she is sending me away, and the name of a hospital. The hospital is way closer to my place than the emergency centre is and I am quite angry, sick and miserable as I am, that I wasted more than two hours when she could have told me to go there on the phone. But it is already past noon by now, on a Friday, so I hurry, as normal business hours will end soon. I reach the hospital. The receptionist, again not an English speaker, motions for me that I am in the wrong place.)

Me: *using my translator app* “I was told to come here!”

(The receptionist brings me inside where a nurse can translate for me that I need to go to another entrance, two buildings down. I thank them and am on my way. By now, I am suffering even worse. My head feels like it will split open, my ears just radiate pain, and my nose is basically dripping like a faucet. I reach the right entrance and hand the paper I got at the emergency centre to the receptionist.)

Receptionist #2: *pushes the paper back to me and talks fast Hungarian*

Me: “Please, I do not speak Hungarian. Beszelek nincs magyarul!

(She turns around and ignores me. I use my translator, type in, “Hello. I think I have an middle ear infection. I need a doctor; can you help me?” and hope the app will not mess it up too bad. I show the result to her, but she just looks away. I try to hand her my phone so she can type an answer in the translator, but she pushes it away, too. She ignores all my other attempts of communication. In my desperation, I use my last resort: I call the emergency number. As I am in a European capital, they should have some people speaking English. I finally end up talking to someone that understands me. By now, I am desperate and crying.)

Me: “Hello! I hope you can help me; I need an English-speaking doctor. I went to the emergency centre in [District];they refused to treat me and sent me to [Hospital]. But here, they won’t treat me either, and no one can tell me why! Please, I am in pain; I need a doctor!”

Operator: “That is no problem. I will find the closest doctor! Hmm… Yes… Okay! You need to go to the emergency centre in [District].”


(I am full-on crying now. I collapse to the floor, sobbing. The foyer is empty except for the receptionist that still ignores me.)

Operator: *sounding angry* “You need to calm down! I cannot understand you when you shout! I told you where to go, so go there! Emergency centre in [District]!”

(Finally, someone notices me. While I disconnect the call, a young med student runs to me, offering her help, and asking me what is wrong. I hand her my paper, explain what I have just been through, and tell her that the receptionist refuses to tell me where to go or to communicate at all. She goes and talks to the receptionist and returns with another piece of paper.)

Student: “Everything is all right. Your doctor sent you here because the ENT-walk-in clinic is here. But the clinic closed at noon. So, you need to go to the surgical ENT-ward. It is really close. I’ll write down the address for you. You go in there, hand the receptionist there your papers, and they will bring you to a doctor.”

(The address is just around the corner from my building. I go there, but when I see the building I lose all hope. I am not standing in front of a hospital; I am standing in front of a fast food place. I just want to go home, but I know that I need pain meds and antibiotics, and the search for a doctor will not get easier on the weekend. So, I enter the next pharmacy I see.)

Me: “I am so sorry, but can you help me? I have been searching for a doctor for more than four hours now. I am in pain, but everyone refuses to treat me! They gave me this address at the hospital, but there is only [Fast Food Place] there! And I know what they say about antibiotics in cow-meat, but I’m pretty sure I need more than a burger right now!”

(The pharmacists rush into action. One leads me to a chair and brings me water while the other one starts using the phone.)

Pharmacist: “Okay, I just talked to the hospital and found out what’s wrong. You need to go to [Address] Square, not [Address] Street. It is about 200 meters down the road. They can help you. Come by after and let us know you were taken care of, sweetie!”

(I finally find the right building. The nurses of the ward won’t talk in English, but with the help of my papers they find me a doctor. He is amazing; he even types up my medical papers twice, one time in Hungarian and one time in English. He even allows me to come back to the ENT-ward the next week for my checkup, so I will not have to go through that trouble again. I go back to the pharmacy to get my meds and the pharmacists hug me and tell me to go home and rest. Sadly, that is not the end of the story. I feel way better after a while. Next Friday I return to the ward for my checkup 20 minutes after they open. I hand the nurses the papers the last doctor gave me, but they seem confused. My translator app message, “Hello, I am here for my checkup with [Doctor]!” is ignored again. A man in scrubs notices me.)

Man: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I was here last week, [Doctor] told me to come back for my checkup.”

(He talks to the nurses and turns back to me.)

Man: “Someone will be with you in a minute.”

(I sit down in front of the window of the cubicle the nurses sit in and start reading a book. I am in plain sight all the time. I eventually even finish my book. More than two hours have passed. Further communication with the nurses seems futile and I am considering what to do when the man from before comes around the corner again. He sees me, turns red, and starts shouting at the nurses in Hungarian.)

Man: “I am so sorry; a doctor will be with you in a second.”

(As it turns out, that man was the chief resident. My doctor from my last visit had been called out of the ward and the nurses were supposed to tell a different doctor to see to my checkup, but they did not. The other doctor was there in two minutes. I know that I cannot expect all locals to understand English when I am the foreigner in a country whose language I do not speak. But even if you do not have a common language, try to help. Get someone to translate, try to use translator apps, or even use hand movements. But please, do not just ignore a crying girl that is asking for your help!)

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