Karma Instantáneo

, , , , , , | Working | April 5, 2020

(I’m on a four-day high school trip. After we stop for lunch on the way home, I go with a friend to a nearby gas station/corner store so she can buy some candy for the remaining fourteen hours of the bus ride. While she gets her candy, I start looking for a cheap souvenir, since everything in the hotel gift shop was either ridiculously expensive or simply impractical to travel with. I’m still looking when my friend pays for her candy, so she stands outside the store while I try to pick something out. Finally, I pick something and bring it to the counter. The cashier, a friendly young black man, has been cheery with my friend and absolutely nothing at all notable has happened so far. Neither I nor my friend look even remotely Latino or Hispanic, so I’m a little surprised when he starts speaking to me in Spanish, just as happily as before.)

Cashier: “¡Hola! ¿Como estás?”

(I’m surprised, but I smile and speak with next to no trace of my American accent.)

Me: “Cansado. ¿Y tu?”

(The cashier is clearly thrown off.)

Cashier: “Oh, s***.”

(His coworker, who heard everything in the back room, started laughing so hard that I thought he was going to fall off the small ladder I could see him standing on. I quickly told the cashier that I spoke English and was taking Spanish as a second language. He said that he sometimes did the Spanish to have some fun with customers, and he definitely didn’t expect me to try to start a conversation. The back room employee kept laughing about how “you showed him!” while the cashier rang up my souvenir. He was still laughing when I said, “¡Gracias, adios!” on my way out. I sometimes wonder if the back room guy ever let the cashier live down that little Spanish encounter or if it became some sort of cautionary tale about not trying to confuse customers.)

1 Thumbs
332

See If They Ever Come Again

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 3, 2020

We were catching up with some friends for a chat. Being a gracious host, I offered them a drink. She wanted coffee and he wanted tea.

While the teabag was steeping in the cup, I asked, “Are you a two-, three- or four-minute man?”

I’ve no idea why his wife was laughing so hard.

1 Thumbs
275

At Least His Sense Of Humor Isn’t Dead, Too

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 1, 2020

We had a relatively new phone number, and once every few weeks, we’d get a call from someone speaking Spanish. My Spanish is “muy malo” (very bad), but I could tell he was looking for José. I’d ask, “Habla Inglés?” but he obviously did not, so I’d hang up.  

Every few weeks, he’d call back looking for José. I suspected we had José’s old phone number and it was on this guy’s speed dial, but he never got around to changing it.

Again, he called, asking for José. In desperation, I faked a cry and said, “José es muerto! José es muerto!”

He let out a loud belly laugh and hung up, and we never heard from him again. I assume this prompted him to update his speed dial.

1 Thumbs
265

That Certainly Is Special

, , , , , | Working | March 31, 2020

(My husband and I are at a restaurant, checking out the menu. They have the specials on chalkboards on the walls, usually nicely written and decorated. We start discussing one of the specials we are going to actually get.)

Me: “Oooooh, they have loaded schnitzels with cheese, bacon, and mushrooms. Choice of beef or chicken. I think I might get the chicken.”

(My husband turns to look at the sign.)

Husband: “Oh, that sounds good. How much… Hang on. I’m not sure if I want that or not!” *laughing*

Me: “Why? It sounds amazing.”

Husband: “Because it says, ‘Shitzles.’ I’m not sure that would taste great.”

Me: “What? Oh, my goodness, it does, too! Hang on; I will go tell someone.”

(I get up and go to tell our waitress.)

Me: “Hi, I was wondering if you guys realized that the schnitzel sign actually says, ‘Shitzels.’”

Waitress: What?! Oh, my goodness, I’m so sorry!”

Me: “All good! Just figured you would want to change it.”

(I went to sit back down, and then another waitress came running over like a bat out of Hell with cloths and chalk. We all had a pretty good laugh.)

1 Thumbs
409

They’re Not Russian To Pay You Any More

, , , , | Working | March 30, 2020

(My boss, the CEO, calls me to his office. When I come, the HR director is also present. Both of them can speak Russian.)

CEO: “[My Name], next week we will have VIP guests from Russia. I want you to give them the factory tour and show them our workshop, offices, etc.”

Me: “Okay, who’s going to interpret? [Secretary/Interpreter] has a week off next week.”

CEO: “You speak Russian; you don’t need an interpreter.”

Me: “Well, while that may be true, I’m not paid to speak Russian.”

CEO: “But you can speak Russian.”

Me: “When I was hired, I was told I’d get a bonus for every language I could speak except for English, which was one of the main requirements for the position I hold. In my contract, it is written that I’m paid for one foreign language and that’s English; I’d get a bonus for other languages. When I asked for it, you personally told me that I ‘don’t have a paper,’ so no bonus for me.”

HR Director: “Um, yes, that’s our policy that you need a certificate. But in your CV, you stated that your mother tongues are Czech and Russian, right?”

Me: “Yes, your point?”

HR Director: “So, you can speak Russian.”

Me: “Yes, but I’m not paid to do so. Since I don’t have a paper to prove it.'”

HR Director: “But it’s your mother tongue.”

Me: “So I don’t need a paper to get my bonus?”

HR Director: “Ugh, um, it’s your mother tongue, so it’s not a foreign language.”

Me: “But it is for you. We are based in the Czech Republic. Russian isn’t an official language here, so by definition it is a foreign language in this state. Is [Half-Russian Coworker] getting a bonus for speaking Russian?”

HR Director: “Ugh…”

Me: “Don’t worry. I know the answer, which is yes. One of her mother tongues is Russian and she is getting a bonus for it.” *turns to my boss* “Sorry, boss, but if you want me to speak Russian at work, you pay me to do it.” *in Russian* “No money, no Russian.”

(I didn’t give that tour.)

1 Thumbs
745