Right Here In The Vatican City

, , , , , | Learning | March 14, 2020

I went to a Catholic high school, and at the time, all freshmen had to take Latin I. On the first day of class, the teacher went into how a lot of words in English have Latin roots.

“When the word has ‘bi-‘, it means ‘two.’ With ‘tri-‘, you have ‘three.’” He followed with, “And when you have ‘mono-‘ you have…”

A classmate piped up, “Trouble!”

That’s a Latin lesson I’ve never forgotten.

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Decoding Your Partner

, , , , , , | Romantic | March 13, 2020

(My partner is doing something involving computer code.)

Me: “What ‘cha doing?”

Partner: “Just a course on image analysis.”

Me: “What language is it in?”

Partner: *looks at me like I’m stupid* “English.”

Me: *laughing* “Man, you only know English; that wasn’t the question.”

Partner: “Oh! Matlab.”

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Adventures In Displeased Italian Noises

, , , , , | Right | March 13, 2020

(I work for a pest control company. Going through the mail, I find a customer — a local restaurant — has sent us a second check for an invoice they’ve already paid, so I call them.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] with [Pest Control Company]. Is there someone available I can speak to about your billing?”

Lady: “Hold on. He’s very busy at the moment. Let me check.” *puts the phone down and talks to a man in the background* “Do we have [Pest Control Company]? They’re calling about billing.”

Man: *in the background, making emphatic and affirmative Italian noises*

Lady: *picking the phone back up* “He’s very busy. Can you call back?”

Me: “Can you let him know he actually overpaid us? I can mail the check back or void it and shred it?”

Lady: “One sec.” *putting the phone down again* “You paid too much. Do you want them to send the check back or shred it?”

Man: *displeased Italian noises*

Lady: “Do you want them to use it as a credit?”

Man: *loudly, enthusiastically, and in the thickest accent I’ve ever heard* “Credit! Credit!”

Lady: *to me* “Yes, can you apply that as a credit?”

Me: “Absolutely. Let him know you won’t owe anything next month.”

(We said our goodbyes and I spent the next few minutes giggling. I’ll have to eat at that restaurant sometime. It seems like a fun place!)

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Meanwhile, In The Kitchen They’re All “Overcooked”

, , , , , | Right | March 11, 2020

(My boyfriend, my friend, and I are out at a local pub for dinner and darts. I’m playing a game on my phone while they face off.)

Friend: “What are you playing?”

Me: “[Game]. It’s pretty fun.”

(A waitress, unbeknownst to us, is walking by at this moment.)

Friend: “You should try Diner Dash. I like it a lot.”

Me: “Noted.”

Waitress: *appearing suddenly* “So, would you folks like your bill?”

Boyfriend: No, we just got here.”

Waitress: “Are you sure? I heard someone talk about dining and dashing.”

(We burst out laughing and filled her in on the conversation. My boyfriend and I go there frequently and now we are known as the “Dine-And-Dashers.” Joy.)

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The Universal Translator Can’t Translate Entitlement

, , , , | Right | March 10, 2020

(I work at the front desk of a luxury business hotel and I speak five languages. I also work with people from over seventy different countries, most of whom speak at least two languages, as well, so we pretty much cover every main language in the world. Still, people seem to think we are robots.)

Me: “Welcome to [Hotel]; how may I assist you?”

Guest: *speaking very fast in a language I don’t recognize*

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t understand you. What language is this, so I can maybe find a colleague who is able to assist you or translate for me?”

Guest: *angrily speaking in a language I don’t understand*

Me: “Okay, may I see your passport, so I can find someone who speaks your language?” *trying to mime “passport”*

Guest: *hands me his passport*

(I have a colleague from this country at the front desk and she is standing on the other end of our desk. Why did he not go to her? I don’t know. I call her over and they talk, she checks him in, and everything is fine.)

Colleague: *after the guest is gone* “He was complaining that you didn’t speak his language even though he asked you at the beginning.”

Me: “What do you mean? I didn’t understand a word he was saying.”

Colleague: “No, he said he ordered you to speak [Language] but you kept speaking English and now he’s disappointed.”

Me: “I’m… human and I don’t think I work that way.”

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