Getting Into A Jumble-aya

, , , , , , , | Working | January 25, 2018

(I go to a restaurant with my family for no special occasion other than no one wanted to cook. When we get there, we sit down, and our waitress takes our drink orders and returns with them very quickly. Most of this conversation takes place in French, but I will translate.)

Waitress #1: “What can I get you today?”

Mom: “Soup and salad.”

Sister: “Cactus chips—” *thick potato chips with a spicy dip* “—and a jambalaya, but with gluten-free noodles, please.”

Waitress #1: *missed the gluten-free part* “Okay, would you like garlic or cheesy bread?”

Sister: “No, gluten-free, please.”

(The waitress make a correction on her pad.)

Waitress #1: “Oh, yes. Sorry.”

(I know I will mispronounce the name of what I want in French, so I just point to the picture.)

Waitress #1: “Okay, perfect.” *leaves to put in the order*

(The waitress brings the cactus chips and my mom’s soup with no problem. It is when the main course arrives that things get funny. [Waitress #2] brings our food. My sister is given gluten-free noodles with some mystery sauce on it. It is clearly not her jambalaya.)

Sister: “I ordered a jambalaya with gluten-free noodles.”

([Waitress #2] is confused, but takes it for the correction.)

Waitress #1: *comes out after being informed of the mistake, while filling water glasses at another table* “Oh, I am so sorry. It is my fault; I entered it in wrong.”

Sister: “Oh, it’s okay. We understand the mistake.”

(The waitress sees my mom’s nearly empty lemonade glass. It looks a bit like ice water and not lemonade, and the waitress fills it with her water pitcher. While filling she realizes her mistake.)

Waitress #1: “This wasn’t water, was it?”

(We all lose it and burst out laughing. My mom tears up from laughing so hard. While we compose ourselves, the waitress replaces her drink.)

Waitress #1: *with the new lemonade* “I am so sorry, again.”

Mom: “It is okay; that was hilarious! We do understand. But it is getting late and we have to go; can you put that jambalaya directly into a to-go container for us?”

Waitress #1: “Sure.”

(Later, [Waitress #2] is trying to help her colleague and brings out the jambalaya. We are trying not to laugh at this waitress, and when she leaves we just snicker about the new mistake. [Waitress #1] returns to the prep area, sees the food is missing, and hurries to our table.)

Waitress #1: “Sorry, when I went in for your food it was already gone. I will take it and put it in a to-go container for you.” *takes the food and leaves*

Me: *when the waitress returns so we can pay* “Don’t worry. You know, there is always that one table where, no matter what you do, nothing goes right.”

Waitress #1: *relieved* “Yes, and unfortunately it was you guys, today.”

(While paying we told her some other mishaps that happened to us in other restaurants, like the time I had a ketchup bottle explode in my face. We left her a nice tip. We are calling this outing the comedy of errors. We want this waitress again; I mean, you can’t beat this two-for-one special: buy food get a free show.)

No Need To Bus(t) My Chops

, , , | Working | January 18, 2018

(Sometimes the local public transit system’s website has some errors. I am planning a route on a very reliable map application and I notice a discrepancy between the arrival times for the bus I will be transferring on to. I call the transit office to confirm.)

Me: “Hi, this app is telling me that this bus is coming at 3:45, but the website doesn’t list that time. I just wanted to confirm—”

Employee: “What makes you think that you should trust an application OVER THE COMPANY PROVIDING THE SERVICE?!”

(I hung up, because I didn’t need to be spoken to that way. Sure enough, the map application was correct and their website was wrong. I noticed that the error was fixed about an hour later.)

Needs Their Whine Breaks

, , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2017

(I pull up at a gas station, and notice the attendant who usually works the counter is outside, texting on her phone. I assume she must have a colleague inside the store, but when I insert the nozzle in my car, I see her run inside to activate my pump, then immediately run back outside to continue texting. While I’m filling up, I notice an old lady who arrives on foot and starts chatting with her; it seems like they know each other. When I’m done filling up and start walking towards the store, the attendant ignores me and keeps chatting with the old lady, completely oblivious to the fact that I’m done filling up and need to pay. Lo and behold, the store is completely empty, so I approach the cashier’s desk, which is right across the window from the attendant and the chatty lady. I don’t want to be rude at this point, so I go use the ATM for a minute, thinking the attendant will be back in the meantime, but when I’m done and approach the cashier’s desk again, she’s still chatting across the window. I go outside and ask in a rather annoyed tone at this point if I can pay and get going, then the following exchange ensues:)

Clerk: “Well, you were using the ATM, so I figured you weren’t in a hurry.”

Me: “So, you’ve seen me come in the store to pay and just stayed there? I’ve been here for a few minutes already.”

Clerk: “Well, just so you know, we aren’t allowed to take any breaks, so when there are no customers I just go outside to relax.”

Me: “When there are no customers? So, what does that make me, then?”

Clerk: “Look, I can’t take breaks! This job is a living hell! I can’t even go to the bathroom! What am I supposed to do? I’m only human, you know!”

Me: “Well, what you’re telling me sounds illegal, and if it’s true, you ought to report your employer to the ministry of labour. Or maybe you just ought to quit that job if they treat you like that. That’s what I’d do. But then again, you weren’t in the bathroom, were you? You were outside texting and chatting with a lady that’s clearly not a customer, seeing as she just went on her way when I came to get you. Most employers frown upon that. I know mine would, even if I certainly wouldn’t describe my job as a ‘living hell.’ So, spare me the whining and just do your job, would you?”

(She blushed and finished the transaction without a word, tossed me my receipt, then wished me a “nice day” with all the sarcasm she could muster. Haven’t been to that place since, but I sincerely hope she has since either found a better job that lets her take a bathroom break every once in a while, or understood that “work” is called “work” for a reason.)

A New Way Of Teaching Remotely

, , , , , | Learning | November 29, 2017

(I am in a project management course and my teacher is just setting up her microphone after a quiz, so we are about halfway through a course.)

Teacher: “Can you hear me on the speakers or just my voice?”

Class: “Just your voice.”

(She continues fiddling with the wireless mic pack. A student from another class walks in.)

Student: “Sorry, but we can hear you in the room next door on our speakers.”

(The class plus teacher laughs.)

Teacher: *shuts off mic* “Sorry about that. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Last time, it was a classroom on the seventh floor. They only reason they figured out who it was was my accent. I happened to speak to that professor that day, and he knew who was talking based on my accent. He even thanked me for teaching his class for him.”

Giving Voice To Their Concerns

, , , , , | Working | November 22, 2017

(I’m being called by our phone, cable, and Internet provider. They want to advertise their new package, probably in hopes of increase our payment. But I’m fine with what we have and refuse to change, especially to pay more for nothing useful to us. Everything is all right, until he tries to close.)

Caller: “And did I speak to Madame or her daughter?”

(I then decide, that, despite being the daughter, I’m the caregiver of my parents — meaning I pay bills, negotiate contract, etc — and that being 39 years old is old enough to be titled Madame.)

Me: “It’s Madame.”

Caller: “You have a really young voice.”

Me: *cheerful* “Oh, thank you!”

Caller: *almost angry* “No, you sound really young.”

Me: “Okay? Thanks?”

Caller: “No! It’s not a compliment.” *hangs up*

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