Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Baggage About Baggage

, , , , , | Working | May 25, 2022

I’m at the airport, trying to check in. As always, I use the check-in machine and intend to use the self-help bag drop because it’s faster than the manual check-in. For some reason, the machine doesn’t give me a baggage tag, so manual intervention is needed. There is always an attendant at the bag drop in case someone needs help, so I head over there and explain that I didn’t get a baggage tag.

Attendant: “You should try another machine.”

Me: “I did. It said the tag had already been printed.”

The attendant visibly and audibly sighs but gives no gesture in any direction.

Attendant: “Then you need to go to the check-in counter. “ 

Me: “Yes, and where is that?”

Attendant: “There are signs.”

I’m starting to think I may be missing something really obvious.

Me: “That I can see from here?”

Attendant: *Rolling her eyes* “You don’t need to see them from here; you will see them when you get there.”

I’m getting a bit fed up.

Me: “Well, I’m not here every day, unlike you.”

She frowns, lifts the world’s heaviest arm, and points in what, somewhat surprisingly, will turn out to be the right direction.

I’m really fed up at this time.

Me: “You don’t have to be quite so obvious about how stupid you think I am.”

She walked away. So did I, and after a brief wait and a pleasant exchange with the check-in person, my suitcase was tagged and sent on its merry way. 

Walking back toward security, I saw the attendant again, in what seemed to be a helpful interaction with someone. I have no idea what I did wrong.

Ain’t Geology Trippy?

, , , , , | Learning | May 21, 2022

I studied at a university north of the Arctic Circle. That means that the sun never sets during the summer and never rises in the winter. It also means that when it’s dark outside, the inhabitants can quite frequently get Northern Lights (aurora borealis). This is a beautiful spectacle — nature’s own light show colouring the sky.

One evening in August, I was walking my dog around a lake near the university housing estate. It was very late, but the sun never sets, so it was still bright as day. On a bench near the path, there were a couple of foreign exchange students sitting, looking up and waiting. They both spoke English with a heavy foreign accent, so I really can’t blame them too much for not knowing the details about this, but it was funny nonetheless. As I passed by, one of them asked me:

Student: “Excuse me. Do you know when we can see the Northern Lights?”

Me: “Ehm… Yes. Yes, I do. They are visible when it’s dark outside. Which is… a few months from now.”

They were laughing as they walked back to their dorms. I wonder how long they would have waited before giving up.

Grandma’s Going Wireless!

, , , , | Related | March 18, 2022

My grandmother asks for help setting up her Wi-Fi and computer. She bought a new computer months ago but can’t get the Internet to work. The Internet provider set up her system, but now it’s not working anymore.

I am not an expert, but I try my best. I spend several hours setting up the system and figuring out where all the cables go between the router and Wi-Fi enhancer and a mysterious “extra” box. I get the computer going, update her software, and show her how to connect and how to use the browser. My grandma is smart, but old, and I think she gets it.

The next day, she calls and says the Internet isn’t working. After some troubleshooting, this happens.

Grandma: “I turned it off for the night to save electricity.”

Me: “Turned it off? How?”

Grandma: “Well, I pulled out the cable.”

Me: “Which cable?”

I’m starting to get a really bad feeling.

Grandma: “All of them.”

Me:All of them? Not just the one in the wall?”

Grandma: “Yes, all of them. It looks tidier now.”

Me: *Pauses* “I’ll see when I can come out again to look at it.”

Turns out she pulled every cable she could find, including her mouse and keyboard. At least it was easier to set it up the second time around.

Vegan From This Place!

, , , , , | Related | March 6, 2022

I’ve had stomach issues for as long as I can remember, but I’ve discovered that cutting out most meats from my diet tends to help. Even though I like to eat meat on occasion, I also enjoy vegetarian food, so it’s not a huge sacrifice on my part. My brother, on the other hand, is an almost aggressive carnivore who finds it personally insulting that vegetarians exist in the world. He also likes to needle me about my new eating habits at every opportunity.

One day, my brother helps me move some furniture and I promise to buy him lunch as a thank-you. He’s a big fan of the hamburgers from a specific fast food chain, so that’s where we go.

This chain recently started selling a vegan burger which is pretty close to meat in both taste and texture. They also have a system where you can choose to order and pay in an app or at a self-service kiosk in the restaurant and then pick up your order at the counter when it’s ready. We decide to use self-service.

Me: “Okay, [Brother], pick whatever you want. It’s my treat.”

Brother: *Grinning* “Thanks! I’m going to get something with a lot of meat. I want at least two different animals to have died for this burger.”

My brother proceeds to choose his meal, predictably with an extra patty and added bacon, and steps back, looking very satisfied with himself. I told him he could have whatever he wanted, so I just smile and order my own meal.

Me: “Go save us a seat somewhere. I’ll wait for the food.”

I go to wait at the counter for our order to be called. When it’s ready and my number is called, the worker who put the food out stops me just as I’m about to grab it.

Worker: “Before you go, I just want to make sure this is the correct order. That was a [Meal] with an extra patty and bacon, right?”

Me: *Smiling* “Yep, that’s exactly what he ordered. Thanks!”

I take the food and join my brother at a table, and we dig into our lunch. My vegan burger is surprisingly good for a fast food burger. My brother is practically inhaling his food, making “yummy” noises all through the meal just to spite me. I just keep smiling at him.

Brother: *Pushing his empty tray away* “That was delicious! Nothing beats a real hamburger. How’s your rabbit food?”

Me: “It’s really good, actually. You can barely tell it’s not meat.”

Brother: “That’s ridiculous; I’d be able to tell in a heartbeat. There’s nothing like a proper beef hamburger.”

Me: *Still smiling* “Really? Well, I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

Brother: *Going off on one of his rants* “I mean, look at those stupid posters. They might have photoshopped it to look like meat, but no one is going to be fooled by that.”

Me: “That’s funny, because you actually ordered the vegan burger, and you just ate it all and said it was delicious.”

Brother: “I… No, I didn’t. I ordered the beef burger.”

Me: “Nope, you ordered the [fake] beef burger. The girl at the counter thought it was weird that you wanted bacon on that, but you ordered it yourself, so I thought that was what you wanted.”

Brother: “I’m never going to eat here again!”

So, that’s the story of how my brother decided to boycott his favourite burger chain because he accidentally ordered a vegan burger and enjoyed it. (The extra bacon might have had something to do with it.)

Sympathy Isn’t This Sister’s Strong Suit

, , , , | Related | October 28, 2021

I got all the bad genes in my family, including a chronic pain disorder. I do what I can to alleviate the symptoms, but it’s not getting any better as I’m reaching middle-age, and I find that there are things I used to be able to do in my youth that I just can’t manage anymore.

My sister is two years younger than me and lucked out in the health department. She’s the kind of person who runs marathons for fun, while I’m at the point where I need physical therapy to handle my daily life. We’ve always been very close and share a lot of interests, including hiking and other outdoor activities. Unfortunately, she has some trouble adjusting to my physical limitations.

I’m just starting my summer vacation and I have two weeks off for shenanigans. My sister calls me to invite me for a hike in a nearby national park.

Sister: “It’s been so long since we did something like this together and it would be so much fun!”

Me: “Sure, that sounds great. We could do a day trip, maybe?”

Sister: “Oh, I thought we’d hike the whole trail; it’ll be like three days at most. We can bring a tent and camping gear. You have two weeks off, right?”

Me: “Sorry, but I won’t be able to do that. I don’t think I could handle sleeping on the ground for one night at this point, even less two. But if we take the short trail on Saturday, we’ll be back by evening and I’ll get to sleep in my own bed and won’t have to be in too much pain for the rest of my vacation.”

Sister: “Come on! You can handle three days, can’t you? We used to do this all the time!”

Me: “We used to do it all the time when I was twenty. If I do it now, I’m going to have to spend the rest of my vacation recovering, and I have other plans, as well.”

Sister: “Seriously? You’ve turned into such a granny!”

Me: *Upset* Sorry my disability is such an inconvenience to you.”

Sister: *Even more upset* “Laziness is not a disability!”

We hung up. She invited one of her friends, instead, and spent the entire three days making passive-aggressive posts on social media about how wonderful her hike was and how much she pitied people who didn’t appreciate the outdoors. 

I spent my vacation taking it easy and going on various day trips with friends and other family, and returned to work rested and content, in no more pain than before.

The irony in all this? My sister is a nurse who specialises in my condition.