Put An End To That Train Of Thought

, , , , , | Friendly | June 17, 2019

(I am a teenager travelling with my parents and my little brother for a summer trip to Amsterdam. My mother is Japanese, and I am half Japanese, but since I have several ethnicities I look nothing like my parents. My features are described to be difficult to pinpoint, and I have been mistaken for many different ethnicities all throughout my life. I have most often been mistaken as Indian. At this point, I am wandering the aisles of our express train and looking for our seats. I finally find them and see we are seated next to another family. I don’t pay much attention to them, but I suddenly overhear their conversation.)

Other Father: *in Japanese* “Ugh, I see an Indian family will be sitting next to us on this train.”

Other Mother: *in Japanese* “They are probably going to be so loud. What a shame.”

Me: *loudly, and in Japanese* “Mom! Mom! Looks like our seats are here.”

(The other family was absolutely shocked. I proceeded to talk to my parents, who both understand Japanese, very loudly about various topics. The family next to us looked visibly embarrassed and did not utter a word for the entire rest of the three-hour train ride.)

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Trying To Explain It In Black And White

, , , , | Right | April 14, 2019

(My company sells computers specifically designed for old people and computer noobs, with a specific user interface, very simple, with big buttons and all functionalities color-coded. I do level-two tech support for them in addition to development. We get calls from people who have never touched a computer before.)

Caller: “Hello. I have a problem with my printer. I put a color picture and it came out in black and white.”

Me: “Okay, sir, you must have clicked on the wrong button. Click on the green tab to go to the printer page. Then you click on the ‘do a color copy’ button, not the other one labelled ‘black and white copy.’ It should print you a copy of your picture in color as you wanted to.”

Caller: “No, you don’t understand; my picture is black and white now.”

Me: “What do you mean? The printer printed a black and white copy of your picture, right?”

Caller: “No, the picture I put in the printer is black and white!”

Me: “So… you put a black and white picture and want to copy it in color?”

Caller: “No! You don’t understand! I put a colored picture in the printer and that picture is now black and white! I want it colored like before! You ruined my picture!”

Me: “You are telling me that you put a colored picture in your printer and that your original picture has changed to black and white?”

Caller: “At last! You youngsters don’t understand a simple thing! That’s what I’m saying from the beginning!”

Me: “Sir, this is impossible..”

Caller: “I assure you that my picture is now black and white! You f***** up an old family picture; that’s unacceptable!”

Me: “Sir, could you please open the lid of the printer in order to see the glass panel that is in there?”

Caller: “Oh, there is my picture.”

Me: “Is it still in color?”

Caller: “Hmm… Yes… Bye.” *click*

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That’s Why It Took So Bloody Long

, , , , , | Friendly | April 5, 2019

(Due to some recurring health issues, going to the bathroom is a rather long and unpleasant task for me, something that only gets worse when I’m on my period. On such a day, my friends and I eat at a fast food place after a movie, and I decide to use the bathroom there. This bathroom is unusually small, with only one toilet and a little, cramped room before it with a sink. As we are in one of the most lively parts of the city and the fast food place is rather full, there are soon six men waiting behind the door. This is quite an uncomfortable situation for me, as not only am I stuck in a dirty bathroom trying to do what I’ve got to do both as silently and rapidly as I can, but the men waiting soon start making loud comments in a rather coarse tone.)

Man #1: “What are they doing in there? It’s been forever!”

Man #2: *crude laugh* “Maybe they’re doing something else?”

Man #3: “Like what? Banging?”

Man #4: “No, it’s only one person here.”

Man #2: “They might be doing drugs!” *others laugh*

Man #1: “How long has it been?”

Man #5: “We’ve been here for like ten minutes and they were already in there.”

(This one confuses me because the first guys to arrive after me actually arrived while I was still waiting. Did they really manage to miss the woman that was standing in front of them in a room so small it feels cramped with three people in it? I’ve finally finished and I start preparing to exit.)

Man #2: “Ah, sounds like it’s moving!”

(I’m really annoyed, because there is no way those people didn’t realise I heard all their comments, and I didn’t exactly have a fun experience in there.)

Me: *as loud and clearly as I can* “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but I was on my period.”

(This worked extremely well. They’re really silent for an instant, then start apologizing and saying they absolutely understand, in the most awkward of tones. Three of them even exited the bathroom, saying that they’d come back later, then, and when I got out and went to wash my hands, two of those that were left avoided my eyes. I honestly only regret not having waited to exit the bathroom before responding so I could have seen their faces.)

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They Can More Than Bali Understand You

, , , , | Right | March 4, 2019

(I work as a hostess for the restaurant of a hotel which is five minutes away from the Eiffel Tower. As such, our terrace has a gorgeous view, and you can see the feet of the Tower from our tables inside. This makes my job a little difficult as every visitor wants to have “the best view,” and I have to accommodate them. As I’m part Indonesian, I speak it fluently, but rarely see any Indonesian tourists. It is in the middle of winter, and we have no heating on our terrace. A family of three enters the restaurant.)

Me: “Hello! How may I help you?”

(The youngest daughter, who I suppose is the only one who can speak English, replies:)

Customer: “Hi. We would like to have dinner outside.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but our terrace is closed because of winter.”

Customer: “Well, open it for us.”

Me: “Sorry, but I have no waiters available to serve you outside, and we have no heating; I do have tables available inside, though.”

Customer: “We don’t mind the cold; just bring us the food outside and we’ll eat outside.”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m just following my manager’s orders, and we’re not going to leave you to eat in the cold! I can find you a nice table with a view inside if you want!”

(The customer turns to her parents.)

Customer: “Dia bego deh, katanya ngga boleh duduk diluar, pasti dia aja yang ngga mau kerja.” *She’s an idiot, she’s saying we’re not allowed to sit outside, but I’m sure she just doesn’t want to work.*

Me: “Ada meja didalam kak, bisa keliatan juga Eiffel Towernya.” *I do have tables inside where you can see the Eiffel Tower.*

(The mum started smiling and asked me where I was from in Indonesia, and the daughter turned white as a sheet and dragged her parents out of the restaurant. I just burst out laughing. This story always makes me laugh when I think about the years I worked in that hotel. Another question I have been asked while working there included, “Can we walk from here to the Eiffel Tower?” while literally staring at it.)

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No Need To Pardon This French

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 6, 2018

(My father and I are coming back home from church. We are speaking English because we attend an American church and just didn’t bother going back to speaking French. We’re both fluent and speak English with no accent at all. We take seats in the underground and go on with our conversation for a few minutes until I notice that the lady in the seat next to mine is glaring at us. Keep in mind that we’re in Paris, one of the cities with the most tourists in the world.)

Lady: *in French, to her friend, obviously thinking my father and I don’t understand* “These foreigners are way too loud! Why are they here? If they want to speak English, they should go back to their country. They should make an effort to speak French.”

(She keeps going on like that for quite some time. I tell my father, who was politely going to tell her to shut up that it’s not worth it, but her rant is starting to annoy me. At that point she’s speaking very loudly, and the other people around are looking at us.)

Lady: “Ils croivent qu’ils peuvent venir ici et nous envahir avec leur culture!” *They think they can come here and invade us with their culture!*

(There is an enormous grammar mistake in that sentence. Our stop is next, and my father is fuming by that time. I stand up and start towards the doors, but I can’t resist turning around to face her.)

Me: *in French* “Ma’am, you have been incredibly rude, and you’ve been disturbing the other passengers. If you don’t want to see foreigners, don’t live in Paris. Oh, and by the way, ‘croivent’ is not correct French, so maybe you should think twice before telling people to speak French, given that you are obviously unable to speak it correctly yourself.”

(She turned red, and some of the other passengers started laughing, including her own friend. I got off the underground with a huge grin on my face. My dad was laughing his a** off and ended up buying me a cookie on our way back.)

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