¡Que Embarazada!

, , , , , | Friendly | February 17, 2020

(My dad has worked with a man from El Salvador for many years, and they have become close friends. When this friend first moved to the US, he took classes to improve his English skills, but in the meantime, the language barrier led to a lot of funny misunderstandings between him and my dad. They got used to laughing together about all the little ways both English and Spanish can be confusing. My dad learned a bit of Spanish from his friend but never enough to really understand a whole conversation. One Father’s Day, my dad thinks it would be nice to call his friend and wish him a happy holiday, and he thinks it would be extra nice to say it in Spanish.) 

Dad: “Hey, I just wanted to wish you a happy Father’s Day! Feliz papa Dios!”

Friend: *laughing uncontrollably*

Dad: “What? Didn’t I say it right?”

Friend: “You meant, ‘Feliz Día del Padre.’ What you actually said was–” *pauses to laugh* “–’Happy potato God!’” 

Dad: *laughing, too* “Well, I was pretty close!”

Friend: “‘Papá’ with the accent on the end means ‘dad,’ but the way you said it with the accent at the beginning, it means ‘potato.’ And ‘día’ means ‘day,’ but ‘Dios’ means ‘God’!”

Dad: *smiling, shrugs* “Well, at least you knew what I meant!”

Friend: “Somehow I always do!”

(Now it has become a tradition that my dad has to call his friend every year on Father’s Day and wish him “Happy Potato God!” When my sister and I call our dad on Father’s Day, we tell him the same.)

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The Effort Of Listening Is Too Much

, , , , , , | Right | January 14, 2020

I work for an optometrist and my job involves phoning people to let them know that their glasses have arrived from the lab, and are ready for pickup. This is done in between all my other tasks, and, theoretically, should only take a few minutes.

Very few people actually answer their telephones, so if their voicemail is activated, I leave this standard message: “Hello. I’m calling from [Company] to let you know that the prescription glasses ordered for [Customer] have been checked in. Please pick them up at your convenience. We are open today until 5:00 pm, and we are open tomorrow from 9:00 until 5:00. Thank you.”

As I am dialing the next person on the list, I get an incoming call, so I disconnect the call I’m trying to make to answer the incoming call. Nine times out of ten, the incoming caller says, “I got a missed call?”

I say, “And you are…?” After a peeved pause, as if I should recognize them somehow — we don’t have caller ID at the office — the customer says their name. I look on my list, and sure enough, it’s the person I just left a message for.

If you’re too occupied or too lazy to answer your phone when it rings, then listen to your voicemail message. I don’t have time to backtrack through the list when I’m trying to call twenty people. If you’re not going to listen to your voicemail, why do you have voicemail?

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Making Friends Over The Wrong Pizza

, , , , | Working | January 13, 2020

(I don’t actually work at the pizza place involved in this story. I am just a part of a weird chain of events that starts with my order being given to someone else, and ends with the receiver of my order calling me.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “My husband was just in there, and we got the wrong pizza. We ordered a pepperoni and what we got was an original meat. We live too far away to come and get another one. I was wondering if you could give me a coupon or something.”

Me: “Well, I would, but this is somebody’s house, not [Pizza Chain].”

Caller: “Oh, is this… [My Number], is that you?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Caller: “Well, this must be your order, then.”

Me: “Yeah, they remade our pizza.”

Caller: “Okay, I can’t find their number, then, sorry.”

Me: “No problem.”

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The Apple Number Has Fallen Very Far From The Tree

, , , , , | Friendly | January 2, 2020

I still have my phone number from when I lived on the US east coast, but now I live on the west coast. That means I occasionally get wrong number calls at inappropriate hours; I simply ignore my phone unless I know who is calling. One day, the calls kept coming; I received over two dozen before I left for work. Most were hang-ups, and sometimes it was the same number several times. Finally, I picked up; it was some dopey recent college grad looking for a job at the flagship Apple store in the city in which I used to live. I told him he had the wrong number. I picked up the next one, too, and it was the same story. It seemed like the Apple store recruiting office had accidentally given out my number. I felt bad for those dopey kids, even the one who kept calling me after I told him he had the wrong number.

I called the Apple store itself, and they informed me that they were not recruiting, and they don’t use outside companies to fill positions. It turns out it was some sort of scam. Now I felt extra bad for those dopey kids.

It was not a busy day at work, so I did my best to inform the callers about what was going on. I even spoke with the kid who didn’t understand what a wrong number was. 

A few minutes later, I got a message from his mother, complaining that I was unhelpful. Then I feel even worse for that kid; it’s got to be difficult to go through life with a mom who was even dumber than he was.

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Stupid Is Calling

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 29, 2019

(This is the good old time of landlines. I answer the phone.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Yeah, pass me Bull.”

Me: “Who?”

Guy: *overly pronouncing* “Buuuuullllll! Paaaaassss meeee Buuuuullllll!”

Me: “I think you have the wrong–”

(Then, I hear a voice in the background.)

Background Voice: “What’s going on?”

Guy: *not even trying to muffle himself* “It’s his stupid sister; she won’t pass him!”

Background Voice: “Maybe his family doesn’t call him by his nickname but his actual name.”

Guy: “Oh, yeah… Can I speak to [My Brother]?”

Me: “Sure, stupid.”

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