The Explanation Flu Over His Head

, , , , | Right | December 12, 2019

(As part of an awareness campaign, there are a few stands at a major public transit hub where people can get a quick, free medical check and advice on whether they are at risk for heart disease and so on. We are also handing out bottled water, hula hoops, and balls for kids to play with and take home while the adults are filling out questions, being measured, or talking with the nurses. All of us are wearing dark blue T-shirts with the company logo on them. Entirely unrelated, there are people handing out flyers about the swine flu vaccine. These people are wearing yellow T-shirts with another company’s logo on them. I am on my way to a break when an elderly man comes up to me, holding the pamphlet the other company is handing out.)

Elderly Man: “Okay, just give me the shot.”

Me: “I’m afraid we don’t give shots here. This is a medical check-up to see if you’re at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and so on.”

Elderly Man: “But you’re handing out these flyers, telling me I need to get a shot.”

Me: “Sir, those people are from a different company and, as you’ll read in the pamphlet, you have to make an appointment with your doctor and he’ll give you the vaccine.”

Elderly Man: “But you’re right here.”

Me: “Yes, but, again, we don’t have any shots here.”

Elderly Man: “But I need to get a shot!” *waving the flyer in my face*

Me: “I understand, sir, but you really need to call your doctor and make an appointment for that. We simply can’t help you here.”

Elderly Man: “You just want me to die!”

Obviously, He Is Very Insecure

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 12, 2019

(I’m riding the bus with my partner and a friend of ours who’s a few years younger than us. We’re all in our twenties and very nerdy. We’re making silly jokes about sorting the crew of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” into Hogwarts houses or something when another passenger turns around and looks at us. He’s an older man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, not very well-groomed, and reeking of cigarettes. He directs the following remarks to my partner, completely ignoring our friend and me:)

Stranger: “Hey, you!”

Partner: “Um, yes?”

Stranger: *in a weirdly sneering, accusatory tone* “What’s your job?”

Partner: “I work in publishing.”

Stranger: *clearly a bit thrown by my partner having a “real” job, but forging on anyway* “Well, do you know anything about securities?”

Partner: “No.”

Stranger: “You don’t.”

Partner: “No.”

Stranger: “Why not?”

Partner: “It’s not my job.”

Stranger: “Oh. Huh. Well. I just thought… uh, you sounded like a real smart guy there, so I thought you might know something about it.”

Partner: “Nope.”

(The stranger gets off the bus at the next stop and I start laughing.)

Friend: “What’s so funny?”

Me: “Well, you remember how earlier today I was having lunch with my friend from high school, the one who’s a lawyer? And how I invited her to come along with us, too, but she couldn’t make it?”

Friend: “Yeah?”

Me: “Well, clearly El Rando there was going after [Partner] because he thought he was the ‘alpha male’ of our group or something. But [High School Friend] actually specializes in banking law… with an emphasis on securities. She’s gonna be so grumpy she missed on an opportunity to lecture some sexist old man about legal technicalities.”

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This Is The Direct Bus To Justice

, , , | Legal | December 10, 2019

My wife and I are on a bus. Some women get on the bus talking in Papiamento. My wife has lived for some time in Aruba and understands every word they are saying. She tells me, “They are planning on robbing the bus driver.”

I head to the bus driver and warn him what’s about to happen. He immediately calls his control center and tells them what’s about to happen. He gets orders to keep driving and don’t stop. 

The women get anxious because they obviously planned to rob the driver at the next bus stop. The driver gets a signal that it is okay to stop at the next bus stop. 

As soon as he pulls over, the women get up and start threatening the bus driver. He hands them the money and opens the doors. The women get out with their loot only to be greeted by some policemen. Of course, they all get arrested.

We leave the bus during the consternation and have a great day. No one ever found out who “the snitch” was that helped to catch some robbers, and that’s just fine with us.

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Student Cards Require Some Study

, , , | Right | November 26, 2019

(Our train station kiosk is not owned by the railway company — like most here in the country are — and people often don’t know that besides selling coffee and snacks we also provide travel info. In the Netherlands, all students above 18 get a public transport card — PT card — which they can use to travel for free on weekdays and get a discount during holidays. It’s summer break at the moment. A mother and her teenage son walk in. They both seem quite nervous.)

Mother: “You don’t happen to know anything about student PT cards, do you?”

Me: “Sure, I do! I used to have one when I was in college. What do you need to know?”

Mother: “Well, my son here needs to activate his subscription on his card but we don’t know how!

Me: “Don’t worry. It’s easy. Let me show you.”

(I walk outside with them to the machine. I put his card in front of the reader, select ”pick up subscription,” select the only option it gives next, and then proceed to hold the card in front of the reader a second time, like instructed on the screen.)

Me: “There you go. All set.”

Mother: “Oh, it works that fast? Can he travel using this card now?”

Me: “Technically, yes. But because it’s summer break it’s not valid yet, but it automatically will be once school starts. Until then, he travels with a 40% discount.”

Mother: “So, he won’t have to do anything to make it valid?”

Me: “No, ma’am, like I said, that happens automatically.”

Mother: “So, we can use it… like… right now?”

Me: *not knowing how to make myself more clear* “You could, but only with 40% discount. It’s not for free yet. It will be come September. 

Mother: “Are you sure? He can use it once school starts? What if he wants to use it now?” 

(This goes back and forth a couple more times. Finally, I manage to convince her they’re all set.)

Mother: “Well, because you did it so quickly, I just had to make sure, you know! Thanks for the help!”

(They are about to leave when the son speaks up:)

Son: “So, you’re sure I can use this now?” 

Me: *exploding inside*

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Never, EVER Hire Her As A Babysitter

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 16, 2019

(I’m in beauty school, currently in the hairdressing program. For those who don’t know, this is a program that comes with quite a bit of equipment — everything from combs and a hairdryer to a “mannequin head” on which to practice haircuts and styles. I have a suitcase that I can fit most of my tools into, but my mannequin head doesn’t quite fit. Picture a young woman with hot pink hair carrying what is essentially a disembodied plastic head around on the bus every morning and evening. On this particular occasion I’m gathering up all my stuff to get off the bus, and I pick up my mannequin head by the hair, as that tends to be the easiest, most secure way to hang onto it. As I lift the head, the woman sitting across from me makes this cheerful comment:) 

Woman: “I like your baby!”

Me: *thinking* “It’s actually a severed head, but okay.”

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