Questioning The Validity Of His Professionalism

, , , , , | Working | August 16, 2018

(This story takes place when we still use paper train tickets. My mother has gone shopping in the city and is taking the train back to our hometown. The ticket inspector, a young-looking guy, enters the train compartment.)

Inspector: *to my mother* “Ticket, please.”

Mother: *fishes her ticket out of her handbag* “Sure, here you go!”

Inspector: *takes it and inspects it* “Ma’am? This is not a valid ticket.”

Mother: “What?! Oh, sorry, I must have given you an old one. Just a minute, please.”

(My mother proceeds to dig further into her handbag, rummaging through receipts, but finds no ticket. She empties the bag’s contents onto her lap, but still no ticket.)

Inspector: *with a stern voice* “Do you even have a valid ticket, ma’am?”

Mother: *starting to panic at this point* “Oh, I am so sorry. I really bought one! I don’t know where I put it; maybe it fell out of my bag? Oh, no!”

(My mother is thinking, “I am going to get a fine! He probably hears excuses like this every day! What if he doesn’t believe me?”)

Inspector: “Maybe you put it in one of your shopping bags? Or in your wallet?”

(He keeps standing there while my mom goes rummaging through her shopping bags. Other passengers are looking and snickering while my mom still frantically searches for her ticket. Meanwhile, the train enters our hometown station.)

Mother: *desperately* “I can’t find it! And I have to get out at this station!”

(The inspector gives her a suspicious look, and then gives back the ticket he is still holding.)

Inspector: *smiles* “Just kidding. It was a valid ticket.” *walks away*

Mother: *speechless*

The Universe Pays A-Ten-tion

, , , | Hopeless | August 3, 2018

(I’m waiting for my train when a woman with her two kids approaches me:)

Woman: “I’m so sorry to ask this, but I’ve lost my wallet and I need to get my kids home. Do you have any cash that I can borrow to cover the fare? I can get your details and I’ll pay you back. I’m so sorry.”

(The train that I need to catch is approaching.)

Me: *hands her $10* “Here. This should cover it.”

Woman: “Thank you. Let me get your number—”

Me: *gets on train* “Don’t worry about it. Have a good night!”

(Fast forward to three days later. I’m in a different part of town, walking to work at about 7:00 am. A car drives past me, slows down, and then pulls over to the side of the road. The woman from the train station steps out.)

Woman: “Hi! I just noticed you’re the girl from the other day at the train. I’ve only got coins; is this okay?”

(She handed me $10 in coins. I actually couldn’t believe it. The universe works in weird but wonderful ways!)

Stand Up For Their Need To Sit Down

, , , , | Friendly | July 20, 2018

(I buy a new screen for my PC and then find a free seat on the subway to sit down, holding the package vertically on my lap. The subway fills up quickly, until an older lady stands beside me with no place to sit down. Despite the weight of the screen, I offer her the seat and try to stand up… when suddenly she slaps the top of the package and forces me back into the seat. Startled, I look at her for a second, until she says:)

Woman: “I’m not that old to be offered a seat; don’t you dare to stand up. Wait at least ten years to try that again.”

(Well… Okay, then.)

Hitler Ruins Everything

, , , , , | Friendly | July 19, 2018

(I’m on vacation in London with a friend and we are using the tube. We are German, but as we both lived in Ireland for a while and love British movies and television, our English skills are pretty good. As we chat about our plans for the day in German, I notice two middle-aged ladies sitting opposite from us, looking at us rather annoyed. My friend chatters on about the museums we are visiting today, but I can’t help but listen to the conversation in the seats opposite from us.)

Lady #1: “…and you can’t even go on the tube anymore without hearing every kind of jibber-jabber language. Germans, I can hear that all right.”

Lady #2: “Did you hear how they are trying to make [some English name] bow to their will in Brussel? They know the EU will suffer from losing us.”

Lady #1: “I’m sure they are happy about it. Then they can go back to their old ways, heil Hitler and everything. Mark my words: it’s a Nazi Europe out there without us, and we are better off the earlier we can rid us of that.”

(My friend stops talking as she notices me intently listening and looking at them. They notice me, too, and are — correctly I might add — a bit embarrassed. Then [Lady #1] goes for the rescue.)

Lady #1: *very polite with big smile* “Hello, do you speak English?

Me: *nods* “A bit.”

Lady #1: *very cheery* “Are you here on holiday? I heard you speak German; I learned some in school, back in the day. So, guten Tag und gute Reise! Haha, that’s all I remember!”

(I breathe deeply and answer, with my very best British accent:)

Me: “Well, that’s marvelous and good for you. But I would advise you to keep the Nazi-talk and ‘heil Hitler’ out of any German conversation, if it’s not a critical historical discussion. It is even punishable by law to use ‘heil Hitler’ in public, even in jest. I hope you are able to visit Germany one day, but I am not sure how it will work with non-EU citizens in the future. I’m sure you will be able to figure something out, should it ever come to that.”

(They did not find any more words before getting off at the next stop, rather hurriedly. For the record: this was the most memorable thing for me, as I have never EVER had any other Brit be that impolite to me before or after that in my life. I really would love them to stay in the EU, if only so I can keep visiting without a visa or whatnot.)

Top Up Is Looking Down

, , , , , | Right | April 29, 2018

(Oyster is a smart-card method of payment for public transport in London. You put money on it to pay for your fare, validating it on entry and exit, which deducts the correct fare from your account.)

Me: *sees customer walk up* “Hel—”

Customer: *slams Oyster and £20 on counter* “Top up.” *answers phone*

Me: “How much?”

Customer: *chatting on phone*

Me: *waits ten seconds* “How much would you like?”

Customer: *covers phone speaker* “Hurry up! I’m going to miss my train!” *back on phone*

Me: *puts £20 on Oyster, gives Oyster back*

Customer: *snatches up Oyster* “Where’s my change?”

Me: “There is no change. You gave me £20. I put on £20.”

Customer: “Why did you put it all on? I didn’t tell you to do that. I only wanted £5. Why would I put more than £5? I don’t need more than £5! You need to give me my money back!”

Me: “Okay, give me your Oyster; I’ll adjust it.”

Customer: “No, you just need to give me my money back. I didn’t tell you to put on £20. That’s your problem. You just need to give me my money.”

(I had to get up and walk away from my till.)

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